Too Big for Keele St at Clearview Heights

On Sept. 28  there is public meeting for an application to build a 6 storey apartment on Keele between Elizabeth Grove and Clearview Heights.  This is a signficantly revised application from this developer compared to what was submitted 4 years ago.  Changes include the acquisition of more property, format changed from townhouses to apartments.   I totally agree that the site merits intensification given its proximity to GO train station.  I am not comfortable with the degree of intensification.  And, I do not agree with the monolithic building proposed.  It is not in keeping with the rhythm of Keele Street immediately north where there is an almost uninterrupted series of 2 storey early 20th century residential properties.  In respect of that streetscape Keele One was proposed and approved with three 3 storey buildings to be stacked townhouses with green space between.

Regrettably the developer took his application to LPAT (local planning tribunal at the first possible opportunity) which means that the authority for approval is with the LPAT and not Council.  I also regret that energy and time spent by 6 residents of the area, staff, myself and the then Ward Councillor has been wasted; we spent several evenings together talking with proponent and his agent about architecture and design and had actually come to agrement on several modifications to original proposal.The public meeting is the opportunity for the public to raise questions and concerns.  Instructions on how to participate in the virtual meeting are provided at top of the agenda. For those who share my concern about this application it is very important that people express their concerns given that this application will be determined by the LPAT so that it clear what the community thinks of the issue.

10 Responses to “ “Too Big for Keele St at Clearview Heights”

  1. Peter Iaboni says:

    Well said Bruce. Maintenance of heritage streetscape, green space and architectural elements are equally important as a moderate increase in density. Just got back from Goderich, an Ontario town that has achieved all of the above.

  2. Ian Hilley says:

    Thank you for representing the ward 5 & the broader community in King Township Debbie.

  3. ian hilley says:

    Thank you for your comments Debbie.

    It would be good to see some consistency in the approaches to building design along Keele Street recognizing that there are sites which represent opportunities to increase intensity & a broader offering of accommodations in King City. It would be good if there was a real effort to create an aesthete linking the NE corner of King & Keele, the site opposite the Anglican church, the old “chip” factory & this development at the gas station that compliment the turn of the century homes. The Township need to resist Keele becoming an ugly canyon of concrete.

    I am shocked that all the multi storey block developments speak of retail space on the ground floor. I just wonder if they notice the roaring trade in the retail units at King & Keele (excluding the restaurants).

    • Debbie says:

      Your vision for Keele Street is brilliant. Very unfortunately this application will be determined at LPAT. I was thrilled to see the outcry from the residents in the immediate vicinity. As to your point about commercial….yes the current reality suggests that such may not be successful at this site. But, we need to be thinking out 5-10 years when the GO train vision is realized. Plus with the increased density (hopefully not as much as this application envisions) convenience stores or sandwich shops will have a custoomer base in proximity.

  4. Lori Checkowy says:

    A 6-storey building on Keele St. is un-acceptable, but I’m afraid the Zancor proposal for a 6 storey Condo at the former Township office plaza set a precedent already. It is soo frustrating!
    Lori Checkowy

    • Debbie says:

      Hello Lori, Yes, at a superficial level it does suggest precedence. But, I believe that there are several important, strong arguments which indicate that it is not and that it does not justify this proposal. The roads in front at very different i.e. King Road with high traffic volume vs Keele St. Zancor is in easy walking distance to two schools, library & seniors centre and a shopping plaza with grocery story. Yes, this application is in the MTSA (major transit station area); hence the density needs to be more than what would have been allowed but it doesn’t mean that it is okay to go for the maximum.

  5. J. Bruce Craig says:

    Debbie, I agree with you that this building site on Keele Street near to the GO Station merits moderate “intensification” that is done in a way that compliments the streetscape to the north of this site. I would propose that two smaller-scaled condominium apartment blocks of four stories height be designed for this site with landscaped green space between. Architectural elements and materials could be included in the design that would integrate with the Keele Street streetscape with the mainly brick 100+ year old residences to the north. As it is now the proponent appears to be packing in as many apartment units as possible. There needs to be a healthy balance achieved between respecting the heritage streetscape with green spaces and achieving a moderate level of intensification on this site. It can be done, and it can be done well! Bruce Craig

  6. Kay Brooks says:

    I thought that these were condos, but you refer to them as apartments. Here we are writing letters for discussion at Council this Monday. The Notice of Meeting that we got from Township staff refers to them as residential condominium apartment units, so are people renting them or buying them? This meeting has been not very well advertised I’m afraid and now, we’re not even sure about what kind of units were actually opposed to. Doesn’t really matter as far as I’m concerned because the building, itself, is a total disgrace.
    Right outside out dining and living windows.

    • Debbie says:

      Hello Kay, First I want to say that it is wonderful that you and many others wrote letters to Council and/or made verbal deputations. It will be very important that this high level of community interest continues. Its unfortunate that there was confusion as to whether it is apartments ro condominiums; the proposal is for apartments i.e. people would rent them not buy them. Ignoring my complete disapproval of the proposal in terms of design and density I am very happy that it is proposed to be apartments. Apartments are needed as a option for our residential choices in King City.

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