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Thread: West Queen West / A&D District

  1. #46
    hardlyamathwhiz Guest


    a. there are countless tower blocks in Parkdale
    Very true, but I'm not sure if this area of west queen west needs to replicate the model used repeatedly west of dufferin. (i have a great image of one of these towers you mention looming over some parkdale victorians, but i have no idea how to post pics on here )

    math whiz?....hardly

  2. #47
    adma Guest



    The Bohemian Embassy was a `60s hot spot, where folkies mingled with poets. Now a condo developer is using the name – and Embassy founder Don Cullen is none too pleased.

    January 21, 2007
    Rumours started to trickle in the early summer of 2006: Someone is using your name. Some company is calling their project "The Bohemian Embassy." At that time, I was quite ill and in and out of hospital. I wasn't even interested in research or follow-up. When I finally felt up to it, I went down to Queen Street to see the property across from the Gladstone Hotel. There was a sign saying "Bohemian Embassy" and a construction shack.

    There was no one to talk to and no literature available, but clearly someone was trying to "brand" their development with a name that sounded suitably hip. The trouble is, I invented that "brand" and the last thing it represented was culture-free, cookie-cutter condos. But I was committed to go to Vancouver to finish a book about the Bohemian Embassy.

    It is a book primarily about the literary activities that took place in the four different incarnations of my coffee house. In the first location, from 1960 to 1966, John Robert Colombo and I established a reading series for the literary subculture of Toronto. We were the only game in town. Margaret Atwood gave her first half-dozen readings there. The same for Gwendolyn McEwen. Michael Ondaatje also appeared and a host of others who would soon be contributing to Canada's creative explosion, such as Milton Acorn and Al Purdy and later on, Irving Layton.

    In the Embassy's third iteration, at Harbourfront, Colombo helped me to get the reading series going – a task I later passed on to Greg Gatenby. It became the Harbourfront Series and Greg started the World Authors Festival, now a cultural institution that has secured Toronto's place on the literary map. It would not have happened without the Bohemian Embassy.

    When I returned from Vancouver I took a lawyer friend to the condominium location calling itself The Bohemian Embassy. What I saw disturbed me hugely. This time I tracked down the developers and made them an offer in writing. For the use of a name I considered mine, I asked them to pay $1,400 a month for five years, $1,000 of which would go to fostering folk music and the literary sub-culture. I thought I could organize and book two events a week, and keep just $100 a week for my troubles. The developer's lawyers claimed I didn't have a leg to stand on.

    The condo being built is an enormous complex which will do nothing for the literary sub-culture, nothing for the folk music community, nothing for chamber music, cabaret satirical revues and a host of eclectic artistic activities for which my Bohemian Embassy existed.

    Ian and Sylvia, Gordie Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Mary Jane and Winston Young, The Travellers, Adam Mitchell with an early edition of the Paupers all appeared there. So did Bob Dylan, Nancy White, Stan Rogers and his brother Garnet, and Stringband all contributed to a flurry of folk music. To this day I am on the Advisory Board of the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario, where one venue is called The Bohemian Embassy Stage. A short time ago, the Mariposa Folk Foundation saw fit to invite me, along with Ian and Sylvia, to Hugh's Room, where we were inducted into the Mariposa Hall of Fame.

    The Bohemian Embassy premiered more than 30 stage productions including David French's first effort. David Freeman practically lived at the Bohemian Embassy prior to having his play Creeps mounted at the Tarragon Theatre. I accompanied David to help negotiate the New York production, where David won the most promising New Playwright Award. Several in the series Village Revue resulted in four writer performers going to the Wayne and Shuster television show. Three became permanent members of the cast. I went to New York and became a part of the Broadway replacement cast of the British Revue Beyond The Fringe, and spent years with Wayne and Shuster.

    The Bohemian Embassy was a lot of things, launched a lot of careers, but it never had much of anything to do with condos.

  3. #48
    Mike in TO Guest


    NRU Article (Jan 19) explaining the OMB Decision in much more detail than other media outlets:

    Toronto OMB News

    Board approves controversial Queen West development

    In a decision issued January 10, board member Donald Granger allowed appeals by 2059946 Ontario Limited, Verdiroc Development Corporation, Abell Investments Limited and Landmark Developments Inc. for official plan and zoning by-law amendments to permit three residential developments at 1171 Queen Street West, 48 Abell Street and 150 Sudbury Street in the West Queen Street West Triangle area of Toronto.

    The board heard appeals regarding three proposed developments in the area, as well as evidence regarding the overall triangle area. 2059946 Ontario Limited had proposed a 10-storey residential building with retail at grade fronting onto Queen Street West and a 26-storey building on the southern portion of the site at 1171 Queen Street West.

    Verdiroc proposed a development at 48 Abell Street that consisted of a three-storey building containing five livework units, a 19-storey residential building and a 25-storey residential building with live-work units at grade.

    Landmark proposed a 19-storey building with a nine-storey base fronting onto Abell Street and a 13-storey building fronting onto the proposed Sudbury Street extension.

    The West Queen Street West Triangle is within the Garrison Common North Part II Official Plan area and is designated for low-density mixed commercial-residential uses along Queen Street West and mixed residential-industrial to the CN rail lands to the south.

    In its decision, the board addressed evidence that was common to the three proposals and then rendered its decision on each development individually.

    Triangle Area

    In its decision, the board noted that one of the key issues to be decided is the level of non-residential uses that the area should accommodate.

    Planners for the city told the board that the city faces difficulties in meeting its employment targets. They argued that minimum targets are necessary to retain non-residential land uses and to provide employment opportunities particularly in mixed residential-industrial areas. The planners acknowledged that exclusive employment districts were the best means to protect employment lands for employment uses.

    Meric Gertler (University of Toronto) told the board that the city’s creative industries were doing well; however, affordable and stable spaces for artists need to be protected He also told the board that the triangle is one of the most important concentrations of creative industries in Toronto and across Canada.

    The city’s economic development and land use planning experts Elise Hug and Kyle Benham set out a “no net loss policy” for non-residential space that establishes a minimum
    requirement based on the existing space allocated to non-residential uses across the triangle and re-distributing it throughout the area on a site-by-site basis. This resulted in a minimum requirement of 0.7 times the area of the lot allocated to non-residential uses.

    Hug told the board that according to the policies of the official plan, redevelopment of the area could only contain up to two times the area of the lot as residential-only uses. She also gave the opinion that at 48 Abell Street a non-residential amount of 0.5 times the lot area was acceptable due to provisions to include affordable live/work units, workshops and studios on the site.

    In its decision the board found that this approach was inconsistent and stated that the approach “could not satisfy, with any degree of certainty, any employment deficiency alleged to be growing within the city.”

    Planners for the city were of the opinion that the official plan permits up to three times the lot area as industrial or mixed uses, with a cap of two times the lot area for residential uses only. This results in a one-third industrial/ two-third residential ratio that could be applied to other proposed densities.

    Peter Smith (Bousfields Inc.) told the board he could find no prior examples where this ratio had been applied and was of the opinion that each site had to be measured on its own merits.

    The board found that there was no basis for the approach outlined by the city based on what it deemed a “poorly defined no net loss policy.” It added that the city’s designation of exclusive employment districts is a more objective approach based on a comprehensive analysis and objective criteria.

    The board noted in its decision that employment had grown in the triangle in the last 15 years despite predominantly vacant or illegal uses on the subject sites. Consequently the board found that it was appropriate to require all ground floor spaces along Queen Street West, the proposed “mews,” and the Abell Street frontage to be secured for non-residential uses.

    1171 Queen Street West (2059946 Ontario Limited, Bohemian Embassy Residences Inc.)

    The board identified form, height and massing of the proposed building, the location of a proposed pedestrian open space and the location and mix of fundamental uses for the 1171 Queen Street West site.

    The board heard that the city and the applicant had resolved most of the issues pertaining to the building. According to the board, despite the Active 18 Community Association’s objection to the proposed height, their architectural witness Dean Goodman (Levitt Goodman Architects ) acknowledged that there would be no negative shadow impact on the north side of Queen Street and the design features served to mitigate some of the impacts of the height.

    Mark Van Elsberg (City of Toronto) provided urban design evidence for the city. He told the board that a reduced setback from Queen Street was preferred by the city because it provided greater opportunities for future development.

    The applicant and Active 18 agreed on the need for larger setbacks. Active 18 told the board that there is an expectation for the shops located on Queen Street West to spill out onto the setback area. The board agreed and found the proposed 3.8-m. setback appropriate.

    No consensus existed on the height and location of the proposed passage from Queen Street West into the open space area that is proposed to replace the southward extension of Northcote Avenue. Van Elsberg gave the opinion that an unobstructed view south through the open space area should be provided and aligned directly with Northcote Avenue. The applicant proposed a partially obstructed view.

    The board found that a compromise proposed by the applicant that maintained an open view was appropriate although the passage was not fully aligned. The board approved a minimum height of 5.3-m, and a width of 11-m. to attract pedestrian traffic into the “mews” open space and commercial area.

    The city proposed a height of 14 storeys for the building fronting onto the Sudbury Street extension, whereas the applicant proposed a height of 19 storeys. Active 18 told the board that they were less concerned with the tower height than the massing of the building.

    The board found the 19-storey height to be appropriate.

    The board also found that all ground-related and accessible space fronting onto Queen Street West and the “mews,” should be restricted to non-residential uses, and is to constitute the minimum non-residential requirement in any proposed by-law.

    The board found that the proposal is appropriate and represents good planning.

    48 Abell Street (Abell Investments Limited, Verdiroc Development Corporation)

    The board identified form, massing and height of the proposed 18 and 17-storey towers, connected by a nine-storey stepped back building.

    Residents appeared at the hearing both in support of and in opposition to the proposal.

    The city proposed a 14-storey tower with a six-storey building along the north-south publicly accessible open space with a four-storey façade. Van Elsberg told the board that the proposed height of the lower building reflected the zoning and character of the existing industrial building on the site. He told the board that the city envisioned having all taller elements along the rail corridor to the south of the site, and that it would be reasonable for the building along Abell Street to be similar in height to those proposed for Queen Street West.

    David Eckler (AREA Architects) and Smith gave the opinion that the applicant’s proposal was in compliance with the city’s desire to have the tallest building step down from the west side of the site along the rail corridor, providing a four-storey façade, stepping back to nine-storeys.

    The board found that the 18-storey tower is a reasonable height and provides a reasonable transition from the 19-storey building to the west to the nine-storey building to the east on Lisgar Street. The board also found the lower connecting base buildings should not exceed the heights permitted on Queen Street West.

    The board heard that the application for 47 Abell Street includes several public benefits that are supported by the city including proposed affordable housing units and affordable live/work artist units, as well as gallery and workshop space. In addition lands are proposed to be dedicated for the possible opening of Abell Street as a public street.

    The board found the proposal to be appropriate and to represent good planning.

    150 Sudbury Street (Landmark Developments Inc.)

    The board identified form, massing and height of the proposed two buildings fronting onto the Sudbury Street extension and the proposed location of parkland.

    The city told the board that the propose the designation of parkland from the southeast corner of the site.

    In response to the city’s position, the applicant proposed to locate the parkland at the northern edge of the site, with the 19-storey building at the southeast corner, a nine-storey base fronting onto Abell Street and a 13-storey building fronting onto the extension of Sudbury Street.

    Van Elsberg told the board that he preferred the park not to be located on the Sudbury Street property. If it was located on the site, the southeast corner was preferable due to good sunlight and connection to a proposed bicycle/pedestrian pathway system. Parks planner David Douglas (City of Toronto) and Hug supported this position.

    The board noted that, as proposed by the city, a larger consolidated park would be preferred and the city is engage in a process to accomplish this. If this does not occur, the board found that it preferred the applicants proposed location for the park.

    The applicant told the board that if no parkland is taken from the site it would be satisfied with a 15-storey building to a height of 48 m., a nine-storey base and a ten-storey building to the west.

    The board found that maximum height of 48 m. would provide an appropriate transition from the tower to surrounding buildings. In addition, the board found the continuation of the Queen Street West eight-storey maximum height to be appropriate and applied it to the west building as well.

    The board found that the height requirements should apply regardless of the parkland required. It found the proposal to be appropriate and to represent good planning.

  4. #49
    valves007 Guest


    City to pick a fight with OMB
    Mayor wants to contest ruling on Queen West development: 48 Abell by the numbers
    Greg Macdonald, National Post
    Published: Saturday, February 03, 2007

    Mayor David Miller will ask city council on Monday to support a battle against the Ontario Municipal Board's decision approving condo developments in the Queen West Triangle, and some councillors see it as a make-or break chance for the future of planning in the city.

    Council will be presented with a report outlining the options the city can take against the development, which will see three high-rise condominium complexes erected in the lucrative Triangle area on Queen Street West near Dovercourt Road.

    The most controversial building will be constructed at 48 Abell St., where an industrial building has been converted into live-work space for artists. The building, considered by some to be the heart of Toronto's art community, was denied heritage status by city council in November.
    Mayor David Miller and some councillors are opposed to a plan to erect three high-rise condominium complexes in the Queen West Triangle, destroying an artists' live-work building in the process.

    Mayor David Miller and some councillors are opposed to a plan to erect three high-rise condominium complexes in the Queen West Triangle, destroying an artists' live-work building in the process.

    Councillor Adam Giambrone, whose ward includes the Triangle, said the city's action will be about more than just this one decision -- it will be about getting Toronto the respect it deserves.

    "No other province has a municipal board, no other province has override features. This is about allowing Toronto to do planning that facilitates communities," Mr. Giambrone said.

    Developers agree that the city needs to take a second look at its planning process, said David Bronskill, lawyer for Verdiroc Development Corporation, which is developing the 48 Abell lot.

    "In Toronto, planning decisions are not always made on basis of planning merits ? the OMB is there to ensure that politics are removed from the process so that planning matters can receive appropriate consideration absent of politics," he said. If the city could remove politics from its planning process, developers would be pleased, he added. "An OMB hearing is an expensive process, and any landowner would want to avoid it."

    The city is wasting money by pursuing an appeal that they have "little or no chance of winning," he said, and it is stalling on providing affordable housing to the Queen West area.

    "This project implements the city's vision," he said, citing the development's inclusion ofmixeduse planning that will include artists' workshops, live-work space and a cafe. "I'm disappointed the city is pursuing an appeal instead of promoting that vision and creating a policy basis for it."

    Mr. Giambrone said the city has three options for the Queen West Triangle. The first is to take the decision to divisional court, but this can only be done if there was a legal breach in the original process. The second option is for the OMB to decide to review its decision, which is extremely rare, according to the councillor. The final approach available to the city is to appeal to the provincial government.

    "None of these things generally happen-- we're really breaking new ground here," Mr. Giambrone said.

    Councillor Adam Vaughan said yesterday the "colonial rule" of the OMB isn't the only planning problem the city faces.

    "We are hung up on dealing with the height and mathematics of planning as opposed to the social dynamics of neighbourhoods," he said.

    Mr. Vaughan also cautioned against the construction of large condominium towers that provide only bachelor or single-bedroom units. He thinks the city needs to start looking at buildings themselves as neighbourhoods -- diverse in both structure and people.

    "Something organic like a city has to grow and has to accommodate growth. Growth is a good thing. Height and density are the right things in the right places. We just have to start asking, 'What does the city want out of new growth?' " Mr. Vaughan said.

    He hopes council will be able to take that approach if they get the chance to take a second look at development on Queen West.

    60-80 Number of units

    currently in 48 Abell 500 Estimated number of units in new complex 190 Number of affordable housing units proposed

    14&18 Tower heights at

    48 Abell on eight-storey base 400 Estimated current number of residents in the Triangle 2,000 Estimated number of new residents under the development plan

    © National Post 2007

  5. #50
    valves007 Guest


    City to fight condos in Queen W. triangle
    Fearing OMB-approved projects will drive away artists, councillors consider court challenge, provincial intervention
    Feb 07, 2007 04:30 AM
    Paul Moloney
    city hall bureau

    A developer will fight city council's attempt to scuttle a condo plan that was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board for the Queen West triangle.

    In a 31-11 vote yesterday, council decided to attack developers' plans on three fronts:

    # Going to court.

    # Asking the OMB to reconsider its approval.

    # Asking the province to set aside the OMB's ruling.

    The city fears condo plans along Queen St. west of Dovercourt Rd., will drive away artists who live and work in the 6.5-hectare formerly industrial neighbourhood.

    The three projects approved by the OMB occupy 40 per cent of the triangle.

    One of the developers, Verdiroc Development Corp., wants to tear down an industrial building at 48 Abell St. that is now home to artists.

    But Verdiroc says its project will provide 190 units of affordable housing, artists' studios and workshops as well as condos.

    "It's a socially progressive, mixed-use development," said Verdiroc lawyer David Bronskill.

    The city wants Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen to issue a ministerial zoning order that would set aside the OMB ruling on the basis that the province needs to protect cultural jobs in the area.

    "There's a much bigger policy issue around protecting employment lands, protecting the cultural centre in Toronto," said Councillor Adam Giambrone (Ward 18, Davenport), who represents the area.

    Gerretsen said the province will review the city's request when it's received.

    "I really don't want to comment on that at this stage," he said. "We haven't received anything on that."

    Under the planning act, Gerretsen has the power to prohibit certain types of buildings or regulate the use of any land in Ontario through a ministerial zoning order.

    The area surrounding the proposed site of the Pickering airport, for example, has an order to prevent housing from being built too near the site.

    Orders have also been used to temporarily protect green space and natural areas while more comprehensive regulations were put in place.

    Mayor David Miller said both the city and province agree on the need to support the city's cultural sector, a key part of the city's economy.

    "What the OMB did was ignore the city's economic development strategy, ignore our joint strategy with the province, ignore all of the expert evidence.

    "It blithely dismissed it in one sentence," Miller said.

    "If we as a government can't lead an economic development strategy, particularly one that's agreed upon with the province, then we're all in big trouble.

    "We had to appeal."

    But Bronskill said Verdiroc's plans uphold important provincial policies that favour affordable housing, re-use of former industrial sites and intensification within downtown areas along transit lines.

    "This is exactly the type of development the province envisions," Bronskill said.

    "I am convinced the minister would look at our development and say that it is the right vision for this neighbourhood."

    The strategy of going to court is problematic because it's not clear that the Divisional Court would agree to hear the case, he added.

    "The city would be much better to direct its resources to planning the city, not pursuing appeals it can't possibly win."

    During council debate on the issue, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) feared taxpayers may end up shelling out $350,000 for a legal action that goes nowhere.

    "This is something we should not be doing," said Minnan-Wong, a leading critic of the mayor.

    "It will cost the city a great sum and the money could be spent better elsewhere. We should be fighting cases that we can win."

    Councillor Cliff Jenkins, on the other hand, argued that the housing ministry needs to be taken to task.

    "The OMB has been an issue for us for a great many years," said Jenkins (Ward 25, Don Valley West).

    "This case has come along at exactly the right time to shine the light of day on the OMB."

    with files from kerry gillespie

  6. #51
    rjeffers Guest


    'Mayorzilla' getting power hungry
    Terence Corcoran
    National Post
    Wednesday, February 07, 2007
    What a perfect and instructive coincidence. Just as the Conference Board of Canada yesterday issued another solemn call for new powers for cities so that local politicians can carry out their good works as valiant stewards of our national urban treasures, Toronto city council goes into hilariously childish and dysfunctional meltdown. Rather than given more power, Toronto council should be placed under provincial supervision.
    Led by Mayor David Miller, darling of the left and master of stagey demagoguery, council members first broke up an official photograph session after the Mayor stomped out when some councillors refused to sit where the Mayor wanted them to sit. Charges of childishness, tantrums and hissy fits followed.
    This little Mayorzilla event was nothing, however, compared with Mr. Miller's orchestration later in the day of a 31-11 council vote to waste money by appealing three Ontario Municipal Board real estate development decisions. This, too, is part of the ongoing campaign by the city and other think-tanky groups, such as the Conference Board, to hand more political power to local governments.
    The more Toronto city officials press for more power, the greater the evidence that the city is incompetent to use even the power it has. The OMB appeal, aimed at getting a court to overturn approvals of three developments on Queen Street West -- the so-called Queen West Triangle -- is a travesty of process and politics, a warning that local governments are bastions of arbitrary power and local tin pots rather than good governance.
    Next to taxing powers, recently and dangerously expanded in Toronto, the biggest political scam in local politics is the abuse of planning and zoning powers. The city's mishandling of the Queen West Triangle, under the Mayor's watch, makes the case against urban power expansion. It also shows that the Ontario Municipal Board, much denigrated by the Mayor and the city, is actually an essential last line of defence against out-of-control and rights-destroying local politicians.
    Just about every angle of the Queen West Triangle story is warped. The dominant angle is the claim that the area under development, south across Queen Street from the trendy Drake and Gladstone hotels, is home to a vibrant "artists community" and filled with "creative" types who will be displaced by rising residential towers.
    This myth is in part the creation of a group called Active 18, a leftish collection of locals headed by CBC personality Jane Farrow and others who live in the area, but north of Queen from the development. Among their claims is that if the developments go ahead, vital creative resources and an entire artist based economy will be lost.
    A typical claim comes from Vera Frenkel, an artist who describes her art as being "rooted in an interrogation of the abuses of power and their consequences." In a presentation to the OMB in opposition to the developments, Ms. Frenkel argued for preservation of 48 Abell St., one of the buildings to be demolished.
    According to Ms. Frenkel, "as many existing buildings as possible should be retained and put to good use. They are affordable and filled with artistic activity -- 48 Abell is a good example. It would be unfortunate to turn artists out of existing buildings in favour of condominiums."
    First of all, 48 Abell is an ageing industrial building that contains about 80 residential units, most of them occupied by regular tenants -- a lawyer here, a worker there, maybe a Drake hotel staffer and others of similar background. At most, about 16 people who could be called "artists" have space in the building, some with quasi-retail operations at ground level. These are the only "creative" people who would be displaced in the entire three-development project that the OMB approved, not just at 48 Abell but on two other adjacent properties.
    As for 48 Abell, it is to be replaced in the first phase by 190 affordable rental units, not condominiums. Also part of the developer's plan is 30 live-work units to be allocated on a first choice basis to any of the current artist residents of 48 Abell. As well, eight artists' workshops will be built, in all adding 3,900 square metres of non-residential space to the area.
    In the end, at least twice as many artists could live in the Queen West Triangle than now live in 48 Abell.
    Ms. Frenkel claims to be concerned about "the abuses of power and their consequences." But then she proposes to use government power to prevent the owner of 48 Abell from disposing of the existing building, and blocking the developer from exercising property rights of development. Ms. Frenkel also wants the city to more or less expropriate the uses of other "empty buildings in the area which could easily be used by artists."
    Spurred on by the likes of Ms. Frenkel and others from Toronto's creative classes, a group always ready to use local government power to abuse property owners and taxpayers, Mr. Miller has been all too willing to oblige. If only, he says, we had the power!
    The power he wants, however, and the power the OMB has consistently denied the city, is the power to arbitrarily dictate development. The city's official plan is a joke, ignored by council when it wants and enforced when it wants. The main function of the OMB, a necessary evil, is to protect the rights of property owners from the power abuses of politicians who have demonstrated they are unfit for the power they have, never mind the power they want.

  7. #52
    rjeffers Guest


    City Hall fouls up Miller's condo fight
    Lawyers miss deadline in bid to stop controversial Queen Triangle project

    February 14, 2007
    Kerry Gillespie
    The Star

    Red-faced city officials were forced to scramble yesterday when they discovered they'd missed a key deadline in Mayor David Miller's fight to stop a development in a west-end neighbourhood.
    Miller has said the approved buildings will destroy a vital creative employment area in the Queen St. W. and Dovercourt Rd. area, known as the Queen West triangle.
    But the city missed last Friday's deadline to ask the Ontario Municipal Board to reconsider its decision to approve numerous highrise condos in the neighbourhood known for artist studios and old warehouses.
    "They missed the deadline? ... It's mind-blowing," said Councillor Adam Vaughan, when told about the city's mistake.
    "It's just one more example of how badly the city is being planned," said Vaughan, (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), who has been calling for planning improvements.
    When the Toronto Star called the city yesterday morning no one, from the mayor's office to the legal department, seemed aware there even was a deadline to meet.
    In the afternoon, the city sent its late request to the board, claiming special circumstances because the lawyer on the case had been away having surgery and none of the other 18 lawyers in the department knew to file the papers.
    Since the Ontario Municipal Board agreed to accept the city's late request, Councillor Adam Giambrone, who represents the area, suggested that no harm was done.
    "It's kind of hard to get too angry at someone who has to have urgent surgery," Giambrone (Ward 18, Davenport) said.
    When pressed as to why no one else in the city's large bureaucracy took over the file, he said: "It should not have happened ... city legal dropped the ball."
    The lawyer on the case was Dawne Jubb, but it's her boss, the city's head solicitor Anna Kinastowski, who will be held to account internally.
    Publicly, it's city council that bears the embarrassment and, once again, looks like it can't get its act together despite promises of becoming a more mature level of government.
    Miller made this issue one of his two key items for last week's council agenda. After much debate, council voted to fight the OMB decision on three fronts: ask the board to review its decision, ask the province to intervene, and fight it in court.
    Though it agreed to accept the city's late request, there's no guarantee the OMB will decide there are sufficient grounds to review its decision to allow highrises – from eight to 19 storeys – in an area known for artist studios and old warehouses.
    The city has started on the most expensive course of action, seeking leave to appeal to court. It filed those papers on time and lawyers are preparing the case.
    But the city still hasn't sent a letter up the street to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen, asking him to issue a zoning order to stop the development.
    "It's still being worked on," Giambrone said, adding that there wasn't a specific deadline for that.
    Under the planning act, Gerretsen has the power to prohibit certain types of buildings or regulate the use of any land in Ontario through a ministerial zoning order. The area surrounding the proposed site of the Pickering airport, for example, has an order to prevent housing from being built too near the site.
    These types of orders are rarely granted and can actually be appealed, by the developer, to the OMB, the province says.
    That means even if Gerretsen does grant the city's request, Toronto may find itself right back where it started – at the OMB.
    The lawyer for one of the developers in the Queen West triangle isn't worried the province will halt their plans.
    "This is a project that fulfills all the major provincial policies including intensification, the provision of affordable housing and remediation and development of brownfield sites so we're fairly confident the minister will see this is a development that actually advances provincial goals," said David Bronskill, who represents Verdiroc Development Corp.
    The developer expects to start the first phase of construction next year.

  8. #53
    AlvinofDiaspar Guest


    Quite frankly, I think appealing to the OMB is a waste of time. Far "better" to deal with the Minister directly.


  9. #54
    maxy505 Guest


    If the city succeeds, they're just going to make the life of an artist harder. If I were a rental building owner I'd make damn sure not to let too many artists set up in my building -- I wouldn't want the city doing this to me.

    I know this is an issue with a wide range of philosophical positions. Personally, the city's disregard of property rights makes me sick. As if it has any right to the land! Preventing some types of land use is one thing (it shouldn't become a garbage dump or steel factory), but insisting that somebody else's property be used as rental space for artists is commie red and should be resisted by all means available. I am not an advocate for violent resistance in any circumstance but if I were, this would be a case for it. This is the thin edge of a wedge...

  10. #55
    building babel Guest


    Nice to see the mere mention of the word "artist" still has power to shock.

  11. #56
    Bogtrotter Guest


    Why those dirty commie preverts

  12. #57
    Mike in TO Guest


    Quite frankly, I think appealing to the OMB is a waste of time. Far "better" to deal with the Minister directly.
    From what I've heard the Ministry has not had any official (or unofficial) communication with the city... Miller and the few councillors that are fired up on this issue seem more concerned about getting their political points out in the media to the community groups than actually doing anything (like missing deadlines).

    A Ministerial Zoning order is highly unlikely, the province isn't going to get involved, nor should they - the OMB is arms length and it made its decision. Time for the Mayor to move on and accept the fact that the city dropped the ball.... maybe invest a little more in the planning department to get things moving at the front end of the process rather then coming in at the last second when the ratepayers make a lot of noise.

  13. #58
    prometheus the supremo Guest


    the queen west triangle: where condo's disappear. 0]

  14. #59
    building babel Guest


    No, where artists disappear.

  15. #60
    spmarshall Guest


    A ministerial order against the development might be tempting for the Liberals, who might want to squeeze out DiNovo and maybe even Marchese of the Dippers. The Liberals want Parkdale-High Park back badly.

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