545 Lakeshore Blvd revised development proposal - updated October 2021
Updated: Oct 17, 2021
How to send comments – your feedback matters!
On September 27, 2021 City Staff and developers held a public meeting concerning a proposal for a mixed use residential, office and retail building at 545 Lake Shore Blvd - the last remaining available site in our waterfront community. This includes a 22 storey building on the SW corner of the site fronting onto Bathurst.
The BQNA has met multiple times with City Staff to make suggestions and voice specific concerns as laid out in the four points below. We ask that all residents in the community make your voices heard while this application is under the final stages of review. Your input matters!
To view the proposal
Please go to: http://app.toronto.ca/AIC/index.do
Search with property address 545 Lake Shore Boulevard West.
Scroll to Supporting Documentation to look at plans. Architectural Plans is a good one to start with.
Provide your feedback on this proposal by: emailing Susan McAlpine, Senior Planner directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or scroll down to the Public Consultation section on the website and provide your feedback. All comments from the Public Consultation section will go directly to Susan McAlpine.
Below is a summary of the 4 key items the BQNA has shared with the City of Toronto about the current proposed development:
Since February 2018, the BQNA has being meeting with the City Planning Department about the Canderel proposal for mixed building use on the site of 545 Lake Shore Blvd. We have consistently emphasized the four points below as essential considerations when considering development on this – the last available site – along the Waterfront.
A virtual public consultation was held on September 27th with many community residents in attendance. Because these four points were not adequately answered, we are re-emphasizing the need to amend the planning application along the following lines.
Building height, configuration and Toronto City Bylaw on Height Restrictions While we appreciate that the developers want to maximum profit and understand the current proposal is a drop from the original 39 storey tower to a proposed 22-storey tower, this is still too high in comparison to the neighbourhood’s look and feel. The tower – which will be situated at the corner of Bathurst and Queens Quay, is still a “wall” that effectively blocks this corner – even though the developers say there will be a set-back. Furthermore we are perplexed as to why the tower's floors 13-22 would only facilitate 25% of the units. Why could Canderel not level this out between the two proposed buildings on this site? Or simply reduce the height to be at least level with the height of The Atrium next door? This would keep the property in sync with the height of buildings in the rest of the neighbourhood and still keep the heritage building intact. We continue to ask why the Toronto bylaw on height restriction is now seen as ‘outdated’ and ‘up for negotiation’ as verbally stated at the September 27th meeting. The initial planning for this Waterfront community had sound fundamental design and we see no reason why the City should ignore its own bylaw recommendations – seemingly because of pressure from developers. We still see no inclusion of affordable housing in this development. Yet, this has been discussed repeatedly as essential for community diversity and strength within the downtown core. As you know, the Bathurst Quay community has a successful mix of different socio-economic groups and in many ways provides a good model for urban planning. Yet, there is no consideration of affordable housing for this site - which is the last development opportunity in our community. Lack of affordable housing costs the GTA in many ways as reported in various Toronto Star articles. The shade study needs to be shown year-round. From what we see, there is shading in the afternoon on the Waterfront Community Centre building, which is in the process of installing solar panels on the roof. We understand the shade studies are still to be finalized which is why we raise these issues. In addition, what has been Canderel's consultation with The Waterfront Community Centre, the BIA and the Waterfront Secretariat on the proposal?
Building design and Aspect We still would like to see more of tiered look along Bathurst with balconies, similar to what is seen at Kings Landing, 500 & 550 Queens Quay West. The historic building and the new building could blend better with the use of some kind of brickwork and similar materials rather than a lot of glass. The colour scheme for the balconies and windows should be light colours rather than dark.
Choice of Ground Floor retail tenants We are worried about what types of tenants will make up the retail space and if night noise will be filtered into the neighbourhood after 11 pm. As mentioned by the developers, high quality, local tenants have/will be offered space by Canderel but we have seen some retail businesses fail along Queens Quay. Has the city or have the developers done a survey to understand what would make small scale retail viable in this neighbourhood? More importantly, why is there no consideration of community services to be included in the offering of retail space? We understand that the City Planning Department assumes the presence of the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre to be adequate for the needs of the community. But there has been no dialogue between the community and the City about what is really needed for this expanding and mixed Toronto community.
Infrastructure, Traffic and other impacts Traffic continues to increase in this part of the City partly due to the presence of the airport and new condo development north of us. The foot and bike traffic on the weekends is particularly busy and the revitalization of this area through the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan will intensify traffic in this community. We are concerned about current traffic capacity in our popular neighbourhood due to the number of cars, bicyclists and people using the streetcar and would appreciate projections on how increased density will impact current conditions. We recently experienced a fatal traffic accident at the corner of Bathurst and Queens Quay. There has been an increase in bicycle and pedestrian traffic with numbers exceeding the City’s initial estimates but there was little discussion during the meeting about how our traffic concerns would be addressed, other than acknowledging that a new updated traffic study is needed. The proposed height and design of the tower on the SW corner of the site creates a possible sight hazard for vehicles, bikes and foot traffic at this busy intersection. Also relating to safety - how will traffic, sidewalks and streetcars be managed during the construction phase?