Tepid turnout for Yonge and Eg community meeting

Development-weary residents tired of living in 'construction zone'

Developer Madison Group’s application for a 39-storey, 411-residential-unit mixed-use building at 150 Eglinton Ave. E. is opposed by the city, but was met with resigned frustration by the community during a sparsely attended public meeting on Nov. 25.

Ward 22 Councillor Josh Matlow estimates that of the roughly 40 people who attended the meeting, about 15 represented Madison Group.

“There were a lot of general comments from residents — not even about this building specifically, but just the general feeling amongst many of them that they’re living in a construction site,” Matlow said.

Matlow said Madison Group had addressed some of the city’s initial issues with the application, which, partly in response to city and community feedback, would replace the current 10-storey office building with three floors of retail, two floors of office space, and 34 stories of residential condominiums.

“When (Madison Group principal) Miguel Singer and his team first met with me … I thought it was such an awful project that I literally left the meeting,” Matlow said. “It was so absurd, I just ended it and walked out the door.”

After that, Madison did a lot of work, Matlow said. “They heard that there needed to be office replacement, and that they needed to adhere to our new Midtown in Focus plan that prescribes wider sidewalks on Eglinton and a greater public realm.”

However, the developers are still only proposing to replace half of the current building’s office space, contrary to an amendment under the city’s official plan (currently being appealed at the Ontario Municipal Board) that requires the replacement of all commercial space. Nor does the seven-metre setback on Eglinton Avenue comply with Midtown in Focus guidelines proposing minimum setbacks of 12 metres.

“In their presentation to the community they made mention of our Midtown in Focus plan, they boasted about the Midtown in Focus plan, they talked about how they cared about the Midtown in Focus plan, but they didn’t actually adhere to it,” Matlow said.

“On behalf of the community, I won’t support the proposal the way that it looks today, but … I’m hopeful that they left that meeting with some clear idea of what they need to do to meet our expectations and make this building something we can all be proud of,” he said.

Madison Group did not respond to requests for comment.

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Posted: Dec 8 2015 11:46 pm
Filed in: NEWS