57 storeys in Distillery ‘over develops’ historic site

Dennis Hanagan–

Downtown councillors heard that traffic volume during special events make the Distillery District “like a zoo” and it can’t handle more density. The comments were made by a Distillery resident as TEYCC considered a planning staff report recommending that a 57-storey mixed-use tower, proposed to run between Parliament and Cherry Streets in the district’s south end, be opposed at the Ontario Municipal Board. The plan “represents over-development and does not fit within the existing built form a heritage context,” a city planning staff report said. However, the report added the site “can potentially accommodate” a tall building. Community council adopted the planning department’s recommendation to oppose the plan, as it is, at the OMB. If the board approves the plan, then the city wants staff to secure Section 37 benefits for the community. The residents’ spokesman said the “57-storey monstrosity” raises concerns about congestion, parking, traffic and safety. “Whenever there are peak seasons like the Christmas Market … I tell you we all feel like we need to creep back up into our dwellings because it feels like a zoo.”