At public meetings and in media discussions about how high is high enough, a frequent lament heard goes something like “it would be alright over there [insert name of place far from the person making the comment], but not here.”
For years, the Councillor and community groups working on the LeBreton Flats plans fought for an essentially low rise community. The final height limit for most of the buildings is seven stories (just like Paris !), with some towers on podiums extending to fourteen (not like Paris!). The first phase, just built, has two towers on a very large seven story podium. The next phase, on which construction starts soon, will be almost all low rise, with the tallest bit being eight stories (recently upzoned from six) and for the first time, some stacked towns type developments.
This hasn’t stopped everyone and their sister from proposing that any unwanted development go on the Flats. Put the new stadium there, “no one lives near there” was a cry from a certain affluent neighborhood activist. Just last week at the Downtown Moves PAC, someone suggested that the problem of STO buses on Wellington could be solved by putting them all down on the Flats, where “they wouldn’t bother anyone” (did this person know, or just guess, that is just what is most likely to happen with the STO Rapibus terminal at Bayview, converting the Prince of Wales railway bridge to a busway instead of rail for the O-Train?).
And just a month or so ago people at a public meeting in Hintonburg wanted Claridge to move their proposed condo tower at 1050 Somerset West over to the Flats.
Poor Dalhousie neighborhood and the adjacent Flats are the dumping ground for every project someone doesn’t want in their neighborhood. It will even have two LRT stations and surface-line LRT tracks. McKeller Park this place isn’t.
But things are looking up. Way up. Way way up.
First Starwood Mastercraft proposed the City’s tallest condo for Preston just north of Carling. They were forced to reduce the height a bit, to the mid-twenties. Then along came Claridge, with its proposal for a forty-five story condo at Preston/Carling. This has a much better chance of seeing the light of day ( and blocking it for those nearby) as the Bayview-Carling CDP is leaning towards massive upzoning along Carling from Cambridge to Champagne, to go with the tall rezonings along the OTrain corridor.
And now, a new proposal is going to council, promoting the City’s tallest office building(s) for the Dalhousie/Flats neighborhood.
More details — and pix — in the next post.