383 Sorauren is a proposed 10-storey development in Toronto's Roncesvalles neighbourhood, being developed by Gairloch Developments and Centrestone Developments Inc. Designed by architectsAlliance, the modern red brick building is in the middle of a heated debate: a decision by the City on the proposal, required by the Planning Act within 120 days, was not made in that time. The developers have appealed to the OMB, followed by a City Council decision in October to oppose the application at the OMB hearing.

383 Sorauren Avenue, Toronto, Gairloch Homes383 Sorauren Avenue rendering, image by Gairloch Developments and Centrestone Developments Inc.

City Planning wrote a Request for Direction Report in August, siding with some local residents who believe the building as proposed is too tall. Ward 14 City Councillor Gord Perks took up that call, leading the opposition to the project at City Hall.

Key issues Councillor Perks and community members have with the proposed development are: the height and visual weight of the building, and the impact it may have on the street; the small number of visitor parking spots; shadow and skylight concerns, and the distance between 383 Sorauren Avenue and its neighbouring Robert Watson Lofts building.

That said, UrbanToronto sees 383 Sorauren as a prime example of a development that supports the Ontario government's Place to Grow plan, legislation implemented in 2005 that directs cities to intensify development. This building helps complete the Roncesvalles community by adding new living space while keeping the historic brick charm of the surrounding streets. The building's proposed size, with the top two stepped-back and fully-glazed floors essentially disappearing into the sky, seems reasonable in light of the size of the neighbouring converted warehouses, and an appropriate fit for the neighbourhood. We don't believe it is tall enough to overwhelm its surroundings.

architectsAlliance took its design inspiration for 383 from nearby industrial buildings which helps the development blend with its neighbours. 383 Sorauren features a unique "missing brick" detailing that appears in a grid pattern across the entire structure, bringing fine-grain detail to larger wall sections.

383 Sorauren Avenue, Toronto, Gairloch Homes383 Sorauren Avenue scale model, image by Jack Landau

Targeted for completion in 2016, 383 Sorauren Avenue will add new life to the community, providing homes for 200 to 300 people in 160 sleek units designed by interior design firm Johnson Chou Inc. The building is located a short walk away from all of the unique shops and restaurants that Roncesvalles has to offer, and is a short transit ride or drive away from High Park, Bloor West Village, The Junction, or the recently minted DuWest.

The OMB hearing is scheduled for January 6, 2014. A decision can be expected a couple months after that.

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