Avenue Road Avenue Study

The Avenue Road Avenue Study (ARAS) report published in 2009 summarizes and contains recommendations to implement the Avenue Study for the portion of Avenue Road between Lawrence and Wilson Avenues, referred to as The Upper Avenue. Between 2007 to 2009, City staff, consultants, the Ward Councillor and members of the local community worked together to study this area and put forward a framework for new development and the improvement of the public realm on this portion of Avenue Road. The implementation of this study includes an amendment to the North York Zoning By-law to create a new zoning regime suited to this Avenue segment, an amendment to the Official Plan and former Toronto Zoning By-law to recognize an existing ravine park and urban design guidelines to guide development on this portion of Avenue Road. Read this report to review the 21 Recommenmdations and to review the ten larger and deeper development sites with a proposed height limit of 7 storeys  or 22.5 metres.


Read this report from the Consultant for more details
avenue road avenue study_finalreport_april2008

The following document is a summary of the ten possible development sites:
Possible Development Sites 30-Aug-11 XLS


SAHRA article on Development Under the Avenue Road Study

SAHRA Director, John Ilkiw, prepared a summary on the Avenue Road Study and their conclusions:

In 2009, the City completed a two-year study for the gradual improvement of the two kilometer stretch of Avenue Road between Lawrence and Wilson.  The study was undertaken in consultation of the community, including a kick-off public open house held at Lawrence Park on May 1, 2007.  A Local Area Advisory Committee (LAC) was established comprised of five local resident associations, including SAHRA.  Because there is no local Business Improvement Association, business owners expressed their views individually.The study was conducted using five guiding principles based on input from open houses and the LAC:

1.     Maintain the village atmosphere by ensuring that redevelopment and public realm improvements contribute to a more walk-able Avenue Road.
2.     Encourage vibrancy through mix of uses, with retail-orientated uses at grade and a mix of retail, commercial and residential throughout the Avenue.
3.     Maximize opportunities for greening the street through private and public investment including “green” buildings, new parks, and opens spaces
4.     Build on the corridor identity through branding “The Upper Avenue”, creating gateways, public art, signage, new street furniture etc.
5.     Encourage revitalization with high quality development of a modest scale.

In accordance with principle 5, building developments facing Avenue Road have been categorized under two categories depending on lot depth.  Each category is subject to a 45-degree angular plane restriction. This ensures sunlight on at least one sidewalk until late afternoon, maintains sky view from sidewalks, provides a comfortable pedestrian scale environment and assures a modest mid-rise built form. The majority of lot depths on Avenue Road range between 27 and 37 meters.  The angular restriction means these lots are restricted to a height of five stories (16.5 m).

There are ten potential development sites with property depths of at least 40 meters, known as larger opportunity development sites.  The angular restriction effectively limits these developments to seven floors (22.5 m). The seven-floor development at 1717 Avenue Road, which was approved before the commencement of the Avenue Road Study, provides a concrete example of the angular plane restriction.  This was the first significant development on Avenue Road in almost 30 years. The ten opportunity sites obviously attract most developer attention.  The ten sites with frontage and depths dimensions are summarized in the following table.


Ten Larger Opportunity Sites on Avenue Road

The Beer Store, SW corner of Bedford Park: F: 37 m; D: 58 m. (Construction commenced in 2018)
KFC/Toggery, SW corner Cranbrooke: F: 29 m; D: 58 m.
1648-1660 Avenue Road, NW corner Cranbrooke: F: 33 m; D: 46 m.
1678-1688 Avenue Road, 412 Brookdale, NW corner Brookdale: F: 30 m; D: 46 m. (Construction commenced in 2017)
McDonalds, NW corner Roe: F: 30 m; D: 66 m (variable)
Bruno’s/Drug Store, between Dunblaine and Joicey: F: 76 m; D: 40-44 m
No Frills/Adjacent Retail, from St. Germaine and Melrose: F: 101 m; D: 51-73 m.
TD Bank Site, NE corner off Brookdale: F: 34 m; D: 44 m.
Nissan Dealership, between Cranbrooke and Brookdale: F: 67 m; S: 44 m.
RBC Site: between Woburn and Brookdale: F: 67 m; D: 44 m.

A PDF version of this article:  Development Under the Avenue Road Study


The ARAS contained 21 Recommendations.  As of 2015, only 7 of the Recommendations had been acted upon – primarily the zoning by-law amendments required to allow development to proceed.  In April, 2015, SAHRA started submitting requests to Councillor Carmichael Greb and the City to review the status and action plans for the 14 recommendations that have NOT been acted on in 6 years.

Review the following Pages for information on these requests: