Controversial development given go-ahead after OMB approval

34-storey Redpath and Broadway towers opposed by residents, councillor and city

A long battle over two Ontario Municipal Board-approved towers scheduled to be constructed on Redpath and Broadway Avenues has reached its bitter end.

City council approved on March 31 the demolition of a 32-unit, three-storey rental apartment building at 197 Redpath Ave. and two houses at 95 and 99 Broadway Ave. They will be replaced by two 34-storey towers, which Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow and city planner Lauralyn Johnston both say they did not support.

“This is the wrong development in the wrong place,” Matlow said. “It’s far too tall for the heart of an apartment neighbourhood, where our plan is to incrementally step down from the corner of Yonge and Eglinton, rather than go up right in the middle of it.”

Developer Pemberton Group first submitted the application, originally for two 38-storey towers, in March 2012 and, according to an August 2013 city report, planning staff immediately expressed concerns with the proposal’s height, density and setbacks. At a November 2012 community consultation meeting residents called the proposed height and density “unacceptable,” according to the report, which concluded by recommending city council reject the application.

Before the report was released, however, Pemberton appealed to the OMB, submitting a revised proposal for two 34-storey towers, which the board approved last June.

The silver lining for tenants in the existing apartment building is the demolition application, which council would not have approved without the 32 replacement rental units included in Pemberton’s development application, policy planner Johnston said.

Johnston met with the tenants, who have until June to find new accommodations, and helped plan their moves, which are being covered by Pemberton. When the towers are finished, tenants will be offered the replacement units for the same rents they pay today.

Matlow said he was opposed to the OMB ruling, but grateful the city could ease the tenants’ discomfort.

“If the developer is going to get their way through an unelected, unaccountable OMB, then I want to make sure the tenants are treated well,” he said.

Pemberton did not respond to interview requests.


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Posted: Apr 6 2015 1:01 pm
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One thought on “Controversial development given go-ahead after OMB approval

  • May 2, 2015 at 7:24 pm
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    Johnston met with the tenants, who have until June to find new accommodations, and helped plan their moves, which are being covered by Pemberton.

    Where did you get this information, this is news to us tenants here at 197 Redpath Avenue.

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