Controversial condo on Village Idiot site approved

Forest Hill development reduced from nine storeys in OMB mediated settlement


Published:

The site of the Village Idiot Pub in the lower village set to become a condo

The two-storey building that once housed the Village Idiot Pub in Forest Hill has sat empty for years as local residents, city staff and Armel Corporation debated how the site should be redeveloped. Now, a six-storey, mixed-use building with 34 units has finally been approved. 

On March 27, Toronto City Council signed off on the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) mediated settlement for 390–398 Spadina Rd. on the northwest corner of Montclair Avenue and Spadina Road.

The community made a collective effort to oppose the initial proposal of nine storeys and 46 units — they formed the South Forest Hill Residents Association (SFHRA) in 2014 and participated in the mediation process at the OMB. 

Councillors Joe Mihevc and Josh Matlow, of Ward 21 and Ward 22 respectively, argued against the initial proposal, and a refusal report was submitted by city staff in May 2016. The report noted the proposal did not meet the Urban Design Guidelines for Forest Hill Village, which dictate that no building should be above four storeys on that part of Spadina Road, between Montclair Avenue and Thelma Avenue.

Mihevc had initially called for a total rewrite of the proposal, not just a minor modification, but said the proposal had reached an acceptable conclusion. 

“The village is very special but it has fallen into neglect.”

“The settlement is not perfect, but this is as good as it gets. We achieved 90 per cent of our goals, which doesn’t happen often in the planning world,” Mihevc said. 

Armel Corporation will contribute $170,000 into Ontario Planning Act, Section 37 funding, as part of the settlement, to be used toward community improvements.

Approximately 60 residents attended a community meeting on April 12 to provide input on how the funding should be spent. Mihevc noted the allocation of the funds still needs to be determind. 

Mona Kornberg, of the SFHRA, said she hopes those funds will be applied to the streetscape on Spadina Road. 

“The village is very special, but it has fallen into neglect. Really nice street lights and potted plants and a couple more benches would be a good use of this money,” Kornberg said. 

However, Kornberg anticipates more development is on the way.

“The SFHRA is poised to respond to this, and I think it is going to be a watchdog as a community organization,” she said. 

Armel Corporation did not return requests for comment.

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Toronto's venerable Cowboy Junkies hit Massey Hall

Toronto's venerable Cowboy Junkies hit Massey Hall

The Cowboy Junkies have quietly become one of the most important bands to come out of Toronto, and more than three decades deep they continue to turn gorgeously crafted albums that speak of the times in a way that is unique. Their latest, All That Reckoning, proves the band still has a lot to say. But it took some time to get there.
Posted 19 hours ago
Confessions of a Lawrence Park shopping expert

Confessions of a Lawrence Park shopping expert

Posted 3 days ago
Outdoor spaces that evolve as our families mature

Outdoor spaces that evolve as our families mature

Posted 7 days ago
Yes, in my backyard

Yes, in my backyard

Posted 1 week ago
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module