228 Wilson Avenue

Current Status (prepared by Upper Avenue Community Association)

“This 17 storey rental apartment was pre-approved by a Site Plan By-law in 2014. The Applicant asked for some modifications to the Committee of Adjustment in February for approval with construction scheduled to begin in 2022. The building increases from 108 to 131 units while parking is reduced to 94 spaces as occupants are expected to use the TTC,  The primary concern with the development pertains to implementation of a safe crossing system across the 4 lanes of Wilson. The Councillor’s office is currently working on solutions with the Transportation Department. UACA remains concerned about traffic safety, in particular left turns in/out of the building on Wilson Avenue in the vicinity of the overpass.” 

Current Status – awaiting actioning by the City and the Developer (last activity was in Feb, 2018).

The original developer obtained approval in 2014 of Zoning By-law No. 1071-2014 by the North York Community Council and City Council to “permit a 17-storey (57 metre) condominium apartment building at 228 Wilson Avenue with a total of 108 dwelling units  and 130 parking spaces proposed within a 5 level below grade parking garage.  Access to the site would be provided from a driveway off Wilson Avenue at the east end of the site.”   Section 37 monies in the amount of $325,000 were assessed to be used for capital improvements to Old Orchard Park and for streetscape improvements in the vicinity of the site, with input on specific allocations by the Old Orchard Grove Residents’ Association (OOGRA) and the developer was also required to satisfy ‘parkland dedication’ though a cash-in-lieu payment.  As part of the approval, it was also agreed that the local Residents’ Association would be a party to the Site Plan Control Application process via a Working Group.

Staff Report:  228 Wilson Ave Staff Report
Rendering 2014:  Rendering 2014

The developer then decided to NOT proceed with the building and the property was put up for sale.

On August 17, 2016 a Building Application was submitted by Verdiroc (see website http://www.verdiroc.com/market-rental-housing/ ). The building envelope was to remain as 17 storeys but Verdiroc were planning to provide Rental Units rather than condos.  In their Building Application they increased the number of rental units to 142 (34 additional units / a 31% increase to the original plans) made up of 114 market rentals and 28 affordable units. They also wanted to only provide 4 levels of parking instead of 5 (so a decrease in the original condo-to-parking arrangement of 118 owner spots and 22 visitor spots for 108 condos) despite the increase in the number of units.

City of Toronto Planning interpreted the above changes as being “consistent with the adopted By-law 1071-2014”.  They stated that the By-law for this site has been approved and allows changes not effecting the building envelope.  SAHRA and OOGRA disagreed with this position as the By-law is specific regarding the number of units, the parking space calculations and the amenity area sizes. We were advised by our lawyer and  planner that changes to these Exception Regulations would require a variance application to the Committee of Adjustment.

Councillor Carmichael-Greb announced in her Sept 2 newsletter that a Community Information Meeting was  scheduled for Monday, Sept 12, 2016.  This Community meeting was held as a ‘courtesy information session’ and normal notice requirements do not apply, according to the City.

SAHRA and OOGRA opposed the increased densification (31%) and  decreased parking spaces as these were significant changes.  Zoning By-law No. 1071-2014 specifically states that it permits a 17-storey (57 metre) residential dwelling building at 228 Wilson Avenue; for a  total of 108 dwelling units. The Vehicle Parking calculation is defined in the By-law based on unit type (calculated then to be 130 parking spaces proposed within a 5 level below grade parking garage) – these need to be recalculated based on the proposed revised makeup of the units.

As these are not minor changes, SAHRA and OOGRA stated that the application should be dealt with as zoning amendments which should go to the North York Community Council/City Council not to the Committee of Adjustments, which deals with minor variances. But City Planning is maintaining that this application will be processed through the Committee of Adjustment.

The Final Report for the Aug 2014 Zoning By-law required that OOGRA be involved in a Working Group to deal with Site Plan issues, along with Planning and the Developer.  What happened to this commitment?  If the building is being ‘redesigned’ even although within the same footprint for a different population (renters rather than owners) then it  becomes even more important that the Residents’ Association be aware/involved with the redesign.

We asked Councillor Carmichael Greb to support her constituency by ensuring  that the City and Verdiroc follow through on the  development as agreed to under Zoning By-law 1071-2014 and legally binding documents.

A Site Plan Application Submission was made on Dec 22, 2017 by 1853694 Ontario Limited.  The building remains at 17 storeys but is now 131 market rentals (no affordable units). Still want to only provide 4 levels of parking instead of 5, now providing 110 park spaces whereas 151 spaces are required based on the current apartment/size mix.

OOGRA submitted a request to the City Planning Department on Feb 5, 2018 for a Zoning By-law Amendment to deal with the revised development proposal for 228 Avenue Road.
OOGRA Jan 2018 228 Wilson Ave. Zoning Amendment

OOGRA submitted a request to Councillor Carmichael Greb on Feb 9, 2018  to oppose changes to By-law 1071-2014 at 228 Wilson Avenue.
OOGRA Jan 2018 228 Wilson Ave. Feb 9th

A reply was received from City Planning on Feb 13, 2018.
228 Wilson Ave_OOGRA_reply Feb 13 2018

The situation was written up in The Mirror in Feb, 2018 and in the North Toronto Post in April, 2018:
228 Wilson Mirror Article Feb 2018