City Council approves Costco on Overlea without a gas bar

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Toronto City Council has approved the zoning by-law amendment from Councillor Jon Burnside (right) to permit a Costco Warehouse on Overlea Blvd. Council voted 21 to 7 at its meeting Wednesday November 4, 2015. The Costco proposal was modified so that the gas bar is not approved and will require further traffic studies after the warehouse is built and has been in operation for at least 6 months. The City will select the firm to do the traffic study. The substantial support for the proposal at Council is of interest. The Leaside Property Owners Association was opposed to the development on many points.  The Thorncliffe Park area is said to have poverty levels of 40 percent and support there is very high for the Costco.


Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14) in Parkdale was a strong opponent during debate. In the video below, he makes an extended defense of what are known as employment lands. He cites lands in Liberty Village which sat vacant “for decades” now being employed for light industrial or office purposes. For his part, Councillor Burnside reflected on the poverty in Thorncliffe Park and ended by saying “What I have here in my heart is the best deal for the community.”  Make sure you watch the exchanges between Mr. Perks and Mr. Burnside. Costco has agreed to incorporate the 1965 Coca Cola office into its new store, this saves certain architectural features that were valued by some. The Walter Yarwood sculpture which has stood on Overlea since that time will also be given a place of honour at the site.


In October, North York Community Council was unable to decide on approval. It split 3 to 3 with many members absent. At that time. Councillor Burnside issued a statement suggesting that he would support the proposal if the gas bar were reduced to 12 pumps from 18, that Costco do traffic studies and that Thorncliffe residents be hired. The embedded YouTube video covers a critical period in debate, apparently toward the end of the day November 4, 2015. It was posted  to Twitter by Mayor Tory. Those opposed to the Costco were: Davis, Filion, Fletcher, Fragedakis, Matlow, Perks, Robinson. Among local Councillors supporting the Costco proposal, apart from Mr. Burnside (Ward 26) was Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27). Christin Carmichael Greb (Ward 16) was absent  Mayor Tory voted in favour.  For now, one can only imagine the personal deliberation of members such as Josh Matlow (Ward 22) and Jaye Robinson (Ward 25). They found themselves opposed to the Costco.

  9 comments for “City Council approves Costco on Overlea without a gas bar

  1. Angel
    October 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    PLEASE GET THS COSTCO BUILT!!! The area warrants this Costco, because it would be the only centrally located Costco in the GTA. It would also provide jobs, ergo income to people in the area who desperately need it.

    Despite concerns that Costco would negatively impact existing area businesses, I do not believe that in the end, this would be the case.

  2. carolberryartdesign
    July 22, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Any updates about the appeals? I am pretty sure this whole Costco thing is on hold again for a long, long while.

  3. Erdna
    July 20, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Funny how the only people complaining are privileged Leaside folk, who want nothing to do with Thorncliffe, until they realize it impacts their lives too.

  4. Verna Burness
    April 23, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Hope it opens soon. It is too far to drive to Scarborough or the Allen Expressway stores.

  5. Cheeky
    February 27, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    This is the news I’ve been waiting for since it was first mention about putting a Costco on the old Coca Cola site. The gas bar is the least of my concerns. I’ll be able to make more trips to the store rather than finding one along my travels or to my two closest locations, Scarborough and Etobicoke.

  6. Nick P
    February 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Would love to have a costco in the area, never been to one but plan on checking this one out when its ready.

  7. Arnie and Minna Markowitz
    December 30, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Waiting patiently and delighted that Cosco will finally take its place in Thorncliffe Park ~

    Thanks for the good fight Jon Burnside !

  8. carolberryartdesign
    November 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    This is great news! Thanks or the hard work Jon Burnside!

  9. Muhammad Riaz
    November 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Good work Councillor Jon Burnside !!!!

Comments are closed.