Queen Street is set to become the subject of a ‘visioning study’ from Coxwell to Neville Park, to put guidelines for development into place. The study was approved at the Jan. 10 meeting of Toronto and East York Community Council.
Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon proposed the study as a way for the community to have a plan in place ahead of proposed developments.
“Since I came into office, it’s been kind of one development after another, and one group of residents – whoever the development affects – after another, banding together to try and fight the developer or work with the developer,” she said. “I think we need a plan for Queen Street.”
There are urban design guidelines in place for Queen Street East, but they’re out of date, said McMahon, who hopes to involve residents, the BIA, planners and community groups, as well as an advisory panel of local planners, architects and landscape architects.
“The bottom line is developers can just jump over us and go to the OMB [Ontario Municipal Board] any time,” said McMahon, but a comprehensive study and plan for Queen Street could help avoid some conflicts. It would allow the community to build a sort of ‘wish list’, so when a developer starts to look at a site, the visioning study would offer a suggestion of what would be suitable for the site.
Cooperation could save time, money and unnecessary trips to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) if both sides can agree early in the process on a general idea for developments in keeping with the neighbourhood’s character.
“It’s in the developers’ best interest to work with the community, and it’s in the community’s best interest to work with the developers,” she said.