Residents of Roncesvalles, a hip Toronto neighbourhood, are now banding together to protest against the redevelopment of a former funeral home into an 8-storey condominium complex.
As reported by Hilary Caton for the Parkdale Villager, the Roncesvalles MacDonell Residents’ Association (RMRA) said that they need to take a stand to prevent the project by Craig Hunter & Associates from encouraging similarly “intrusive” proposals in the future.
“We see [the funeral home], or any development coming in, as a precedent setter for what’s going to happen for the rest of the street,” RMRA co-chair Brian Torry said.
Locals have been consulted in a meeting back in January, and the project went ahead although residents voiced strong opposition to the development as the height and design would mar the aesthetics and character of Roncesvalles Avenue and Howard Park.
The two buildings slated for construction are 29.5 metres (Roncesvalles) and 15.28 metres (Howard Park) tall, both greatly exceeding the height limits ordained for the areas (13 and 10 metres, respectively).
“Both I and people from the community and planners feel very strongly that what the developer is asking for is too tall,” Parkdale-High Park councillor Gord Perks said. “It imposes too much on the street at Roncesvalles and presents some significant problems in terms of the townhouses they want to build off of Roncesvalles on Howard Park.”
The RMRA is petitioning for locals to have a greater say in new developments.
“The way our system works with planning or the OMB is developers use previous developments and existing buildings in the area as precedent for what they want to build. So we want to see good planning and great buildings put into the neighbourhood and the community wants to be involved with that,” the RMRA’s Torry said.