Development updates

815-845 Eglinton Avenue East – RioCan Laird Centre 
(Canadian Tire)

LPOA has been involved with RioCan on this project for a couple of years. In the spring of 2018 LPOA had objected to the density and requested improvements to the urban design – lack of a public plaza. However, in July 2018 RioCan submitted a revised development application to the City which increased density by 15% compared with the original 2016 application. The plans also failed to create a new civic plaza for Leaside as requested by residents.

LPOA swung into action –

1. We sought and received full Party status at the LPAT (former OMB)
2. We informed residents throughout Leaside through a flyer drop in connection with the LPOA Municipal All Candidates Meeting.

Since then RioCan has been in touch and advised us that they are reworking their proposal. And they have asked us to meet with them in the New Year. So we are hopeful that positive changes are coming.

660 Eglinton Ave East – Sunnybrook Plaza

This RioCan project proposed demolition of Sunnybrook plaza and replacement with a mixed use development of two towers. At the OMB, the LPOA, working with the North Leaside neighbours, negotiated a settlement in 2016 that resulted in reduced tower height (16 and 11 storeys) and density. In 2017, Concert Properties, which develops purpose-built rental housing, bought into the project and took over development. Concert recently approached the LPOA with a proposal to slightly increase the project’s FSI (density) in order to enhance the buildings’ efficiency, sustainability and livability, while staying within the massing, height and design parameters agreed to in the OMB settlement.

The LPOA board has carefully considered the changes and has agreed not to object, subject to four undertakings that Concert has agreed to:

1. Improvements to the parkette to the east of 660 Eglinton Avenue East
2. Appropriate recognition and interpretation of the Sunnybrook Plaza, Toronto’s, and Ontario’s first “Modern” shopping centre and suburban strip plaza
3. Establishment of a Community Construction Liaison Committee for the project with participation from Concert Properties, the City, and the community, and;
4. Compliance by Concert Properties with the undertakings under the executed Memorandum of Settlement between RioCan and the LPOA from 2016.

We were pleased with the outreach from Concert and feel this augurs well for a positive relationship as we move ahead.

About Geoff Kettel 221 Articles
Geoff Kettel is a community connector and advocate for “making places better”. He is currently Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, Co-Chair of the Federation of North Toronto Residents‘ Associations (FoNTRA), member of the Toronto Preservation Board and Past Chair of the North York Community Preservation Panel. He writes a monthly column on heritage and planning in Leaside Life.