Log in

Planning and DEVELOPMENT Committee

Transparency at the ARA

Reviewing Projects in the Annex: Guidance for Proponents

14 June 2018

The Annex Residents’ Association (ARA) is often asked to review and comment on development proposals in the Annex, and to work with proponents, neighbours, the City, and the Councillor to address any contentious aspects of a proposal. This is done through ARA’s Planning and Development Committee*(P+D) that generally meets on the first Tuesday of every month, including throughout the Summer. P+D meetings often include representatives from neighbouring Residents’ Associations and community groups, City staff, and the Councillor or a representative from his office.

Monthly meetings generally last for 1.5 hours (from 5:30-7:00 p.m), so there is not a lot of time to review applications in detail. P+D has found that a succinct, clear, and comprehensive presentation on a development proposal leaves more time for meaningful discussion with the Committee. In reviewing a development proposal, P+D wants to answer four major questions:

• what is there now?
• what is being proposed?
• what are likely impacts; to whom? and
• what is the timing of the project?

P+D therefore expects project proponents and their representatives to provide the following information to the Committee before and/or during the P+D meeting:

1. Existing Context Plan (where is the project? registered address? owners? what are the surroundings?)
2. Policy and Regulatory Context (what major City policies govern the use, density, and character of the site? current zoning? heritage listing or designation?)
3. Program Summary (what uses, size, heights are being proposed?)
4. Proposed Context Plan (with projects already in the pipeline, approved and being considered)
5. Proposed Site Plan
6. Proposed Landscape and Open Space plan
7. Proposed building plans for each floor
8. Sections through proposed building
9. Proposed elevations referenced to adjacent built form (all sides)
10. Statement on traffic, parking, bicycling impacts
11. Statement on environmental impacts and mitigation measures
12. Statement on similar precedents in or near the Annex
13. Status and results of consultations with neighbours
14. Project timing: where is the project now in the approvals process? what approvals are required/being sought? what is expected timing of approvals?

Proponents are welcome to make PowerPoint presentations to the Committee (a notebook computer, projector with VGA connection, and screen are available). Proponents should either send PPTs one week in advance of the meeting or, if proponents are still at a preliminary stage and do not want to circulate written or graphic information on their project, to bring the presentation to the meeting on a USB stick or external drive.

Proponents are discouraged from bringing their own computer to use in the presentation unless it is turned on and booted before the proponent appears at the meeting (to avoid wasting time at the meeting in booting and fiddling with connections). Proponents are also asked to bring hard copies (5 copies max.) for circulation to Committee members during the presentation (these will be returned to the proponent at the end of the presentation, if requested).

* There are currently 20 volunteer members of P+D. At each P+D meeting, 10-15 members generally attend.

 P+D is prepared to acknowledge at the start of a proponent’s presentation that the Committee’s review and discussions are ‘without prejudice’ to future actions by any party.

For further information and to arrange for a presentation to ARA’s Planning and Development Committee, please contact:
Edward Leman Co-chair, Planning and Development Committee leman@chreod.com or planninganddevelopment@theara.org 
tel: (416) 966-1144


Ko VanKlaveren Co-chair, Planning and Development Committee jac.vanklaveren@hotmail.com or planninganddevelopment@theara.org

What do you think about the proposal to redevelop Mirvish Village? We would like to hear from you.

An application for the redevelopment of Mirvish Village was filed in July of this year and it is now proceeding through the approvals process with the City. The City Planning Department hopes to write their final report in the second quarter of 2016.

Although the redevelopment is located just outside the Annex boundaries, it will have a significant impact on our neighbourhood. Not only does it encompass one and a half city blocks, it proposes building heights up to 29 stories, setting a precedent for the neighbourhood.

Two members of the Annex Residents' Association will participate in a Discussion Group which will consider all the major issues around the project. The group is chaired by Graig Uens, the city planner responsible for the file. It includes two members from each of the four residents'

associations which converge at Bathurst and Bloor, local Councillors Mike Layton and Joe Cressy, a representative of the Bloor Street BIA as well as residents from the surrounding neighbourhoods.

We need to know what you think about the proposal. There are major issues around built form, heritage, green space and traffic to name a few. 

Please contact Jim Jacobs (jameskjacobs@gmail.com) or Terry Montgomery (tmontgomery@montgomerysisam.com) with your questions or comments.

The City of Toronto Planning Department's portal for all information on the project can be found HERE. On the first page you will find background on the proposal. At the bottom of the page you will find a link to the agenda item which was tabled for consideration at a Community Council Meeting on October 6th. On the last page of this report you will find another link entitled Background Information.

This provides all of the plans, elevations and perspectives which were submitted with the application.

The work of the ARA's Planning and Zoning Committee

One of the functions of the Annex Residents' Association is to monitor and, if necessary, intervene in proposals such as new construction or renovations that might affect the integrity and quality of life in the neighbourhood.

The ARA's Planning and Zoning Committee works with the Councillor, other neighbourhood associations or citizen organizations to ensure that zoning and heritage regulations are not violated; to review requests for exemption from planning by-laws that go before the City's Committee of Adjustment; and to intervene in City planning deliberations that could affect the Annex. The committee also works with institutions such as the University of Toronto, when their development plans affect us.

The Committee is currently looking for ways to deal with the recurring problems that occur in Committee of Adjustment applications: applicants who hire lawyers and professional consultants have an advantage over residents association; applicants increasingly ask for and retroactive approval of construction already built; and major variances are being classified as minor ones.

Bloor Corridor Vision Report, November 2007
The purpose of this study was to develop a shared vision for the Bloor Street West corridor between Avenue Road and Christie Street for the next ten years, through consultation with area stakeholders including residents, businesses and landowners.

BloorStreetVision summary (PDF)

For more information on Planning and Zoning, or to join the committee, please contact
Co-Chairs Edward Leman and Ko Van Klaveren at planningandzoning@theara.org.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software