I'd like to update you on today's decision at Community Council on the development application for Riverside Square.

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Community Council Update on Riverside Square

Dear Friends,

I know many of you have heard about the Riverside Square development application so I'd like to update you on today's decision at Toronto and East York Community Council.

Thanks to everyone from Ward 30 who took the time to come to speak at Community Council today both in favour and opposition to the application, those who attended the public meetings, and to those who served on the Working Group. After hearing from residents today, I realize that some of the information out in the neighbourhood is not entirely accurate and want to ensure everyone is fully up to speed and on the same page.

This application was received in August 2014 and has been through the standard City consultation process, plus an Open House, as well as a Working Group process faciliated by City Planning to allow for consultation with neighbourhood stakeholder communities. I have asked City staff to put together an overview of the entire process, which I will send to you.

The majority of this 4-acre site at Queen Street East and the Don Valley is zoned industrial. The site is currently home to the Toyota dealership, which occupies 2.5 acres on Queen Street East. The Riverside Square proposal will shift the Toyota dealership south to Eastern Ave. where it will form part of a new dealership group in a stand-alone structure like the BMW building on Eastern, at less than one acre. All of the service bays and parking will be moved below ground so there will be no surface parking on the site. A car dealership is 'as-of-right' on this site and no Planning or City permission is required to build it.

Because of the Industrial zoning of this site, a rezoning application was needed to allow for residential and retail, which will animate Queen Street East with new retail and vibrancy. Strict attention was paid to heritage considerations on Queen East and along with preserving the heritage character of the street, the Queen St. frontages will be limited to 6 storeys. There will also be a new park on Queen Street East and a new dog off-leash area is proposed for south of the development. The developer is also contributing $5m toward building new affordable housing in the immediate neighbourhood.

There were some concerns raised about the impact of the car dealership on the air quality in the DVP area. I have asked staff to evaluate whether this development will significantly add to the air quality issues in the neighbourhood. As an east ender who has always advocated for improved air quality, this is important to me. This staff study will begin immediately and I will share the report with you.

You can read my original letter on this important development here, which outlines some of the things we accomplished on this site, including:
  • Maintaining the 6-storey height limit on Queen Street East and reducing the height of the tallest building
  • One rental building
  • Small-scale retail on Queen, including a grocery store
  • $5 million for the construction of affordable housing in the neighbourhood
  • Listing dozens of heritage properties in the neighbourhood
  • Increased animation on Queen Street
The full staff report is available online as well.

The staff recommendations can be read online, along with the amendments I put forward concerning air quality and other concerns raised by the community which were adopted unanimously by Community Council in a recorded vote.

There is still work to be done in the Site Plan Approval for this site, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure we maintain the vibrant character of Queen Street East as this project moves forward.


Councillor Paula Fletcher
Ward 30 - Toronto Danforth

Copyright © 2015 Councillor Paula Fletcher, All rights reserved.