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Proposed Ossington Avenue Condo Causes Anxiety

A developer's plans for the former site of an auto-repair shop have residents worried about the future of the neighbourhood.

A rendering of the condo building proposed for 109 Ossington Avenue.

Ossington Avenue, centrepiece of one of the city’s hottest neighbourhoods, is the focus of a new development project—and the inevitable related controversy.

The rebirth and renaissance of Ossington over the past few years has been tied, inextricably, to what some might call gentrification. Regardless, the strip is now home to numerous trendy restaurants, bars, coffee shops, galleries, theatre spaces, retailers, and nightspots. These businesses have opened up alongside more traditional operations, including a drug store, a fishmonger, a pho place, a churrasqueira and bakery/deli (reflecting the area’s Portuguese community), an established hardware/building-supply outlet, and, until recently, Mundial Auto, an active auto-repair centre.

Now, developer Reserve Properties wants to take advantage of Ossington’s neighborhood vibe with a new condominium project at 109 Ossington, the Mundial Auto site. The property, midway between Queen and Dundas Streets, has been made over into a sales centre.

Reserve’s marketing material describes the proposed building as “inspired loft living amid the vibrant spirit of Ossington.” The project has been written up in NOW, the Sun, and Condo Life.

As planned, the building would have 86 units (mostly one-bedroom or one-bedroom-plus-den), parking for 70 vehicles, and street-level retail space. The plans also call for the widening of the Argyle Place laneway, which runs north and south between Argyle and Bruce Streets.

Before construction can get underway, the developer will need an amendment to the zoning bylaw—a routine piece of business that almost all significant new construction has to go through.

Currently, the area is zoned Commercial Residential, which provides for a maximum height of 14 metres, and a maximum total density of 2.5 times the lot area. The 109OZ project envisions a height of 21.5 metres and a total density of 3.9 times the lot area. In plain English, that means the proposed condominium building will be much larger than the current zoning allows.

An ad hoc coalition of local residents has raised several concerns about the project. They argue that it is too large for the neighbourhood. They also object to potential impacts on traffic, noise, and the commercial strip along Ossington between Queen and Dundas. Their website describes some of their issues in more detail.

The group particularly objects to the building’s height, which, as proposed, would be six storeys. The structure would be more than twice as high as anything else on the block, which some residents think brings it into conflict with the street’s current low-rise character. Also, the building’s balconies have raised privacy concerns among residents along adjacent streets, including Argyle, Givins, and Brookfield.

Residents have also objected to the number of parking spaces proposed by the developer. They argue that the plan is at odds with initiatives aimed at encouraging public-transit use and increasing foot traffic. The thinking is that concentrating so many private cars in a single block would have a negative impact on neighbourhood traffic, and might pose a safety hazard to kids who walk along local streets to attend Givins Shaw Public School and Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic School.

And questions are being raised about the proposed retail space on the ground floor. It isn’t clear yet who the tenant would be, but the perception is that the space is designed to house a single retailer in an area that measures more than 1,000 square metres. This has clear implications for the building’s economic impact. Whether the strip will be able to retain its mixture of independent, small-scale retailers is an open question.

This is just an overview, of course. A community meeting is set for tonight (Monday, June 25) at the Trinity-Bellwoods community centre. The developer and the city planner are scheduled to make formal presentations, which will be followed by questions and comments from the public.

Images by Reserve Properties.

Comments

  • Chris

    I wonder how many of these “local residents” lived in the area 10 years ago.

    • Anonymous

      Why would that matter?

    • landofoz

      this is (still) called Little Portugal, you know? – so plenty of the “locals” have been here since the 50′s and 60′s!!!! Argyle st.- more than half of the houses. BTW – did you come around for their festival yesterday??? not at all TOO many 905ers yet – except for the weekends of course

    • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

      I am personally aware of about 40 Portuguese residents—I know them all personally—who are very much opposed to this proposal, and who are members of Smart Growth for Ossington. Most of these people have lived here for more than 30 years.

      • Anonymous

        I was out in Little Portugal over the weekend; people came up to me and said they want subways. That’s it. Subways, subways, subways…

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          ROB FORD

    • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

      And it’s not just Portuguese residents, but others of many different demographics. I would say that 75% of people on Argyle Street and Givins have been here for over 10 years. Not sure why it matters to you, but it does matter to me… people who move here typically don’t leave.

      That may be part of the reason we are going to fight for our community tooth and nail against those who want to effectively expropriate the value and enjoyment of our homes and associated communities for their personal profit. None of us want to move; we love it here.

      It is the City’s job to protect us from this sort of effective expropriation, and if they don’t a bunch of very angry voters on their hands they had better do it.

    • Scot

      I’ve been here for 12 years and over on Dovercourt for another seven.

    • Tania

      I did and I was at the meeting, recognized many faces from 10 years ago

  • Anonymous

    “What some might call gentrification.” I think we can safely call what’s happened on Ossington over the last decade, gentrification. And that’s not even to pass judgement—it’s been beneficial in some ways, lamentable in others, as gentrification usually is. But it’s definitely gentrification.

  • Ānāpāna

    if “The night scene doesn’t quit ’till dawn” is developer’s catch phrase for finding new “local residents” you would be raising questions as well, right? (well, i hope anyone would)

    • Vampchick21

      Yeah, because 20 something professionals are a terrible thing to introduce to a neighbourhood. They should all be living at home with their parents until they marry!

      • Lee Zamparo

        20 something professionals are already living and partying on Ossington, that’s not the issue here. The issue here is should this crappy dimly lit building be built (despite contravening a number of bylaws) or not. If I were living there, I would be asking questions about how it would affect quality of lif in the neighbourhood: how much shade this building would cast on its surroundings, whether they will be able to handle the extra parking traffic intelligently, whether they plan to find retail tenants that suit the neighbourhood. Beyond that, the floor plans make it seem like it will be a vamipre friendly community (few to no windows, tiny box apartments). You might fit right in :)

        • Vampchick21

          Ok, don’t make assumptions on who and what I am and where I want to live based on my screen name. See my post below where looking at the floorplans of this particular condo has made me scratch it off my list of potentials in my condo hunt. As for the 20 something, I was cracking at the poster above me who thinks having the very kinds of people who have already made their home in the neighbourhood is a bad thing. I am aware of what the issues are, some I agree with (the retail space at the bottom) some I think are just a little nit-picky and some I agree with (parking/traffic when the condo is sitting on an excelling ttc route with connections – Ossington Bus runs to subway, connects to King, Queen, Dundas and College lines).

          • Lee Zamparo

            Fair point, I apologize for the personal invective.

  • Anon11

    I’m sick of hearing how nimbyism is fucking up the party every time someone tries to do something interesting and/or innovative in this city. If people want a quiet low-rise street that never changes it makes me wonder why they live in a growing city of 2.5 million people in the first place. Cities evolve and change all the time, that’s what makes them interesting places to live in. If you want a quiet street that will never change, maybe it’s time to move to a quieter town, one that is preferably not adding hundreds of thousands of people to its population every ten years.

    • Ānāpāna

      when IS the last time you came visit Ossington??? lots AND lots of interesting and innovative changes ARE happening here, dear. pls don’t feel sick – just get informed before having such a strong opinion and/or reaction…..do you have a clue what is being proposed here?

      • Anonymous

        I think you completely misread Anon11′s post.

        • Lee Zamparo

          I don’t think Ānāpāna misread at all. I think they are objecting to Anon lazily reifying them as a NIMBY. See Jessica Wilson’s post below for why that charge is hollower than Rob Ford’s head.

          That aside, there are other points to object to. Insisting that a loft condo building which is mostly tiny 1 bedroom apartments qualifies as “interesting and/or innovative” is completely false, for starters. It’s patently an attempt to squeeze more money out of a site by circumventing rules designed to prevent just this sort of crappy development. I find nothing about this building interesting nor innovative; condo buildings very much like it are sprouting up all over the city. What might make it more innovative would be a green roof or community roof top garden space, and the addition of some 3 bedroom units so that families might also live there. Also, more than one window per unit, so that they aren’t one bedroom caves.

          Cities do evolve and change all the time, but what makes them interesting is the manner in which this change comes about. The addition of a building much larger than the neighbourhood’s bylaw’s allow for the purpose of enriching a lazy developer is not evolution, it’s elective surgery.

          • http://twitter.com/mconagalled Tat Shaw

            Unfortunately, developers and their slick lawyers are exploiting holes driven in the Official Plan, not by planners but by councillors who fancy themselves as planners. Too many precedents have been set by way of past political interference. That’s the reason why TO can’t attract a credible replacement for Chief of Planning or why they are woefully under-staffed. The damage done since 2006 has rendered the New Official Plan as useless as the Old Official Plan in terms of directing where intensification should be taking place and in what context. If the TO Planning Dept was capable, we should have identified all the areas, streets and avenues where intensification must take place before we started over-crowding places like YE and blowing air into the condo-bubble.

          • Anonymous

            Would you happen to have a link to this “Official Plan” that you are speaking of?

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie
          • Anonymous

            Great read, although the word “Ossington” or “destination” wasn’t found anywhere in the doc.

            You should read Chapter 1 – Making Choices. I think it covers your whining.

          • Anonymous

            And those places that desperately need it most are in (as I’ve said before) Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, East York, and York. They sure as frack aren’t anywhere in downtown Toronto or on Queen Street/Ossington Avenue.

    • Anonymous

      Is Smart Growth for Ossington a NIMBY group?

      No: we don’t fear change or want to preserve our neighbourhood under glass. We recognize that cities and neighbourhoods are evolving entities; we certainly do not think that everything is perfect as is; and we recognize that in all systems there are tradeoffs. We welcome growth and want growth: our neighbourhood has changed in many ways for the better in the last decade, and there is much left to improve. But we don’t want dumb or careless growth that only serves a limited range of stakeholders or that follows cookie-cutter dictates or that happens willy-nilly without regard to the big picture. We want Ossington to grow — and to grow smart.

      • Anonymous

        “We’re not NIMBYS but we are.”

        • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

          To be a “Nimby” is to be someone who rejects a project that would enhance the public good just because it would interfere with some aspect of your pleasure. What is the public good that the introduction of MIDRISE development with chain store retail is supposed to bring about? One might suppose that the need for growth is the public good in question. But growth is a public good only if it is smart. Alll sound planning principles—enshrined in Toronto’s Official Plan—say that growth should be appropriately integrated into existing built form, and should not negatively impact abutting neighborhoods. The introduction of MIDRISE development with chain store retail would not be good growth, since it would (a) drastically depart from existing built form on Ossington, and (b) drastically negatively impact dozens of residential homes, not to mention raise serious safety concerns (see Smart Growth for Ossington’s remarks on the 109OZ proposal for details). Moreover, the call for growth—that is, good growth, that does not cause more problems than it solves—can be answered while staying within the LOWRISE by-law limits—there is double or even triple the room for additional density within these limits. On Ossington, we have not outgrown the by-law. There is no good reason to go MIDRISE on Ossington, and many good reasons to STAY LOWRISE. Sorry, that’s not quite correct. Some people would stand to make millions of dollars by air-dropping a MIDRISE condo onto LOWRISE Ossington. But that’s not a public good. To resist the imposition of development whose only real motivation is profit—not the public good—and which would drastically negatively impact both business and residential communities is not NIMBY-ism. It is common sense.

          • http://twitter.com/mconagalled Tat Shaw

            You are ignoring the decisions already made by the TO Planning Dept and the OMB. TO Council has an agenda that is hidden behind a weak and impoverished Planning Dept. Until the bubble bursts there’s going to be many, many more these kinds of developments. The horse has vacated the barn a long time ago.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            You can think of Smart Growth for Ossington as the pin pricking the bubble.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            We think the planning department is finding its feet. We are especially confident in our planner, Francis Kwashie.

      • Anonymous

        A 6 storey building on a major TTC route close to 2 major streetcar routes is textbook smart growth.

        • Anthony

          Except it contravenes an existing by-law, it’s actually 82feet tall (i.e., the height of 8 storys), it’ll congest traffic on a one-way street connecting two nearby schools, it’ll detract from the neighbourhood’s character, it’ll likely bring in a chain store, etc.

          • Anonymous

            contravenes: things need to change in order for the city to grow

            congest traffic: more people = more traffic = life in the city

            detract from neighbourhood’s character: neighbourhood’s a mix of everything. so what exactly is it detracting from? The rotting car repair shops? the hipster bars? the coffee shops? the cigar factory?

            likely bring in a chain store: zero proof

          • Anthony

            The argument isn’t against change but against bad change. Simply accepting any increase in congestion whatsoever despite concerns about children and safety on the grounds that ‘it’s the city’ is defeatist thinking. The character is low-rise and family-friendly, not mid-rise and high-turnover residency. The suggested proof of a chain store was Fenton’s refusal last night to give even a ballpark figure for the storefront rental rate, which would have indicated the sort of store likely to occupy the front.

          • Anonymous

            Ossington and Queen is “family friendly” and is currently safe for children to wander around?

          • Vampchick21

            Well, safer than it was when I first moved to Toronto nearly 20 years ago. I’d walk along that strech alone at night now, when I wouldn’t before. If I had kids, I likely wouldn’t let them walk by themselves along Queen (any stretch of Queen actually)

          • Anonymous

            What? Let kids walk along Queen at night? What age are you talking about? Who has ever seen small kids walking along (insert big city street name from any city in the world) at night? When you don’t have kids, you really shouldn’t be commenting on what you would or wouldn’t do. It’s meaningless.

          • Vampchick21

            WTF? No, seriously, WTF? Where the hell did I say that I would let kids wander the streets at night? Seriously, WTF dude. Or did you miss the all important “n’t” at the end of “would”? I mean, I can see how two smallish letters and a tiny little dash could be overlooked when reading quickly and looking for a spot to lash out at…..seriously, WTF?

          • Anonymous

            Allow me to explain further: saying you wouldn’t let your kids (whatever magical age you’re thinking of, since you didn’t specify) walk along Queen at night is a complete non-starter since nobody does that to begin with.

          • Vampchick21

            Oh for the love of the gods, seriously dude? Congrats, you’re an idiot.

          • Vampchick21

            In fact, I think you need to apologize to me for lashing out at me over something I never actually said, thought or implied. WTF?

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            Ossington and Argyle St, which is the proposed location for the development, and which is the primary walking street for children and parents on the way to Givins-Shaw school, certainly is.

            It will certainly be drastically less safe if the laneway-entrance 70-car underground garage (not to mention all those construction trucks at first and chain store retail trucks later) on Argyle Place, intersecting Argyle St. is built.

          • Anonymous

            Ossington and argyle.
            School is givens and argyle.

            Making lies up. Priceless.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            I’m sorry that you misunderstood my meaning. What I said was that Argyle Street is a primary walking street for children going to Givins-Shaw School, which is indeed at Givins and Argyle. The concern, again, is that cars going in and out of the underground garage on Argyle Place (at the rear of the proposed development) will intersect Argyle Street, where children walk to their school at Givins and Argyle.

          • Anonymous

            There wasn’t a misunderstanding. Just a mis-direction on your part… Nice try though…

            So to add to the long list of mis-directions, hyperbole and melodrama is:

            - Cars leaving the garage of THIS particular building will be more dangerous than other drivers in this city – thus concluding a child’s safety will be hazarded.

          • Anonymous

            “children and safety”: It is not my job to ensure the safety of children on streets or sidewalks here or any other city on the planet. That is the parents’ job.

            “family-friendly, not mid-rise and high-turnover residency.” The neighbourhood houses are all occupied by the owners. Righhhht.

            “low rise character”: impossible to maintain, enormously stupid to preserve. A 6 storey (9 storey heigh, whatever the f you want to call it) in the downtown CORE on MAJOR TTC ROUTES is undeniably a good thing.

            “refusal last night to give even a ballpark figure for the storefront rental rate”: Construction will take 1-2 years. You’re demanding a ballpark on rent now? Ridiculous.

          • Anthony

            It’s not your job, but it is council’s job. Not sure what ownership says against the point about family-friendliness. You’re begging the question by claiming that low-rise is either undesirable or unsustainable, i.e., that’s just the opposite of the argument being made. If you fail to see any difference between a 4-, 6- or 9-story building, then you fail to see the difference between areas designed as low- and as mid-rise. Why is it ridiculous to suppose the developers have an economic plan for the first floor complete with rental and occupancy strategy when their plan for the rest of the building is so thorough and sophisticated?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, absolutely, low rise on semi-major streets on semi-major tic routes is undesirable and unsustainainable.

            Areas of the city change as the needs for those areas change. King West between Spadina and Bathrust was a deadzone until the city got its head out of its ass and rezoned it. Cossette renovated the shit out of its massive building and brought 700+ employees to the street overnight, and that spawned all the restaurant growth on the street. Condos popped up, allowing people to live closer to where they worked on a major TTC line. Ossington probably shouldn’t go as far as that, but it must be open to more density. Opposition to the building is short-sighted NIMBYism at its finest.

          • Anthony

            Why is low-rise development undesirable in a low-rise-designated neighbourhood? How is opposition that is community-focused rather than individual-focused NIMBY-ish? Remember this is opposition to bad development, not development per se: the community favours density, but density appropriate to the neighbourhood’s designation.

          • Anonymous

            Oh for chrissakes, Bayview and Lawrence was once designated farmland. The city is growing. Deal with it.

          • Anthony

            That the city is growing is no argument in favour of bad development.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            a NIMBY is someone who rejects a proposal in the public good because it would interfere with one of their personal goods.

            There is only one public good in the vicinity of 109OZ; namely, that it accommodates the Official Plan call for growth in mixed-use areas such as Ossington. Putting aside that there is already a glut of the sort of housing that is being offered here (so that the call for growth should be considered already to have been answered) one might resoundingly respond to this call just by building on the lands at issue to as-of-right limits—we estimate that we could increase density on the parcel at issue by about 3-5 times by building within these limits. More generally, we estimate that we could triple the density on Ossington within the existing limits. (I’m going to measure every building on the Ossington strip and get more precise estimates in the next few days.) We have not begun to outgrow the by-laws.

            As such, there is no additional public good associated with the departures from the existing limits requested by Reserve for this property. On the contrary, these departures will clearly introduce numerous public and private harms, both to the Ossington business district and its status as a world-class eclectic and artisanal destination district (on order of Williamsburg, Brooklyn), and to the tax-paying and voting homeowners who have invested in the area on the supposition that the City will—as laid out in Policy 3 of the Official Plan’s “Healthy Neighborhoods” section—guard them against negative impact on their hard-earned property stemming from intensification.

            To reject 109OZ on grounds that it’s only concrete value would be to enrichen a small group of people at the expense of a variety of existing public and hard-earned private goods is not NIMBYism , it’s plain common sense.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            “It is not my job to ensure the safety of children on streets or sidewalks here or any other city on the planet”.

            Wow, that takes the cake as the best remark on this whole comment thread.

          • Lee Zamparo

            “low rise character”: impossible to maintain, enormously stupid to preserve. A 6 storey (9 storey heigh, whatever the f you want to call it) in the downtown CORE on MAJOR TTC ROUTES is undeniably a good thing

            I can’t believe I’ve been trying to argue for something that is undeniably a bad thing! Aargh, man. I wish I had realized that there was only one right answer, and this was un-deniable. Dang.

            DryDry <- Troll.

          • Scot

            If proximity to the downtown core and TTC routes is the priority, then why is the developer providing 60 parking spots for residents and 10 for their visitors? Ossington is quite walkable and accessible, but won’t be if developers have fantasies of mini Hurontario Streets in mind.

          • ExDeveloper_N1Mom

            Providing Parking at $50 K each.

          • Lee Zamparo

            Things need to change in order for a city to grow, but I think we can all agree they should do so within the law.

            Congestion is a fact of life in the city, but it can be managed or mitigated by how the city grows and builds transit infrastructure. Are you suggesting nothing can or should be done?

            As for the likelihood of a chain store occupying the one large retail space planned for the ground floor, why not quickly peruse the Smart Growth for Ossington website:

            Developers advertise an AAA retail space: (10K sf at $40/sf, 8% cap rate roughly $5M value for the retail) = chain store

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            That’s right Lee: smartgrowthforossington.ca

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            There are numerous indications that a chain store is in the offing: 18ft ceiling height, 2 doors (ingress and egress), a single 11K retail space. These are all the hallmarks of AAA retail space—that is, a chain store.

            Here’s another indication: in a meeting with Shane, SGO asked if he would guarantee that they would not house a chain store in there. He would not. That’s not proof, but as I say it is, to my mind, a strong indication.

          • https://liyufx.wordpress.com/ yu

            Heck, pretty much all development in downtown contravenes existing by-laws. Even many existing lowrise house do, be it density (you know, 0.7) or various setback and so on. Why? Those archaic bylaw are made for a town in back water south Ontario, not a fast growing metropolis. The city is very happy to keep those bylaws, because they make sure all developer will have to come to Committee of Adjustment and the city can get something in return for leniency. Of course those bylaws are also the best friends of NIMBYs of all sorts, and I guess the city likes that too, because the louder the opposition, the more the city can demand from the developers. That is all OK, the developers are in it for the money, so not thing wrong with the city gets a scoop too, win-win. But if it gets to the point where perfectly reasonable development are killed off, then it becomes lose-lose.

          • Anthony

            It’s true city bylaws can be changed, but changing the one in question doesn’t have the directly affected community’s backing. If that’s not negligible, then the city shouldn’t show leniency. You’ve not shown that the argument for the opposition is a NIMBY argument, nor have you shown that a condo within the bylaw restrictions would be a loss for the community.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            And moreover (see above) the asked-for exemptions would controvene the Official Plan, which is a much more serious issue.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            By “NIMBY”, sir, I assume you mean an individual who does not wish to hand his property values over merely for the purpose of enriching the developer. If you disparage NIMBYs, sir, I assume you will be delighted to hand your property values over merely for the purpose of enriching the developer. In that case, sir, may I convey your contact information to some of Toronto’s developers, so that you may negotiate with them for who will extract the most of your property values for their own enrichment?

          • http://liyufx.wordpress.com/ Yu

            This kind of discussion is pretty pointless. If you want to get something out of this fight, better negotiate with the developer in good faith and get some minor changes to the design, like break the store front up into smaller retail units, a bit set back above the 3rd or 4th floor, swapping some car parking with bike parking, etc. Because if all you do is to hold this up, it is going to OMB and you get nothing, the developer may get an extra floor or two.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            We at SGO do not accept the OMB argument, according to which we must accept bad growth for fear that the developer will go to the OMB and give us something worse.

            To start, it is important to realize that the OMB is not intrinsically a force for pro-developer evil. As the Harris appointees retire and are replace with McGinty appointees, decisions are coming in more frequently in favor of residents and the City that supports and aims to protect them from undue harm (and anyway, the bias was only ever 60-40, at worse).

            More importantly, the judges at the OMB are neither stupid nor incompetent. If they are offered a transparently bad argument in favor of a terrible development, they will turn the proposal back.

            We have looked at the stated and available arguments the developers and their crew have offered in supposed support of the various overages associated with 109OZ—which would effectively convert Ossington from a LOWRISE “main street character building” area to a MIDRISE area—and they are uniformly fallacious or unsound. See the ‘Remarks on the 109OZ proposal’ at SGO for details. Nothing in the Official Plan, in the Avenues and Midrise Study (which does not apply to Ossington, since Ossington is not and will never be a designated “Avenue”: it is too narrow and too short, and it cannot be widened without destroying all existing buildings on the strip), in any other official document, or in common sense, would warrant moving Ossington from LOWRISE to MIDRISE.

            More generally, residents across the City need to stop buying the OMB argument, and the City needs to stop encouraging the residents to do so. The City’s job is to PROTECT and FIGHT FOR their residents, not to trade the hard-earned and tax-paying enjoyment of the properties of their voting constituents so that some developer can increase their profit margin. The all too often quavering before the threat of the OMB means that the City is all too often FAILING TO PROTECT its residents. This is a very big problem in Toronto, and it needs to stop.

            Mike Layton recently spearheaded the rejection of the RioCan proposal, which like the Reserve 109OZ proposal similarly threatened a unique business district by the introduction of chain retail; he expects RioCan to appeal to the OMB but said “We are ready to fight”.

            We, too, are ready to fight. We hope we will not have to: we rather hope Reserve and RAW will hear the community and come back with a legal proposal. But we aren’t afraid of going to the OMB. Why should we be? Their arguments, like the current proposal, are terrible.

          • https://liyufx.wordpress.com/ yu

            OK, stick your head in the sand and keep on fighting, good luck with that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neville-Ross/100002343524258 Neville Ross

            They’re not sticking their heads in and sand, but standing up for their human and moral rights-something that sheeple like you obviously wouldn’t, and don’t, understand.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neville-Ross/100002343524258 Neville Ross

            I hope that you do succeed, and kick the butt of these greedy asshole developers and their bullshit agenda for Ossington: I only wish that we had somebody like that here in my neck of the woods (the St. Lawrence/Toronto Harbourfront area, which has got a ton of these developments all over, many of them blocking the view of the waterfront and the rest of the Toronto skyline-the only things that should be that tall are business buildings, none of which these are.) Good luck to you and the others of your organization in fighting this ‘development’.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            Thanks so much for your encouragement, Neville. It is really appreciated. And please do join Smart Growth for Ossington if you are so inclined. Lots of fun planning geekout going on around here.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            Hi Yu,
            Two more things to consider.

            First, you are absolutely right that many proposals involve by-laws exceptions. But the exceptions being asked for here are enormous, as regards both density and height, and would effectively serve to convert Ossington from a LOWRISE area to a MIDRISE area. That would have multiple significant negative impacts on business, residential, and school communities, and more generally would destabilize all these communities to some extent. The City is legally required to protect neighborhoods in particular from negative impact of significant intensification of just this sort.

            Second, it is not just exceptions to the by-laws that are at issue here. The exceptions contravene the recently revised Official Plan, which (a) encourages MIDRISE development on “Avenues”—broad miles-long retail corridors like King, Queen, Dundas, College, Bloor, and Roncy, which are big enough to sustain MIDRISE development, and (b) determined that Ossington is NOT an “Avenue” and hence NOT an appropriate area for MIDRISE development. That makes sense, both because Ossington is a destination—it is nothing like an “Avenue”, and never will be—and because we are nowhere near the LOWRISE limits operative on Ossington—we could easily double, perhaps triple density on Ossington within the existing limits. We have not outgrown the by-laws.

            So there is no good reason for the City to permit exceptions to our zoning by-laws and the controvention of our recently updated Official Plan, in order to allow Reserve to put MIDRISE (5 stories or more) on LOWRISE (1-4 stories) Ossington. And the serious negative and destabilizing impacts associated with the proposal constitute a multitude of good reasons for the City to forbid any such thing.

        • Scot

          Except it’s not six-storeys. It’s the equivalent of eight.

      • http://twitter.com/mconagalled Tat Shaw

        But, I don’t believe the site is in a protected “neighbourhoods” area under the Official Plan. It’s in an area intended for intensification. What needs careful consideration is how it transitions to “neighbourhoods” in close proximity. That’s where the focus must be. This plan would win easily at the OMB and it’s obvious if it goes there the locals will have to fund the effort.

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          This plan would lose easily at the OMB, sir, because it rises 25 feet above where sound planning principles say a building framing the current right of way may rise.

          It is indeed in an area intended for intensification, but also in an area specifically exempted from the midrise intensification level. Moreover, building a mud hut on that lot would amount to intensification because the residential density currently = zero.

          And moreover, as you note, the city is legally obligated to protect adjoining neighbourhoods.

          By our analysis, that is the only relevant demand left that must be abided by according to the law.

          And that is why the plan will lose at the OMB.

        • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

          The Official Plan call for intensification in mixed-use areas like Ossington can be resoundingly met on Ossington without exceeding the existing by-law limits. We estimate that we could increase the density on Ossington by 2-4 times (I will be posting a more precise estimate on SGO in a couple of days) within the existing by-law limits.

          Moreover, exceeding these limits will introduce severe negative impacts on both the eclectic and world-renowned LOWRISE “main street character” feel of the Ossington business district, and the effective expropriation, by residents who have worked hard and paid their taxes for years, of enjoyment of their properties, which is protected under Policy of the Official Plan’s “Healthy Neighborhoods” section.

          So there is no good reason to interpret “intensification” as de facto allowing increase in Ossington’s LOWRISE “main street character” by-law limits, and multiple good reasons not to do so—including the need to preserve the distinctive character of the Ossington strip, and to avoid the expropriation of home-owner value solely for the purpose of enriching some other private individual or individuals.

          There’s another issue here; namely that, at least for the sort of tiny (average 700 square feet) condos on offer here, the call for growth has already been answered: as you probably know, there is a glut of these sorts of residences right now (hence the expected condo bust). The sort of housing that is still in short supply is family housing; but that’s not what’s on offer here. There is not a single family unit (3Br) in the building.

          Hence it is that we are confident that the plan will lose at the OMB. If you can find some flaw in our argumentation I would love to hear it.

          • Jessica Marie Wilson

            Actually, it turns out that there is NO general call for intensification in mixed-use areas in the Official Plan—yet another bogus argument that turns out to fall apart under examination. What the Official Plan says is that, among the categories of area where growth is to occur—notably, in the downtown core and on the “Avenues”, growth *within* one of these categories is to be directed toward mixed-use as opposed to, say, Neighborhoods that happen to be on an Avenue. There is NO call in the Official Plan for mixed-use areas like Ossington that do NOT fall under one of the general “growth” categories to be subject to intensification.

            Anyway, as we have been saying all along, and as anyone who has ever walked along Ossington knows, there is a huge amount of room for growth within the current by-law limits of 14m (4 stories); we could probably triple the density on Ossington while remaining under these limits.

    • Ossie

      This has nothing to do with residents not wanting their neighborhood to grow and develop. The city has by-laws for a reason. Follow them. You want a huge Condo with a view go to Liberty Village. Ossington is low-rise.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        Yes, and the reason is to ensure the homeowner that there is such a thing as rule of law, and that you will not blow a huge wad on a house only to get a skyscraper or a smelter next door three years down the road.

        Who the hell would buy a house otherwise? More generally, how do you expect capitalism to function if there aren’t laws regulating property?

      • Anonymous

        Better yet, I wish that the developers would build in suburban areas that need this kind of intensification to begin with; Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, East York, and York. Those places need these condos badly, not downtown Toronto. And if places like this continue to get built, nobody will want to come to do anything on Ossington or Queen Street anymore.

    • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

      To be a “Nimby” is to be someone who rejects a project that would enhance the public good just because it would interfere with some aspect of your pleasure. What is the public good that the introduction of MIDRISE development with chain store retail is supposed to bring about? One might suppose that the need for growth is the public good in question. But growth is a public good only if it is smart. Alll sound planning principles—enshrined in Toronto’s Official Plan—say that growth should be appropriately integrated into existing built form, and should not negatively impact abutting neighborhoods. The introduction of MIDRISE development with chain store retail would not be good growth, since it would (a) drastically depart from existing built form on Ossington, and (b) drastically negatively impact dozens of residential homes, not to mention raise serious safety concerns (see Smart Growth for Ossington’s remarks on the 109OZ proposal for details). Moreover, the call for growth—that is, good growth, that does not cause more problems than it solves—can be answered while staying within the LOWRISE by-law limits—there is double or even triple the room for additional density within these limits. On Ossington, we have not outgrown the by-law. There is no good reason to go MIDRISE on Ossington, and many good reasons to STAY LOWRISE. Sorry, that’s not quite correct. Some people would stand to make millions of dollars by air-dropping a MIDRISE condo onto LOWRISE Ossington. But that’s not a public good. To resist the imposition of development whose only real motivation is profit—not the public good—and which would drastically negatively impact both business and residential communities is not NIMBY-ism. It is common sense.

      • https://liyufx.wordpress.com/ yu

        > What is the public good that the introduction of MIDRISE development …

        one word, density.

        > On Ossington, we have not outgrown the by-law.

        You may not have, but Toronto have

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          Density is good; food is good. Excessive density is not good; poison food is not good.

        • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

          Actually, the fact that many condos are going unsold indicates that the present call for density—at least of the sort of small (700 square foot, on average) units at issue in 109OZ—has been answered. The sort of housing that Toronto still is in desperate need of is family housing.

          In any case, the call for growth—that is, good growth, that does not cause more problems than it solves—can be answered while staying within the LOWRISE by-law limits—there is double or even triple the room for additional density within these limits. On Ossington, we have not outgrown the by-law. There is no good reason to go MIDRISE on Ossington, and many good reasons to STAY LOWRISE.

    • Anthony

      I think you misunderstand how ‘NIMBY’ applies: it’s where one puts one’s personal pleasure over others and over the common good, such as Reserve’s personal pleasure over the Ossington community’s common good.

      • Anonymous

        I think you or any of the above/below NIMBY’s have no clue what NIMBY-ism is or what defines it.

        • Anthony

          I have given the accepted definition of ‘NIMBY’ while you’ve provided none, so it’s wrong to say it’s me (and not you) without any clue.

          • Anonymous

            Source?

            From Wikipedia:

            The term (or the derivative Nimbyism) is used pejoratively to describe opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development close to them, developments that are generally needed in the society.

            From Urbandictionary:

            A person who opposes particular construction or projects in their community

            Your overuse of the word “pleasure” has nothing to do with anything. Furthermore, your overarching comparison to the developer’s “pleasure” infringing on your “neighbourhood” is laughable at best.

          • Anthony

            While Wiki entries and random UD definitions are plentiful, they rarely give enough information or accuracy. What, for example, makes ‘opposition to construction in one’s community’ specifically NIMBY-ish as opposed to, say, thoughtful or architecturally forward-thinking or community-building? Pleasure is precisely the sort of idea you need to sharpen your grasp of the term in question, for it’s opposition to construction for the sake of one’s own potential or sustained personal gain (i.e., pleasure) that is the mark of the NIMBY attitude. It’s easy to see who’s pleasure is being enhanced in this case–Reserve’s–just as it’s easy to see what the community opposition is based on–a combination of pleasure-related issues (e.g., property values adversely affected by the proposed construction) and non-pleasure-related issues (e.g., the sense of community and character, the safety of others, the economic survival of others’ business). Simply put, the community members are thinking of their others–their neighbours–and not only of themselves, as would be the case if ‘NIMBY’ actually applied here.

          • Anonymous

            So an acronym which has an accepted definition is not valid because you don’t agree with it? Gotchya!

            Source or STFU.

          • Anthony

            It’s got an accepted definition, but it’s not accurate or complete as you cite it. Point is, I’ve explained why the opposition isn’t simply a complaint for the sake of personal gain.

          • Anonymous

            “It’s got an accepted definition, but it’s not accurate”

            Words – how do they work?

          • Anthony

            Of course, that’s half of my original sentence. Sounds like you’ve tapped out.

          • Anonymous

            The onus is on YOU to prove otherwise if YOU choose to bastardize the accepted definition.

            Here, I’ll make it easy for you:

            What does “personal pleasure” have to do with NIMBY-ism?

          • Anthony

            My definition is specific, yours is vague. Yours doesn’t distinguish between illegitimate and legitimate opposition to construction; mine does. I’ve already explained ‘NIMBY’ in terms of ‘pleasure’ and have already unpacked ‘pleasure’ in terms of personal gain (as contrasted with community interests).

          • Anonymous

            My definition has a source and is agreed upon by the majority of people in the world.

            Yours doesn’t. End of conversation.

          • Anthony

            It’s amazing you think that a definition that can’t distinguish the different kinds of opposition in question is a good definition. It’s also amazing you think that those who contribute their thoughts to WIKI and UD constitute the majority of humanity.

          • Anonymous

            LOLWUT?!?!?!

          • Anonymous

            The definition is cited from The Oxford Dictionary.

          • Anthony

            The Oxford entry says a NIMBY is one who “objects to the siting of something perceived as unpleasant or potentially dangerous in their own neighborhood, such as a landfill or hazardous waste facility, especially while raising no such objections to similar developments elsewhere”. Here’s why this doesn’t apply to those opposed to 109OZ: it’s no mere ‘perception’ that the development is illegal; and the argument the proposal isn’t being denied to communities in a similar situation since it relies on general terms such as ‘bylaw’ and ‘low-rise designation’.

          • Lee Zamparo

            That definition from Urbandictionary is far to vague to apply here, and says nothing about the nature of the development.

            The wikipedia definition is better, but again hinges on “developments that are generally needed in the society”: I don’t get the impression that people on Ossington oppose development at that location, just aspects of the proposed development.

          • Anonymous

            See above. It’s to both of you.

          • Lee Zamparo

            Half quoting Anthony’s reply and claiming he isn’t making a valid point is not convincing.

          • Anonymous

            Making up your own definitions of a word is? lol, you people are totally insane…

    • http://twitter.com/mconagalled Tat Shaw

      Stress like this arises from a piss-poor job being done by the TO Planning Dept. The existing zoning is out of date and the Official Plan is calling for intensification. All this is coming as a surprise to the locals who deserve better service from the professionals in the Planning Dept.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        Ah, a point we make repeatedly, sir, is that Ossington has not outgrown the bylaw. The call for intensification can be met by building a mud hut on that lot, because the existing residential density is 0/hectare

      • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

        The call for intensification in mixed-use areas like Ossington can be answered while staying within the LOWRISE by-law limits—there is double or even triple the room for additional density within these limits. On Ossington, we have not outgrown the by-law. There is no good reason to go MIDRISE on Ossington, and many good reasons to STAY LOWRISE.

    • Scot

      I’ve lived in the Ossington area since 1981, first north of College then south of Dundas. Believe me, the developers didn’t change the neighbourhood for the better. Indeed, the better to accommodate the influx of new residents, Toronto tore down two houses across from Ossington Station … for a parking lot. To foster commercial activity along Dundas, Toronto tore down a furniture factory on Dundas … for a parking lot. One reasonable development on Ossington in the early 2000s was the New York “Tofts” (townhouses + lofts) that replaced a former lumberyard turned gas station. In any case, the vibrancy of Ossington and Dundas happened very slowly, and much of it after 2003 as karaoke bars closed and people were willing to take risks and open businesses — and not just restaurants.Don’t forget, however, that many of these businesses displaced tenants, because the shopfronts at the time were frequently rental apartments. This development proposal, at its present size, will not enhance the neighbourhood; it will overpower it — all to add 86 new residents?. It is possible to get high-density from low-rise development, as John Sewell once pointed out. Scale it back to four storeys. So maybe only 50 new residents. If we want more, there are more than enough parking lots, some city or school-board-owned, that could be redeveloped into townhouses without the need to put a monstrous carbuncle onto a Victorian streetscape. So, densifiers, are you willing to give up your parking?

  • http://twitter.com/candleflame3 PlantinMoretus

    Oh man, check out the floorplans. It’ll be like living in an old library card catalogue drawer.

    When did it become legal for bedrooms to have no windows?

    • Anonymous

      My bedroom’s window points into (not “opens into”) a skylight shaft. Built in 1912 or so.

      • http://twitter.com/candleflame3 PlantinMoretus

        But there is a window.

        Even if there weren’t, that doesn’t mean no-window-in-a-bedroom was legal in 1912. It may have been illegal but never reported. Or it may have been grandfathered in when building codes were updated. And so on.

        Anyway, if it’s legal now, it shouldn’t be. Some of these condos have ONE window for the entire dwelling unit.

        • Benj Hellie

          All of these condos have one window for the entire dwelling unit. The maximal amount of residential square footage can be squeezed out of a lot only with a “railroad building” — each story a long central hall dividing two dwelling regions; each unit a segment of one of the two dwelling regions.

          This means that each unit gets light only on one side. Barbarous! A decent interior requires light from two sides.

          • http://twitter.com/candleflame3 PlantinMoretus

            The 2-bedroom units have two windows, still on one side though. Ugh ugh ugh.

          • Anonymous

            OMG!!! HAHAHAHA!!! PEOPLE THAT DON’T HAVE MUCH MONEY HAVE TO LIVE IN SMALL CONDOS!!!!!!!!!

            Jerk.

          • http://twitter.com/candleflame3 PlantinMoretus

            Yes, that is a jerky thing to say. I don’t know why you said it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            People are fools if they are willing to pay $560 a foot for a box they won’t be able to turn over when they grow out of it.

          • Vampchick21

            What else are people looking to buy but are unable to afford a house going to do then? Granted, the floorplans I looked at for this particular development are a joke, like I said, I’ve scratched if off my list based on that, but really, in an affordable first time buyer range in the city of Toronto, condos are our best option. And even then, depending on the part of the city you’re buying in, maybe not. But we don’t really have a lot of affordable options in Toronto right now. Houses are insane price-wise.

          • Anonymous

            “People are fools if they are willing to pay $560 a foot for a box they won’t be able to turn over when they grow out of it.”

            Translation:
            People that aren’t rich kids are fools!

  • http://twitter.com/tdotgrit TDot Grit

    Once again, Torontonians are shitting their pants because a proposed building is “too tall.” Increased density in the downtown core is a good thing. If you don’t like it, move to Brampton.

    • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

      I support this building, but calling Ossington the downtown core is a little laughable.

      • Vampchick21

        It’s downtown west. At least, back in the days of mini neighbourhood yellow pages that’s what it was. So still ‘downtown’.

      • Benj Hellie

        Technically, Ossington is outside both “Downtown” (west to Spadina) and “Core” (west to B’hurst). Nor is Ossington an “Avenue” (west of B’hurst: queen, dundas, college, bloor, roncey).

        Increased density is good just like food is good but crazy density is bad just like poisoned food is bad.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        What’s to support about it? Clearly this is only about making $10–20M in profit for Reserve.

        That means that on your average unit, ***$150,000*** goes straight into Shelly’s bank account. Anyone who buys into that deal is a stone goofball.

        Every time someone says to Reserve “this is gonna fuck the neighbourhood”, the only thing distinguishing their attitude fro “hahaha, good, suckers!” is that they don’t actually say that, or really anything (except “if we don’t do X we make less money”).

        Since when did it become hip to hand over big chunks of one’s own stuff to rich developers?

        • Anonymous

          “Clearly this is only about making $10–20M in profit for Reserve. “

          First, are you saying developers shouldn’t make a profit, or that they just shouldn’t make as much as the market is willing to give them?

          Second, are you saying nobody really wants to live at Queen and Ossington, they’d only consider getting a condo in the trendiest neighbourhood of the decade if nothing else is available?

          If either is the case, I don’t think you understand how anything works.

          • Lee Zamparo

            Come on, no one is suggesting that developers should not make a profit on their buildings. Also, it’s pretty clear that people want to live at Queen and Ossington, given the development happening on Queen.

            What I think he’s suggesting is the crazy idea that the developers should operate within the law, rather than just doing what they want. I have yet to see a good reason why the developer be allowed to break the bylaws governing growth, and impose adverse effects on the citizens of the neighbourhood just so that the developer can profit. As benj Hellie said earlier, capitalism works well when there are laws regulating property, which don’t get broken just so that a company can make a buck.

            If people want so badly to move into 109OZ, then the market will allow a higher price for the same units in a shorter building. That way, they make just as much as the market is willing to give them.

          • Anonymous

            It’s my understanding that the building doesn’t exist yet, so no bylaws have been broken. Indeed, they are seeking a bylaw amendment, which is within the rules, to change the bylaw rather than break it.

            If developers could do “what they want” there wouldn’t be a proposal, an amendment, bylaws, or community meetings.

            Ridiculous accusations and rhetoric – such as this ‘only being about making money’ or ‘just so the developer can profit’ – do not help the “but we’re not NIMBYs” defence. The proposed building obviously serves a need or the units (as unfortunately shaped as they are) wouldn’t be selling, and everyone is in agreement that density is desired, so that’s two against one.

          • Lee Zamparo

            It certainly is within the rules to apply for a bylaw amendment, no problems there. It’s also the law that “Intensification of land adjacent to neighbourhoods will be carefully controlled so that neighbourhoods are protected from negative impact. Where significant intensification of land adjacent to a Neighbourhood or Apartment Neighbourhood is proposed, Council will determine, at the earliest point in the process, whether or not a Secondary Plan, area specific zoning by-law or area specific policy will be created in consultation with the local community following an Avenue Study, or area based study”. Let the debate take place.

            Point taken about inflamed rhetoric, though I will rebut that accusations of any opposition to development is NIMBYism does not help foster a civil debate.

            I don’t think you can assume that because the as yet un-built units are selling that they serve the needs of the neighbourhood. Yes, people will buy condo units in 109OZ, and yes, we agree density is desired. What remains to discuss is the scale of the building as proposed, and how to mitigate the increased vehicular traffic and noise that the building will bring. It seems this debate has not occurred yet, so let’s have it before the building gets built.

          • Anonymous

            “they serve the needs of the neighbourhood”

            There is a city and a region beyond the neighbourhood which also have needs. Most, perhaps all, of the hypothetical new residents will not be from the neighbourhood. One can’t invoke “the greater good” and then bar those greater parties from the table.

            Some objections (such as traffic) are within the city’s purview anyway, as there are no neighbourhood-level agencies to take on the added responsibilities or empowered to make additional necessary changes.

          • Lee Zamparo

            I don’t think the needs of the city or region are being neglected, nor is this building on Ossington really the appropriate argument in which to air them. This debate is about the form of one building to appear on Ossington; city wide and regional growth is a much, much wider and complex issue.

            Those who plan to buy units in 109OZ are hardly barred from the process, it’s an open meeting. They can also petition their soon to be councillor, or go directly to city hall.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            Hey, inflated rhetoric is fun … right???? Ah, maybe not.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            At least some of this “need” reflected in (conditionally—buyer beware) sold units may just reflect what some might have thought to be a good investment. Word has it that Reserve only requires 5K down, and will finance the rest of the deposit; word also has it that one can sell the condo before moving in. So perhaps at least some of the need here is the need for profit on an investment.

          • Anonymous

            That sounds typical of real estate. Property changes hands. Unless they do a spectacularly poor job all around, the place will be fully occupied by owners and renters. People’s need to live somewhere will have been met to their satisfaction, regardless of what you or anyone thinks of the condo market.

          • Anonymous

            “the market will allow a higher price for the same units in a shorter building.”

            That contradicts basic supply and demand…

          • Lee Zamparo

            I don’t agree. If this property is so desirable and the developers cannot get an amendment to the bylaws, demand will remain constant and supply will be reduced, resulting in higher prices and therefore more profit for the developer.

          • Anonymous

            Ummm… No. That’s not how supply and demand works – market value is a key contribution to that factor. You can’t just make shit up dude.

          • Scot

            Uh huh. And if a location is in demand and there is less supply, guess what happens to unit price … providing the developer had a scalable project to begin with and had realistic internal rates of return.

          • Anonymous

            That would make perfect sense, if there wasn’t a surrounding area within metres of the proposed development setting the price. Macro, not micro, we’re not discussing Thornhill for chrissake.

          • Scot

            Except the developers haven’t pushed the envelope on Queen West. It’s still low-rise, all the way east to Niagara (with the sole exception of the Chocolate Factory, which filled the former factory’s envelope, and the Candy Factory). The only new mid-rises are on the CAMH site. So if there’s this longing for densification, why weren’t developers on Queen building higher? Or is it rather that the developer, caught headlong in the condo bubble, bought too high and now wants to maximize interest before the bubble crashes down, as it did in 1989? We’re talking condos, after all, not freehold. Did you live through the 1989 bust? I did. It bankrupted supposedly astute investors such as Olympia and York and Confederation Life. Musical chairs time? Jim Flaherty thinks so.

          • Anonymous

            Why do the Chocolate Co. Lofts and CAMH campus, both incredibly close to (in fact, visible from) the location being discuss, get a pass? Why am I expected to read the minds of developers to know why they aren’t all pushing for higher buildings there? Just because there’s property doesn’t mean it’s available for development. You might as well ask why they haven’t torn down the new Trump tower to put in something taller.

    • ossie

      So it’s increased density or Brampton? You clearly know nothing about what makes Toronto interesting.

      • http://twitter.com/tdotgrit TDot Grit

        You clearly don’t understand how a city, and how this city is growing. There’s 100,000+ people moving here every year. Low rise will give way to mid rise, which will give way to high rise. This is a natural transition that occurs everywhere.

        The difference between us is that growth is more important to me, whereas the ‘character’ of your ‘interesting’ neighbourhood is more important to you.

        In the long term, you’re not going to win this one.

        • Vampchick21

          I have to wonder, when the apartment buildings went in on Jameson Ave back in the 50′s, was there this kind of pushback that we see now with the condos?

        • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

          Tell it to the West Village in NYC, or Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Like these areas, the Ossington strip is a beloved and world-renowned restaurant row and destination district, whose eclectic and artisanal character is reflected and housed in its LOWRISE Victorian and other older “main street character buildings”.

          The introduction of MIDRISE onto LOWRISE Ossington would be just as damaging to the character and feel of Ossington as it would to the character and feel of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Ossington is special; it is not a long and broad corridor (technical designation: “Avenue”) of the sort that the City has decided is an appropriate subject for MIDRISE development. Ossington is not an “Avenue” in the technical sense, and never will be. Rather, it is a pedestrian eddy between two Avenues, and the closest thing the West Side has to a piazza. Not all buildings belong all places; the first principle of proper planning is that good development is sensitively integrated into what exists.

        • Scot

          Sure. And of course the Chicago School of Sociology was proven right. Only workees and immigrants live in the inner-city, awaiting the time they can move to leafy suburbs. Happened in just about every major North American city — with Detroit as the prime example. But not Chicago, not Toronto, not Boston, not San Francisco and a whole list of exceptions. Why? Perhaps a look at Jane Jacobs’ work might help, yes? In any case, you’ve already lost this one: the migrants are moving to Peel and York and bypassing Toronto entirely.So who are those people moving into the old City of Toronto? I wish I could answer that one.

    • Anthony

      It’s a false dichotomy (and defeatist, inertial thinking that refuses to adapt) to suggest that our only to options are low-rise suburban dwelling and high-rise urban dwelling. Ossington as it currently exists is precisely the fact that gives the lie to your suggestion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        That’s right. The solution to sprawling outward, devouring farms, is not to sprawl upward, devouring neighbourhoods.

        • Anonymous

          A single mid-rise building does not “devour” a neighbourhood.

  • GDP

    I actually live in the area and am informed and I agree with Anon11 that if don’t like it move. What right do you have to Nimby your way interrogating and intimidating residents in the neighborhood to be against this development. Just because you over paid for your quaint little Victotian home on Argyle doesn’t give you the right to put in the face of people who want to live in this area but can’t afford $800,000 plus for a POS house

    • Benj Hellie

      Chill out. I bought my house on Argyle under the assumption that certain laws protecting my property values would be enforced. It is the government’s responsibility to enforce its own laws. If it decides to break its laws for no other reason than to enrich a certain developer, then the government is taking value from me and giving it to the developer. That is known as “expropriation”.

      • GDP

        Benj, you my friend just proved by this last statement that YOU AR A NIMBY!! If this development was happening one or two blocks away, you wouldn’t fight as much against this development. It’s only because apparently your home value will be negatively affected by this development. Get over it already!!!

        • Anthony

          It sounds like your charge of NIMBYism is shorthand for an argument you’ve yet to provide for why it’s better that a few people profit from being exempt from an existing bylaw while many more people suffer the consequences. Also, notice the irony: you cry ‘NIMBY!’, which implies those opposed to 109OZ are choosing personal pleasure over the common good, whereas in fact it’s Reserve’s personal pleasure that’s being weighed over the common good of community members. You need to stop distracting yourself with the acronym ‘NIMBY’ and provide an actual argument.

          • Anonymous

            No, it sounds like you’re using words you don’t understand…

          • Anthony

            I’ve given an explanation for my claim. Could you explain your claim that I don’t understand the words I’m using?

          • Anonymous
          • Anthony

            Simply pointing to Google entries on ‘NIMBY’ doesn’t show I don’t understand the words I’m using.

          • Anonymous

            By providing no other alternative “definition” does in fact show that you have no idea about the “acronym” you’re using.

            You can’t even provide a source to your perverted definition of the word (read: It’s all in your head)

          • Anthony

            You’ve not shown that explication of the definition is either inaccurate or less informative than yours. You’re not winning any argument by citing non-authoritative websites and refusing to explain your claims.

          • Anonymous

            You could clear it all up, by providing a more authoritative source.

            Oh, what’s that? You can’t? Good. Go away.

          • Anthony

            My authority comes from the reasons I’m giving, whereas you refuse even to offer reasons. Sounds like you’ve tapped out.

          • Anonymous

            LOLWUTx2!!!!

          • Lee Zamparo

            His comment makes sense to me. What does not make sense is the statement (and I see no real argument behind it), that if someone does not agree with the development that they move away. Maybe he was using words that *you* don’t understand?

          • Anonymous

            What does moving away have to do with the recognized definition of NIMBY? Especially considering I haven’t stated anything about the latter?

          • Lee Zamparo

            Pointing out the fallacious argument was intended to speak against GDP’s comment. Debating the definition of NIMBY is not so useful here; no one is suggesting that nothing be built.

          • Anonymous

            You haven’t answered my question…

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            Ah, if I might hazard a little suggestion here — maybe you’re not really so interested in having your question answered? My sense from reading your other stuff up and down this thread is that you are sort of … well, I hate to say it … … trolling.

          • Anonymous

            a cop-out and an insult? Wow, philosophy major, you are!

            I actually haven’t been trolling, but I see you were pretty busy last night both spamming and trolling! Good on you sir!

            A little projection and transference goes a long way!

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            You are wrong. I pronounce it thus as a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. Respect my authority.

          • jake

            The thing you are forgetting though is that it is a very desirable neighbourhood. Many people want to move there but can’t simply because houses cost too much and apartments just aren’t available. I don’t like the way they make these condos either, but not allowing any mid-rise developments is denying many people affordable access to that neighbourhood… it’s very elitist thinking because they wouldn’t build it if there wasn’t demand for it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            My friends in San Francisco teamed up with another family, bought a house, and subdivided it into up and down flats. That increases density without spewing dust, burning gas, messing with anyone, or violating the social contract.

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          I AR A MINBYY????

    • Scot

      Careful, GDP, some of us are long-time tenants. And if you walk the length of Argyle from Shaw to Gladstone, you may note that most of the houses are not Victorians.Which is instructive in itself, reflecting various real estate boom and bust cycles. Most were built in the 1920s, and then the great bust, and then the 1950s.

  • Anonymous

    It’s… it’s like a shoebox!

  • Vampchick21

    Hmmm….this was one of the new build condos in the west end that I was looking at (I plan on buying). However, after taking a look at the floor plans, really…..I think I might be better off renting one of the apartments in the building they just put up next to CAMH. Back to the listings for me!

    • Benj Hellie

      Live in one of those teeny wisps of space and you might end up *in* the CAMH.

      • Vampchick21

        I live in a basement right now. I just want windows. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          Good luck vampchick in your return to the light!!!!!

          • Vampchick21

            remember, my screen name doesn’t mean I think I’m a vampire. Most annoying thing ever.

  • Js

    suck it up, buttercup… I’ve lived in “Liberty Village” for 16 years and look what they did to MY neighborhood… If you don’t want the density of the city, move to Peterborough….

    • Benj Hellie

      You didn’t fight successfully when they expropriated you, therefore my fight against expropriation is illegitimate? sounds like sour grapes.

      • http://twitter.com/tdotgrit TDot Grit

        “Expropriation is the politically motivated and forceful confiscation and redistribution of private property outside the common law.”

        The land does not belong to you, therefore it’s not being expropriated.

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          The land? Did I say anything about the land?

          I’m talking about my enjoyment of my property, which depends on its surroundings, which are protected by zoning laws and the Healthy Neighbourhoods Policy 3 of the Official Plan. I bought my house to live a certain sort of lifestyle on the basis of a legal guarantee of a certain future by the city of Toronto, and if the city abrogates that guarantee without just cause in terms of a definite social good, depriving me of my enjoyment of my property, for the benefit of a developer — then the city has expropriated my property value and handed it to the developer.

    • Anthony

      It’s a false dichotomy to claim that either one lives in a city and passively allows bad development to go unchecked or one lives in a town far outside the city. Why not be actively involved with how one’s city is shaped?

    • Lee Zamparo

      Can’t win, don’t try. I hope you don’t teach that attitude to your kids.

      • Anonymous

        Do you really think dragging in hypothetical children so you can accuse someone of being a bad parent is going to win this debate?

        • Lee Zamparo

          Not really, but I do think that any opposition to Js’ flawed proposition that “if you don’t like it, move out” is worthwhile, even if it’s snarky.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neville-Ross/100002343524258 Neville Ross

      Boy, sheeple like you do know how to give up so quickly; no wonder movements like Occupy (insert city here) have problems with perception, to say nothing of organizations like Smart Growth For Ossington.

  • Anonymous

    Its only 6 storeys tall! How is that too tall for a fairly major street like Ossington? In my opinion we should be encouraging a lot more of this size of building all over the city. i can understand why people are opposed to high rises in such areas but 6 floors barely even qualifies as a mid rise. I think its such a shame that in so much of Toronto your choice is either low rise apts, houses, or gigantic towers.

    All areas of Toronto would be improved by a modest increase in density that enables increased TTC service and local stores that people can walk to, wide spread medium/low density projects like this one would go a long way towards providing the sort of density that allows for all the amenities of urban life without the concrete canyon effect you get in some areas where the sun can only rarely make it to the people on streets.

    Though one thing I can agree on is that I think the ground level retail space should be of similar size to other local retail spaces to support the small independent types of retail that contribute to an areas vitality. One large retailer can overwhelm the smaller retailers around them and that’s not good for any area. Though I cannot envision the size of the planned retail space on this project but if it is so much larger than surrounding retail spaces that could be a problem.

    • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

      We all are on board with the need for density, but the issues here are subtle. First, please look at the specs, and don’t believe the misleading promotional pictures of 109OZ, which make it appear approximately 1/3 smaller than it actually would be: the main picture is simply fiction: it shows 109OZ as only 1.6 times as high as the abutting 3-story building, but in fact, including it’s HVAC story, it would be 2.5 times as high as a 3-story building. More specifically: 109OZ has 6 residential floors, but with its oversized first floor (perfect for the AAA chain retail that is slated to go in there) and it’s 11.5 foot mechanical HVAC “penthouse”, it is 82 feet—the size of an 8 story building. This is more than double any existing building on Ossington. Again, we city residents in the Ossington area are happy to have increased density, in conformity to the Official Plan call for intensification on “mixed-use” areas like Ossington. But we could double and perhaps even triple the existing density on Ossington while remaining within the 14m/46 foot by-law limit. So there is no reason to move directly to MIDRISE development in order to answer the call for growth. Moreover, there is good reason not to do so: Ossington’s distinctive character is very much constituted by the fact that it is a LOWRISE “main street character building” housing small independent businesses—not chain stores of the sort anticipated to be housed in 109OZ. Anyway, growth shouldn’t be willy-nilly; it should be smart. All principles of sound planning say that new development should be appropriately integrated into the existing built form, and moreover should not negatively impact abutting neighborhoods. The 109OZ proposal both grossly departs from the existing streetscape, and would dramatically negatively impact dozens of residential homes. For what? So some developer can make a lot of money? Let’s think about how growth can be smart, compatible with increased density and with retaining the unique character of Ossington as a local, artisanal, destination district.

    • anapana

      PLS stop saying it’s 6 floors (only)
      it is 82 feet – which is
      NINE and a bit floors at 9feet.
      EIGHT and a bit at 10feet

  • Anonymous

    Christ, it’s only a 6 storey building.
    It will cast a shadow on the west side until noon.
    Downtown requires density.
    Get over yourselves or move.

    • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

      109OZ has 6 residential floors, but with its oversized first floor (perfect for the AAA chain retail that is slated to go in there) and it’s 11.5 foot mechanical HVAC “penthouse”, it is 82 feet—the size of an 8 story building. This is more than double any existing building on Ossington. We city residents in the Ossington area are happy to have increased density, in conformity to the Official Plan call for intensification on “mixed-use” areas like Ossington. But we could double and perhaps even triple the existing density on Ossington while remaining within the 14m/46 foot by-law limit. So there is no reason to move directly to MIDRISE development in order to answer the call for growth. Moreover, there is good reason not to do so: Ossington’s distinctive character is very much constituted by the fact that it is a LOWRISE “main street character building” housing small independent businesses—not chain stores of the sort anticipated to be housed in 109OZ. Anyway, growth shouldn’t be willy-nilly; it should be smart. All principles of sound planning say that new development should be appropriately integrated into the existing built form, and moreover should not negatively impact abutting neighborhoods. The 109OZ proposal both grossly departs from the existing streetscape, and would dramatically negatively impact dozens of residential homes. For what? So some developer can make a lot of money? Let’s think about how growth can be smart, compatible with increased density and with retaining the unique character of Ossington as a local, artisanal, destination district.

    • anapana

      PLUS do they mention anywhere that the lobby’s ceiling is 18 feet tall – meaning you can count as 2 floors.
      People have to get informed before juging anyone that are opesed to this project. Going back to the hight – PLS do simple math: 82′ even if divided by 10′ = 8.2 floors. And you must realize no one builds more that 9 feet, meaning 82/9 = 9.1. Pls. stop saying we are cry babies.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        Please! QQ Pleeaaaasssse … QQ QQ QQ … stop QQ …

    • landofoz

      PLS stop saying it’s 6 floors (only)
      it is 82 feet – which is
      NINE and a bit floors at 9feet.
      EIGHT and a bit at 10 feet.

      • Vampchick21

        Please stop repeating over and over and over.

        • Anonymous

          Again, I’m not repeating myself. Or saying the same thing twice.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            Were you making remarks that are redundant? Or perhaps providing assertions the content of which does nothing to modify the context set?

      • Anonymous

        I’m talking about height.
        The height is fine.
        The shadow is negligible.
        Downtown needs to densify.
        End of story.
        You need to move to Waterloo where they like 2 storey buildings.

        • anapana

          because if i have an educated opinion i need to live in waterloo??? really???

        • Anthony

          It’s fallacious (that is, a false dichotomy) to think the choices are only between bad vertical development in Toronto and low-rise communities far flung from the city. That is only only fallacious thinking: it’s also inertial (that is, refuses the openness to adapt and be creative).

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neville-Ross/100002343524258 Neville Ross

          DryDry, why don’t you and the developers of this thing pack up and move to the ‘burbs where this kind of development is needed?

  • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

    Everyone should be aware that the image of the proposal in the promotional picture posted above is entirely fictional. Among other things, it represents the proposed building as being about 1.6 times the height of the 3-story building to the left. That building is 3 stories—about 30 feet high. The proposed building, with its supersized lobby (perfect for the chain store it is expected to house) and it’s 11.5 foot HVAC story (not represented in the picture) will be 82 feet. So in fact 109OZ would be 2.5 times, not 1.6 times, the height of the building next to it. Don’t believe the hype. Look at the specs in the plans—see Smart Growth for Ossington for these.

  • anapana

    PLS stop saying it’s 6 floors (only)
    it is 82 feet tall – which is:

    NINE and a bit floors at 9feet.
    EIGHT and a bit at 10 feet.
    can we agree on that?
    if not – pls do your own math and calculate floors not simply look at the “artist’s rendering” that developer chooses to show. Be alert and aware and do not blindly trust what you see in a drawing – or simply stop commenting about the height issue. thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Hey maybe you could post this 4 more times.

      • Vampchick21

        But I still don’t get it! How many feet tall is it again?

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          Ah, Vampchick, you seemed like a nice person above, how bout laying off on my friend here.

          • Vampchick21

            repeats annoy the hell out of me. Your friend doesn’t need to repeat it over and over and over. There are other talking points on this discussion. Repeating the number of stories of a building is irksome. Sometimes people just need that pointed out to them.

          • anapana

            i posted it 4 different times as 4 separate replies to comments accusing SGO of being “obsessed” with 6 storey building….. simply because they don’t seem to get THE point about height!!! and will repeat if I GET annoyed again (or provoked)! You told me to “shut it” FIVE times????? – as you see, hopefully, i repeated myself FOR a good reason, as much as you did, right? and yes, your posts at first were “very innocent” – maybe keep that way. Also, start having your own opinions – so far i see you only react to comments, but have very, very little to say………. p.s. no, i don’t think i need any pointers from you, thank you for good intentions though.

          • Vampchick21

            PS: The best way to convice people to look at your point of view is not to be, well, you can guess the word. In short, because of how you are expressing your point of view on this particular topic, I’m of the mind to email the developer and tell them to go 10 stories or higher just to irk you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neville-Ross/100002343524258 Neville Ross

            Lady, either read the blog/website and what the group’s proposed, or stop talking; it’s obvious you’re not doing so, and are just trolling for the sake of doing so.

      • Lee Zamparo

        They might have to, you clearly aren’t getting the message.

        • Vampchick21

          I’d rather they didn’t. It’s gone way past annoying. That can’t be their only objection to the proposed development.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            OK! We got a million of em! smartgrowthforossington.ca.

            Here’s #1: they are asking the city to expropriate my legally guaranteed property rights for the attainment of no legally required objective and no social good, and in fact for the great social evils of endangering children, corrupting the fabric of the neighbourhood, introducing a massive nuisance, and obliterating the closest thing the West End has to a European-style piazza — where the only parties that benefit from this are the developer.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            Check out smartgrowthforossington.ca where we run through the case against the proposal at some length. I would be very interested in your reactions.

            But please try to be civil — I am a delicate flower

          • Vampchick21

            ok……but you realize that I was directing my request to stop repeating building height adhoc to the other poster? I kinda figured out from the article and discussion in general about the existance of the website and the case against the proposal. I was hoping anapana would get off her obession with building height. That was annoying.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        Hey maybe you could troll 8 more times!

    • Anonymous

      OMFG it’s SLIGHTLY TALLER than “six floors” might imply.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        Don’t be a weed, Andrew. And 22 feet isn’t ‘slightly taller’, it’s a BIG OL HONKIN HELLA LOT taller.

        • Anonymous

          This fight is about whether the building should be 60 feet tall, or 80 feet. According to you, increasing the building’s height by 30% causes “great social evils of endangering children, corrupting the fabric of the neighbourhood, introducing a massive nuisance, and obliterating the closest thing the West End has to a European-style piazza”. Holy crap! That’s one powerful 30% of a building!

          What’s a weed?

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            No, it is about whether it should be 42 feet tall or 82 feet.

            82 — 42 = 40 which is the height of a whole nother building.

            Buildings are good.

            Buildings atop buildings, not as good.

            Andrew, if you have to ask …

          • Anonymous

            Over here you said, “‘Two floors chopped off’ is lowrise, which would be fine with SGO”. So either those lofts have amazing 20 foot ceilings, or you need to get your story straight.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            Andrew what a sharp cookie you are.

            We have made the initial Planning department document responding to the proposal available at smartgrowthforossington.ca. It contains the architect’s drawings. I invite you to peruse those.

          • Anonymous

            So you agree that you were bulshitting? Not paying attention to you will save a lot of time.

          • anapana

            may I? YES, EXACTLY! the ground floor is 18feet Andrew!!! You’re good with words – are you the same good with math? pls do you calculations – then get your imagination going, if possible? maybe also any ideas who can afford to rent such a space?

          • Anonymous

            So that’s one (1) floor at 18 feet. Original poster was talking about two (2) floors. So you’re still off by at least 12 feet. Again, feel free to come back once you’ve got your story straight.

          • Jessica Marie Wilson

            The plans and the preliminary City Planing report, listing the overall height at 25m (82 feet) are available at the smartgrowthforossington.ca site. Go check for yourself if you don’t believe us.

          • Anonymous

            Remember last night when your fearless leader pleaded with you to “just stop” before he edited the comment?

  • Anonymous

    Toronto needs density, especially so close to downtown. Whether it’s a 6 storey or 9 story building, it’s appropriate for the area and far more so than a 22 storey tower would be. (Personally I don’t care for the floor plans I’ve seen, and we could certainly do with more affordable housing and buildings geared toward families instead of singles and yuppies.)

    The common good is always at the cost of certain individuals, often at no fault of their own. And yes, developers are in it to make a profit – did you really think otherwise? It’s still NIMBYism to oppose all development except for a cherry-picked scenario that serves nobody.

    • Anonymous

      Agree. Summary of opponents’ discussion: “I want denstiy, I just don’t want it near me. Also, I’m not a NIMBY because there might exist a project that I’m in favor of.”

    • Anonymous

      Very well said. I’m so tired of idiots whining that neighbourhoods have to be frozen in time and the building heights have to stay on some ludicrous pre 1970s course.

      • anapana

        and now name calling starts????

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          They got nothin.

          • Anonymous

            “They”? You really need to get a grip.

      • Lee Zamparo

        We all agree that Toronto needs density, no one is arguing that point.

        “The common good is always at the cost of certain individuals, often at no fault of their own. And yes, developers are in it to make a profit – did you really think otherwise? It’s still NIMBYism to oppose all development except for a cherry-picked scenario that serves nobody.”

        In this case, the common good is at the cost of less profit to the developers, as they haven’t figured out how to make adequate profit while respecting the bylaws. Building within the bylaws is hardly a ‘cherry-picked scenario that serves nobody’. It’s a planned growth scenario that serves both the developers, and the new inhabitants of 109OZ as well as the neighbourhood that made this area desirable in the first place. Honestly, I cannot believe that you think Smarth Growth for Ossington is seeking to freeze the neighbourhood in time. I lived on Ossington from 2002 – 2004, and it’s undergone tremendous change from that time to present day. No one wants to freeze the neighbourhood, they just want to preserve some of the qualities that make it great. Development is both welcome and necessary. Can we instead turn the discussion to what form this development should take?

        • Anonymous

          No. The common good is to fit as many people into the city as humanly possible to avoid urban sprawl, which we have learned isn’t in the interest of the common good.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            The solution to sprawling outward, devouring farmland, is not to sprawl upward, devouring neighbourhoods.

          • Anonymous

            You say a lot without saying anything.

            Alternative plans? Would love to hear them!

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            There are many aspects of this claim that might be challenged; here I’ll just note the bearing of an uncontroversial empirical fact As you have probably heard, in the last years there has been an explosion of condos and associated increase in density; but now condos aren’t selling; many units remain unsold, notwithstanding that interest rates are low and the prices haven’t changed that much in the last year. That indicates that the call for density as regards units of the sort at issue in 109OZ has been answered. The sort of density that is still needed in Toronto is family-sized housing, but that’s not the sort on offer in 109OZ.

            Here’s another point: just because we don’t want to sprawl outward doesn’t mean we should sprawl upward. Good growth is appropriately integrated into what exists, and does not create more problems than it solves. 109OZ, if built, would be an example of very bad growth. We have a vision for a better proposal for those lands; see SGO’s site.

      • http://twitter.com/mconagalled Tat Shaw

        it’s not a “neighbourhoods” area under the OP. they’re not idiots either, they are under-served TO residents who deserve better from the TO Planning Dept.

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          BOOM!

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          We’re called ‘Smart Growth for Ossington’ because we are smart; we like growth (not the same as hypertrophy, which is what the developer requests); we build only to “four” stories; and the Ossington Area Neighbourhood is where the crib is at.

  • anapana

    can we make one thing clear? we want change and think of density as a good thing IF FOR the common good of MANY, not solely the developer, who will make money anywhere. MAYBE you should tell the developer to move to the suburbs, or Brampton, or Waterloo, ….and not the residents – sleep on it and maybe you will see how twisted some of opinions here are……

    • Anonymous

      You fail to or refuse to understand that a location on a major bus route and close to 2 major streetcar routes couldn’t be much more perfect for density.

      You probably don’t want that tower to be built at the university/bloor line junction too.

      • anapana

        lmao right about now, really after a few comments you think you know what i want or not and where in the city???? pls don’t get off topic of 109 oz

        • Anonymous

          Oh tell us, Captain NIMBY, how you want more people to live in the downtown core, especially on major TTC routes. We are all so excited to hear your plan.

          • Anonymous

            Obviously, they want to build down. Inverted high rise, thirty stories into the earth.

            Of course, the deep apartments will be connected directly to the PATH. The residents won’t be allowed to come up to the surface at Ossington and pollute the neighborhood with their commonness.

          • Anonymous
          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            We want to build *through*, bro. Like, into the 8th dimension, man, the dimension of mind, of spirit, dude — the dimension of *within*.

          • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

            There is an enormous amount of room for growth on Ossington without going beyond the existing by-law limits—2-4 times, we estimate (I’m going to get more precise figures soon). We embrace growth, but smart growth. Our specific vision for smart growth on the lands at issue is at SGO.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        You fail or refuse to understand that the Official Plan guarantees me protection from Midrise development along Ossington as a legal obligation of the city. What more is there to say?

        You fail or refuse also to understand that Ossington is the closest thing on the West End to a European-style piazza. The idea that all streetscapes must be treated in exactly the same way — >>>>cram as many people in as possible COS WE’LL ALL DIE!!!!!!<<<<< — is crude and philistine.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neville-Ross/100002343524258 Neville Ross

        NONE of these towers should be built at those locations, period, especially the proposed one near the corner of Yonge & Bloor. All that they’re doing is just putting stress on the city’s systems anyway.

    • Anonymous

      “we want change and think of density as a good thing IF FOR the common good of MANY”

      Condo units: 86
      Twitter Followers (@sgossington) : 20

      Indeed!

      • SRP

        20 followers???

        • Anonymous

          Do I have a stutter?

        • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

          Yeah, I only started — what do they call it? ‘Tweetering’? A couple days ago. I suck at it! I posted so many reax to the CC meeting to the wrong hashtag! Boo hoo, what a silly n00b … QQ

          This whole tweetering is new to me, I’m mostly a ‘dead tree’ guy. That flyer I wrote? Probably about 25,000 people read it all around the West Side.

          That was good enough to get 600+ people to give up their Monday evening to hang out in a gym listening to developers drone on and on. Long-time observers say it was the best event in 7 years.

          Now you go try doing that.

          • Anonymous

            Ever heard of WEMF? Yea, you’re welcome. Now, shut your f’n assumption hole.

      • anapana

        lol!!! and twitter followers proves what? oh please……
        did you come to the meeting last night dear??? and see for yourself how many people SGO inspired to get involved and come talk about ossington? way, way, way MORE than 86.

        i assure you it was the biggest meeting of the last 7 years in the vicinity.
        so no, your “20 followers” comment goes out the window!
        do some research in THE real world! should those that do not twit not have the right to live on ossi in your opinion?
        and no – i am not planning on having an acc. on twitter any time soon, but have a right to voice my concerns about the street i live on. (btw – we talk face to face, since we’re all neighbours of sgo)

        for the RECORD: pls do NOT misquote me again, nor edit my sentences to your liking!!!

        • Vampchick21

          You were one of the shouters last night, weren’t you.

          • anapana

            nope, actually i wasn’t – but felt like shouting plenty of times…

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            Hey, did you know that guy from the Beach was seen hanging out with this posse of developers, so he seemed to have been sent over to act as an Agent Provocateur? Looks like you fell right into their trap, sadly.

          • Vampchick21

            What? Ummm….I wasn’t there the other night, I was making reference to the other article here. I live in Parkdale.

        • Anonymous

          You’re hilariously out of touch…

          “do some research in THE real world! should those that do not twit not have the right to live on ossi in your opinion?”

          Translation needed…

          • anapana

            do you say the same to your parents? i have a suspicion could be your mother, so pls some respect would be nice. let me correct myself “tweet” – now that i know that you tweet on twitter…. hoping that now you understand.

          • anapana

            do you say the same to your parents? i have a suspicion you’re young enough that i could be your mother, so pls some respect would be nice. let me correct myself “tweet” – now that i know that you tweet on twitter….

          • Anonymous

            LOL. OMGWTFBBQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

            a wop bomalumop a lop bam boom to you, my brother.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        600 people packing the Trinity Center last night. BOOOOOM!

    • http://twitter.com/mconagalled Tat Shaw

      Would you be happy being told what to do with what you legally owned? Would you be happy to ignore your legally-given rights? I suspect this building would get approved at greater height and density if the developer got pissed enough to take it to the OMB. Best thing you and your fellow community-minded neighbours could do right now is hire a professional before you blow your brains out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

        I believe it is I whose rights are legally guaranteed by the Official Plan. The developer is asking me to abrogate my rights solely to help them get even richer.

        I would be interested to know why you think the OMB would have anything positive to say about this proposal. We lay out the case against in extensive detail at smartgrowthforossington.ca: please review our case there and then present me with objections.

        The residents’ association here is investigating retaining legal counsel, just as you recommend. Thank you for the suggestion.

        • http://twitter.com/mconagalled Tat Shaw

          Yes, I will take a look and report back. However, I caution you on hiring a lawyer rather than an experienced planner – and preferably one who works with communities. The TO dev community is currently exercising a hold over lawyers and planners such that what you might recruit cud be dubious. There’s a whole strategy to be played prior to an OMB challenge that can be very cost-effective. Subject to a review of your objections, I’d say you’re in trouble if the local cllr is in support of this one – and that does seem to be the case.

  • Anonymous

    This is the worst comments section of all time.

    Why does it indent and indent and indent replies to the point where the column is 2 characters wide? It looks like crap and is unreadable.

    Why can’t you just colour code each post and its replies?

    Or just indent once, so all subsequent replies are indented the same way?

    • http://www.facebook.com/benj.hellie Benj Hellie

      Srsly. When the exchange over the definition of ‘NIMBY’ was squished to one letter wide it became hard to follow.

      … on second thought, maybe that’s a good thing

      • Anonymous

        That’s cause you’re looking at it on a desktop. It’s painfully obvious you can’t see past your own nose, your comment just underscores that…

  • Anonymous

    “This is the worst comments section of all time.”

    Have you been to BlogTO lately?

    Oh, you mean the formatting, not the content…

  • Anonymous

    Not this kind of density, and it should be built in places that need it, as I’ve mentioned before.

    Strange thing; every year I go to a convention in Richmond Hill, and on the way to and from the hotel it’s held at, I see these new apartments being built in one area two blocks from the hotel-NONE of which are as big or tower over everything, as they do here in downtown Toronto. I wonder why is that?

    • Anonymous

      Gosh, if you go to Orillia you won’t find any tall buildings at all! I guess we’re idiots for building anything over four storeys here in the largest city in the country.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neville-Ross/100002343524258 Neville Ross

        No, but we would be idiots for building anything that is too tall and destroys the unique qualities of the neighborhood in question Places like these could be built in the suburban sections of Toronto and things would be better off since they wouldn’t be disrupting a unique and well-balanced neighborhood. If you can’t get that, then I don’t know what you would get.

  • Anonymous

    Not to forget, it’s also extortion.

  • Scot

    I have to question the Toronto “creds” of the many folk who cite Nimbyism. Nimbyism is when the province wants to put a windmill on your lakefront property. Nimbyism is when the City wants to open a new homeless shelter in your neighbourhood.Nimbyism is when you stand in the way of the greater good. Opposing a bad project is not nimbyism. In fact, we need more of it.If you want to see what the stakes are (for those who claim to live in the neighbourhood), take a walk. Go to the southeast corner of Dovercourt and Bloor. Three towers that never should have been built (and from which people fall from time to time). One era’s version of intensification that destroyed a coherent neighbourhood. Have you ever noticed that as you step from the east to the west side of Dovercourt, you’re entering very different territory. The retail strip from Ossington to Dovercourt is functional, from Dovercourt to Dufferin, less so. But that was the era of “blockbusting,” when developers intimidated residents into selling their places. I don’t think it’s nimbyism to oppose a bad project, especially when the developer tries to intimidate residents by saying we’re just doing what the city wants. The city is its residents, not all at once, by neighbourhood by neighbourhood and street by street. These are the lessons imparted to us by the activists of the 1970s, who — witnessing the growth at any cost mindset of the 1950s and 1960s — opposed the destruction of Old City Hall, the swathe the Spadina Expressway would have cut through the Annex, the blockbusting of old neighbourhoods for towers with all mod cons — all in the name of progress and growth.

  • Anonymous

    I’m generally for good mid-rise development anywhere in Toronto, as it makes living here more affordable and can improve neighborhoods by improving density. The one thing I don’t get about this development is the number of parking spaces. I agree with concerned residents that it seems excessive to pack 70 cars underground on Ossington, which is mostly a pedestrian, transit and cycling neighborhood. The only other iffy thing I see is the retail space. Grocery store maybe?

    I really don’t get the privacy concerns with the balconies. Come on folks. Are we still that private in Toronto? Do we need to live like shut-ins?

  • Anonymous

    I wonder how many of the people opposed to this development live 100m down the street in that new townhouse “complex” which happens to be 4.5 storeys, or why this group didn’t protest that development.