The Oriole Park Association
Development is an ongoing activity and concern in the midtown neighbourhoods of central Toronto. The Oriole Park Association is involved in the community consultations of many of these projects on an ongoing basis. Updates will be provided here as well as on our Facebook and Twitter platforms as regularly as possible. We welcome input and questions at any time. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CANADA SQUARE / BUSLANDS DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL
OXFORD PROPERTIES GROUP AND CANADIAN TIRE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST RE-DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION FOR THE SITE ON THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF YONGE AND EGLINTON
The zoning bylaw amendment application, a request for re-development of the 9.2 acre site bounded by Yonge, Eglinton, Duplex and Berwick, was submitted to the City of Toronto on December 24, 2020. The developers, Oxford Properties Group and Canadian Tire Real Estate Investment Trust, want to construct five residential and office towers with heights from 45 to 70 storeys.
On February 24, 2021, Councillor Josh Matlow presented his motion to defer the Preliminary City Staff Report at Toronto and East York Community Council until the next TEYCC meeting on April 21, 2021. His motion was adopted.
Upcoming Community Meeting
Please stay tuned for an upcoming community meeting hosted by Councillor Josh Matlow, not yet scheduled. A notice will be posted on the Oriole Park Association web site.
In a recent media interview with the North Toronto Post (Village Post), Councillor Matlow expressed his concern about the Canada Square re-development proposal. He added that “this development is different from others in the area due to being located at the site of the former TTC bus barns.” Matlow explained: “While there are private lease agreements on the lands, the land itself is public land. It’s owned by the city.”
Oriole Park Community Concerns
The Oriole Park community is concerned about the adverse impacts of this proposed re-development on the adjacent stable residential neighbourhood. During March 2021, the Oriole Park Association conducted an on-line survey of its residents about how they view this proposal.
The following are some of our residents’ main concerns.
1. Proposed Development Too Massive. Overall, the development is too big and too massive. The proposed heights of 45 to 70 storeys will overwhelm the Yonge/Eglinton area, which is already overflowing with people. Community infrastructure, educational and social services are stretched to the limit. One resident noted: “My biggest concern is the height of the towers, way too high. Where is the plan for infrastructure to accommodate all the people who will move into these towers? How does the green space stay green with no sun?”
2. Clear Boundaries Needed. There must be a clear delineation between the boundaries of the development site and the adjacent stable residential neighbourhood, to the south and west. This delineation has not been clearly established.
One resident said: “We have been assured by City planners that Berwick and Duplex will always be designated as firm boundaries for the neighbourhood.”
3. Infrastructure Deficit. With excessive development in the area, there has been insufficient discussion on providing the necessary physical infrastructure such as water and sewage, as well as the chronic shortage of schools.
One resident remarked: “I looked over the plans. The greed of developers never ceases to amaze me. How will all these new renters and homeowners get to work. The subway is already overcrowded. Where will they send their kids to school? The schools are overcrowded.”
4. Lack of Parks and Public Open Space. There is a serious lack of parks and public open space, particularly after the RioCan development enclosed most of the public open space on the northwest corner of Yonge/Eglinton in 2010.
One OPA member remarked: “The money has been collected and designated for a substantial public park on this site, going back many years.”
5. Serious Traffic Congestion and Infiltration.
A Chaplin Estates’ resident wrote: “The Canada Square – Canadian Tire REIT proposal calls for 864 car parking spaces but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The traffic implications of cars journeying to and from this site and infiltrating into our neighbourhood are substantial. Has the City Planning Department done a comprehensive traffic study?”
6. Adverse Environmental Impact. Residents are concerned about the environmental impact from demolishing the existing buildings on this site.
A distinguished geography and urban planning expert who lives in the neighbourhood said: “The proposed demolition of three relatively large and newish buildings on the site could be considered an environmental disaster. The CO2 released from the demolition and destruction of so much concrete, glass, and steel is truly immense.”
Who are the developers?
Oxford Properties Group, a multi-national real estate company, is owned by OMERS (the Ontario municipal employees retirement system) created by provincial statute in 1962. Oxford Properties has a portfolio of office, retail, industrial, multi-residential, and hotel properties around the world. OMERS is one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans with assets of roughly $110 billion.
Canadian Tire – REIT owns a Canada-wide real estate portfolio, primarily leased to retailer Canadian Tire Corp. CT-REIT is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “CRT-UN-T.”
The Oriole Park Association thanks you for your feedback and concern regarding the Canada Square proposal. Your comments are important to us. Please keep them coming.