RICHVIEW SQUARE + 4620 EGLINTON AVE W 

LETTER TO CITY PLANNING DIVISION, COMMUNITY PLANNING

Attention:  Luisa Galli, Manager, City Planning Division, Community Planning, Etobicoke York District.

                   Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division, City of Toronto

CC: Ann-Marie Nasr, Director of Parks Development and Capital Projects

       Nic Garisto, Planner, Parks – Development Applications and Land Acquisitions

       Councillor Stephen Holyday, Ward 2   

June 1, 2021

RE: Item EY24.4 – 250 Wincott Dr and 4620 Eglinton Ave. West – Final Report Zoning By-law Amendment Application

       Item EY24.5 Eglinton West Planning and Streetscape Study – Final Report                                                                         

 

Dear Ms. Galli and Mr. Lintern, 

 

Based on updated information, Friends of Silver Creek are revising our prior communication dated May 19, 2021.

 

With reference to the Staff Report for Action – Final Report – Eglinton West Planning and Streetscape Study, we have further questions and concerns about parkland dedication at 250 Wincott Dr. and 4620 Eglinton Ave. W. 

 

Most recently, we have become aware that Councillor Holyday is proposing that 4600 Eglinton Ave. W is an appropriate park substitution for the proposed on-site park on the Trinity Development/Create T.O. site.  

 

While we agree that 4600 Eglinton Ave. W be designated as Parks and Open Spaces Area so that our growing community can have more green space, we do not agree with the proposal that 4600 Eglinton Ave. W is an appropriate substitute for the proposed parkland on site at 250 Wincott Dr. and 4620 Eglinton Ave. W.

 

We welcome the recommendations in the Eglinton West Planning and Streetscape Study for greater visibility, physical connectivity, preservation of natural areas and woodlots, and enhanced pathways for pedestrians and cyclists — all these goals support our letter today. 

 

As noted in our May 19th letter, we are deeply concerned that Community Planning has been directed to revise the proposed park/open space of the proposed Trinity Development/Create T.O. plan. We disagree with this directive as this would result in a loss of 55 % of parkland proposed for this site.

 

In our opinion, a 760m2 park is not adequate for a 681-unit development that will potentially house more than 1,500 residents, plus retail.

 

This population is in addition to the approximately 2,000 residents from the four previous developments on Richview transit lands that did not include parkland or greenspace – homes without backyards.

 

As the Eglinton West Planning and Streetscape Study noted, “recent developments on the north side of Eglinton Avenue West have little streetscaping.”

 

In addition, walkability is also an issue: “the Eglinton Avenue West corridor has few mid-block pedestrian connections/infrastructure” and there are “barriers … especially for seniors.” (pg. 11.)


FofSC support the proposed 1,700m2 park located on-site as part of the integrated design – we envision children from condos, seniors from Shannex, shoppers, dog walker and patrons of the new city community agency space enjoying the greenspace.

 

A 1,700m2 park will provide:

 

  • Trees critical for cooling and carbon capture in a hardscape

  • Absorption of stormwater run-off

  • Cyclist and pedestrian pathways

  • A buffer for Building B from Eglinton Ave. W

 

Friends of Silver Creek are concerned:

 

  • A 760m2 park situated between Buildings A and B will experience a wind tunnel effect and hence, be a disincentive for meaningful use.

  • An extension of the POPS will also experience a wind tunnel effect and therefore, is not a substitute for the proposed park location.

 

FofSC do not support an off-site parkland dedication at 4600 Eglinton Ave. W as a substitution for the planned 1,700 m2 on-site parkland for the following reasons:

 

  • This property will be added to Site and Area Specific Policy No. 265, whereby the provisions prohibiting the disposal of city-owned land in the Parks and Open Space Areas do not apply. Our concern is that this “city park” could be in the future sold, disposed of, or used for other purposes.

  • As evidence of the above, the eastern border of 4600 Eglinton Ave. W will be the site of a Metrolinx emergency exit and a tractor power substation (a large one-storey building).

    • What other requirements will this land be subjected to in the future?

    • Will Metrolinx require future on-site buildings/offices/equipment on 4600 Eglinton Ave. W – a situation that currently exists at Eglinton Park, Midtown?

  • The Wincott Plaza surface parking lot on 4600 Eglinton Ave. W (currently rented land from Create T.O.) is excluded from the proposed re-designation.

    • Is there a possibility that this land will be further developed by the plaza owners thus impacting a new community park?

  • 4600 Eglinton Ave. W is located at the busy intersection of Eglinton and Wincott. This intersection will be expanded and will become even more congested because of the intensification. Councillor Holyday stated that 4600 Eglinton Ave. W is “immediately across the street” but because of lack of connectivity, traffic, and traffic lights this new park location will be a deterrent for families with young children and inaccessible for seniors from the community including those from the Shannex Seniors Residence at 4560 Eglinton Ave. W.

 

This proposal works to intensify the existing barriers already noted by the Eglinton West Planning and Streetscape Study.

 

We are discouraged and disappointed that Councillor Holyday and approximately 87 RGRRA members can negotiate a 55 % reduction in parkland, a 16 % increase in units and a removal of the minimum unit size requirements in relation to the two- and three-bedroom units.


We are further discouraged that Councillor Holyday, without broad community consultation or any direct communication, supports a park that will be the site of Metrolinx infrastructure, located beside a plaza parking lot and situated at a busy intersection.

 

In addition, if this proposed site is re-designated as Park and Open Space Areas and the lands are added to Site and Area Specific Policy No. 265 as per Councillor Holyday’s request, the community will need confirmation by the Councillor that this new park site at 4600 Eglinton Ave, W will be protected and not at risk, as other parks are.  


Friends of Silver Creek ask:

  1. How can a small group of homeowners, all with backyards, and with the cooperation of Councillor Holyday and Trinity Developments and Create T.O. determine that 1500+ future condo residents will live in smaller spaces in a denser development with a reduced green space which will also affect the residents of the community at large? 
     

  2. How can Councillor Holyday, without a broad community consultation, determine that 4600 Eglinton Ave. W is a suitable substitution for parkland dedication when the land he is recommending will support Metrolinx infrastructure, is located at a busy intersection and potentially will not be protected?

 

In conclusion, Friends of Silver Creek, residents of Richmond Gardens ask that you do not diminish the proposed 1,700m2 park for the Trinity Development/Create T.O plan. The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasized how critical green space is to the health of a community.

 

Buildings A and B have previously been reduced from 20 and 19 storeys to 13 stories each. Further reducing these buildings to 11 stories but in the process, losing parkland and gaining density is not a win for the community at large.

 

Friends of Silver Creek do support the redesignation of 4600 Eglinton Ave. W from Neighbourhoods to Parks and Open Space Areas but not for the purpose of replacing the proposed park at the Trinity Development/ Create T.O. site.

 

This redesignation will support the goals of the Eglinton West Planning and Streetscape Study by providing more open space and connectivity. An additional park at 4600 Eglinton Ave. W.  will be particularity suited for the students from Richview C.I. which is located directly across the street and who are daily patrons of the retail shops.

 

We must protect and when possible, add additional parkland and greenspace for the health and safety of our communities instead of agreeing to a cash-in-lieu solution.

 

We thank you for the time you and your teams have spent on this plan and for advocating for a responsible development that includes an integrated plan with parkland and greenspace.

 

Your consideration of our concerns is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to your response.

 

Respectfully,

 

Friends of Silver Creek