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cityscape

UrbanToronto: King-Spadina Residents Meet to Discuss the Future of the Neighbourhood

Residents sat down with city planners and Councillor Adam Vaughan to talk about the challenges facing the area.

The development, design, and history of building projects, brought to you by UrbanToronto.ca.

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Materials at each table allowed participants to record written and visual comments.

The King-Spadina neighbourhood is seeing a lot of change, given the massive amounts of development underway and in consideration, including the landmark Mirvish+Gehry proposal that is heading for the Ontario Municipal Board. On November 25, approximately 50 residents from around the King-Spadina neighbourhood joined city planners and Ward 20 Councillor Adam Vaughan for a discussion about community services and the public realm in the King-Spadina East area.

Along with the upcoming King-Spadina Heritage Conservation District (HCD) report that will be released in the new year, the pieces are slowly coming together to establish recommendations and guidelines to make new development better fit into the area. Conclusions from this meeting will form a piece of the recommendations and guidelines, and along with the HCD Report, will inform any policy updates to the city’s Urban Design Guidelines, Zoning By-law, and King-Spadina Secondary Plan [PDF].

“We’re really interested to know how you view your neighbourhood,” said Liora Freedman, from Community Planning. “What needs to be updated in these policies to reflect what’s on the ground?”

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Residents gather at tables before the beginning of the meeting.

The community, through prior consultation, had previous indicated concerns about:

  • neighbourhood capacity of things such as social services;
  • protecting employment uses;
  • implementing regulations on LED screens;
  • the distance between tall buildings;
  • and day care space availability.

This meeting was designed to help inform a few of these points moving forward. The first half of the meeting was dedicated to reviewing the current state of social services and facilities in the neighbourhood, including (but not limited to) child care centres, libraries, and public schools. The second half looked at the public realm in the neighbourhood, such as where opportunities might exist to create pedestrian connections between streets, and what areas might be desirable for new public space.

Head over to UrbanToronto.ca to learn more about this consultation.

Photos by Eddie LaRusic.

Comments

  • sp

    Adam Vaughan is a condo loving weasel who needs to step down.

    • scottld

      Condos are places where people live. Got a problem with that?

      • Phil

        Condos in downtown TO are frequently vacant as many are purchased remotely by speculators. This is not a well kept secret and you should educate yourself.
        That they’re not “places where people live” is actually a large part of the problem.

        • scottld

          So? The vast majority are inhabited. If they were not there would be no speculator market.

          • Phil
          • vampchick21

            I think you skimmed past the part where all those investors are using those units for rental income….as in, they rent them to tenants to live in.. So they ARE places where people live.

          • scottld

            Hallelujah. Sometimes its like talking to Grandpa Simpson online. From the article Mr. Expert posted “No one really knows how many of the 55,342 condos now under construction across the GTA are owned by investors — or what they will do if Canada is hit by economic shock waves from other parts of the world that could send house prices tumbling and, with them, consumer confidence and spending.” My favourite part is “No one really knows”. End of story.

          • Phil

            Pffft. You’re right, I did. It’s still a poorly kept secret that a lot of the units are purchased and never lived in, and we don’t have a source of numbers for that. What the article doesn’t tell you is how many people wanted to live there and didn’t realize how bad the situation was.
            I think if you want to describe places as “a place where people live” there ought to be families setting roots, not investors fueling a bubble of low quality units. This does a better job than I can explaining http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes/the-condo-game

          • vampchick21

            i agree, we need far more units, condo and otherwise, to fit a family in downtown, downtown east and downtown west. Developers seem to be focusing far more on the young professional and the retired older couple and the middle aged no kids and ignoring families.

          • Phil

            There’s that, and sustainability. There are inadequate checks on the quality of the towers and it’s at the risk of the buyers, who usually pre-purchase them and get stuck with the results. The old apartments we’re used to that were built back in the 70′s were built for the long term. These condos are not.

          • vampchick21

            Depending on the developer, yes. I’ve heard bad things about some, and the one that built the one we live in is pretty good. My hubby is a property manager so I have a pretty clear idea of issues with developers :)

          • dsmithhfx

            That’s a better way to make the same point. A lot of the condos are too tiny, and too expensive. They were built for speculators, i.e. to cram as many into the same area as possible. This could get real ugly, real fast.

          • scottld

            Again so what? There will be a collapse and the market will correct and people will live in condos. Given that my office is dead center in condoville the thousand of people I see every day and many who I work with who are not ghosts. Lots of people live in condos that why you can see a rapid expansion of stores like Shoppers and Soebys and Rabba and restaurants. Or maybe the stores are vacant too; owned by speculators. You should get more often and meet the people you dont think exist. Why dont do all of us a favour and use google to look up City of Toronto stats and how many people live downtown NOW compared to 10 years ago. I have now had enough clown time for today.

    • 4ChanApologist

      I don’t see the connection between these two statements.