sky garden condo

Developers propose sky garden to ease neighbour concerns over new condo plan

Toronto development company The Gupta Group has submitted a settlement offer complete with a new sky garden to the city of Toronto for its proposed development at 906 Yonge St. in Yorkville. The project consists of two towers and was initially appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal due to the City’s failure to make a decision within the required timeframe.

When the condominium was originally proposed in 2021, the local city councillor at the time Mike Layton along with residents’ associations had issues with it including how close the unique L-shaped tower would be to the neighbouring building and its impact on their quality of life due to overlook.

“There are some serious proximity issues, particularly at the rear of the site,” said Layton, in 2021. “We, generally speaking, don’t approve buildings with windows facing that close to one another.”

The application actually dates back to 2014 when a plan was originally put forward but was rejected by the city and the then-Ontario Municipal Board.

Paul Bedford, of the Greater Yorkville Residents’ Association’s (GYRA) , in 2021, said the plan would “destroy completely” the existing living environment for residents adjacent.

Rendering of proposed new condo design with sky garden

When asked to comment on the new settlement offer, he said “I am no position to comment as there is an outstanding issue to be addressed on whether the project includes a hotel ot a condo. This is yet to be resolved.”

The current application proposes two buildings, including “a 33-storey residential/mixed-use building along Yonge Street, located to the rear of the (then) listed heritage building, and a 19-storey residential building along McMurrich Street with a combined gross floor area of approximately 28,376 square metres and 401 dwelling units.”

According to a city report, the settlement came “following four days of mediation,” after which”the applicant submitted a With Prejudice Settlement Offer on May 18, 2023.”

The settlement offer includes significant revisions to address various concerns. One notable change is the addition of a distinctive ‘sky garden’ within the taller tower, which aims to mitigate issues related to the proximity of the towers and enhance the design of the proposal. Other modifications include increased setbacks, alterations to the shorter tower’s street frontage to maintain a low-rise character, revised unit mix, and the relocation of short-term bicycle parking underground.

The site, located between McMurrich and Yonge streets, currently accommodates a parking lot, outdoor play area, and a heritage building. Compared to the original submission, the settlement offer introduces changes to the tower heights and floor plans. The inclusion of the ‘sky garden’ contributes to the taller tower’s increased height.

The settlement proposal will undergo a hearing, and city council is scheduled to review the matter on July 19, 2023.

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