Homes slated for former TDSB site
Development on Fairmeadow requires setback variances
Cindy Weiner at the former Fairmeadow Public School
Talks of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) selling off excess land have become commonplace, but one neighbourhood is already having to say goodbye to green space and hello to new homes.
In January of 2011, the Sorbara Group purchased 2.4 acres of land on Fairmeadow Avenue formerly belonging to the TDSB. The land was once the home of Fairmeadow Public School, which is no longer open. The building now serves as the headquarters of the Toronto Public School Principals’ Association, and some of the severed land includes park space regularly used by the public.
Now Fairmeadow Avenue, which lies southeast of Highway 401 and Yonge Street, will be home to 11 new single-family detached homes — seven of which will be placed on a newly constructed cul-de-sac.
Sorbara Group is requesting variances for the properties, which doesn’t sit well with all residents.
“When you lose green space, you never get it back.”
Their request to have rear-yard setbacks reduced by two metres is particularly troublesome. Currently, the bylaw requires a setback of 9.5 metres.
“They initially asked for 7.5 metres,” said Cindy Weiner, president of the St. Andrew’s Ratepayers Association. “That’s a big difference, especially for the people living on Lord Seaton [Road]. Their properties back onto Fairmeadow. Weiner said that the biggest issue for most residents was a loss of parkland and green space.
Councillor Jaye Robinson said that, though these deliberations are tame compared to most development battles, the loss of green space is an unfortunate sign of the times. “It’s just a shame that we’re losing green space,” she said. “When you lose green space, you never get it back.”
She said, however, that the Sorbara Group agreed to pay for the relocation of goal posts regularly used by neighbourhood residents.
“We did fund the removal of the goal posts,” said Moira Morris, director of marketing and sales for the Sorbara Group, adding, “The residents are very co-operative.”