Residents split over towers proposed for Queen/Sherbourne

Dennis Hanagan–

Residents at a May community meeting were split on their thoughts about a massive residential complex proposed for the Moss Park area. Some liked it; others didn’t.

A city planner said some were concerned about the massing and height and felt it was out of character with the neighbourhood. They were also afraid the rental component would increase the neighbourhood’s “transient nature.”

Others, however, welcomed the proposal feeling it needed only “slight revisions.”

The proposal, from WAM Development Group, calls for three towers—two 39 storeys and the other 45—at 245 Queen St. E., just east of Sherbourne St.

It includes 1645 residential units. Of that 71% are slated as one-bedroom, 18% two-bedroom and 10% three-bedroom. Eleven hundred and ten units would be rental. There’d be space for 1082 cars and 2010 bicycles. Above grade, 31,578 square feet is allotted for retail use.

St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association President Suzanne Kavanagh sees pros and cons with the development. “Currently, we are of the opinion that the towers are too high,” she said in an email to The Bulletin. She’d like to see a park added to the mix.

On the other hand, she’s glad to see more rental opportunities in the area. She said her association wants to strike a working group with the developer.

City planners don’t support the proposal because, among other things, they say it’s overdevelopment of the site and fails to recognize the existing built-form character and scale in the King-Parliament Secondary Plan.

The proposal needs “significant revisions,” planners said in an April, 2016, report to Toronto and East York Community Council. The plan requires amendments to the city’s official plan and zoning by-law.

Planners are also concerned the development could set a precedent for other building proposals in the area.