Dufferin Grove Village | 131m | 39s | Primaris | Quadrangle

smably

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I do think it's fair to ask the applicant to do a master plan for the entire site. Even if they have no immediate plans to proceed with development of the south half, it's important to have a cohesive vision for how to fit the different pieces together when it does come time to redevelop the rest of the site.

On the other hand, I can't help rolling my eyes at the city's obsession with height and density. We're living in a housing crisis and this is a huge lot next to a major transit node. I care about architecture, heritage, affordable housing, neighbourhood amenities, public realm, pedestrian experience, materials, massing, and a million other things more than I care about the height of the towers here. Sometimes the planning framework in this city feels like it's optimizing for all the wrong things.
 

ADRM

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Sometimes the planning framework in this city feels like it's optimizing for all the wrong things.
100%. Maybe this is just a different way of saying the same thing, but to me the overarching issue with Planning's approach to development is that it's process-driven rather than outcomes-based. While I acknowledge that the latter is tougher to administrate and more difficult to hire, train for, and manage, I can't really think of a different way to systemically reframe their approach to city-building.
 

interchange42

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I do think it's fair to ask the applicant to do a master plan for the entire site. Even if they have no immediate plans to proceed with development of the south half, it's important to have a cohesive vision for how to fit the different pieces together when it does come time to redevelop the rest of the site.

On the other hand, I can't help rolling my eyes at the city's obsession with height and density. We're living in a housing crisis and this is a huge lot next to a major transit node. I care about architecture, heritage, affordable housing, neighbourhood amenities, public realm, pedestrian experience, materials, massing, and a million other things more than I care about the height of the towers here. Sometimes the planning framework in this city feels like it's optimizing for all the wrong things.
I don't see any advantage in asking for a master plan for the entire site if one has not yet been envisioned. This is what I consider to be overreach on the part of the City. It's still private property that's been proposed for redevelopment, and if the owners are not ready with the plan for the south end, the City still has an obligation to review the plan for the north end. It's not the CIty's place to give them marching orders.

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smably

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I don't see any advantage in asking for a master plan for the entire site if one has not yet been envisioned.
I disagree! I think the onus should be on the applicant to envision how the entire site could be redeveloped. I can see plenty of practical issues that could arise from considering the site in a piecemeal way. Some of those specific issues are identified in the report:
The applicant has received feedback in terms of how the proposed development blocks and road may be modified to accommodate a future street network while providing better connectivity with existing or planned streets, including the public extension of Pauline Street secured through the Bloor-Dufferin site. Staff have expressed concerns with the proposed road, specifically with respect to the provision of a private street rather than one that is public, and its current alignment, as the north-south portion jogs around the existing footprint of the mall. The proposed road has the potential to form a primary north-south connection through the mall site, as it connects from Russett Avenue north of Bloor through the Bloor-Dufferin development. With respect to the location of the proposed public park, a masterplan is required to understand how the park may be expanded upon within a future open space network through the mall site.
I'm also not convinced by the argument that the mall will remain in physical stasis just because some mall tenants hold 25-year leases on their spaces. Nobody can predict the retail landscape even five years from now, let alone 25. Leases can be broken by mutual agreement. Think about what retail looked like in 1995 vs today. I just don't buy the idea that we can ignore the rest of the site because there's no immediate plan to redevelop it.
 

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