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Yonge & Eglinton

Patrick Smyth

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Feb 13, 2008
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There's a plan afoot to further enclose a portion of the NW corner of Y/E. What are your thoughts about the loss of publicly accessible open space in that part of Toronto?
Enshrined publicly accessible open space

I see that now, thanks. In that thread the comments were mixed and all about what was proposed at the time. For me this is not the issue. The rub here is that RioCan with its well-connected board of directors wants to ignore the 1968 ByLaw that granted the elimination of a street but enshrined publicly accessible open space. After two previous assaults the open space is now only 66% of what was originally intended. The City planners have all of a sudden taken a shine to the idea of closing in more of this space. It's this political approach to urban planning in Toronto that ensures the need for the OMB!
I see that now, thanks. In that thread the comments were mixed and all about what was proposed at the time. For me this is not the issue. The rub here is that RioCan with its well-connected board of directors wants to ignore the 1968 ByLaw that granted the elimination of a street but enshrined publicly accessible open space. After two previous assaults the open space is now only 66% of what was originally intended. The City planners have all of a sudden taken a shine to the idea of closing in more of this space. It's this political approach to urban planning in Toronto that ensures the need for the OMB!

I remember the street that was eliminated; it was a dead-ender that ran north from Eglinton; where the Silvercity emergency exits are now. I didn't realize there was a deal like this made.

This open space - I'm of mixed opinion: it serves as a public square for the area - many consumer product companies will set up a trailer and hand out free samples -and yet the whole place is a wind tunnel on even the best of days.
And if it gets closed in...

"Move along there, these customers need somewhere to sit today."

And if it gets closed in it will be retail forever.

I wouldn't be so concerned if we could create open spaces as easy as it seems to enclose them. I'm concerned too about the whole planning rationale when it comes to publicly accessible open space in Toronto. The need for it at Y/E hasn't changed since the agreement of 1968. In fact, with only 66% of it remaining, there is an argument that what's left is so precious that everybody should be on side with keeping it.

So why is Toronto Planning eager to facilitate?

Note that RioCan has trashed the site since they bought it. For most of 2008 they have had waste bins and other contraptions occupying a lot of the open space. They've even taken away the seating.

All of which makes me think RioCan is being a crappy corporate citizen!
But again--we're talking about a space that's long been considered problematic, from an urbanistic standpoint. Indeed, from its barren windtunnel qualities on down, it, along with stuff like 2 Bloor E and W, pretty much epitomizes what gave corporate modernist planning its bad name in the 70s. (Though you're right: "retail forever" enclosure isn't necessarily an improvement. And there *is* an sense-of-meeting-placeness about the present state of affairs that works almost in spite of itself--at least in good weather.)
Son of Minto - coming soon to a corner near you in 2009.

There is much that can be done to mitigate the effects of wind without closing in. I see wind as no different than the effects of full sun or snow. These are elements that can be planned for without pandering to the almighty dollar.

Y/E has long been identified as 'open space deficient'. Open space is vital for the reasons you identified. Nothing has changed since this determination was made yet we now have public servants actively working to reverse this - people who in my opinion are working contrary to the planning ideal enshrined in the 1968 agreement and current policy with respect to publicly accessible open space.

The City planning department has become a tool for Ward Councillors instead of being independent professionals. This is what is so terribly wrong and why we still have the OMB. It would appear that these tools are being used by all stripes with little differentiation now between them when it comes to development issues. The development community is prepared to finance any candidate trying for re-election or a challenge to the incumbent.

The fallout is the effect such behaviour has on community-minded citizens who often work harder, smarter and more objectively than many of our elected and paid officials. The open space at Y/E could well become 'Son of Minto'. It'll be one to watch and analyse in 2009.

Happy New Year.
not sure if this is the right thread for this, but here is an article from today's National Post.....

Rethinking Yonge and Eglinton

Posted: January 07, 2009, 4:49 PM by Rob Roberts

By Allison Hanes, National Post



City planners have put the finishing touches on a grand vision for Toronto’s vibrant Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood, including a new street and piazza-like pedestrian promenade, along with low-rise residential housing and office and condo towers.

While the crossroads of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue is already an established neighbourhood with many amenities, it is expected to undergo a building boom in the coming years – particularly with the transformation of a former Toronto Transit Commission bus yard sitting vacant just west of the corner.

The plan, to be tabled at tomorrow’s meeting of the city planning and growth committee, sets out ground rules to govern that development through changes to the official plan, zoning bylaw amendments and enshrined urban design guidelines.

“I think it’s a good report,†said Councillor Michael Walker (St. Paul’s), in whose ward the majority of the land ripe for development lies. “And we get a park!â€

While towers, limited by zoning to a height of 40 storeys, would crop up along the thoroughfares of Yonge and Eglinton, the park would take form in a pie-shaped greenspace on Duplex Avenue marking the transition from urban density to single-family homes.

A new north-south side street, splitting the block between Yonge and Duplex, would serve the dual purpose of containing the footprint of any new buildings while diverting vehicle traffic away from the residential neighbourhood, said Joe Nanos, a manager in the city planning department who authored the report.

It will also likely be the entry point for a new bus terminal that will link the proposed midtown underground light rail line along Eglinton and the Yonge subway line.

“It’s a more proactive approach to planning as opposed to reacting to development applications,†Mr. Nanos said of the report. “It’s setting the vision out at a higher level and then working out the details as development come in.â€

The plan is the culmination of years of consultation with the local community and stakeholders in the wake of a nasty neighbourhood fight starting a decade ago over the Minto Midtown – a pair of highrise condo towers south of the intersection.

Councillor Karen Stintz (Eglinton Lawrence) said that if passed intact, the set of proposals would go a long way in reestablishing trust between the city and residents of the area.

“I’m pleased. There’s some areas that need to be strengthened to honour the work that the community and the planning department has done over the last few years,†she said. “I think the community has an expectation that this framework will be implemented as agreed to and they need certainty that their involvement over the last several years has provided a meaningful contribution.â€

Mr. Nanos said the metamorphosis would likely be done in phases, with the transit infrastructure sure to act as a catalyst for the timing of different projects.

There is aleady an application to build three-storey townhouses at Duplex and Berwick avenues, a block southwest of Yonge and Eglinton, which would be crowned with a 17-storey residential tower.

The maximum height of buildings would angle downward under the proposed guidelines the farther away they are located from the thoroughfares.

The plan also calls for an east-west pedestrian promenade linking the unnamed new side street to Yonge, along which new retail space, sidewalk cafés and welcoming streetscaping would define and unite the different purposes of the neighbourhood.

There is also a recommendation that Yonge and Eglinton be designated a zone eligible for tax incentives city council approved last summer to encourage construction projects that create jobs in knowledge-driven industries.

After a boom in new condo buildings in recent years, Mr. Walker said it is crucial that the hub not slide into being solely residential but maintain a vocation as an employment district.

“It’s not healthy to have this just be residential with some stores and some restaurants and some bars,†he said. “We want people to work there as well as live there.â€

TOP: Drawing shows aerial perspective of proposal, including a new street between Yonge and Duplex Avenue, plus a pedestrian promenade a half-block south of Eglinton.

BOTTOM: Proposed pedestrian promenade looking east toward Yonge Street, and the landscaped open space of Minto Midtown.
This 'plan' has been around for a few years and the local community has contributed a lot to its creation. Why it took so long to become public is beyond me. I think if it was not for Cllr. Walker getting agitated about its whereabouts recently it might still be lying in some desk at City Hall. That, plus the imminent need for 'shovel-ready' projects, means the Y/E intersection has a better chance of being developed sensibly. RioCan wants to enclose their corner with the 'Crystal Palace' plan and will no doubt be trying to link their desire to remove publicly accessible open space with the open space being created on the TTC lands. I expect at least one Councillor in the area to be piggy-backing on that one too as a means of covering their tracks. It''l be interesting to see what happens with 'Son of Minto'.
Yonge & Eglinton Development

I am new to the Yonge & Eglinton neighbourhoods, and was reviewing the supposed Yonge & Eglinton developments, and reading a report on zoning & urban design guidelines amendments here.

Are these amendments actually passed and implemented yet? (they are from 2009).

In 2010 RioCan, the owner of the Yonge Eglinton Centre planned to expand the center with a $100 million redevelopment. Is this actually developed yet?

For those highly informed please leave an update on what's going on in this major focal area in Toronto.
Here's a list of active developments in the Yonge & Eglinton area:

Under Construction

-Neon Condos (58 Orchard View @ Duplex, 20s)
-The Berwick (54 Berwick, 17s)
-The Madison (97 Eglinton Ave E @ Dunfield, 36 + 33s)
-Minto 30 Roe (30 Roehampton, 33s)
-Allure (17 Glebe & Yonge, 10s)

Active Proposals

-2221 Yonge Street (s of Eglinton, 56s)
-E Condos (8 Eglinton E, 64 + 38s)
-2131 Yonge Street (Art Shoppe, 38 +29s)
-101 Erskine (32s)
-2384 Yonge Street (@Montgomery, Former Postal Station K, 26s)
- 2364 Yonge St (s of Helendale Av, 28s)
-31 Helendale (24s)
-90 Eglinton Ave West (36s)
-95 Broadway (2 x 38s)
-155 Redpath (35s)
-161 & 173-175 Eglinton Ave. East (33s)
-18-30 Erskine (31s)

Speculated Proposals

-Eglinton Station TTC Lands
-44 Dunfield Av & 33 Holly St

Stale Proposals

-36-44 Eglinton W (@Duplex, 48s)
- 2112-2114 Yonge St (@Hillsdale, 9s)
-Yonge Eglinton Centre expansion (27 & 37s + 3s retail podium)
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thanks for the summary. that sounds wonderful.
I've always wondered how the growth in the yonge and eglinton area has been guided.

If you look at this image below you'll see that there has been absolutely no development south of Soudan Ave to Millwood Rd (Bordered by Yonge to the west and Mt. Pleasant to the east).

What's the reason for this? Given the fact that growth north of Eglinton as far north as Keewatin Ave has been relatively unrestricted.

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I lived on Millwood for years, and the area is mostly stable single-family homes on small lots. That greatly limits development.

Millwood itself has the Metro School for the Deaf, a Salvation Army Health Centre, a run of independently owned 2 storey walk-up apartment buildings (4 units per building), and the Davisville Park ... so that probably has helped to limit development. I know that the end of the street, at Millwood & Yonge, the LCBO recently closed and there are 2 abandoned houses right next to that lot. Makes me wonder if there might be some development at that corner.
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