As part of his community involvement, Peter Martin sent the following email to Toronto City Councillor Amber Morley on the Lake Promenade Co-Tenancy Project:
Sent: July 18, 2023, 06:20
To: Councillor Morley <Councillor_Morley@toronto.ca>
Cc: Eno (Rebecca) Udoh-Orok <Eno.Udoh-Orok@toronto.ca>; Matt Cook <Matt.Cook@toronto.ca>
Subject: New objection – Proposal violates City Toronto Tall building design guidelines (by my reading)
To Councillor Morley:
My name is Peter Martin. I am a local resident.
I object to the proposed Lake Promenade Co-Tenancy development. Ref
Specifically, proposal from Apr/23 violates the City of Toronto’s own guidelines for planning tall buildings, referenced here.: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/96ea-cityplanning-tall-buildings-may2013-final-AODA.pdf
The City of Toronto Tall building design guidelines define what is considered a tall building:
The streets adjacent to the development, Park Blvd and Long Branch Avenue, are classified as Local roads and have lane widths of 3.0 to 3.5m.
Long Branch Avenue is narrow, with an extent from sidewalk to sidewalk of 11m.
Park Blvd is slightly wider but has no sidewalk on the North side.
Yes, the proposal is to build two 30 storey towers and 12 storey walls, 2000 units on local streets WITHOUT A SIDEWALK ON ONE SIDE OF THE ROAD.
Thus, the height of the definition of “tall buildings” would be 11 to 12m for this neighbourhood. The reason this proposal doesn’t meet the “typical” values of 20 to 36m in the guide is because these are defined as local roads (and narrow ones), whereas you would normally put these buildings on connector, arterial or larger roads with that width.
The Toronto City Planning guidelines state the following for good design:
Specifically, lets note that, in the context of the adjacent streets, the buildings are defined as TALL BUILDINGS, not mid-rise or podiums, (because the streets are so narrow).
Let’s look at the proposal, specifically buildings A, B and F. My objection is that these three of the five proposed buildings violate the design criteria of “don’t have large, elongated floor plates that create a visual wall”. Note: I’ve marked the approximate street width in here with a red line.
(There’s also a general rule-of-thumb here, that, if you have to put a tunnel in your building so people can get to the other side, then ITS TOO LONG.)
These buildings will loom as walls over the neighbourhood rooftops.
I further object to the proposed design of buildings A, B and F (“the Walls”), as they violate sections 3.1.1.b, d and e of the design guidelines.
Note: you cannot have a “minimum base building height between 10.5m and 80% of the adjacent street right-of-way” in the context of this development, because 80% of the adjacent street right-of-way of 12m is 7.2m, which is less than 10.5m starting point. Again, the reason you cannot have this is because the adjacent streets (PARK and LONG BRANCH) ARE NARROW ROADS defined as “LOCAL” roads by the City of Toronto.
Secondly, (3.1.1.d) the adjacent context is residential housing and 2-3 stories, the adjacent context IS NOT on an arterial or larger road and IS NOT expected to change, and the design of buildings A, B and F obviously DO NOT transition to their lower scale neighbours, as this is a 8 storey platform with a 12 storey toppoer and the design makes no attempt to transition to a 2 or 3 story base to match the existing streetscape.
Thirdly, for the historically listed 2-storey buildings on the west side of the proposed development, these buildings that are the last remnants from the dawn of the Long Branch. The developer disregarded these excellently preserved and maintained buildings as “not important” because, otherwise, how could it be explained that section 3.1.1.e does not apply. The transition from a 12 storey WALL and 8 story podium overwhelms the historical context.
Long Branch has a character guideline. It was approved in 2018 by City Council. It states:
The Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines are to be used by home builders, the community, City staff, and committees and appeal bodies to provide direction in their decision making as they develop plans, review applications for redevelopment and/or enhance the public realm in the Long Branch neighbourhood. These Neighbourhood Character Guidelines apply to any application submitted after January 31, 2018.
30 storeys are not in character with the neighbourhood.
And again, the reason these rules seem so oddly violated is that the proposal is a unicorn; a historical accident left this large property as an island in the midst of narrow suburban roads and a quiet suburban neighbourhood. This isn’t Queen or King Street West where the proposal would make sense.
I am not opposed to intensification, but this proposal is monstrous and grasping and needs to be revisited.