North Toronto highrise revised

Erskine Ave proposal higher than previous  development application
Eight-storey building called unfit for area of single-family homes
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 18)

Paula Greco points out from her Erskine Avenue balcony several houses to be affected by the planned residential development. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Paula Greco’s view from the balcony of her Erskine Avenue building could soon change from that of single-family homes to an eight-storey residential tower.
And she isn’t happy about it.
Greco overlooks a redevelopment site at 88 Erskine and 73-79 Keewatin avenues.
Verdiroc Development first applied to build a five-storey seniors’ residence and now has a new proposal for a 78-unit residential tower.
“It just doesn’t belong,” Greco said.

She said this project is supposed to have a transitional height so it fits in with the single-family homes on the north side of Keewatin.
“This would also set a very dangerous height precedent for development of the remaining lands on the south side of Keewatin, which would negatively affect the homeowners on the north side of Keewatin,” Greco said.
“This crowding would diminish the sunlight, sky views and privacy of our residents, the prospective residents of the proposed building and the residents in the appropriately sized apartment building immediately to the west of the site.”
Don Valley West Councillor Cliff Jenkins also has concerns about the application.
“It is still too high. It’s a serious issue,” Jenkins said on Dec. 16. “You can’t put an eight-storey building next to single family homes.”
Verdiroc originally applied to redevelop the site in November 2007 and submitted the revised plan for a building ranging 25 to 30 metres high in September 2009.
Height limits for this site vary. On the side facing Keewatin a maximum height of 14 metres is allowed, but further into the site towards Erskine, heights of up to 38 metres are allowed.

View from Keewatin site as it is now. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

City staff is in the process of working with councillor Jenkins, residents and the developer on scheduling a public meeting, possibly in early February.
Jenkins said Verdiroc, which is associated with Greenwin Property Management, did consult with residents on the original application but has yet to commit to the same process on the revised project.
“It’s always helpful when the applicant has discussions with the community but a meeting is not the same as meaningful discussions with the community,” Jenkins said.

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