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Send a Letter to the City Today!

posted Aug 26, 2013, 4:46 AM by 70HP Webmaster   [ updated Aug 26, 2013, 4:47 AM ]
We need your help. In early September, the developer will be returning to the City with a new design for the Grenadier Square Redevelopment. Members of the High Park Coalition have been working with the City and developer through Working Group meetings to push for a better, smaller scale design.

It is very important that the City of Toronto hears from each and every one of us that two 31-storey towers are not acceptable.

This is why we need you to send a letter to Gregory Byrne and Councillor Doucette today stating your concerns about the proposal. To make things easier for you we've put together some helpful resources:
  • A template letter (see bottom of email) which you can send to the City or modify based on your specific concerns.
  • A collection of letters shared with with us from local residents (possibly even you) who have emailed the City about their concerns
Please feel free to use either our letter (below) or create your own using some of the inspiring letters of others. If you decide to modify or write your own letter, please be sure your letters are constructive and express your concerns and suggestions. Please do not criticize the City, the developer or the process as this hurts our credibility.
Thanks for your support!!

Contact Information for Gregory Byrne and Sarah Doucette

Please email or mail your letter to Gregory Byrne and Councillor Sarah Doucette (see below). Please be sure to send a copy to info@highparkcoalition.ca

Councillor Sarah Doucette (councillor_doucette@toronto.ca) or phone (416) 392-4072
100 Queen St. W.
2nd Floor, Suite C46
Toronto, ON
M5H 2N2
Gregory Byrne (gbyrne@toronto.ca) or phone (416) 394-8238
Community Planning 
Etobicoke York District, East Section
399 The West Mall, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON
M9C 5A3

Sample/Template Letter to Gregory Byrne and Sarah Doucette

Dear Councillor Doucette and Mr. Byrne:
I am writing to express my concerns about the proposed Grenadier Square Redevelopment at 51-77 Quebec Avenue and 40-66 High Park Avenue (City of Toronto application 13 101816 WET 13 OZ).
As a resident, I am concerned that the addition of two 31-storey towers consisting of 610 residential units and nearly 500,000 square feet of residential floor space is too much development for High Park. The proposal is not consistent with Toronto’s Official Plan which only permits “compatible infill where sufficient underutilized space exists to accommodate one or more buildings while providing good quality of life”.
Our neighbourhood is already very densely populated. The site does not have the necessary “underutilized space” to accommodate a proposal of this size. Added to the 4800 existing units in the surrounding community (per the planning rationale), the proposal would increase the number of residential units by more than 12% and more than 20% when combined with 1844 Bloor Street. This substantial growth also goes against the City’s expectation of “stability” in so-called Apartment Neighbourhood like ours. There is simply no way to accommodate this number of residential units in such a small space without negatively impacting the quality of life for residents in the community.
As just one example, adding 610 residential units will bring more cars and traffic to an already congested neighbourhood. This will also increase safety risks to pedestrians who walk the sidewalks and cross the streets everyday. It will also increase idling and pollution.This will negatively impact the quality of life in the neighbourhood, particularly for the many young children and seniors who live here.
I am also very concerned about the height and design aspects of the proposed buildings. The proposal is more than 10 storeys taller than the average building height in our neighbourhood. This would significantly disrupt the local skyline and also set a worrying precedent that would invite even larger future developments, well beyond 31 storeys. Towers of this height will also bring more severe and intolerable levels of wind in the winter, as the proposal itself acknowledges. More wind increases risks for pedestrians, especially seniors and young children.
The design of the proposed development does not fit with or reinforce the existing context, a key requirement to meet the City’s Design Guidelines for Tall buildings. The existing context has large setbacks from the street and wide separation distances from the faces of other buildings. This is needed to minimize impacts of the scale of larger buildings on pedestrians and residents in neighbouring buildings. Instead, the proposal offers the minimum level of setbacks and separation from other buildings. As a result, it feels totally out of place compared to the existing context and actually imposes a downtown built form on High Park.  It leaves little “breathing room” between buildings, greatly increasing impacts of shadowing, loss of privacy, sunlight and and skyview for local residents.
Finally, I am especially concerned that the proposal will substantially alter the nature of development in the community. The proposal will remove relatively affordable family-sized rental units and replace them with one- and two-bedroom units. This will bring with it an increasingly transient population of residents who live here for a short period of time before moving out to a family-friendly neighbourhood. The proposal should, at a minimum, include sufficient three-bedroom units to replace the 16 being demolished.
I take pride in the community in which I live. I value the good quality of life that it offers to  the people who live here. I am also not opposed to new development that is of an appropriate scale and fit that provides good quality of life for residents. For these reasons, I would urge the City to instruct the applicant to make sure that it returns to the City with an amended proposal that supports the community’s goals and addresses the concerns I have outlined above.