A controversial proposal for a 50-storey residential tower at 2350-2352 Yonge St. has sparked opposition from local residents and city officials. The development, which would contain 323 residential units, has faced criticism for its potential impact on the neighbourhood, traffic congestion and the absence of essential amenities.
The journey of this contentious project began on July 13, 2022, when a zoning bylaw amendment application was submitted, aiming to permit the construction of the towering structure. Despite concerns raised by the community, the applicant appealed the application to the Ontario Land Tribunal on July 10, 2023, citing the city’s failure to make a timely decision in accordance with the Planning Act.
City councillor Mike Colle expressed his reservations about the development, highlighting the challenges posed by its current form.
“This site (including neighbouring addresses) is suitable for residential tower development and density,” stated Colle. “However, the ideal thing would be for the property owners on Yonge Street to consolidate their properties. Right now, they can’t agree, which is dragging the city into a development war between the various property owners.”
The proposed 50-storey tower stands in stark contrast to the surrounding neighborhood. Concerns about the lack of harmony with the existing urban fabric and the potential congestion it may cause have fuelled opposition.
Local residents’ associations, such as the Lytton Park Residents’ Organization (LPRO) and the Eglinton Park Residents’ Association (EPRA), have come out against the development.
In a letter to Toronto City Council, LPRO president Jane Doe said, “The proposal is for a 50-storey building on a site of just 516 square metres, with a mid-block frontage of only 12.5 metres. It does not seem to accommodate a tall building adequately and does not adhere to the Secondary Plan.”
EPRA, representing residents in the northwest quadrant of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need for balanced growth. The association expressed concerns about the size of the proposed apartments, the lack of parking and inadequate street frontage for service vehicles.
Coun. Colle further highlighted the logistical challenges posed by the development.
“There’s no access for garbage trucks, and we’re in a world where deliveries are constant,” he pointed out. “This narrow site will become a battleground for ongoing confrontations between residents and developers.”
As of now, the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) has not scheduled a case management conference regarding the appeal. However, a recommendation has been made to city council to instruct the city solicitor and appropriate staff to attend the hearing in opposition to the current application.
The hope is to engage in discussions with the applicant to resolve outstanding issues and seek a more harmonious development solution for the area.
“They [the developer] proceeded to go there [to the OLT] very quickly. And, you know, it’s a gamble they’re taking,” said Colle. “I mean, the tribunal: who knows what the tribunal does because we have no control over that, but we’re certainly going to state the city’s case and say, ‘Listen, you haven’t assembled the viable piece of property here.’ ”