A proposed eight-storey development in the Toronto neighbourhood of Leaside came under fire from residents and a local councillor during a virtual community meeting on Jan. 19, as the community expressed concern over the building’s height, setback, impact on local amenities and its failure to comply with the city’s current planning policy.
On Aug. 27, 2020, the city received an application from Core Development Group for an eight-storey building at 126 and 132 Laird Dr., at the intersection of Laird Drive and Stickney Avenue, just south of Eglinton Avenue East. The Leaside condo would include 143 residential units and is meant to complement another eight-storey building being proposed on the adjacent property at 134 Laird Dr., an application for which has also been submitted to the city by the same developer.
At the recent community meeting, Coun. Jaye Robinson expressed concern that the development did not align with the Laird in Focus planning study adopted by the city to support mixed-use and complete communities as development intensifies in the area as a result of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
Robinson, for example, indicated that the proposed Leaside condo was not set back three metres from Laird, as mandated in Laird in Focus.
“Buffers and setbacks are critical to these types of developments. I would have hoped that after years of research and consultation the developer would actually follow the Laird in Focus plan,” said Robinson. “That’s the city’s plan. I think that’s important. When you develop a plan, let’s follow it.”
Local resident Andrew Smyth said the development did not allow for a smooth transition into neighbouring residential neighbourhoods in addition to echoing an issue Robinson had brought up regarding the absence of retail space at ground level.
“We do not believe the developer has presented a design at this stage that shows the City of Toronto’s intent of recommended good design, giving protection of the neighbourhoods and providing buildings with retail and community uses at the sidewalk level,” said Smyth.