The huge Diamond plan process is just starting

A presentation was made to the 31 LPOA board on March 6 by Steve Diamond, of Diamond Corporation, regarding 939 Eglinton Ave. East. This is the plaza on the west side of Brentcliffe and south of Eglinton — readers may recognize it as the plaza where Nando’s, Tim Hortons, The Nature Store, and Walking on a Cloud are located.

About five acres in size, the site is within the designated Employment Area under the city’s Official Plan. Mr. Diamond’s preliminary proposal is for a mixed-use development of office space (about 220 metres from the proposed Eglinton LRT station at Laird Dr.) with 107,000 square feet, retail space of 70,000 square feet, and condos of 1,280 units comprising over a million square feet, and includes 1,600 underground parking spaces for residents, shoppers and office tenants.

The preliminary proposal shows a nine-storey residential and a sevenstorey office building with retail at street level along Eglinton, as well as 22-, 26-, and 29-storey residential buildings elsewhere on the property, with a central courtyard.

Members of the LPOA board, and members of the public in attendance, asked questions and expressed concerns about the massing and density of the development, and about the amount of potential traffic generated by the project through

both Leaside’s residential area and the industrial/business park.

Building height was another concern, especially in comparison with adjacent buildings. Lack of capacity in local schools was raised, as local schools are already using portables and have no space for the estimated 500 children the development might house.

An Official Plan amendment application has already been filed, and was heard by North York Community Council on April 9. Once granted, such applications require a staff report and a public consultation meeting to be held, so this process is just beginning. Generally, only those within 120 metres of the site are notified by the city about official public meetings, so the LPOA will keep you informed through this column and possibly a flyer delivery as well. Stay tuned!

Other Leaside issues:

— The fate of the site of the former Leaside Post Office on Malcolm (aka 2 Laird) remains contentious. Knightstone Capital, the owner, has submitted a new proposed design with only two percent reduced building area from their original seven storeys.

They had been asked to return with revisions (four storeys, and a townhouse rather than high rise design) none of which are in their new proposal. Meetings continue.

–Thank you to those who wrote to Leaside Life and me, re: my suggested solution to the stretch of Bayview between Sutherland and Davisville not currently served by the TTC.

Since I was not invited to the meeting called by Councillor Parker with the TTC and Michael Bell, the Leasider who first raised the issue, I cannot give you a proper update. I hope that at some future time I will have an opportunity to ask questions directly of TTC staff.

–At our April meeting, the LPOA board voted to oppose a casino for Toronto, and to allow the LPOA’s name to be included in a full-page Globe & Mail advertisement listing other opponents.

–Concern was expressed about the damage a casino would do to the city’s downtown, its impact on planning and neighbourhoods, and the many costs that would be incurred on a continuing basis. The LPOA vote was unanimous.

About Carol Burtin Fripp 138 Articles
Carol Burtin Fripp is Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, and is Chair of the LRA's Traffic Committee. Over the years, she has served on numerous East York and City task forces. Now a retired television producer (TVO and CBC), she writes Leaside Life's monthly LRA column, and has created a daily international current affairs newsletter read from Newfoundland to New Zealand.