Update on Woodridge Crescent Development Proposal

The proposed high-rise development on Woodridge Crescent adjacent Bayshore Shopping Centre has now been approved by City Council. The proposal by Ivanhoe Cambridge, the owners of the shopping centre, for two towers of 27 and 30 storeys, will now proceed over the next several months to the next stage. This will include a site plan approval process. During this stage, there are opportunities for changes to the proposal. CBLCA’s Transportation, Transit and Infrastructure Committee (TTIC) will make the most of these opportunities, due to our ongoing concerns over many aspects of the proposal.

CBLCA has been very active on this file, arising from concerns expressed by residents in Creekside and Stonehedge communities. This collaboration resulted in the creation of a working group from the communities with participation of Mark Hollett, Kate Twiss, and Ian McConnachie from TTIC. Over more than six months, they put in incredible hours of analysis, research, consultation, and ultimately presentation before the city’s Planning Committee. We were joined in these submissions by a number of additional community members.

We had three major areas of concern: the design of the buildings themselves; the amendment to the city Official Plan that would permit future high-rise development on neighbourhood streets rather than being restricted to arterial roads; and the inability of the city to assess their space requirements for the neighbouring future transit station when fully built and acting as a terminus station for the Baseline Road Bus Rapid Transitway.

Our efforts also included several discussions with Councillor Theresa Kavanagh. As a result, she was able to have passed a motion by City Council giving additional direction to city planning staff. This has resulted in the creation of a special working group with community representation to examine design concerns and investigate more fully several alternatives that the CBLCA working group has brought forward. CBLCA will seek to have several members of TTIC on the councillor’s site plan working group.

This ongoing project is a good example of collaboration among a number of communities. Special acknowledgment needs to be made of the leadership shown by residents from Creekside and Stonehedge, notably Bill Fenton, Keith Neuman, Andrew Dickson, and Denis Monnin.

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