It is estimated that approximately 50% of Torontonians are renters. With a aging rental housing stock in need of repairs and a strong demographic growth, many privately and publicly-owned properties across the city are subject to a full redevelopment, allowing the owner not only to intensify the site with the construction of more dwellings than what currently exists on site, but also to replace the existing units with up-to-date apartments. Indeed, in the case of the demolition of a rental property, the City of Toronto requires the owner to replace each and every unit by similar residences in terms of quantity, size, and rent. Such is the case at 1996-2000 Bathurst Street, just south of Eglinton Avenue.
There, developer Eldebron Holdings is aiming to intensify a site currently occupied by two 3.5-storey pre-war apartment buildings containing 39 and 19 rental units, as well as an adjacent two-storey home to the north, boasting one commercial space at ground level toped by four rental units. As of now, the project for these properties include the construction of two Quadrangle Architects-designed six-storey wooden residential buildings boasting a total of 115 rental units including the replacement, as required by the city, of the 62 apartments to be demolished. Although the sites at 1996, 1998, and 2000 are zoned as mixed-use properties, there is currently no plan for the replacement of the commercial unit.
During yesterday's public consultation held at the Holy Blossom Temple, city officials and architects provided the audience—primarily consisting of residents to be displaced—with an update about the current state of the proposal. The main source of anxiety concerned the timeline of the project. It was mentioned that if the project were to go ahead, it would take approximately 18 months for the applicant to receive the permits allowing for both the demolition of the rental properties, and the construction of the new edifices. At this point, the residents would be given a five to six-months notice of eviction. Only after this two-year span would work be allowed to start on site, lasting for an additional two years with the northerly portion of the project being built first.
Design-wise, questions from nearby residents related to the height of the buildings and their impact on the adjacent properties in terms of sunlight and monetary value. The question of a possible complete laneway blockage at the rear of the property during construction was also raised, highlighting the fact that the construction of the project could coincide with that of 875 Eglinton Avenue West. City planner David Driedger assured that the city would made sure all residents have a vehicular access to the back of their property, independently of the ongoing construction in the vicinity. Driedger also mentioned that the 1996-2000 Bathurst Street application includes the widening of the same laneway to allow for a better accessibility to the parking entrance located at the rear, about which 66 spots were considered too little by some residents.
We will be sure to return with additional details as new information emerges. In the meanwhile, you can visit the project's dataBase page, or get involved in the discussion by visiting the associated Forum thread, or by leaving a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.
|Related Companies:||Eldebron Holdings, Quadrangle|