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NEWS: 15 storeys planned for Davenport & Bedford (Mar. 2020)

March 24th, 2020 · No Comments

Neighbours are opposed due to traffic and density

The skyline may soon change dramatically for the neighbourhood near Davenport and Bedford. TANYA IELYSEIEVA/GLEANER NEWS

By Tanya Ielyseieva

A proposed mixed-use building with ground-level retail and residential uses above at 287 Davenport has neighbours up in arms.  

The project hopes to include three townhomes along Bedford Road and was designed to transition gently down to the low-rise Annex neighbourhood, which means stepping down from the Davenport frontage of the building to the neighbourhood to the south. The highest point of the proposed building will face Davenport Road.

At a Community Consultation on Monday, February 24, Anita Genua spoke on behalf of the  Bernard community and stated that she and her neighbours are “strongly opposed” to the proposed 15-storey development.

“We strongly believe it would destroy the residential nature of Bernard Avenue and our community,” said Genua.

The project’s architects, from the firm Audax, spoke in response.

“One of the reasons that we’ve been hired, I think, is because of our sort of approach to design is much mores sensitive in terms of materiality,” said Gianpiero Pugliese, project architect at Audax. “We don’t want to do a glass box.”

Plans for the proposed high-rise envision a 15-storey residential mixed-use building with a height of 53.67 metres, containing 106 residential units and approximately 278 square metres (2,990 square feet) of retail space on the ground floor. Among 106 residential units, there are 57 one-bedrooms, 38 two-bedrooms, and 11 three plus-bedrooms. That means that units aren’t really family-oriented in the family-oriented neighbourhood. The price point for the unit hasn’t been set yet, but it’s definitely not a cheap building. No affordable units are currently included in this planned building.

The height limit for the northern portion of the location is 14 metres and the southern portion is 12 metres. However, the application is for 58 metres. “It is above what is allowable in the zoning by-laws, that is the only reason why we are here, height and massing,” said Councillor Mike Layton. “If they were building what was allowing by zoning by-laws, we wouldn’t be having a meeting.”

The city has outlined several issues, and height and massing are first to come to mind.

“We asked for an official plan amendment on this application because a large portion of the site is within the residential designated area and there’s a four-storey maximum height limit in this area. The maximum height for the building is 14 metres versus 58 proposed metres,” said Barry Brooks, senior planner for the City of Toronto.

Brooks also stated that there are other issues as well, including traffic and parking and how traffic is “going to be escalated” in terms of more vehicles and more impact on the neighbourhood.

The proposed project is set to have 124 parking spaces, including 110 for residents, 11 for residential visitors, and 3 for non-residential use. There also will be 169 bicycle parking spaces, including 153 long-term and 16 short-term spaces.

The site is well connected for both transit and cycling opportunities. It is 600 metres to both Dupont and St. George stations and is also served by bike lanes along Davenport and a bike share station at Avenue Road.

Following this meeting, a working group may be formed to try to work through some of the application concerns.

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