Yonge/Sheppard Development News

Yonge/Sheppard Development News

There have been several community meetings over the past month dealing with potential development in the Yonge & Sheppard area.

At John’s instigation, the City is looking at a new Secondary Plan for Sheppard Avenue West in Ward 23.  We are looking to create much more attractive development on Sheppard Avenue West at the same time as protecting adjoining residential neighbourhoods.  It is necessary to update the plan to provide a context in which to consider new development applications.  Currently, there is an application for 53-63 …

Read More »

Sheppard Centre Construction Update

Sheppard Centre Construction Update

Full construction is now underway at the Sheppard Centre (northeast corner of Yonge & Sheppard).  The focus of this work with be a complete reworking of the retail space which will feature a major grocery store, fitness centre and much more.  Construction is expected to be completed in 2018.  Several of the major retailers will remain open during the work and subway access will be maintained.

John has been working extensively with the property owners to minimize traffic disruption during the work.  The initial construction proposal, …

Read More »

City Action on Infill Construction

City Action on Infill Construction

Willowdale residents noticing construction sites on seemingly every street aren’t just imagining it.  Ward 23 continues to see a massive increase of infill housing sites where old homes are replaced by usually much larger structures.  In 2015, the City tracked 31 severance and 262 minor variance applications in the ward for a total of 293 sites that went before the Committee of Adjustment.  Those numbers rank Ward 23 in the top spot across the City, more than the applications of 15 other wards combined.

These numbers are …

Read More »

Sheppard Centre Update

Sheppard Centre Update

John continues to be frustrated by the amount of residential development in the area. A recent post referencing the Sheppard Centre among other development proposals in the area can be found here.

With the Sheppard Centre, as is often the case, John was opposed to the proposal of another condo highrise, but the City’s Planning staff recommended in favour of it.  In other cases, even when the staff and the Councillor opposes a development, it can get approved at the Ontario Municipal Board.

Something needs to change.  Any …

Read More »

Development Updates & Park Plans

Development Updates & Park Plans

Over the past year, the city has received an unusually-large number of extremely bad planning applications. Some of these will be dealt with by Council in August, some won’t be reported on until early next year, and some have already been appealed by the applicant to the Ontario Municipal Board. Here’s a brief summary:

Proposal to Build Townhouses at Empress and Willowdale:

This proposal by a developer would allow townhouses in a location where the city’s Official Plan allows only single family homes. It would set an …

Read More »

From City Hall: Support for Arts & Disadvantaged Youth

From City Hall: Support for Arts & Disadvantaged Youth

Council has adopted my proposal to create new funding for a arts program which will liven up public space while helping young people get involved in something positive.

And it won’t cost taxpayers a cent.

Here’s how it works. For years, developers have been using their hoarding around construction projects to give themselves free advertising – billboards, in effect – on city property. My motion, which Council adopted earlier this month, creates a small fee for each linear metre of hoarding which advertises the upcoming development.

Because of …

Read More »

From City Hall: Local Appeals Body

From City Hall: Local Appeals Body

City Council has approved my motion to establish a Local Appeals Body to hear all appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions. Currently, these appeals are heard by the developer-friendly Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

As you may know, the OMB – an un-elected, provincially-appointed body – has the final say on all planning issues. Ontario is the only province that has this system which over-rides decisions of the elected municipal councils.

Additional reports will be coming to Council after the election regarding some details of the new body, …

Read More »

New Marketplace Coming to Our Area

New Marketplace Coming to Our Area

Do you sometimes wish we had something like the St. Lawrence market in our neighbourhood?  Me too.  That’s why I’ve been working on creating a City owned – but privately operated – year round market in the new development that’s been approved for 5200 Yonge Street (opposite Parkview Avenue).  When the project is completed, we’ll have our own local butcher, baker, cheese shop, green grocer and other specialty food shops.  Eventually a similar area will be created on a development just to the north with …

Read More »

Yonge Street North Planning Study (UPDATED) – Meeting May 28

Yonge Street North Planning Study (UPDATED) – Meeting May 28

Updated (May 2014):

The City of Toronto is reviewing its Official Plan for the Yonge Street area between Drewry and Steeles. I want to focus on building a complete neighbourhood, with community facilities, schools and places to work and shop. I would like to restrict tall buildings to sites with subway stations – and to make any increased density conditional on subway construction. I am proposing a network of bicycle paths and pedestrian connections, with lots of new parkland. Not everybody agrees with my vision. If …

Read More »

An Alternative to the OMB

An Alternative to the OMB

As residents become increasingly frustrated that Planning decisions are made by the provincially-appointed, un-elected Ontario Municipal Board(OMB), the City is strongly considering its own appeals body for smaller local planning issues.

Provincial legislation allows us to appoint our own body to hear appeals of decisions of the Committee of Adjustment, a body which deals mostly with proposals to split lots and vary the city’s bylaws related to new homes. If a new “local appeals body” is set up by the city, it would replace the OMB for appeals …

Read More »

Fighting Bad Development

Fighting Bad Development

The excessive amount of development allowed by the City’s planning rules is already jamming Willowdale roads, crowding subways and straining the capacity of local schools. With some developers and land speculators pushing to break the rules it could be even worse. In the first part of January alone, I held community meetings on three such applications which I will be opposing.

The largest project, the Sheppard Centre at Yonge and Sheppard, the developer wants to build a 39-storey condo out of density created with smoke and mirrors. The …

Read More »

From City Hall: Development Charges Bylaw Updated

From City Hall: Development Charges Bylaw Updated

Should developers be paying a larger share of the City’s costs to create new facilities and infrastructure needed to meet the needs of the growing population? I believe the answer is a clear “Yes,” and the new development charges by-law approved by council in October provides for a 75% increase in the amount developers contribute to projects required to support the population growth they create.

I am also pushing aggressively to make sure our area, which is experiencing extreme growth, receives its fair share of the development charges that are …

Read More »