RICHVIEW SQUARE + 4620 EGLINTON AVE W 

LETTER TO MAYOR JOHN TORY AND MEMBERS OF COUNCIL

 

Attention Mayor of Toronto and Members of Toronto City Council: John Tory, Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Mark Grimes, Gord Perks, Frances Nunziata, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Mike Colle, Ana Bailão, Joe Cressy, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Kristyn Wong-Tam, Paula Fletcher, Jaye Robinson, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Shelley Carroll, John Filion, Brad Bradford, Gary Crawford, Michael Thompson, Nick Mantas, Cynthia Lai, Paul Ainslie, Jennifer McKelvie

CC: Luke Robertson, Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, City of Toronto

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

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

 

June 6, 2021

 

RE:         EY24.5 Eglinton W and Planning and Streetscape Study - Final Report
(EYCC recommendation to re- designate lands at NE corner Eglinton Ave. West & Wincott Dr [4600 Eglinton Ave W])

 

 

Dear Mayor Tory and Members of Toronto City Council,

 

This letter is to express concern regarding the lack of consultation with Ward 2 constituents regarding the configuration of a new park at 4600 Eglinton Ave. W., land that is currently owned by Create T.O.

 

We respectfully request that Members of Toronto City Council defer the decision to adopt Amendment 515 of Bill 429 to the Official Plan of the City Toronto as it pertains to 4600 Eglinton Ave. W.

 

We request Councillor Stephen Holyday host an inclusive and fulsome community consultation regarding parkland in the Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview community to be organized by his office and not through the Richmond Gardens Ratepayer and Residents Association (RGRRA), whose reach is limited and whose focus is specific. To engage as many residents as possible, we ask Councillor Holyday to engage with all community groups, advocates, and residents, including those who live in townhomes and apartment buildings.

 

Councillor Holyday is seeking this re-designation to provide parkland at 4600 Eglinton Ave. W. This location is across the street from the Trinity Development/ Create T.O. site (250 Wincott Dr. and 4620 Eglinton Ave. W.) where he has proposed to reduce the planned on-site 1700 m2 park to 760m2 in exchange for the reduction of 2 stories from both Buildings A and B.

 

This proposal was introduced by Councillor Holyday at the April 6, 2021 virtual RGRRA meeting and supported by 87 participants including RGRRA board members.

At this meeting, questions and comments that were submitted regarding parkland were not addressed and the motion to re-designate 4600 Eglinton Ave. W was not introduced.  Also, Councillor Holyday did not communicate to attendees that he intended to bring this motion to the May 17, 2021 EYCC meeting where the new park at 4600 Eglinton Ave. W was endorsed without any broad Ward 2 community consultation regarding the profile of this property.

 

While members of one community group (RGRRA) had prior knowledge, Councillor Holyday only announced this proposal to the larger community in his May 21st e-newsletter – after the EYCC May 17th motion had been carried. 

 

To date the community is still waiting for the required consultation to occur before the June 22, 2021 EYCC meeting – but this meeting will be scheduled after the June 8, 2021 Toronto Council decision.

 

At the June 8, 2021 Toronto Council Meeting, Councillor Holyday will not be bringing a consensus from the larger community to Toronto Council because the larger community remains uninformed.

 

To date, our questions submitted to Councillor Holyday via email remain unanswered:

 

  1. As this property will be added to Site and Area Specific Policy No. 265, the provisions prohibiting the disposal of city-owned land in the Parks and Open Space Areas do not apply.

  • Will this “city park” be secured for future generations or will it be used
    for other purposes?

  • What other requirements will the land be subject to?

 

   2. What are the conditions of the new Site and Area Specific Policy 632?

 

   3. This land designation, as noted by staff, permits public transit development.

  • Will the footprint of the Metrolinx emergency exit and the large tractor
    power substation located in this .9-acre park be taken from the park
    space? If so, by how much will the park be reduced?

Bill 429 Map.png

   5. Although this park is “immediately across the street” from the proposed
       development, it is a busy intersection that will become further intensified
       with the coming Trinity/ Create T.O. development and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

  • This location will provide barriers to access, especially for families with young children and seniors from the community, including those from the Shannex seniors’ residence at 4560 Eglinton Ave. W.

 

The Eglinton West Planning and Streetscape Study (which City Council directs City Staff to use) recommends physical connectivity, greater visibility and notes that recent developments on the north side of Eglinton Ave. W have little streetscaping, and few mid-block pedestrian connections/ infrastructure. There are barriers, especially for seniors.

 

  • Should Councillor Holyday, Trinity Development and Create T.O. agree to reduce the proposed 1700m2 park, increase the number of units to 681 while reducing the area of the units, approximately 1,500 new residents will have a 760 m2 onsite park where City Staff determined that the appropriate measure was 4565 m2.

 

  • Please consider that four previous developments on this strip (the former Richview transit lands) have no communal green space and no backyards.

 

Regrettably, Councillor Holyday’s support of reducing the proposed park at the Trinity Development/Create T.O. site and creating a new park that is an “independent initiative” but is located across the street, works to intensify the existing barriers already noted by the Eglinton West Planning and Streetscape Study.

 

Friends of Silver Creek hope that Councillor Holyday will value the advice of City Staff who have created an integrated plan of on-site park/greenspace which is much needed in this dense strip, and which will be adjacent to a new City of Toronto community space secured by Section 37 funds. We welcome the Councillor’s independent initiative for new parkland, but we have serious concerns about 4600 Eglinton Ave. W as a suitable site and certainly, not at the expense of losing the proposed parkland at the Trinity Development/ Create T.O. site.

 

In light of the above information and the numerous questions that have yet to be answered, we respectfully request that Members of Toronto City Council defer this decision until there is an inclusive and fulsome community consultation organized by Councillor Holyday’s office regarding parkland in the Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview community.

 

Sincerely,

 

Friends of Silver Creek

   4. The land will be further reduced to accommodate an existing plaza parking lot (noted on map).

  • Is there a possibility that this parking lot, rented from CreateT.O., will be further developed thus impacting a new community park?

  • Does the measure of the potential .9-acre park include or exclude this parking lot?