Letter from a neighbour: 450 Churchill

27 09 2010

We’ve just received word that there will be another public meeting about this development:

“Please note that there is another meeting with the developer at the church (in the gym) this Thursday, September 30 at 6:30 p.m.  Mr. Spillenaar has promised to have drawings of the view of the 5-story condo building from Edison Ave. which were not displayed at the September 14 session.”

We encourage residents to attend.

This is a copy of  a letter written to Councillor Christine Leadman in regards to the development of the United Church property at the corner of Ravenhill and Churchill Avenue. We posted it with permission from the author and invite your feedback and comments.

Dear Councillor Leadman:

Based on the comments and concerns raised at the public meeting regarding the re-development of the United Church property at the corner of Ravenhill and Churchill, we want to express our concerns to you about the proposed re-development plans, as they were presented at the meeting.

  1. The 5-story condominium on Edison Ave. is out of scale with the neighbourhood. A five-story building on a residential street like Edison completely changes the character of the neighbourhood. We are not questioning the design, simply the scale, which would fit in nicely on, for instance, Richmond Road, but is inappropriate for Edison Avenue. There is certainly no precedent in the neighbourhood for a five-story building. The new condominium being built farther south on Churchill is three stories, and it faces Churchill Avenue, not quietly residential Edison Avenue. The recent development of the Jeanne d’Arc property included buildings two stories in height. A 5-story building fronting onto residential Edison Avenue would be incongruous to say the least. The precedent that it would set for future developments in the neighbourhood is, in a word, scary.
  2. The proposed entrance to the underground parking lot on Ravenhill needs to be re-thought. Because of the restrictions on traffic during school arrival and pick-up times, the only access to this parking lot during morning and evening ‘rush hours’ is via Kenwood and Edison, which would increase the traffic on Edison, a street which already experiences traffic issues during school drop-off and pick-up times, and which is the main pedestrian route for children attending Churchill School. The access to the underground parking lot should be off Churchill.
  3. The third main concern raised at the meeting centered around the issues of parking and ambient noise for concerts at the proposed concert hall in the old church. We feel these concerns are manageable, but plans to do so must be clearly stated as part of the requirements for the re-development plan, and not left to the city or the neighbours to figure out.

The good intentions and hard work done by the Westboro United Church to develop the land serves as an exemplary model for redeveloping institutional lands. We are confident that continued discussions among all stakeholders – city, church, community and developers – in the spirit of goodwill and openness, will result in a development that will be a source of community pride, and an example of how redevelopment can be done in the spirit of “making things better”, (rather than “it could have been worse”).

We look forward to the next meeting regarding this development.

Max Finkelstein and Connie Downes

cc. David Spillinaar, Springcress Properties Inc. (dspillenaaar@spsringcress.com)
Westboro Community Association (hellowestboro@yahoo.ca)

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2 responses

28 09 2010
Churchill Neighbour

Hey Max and Connie,
A parking garage off Churchill? Obviously you don’t live on our street.If you are concerned about safety, please be advised that we have many other members of the public that utilize our sidewalks other than just the Churchill school community. Churchill Ave. acts as the gateway to “the village”. so we get ALL traffic. Does it make sense for 10 cars to line up behind or drive on the shoulder of Churchill Avenue when a car wants to make a left hand turn into their parking garage??? Lets unite as neighbours and make the professionals involved provide a sensible solution for all to live with
All three elements of this development site pose traffic issues,therefore all aspects of traffic generated from this site should be addressed concurrently.

29 09 2010
Churchill Neighbour 2

It would be crazy to have added traffic on Edison or Ravenhill!! I agree that that the development needs a reasonable solution.

However, all developments (recent and proposed) in the area need to be included and assessed as an entity. The developments on Richmond will certainly impact all traffic in the area.

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