More density at our doorstep

What may have seemed like a good idea to some and benign to others has, in my opinion, brought undesirable consequences to the community. I’m talking about the lobbying effort that resulted in Metrolinx adding a stop at Leslie St. on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Metrolinx’s original plan had the LRT running underground to just east of Don Mills Rd. with a station at Leslie St., but in 2013 the plan was revised and the station eliminated due to the projected cost of $80 to $100 million.

Residents at the Inn on the Park condos as well as others in the surrounding neighbourhoods lobbied both Metrolinx and the Ontario government to retain it. The agreed compromise was to have the LRT exit to street level just east of Brentcliffe Rd. so that an at-grade stop – at the lower cost of about $10 million – could be built at Leslie St.

The most immediate impact of that decision is horrendous traffic in North Leaside due to lane reductions on Eglinton Ave. Fortunately, there is an end date.

The long-term consequence is maximum density development at the Inn on the Park. Unlike Steve Diamond (the developer of 939 Eglinton Ave. East, who participated in a community working group), Tridel opted for OMB mediation. Given that City Planning wants maximum density near transit stops – the unwritten rule is often within 400 metres – the site qualified for maximum development and that’s exactly what the developer got.

While the local Councillor (Jaye Robinson) and I voted against the settlement, it passed at Council 31-5.

What does this mean? It means three towers of 45, 39 and 29 storeys and an FSI (which is a measurement of density) of 4.56. As a comparison, the development at 939 Eglinton consists of three towers of 28, 20 and 16 storeys and an FSI of 3.67.

Residents may have the convenience of an additional stop, but we will all have additional traffic – and a further strain on local services.

About Jon Burnside 34 Articles
Jon Burnside is City Councillor for Ward 26.