New big box proposal in Leaside rankles residents


Published:

The latest proposal for a big box development in Leaside has residents frustrated with a “loophole” in the official plan.

Brian Athey, president of the Leaside Property Owners’ Association, has appealed to North York Community Council not to approve any further turnover of industrial lands to retail uses.

“If the owner can buy up enough land to get just a little crack of frontage on Laird, which is what SmartCentres has done here, then it can apply for consideration to convert all those lands to retail,” he said.

According to Athey, more than half a million square feet of retail has been approved on the east side of Laird Drive.

The application for the vacant Wicksteed Avenue lot, formerly the site of J.R. Short Mills and Colgate Palmolive Canada, proposes a 147,000-square-foot retail commercial centre with 479 parking spaces.

“The density is completely excessive for this use, so much so that the developer’s proposing basically a department store jacked up on stilts on a second storey,” Athey said.

Coun. John Parker cited the use as well as the size and scale of development and traffic as issues that will have to be examined moving forward. When he was first approached by the developer, Parker cautioned not to repeat the architectural design of its retail development across the street.

“They brought in a design that looks like it’s a Mexican hacienda, like an oversized Taco Bell, and bears no relation to the community that it serves or the neighbourhood where it sits,” Parker said.

To the developer’s credit, Parker said, it has hired a top architectural firm for this project: Diamond and Schmitt. A community consultation meeting was scheduled to occur March 29.

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...

City staff review Bayview Village master plan

City staff review Bayview Village master plan

A developer has submitted a new application to redevelop the Bayview Village Shopping Centre, which has been greeted with some questions and skepticism by the local community. The master plan is making its way through the City of Toronto planning process.
Posted 10 hours ago
Hillcrest Village one of Toronto’s hot real estate pockets

Hillcrest Village one of Toronto’s hot real estate pockets

It took just six days and $166K over asking to nab this family home in Hillcrest Village.
Posted 14 hours ago
An artistic chimney in Toronto that sounds like cormorants

An artistic chimney in Toronto that sounds like cormorants

The Living City Art Exhibition, at Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works runs until Dec. 31.
Posted 1 day ago
Racist posters appear in Midtown

Racist posters appear in Midtown

Posters believed to be linked to a white nationalist group surfaced in two Midtown neighbourhoods last month, worrying residents.
Posted 3 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module