25 Old York Mills | 42.05m | 12s | Agricola Finnish Lutheran Church | IBI Group

Northern Light

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A new application is into the AIC for this site, a church and associated parking lot at the intersection of Old York Mills Road and Campbell Crescent (just east of Yonge Street).

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Streetview: (Campbell side)

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Streetview: (Old York Mills side):

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Also........ * Docs are Up *

Architect is IBI

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From the Planning Report:

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**
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Comments: The application features many social benefits and given its proximity to Yonge/York Mills the height ask is entirely reasonable.

Notwithstanding its reasonableness, this is an extremely affluent community, and the height ask here would be a new precedent this far east, so they may get a fight from the locals on that.

The proposal for a modest expansion of the adjacent public park, and the requisite site adjustments in respect of topographical features/grading to address regulatory floodplain issues go some distance to manage
issues in relation to this site.

The proposal, however, to eat into the TRCA standard of a 10M setback (proposal is 8.5M) is clearly not going over well at this point. Given the importance in our system of planning of adhering to precedence, I think this point
probably will and probably has to be the subject of some push back, even on a proposal with much social good intertwined. The problem being, as ever, what happens with the next applicant.....
 

Northern Light

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This is going is likely to face opposition as it is; you're sure that a 12 streetwall abutting an exclusive SFH community would pass Council or make it through the OLT?
I find that unlikely on both counts, and if it got through the OLT it would likely face a challenge in Divisional Court.

Policy and politics are, at least in part, about the art of the possible. A lower-cost, less engineered proposal that never gets built doesn't serve anyone well.

It's not (on my part) about opposing more cost-effective density; it's about the political reality of bringing that density to fruition.

****

I will say, I think the policy goals associated with the that shape could be met with fewer setbacks; (ie, achieve the same rough shape with 2-3s increments, rather than stepping back each time.)
That's a revision worth looking at; because it should be able to get through Council.
 

HousingNowTO

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This is going is likely to face opposition as it is; you're sure that a 12 streetwall abutting an exclusive SFH community would pass Council or make it through the OLT?
I find that unlikely on both counts, and if it got through the OLT it would likely face a challenge in Divisional Court.

Policy and politics are, at least in part, about the art of the possible. A lower-cost, less engineered proposal that never gets built doesn't serve anyone well.

It's not (on my part) about opposing more cost-effective density; it's about the political reality of bringing that density to fruition.

****

I will say, I think the policy goals associated with the that shape could be met with fewer setbacks; (ie, achieve the same rough shape with 2-3s increments, rather than stepping back each time.)
That's a revision worth looking at; because it should be able to get through Council.
If we are talking about the "Art of the Possible" then this kind of Transit-Oriented site is an excellent test-case for the new Provincial "Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act"... time to actually walk-the-talk at both Queens Park and City Hall...

 

amh

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The facade of the midrise is straightforward but handsome.
This is a project submitted for SPA since May and demonstrates the more solid facade types we're going to see more of. Comprehensive energy modelling reports submitted as well which analyze thermal breaks along the facade and methods of mitigation. I like the approach to the facade here, it's simple but I like it more than most IBI designs.

Cladding would be make-or-break though. If it ends up being aluminum panels or the engineered wood cladding isn't great, then it would be a thumbs-down. I'd love to see more precast and more done with precast.
 

mcoombs

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The shadow this new construction would cast on the existing (for more than 20 years) condo building at 10 Old York Mills Rd, looks pretty daunting. In addition to blocking existing views of parkland, this structure looks as if it will creat a shadow on the older building for much of the day. As a resident of 10 Old York Mills Rd. I am not happy about this. There are also concerns about added traffic on the already stressed Old York Mills Rd. (resulting from TTC use of the street as a bus route for overflow from the inadequate buss park in York Mills Centre). In addition, the added load on the Subway that such a new development would create in conjunction with the proposed development at 4050 Yonge Street does not bear thinking about. Line 1 is already over-stressed. These new developments may make the Subway unbearable.
 

Northern Light

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The shadow this new construction would cast on the existing (for more than 20 years) condo building at 10 Old York Mills Rd, looks pretty daunting. In addition to blocking existing views of parkland, this structure looks as if it will creat a shadow on the older building for much of the day.

Did you examine the sun/shadow study included with the application? I'm looking at it now and I don't see that at all.

There's virtually no accretive shadow on June 21st of each year (summer sun at its height)

And minimal on Sept 21/March 21 which are the fall/spring equinox, respectively.

Within the above dates, the worst net new shadow appears to be just after 8am in the spring/fall:

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Dark orange is the proposed building, light orange is the resulting net new shadow.

By 1:18pm any shadow on the building/grounds has passed entirely:

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There IS meaningful new shadow mid morning in Winter (December 21); but certainly this will not be an all-day affair, and for much of the year , only partial or brief new shadow seems likely.

You can follow the link to the application I posted above and will find the Sun/Shadow study on p. 4 under 'supporting documentation'.

There are also concerns about added traffic on the already stressed Old York Mills Rd. (resulting from TTC use of the street as a bus route for overflow from the inadequate buss park in York Mills Centre).

For work purposes, I expect this development will yield a high TTC user rate and will not generate a significant amount of new traffic; though some is to be expected.

I think the greater concern in that regard would be for grocery shopping and I think area residents need to open discussions with area developers, and building owners about bringing a full-service supermarket to the bottom of the hills to create walkable grocery in the area; that would actually help reduce traffic.

The TTC's problem with overflow buses at York Mills Station is not a function of the size of the terminal, but of current management's desire to bloat route schedules to reduce short turns. That needs to be taken up w/TTC.

In addition, the added load on the Subway that such a new development would create in conjunction with the proposed development at 4050 Yonge Street does not bear thinking about. Line 1 is already over-stressed. These new developments may make the Subway unbearable.

Full ATC operation, which should launch sometime this fall, should afford sufficient near-term capacity on the subway. Longer term, an additional N-S line (The Ontario Line) will help to relieve Line 1, but that is a few years away, and even then will require a further northerly extension to Sheppard to maximize the effect.
 
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AlbertC

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“If they’re condo units and we sell them, we get all the money we need to pay for the project,” said Pirjo Roininen, congregational chair of the Agricola Finnish Lutheran Church, which is proposing a 12-storey mixed-use tower at 25 Old York Mills Rd., where the church has stood since the mid-’60s.

The city received rezoning and site-plan approval applications for the proposal from the Agricola Finnish Lutheran Church in July, though the congregation has been working on plans since 2019.

Agricola’s proposal calls for demolishing the old church to make way for its tower, which would encompass 98 residential units as well as a new place of worship, ground-floor retail, and community amenities, including a daycare. “We were hoping to be able to provide classroom space, meeting-room space — whatever the community needs,” Roininen told Post City. “This would be for the Finnish community but also for the community at large.”

To make the numbers work, the majority of the tower’s units likely need to be condos, but — depending on how the development application process goes with the city — Roininen said the church may set aside a portion as rentals for seniors or supportive housing. “It is worthy to note that this application is initiated by the Finnish community, which seeks to consolidate its place of worship, and community-based facilities into this single facility,” reads a report submitted with the development application.

The hope is that the new hub provides an improved venue for everything from Finnish language lessons and concerts to weddings and funerals. Agricola already hosts many activities and events for the Finnish, Estonian, and Swedish communities as well as other groups, including the Yes I Can Nursery School and the Toronto Welsh Male Choir. But it’s struggling to make room for everyone, especially with the return of in-person gatherings following pandemic lockdowns.

“Right now we do not have enough space to really comfortably do everything that we want to do,” says Roininen, whose congregation numbers about 100 active members. “The expectation is that the improved facilities would appeal to even more groups outside of the Finnish Community,” Roininen adds in a follow-up email to Post City.

As the church’s existing surface parking lot would be lost, the proposal includes two levels of underground parking for a combined 82 spots, 50 of which are for residents with the rest going to the building’s other uses.

Agricola was partly inspired to look into real estate development opportunities after seeing other parishes come up with similar schemes. “There are various churches in the Toronto area — several Lutheran churches as well as others — who have done just this in order to finance their own operations, they have built condos,” notes Roininen. “A lot of places are sitting on pretty plots of land that were out in the boonies when they were built originally and now are at the centre of town.”

The proposed building’s design, the work of architecture firm IBI Group, is a nod to the current church and Finnish community as well. Roininen notes the proposal’s Scandinavian-style design, including a “steeply sloped roof” and use of wood: “Anything that gets us looking like we’re closer to nature is part of the Finnish design.”
 

HousingNowTO

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Above images of the Sidewalk-less McMansion owners living 2-minutes from a Subway station who have concerns about this Church redevelopment project…

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junctionist

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I'm a huge fan of terracing requirements when stepping down to low-rise neighbourhoods. They preserve natural light and privacy for neighbours, which are factors which contribute to the livability of a neighbourhood. The purchasers of the condo units get attractive terraces, which make the units more livable, comfortable, and desirable.

The terracing requirements make the buildings look more interesting and unique. It's a very promising proposal. The NIMBYism is truly regrettable.
 

ProjectEnd

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Unless it's something that the developer is choosing themselves to do, angular planes are a ridiculous and silly mandate. They make buildings far more inefficient and complicated to build, they introduce new compromised corners allowing for more water seepage and associated cladding issues, and fundamentally, they prioritize single family neighbourhoods at the expense of new growth by saying, quite literally, that 'you need to bow down to us.' Former Planning Director Giulio Cescato had an excellent article about this in Spacing back in July: http://spacing.ca/toronto/2022/07/21/urban-planning-is-not-a-science/:
There are many examples of values-based planning policies and guidelines but the one I’ll use here is the infamous “angular plane.” The angular plane originated when the City of Toronto commissioned a study from U of T and Berkeley that proposed optimizing the amount of sunlight on public space. There were many different standards, but, overtime and with remarkable scope creep, the angles were shorthanded to 45 degrees and the 45-degree angular plane became the default performance standard applied to new buildings as a means of minimizing shadows on public space, controlling height, limiting overlook, and creating `transition.’ The perfect `neutral’ tool had been found.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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You know...if I had an expensive property in this area as of those dwellings picted above, I would make sure with my disposable income there is pro-Agricola development sign prominently on my lawn. Probably won't get invited to dinner by the neighbours, though...not that it would matter. /shrug
 

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