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Condo residents fear loss of privacy with potential new Bloor Street development

Residents of Grenville Manor, a 1950s four-storey condominium co-op on Bloor Street West, fear the loss of their fresh air, sunlight and privacy should a developer's proposal to construct a 12-storey mixed-use building next door, be granted approval.

North Drive Investments has submitted an application to the city to build a 12-storey condominium complex comprised of 131 residential dwellings, 24 of which are replacement rental units, with 359 square metres of at-grade commercial space at 1990 Bloor St. W. and 26 Parkview Gardens. The proposed structure is clad in grey-black coloured brick with wood panelling.


Janice Steele, a condominium board member at Grenville Manor, located at 2000 Bloor St. W., shared concerns on behalf of her fellow residents at a public consultation meeting that brought together city planners, the developer and the community Wednesday, June 27.

"Our 16 units will be looking at your walls. We're going to lose our ventilation. We'll no longer have a breeze," said Steele, who pointed out her building does not have central air conditioning. "The heat will bounce off the dark brick."

Steele said she and her neighbours "see our building becoming an Easy Bake oven."

"We need that east wind. It'll be like living at the bottom of a well," she said.

Steele also took issue with the developer's proposal for amenity space, including a party room, on the building's second floor. Grenville Manor residents, she said, would lose their privacy.

Wednesday evening's consultation meeting was just the beginning of the process, stressed the developer's lawyer David Bronskill.

"We want that dialogue too. It's an important part of the process," he said.

Bronskill said his team had already considered the effects of the dark-coloured brick, "but we'll look at it some more."

As for the amenity space, "this is in the very early stages. Again, we hear your comment and it's something to be mindful of," said Bronskill.

Architect Brian Curtner of Quadrangle Architects Ltd. explained the proposed condominium is a "wedding cake style" because it steps back 1.5 metres from Bloor Street West at the seventh floor followed by a 1.8 metre and a 2.1 metre step back at the ninth and 11th floors.

"One thing that's different about this than other places is, we have two car lifts - because it's a small space. Drivers will use the lifts to go down to three levels of parking," said Curtner.

Access to underground parking and to the loading facility is proposed to be located on the east side of the building, via Parkview Gardens. Although intrigued by the concept of a vehicle elevator, a Gothic Avenue resident said he was concerned it may lead to congestion when entering and exiting onto Parkview, which is a small street.

The lift system is fairly new. Toronto has a few examples, explained Bronskill. Both elevators run concurrently. They're activated by a clicker. Drivers would only wait as long as one minute, 16 seconds for an elevator.

Over the summer months, the city will organize a working group of about 12 people to discuss the proposal in the fall.

For further details on the proposal, visit Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette's website, www.ward13.ca



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