35, 41-63, 65, 95 High Park Avenue and 66 & 102-116 Pacific Avenue (Great West Life)
You can view all the application documents here.
January 2018 Update -
City Staff: The City completed the preliminary reports back in April 2017, which resulted in the first public meetings. Since that time, City staff have circulated the proposals to all the City departments for comment. The City will not be releasing the final staff reports until after the Character Study is complete, as that study will influence the direction the City and the proponents would like to follow.
Character Study: Right now the City is undertaking the Character Study of the High Park Neighbourhood.
There is a working group of residents, representatives of the Alliance, property owners, (including Minto and GWL) and myself who are working with City staff on this study. The reason GWL & Minto are taking part is that they have the ability to share items from a management perspective, and they are also able to hear the issues that arise.
A status report will be coming to the April 4 Etobicoke York Community Council (EYCC) meeting. The first draft of the final report will go to the working group shortly after that. The final report will go to EYCC on June 8, 2018, then City Council in July.
The OMB: While the Character Study takes place, the file is still slowly moving through the OMB process. There are two pre-hearings taking place within the month for both applications. Pre-hearings are to determine who are the parties and participants in the OMB case, and what steps will be taking place next. This pre-hearing could result in a second round of pre-hearings, mediation, or going straight to a hearing date. At this point both the City and the applicants will be asking for a second round of pre-hearings.
Great West Life: Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Minto: Thursday, February 8, 2018
10:00 am, 655 Bay Street (16th Floor)
The High Park Community Alliance and the City will be registering to be parties. Other parties may emerge the day of the hearings. As individuals, you can register to be participants. Being a participant allows you to make a statement to the board. While some OMB adjudicators will allow you to register as a participant by email, they could cut off participants at the pre-hearing, so it is best to attend.
If these applications go to mediation those with party status will be at the discussion table while those with participant status are not.
Next Steps: Both GWL & Minto have agreed they are going to present a new proposal after the Character Study is complete. Because we are also at the OMB, there are multiple paths this could take. The applicant could submit a new application to the City, and continue along the City process, hoping to reach a settlement or take a new proposal straight to the OMB.
We expect a second set of pre-hearings to take place following completion of the Character Study. At that time the parties involved could agree to mediation through the OMB. This gives the residents, City, and proponents an opportunity to work together to try to make changes to the application. All sides need to work together for this to work, and we have seen positive results in the past on other developments.
Finally, we could go straight into a formal OMB hearing. This will result in a straight yes or no decision from the OMB adjudicator.
October 2017 Update - On Wednesday, October 26, we had the kickoff meeting for the High Park Apartment Area Character Study. While there was a fair turn out, and some good questions asked, there seems to be some lingering confusion with the study, and how it will work with the opponents appeal to the OMB.
There are two important aspects of the character study. First, the character study is a chance for the community to be able to express their desires for what is to come to the neighbourhood in the future. No neighbourhood is static, so whether these proposals move forward or not, it is important that the community's views and concerns are recorded and addressed. Second, the study will also include the two proposals before us. Legally, each application is looked at separately, and must have their own final Staff Report to Council. While this will continue moving forward, the Character Study is able to link together the two applications, and examine the effects that the proposed changes would have on each other's development, as well as the community as a whole. (The study was set up to work in tandem with the two development applications as one will affect the other.) The Character Study will not come out in favour or opposed to the development applications, that is the job of the final staff report, but it will be used as an additional tool for Planning Staff's final report on these applications. This is an opportunity for increasing the input from residents on not just what they oppose, but what they want to see in the community.
The community and I have made it very clear to the developers that we do not approve of their current applications. Both Great West Life (GWL) and Minto have told us they will be resubmitting their proposals after hearing from the community following the results of the Character Study. While we of course do not know what the developers will resubmit, we hope the new proposal will fit better with the wishes of the neighbourhood.
As you know, the applicants have made an OMB appeal. This does not mean that we are headed straight for an OMB hearing. In fact, following the provincial government's announcements for proposed changes to the OMB, every proposed development in our ward made an appeal to the OMB, with the hopes they are grandfathered in under the current rules. Neither GWL nor Minto have asked for a hearing date, and have stated they will continue to work with residents and the City to submit an improved application.
There was some confusion over a "complete" application vs an approved or final application at Wednesday's meeting. As dictated by the Province, the City must examine all development proposals. For a development proposal to be examined, they must submit a "complete" application, which includes a number of studies for their proposals such as impacts on traffic, sunlight, infrastructure, etc. (All the studies can be found here for Minto, and here for GWL.) When an application is deemed complete, the City will begin its first examination, and the 120 day countdown to a possible OMB appeal begins. This "complete" application does not mean it is will be the final application that goes to the City. In fact, of the large scale developments in our ward, not one has gone through to Council or the OMB with their original proposal since I have been a Councillor.
Long story short, the door is not closed, no final decisions have been made. While I, and the greater community oppose these developments as they currently stand, this Character Study allows residents to solidify in City bylaws not just opposition, but what they want to see in their community. It is an important tool we are able to have moving forward, and I encourage anyone interested to get involved.
July 2017 Update - Great West Life (GWL) has appealed their application to the Ontario Municipal Board. However, they have stated they are willing to continue working with the City and the community at large to help shape their proposal.
May 2017 Update - The first public consultation took place on Thursday, May 18, at 7:00 at Lithuania House (1573 Bloor Street West).
January 2017 Update - An application was submitted by Great West life for their property between High Park Avenue and Pacific Avenue, south of Glenlake. They are proposing a 39-storey tower, a 34-storey tower, a 29-storey tower, and an 8-storey tower. Unlike the Minto application, this application was not brought to my office and the community first so we are unsure at this point what road they plan to take moving forward.
City Planning has informed me that this application is not complete. Once a completed application has been submitted, a public meeting will be hosted by the City Planning Division.
You can view the application documents here.