Many community members have shared concerns about the perceived impacts to CBL of a proposed development at 100 Bayshore Dr. Our Transportation, Transit and infrastructure Committee has summarized these concerns and recommended some next steps below.
CBLCA is engaging with residents and other stakeholders and considering a submission to the Planning Committee. It will be important for many voices to be heard on this proposed development. If you want to be more involved, show support for the perceived concerns or want more information please email generalCBLCA@gmail.com.
Summary of Community Concerns
The owners of the Bayshore shopping mall, Ivanhoé Cambridge, (not Ferguslea, which owns the Accora Village rental properties), have submitted applications to amend the official plan and a zoning by-law. The site is 100 Bayshore Drive located on the south side of Woodridge Crescent, west of Bayshore Shopping Centre, and directly north of the Bayshore Transit Station.
The proposal is for two residential towers: Tower A is proposed at 27-storeys containing approximately 234 units and Tower B is proposed at 30-storeys containing 266 units. The entrance would be off Woodridge Crescent. The current zoning allows 12 storeys and the official plan calls for residential towers to be built on arterial roads.
The applications are expected to go before Planning Committee soon – perhaps as soon as early July. You can find more information here:
The community perceives that increased intensification would put pressure on existing infrastructure, most notably Holly Acres Rd, Graham Creek, Andrew Hayden Park, and Corkstown Road. Environmental impacts on Graham Creek and Andrew Hayden Park, due to volume and flow of stormwater, and a significant increase in people accessing the park are likely outcomes.
The magnitude of the proposed changes is confirmed by the fact that the proposed development requires both a zoning by-law amendment and an exemption from the official plan because it does not conform to the land use requirements for the neighbourhood, which specify both a 12-story height limit and fronting onto an arterial street (one that has sufficient capacity to handle projected traffic volumes).
A precedent for height of future local development
The community is concerned that the dramatic change from a height restriction of 12 storeys to 30 storeys sets a precedent for future development—a precedent for height that could dramatically increase population density with resultant excessive pressure on all nearby infrastructure.
The significant increase in building height with no other surrounding similar heights may have an impact on bird safety. Given the significant migratory activity and wildlife habitat in our area, this concern also needs assessment.
Pressure on limited green space
No green space is planned for the buildings, merely “a rooftop amenity.” An additional 1000 residents will access Andrew Hayden Park and other local parks, thereby putting pressure on limited greenspace (pressure both on the environment and on the quality of the experience of using the greenspace). Andrew Hayden Park is Bayshore’s “back yard” and it already exceeds capacity especially on weekends. Adequate greenspace must be considered within this development.
Flooding and erosion of Graham Creek due to inadequate stormwater management
Existing storm water infrastructure in Bayshore does not meet modern standards. All storm water and runoff just flows into Graham Creek. Successive construction of various projects now results in frequent flooding, high velocity flow, and shoreline erosion of Graham Creek downstream in the Creekside and Stonehedge neighborhoods. The environmental impact is significant and affects properties of our residents. Any further development requires a community-wide look at the problem.
Lack of consideration for cumulative impact of all development in the area
The proposals do not take into account other development in the area.
No secondary plan
No secondary plan exists for this area to map out future development with careful and strategic planning. The developer is asking for an amendment to the city’s official plan to permit these towers to be built on other than an arterial road. This restriction is in place to reduce congestion on non-arterial roads
Current City policy (Policy 22.214.171.124) states that: “The area located generally within 800 metres walking distance of this [Bayshore] transit station is identified as a special study area where a secondary planning process will be undertaken, by either the landowner or the City to determine the future land use, height, density, connectivity, and the overall character of the community, and which may be implemented through a secondary plan and amendments to the applicable Zoning by-law. In the interim and notwithstanding the above policies to the contrary, high-rise buildings up to 12 storeys in height will continue to be permitted in those areas where zoning currently permits high-rise buildings. (Amendment #150, October 19, 2018).
This City policy 126.96.36.199 confirms the City’s intention—and commitment to local residents—to undertake a thorough planning process to consider the future land use of this area prior to any new development that is not in accordance with the current official plan. Until such a process is completed, the approval of 30- and 27-story high-rise towers negates the purpose of this policy and renders it moot. For the City to take such action represents a betrayal of the interests and quality of life of local area residents, in terms of considering their interests as citizens and local property owners.
Other changes planned for Holly Acres Road
Furthermore, Carling Avenue and Holly Acres Road will be subject to not just increased cycling, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic from this one new development; a number of other changes are planned for Holly Acres Road. The community depends on Holly Acres Road; it’s a vital link to Bells Corners, our centre of commerce.
The application must be considered in the context of all changes proposed for Holly Acres Road such as:
- re-location of 417 ramps. With the project to widen highway 417, the two existing eastbound on-ramps on Richmond Road are being closed and replaced with a ramp off Holly Acres Road directly opposite the highway 416 exit ramp (2021?). The change will result in substantially more traffic on Holly Acres Road.
- LRT support abutment. The LRT stage 2 overpass over Holly Acres Road requires a support abutment in the centre of Holly Acres Road (2025?) The support will impair vision for northbound vehicles turning left onto the westbound ramp thereby increasing risk of collisions.
- Holly Acres BRT corridor. A Bus Rapid Transit corridor will be routed from Baseline Road, across Richmond Road onto Holly Acres Rd. to and from Bayshore Station (after 2031).
Re-development of Accora Village
Lastly, rumours abound that Ferguslea will re-develop Accora Village, but as yet no plans are available to show how this current proposal will fit in or what the final effect will be on traffic, schools, parks, drainage, or our community.
The community is concerned that this one proposal will be looked at in isolation from all the other projects. It is important that the requests for re-zoning and change to the official plan be considered responsibly, not in isolation, but systemically within the context of all the changes planned for Holly Acres Road and the surrounding community. The community needs responsible development and a secondary plan for the area.