Concerning the Proposed Redevelopment of 220 Lake Promenade
From: Susan Albert <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sat, May 6, 9:39 AM
Good afternoon Councillor Morley,
I was disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to meet you at last night’s LBNA’s (Long Branch Neighbourhood Association’s) meeting held at our local Legion Hall on Lake Shore at 41st Street. What is being proposed as a development for our community is so far off-scale, and would be such a travesty for our neighbourhood, that I was sure you would be in attendance to get an idea of how residents feel about this “Co-Tenancy” project. It was good to have someone from your office at the meeting; however the attendees wanted to know where you as our Councillor stand on this proposed development, and Matt was not able to speak for you on this issue. However, I believe he brought a few questions back to the office on our behalf this morning?
There were a lot of questions we were not able to get answered. I’m not sure when another meeting will be scheduled, or where to go for this type of information, so I’ll address these questions to you. If you don’t have the information yourself, would you be so kind as to direct me to the proper City department/resource for information?
I heard about this development 2 days before the neighbourhood meeting on Thursday night. Everyone was asking – Why has there been no information provided to residents, no meetings or consultations with residents, and no consideration or regard shown to residents who live in, have supported, and have contributed to the development of this neighbourhood over many, many years?
This is not simply a large single-family dwelling that’s being proposed. From what I can see on the map, this would be equivalent to demolishing 3 full city blocks of existing housing and then rebuilding, from 2 storeys under-ground to 30 stories above ground. Have studies been done to determine whether the land down here by the lake will be able to support these structures? Or how rainwater run-off will be managed to protect adjoining properties from flooding – which has been a serious issue for many properties here in south-west Long Branch due to underground streams, clay soil, etc. If so – where would I access the results of these studies?
This is a massive development that is being proposed. It will directly affect not only residents living within a “400 foot perimeter of the development site”, but residents throughout Southern Etobicoke, all along Lake Promenade, and up and down the side-streets leading to/from the site. Traffic will be impacted on Lake Shore, Brown’s Line, and Kipling as well as all the residential roads throughout our neighbourhood – from 23rd Street to 42nd Street, and from Lakeshore south to Lake Ontario. Parking will be limited. Construction vehicles will be polluting not only with fossil fuel emissions, but with vehicle noise on an ongoing basis, dust, construction material contaminants and debris. The air, soil and water will be impacted and will further impact the wildlife, aquatic life, bird life, insect life and human life for how long, no-one knows. Trees will be taken down and the anaemic sapling-replacements that developers generally plant as an appeasement will take decades before they are able to clean and purify our air and produce oxygen at the levels our mature trees have been doing for generations. The Waterfront Trail / Martin Goodman Trail / Trans Canada Trail, (which all run along Lake Promenade from one end to the other) are heavily used from early spring until late fall by cyclists, runners, walkers, families, dog-walkers, people from other parts of Toronto who enjoy strolling along and enjoying our “Windows on the Lake” which are there specifically to enable everyone to share the view of Lake Ontario. A massive years-long construction project will close down that right-of-way, impeding for years to come our ability (and right) to enjoy our neighbourhood and environment, should this project go forward as presented.
More and more questions come to mind as I think of what this will do to the charm and character of our lovely little “village in the midst of a large city”. But if I could find out about the studies that have been done, why so little information has been made available to the residents of Long Branch, and where you as our Councillor stand on this issue – it will be a good start.
I thank you for your time and attention, and I hope to hear back from you very soon.
340 Lake Promenade
Wednesday’s meeting at City Council
MULTIPLEXES and proposed changes to building regulations
I have no problem with multiplexes being built in my South Long Branch neighbourhood. We already have a good number of responsibly-sized multiplexes in this area of the City, and they blend beautifully into the neighbourhood. What I do object to is the idea of peppering our small lakeside community with MEGAplexes – buildings that are so large and so far out of character for this neighbourhood as to be obnoxious eyesores – that will stretch the existing infrastructure to the breaking point, and that will substantially change the whole character of our charming neighbourhood.
Oversized developments, mega-complexes like the one proposed for the site at 220 Lake Promenade, do not belong in small, stable neighbourhoods like South Long Branch.
Removal of FSI (Floor Space Index) and allowing unregulated building-length increases will have devastating consequences over time. Rain water run-off in this area must be closely managed. We do not have the soil conditions here to allow anything other than that. And unless the City is planning to build huge air purification systems all over the GTA with the capacity to filter out contaminants such as PM2, SO2, NO2, CO, and ozone, plus remove particulate matter from the air we breathe, WE NEED TREES to do that for us.
We also need trees to replenish the oxygen in the air we breathe. The leaves of trees absorb carbon dioxide and water from the air and use solar energy to convert it into chemical compounds, including sugars, that the trees themselves need for food. Oxygen, a by-product of this process, is released by the trees into the air we breathe. Trees synergistically support human life with the essential oxygen that we cannot live without. We keep taking trees down, but there is nothing else in place to provide the absolutely necessary benefits that trees now provide – for free – to humankind. In the meantime – we pat ourselves on the back, congratulating ourselves that we’ve become ecologically astute and are living a greener life.
Please vote NO on Wednesday when these issues arise at City Council. It is essential that you do so.
340 Lake Promenade
Re: Wednesday’s meeting at City Council
Dear Councillor Morley –
I was awaiting a reply to my earlier email on the subject of EHON, MULTIPLEXES and proposed changes to building regulations that would allow this multiplex issue to go forward unchecked. However, when I received your bulk-email-list communication instead, it gave me very little confidence that you’ve taken my specific concerns seriously.
Councillor Morley, you said that you “voted in favour of the proposed Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) Multiplex initiative in alignment with my campaign commitments and my belief that addressing the “missing middle” in Toronto’s housing mix is a necessary component of addressing our housing crisis.” As far as I am aware, the “missing middle” refers to building types that are higher density than single family houses, but lower density than a mid-rise building (a mid-rise building being a building of good scale in relationship to the street – approximately 5 – 10 storeys maximum). Unless I’m mistaken, the “missing middle” refers to the following building types: laneway housing, duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes (and other “plexes”), town houses, and low rise apartment buildings (ie – less than 75 feet in height / walk-ups of 3 floors or less).
In South Long Branch (from 23rd street to 42nd street, south of Lake Shore to the Lake), these “missing middle” buildings are not missing at all. We have a good number and a good mix of various “plexes”, low rise apartments buildings, townhouses, etc. The apartment complex that developers plan to tear down is a good example of “missing middle” housing. The problem is that owner/s of these types of rental properties do not do the necessary upkeep, repairs and upgrades over time – hence these buildings fall into disrepair. It would make more sense to require rental property owners to maintain their buildings in a good state of repair, and do the necessary upgrades to meet the demands and codes of the day. Perhaps offering grants and incentives to allow that to happen would be a thoughtful use of taxpayers dollars (especially if the people who own these buildings are not responsible enough to keep their money-makers in decent shape).
If the demolition and rebuild of the apartment complex at 220 Lake Prom is indicative of what we can expect in this neighbourhood – thanks to “The EHON Multiplex Initiative” – it is completely out of line (and scale!) with the history and character of the area and will do far more harm than good. It will displace hundreds of good, decent people – some who have lived in the existing buildings at 220 Lake Prom for 50 years or more, some who are disabled and incapable of the physicality of seeking alternate housing, some who are low-income residents and could not possibly pay the current market rental prices, even if they could find alternate accommodation. This demolition will displace the exact same people you claim to be concerned about; and the replacement housing that is being proposed is definitely NOT being built with them in mind. The units “reserved for them” will be much smaller and less affordable than what they have now. If you want to be honest about it, multiplexes will give developers a license to print money and will do little to nothing for the lower income and middle class people who are looking for decent housing at an affordable rent.
You mentioned “the historical lack of consideration for the civic and social infrastructure necessary to absorb growth” and you say “I’m mindful of this initiative’s goal to deliver housing within complete, inclusive, and sustainable communities with critical infrastructure to support growth”. You go on to say “While EHON may have shed light on these issues, they existed before this initiative came forth. I am a believer of addressing problems at their root cause, and I intend to do so by honouring and reinforcing the tree protection policy and improving protections for renters under threat of displacement.” I’d like to hear your definition of “complete, inclusive, and sustainable communities”, as I believe South Long Branch is exactly that at this point in time and will not be improved by what the City is planning to do. Tree protection and protection of renters’ rights is all well and good – and necessary. But what about the home owners in the neighbourhood? How will we benefit from this type of initiative, other than to be able to sell our properties at increased prices as we’re forced to flee the neighbourhood in hopes of finding something more like what we had before the City allowed developers to come in and change it to their liking – not for the better – in pursuit of the almighty buck? What protections do we have – those of us who moved here so we could live in and contribute to a stable, quiet, mature neighbourhood, well taken care of by respectful resident-homeowners, with reasonable traffic flow on our residential streets, available parking for residents and guests, and existing parks, schools, and other infrastructure to support the needs of the area?
So other than voting “accordingly for an amendment to defer this item to consider where this intensification can sustainably happen”, which did not pass, what are you prepared to do to serve the will of the people of this neighbourhood and protect our stable community from what seems to be in store for us in the (not too distant) future, even as we speak out loudly against it? Where do you stand on the issue of increased densification in stable, mature neighbourhoods. Where do you stand on maintaining the quality of living in neighbourhoods that for generations have offered comfort, safety, space to live out in the neighbourhood and not behind closed doors?
I’ll await your reply.
Thank you, and best regards,
340 Lake Promenade
Etobicoke, M8W 1B6