planning & development
GYRA is sensitive to the impacts of the increasing number of condominium developments, which will dramatically increase the Yorkville area residential population over the next few years. GYRA works closely with our Ward 27 councillor, City planners, developers, and the Bloor-Yorkville Community to ensure our priorities are agreed to, and included in the City’s development application approval process. Important priorities include privately owned publicly accessible green space, courtyards and other open spaces provided by the developer, wide sidewalks with trees and planters for pleasant pedestrian promenades in Yorkville’s “tourist designated area”, and dog amenities contained within each development.
GYRA is a strong advocate for the protection and preservation of Yorkville’s built heritage assets. We have witnessed the destruction of many Victorian houses and other edifices dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century, to make way for residential developments ranging from mid-rise to high-rise and, lately, dizzying sky-high towers. At every opportunity, GYRA makes concerted efforts to prevent the wrecking ball from reducing Yorkville’s diminishing built heritage into piles of rubble.
A proud GYRA achievement was the enactment, in October 2011, of Official Plan Amendment 203, a finale to a protracted struggle to protect the Queen’s Park views of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario building that began when GYRA participated at an OMB hearing in support of the Speaker of the House and the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, to oppose approval of a development on Avenue Road, whose tower would protrude above the LAO building’s roofline. That battle was lost. Undaunted, GYRA assembled the Ontario Capital Precinct Working Group to continue the fight. OCPWG convinced our councillor to make a motion at City Council for an Official Plan Amendment to protect the LAO views. City Council approved. The Amendment prohibits height and massing of all new developments, north of the Legislature, from protruding above any part of the building’s silhouette. For its efforts, OCPWG was awarded a 2013 Ward 27 City Builders Award with citation by Councillor Wong-Tam “For working with my office, MPP Glen Murray, and Toronto City staff to create a view shed policy that now protects the view and historic character of the Ontario Legislative building for generations to come.”
YORKVILLE – EAST OF BAY PLANNING FRAMEWORK
In August 2014, City Council approved the Planning Framework for the area between Yonge Street and Bay Street, and from Bloor Street to Davenport Road. The Framework provides built form criteria for current and future developments, and where tall buildings can be sited and designed to provide open space. Two key mid-block pedestrian connections – north/south linear park and walkway systems will be created and named by their defining features – Town Hall Walkway and Clock Tower Walkway.
View the Toronto City Council and Committees meetings, agendas and minutes.