Proposal for a senior resident building was met with mixed reaction

The existing Shoppers Drug Mart store and medical buildings would be demolished, said city planner Derrick Wong, but they would return in the new structure.

Dozens of local citizens, along with Ward 31 Coun. Janet Davis, gathered to hear details of a proposed mixed-use, rental residence planned for the north side of Danforth Avenue, just west of Main Street.

The 10-storey mixed-use building will have close to 120,000 sq. ft. of non-residential floor space on the first two floors with a seniors-assisted living area above it. A separate four-storey rental residence is also planned for the site, designed to house seniors who require less care. Targeting seniors and older couples who require different levels of care but would like to live together, the plan includes a 74-vehicle underground parking garage and is walking distance from the TTC Main Station and several local amenities such as grocery stores, banks and parks.

The existing Shoppers Drug Mart store and medical buildings at 2494 Danforth Avenue would be demolished said city planner Derrick Wong, but they would return in the new structure. The new building would create many new jobs and opportunities for the community, said Wong.  

Locals at the meeting weren’t shy to voice their opinions on the proposal; some were impressed with what the building could offer to their elderly parents and possibly for themselves, while others had concerns about the height of the building, shading parts of Chisholm and Harris Avenues and thus lowering property values, and privacy. Construction dust, lack of parking spaces, and transit snags were also brought forth to the planner and developers of the proposed building, Tawes Realco Inc.

Lisa Christenson was the first of a few to praise the proposed project. She applauded the team of architects, developers, and advisors on creating a multifunctional building for seniors particularly in light of the fact that seniors such as Christenson’s 85-year-old mother-in-law, often want to remain independent.

“This building is terrific for Isabel who wants to live her life and be independent, have her family close by, and make sure if anything were to happen, she’s going to be safe and taken care of,” said Christenson. “Isabel might not live long enough to see this building come to existence, but it would be a great place for future seniors. Even for my future.”

Although the meeting was met with mixed reviews, Wong, along with Counc. Janet Davis reassured locals that this is the first stage of the proposal and that no final decisions have yet been made.

“I think there are some valid concerns brought to our attention and we’ll make sure we take it into consideration as we move forward. This is just an information session and we’ll see what happens from here on out,” Wong.  


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