New Infill Development Potential
under construction renderings to follow.
We have identified areas in and around the neighbourhood which are currently either vacant or one storey commercial buildings where new infill housing or mixed commerical/infill housing would be a good fit. We hope to create new urban renewal along our main streets which respect heritage properties while encouraging a better mix of land usage to up densities and create a better mix of street activity along our commercial main streets. Main streets with a variety of retail, residential and commercial activity will breath new life into the neighbourhood while still respecting the residential neighbourhood. Our next steps will be to look at how new development will impact on our residential streets in regards to pedestrian and traffic flow and what impact new commercial development will impact on such things as parking etc. We will also research how many new residential and commercial units of a reasonable height and density could potentially fit into our area without overwhelming what is already here. The following map is a preliminary look at what and where new development could easily fit into the neighbourhood. We have based the height and densities and type of housing and commercial buildings which could be added to our area on our recent development survey see link below. We are in no way suggesting that certain property owners should relocate outside the area but how they might consider better utilizing their properties through mixed development schemes. This is a work in process and we are keen for input from area residents and businesses. Should you have any suggestions or question or comments please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Encouraging the Best Kind of Neighbourhood Development
The city and proincial agencies involved in urban development need to give city planners and neighbourhood residents the right tools to encourage the best and most balanced communities. Decision making needs to be based on the needs and the good health of neighbourhoods. Densities and concentration put considerable strain on the neighbourhod fabric and controls on too much and too little need to be put firmly in place. Although there are very low zoning heights in place for neighbourhoods like ours, proposals for extroadinarily high rise development continue to be the norm in areas adjacent. There needs to be fairly strict height restrictions put in place in both Cabbagetown South and the Garden District. MId rise construction attracts buyers who are interested in Neighbourhoods and the sociability of those communities. HIgh rise development often attracts investors who are not interested in being part of a neighbourhood but look only at making a profit.
The provincial Ontario Municipal Board needs to recognize that neighbourhoods and especially heritage neighbourhoods and the surrounding main streets should be protected. Developers have lots of opportunities in our area to make considerable profits within a low to mid rise neighbourhood zoning. Heritage zoning needs to concentrate their efforts on how to preserve the general feel of the streetscape and protect those properties in danger while encouraging refurbishment with flexibility.
The City needs to quickly update outdated and excessive parking requirements, emergency exit regulations and construction techniques that make building mid-rise difficult. There needs to flexibility in working in and around Heritage Neighbourhoods which concentrate regulations around the important issues of saving heritage structures while allowing more modern building and restoration practices.
Residential Side Streets
There is little opportunity for new infill development on our residential side streets other than Bleeker Street just north of our area. (see Carlton Street below) Rooming Houses continue to be a problem and the most likely solution is to encourage those properties to be converted to either owner occupied single family, duplexes or triplexes. Rental Housing with the owner on site should be encouraged through property tax incentives. Rooming house tenants in need of more support should be housed in well managed and evenly distributed supportive housing on main streets.
Carlton Street is a healthy balance of businesses, housing and services with little room or need for change. Other than some potential for infill on the rear of the properties on the south side of the street facing Doctor Oh Lane the southern stretch of Carlton is best left alone. The corner of
Sherbourne and Carlton and Bleeker Street offer some potential for infill development such as low rise condos or townhouses. The parking lot servicing the Sacer-Coeur Eglise Church facing Bleeker Street as a well as the lots behind St Peters Church and Manse and the Heritage Building housing the Second Mile Club could be reconfigured to include low rise residential units.
Most of Gerrard Street east of Ontario Street to Parliament is in good shape and there is little room for development other than some minor infill along Drovers Lane. The Beer Store property should be redeveloped to include a low rise stacked townhouse condo complex with retail facing Gerrard Street. There is a short commercial block already on the south side of Gerrard and additional commercial/residential development on the Beer Store Lot would enhance a village like shopping district here. We would recommend the Beer Store either relocate to a new mixed
development near the Parliament Gerrard corner or in the building housing Sobeys at Dundas and Parliament. The Beer Store could also be part of the redevelopment of the lot where it currently is located. We would recommend that LCBO and Beer Stores amalgamate locations in the downtown core and stick to major intersections. Stand alone Beer and LCBO stores should be discouraged and should be incorporated within mixed commercial/retail/residential development.
Converting the old hotel at the corner of Gerrard and Ontario to a resturant/boutique hotel would bring some much needed change to the corner.
The east side corners of Sherbourne and Gerrard should also be developed with low to mid rise housing with storefront commercial on the street level.
Other than the Start Auto Building at Berkeley and Dundas Street and the short block next to Metropolitan Glass there is little room for infill development along this stretch. Poperties with wide boulevards where Seaton, Ontario and Berkeley cross Dundas could house cafes and restaurants or fruit/plant stands and would help draw retail traffic to the area. Kiosks or vending carts might also work along this stretch. There are several commercial retail storefront properties that
rendering by Don Purvis
have been converted to housing. Storefronts should function as storefronts. The building housing Council Fire Community Center needs to be rethought. More of a fortress in look than a community center the former Korean Church needs a more focused entrance that relates to the street. This rendering proposes a light filled addition on the roof.
Although the north side of Shuter has a mix of housing types the Seaton corner could house infill townhouses or low rise stacked units to balance lower Seaton Street. The Moss Park complex and large parking lots requires massive rethinking. Phased reconstruction along the perimeter of the complex and demolition of the towers could facilitate a needed restructering of the housing complex. The street grid should reintroduce, Seaton, Ontario and Berkeley streets with mixed use retail/commercial and residential properties facing the streets. There are some interesting buildings near the Parliament Street corner that could be rethought. Building on the rooftops of existing buildiings could be an interesting way to add new housing options throughout the city. Not everyone wants to live in high rise condominiums and not every conrner of the city should be redeveloped into high rises.
Vacant lots should be developed to include low to mid sized owner occupied housing such as condos, townhouses, stacked townhouses and co-ops. Retail and commercial space should be introduced expecially at or near all major intersections.
We have undertaken a study of one vacant lot south of Dundas Street and have envisioned a 12 storey building with approximaetly 90 units consisting of 3 bedroom units = 140 sq. metres, 2 bedroom units = 93 sq. metres and 1 bedroom units = 65 sq. metres with potential for 124 parking spots. A second level of parking could help free up surface lots and parking pads for additional infill housing behind heritage buildings on Dundas and Pembroke Streets. We would strongly advocate that all heritage properties in the area be saved and no more demolition permits be issued in the area.
rendering by Mark Lamarino
Aging high rise market rent units should be refurbished or reworked in part as coops or condos . The city should consider relaxing policies around conversion of rental units to coops and condos to create affordable home ownership options.
Dan Harrison Toronto Housing Complex should be converted to a tennant operated co-op similar to the Atkinson Co-op in Toronto's west end. for information please see. http://www.coophousing.com/development/development_atkinson.asp .
Toronto Housing Authority at 155 Sherbourne Street should also consider a co-op conversion.
Maxwell Meighan Hostel. Like Seaton House on George Street the hostel should consider a total renovation of the Moss Park location. The number of beds should be reduced and supportive transitional housing should be part of the redevelopment. Clients with alcohol and drug problems need both rehab and support with addiction issues. Alcohol and prescribed drug use should be considered on site under controlled circumstances rather than pushing such behaviour out onto the surrounding neighbourhoods. Smaller well managed hostel/supportive housing should be evenly distributed throughout the city.
Several Sections of Parliament Street should be redeveloped. One storey buildings such as the
former Blockbuster site, Shoppers Drug Mart, Salvation Army Store, No Frills and the parking lot behind etc. need to be rethought. Low to midrise housing with large commercial space facing Parliament Street and appropriate below grade parking could greatly increase function and hopefully introduce affordable housing options.
The Council Fire Building at Dundas and Parliament could use a facelift. This rendering proposes a glass atrium on the roof and a more open and pronounced entrance facing the corner.
Should the Duke of York School be put up for sale a new neighbourhoood of townhouses and stacked towwnhouses would help connect the Corktown, Cabbaggetown South, Terfan and New Regent Park neighbourhoods.
There is considerable potential for coachhouse development along many of our laneways. Prefab housing stock could be put in place with minimum disruption on tight sites. A mixture of owner
occupied units and income potential for homeowners could be a good fit for the neighbourhood. The parking pads behind the commercial property shown below have been rethought to include both parking and housing above.
Making our laneways more appealing and opening up properties to more function than just parking behind locked gates and garage doors would bring more eyes and windows to the rear alleys. Coachouses could also function as small businesses such as potters or bicycle repair especially on those laneways between commercial and residential streets.
Read On! Click for Carlton Street or Gerrard Street, or Dundas Street or Sherbourne Street or Parliament Street or The Laneways or Residential Side Streets or New Development Survey or Neighbourhood Flow or Social Housing in the Neighbourhood or Greenspace and Public Art