Old Hotel /Taverns along Dundas Street East Start Auto and Rewrap
There is a good mix of architectural styles along this stretch. There is potential for mid rise development on the west side of Parliament and Dundas similar to the new development in Regent Park. The redevelopment of the historical property at King and Berkeley Street below is an excellent example of how a heritage building can incorporated incoprorated into new condo development.
Freshco at Dundas and Parliament is a good example of multi storey housing with commercial development on the ground floor. Daniels Corporation, the builders of the New Regent Park, was awarded the 2012 Tarion Award in the High Rise Builder of the Year. For details visit Tarion's website http://www.tarion.com/About-Tarion/Tarion-Awards-of-Excellence/Pages/default.aspx
The old hotel on the north west corner of Dundas and Parliament (see above left) is a good solid building surrounded by a mishmash of commercial buildings to the north and the west. There are many old hotel/ taverns in the area that could and should be incorporated into new uses and development projects.
Dundas Street has more than its share of low end rentals, rooming houses and group homes. There is very little owner occupied housing other than the Imperial Optical Condos between Ontario and Seaton. An improvement plan for the area should encourage some condo conversions of existing properties along the strip.
The Royal Oak Hotel 376 Dundas Street East (see above center) was purchased in 2011 by Mr. Haseeb Mushtaq, an experienced hotel operator who is moving forward with a complete interior gut and renovation. Area residents met with him and he presented plans for a 21 room mid range hotel with a cafe on the street level. He intends to operate the hotel but lease out the cafe/lobby area and boulevard patio to a experienced cafe/coffee shop operator. The plan went to Committee of Adjusment in July of 2013 to deal with the hotel zoning and minor parking issues; both variances were approved. The owner is activiely seeking a tenant interested in running a small cafe or other business in the front area of the main floor and basement. Unfortunately the brickwork on the building was in very bad shape and in danger of collapsing, thus the property has been stuccoed to reinforce the failing brickwork. Replacement/repair of the brick proved far too expensive.
The basement is in the process of being lowered so there will be great ceiling height there which could accommodate a range of businesses from a gym to an art gallery. We will keep in contact with the new owner and keep area residents informed of new developments. Contact information for the new owner Haseeb Mushtaq (Sam) is firstname.lastname@example.org.
382, 386 and 388 Dundas Street East is in the process of being renovated to create a large number of single rooms by the owner Dave Brown. Mr. Brown went to the OMB after neighbours, Councillor McConnell, City Planners and the Residents Association objected at Committee of Adjustment to the plan. The OMB sided with Mr. Brown and approved a plan which is essentially a rooming house with over 50 rooms. The plan calls for far too many small rooms rather that a mix of bachelors, one bedroom and family sized units which creates a better and healthier mix of tenants for the area. The area needs housing that attracts a mix of single men, women, couples and families to the area.
It is our understanding that Mr. Brown is in a lease discussion with a housing provider named Reva Jewell Aboriginal Supportive Housing. Their mission is to provide Aboriginal supportive housing that incorporates traditional healing and concepts of mental health recovery, hope, education, resiliency, self determination and setting attainable goals.
The housing is modeled after Houselink Community Homes, a non profit housing provider in the City of Toronto that provides supportive housing for 300+ members.
We have asked clarification from Councillor McConnell as to how this building might operate. Will it be a group home?, a rooming house?, and would it require licensing under provincial and city regulations. Will advise as we receive further information.
The intersections of Berkeley, Ontario and Seaton all have interesting commercial buildings with wide boulevards on the corners that could lend themselves to a variety of shops or businesses. The two storey building that houses Start Auto and Rewrap Upholstery sits on a large lot which will do doubt be building interest to developers -- maybe a new low rise incorporating mixed housing and commercial lofts which would still accommodate Start Auto and Rewrap on the ground floor. We do not want to loose these successful neighborhood businesses.
To the left is an example of a mixed used development at Sumach and King Street East which includes a Car Dealership on the ground floor and high end condos above.
The Seaton to Sherbourne blocks are in need of some more serious improvements. There is very little along this block that relates to the residential side streets around it. The intersection of Dundas and Sherbourne is routinely noted as one of the most dangerous corners in the city. No doubt those statistics take in the problematic hostels and social housing buildings in the immediate area. With the increased pedestrian traffic between the downtown core and the new Regent Park, we should see improvements in the commercial properties along this stretch. There is also the potential for Ryerson University and George Brown College expanding into the Sherbourne/Dundas area. The Garden District to the West of our area has challenges around George Street and Filmore's Tavern/Hotel and changes there could dramatically improve Dundas Street East.
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