City hosts public meeting about proposed Main and Danforth tower

A rendering of the proposed 30-storey tower at Main and Danforth.

An east-end Toronto community group has concerns about how a proposed 30-storey high-rise condo at 286 Main Street just south of Danforth could impact everything from local green space to daily commutes.

“The big concerns [are] parking, traffic, and can the TTC handle all these riders going on it, because it’s not just that development, there’s the ones that are in progress [and] the ones down the road. The TTC is already crowded,” said Peter Woodcock, a volunteer with the Friends of Stephenson Park community group. Woodcock also works for local city councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, but was not speaking as a representative of her office.

Tribute Communities and Greybrook Realty Partners are proposing a 30-storey mixed-use tower, including 301 condo units, for the lots encompassing 286-294 Main Street. In a report, city staff have previously called the proposal “inappropriate” for the area, citing concerns with density.

Council has directed planning staff to undertake a study of the area surrounding the Main and Danforth intersection before deciding the fate of the high-rise application.

Meanwhile, the Stephenson Park group is also worried about how increased density in the immediate area might affect the park they are named after. “Our park isn’t a big park,” he explained. “If all of a sudden if you put up however many more residents and everybody starts using this one little green space you know that’s a little worrisome.”

However, Woodcock suggests there is broad support for development along the Danforth in general.

“I think most people are keen for development along the Danforth, especially out this way,” the Westlake Avenue resident said. “It’s very underdeveloped. We’ve got empty storefronts.”

The scale of the proposal has nonetheless generated discussion within the community, he suggested. “This is the first time anything quite as big has been proposed,” he said.

The group and others will have a chance to share such comments at a community meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Hope United Church on the northwest corner of Main Street and Danforth Avenue.

Ward 32 Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon, city staff, and the development applicant will be on hand to field questions and present information, Daniel Woolfson, a senior city planner for the Toronto and East York District, said.

“We will be talking about the concerns that planning staff have,” said Woolfson. “We’ll also be introducing the concept behind the Main Street Planning Study,” he added, referring to the area study that will be completed before staff make a decision about the 286-292 Main Street application.

The specific borders of the study area will be revealed, and staff will explain why city council asked staff to move forward with the study.

Already, the city is conducting the Danforth Avenue Planning Study to guide future development along the Danforth between Coxwell and Victoria Park Avenues, but that study only looks at specific properties fronting Danforth and so does not include 286-294 Main Street.

This post has been updated to clarify that Peter Woodcock was speaking in his capacity as a volunteer with the Friends of Stephenson Park group, not as a representative of Ward 32 Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon. The development site was mistakenly referred to as 286-292 Main Street as well.

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The TTC is “already crowded”? Huh? Would you prefer people to drive? If density isn’t to exist at a clear and natural transit hub like Main and Danforth then where exactly is it supposed to be built? I say the building,as proposed, is far too small. 50 stories please.

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