Building Height: The meeting outlined the proposal to widen Military Trail from the existing 20 metre road allowance to 27 metres. The proposed 8 stories of this building will be 27 metres, equal to the road allowance. City planning staff seemed to be in agreement with the developer’s staff that this height would be appropriate in this location. The original development plan developed by city staff proposed a 27 metre height limit for this area. It was city council which had reduce planning guidelines to 6 stories when the development plan was passed at council. City staff felt that a sight-line of 45 degrees from the far side of Military Trail to the top of the building would not give passersby a feeling that the building was too high.
The most recent diagrams from the developer show a 3 metre set back from the widened road. The top two stories are set back from lower levels to be less imposing. The total height does not include utility rooms for HVAC on the roof but due to set-backs these aren’t expected to be visible from the road. A study of the new shadows created by the building were presented at the meeting.
Too Many Students: The developer announced a response to local neighbourhood concerns about too many studio and 1 bdrm units. At the community meeting the developer said the number of units was being reduced from 578 to 558. The number of 2 & 3 bdrm units were being increased from 25% to 45% of the total units in the building. In response to a direct question, the developer responded that he would not be marketing the units directly to students. City staff responded that guidelines for unit sizes are meant to include a diverse mix of residents.
Parking & Traffic: With a planned 558 units, the number of resident parking spaces has been set at 435, with another 83 for visiters. This led to concerns about new residents parking on the street. City and the developer were not concerned. There are plans for a car-share program on site. The developer felt that many buyers would not require a parking space, stating that the area was well served with public transit. I wish I felt the same but clearly the developer is building for a future with less car travel. A traffic study was done and can be accessed on the City’s development application website. It showed an increase of 140 to 180 rush hour trips per day which planners deemed could be handled by existing roads. Of course more parking spaces would imply more traffic.
Impact on the valley: Questions were raised about whether this building might impact the valley lands, including the possibility of increased erosion. A number of studies have been and were referenced but the meeting did not discuss these in detail. A Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA) representative was at the meeting. The main point emphasized by the developer was the fact that a 10 metre strip of land along the valley edge is being conveyed to the TRCA.
Environmental details: The developer outlined environmental considerations such as electric vehicle charging stations, bird-friendly lighting and glazing, a green or high albedo roof to minimize air conditioning requirements.
More Parkland: The developer would purchase land to extend Morrish Park to Military Trail. The development has been split into two separate building. There would be a view of the valley lands from the new park extension.
No Retail: The development is proposed as 100% residential. There are no commercial facilities on the ground floor.