By AMARACHI AMADIKE, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Southwest Scarborough residents gathered for a virtual consultation meeting regarding a development proposal for a site at 150 Clonmore Dr. recently.
In attendance at the March 23 meeting were representatives of the developer—CORE Development—as well as Scarborough Southwest Councillor Gary Crawford and City Planner Samuel Baron.
“I really want to thank the community for coming out,” said Crawford in his opening remark.
“We’re here to give you your opportunity to make comments that will be part of, at some point, will be part of the decision that the community council, and city council, will be making for this particular application.”
The rezoning application proposes a 12-storey residential building consisting of 287 residential dwelling units. Of these, seven will be studio units, 193 one-bedrooms, 60 two-bedrooms and 30 three-bedrooms.
The proposed building will have a total Gross Floor Area (GFA) of approximately 18,350 square metres. There will be 162 car parking spaces and 220 bike parking spots available.
At the consultation meeting, residents raised various concerns including the proposed buildings size, lack of commercial use on its ground floor, and the safety of the area as part of the Quarry Lands in which it sits was once used as a municipal landfill.
The city requires environmental testing, which has been ongoing, to occur as part of the approval process. The province also requires this whenever land is transferred from commercial to residential use.
As a result, the soil and ground water at this site have been undergoing tests to ensure safety and the results have been submitted to the city, said the developers.
“The reports identified some exceedances in terms of the soil conditions but those will be remediated as part of the construction program for the development itself,” said a CORE representative.
Residents also worried about how the traffic on the corner of Clonmore Drive and Gerrard Street East, already a busy bottleneck spot during rush hours, is going to be managed.
Although the applicants don’t believe safety and traffic will be an issue as a result of their proposal, some residents strongly disagreed.
“I find it interesting that folks who don’t live around the proposed area say that there is no need for traffic lights or any kind of control,” said one resident at the consultation meeting. “Come and spend a week here. Clonmore is busy, and it’s getting busier all the time.”
The commenter argued that once the development is complete if approved, the traffic in the surrounding area will drastically increase as it is a “commuter route for those going downtown in the morning and home in the evening”.
Crawford, who said that he is one of those who frequents that route, agreed with this stating that traffic control in the area is still a major concern of his.
“I will be looking at some sort of solution towards transportation with the applicant,” he said. “I do drive that stretch and I have talked to many people, so that’s something I’m still trying to resolve.”
Another point of concern was the lack of affordable units in the proposal.
Although the city is experiencing a housing affordability crisis, “City Planning does not have a legal mechanism to force an applicant to provide affordable housing” on a site like 150 Clonmore.
The developers confirmed that the proposed units are not rentals. The condominiums, upon completion, will be put up for sale.
“CORE is undertaking affordable housing initiatives in other projects but does not feel that this site warrants it at this point in time,” said a CORE representative.
Crawford, however, did attempt to put residents’ minds at ease as he reminded them of other sites nearby that have an affordable component.
“I just wanted to also note that as part of the Birchley development that’s taking place to the [northwest], there is considerable affordable housing that will be put in there,” said Crawford. “There will be affordable housing in the community.”
After the consultation stage, the applicant will submit a revised application to City of Toronto staff who will eventually produce a final report and recommendation for Scarborough Community Council to consider.
Residents who were unable to attend the virtual consultation meeting but have questions or concerns are encouraged to contact City Planner Samuel Baron (Samuel.email@example.com) or Councillor Crawford (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Amarachi Amadike is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro Community News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.
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