906 Yorkville rendering

A controversial new Yorkville condo proposal has residents concerned over privacy

A two-tower development is being proposed for the Yorkville area, but there is concern the buildings would be far too close to homes currently adjacent to the site near Yonge and Davenport.

Developer Gupta Group has submitted an application to the city for a 33-storey residential and mixed-use tower with 213 residential units, and a 19-storey residential tower along McMurrich Street with 188 units, connected by a two-storey base.

The 401 units total would consist of 31 studios, 92 one-bedrooms, 66 two-bedrooms, 17 two-bedrooms with dens, and 42 three-bedrooms.

The site at 906 Yonge St., slightly north of Davenport, is an unusual L-shape that fronts onto Yonge but extends back to McMurrich, where there is currently a parking lot and outdoor playground.

Currently facing Yonge Street is a three-storey Tudor Revival heritage building that used to be home to a furniture store. The proposal would preserve the front facade of the building and use it as the main entrance for residents.

Yorkville development site
Photo of the three-storey heritage building that will serve as the base of new condo (City of Toronto submission)

However, local councillor Mike Layton said the proposal does not leave enough space between the current buildings adjacent to the site.

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

Layton said that the proposal leaves windows just metres from each other, so residents would essentially be looking into each others’ homes.

Greater Yorkville Residents’ Association’s (GYRA) director of community planning (and former Toronto chief city planner), Paul Bedford, said the close distance would “destroy completely” the existing living environment for residents adjacent.

“All of their windows, balconies, and everything else would be impacted by this new building substantially,” he said.

Bedford also pointed out that an application for the Yorkville site was already submitted to the city years ago and was rejected by city planners, city council, and the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in 2014.

He said the OMB was “crystal clear” in its decision, saying that the area was not right for high rises but preferred mid-rises.

“I’m really amazed that this new application has come back and ignored all that,” he said. “[McMurrich] is a mid-rise street, not a high-rise street.”

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