Update on the ML Lumber development

Here’s a link to a news item at a Toronto condominium blog about the redevelopment of the ML Lumber site into a midrise apartment building and set of 10 townhomes, located at the intersection of Dundas and Manning. TBCA executive members Anne Keary, Chris Shulgan, Chris Walker and Lois Schklar, along with other community members, met with ML Lumber owner and site developer Renato Silva earlier this week at a meeting organized by the office of Mike Layton.

An earlier petition drive led by Anne Keary and Lois Schklar as well as other community members, and lobbying by Mike Layton’s office, the TBCA and the City of Toronto’s planning department, had led the developers to decrease the height of the building a single storey from the proposed eight storeys. At the meeting this week community members voiced their concerns primarily about the building’s sun shadow and the overall height. While we recognize the need for development in the area, particularly along that stretch of Dundas, we worry that Dundas’s indie character will be compromised if the street becomes a canyon in the midst of a series of midrise condos.

Renato and the ML Lumber development team have used the presence of other midrise buildings in the area to argue that their current seven-storey height is reasonable and fits the community. But each of the other midrise buildings they mention have been built on the south sides of their streets—causing sun shadow to fall on College Street, say, rather than any pre-existing resident homes.

The tricky thing with the ML Lumber development is that, while the ML Lumber development is on the street’s north side, the sun shadow it creates mostly falls on other components of its own development—namely, the 10 townhomes, as well as some pre-existing resident homes. In future, one community concern is that this may set a precedent that allows other seven-storey midrise apartments on Dundas Street’s north side—and that these future midrise developments cut off the sun from residents who live north of Dundas. It’s a matter the TBCA will have to monitor in future.—Chris Shulgan

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