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109OZ in Context

Ossington Community Association July 2012 This is a work in progress. OCA does not purport to expertise in the law or planning, and all claims made in this document are to the best of our knowledge. OCA is grateful for notification of any factual errors or interpretive implausibilities.

Whats the nutshell story?

Every existing building on Ossington is Lowrise.
Lowrise means 4 stories or less; Midrise means 5 to 10 stories.

There should be only Lowrise on Ossington.

Lowrise is part of why Ossington is an evening and nightlife destination. Midrise would suck the life out of the Ossington Strip, just as it has sucked the life out of College and Palmerston. And Lowrise is key to Ossington buildings having a good interface with the Neighbourhood. Midrise would destabilize the Neighbourhood: its intrusive presence goes beyond height, for engineering reasons that are inseparable consequences of height.

A developer has applied to build 109OZ, an 82 foot tall Midrise building with retail space for a chain store on one-third of the block just south of Golden Turtle.
This proposal is even more intrusive than typical Midrise: it fills out a huge volume with prominences and balconies, markets a party lifestyle to 100 residents with 80 balconies east and west up as much as 70 feet, routes 70 cars across kids walking to school, and overlooks as many as twenty house lots, half of which back directly on to it.

The laws do not support Midrise on Ossington.

The Official Plan specifically directs Midrise to the Avenues: Queen East, College, King West, Dundas, and Bloor West are Avenues: Ossington is not an Avenue. The applicants argument that Midrise is OK on Lowrise Ossington because Ossington is like an Avenue undermines the very foundation of the Official Plan. The Official Plans call for growth can be met through Lowrise development on Ossington. The Official Plan promises protection to Neighbourhoods. In our view, these safeguards legally require keeping midrise off of the Ossington Strip.

And so the OCA calls on Councillor Layton to vote now, always, and only for Lowrise on the Ossington Strip to protect the basic framework of the Official Plan, to protect against destabilization the local business, residential, and school communities, and to work with the community and developers to guarantee a more enjoyable Ossington Strip for the Neighbourhood and all of Toronto.



What is 109OZ?
A proposed condominium structure Site: 103, 10911 Ossington Avenue Ossington Strip, east side, about 50m south of the light at Argyle Between Hollywood Foods and Bhmer The lot is 46m wide and 41m deep

How big is the proposed building?

82 feet high, 150 feet wide, 108 feet deep (counting the balconies) Retail on the ground floor, five levels of condos, and a mechanical penthouse on top = HVAC unit Not counting the HVAC unit, the building is 70 feet high Not exactly a cube:
The sixth story is slightly set back on the street side, though its balconies reach forward to the proposed property line The top half of the sixth story is set back by about ten feet on the laneway side The laneway faade recedes at the edges

Still, not that far off.

What does that mean?

Consider the three-story building to the north, housing Hollywood Foods, Frantic City Books, and the Golden Turtle That building is about 33 feet high, 50 feet wide, and 68 feet deep (half of the lot) So ignoring the HVAC unit the proposal is more than twice as tall, three times as wide, and almost 1.6 times as deep. So the proposal has over nine times as much volume as the biggest building on its block.

But it doesnt look huge in those pictures!

Well, it is huge. Here is OCAs artist conception based on plans, zoning maps, and photos of the block if the proposal is built as proposed:

Proposed true height

Ossington side view

Lowrise limit

Golden Turtle height: three stories

Bhmer height: one story

Proposed true height

View from G-S School side

Lowrise limit Typical-sized house

Two story high blank brick wall


View walking north on Ossington

Lowrise limit
66 feet to go!

No setbacks


View from Argyle looking south

A setback! by 10 feet, at 66 feet up

Lowrise limit

Golden Turtle

Balconies = negative setback

Top view
Givins-Shaw School
137 feet


Ossington sidewalk

Balcony life up 3X the height of a house

Loading dock

wait, did I read that right?

Lands conveyed to the City for a nominal sum for road widening purposes??? LINE OF PROPERTY WITH 1M CONVEYANCE FOR ROAD WIDENING?????

Ya mean theyre gonna widen Ossington???

Ohoho, not exactly Part of the intricate legal position on which this proposal rests on is the applicants offer to the City to pull the building one meter back from the sidewalk for road widening purposes We explain more below

What are the units like?

86 units, the median unit 720 square feet Most units are about 119 wide and have only one window 70 units are only 1BR In the 2BR units, one of the bedrooms is more like a partitioned-off space that receives light through a glass scrim over 30 feet from the window

How much do the units cost?

The median apartment costs $412K Going by the figures we have available, they are $574 per square foot. At that rate, the typical 1800 sf house in the neighbourhood would go for over $1,030,000 and for that you get a yard and no $500 monthly condo fee.

Do the units increase affordable housing?

So the applicant has often claimed. But:
It should be asked whether in four years, the buyer who needs more than 720 sf will be able to recover that investment: especially if the selling point for these condos, the Ossington Strip vibe, has been significantly degraded in their creation. The condos are expensive:
At 3.5% on a 3-year mortgage with 25 year amortization, the cost of mortgage + condo fee on the median $412K apt is $2556/month. Get rid of the condo fee, and you can afford a $512K house Better to rent and save, perhaps.

In discussion with the applicant in Councillor Laytons office, the prospect of a supermarket came up: the applicant envisaged a branch of the high-end Pusateris chain By our calculation, the applicant stands to realize $150250 psf profit: knock $100 off that and the monthly cost drops to $2247, the cost of a $450K house

Two young couples could divide a house and a yard and get more space:
$2247 a month each: an $800K 1800sf house + $100K to divide it: 900 sf each $2556 a month each: a $900K 2000sf house + $120K to divide it: 1000 sf each

Finally, OCA is pro-residential intensification, but that does not require Midrise

How profitable is the proposal?

This is our attempt to use the citys proforma to estimate the financials of the proposal Justification:
Development insiders repeatedly tell us $200 per sf construction costs The city proforma recommends a 30% of construction soft costs pricing Development insiders have reported land costs of as low as $3M and as high as $7M, we split the difference Unit prices and parking are sourced here The applicant stated rents of $2040 prevailing on the strip, but we assume AAA space goes for $50; 11560 sf retail; cap rate of 8%

Our best estimate is of a profitability within the $150250 psf range

Disclaimer: this is all highly inexact, and does not accommodate how much the applicant is borrowing to finance the proposal, or how long it will take for the construction to occur, as well as many other unknowns. Corrections appreciated.

Here is one of 16 720 sf units

Sold as 1BR+Den the den a desk of solitary contemplation in otherwise unsaleable space between front door and bathroom, more than 50 feet from the sole narrow window

Here is a 2BR for a young family

This unit is 1112 sf for $740K, or $665/sf. At that rate, an 1800 sf house would cost $1.2M. The range of resale house prices in our area in 2012 has been $7251225K. For that price you also get a yard, and you dont have to pay monthly condo fees, and you would get a house that has stood the test of 80100 years rather than a hastily constructed new building.

Are there other noise and visual impacts?

Balconies on every level
About 40 on the street side and about 40 on the laneway side Since the building is marketed as a place to party, and judging by similar structures at Wellington and in Liberty Village, residents are understandably concerned about party noise

The HVAC unit is supposed to be screened, but we find it implausible that it will not project significant noise from a level high enough to travel quite far The laneway side features a two-story tall blank back wall with a loading dock and garage entrance The laneway side also features a 12 cube electrical transformer, which would presumably be a source of significant noise

How many residences are near the site?

Eight houses on Givins are across the laneway from the site, with their rear yards and rear windows facing the 40 balconies One house on Argyle Street abuts the laneway side-on, and it and two other houses have backyards equally in the viewshed as those on Givins There is a house on Argyle Place, the laneway: less than 60 feet from the site, its front door opens directly onto the laneway Another ten or more lots on Givins are within 150 feet (half a narrow block) of the site, as are seven or eight on the other side of Argyle Street, as are one or two on Argyle across Ossington, as are one or two on Humbert Several rental apartments are in the three-story building immediately to the north

What about shadow?

Fix a certain time t: noon on April 21 or September 21. At t, an 82 foot building in Toronto would cast a shadow about 80 feet long Toronto tilts a bit counterclockwise of true north, so at time t:
Shadow would reach the north sidewalk along Argyle Street for the width of five houses The house on Argyle street abutting the laneway would be cast completely in shadow Shadow would cover the garages of three houses along Givins

At all other times on the day of time t, the shadow would be longer
At 9AM on that day, shadow would cover the intersection of Argyle and Ossington, spreading perhaps as far south as Venezia and as far north as Quasi Modo By 3PM on that day, shadow would cover the lots of 11 houses along Givins and Argyle

For the six winter months, the shadow would be longer at all times of day
For months, there would be no mid-morning sun for four houses west of Quasi Modo For months, seven house lots along Argyle would be completely cast in shadow at noon For months, the intersection of Argyle and Ossington, and the Givins-Shaw playground, would receive no late-afternoon sun

6070% of the residents along Givins derive significant economic value from produce grown in their back gardens. For most of the year, these back gardens would receive no afternoon sun. Consider these remarks as speculative and provisional, subject to closer investigation soon

What about cars?

The proposal is for a 70 car garage, 60 for residents, 4 for business, 6 for visitors The garage would be accessed from Argyle Place, a 17 foot wide laneway. Argyle Place empties to Argyle Street and Bruce Street Argyle Street is part of the citys bike path network Argyle and Bruce Streets are very significant paths for children walking to Givins-Shaw School Argyle runs one-way toward and past the schools playground, and there is a right turn available onto Givins Street, on which the school fronts

What does this mean for the GivinsShaw School?

We discuss traffic safety issues above, in the slide on cars:
70 cars would cross the paths on Argyle and Bruce Streets where children walk to school Every car exiting onto Argyle Street would pass either the schools dropoff area or its playground

The proposal is also only 200 feet from the school and its playground, and so both would easily be in the viewshed of the proposal

A map of car/pedestrian flows

A picture of car/pedestrian flows

What about the retail space?

The retail space would be 12,000 sf
By comparison, the largest legal restaurant on Ossington is 1833 sf, less than one-sixth the size of the retail

There is no proposal to put hard dividers to make many smaller shops That means that there is every possibility that the retail space would be occupied by a single operation The retail space is likely to be affordable only by a chain store
It is likely to rent for $50 or more per square foot annually That works out to over $90,000 a year rent for that 1833 sf restaurant The full space would rent for $600,000 a year

The applicant has expressed its hope that there would be as many as five businesses operating, but that will not be up to the applicant
Their business model involves selling the retail space to a national property management firm for perhaps $7,000,000 or more From that point forward, the tenants would be entirely the concern of the property management firm

Which stores would rent the retail space?

That is anybodys guess Shoppers has a spot just at the foot of Ossington, so they are not the likely tenant But it could be H&M, Zara, the Gap, or some similar business hoping to locate in an area the development community has declared chic It could also be a large grocery store, which would involve many daily semi-truck deliveries to the laneway


Who has made the proposal?

Reserve Properties, a development firm run by Sheldon Fenton, a long-time developer in the GTA, and his son Shane Reserve has recently won approval for two projects in The Beach and another project further south on Ossington across from the ministorage Their development team includes architect Roland Colthoff of RAW architects and planning consultant Craig Hunter, a prominent advocate for GTA developers According to news reports, Fenton initially tasked Colthoff with designing a 100 unit building

Has the applicant been willing to negotiate?

The applicant is well-aware of the communitys view that Midrise development and big chain stores do not belong on Ossington. And yet:
They have declared in print, and in Ward 19 Councillor Laytons office, that they are unwilling to adjust the height of the building unless compelled to do so They declared in the Councillors office that they are unwilling to guarantee that no national tenants would be considered They have expressed a hope that several stores would occupy the retail space, but have been unwilling to take any action to further this hope

Is the applicant worried about the many destabilizing effects of the proposal?
For example, about the safety of children on the way to school? If so, theyre not letting on:
Sheldon Fenton describes his six-storey building as appropriate for a main street in a rapidly growing city. Everywhere weve done developments you have a protectionism from the local people, says Fenton, who calls the reaction pure NIMBYism. Asked if he heard anything that would modify his project, he said: What weve proposed is reasonable and I believe it should be approved.

This is a surprising turnabout from the applicants earlier statement that We understand you, we want to embrace the community, we want to be a part of it, and we don't want to try and be a thorn in the side

Doesnt the applicant have something else on Ossington?

Yes. They are the developer of the Motif condo at 41 Ossington, northwest corner of the Rebecca intersection. It is a mixed project, involving a condo part fronting on Ossington together with several townhouses behind on Rebecca. The condo part is, sad to say, a Midrise structure. Its circumstances differ from this one in several ways:
Much smaller: less than one-quarter as large as the 109OZ proposal, with one-third the street frontage and under one-quarter the retail space On a corner, abutting only the townhouse part of that development rather than backing onto eight residential lots The safety issues with the laneway do not exist The Planning Department does not consider Motif to be precedental

What happened at 41 Ossington?

As we understand it, something like this:
Joe Pantalone was running for mayor when the application was filed Mike Layton entered office with the clock already ticking on the file Initially, the proposal was for a five-story 18.5m residential structure with an HVAC unit atop the townhouses The Rebecca Street neighbours spent months in good faith negotation The city, confronted with an application filed at a strategic moment, was slow in processing the decision The OMB allows the city 120 days after a completed application Approximately one year after the date the application was filed, the applicant immediately appealed to the OMB, and the city, lacking sufficient resources for an OMB trial, settled The result was a six-story structure stretching east along Rebecca nearly as far at six stories as the original proposal stretched at four stories, and with a substantially increased overall floor area, with a slightly diminished parking stacker structure at its eastern extreme

41 Ossington: initial proposal

41 Ossington: final settlement

41 Ossington: Initial figures TYPO!

41 Ossington: Final figures

After months of negotiating: One extra story taller 9% higher GFA

How did 41 Ossington go to 21.5m?

A mystery:
The right-of-way (ROW) of a street is the distance between opposite side buildings A&MRBS says maximum allowable height is the ROW ROW on Ossington = 17.5m eh???

OP 2.2 Structuring Growth Policy 3a: The Citys transportation network will be maintained and developed to support the growth management objectives of this Plan by: protecting and developing the network of rights-of-way shown on Map 3 by:
i) acquiring over time the additional property needed to achieve the designated width. The conveyance of land for widening may be required for nominal consideration from abutting property owners as a condition of subdivision, severance, minor variance, condominium or site plan approvals; ii) extending and altering the widths of pavement, sidewalk and other facilities as necessary within the designated rights-of-way

In other words, by encouraging all Major Streets to have all buildings torn down and replaced with ones with the Map 3 ROW Map 3 says the ROW for Ossington is 20m

The legal basis for 21.5m is found here:

In other words, a certain map says that Ossington needs to be 20m to carry enough traffic, and that the ROW once all buildings are torn down will be 20m, and so that is why it is OK to build 1.5m above that hypothetical ROW

Is that as nuts as it sounds?

In our view, yes. Our analysis of traffic data shows that the Ossington Strip carries the second-least traffic of 31 major street segments on the West End for which data was available. The Planning Department recognizes this: the Ossington Strip is a destination, not a thoroughfare from Queen to Dundas A just-built structure at 2 Ossington does not expand the ROW Councillor Layton has also assured us that the ROW relevant to planning decisions on the Ossington Strip is 18m.

the procedural status of the 109OZ proposal

Where in the legal process is the 109OZ proposal?

The application for the proposal has been completed, on or shortly before 5 July 2012. The city has 120 days to vote the proposal, or some descendent compromise, up or down. The proposal requires two changes in the zoning bylaw controlling the lands on the Ossington Strip:
The bylaw limits height to 14m, the proposal requests 21.5m
That is a technical height: the HVAC unit brings the height to 25m but is not counted in the technical height Density means: (area of all floor space inside the building)/(area of the lot) Density 2.5 would mean three stories on the front half of the lot and two stories on the back half, or four stories on the front quarter of the lot and two stories on the back 3/4, or four stories covering a little over half of the lot, or Density 3.9 would mean four stories over almost the whole lot, or five stories over 78% of the lot, or six stories over almost 2/3 of the lot The proposal distributes density in something like an average of the latter options. The first story is as tall as Bhmer, by itself half the height of the 3-story Golden Turtle building The top three stories are 11.5 feet high Balconies are not included in density but are no different from interior space in how the building presents to the outside

The bylaw limits density to 2.5, the proposal requests 3.9

Note that the density figure understates the structures impact in two ways:

What is needed for the Zoning Bylaw change?

Two yes votes:
One from Community Council, the Councillors from wards in old Toronto-East York One from City Council

What determines how these votes go?

As a matter of something like custom (by no means of policy or law), in cases like this one, City Council votes the same way as Community Council And as a matter of something like custom (by no means of policy or law), in cases like this one, Community Council votes along with the Ward Councillor So in the present case, Ward 19 Councillor Mike Laytons choice of how to vote will be very strongly influential over the citys position

What determines how Mike Layton will vote?

This is not for us to say Councillor Layton relies heavily on the report issued by the Planning Department Councillor Layton will also rely on the outcome of the visioning study he will be running with the community over the coming months But ultimately, Councillor Layton is a legislator, who is free to vote in either direction in accord with his best policy judgement

What will the Planning Department say?

The Planning Department is obligated by the Official Plan to consider a large number of factors. We are not Planners, so we will gesture at the principles that determine what Planners would say, and then make some speculative remarks. Planners are sworn to interpret the law and principles of sound planning. Still, like any experts, Planners are not uniform in their interpretation, and frequently disagree on the merits of a proposal.

What has the Planning Dept said?

Can you try to explain that?

1. 2.
3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

The Planner in charge floats the proposal around the office, soliciting comments from his colleagues. They collectively came up with these worries: Its too tall and the setbacks are insufficiently deep. It hulks over everything else, is too close to the house lots in back, and is not even in line with the constraints specified by Midrise Performance Standards, a document specifying what Midrise should be like. We do not know what the crucial word treatment means here: this may be an aesthetic criticism of the ground floor faade. We are not familiar with the relevant standards here. The apartments are tiny, and developers are supposed to compensate this with amenity space. The applicant is marketing the Ossington Strip as the amenity, and includes on site only a perfunctory second floor terrace above Bhmer. We believe the city parking standard is one spot per unit. The applicant (in a way of which we approve) is including less. As a matter of going down the checklist, the Planning Dept needs to form an opinion whether this is appropriate. The green roof the applicant offers to provide is inaccessible, and occupies under 1/3 of the actual roof space Access to the underground parking and laneway loading requires a technical widening of the Laneway to the standard width of 6m from the current level, more like 5m.


What does the Official Plan say about this situation?

The Official Plan does not deal with the specifics of what precisely can be built on this or that specific lot. Instead, it is a broad system of guidelines. For specific parameters, the Official Plan is supposed to be supplemented with a second-tier layer of regulations, known as Secondary Plans or Area Studies. In many cases, these specific regulations exist. Not, however, in the present case. An Area Study was done for Ossington in 2009, but instead of including within its scope what would make for appropriate built form, it confines itself to the regulation of restaurant size.

What, in general, are the broad guidelines of the OP?

The backbone of the OP is a compromise:
Preserve the stability of residential Neighbourhoods (such as the lands back of the lots along the Ossington Strip) Direct regional population growth into the city rather than out beyond the suburban fringes

This is implemented by two strategies:

1. The OP directs growth into certain non-Neighbourhood areas 2. And the OP strongly regulates the interface between areas for growth and abutting Neighbourhoods

The broad guidelines capture these strategies

as well as various other desiderata.

Where will the city grow?

OP 2.2 Structuring Growth in the City: Integrating Land Use and Transportation, Policy 2: Growth will be directed to the
Yonge and Eg; North York Centre; Scarboro Centre; Dundas/Kipling

Important corridors along major streets designated for intensification and reurbanization (Bloor West, Dundas West, Eglinton, Ronces, ) Midrise along the lands fronting onto the Avenues

Employment Areas:
Industrialized or formerly industrialized lands: Only two anywhere near subway/streetcar are Niagara area below King and east side lands below Eastern Avenue

Bathurst east to Yonge up to the tracks by Dupont; Yonge east to the Don River below Rosedale Valley; Bathurst west to Lansdowne below the Gardiner

as shown on Map 2 (next slide) in order to protect neighbourhoods from the effects of nearby development (Policy 2i)

Official Plan Map 2: Urban Structure

Does this allow intensifying growth on the Ossington Strip?

The Ossington Strip is not in any of the four land-use classifications to which growth will be directed Subclauses (a)(h) of Policy 2 are motivations for increasing density in relatively urbanized regions Why not build towers everywhere? Policy 2(i): to protect neighbourhoods from the effects of nearby development Policy 2(i) is one of the most important subclauses in the entire OP. Without it, the most basic framework of the OP provides no rationale to prevent limitless intensification everywhere.

Is Ossington an Avenue?
Ossington is not an Avenue: Map 2 makes this clear. The applicant has been asserting that Ossington is like an Avenue and should be opened to Midrise development. They have even hired the author of the Avenues and Midrise Buildings Study (A&MRBS) to consult on this project. That is their assertion, however. It has no legal basis.

Is Ossington like an Avenue?

No. Avenues are significant corridors along major streets
The Ossington Strip is not a significant corridor: it is only .6km long. Almost all other Avenues are far, far longer.
Exception 1: west side of Bathurst Bloor to Dupont, .9km but the east side is Core so that is pro forma Exception 2: Bayview in Moore Park, .7km but that is 27m wide and heavily car-dependent, with pod-malls

The Ossington Strip is not a corridor: the 2009 Area Study recognizes it as a Destination, not a space to go through but a place to come to

The MR performance standards for Avenues require a Right-OfWay = minimum distance between property lines on opposite sides of the street of 20m
The ROW on Ossington is 17.5m The A&MRBS is adamant that buildings must not (HVAC unit aside) be taller than the ROW. This is known as the building envelope.

Does Ossington meent OPs qualitative picture of an Avenue?

The informal text box on 2-1 states that the policy framework found here prepares the city to realize *forecast *forecast population+ growth depending on the success of this plan in creating dynamic transit oriented mixed use centres and corridors The informal text box on 2-2 states the purpose of the growth management portions of OP as to shape the urban fabric of the GTA into a system of mixed use centres and corridors Ossington is not a mixed-use corridor, so the Ossington Strip is not a segment of a mixed-use corridor

Main shopping street:

The informal text box on 2-3 explains the Avenues as the Citys main shopping streets Familiarly, Ossington is not one of the Citys main shopping streets:
People from around the city travel to Ossington in order to play Paul Johnston, realtor for the 109OZ project The cool thing about this project [41 Ossington] is it demonstrates that Ossington is not just a street that people come to eat and drink. Its a place where people actually want to live, because you are so close to so many fantastic amenities that the city has to offer Shane Fenton

And isnt an Avenue, really, ultimately what the OP says is an Avenue?

Yes. Ossington isnt like an Avenue in the most important sense: the Official Plan says it is not an Avenue. In insisting on the sort of intensification intended for Avenues, the applicant is not merely requesting a zoning by-law change they are effectively trying to undermine the very framework of the OP itself This makes for an extremely dangerous precedent. Whether a certain patch is like an Employment Area in some way or other is irrelevant to whether establishing a smelter there is legal.

Is the applicant genuinely abiding by Avenue standards?

[***2-16 policy 3]

How does the OP protect Neighbourhoods from adverse impacts of growth?

2.2.3 Avenues: Reurbanizing Arterial Corridors
Policies 1 and 2 strongly encourage holistic Avenue Studies of strategic Mixed-Use segments of Avenues to specify appropriate transitions to Neighbourhoods and height and density limits. Optional according to Policy 3 but only if it can be proved that redeveloping the entire Avenue segment using the proposal as precedent will have no adverse impacts on adjacent Neighbourhoods Policy 4 insists that Avenue designation does not overrule Neighbourhood designation in terms of protecting Neighbourhood lands

2.3.1 Healthy Neighbourhoods

Policy 2 guarantees development on Mixed-Use lands adjacent or near Neighbourhoods must (a) be compatible w/ Nbh (b) gradually transition scale and density (c) maintain light and privacy (d) not significantly worsen traffic and parking Policy 3 states intensification of land adjacent to neighbourhoods will be carefully controlled so that neighbourhoods are protected from negative impact. Where significant intensification of land adjacent to a Neighbourhood or Apartment Neighbourhood is proposed, Council will determine, at the earliest point in the process, whether or not a Secondary Plan, area specific zoning by-law or area specific policy will be created in consultation with the local community following an Avenue Study, or area based study

How does the OP regulate Mixed-Use to protect Neighbourhoods?

4.5 Mixed-Use Areas
Policy 2: In Mixed Use Areas development will:
(c) locate and mass new buildings to provide a transition between areas of different development intensity and scale, as necessary to achieve the objectives of this Plan, through means such as providing appropriate setbacks and/or a stepping down of heights, particularly towards lower scale Neighbourhoods; (d) locate and mass new buildings so as to adequately limit shadow impacts on adjacent Neighbourhoods, particularly during the spring and fall equinoxes

Whats the big deal with Midrise against Lowrise?

Lowrise is 14 stories, Midrise is 510 Its not just one story!
A four story building can be framed with wood A five story building must be framed with steel; must have an elevator; must have an external HVAC unit; must have a loading dock.

All of this infrastructure has an impact on the Neighbourhood. All of this infrastructure adds a lot to the construction costs. A 5story building will therefore not make very much money for the applicant. A 6-story building has very similar costs to a 5-story building, but with an additional story to sell. Developers will use every trick in the book to get that sixth story: which is what happened down on 41 Ossington. To oversimplify, there is no such thing as a 5-story building. The choices are:
4 and low-impact infrastructure 6+ and high-impact infrastructure

Is it even possible to build MR on Ossington that protects the Neighbourhood?

The way to protect Neighbourhoods from Midrise is made operational in the A&MRBS. It involves a wide range of constraints. We can avoid the details, however, because in all illustrations in the A&MRBS, it is assumed that abutting residential lots have an axis parallel to the Avenue. For the entirety of the Ossington Strip, on at least one side, the residential lots have an axis perpendicular to the Avenue.
In particular, this is the case on the lot under discussion.

That makes a big difference to the adverse destabilizing affects on the Neighbourhood of the MR buildings

Whats the big deal with parallel or perpendicular?




s c s e t u n s n Growth will be directed to the Ce re , Ave , Em p o l ym t n e Di tri s t t and the Down own in order to: protect neighbourhoods from the effects of nearby development.

Side% On ! impact: ! impact End% On End% On

Midrise means Side-On, End-On means Lowrise

What about those Area Studies?

Council did not order them when the Motif proposal was advanced. It did not order them when the 109OZ proposal was advanced. It has not ordered them. Councillor Layton has stated he will approach Council to request that they be ordered in September. Planning is highly understaffed, so even if they are ordered, it will be a long time before they are completed.

If Area Studies are impossible, what can be done?

Councillor Layton is working with the community on a Visioning Study. The aim is to come up with a surrogate for the absent Area Study. This has the potential to be of significant value. The city can use it in backing up its case. If it is written with due attention to law and good planning principles, it can stand up just as well as a study by the Planning Department. The Ossington Community Association is looking into retaining a Planner to assist in this process.

Are there other OP regulations bearing on the situation?

The OP is complex, and there are very many especially since it insists on being interpreted holistically. We will point to two factors:
Coherence of the public realm Health of the retail sector

How does the OP protect the Character of the public realm?

3.1.2 Built Form
Policy 3(c): New development will be massed and its exterior facade will be designed to fit harmoniously into its existing and/or planned context, and will limit its impact on neighbouring streets, parks, open spaces and properties by creating appropriate transitions in scale to neighbouring existing and/or planned buildings

How does the OP protect Commercial Zones?

3.5.3 The Future of Retailing
Policy 2: Traditional retail shopping streets will be improved as centres of community activity by:
a) encouraging quality development of a type, density and form that is compatible with the character of the area and with adjacent uses; b) improving public amenities such as transit and parking facilities, street furniture and landscaping; and c) encouraging and supporting effective business associations in these areas.

Policy 3: Retail development along the Avenues is encouraged and will suit the local context of built form and support the establishment of a high quality pedestrian environment. Policy 4: in order to provide local opportunities for small businesses and maintain the safety, comfort and amenity of shopping areas, zoning regulations for ground floor commercial retail uses in new buildings in new neighbourhoods or in Mixed Use Areas along pedestrian shopping strips where most storefronts are located at the streetline, may provide for a maximum store or commercial unit size based on the following considerations:
a) the prevailing sizes of existing stores and commercial units in the area; b) other indicators of opportunities for small business, such as vacancies in existing stores and commercial units; c) the provision of a range of store and commercial unit sizes to meet the range of local needs including day-to-day convenience shopping and other household goods and services; d) the potential impact of large vacant stores and commercial units at the ground floor level on the safety and comfort of the strip for pedestrians, e) the need for eyes on the street; f) the rhythm and flow of storefronts on the strip; and g) the potential for the building design, particularly the street facade, to address the safety, comfort and amenity of the shopping area.


How will this all play out?

Scenario A: Councillor Layton pledges to vote only for Lowrise
Community and City Council vote against the proposal by, say February The applicant appeals to OMB The city is then bound to defend its decision at OMB OCA cooperates with the city in defending the legal and planning case Everything depends on the Board Members judgement at that point, but in our view we have a very strong legal and planning case to keep Ossington Lowrise Communities have been winning against applicants at the OMB with increasing frequency as the Harris Board has faded out and is replaced by a McGuinty board

Scenario B: The compromise game gets rolling

Councillor tries to broker a bargain down to 5 stories The applicant, as announced, wont budge Either the applicant runs clock out and goes to OMB or city votes no on 6 and applicant goes to OMB Now city is either going to cave in to 6+ or bound to defend a weak position at OMB, having just given the nod to a second MR, at that point arguing over shades of grey rather than principles; then maybe were looking at 7 or 8

What does OCA want from the city?

OCA thinks there is an extremely strong principled case to be made here: Ossington is Lowrise. OCA calls on Councillor Layton to vote now, always, and only for Lowrise on the Ossington Strip. OCA believes that this commitment is the keystone of creating the strongest possible position for the city going forward to promote the flourishing of the Neighbourhood and its Commercial Zones.

What does OCA pledge in return?

OCA pledges in return:
To extend its full support to Councillor Layton as he defends the Lowrise character of the Ossington Strip and works for all the constituents of Ward 19, To engage fully and enthusiastically with the Councillors Visioning Study and to bring together the full Ossington Community to guarantee a more enjoyable Ossington Strip for the Neighbourhood and all of Toronto, And more generally to work in partnership with the Councillor to promote the flourishing of the Neighbourhood and its Commercial Zones.