An interesting anti-development fight has quietly been simmering in the city’s east end, where a handful of local community activists are fighting a condo development along Kingston Road. What’s so new about that? Not much, except that their argument is that the condo developer will be ruining the ravine that serves as their backyard, and they want the city to protect it by forcing a smaller development. Oh, and the proposed development in question? It’s only six storeys.
The development in question is a proposed six-storey, 47-unit condo building at 580-592 Kingston Road, just up the hill from Glen Davis Crescent. The development is placed precariously on Glen Davis Ravine, a City-designated ravine at the bottom of Lake Iroquois. If the Kingston Road Development Co. has its way, the ravine itself will be threatened by a parking pad, concrete retaining walls, a paved walkway, and other features that are largely out of character with both the ravine and the sleepy little cul-de-sac below it. The developer has also applied for a rezoning variance, which could further increase the height of the building by 50 percent.
“The developer has made no overtures in accommodating us,” said Neil Sinclair, another friend of the Glen Davis Ravine.
So to follow the logic here: the condo is required to have an underground parking garage because of its size (the local activists would prefer a set of townhomes, which would need fewer parking spaces). While protecting the ravine is all well and good, the question is really whether the parking garage will be the threat that the locals fear, and whether there’s some way to accommodate a six-storey development. It’s not exactly gargantuan by the standards of Toronto development, after all, and the city is nominally committed to greater density.
In particular, we’re curious whether there was any attempt to waive some of the parking requirements for a building of this size to make the garage less of a burden on the ravine. The OMB hearing for the Kingston Road development was supposed to take place next week, but according to the OMB planner in charge of the file, that’s been postponed until September to accommodate the different parties. So it will be at least another month or so until we start to get some answers.
• In Upper Beaches, the fight to save a ravine [OpenFile Toronto]
• Nature versus venture: Beaches condo project threatens nearby ravine [Globe and Mail]
• Community council approves development at Glen Davis Ravine [Inside Toronto]