SERRA hears of “greedy” and “inane” Midtown developers

The Annual General Meeting of the South Eglinton Ratepayers and Residents Association (SERRA) has heard Josh Matlow (Ward 22) call the planned apartment towers at 18 Brownlow Ave the work of a greedy developer. The City and SERRA are locked in dispute with the Montreal firm whose appeal of Toronto’s rejection of the plan will be heard at the OMB on Monday, May 29.  It calls for two 24 storey towers which Matlow said will “forever change the character of that area of Soudan and leave no reasonable transition from the neighbourhood area (single family homes) to the south and the apartments of the Yonge-Eglinton area. It was, he said, “really bad planning, a really greedy application.”

1951 YONGE

The Councillor had similar harsh words for the Times Group development at 1951 Yonge centred on the now razed former LCBO building at Yonge and Millwood Rd. This proposal asks for towers 25 and 35 floors each. This was an area that is zoned mid-rise (seven or eight floors). The proposal was “inane.”  Matlow also raised the spectre of “blockbusting” techniques seen in the 1960s highrise development. Times, he said, had two houses on Millwood which they were permitting to decline as a form of incentive to the community to see them razed. This was a ruse he suggested. The homes are within a single famly dwelling zone and their demolition would open the flood gates to a challenge of the entire street.  He also said Times has been working on buying the few low-rise properties on the east side of Yonge down to Davisville. The corner property is the original store of John Davis (now a Starbucks). Matlow said he told Times that if they ever tried to knock it down he would “chain myself to the door.”

CANADA SQUARE

This is TTC property on the southwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton now being used as staging land for construction of the Crosstown LRT. Oxford Property Group will build on it and Matlow repeated his determination to see a very large public space on the corner, not a token green space. He said that he insisted on written assurance — apparently not yet  done — that Oxford would not be permitted to appeal any objection by the City to the as-yet undecided development on this public land to the OMB. The well-attended meeting was held in the newly-built meeting hall of Greenwood College School at Mt. Pleasant Rd. and Davisville Ave.

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