Elm street condo development angers residents

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A new condo development is planned to go up on Elm Street. (Pixabay)

A proposed 80-storey Elm Street condo has some students and Toronto residents furious.

Earlier this year, 8 Elm Park Properties Inc., represented by the Goldberg Group, submitted an application for the development of what would be one of the tallest buildings on the Toronto skyline at 8 Elm St., across the street from the Student Learning Centre (SLC).

Eli Aaron is a Ryerson student leading the charge against the development. The second-year urban planning student learned about the application through a community newsletter and said he immediately recognized there would be problems with the development.

“There’s a massive shadow impact, which the city says is unacceptable. It shadows all of the parts to the quad, shadows the SLC, Victoria Street and Gould Street at certain times of the day and some times of the year,” said Aaron.

Aaron is also concerned about the parking. “There are going to be cars and trucks parked illegally and stopping everywhere because they literally have nowhere to go because the building doesn’t have a single parking space.”

City councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said that the lack of parking space at the site is “inconceivable.”

“When you have a building with this much height and this much density, it’s going to have a lot of generated activity, which means that most likely you’re going to have to have parking on site to facilitate the movement of goods and services through the building,” said Wong-Tam.

In order to stop the 8 Elm St. development, Aaron started a change.org petiton that now has 390 signatures. Students and others in the Ryerson community are among those who have signed.  

Last week Aaron presented city councillors with the petition at a Toronto and East York Community Council meeting.

In an email, city planner Derek Waltho directed the Ryersonian to a report outlining the Toronto and East York Community Council’s “concerns and issues and reasons for recommending refusal.”

According to the report, the 8 Elm St. site is too small for the proposed building. The report also said “the tower height is excessive with resultant shadowing” and, while 469 units are proposed, the development lacks “an adequate number of family sized units.”

The application will be voted on by city council on Nov. 8.

“[The developer is] going to make a lot of money if it gets built and everyone else is going to be paying the price,” said Aaron.

Zandra Alexander, media relations officer for Ryerson’s office of public affairs, said the university was given notice regarding the public meetings. She said the university makes its best efforts to attend consultations, pay close attention to development applications for sites close to campus, and to review public materials.

This isn’t the first time a Goldberg Group building plan has been opposed by the community. In August, the Toronto District School Board began its fight against a 38-storey building slated to be built at Church and Wood streets. The Goldberg Group did not respond to the Ryersonian’s request for comment.

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