Plan for midtown Toronto site surrounding Five Thieves unveiled

26-storey tower proposed across from Summerhill LCBO rankles T.O. film producer


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A rendering of the proposed development that was submitted to the city

A development plan for Scrivener Square, which surrounds a strip of retailers in Summerhill affectionately dubbed the Five Thieves by locals, has some residents opposing the proposal’s height and density.

In June, Diamond Corp and Tricon Capital Group applied to build an eight-storey building and a 26-storey mixed-use building with 182 rental units at 5 Scrivener Sq. The site is currently home to two four-storey office buildings, a parking lot and green space across from the Summerhill LCBO. The Five Thieves building is not included in the proposal.

This isn’t the first time the community has opposed a 26-storey building on the site. Ward 27 councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said residents weren’t anticipating that the height of the proposed building would be the same as the one that was “overwhelmingly rejected” by the community and city planning staff in 2006.

Five consultation meetings have been held with the community since late 2016. According to Wong-Tam, several residents voiced concerns about the scale and fit of the building, traffic and accessibility.

“I think the new owner is aware of the history on this file,” said Wong-Tam. “He is aware that this community is very sensitive to the height and density originally proposed. From what I can tell, some of the initial comments from the residents around this new application is that their opinion hasn’t changed.”

“I think the new owner is aware of the history on this file. ”

According to Kevin Friedrich, city planner with the City of Toronto, there was quite a bit of work done to the site throughout the 1990s, and official plan policies were put into place as a result of a master plan for the area that states certain buildings must range between three and five storeys.

Canadian filmmaker Robert Lantos owns a three-storey office building at Yonge Street and Price Street and has weighed in on the proposal. 

“Having a 26-storey tower across the street in an area where there is nothing more than four or five storeys is a concern because of the height and the density,” said Lantos. “Since Terroni [restaurant] opened, which is a very good thing, but nevertheless, the traffic there is so congested that it’s already risky for everyone who is walking and running around.”

Lantos said he spoke to the developers and voiced his concerns.

“That doesn’t seem to have had any impact on their application, so what the next steps are, we’ll see,” he said, adding that construction could turn into a “a multi-year nightmare” if they access the site through Price Street. 

The application is being reviewed by city planning staff. 

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