Seaton, Ontario, Berkeley, Milan and Poulett Streets
For the most part, the residential side streets have been largely preserved and renovated by caring and house proud home owners. There are, however, pockets of rental housing and rooming houses in various stages of disrepair. The non- resident landlord seems to be the greatest problem for the neighbourhood. It is usually not difficult to spot a rental or rooming house in the area. The properties are generally not well maintained and often garbage and recycling bins line the front of the property. Owner occupied houses, duplexes and triplexes generally seem to be the best cared for properties though there are always exceptions. We would like to encourage more owner occupied housing in the area and generally when rental properties come on the market they are renovated back to single family units. Some former rental/rooming houses are unfortunately in such a state of disrepair that demolition and new infill is often the only financially viable solution. There has recently been a move by developers to buy us small cottages and replace them with larger three story houses, duplexes and triplexes. Properties with income potential are attractive to buyers to help with the large mortgages that current house prices in the neighbourhood are commanding. Smaller cottages do not fill the demand etc. and will likely continue to be bought up for redevelopment. Heritage Conservaton District designation which is now in the works will likely put an end to heritage demolition but until that is in place there will be continued proposals to demoish small houses on larger lots.il The area continues to be a neighbourhood of choice for young professionals looking for 3 bedroom homes.. There does however seem to be an exodus by young families when children hit school age due to concerns with area schools. There is also potential for better quality retail and restaurants where the side streets intersect with main streets such as Gerrard and Dundas. Buildings like the former White Hotel at Ontario and Gerrard or the former Stoupy's Tavern at Ontario and Dundas could both house a cafe or restaurant with a sidewalk patio along the wide boulevard facing the street.
There will no doubt be proposals for new development on the properties backing onto streets like Poulett behind Parliament Street and the Seaton Laneways backing onto Sherbourne Street. Hopefully new buildings will be of a scale that does not overwhelm the neighbourhood with any higher elevations facing onto the main streets stepping down to the height of the residential streets behind. Development on streets backing onto commercial main streets should have a residential aspect at the back of the properties but current mixed commercial/residential zoning does allow for full commercial development on those particular lots.
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