SFRA Challenges 72 Steeles Ave West/7040 Yonge Street Proposal at Council

This past Tuesday night, the Springfarm Ratepayers Association (SFRA) and local residents made three deputations to Vaughan Council’s Committee of the Whole on Humbold Properties’ proposal to redevelop the Moore’s/Montessori School building and the Galleria Supermarket at 72 Steeles Ave West and 7040 Yonge Street into 4 residential condominium towers of 38, 44, 56, and 60 storeys, beyond the 30 storeys approved in the 2010 Yonge-Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan. This is the fifth redevelopment proposal for this area submitted to the City of Vaughan, 20 towers combined.

SFRA President Jordan Max provided an overview of our major concerns about this proposal, which:

  • appropriates a large green space designated in the Secondary Plan as lands to be conveyed to the City for a public park by putting two large towers on it, and leaving only a quarter of that space for a private green space;

  • conveniently leaves out the 45-degree angular plane to get a true picture of allowable heights; and

  • fails to provide the full width Right of Way for Royal Palm Drive and Powell Road, retaining only private interim roads even after project construction, and leaving the roads unaddressed for the foreseeable future, with no guarantee about funding or conveyance to the City. This allows Humbold to use a larger footprint for their buildings and to reduce setbacks.

SFRA’s written submission further notes that this proposal shares many problems similar to what we saw from the previously submitted Gupta, Salz, Mizrahi, and Chestnut Hill projects: too many buildings, too much height, double density (the 3rd most dense in the entire GTA), and shadowing, adding 18 times the local population load on traffic and infrastructure, with no provision of onsite community amenities, insufficient traffic and transit data to justify extra density, deferred construction of the Royal Palm extension, and the lack of integration to adjacent properties and neighbourhood.

The SFRA asked Council to direct Humbold to go back to the drawing board to rectify these substantial problems, and to only consider the revised proposal once the LPAT appeal of the Secondary Plan is resolved and the subway station at Steeles is under construction. It also welcomed Humbold’s participation in the newly-formed Vaughan-Yonge Centre Working Group, led by Ward 5 Councillor Alan Shefman and made up of landowners, developers, residents, and local government officials, to collaboratively create an integrated neighbourhood at Yonge & Steeles. (The second meeting of the Working Group was on February 25th.)

Ashley Manoharan, who lives next door to the proposed 20-storey tower, spoke about the complete loss of home privacy and morning sunlight from the proposed buildings, in addition to the Chestnut Hill proposal only 12 feet from his fence.

Ara Movsessian spoke about the issues on the delayed conveyance and construction of Royal Palm Drive, which would leave the current Crestwood Road residents landlocked, and wanted assurances that the construction be done at the beginning of project construction. His submission was jointly prepared with Teresa Bacinello.

HyunJoo Chae, president of the Korean Canadian Business Association, spoke on behalf of Korean family restauranteurs who stand to lose their businesses from the redevelopment of the Galleria Supermarket, and argued for provision of 1,200 square foot space for restaurants at the ground floor and with adequate dedicated underground parking for their customers and staff.

Video of the item, including our oral deputations, starts at the 1:16:33 mark, using the link below.

In response to our presentations and written submissions by local residents, Councillors Yeung Racco, Ferri, Carella, Rosati, and Shefman expressed appreciation for our detailed analysis and feedback, while urging Humbold to rework their proposal to address the community’s and neighbours’ concerns through the Working Group. Council voted only to receive the proposal and to refer it to City departments for their detailed technical reviews before coming back to Council for a future decision.

Councillor Shefman also mentioned that there were two new proposals for this area that were in early stages. SFRA intends to follow up with him.

To see the complete written submissions, see the following:

SFRA’s submission:

Teresa Bacinello/Ara Movsessian’s submission:

Korean Canadian Business Association’s submission:

Victor Manoharan’s submission:

Shep Trubkin’s submission:

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