Happy ending for Forest Hill development proposal

In a rare change of pace, a community consultation meeting regarding a midtown development proposal ended after only an hour — and with a resolution that made everyone happy.

Developer RAJACan’s plan to construct four new townhouses and a detached home at Forest Hill Village’s 377 Spadina Rd. and 17 Montclair Rd. had already been the subject of three preceding public consultation meetings before the final design was presented at Grace Church On-the-Hill on Sept. 9.

Around 20 residents attended the meeting, Ward 22 Councillor Josh Matlow said. The majority watched RAJACan president Joe Dason present the final design for the development, expressed their approval, and left.

“It was likely the least contentious meeting surrounding a development that I’ve ever attended,” Matlow said.

It also didn’t come about by accident.

RAJACan’s initial proposal had been to construct what Matlow called five “modern, box-like” townhouses on the site, along with the detached house and an underground, 41-space commercial parking garage. It was revised after a series of individual meetings between city planning staff and the developer, Montclair Road residents, and Spadina Road residents dating back to last July.

Not only did the revised proposal eliminate the garage, the townhouses’ final design echoes early 20th-century Edwardian architecture, Matlow said, and should fit comfortably among the existing century-old townhouses on Spadina.

“I have to give (RAJACan’s) Joe Dason credit,” Matlow said. “He could have been like other developers that just try to bulldoze their way through. Instead, he agreed to work with us to arrive at a resolution that we could all be happy with.”