On Monday, September 25 approximately 100 Sunnylea/Kingsway residents gathered at the Etobicoke School of the Arts for a community information meeting regarding the proposed 9-storey development at 2915/2917 Bloor Street West. An Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing regarding the proposal is scheduled to take place over eight days in June 2018.
The position of the Sunnylea-Kingsway Community Association is that the proposed development should comply with the 2004 Bloor Kingsway Urban Design Guidelines, which permit buildings of up to 6 storeys only.
The keynote speaker at the meeting was lawyer Bruce Ketcheson of Ritchie Ketcheson Hart & Biggart LLP. Mr. Ketcheson has extensive OMB experience, including recent work with the Humber Valley Village Residents’ Association, and he will representing the Sunnylea-Kingsway Community Association at the June 2018 OMB hearing.
Mr. Ketcheson described how the neighbourhood would be affected by the proposed development and answered questions, drawing from his broad experience with development projects. His remarks included the observation that the developer will have an architect speak about the purported benefits of the design of the building and how it is consistent with City guidelines regarding mid-rise buildings. (Note: those guidelines exclude the area addressed in the Bloor Kingsway Urban Design Guidelines; the proposal would require a zoning by-law change). To rebut that position, testimony will be required from the City, representatives from the community, and our SKCA professional advisors.
Mr. Ketcheson’s comments also included the following: Many of the issues in this case will relate to the fit and compatibility of the proposed building with the adjacent properties, and intended ‘look’ of this section of Bloor Street. This is not about the principle of re-development for a mixed-use building, but rather the scale and design of the building.”
To that end, and to defend our interests, SKCA has hired not only Mr. Ketcheson but also planner David Butler (The Butler Group and urban designer Rick Merrill (The Planning Partnership)