4121 Kingston Rd

This page is about the proposed development at 4121 Kingston Rd.

  • Proposal includes no affordable housing.
  • Toronto’s new Inclusionary Zoning Policy does not apply to this property.
  • Proposal consists of whopping 62% Studio/1-bed but only 27% 2-bed and 11% 3-bed

Below this grey box, you can read my take on the project as it moves through the various consultation and bureaucratic stages. I will add stuff as we go along.

The Development Application contains hundreds of pages. Unfortunately, the City of Toronto has made it extremely cumbersome for community members to access, download and view these documents. Whether this was done by accident or design, it discourages community engagement and feedback.

So, I strongly encourage you to take the time to download all of the files, one at a time, and save them somewhere on your computer so you can read through, takes notes etc.

  1. Go to the Application Development page on the City of Toronto’s website: toronto.ca/4121KingstonRd A pop-up window will appear in the middle of the screen.
  2. In this pop-up window, scroll down to the “Supporting Documentation” tab.
  3. Click on the “Supporting Documentation” tab. A list of downloadable documents will appear. There are 26 documents, some of them are very large. Only 10 documents will show per page so you must click on the “Next” button to view the next set of documents. Yes, this is ridiculous.
  4. Click on the download link for each document to save them on your computer.
  5. Watch the Recording of the Virtual Community Consultation Meeting hosted by the City of Toronto on November 16, 2021

Send your questions, concerns and ideas to what would make a great development directly to the City Planner and make sure to copy Councillor Ainslie and your community association so they are aware as well.

  • Senior Planner, Francis Kwashie: Francis.Kwashie@toronto.ca
  • City Councillor, Paul Ainslie: councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca
  • Guildwood Village Community Association: president@guildwood.on.ca
  • Cliffcrest Scarborough Village SW Residents Association: info@csvsw.ca

(If you have the email to your community/resident associations in West Hill let me know and I’ll add to the list).

PRO development but AGAINST skyscrapers towering over Guildwood and West Hill

I’m PRO Development. I firmly believe a low to mid-rise, mixed-use development of this property, focusing on Quality of Life, with a mix of primarily family sized affordable and market rate apartments and condos, indoor and outdoor recreational amenities and amble retail space would greatly benefit and serve its residents as well as the surrounding West Hill, Scarborough Village and Guildwood Village communities.

So, pro development and pro growth (intensification) as long as it focuses on Quality of Life for the development’s residents and neighbouring communities and as long as it does not come at the expense of those residents and neighbouring communities.

It’s a complex challenge but volume (ie density, number of units) in and of itself should never be the only goal.

1) SKYSCRAPERS

We learned in the Virtual Community Consultation Meeting that currently only 8 storeys are permitted. The application has triggered a review of the “Master Plan” for the area.

The Development Application calls for 25-storey and 36-storey towers and provides detailed descriptions in the 118-page Planning Rationale and 38-page Block Context Plan of the vision for an additional 36-storey tower, 38-storey tower and 40-storey tower. Skyscrapers.

  • Tower 1: 25-storeys – in application
  • Tower 2: 36-storeys – in application
  • Tower 3: 36-storeys – described in the Block Context Plan
  • Tower 4: 38-storeys – described in the Block Context Plan
  • Tower 5: 40-storeys – described in the Block Context Plan

The following graphics are made by community members to illustrate the skyscraper heights in relation to the predominately mid-century modern one-storey bungalows and two-storey side-splits that make up the surrounding communities.

 40-storeys is twice as tall as 4301 Kingston Rd. Three times as tall as 55 Livingston Rd.

The proposed skyscrapers are so tall, combined, they will form a wall to the north of some 490 ft tall by 1,000 ft wide and completely alter the mid-century modern character of Guildwood Village.

View from Celeste
View from Livingston North
View from Guildwood Village Park
Height & Visual Impact Compared to existing 20-storey apartment almost twice the distance from proposed development.
View from Toynbee Tr by St Ursula BEFORE
Estimated view from Toynbee Tr by St Ursula AFTER

In addition to the Block Context Plan provided in the Supporting Documentation, the developer’s architect, Gianni Ria of IBI Group, during the first Community Consultation session, hosted virtually by the City of Toronto on November 16, 2021, seemed to reference, perhaps inadvertently, the additional development (beyond the initial application) when he spoke of the proposed on-property road between the first 2 towers and the existing properties on the east-side of Payzac Ave and called this road the “road to future development”.

All things considered, it is safe to assume the developer’s ambitions go far beyond the initial application of 25-storey and 36-storey towers and it is imperative that we, and City Planners, view the initial application of 25-storey and 36-storey towers in the light of the overall vision of five (5) skyscrapers and consider that the initial application is likely just the first step to achieve the full scale 5 skyscraper development.

2) NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The proposal includes 996 residential units but none are designated Affordable Housing Units.

As explained in the Planning Rationale on Page 27:  “With respect to the provision of affordable housing, there are currently no in-force policies which would require the provision of affordable housing. Rather, Section 5.1.1 of the Official Plan identifies the provision of affordable housing as a potential community benefit in return for an increase in height and/or density. In this regard, the applicant would be amendable to the provision of affordable housing, should this be requested by the City, as part of a Section 37 community benefits package.”

Councillor Paul Ainslie confirmed during the Virtual Community Consultation Meeting on November 16, 2021 that Toronto’s new Inclusionary Zoning Policy does not apply to this property and said he would push to include some affordable units.

The City of Toronto can request Affordable Housing Units in return for granting the developer additional height or density incentives, see https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/980b-cp-official-plan-chapter-5.pdf, but the proposal appears to have already maximized heights and density.

3) UNIT SIZES

The proposal includes 996 residential units to be occupied by an estimated 1,737 residents

  • 70 x Studio
  • 550 x 1-Bed
  • 269 x 2-Bed
  • 107 x 3-Bed

That means 620 units – a whopping 62% of the total of 996 units – are Studio/1-bed apartments and only 27% are 2-bed and a mere 11% are 3-bed.

That does not seem realistic or family friendly. Especially considering that of the estimated 1,737 residents an estimated combined 449 residents will be daycare and school aged kids.

  • 89 Children Requiring Childcare Spaces
  • 180 Public School Elementary Students 
  • 46  Catholic School Elementary Students
  • 91 Public School Secondary
  • 43 Catholic School Secondary
  • 449 Total

5) LACK OF PARKING

The proposal includes only 453 Parking Spaces for 1,737 residents in 996 units. 

The proposal estimates 449 residents are children of various ages. I then assume the remaining 1,288 residents are adults. 

It does not seem realistic that 1,288 adults in Scarborough – where the car remains the primary mode of transportation to and from work and recreation – would require only 453 parking spots. I believe it’s safe to assume residents will have many, many more cars than allotted parking spaces, presumably 400-600 more cars.

6) NO IMPACT CONSIDERATION FOR GUILDWOOD

The application includes no Traffic, Parking, Visual, Sun/Shadow or any type of Impact Study whatsoever for Guildwood Village.

The illustration below is my own estimate: The towers will block the afternoon and early evening sun, year-round, for Guildwood residents from Toynbee & Burnage to Galloway & Dearham.

Residents in this part of Guildwood already have to deal with artificial bright lights from the GO station as well as loud noise from trains; rail squeal and screeching, locomotives firing up, accelerating and braking. Now, these residents will lose afternoon and early evening sunlight on top of all of that.

Based on the 20-storey tall 4301 Kingston Rd. which top floor can be seen as far away as Galloway and Guildwood Parkway, we know that any floor above 20-storeys will be visible within the same radius from the new development.

This graphic illustrates visibility of a 20-storey building.

During the Virtual Community Consultation Meeting on November 16, 2021, the developer appeared taken by complete surprise that anyone from Guildwood would have impact concerns despite Guildwood residents being amongst the most impacted.

This page will evolve as the review progresses. Sign up to receive the Guildwoodian’s newsletter.

Guildwoodian Encourages Dialogue

NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) implies residents are selfish, privileged, ignorant and irrational in their opposition and/or request for information and desire to contribute to a given development proposal that affects their community.

NIMBY is used to shut down dialogue by deriding and belittling community members who ask questions.

As such, the term is abhorrent and offensive.

Have a debate but do not use the term NIMBY to stifle dialogue or belittle someone.

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