This once grand lady of early Toronto has seen better times in the blocks Carlton to Queen. Like Jarvis Street, this was once the street of choice in Toronto. Although many of the original houses have been saved, several have been demolished due to poor upkeep by owners not keen on renovating and developing potential new lives for the buildings. Sherbourne Street has been extremely slow in reinventing itself along this stretch and a master plan is needed to bring a better balance of housing stock and income levels to bring new life to the street. Several vacant lots line the street and many of the old houses are in varying stages of neglect. The house picture above right has a demolition permit posted on the front of the building. New residential development which encompasses the remaining vintage houses with some commercial retail at the major intersections would be a welcome addition to our major intersections.
The Brad Lamb King Street East Development pictured below is of a size and scale that could potentially work at certain locations in our neighbourhood.
The row or early residential buildings now housing the Dan Harrison Social Housing Complex was saved when the city integrated a low rise apartment block behind, but the old houses look tired and in need of refurbishment. The entire Dan Harrison complex has many problems and the over-concentration of one type of housing along this stretch of Sherbourne has created a ghetto atmosphere. Like the old Regent Park, there is also a need for a new mix of housing stock along this stretch and any new development should include owner occupied housing units. Although we are getting new condominium builds to the north and south, we need to see good quality and good sized units developed along this strip. The street could be primarily residential as there is no streetcar and limited vehicle traffic along Sherbourne making it fairly quiet. Sherbourne Street south of Gerrard is currently zoned for neighbourhood densities and would be a good location for owner occupied infill townhouse development.
The Maxwell Meighen Hostel at Sherbourne and Queen, and Seaton House on George Street are far too big for the neighbourhood and hostel providers need to spread out the number of beds into all communities to avoid overwhelming specific neighbourhoods.
Sherbourne Health Center also sits on a large piece of property adjacent to Alan Gardens. When the Mike Harris government closed Central and Wellesley Hospitals, an opportunity for residential development on Sherbourne overlooking the Park was lost with the development of the Sherbourne Health Center. Health Centers are great but do they really need the million dollar view? There is a fair sized parking lot on the site and Sherbourne Health also owns property at the Gerrard and Sherbourne corner. Hospitals and Health Centers have surprisingly limited stimulus on surrounding commercial strips. You would think well paid staff and clients drawn to the area would have a more positive trickle down effect on neighbouring businesses but there seems to be little evidence of this.
Read On! Click for Carlton Street or Gerrard Street, or Dundas Street or Residential Side Streets or Parliament Street or The Laneways or Neighbourhood Social Housing or New Development Survey or Neighbourhood Flow or Greenspace and Public Art