08 192870 WET 06 OZ
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This blog was set up by neighbours concerned about development on this site. There is currently a proposal to build seven four storey units (six semis and one single) that would greatly reduce public views of the lake, is partially on green space and lakeside "hazardous lands" and is totally out of character with the neighbourhood. This would require a huge amendment to Toronto's Official Plan and zoning by-laws.

Friday, December 12, 2008


This community notice was hand-delivered this morning to residents living close to the site. Double-click on image for larger view.
The community should be proud of its efforts to make its opinion heard and for standing up to this developer. It is a victory for the neighbourhood and for those who defend our City's Official Plan.
However, it's not over yet. Dunpar will surely come back seeking approval for another type of development. Remember their first application to build a monster home on green space at the water's edge - it did not take the community long to figure out that a property severance and a row of townhouses up to Lake Shore Drive was probably going to come next. This site has huge profit potential for a developer.
However, we can always hope that Dunpar, having seen once again the resolve of Lakeshore residents, will content itself with a development that falls in line with the City's zoning and planning policies.
It is unfortunate that Councillor Grimes, in this notice, chooses to acknowledge only one of the community groups involved in the issue. Many others worked hard to bring the matter to the community's attention and their efforts go unrecognized.
Please add your comments to this post by clicking on "comments" below. Comments can also be read the same way.

Monday, December 1, 2008


As of today (Dec 1st), the agenda for the Etobicoke-York Community Council meeting on January 13th, 2009, has not yet been set. The agenda will close on December 16th, 2008 and will, hopefully, include the staff report from Planning on 51 Lake Shore Drive.

Agenda items and other related information can be monitored at (make sure you put 2009 in the selection box)

The meetings are held during the day in two sessions, 9.30 to 12.30 and 1.30 to 6.00. They usually last just the one day. At the Councillor’s request, an evening session can be pre-scheduled (7.30 to 10.00). For this to happen, Councillor Grimes would have to be convinced that a lot of residents wanted to make deputations and that the evening session was the most appropriate.

Public deputations can be made to the Council at the beginning of the meeting’s scheduled agenda. Individuals are only allowed five minutes to depute. If a lot of people wish to make a deputation, it is strongly suggested, in order to hold the Council’s attention, that similar points are not endlessly repeated but different arguments are raised in a pre-planned fashion by successive speakers.

In order to make a deputation, make sure that 51 Lake Shore Drive is on the agenda first. Then call to secure a time slot - Sandra Domotor, City Clerk, at 416 394 8083 or her assistant Glenda at 416 394 8101. Requests for a time slot can be made up to the day preceding the Council meeting. They will also allow speakers who turn up on the day of the meeting to ask for a slot.

Deputation information is available at


Friday, November 28, 2008


If you were unable to pick up a copy of the developer's site drawings, double-click on these images.
You can also e-mail Terry Smith at to arrange to see the original copy handed out at the meeting.


The Assembly Hall auditorium was packed last night with as many as 140 residents who were there to protest Dunpar’s application to build townhouses on the site. The city planning department asked for community input … and they sure got it! There was a virtually unanimous show of hands in disagreement; speaker after speaker offered up all of the points of concern that have troubled the community and which have formed the content of the dozens of written submissions sent in to Greg Hobson-Garcia. No one spoke in favour of the proposal. Although maybe "not a priority" for our Councillor, many spoke about a community desire to have the City exporpriate the site, or, at least, the southern half on green space, and turn it into a waterfront park.

With so many counts against the application, plus the opposition of the community, the Councillor and the Conservation Authority, major breaches of the Official Plan and Zoning and inconsistencies with past OMB decisions, it is virtually inevitable that the planning department will eventually report to Community Council that it has decided against Dunpar on this proposal. In fact, the developer’s representative, Tom Giuancos, made no attempt whatsoever to even “sell” the project to the community.

The planning staff said their intention is to report to the Etobicoke-York Community Council on January 13th, 2009 where the real decision will be made. The council is made up of eleven west-end City Councillors. These Councillors have the authority to accept the planners’ recommendation, modify the recommendation or overrule it.

Last night, Councillor Grimes reaffirmed his opposition to this proposal and said that he would vote against it at Community Council and ask the other Councillors to oppose it. He also said that, if any modifications were made to the application, there would be another public meeting. He would not, however, commit himself to an ongoing opposition to any townhouse development on that site (for example, a new application for six, not seven, townhouses). He also said that he would direct the City Solicitor to defend the City’s position should the developer appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Community Council meetings are public and residents can make short deputations. In order for anyone to do this, they need to know the meeting date and they need to get on the deputation list by calling Sandra Domotor, Etobicoke-York City Clerk, at 416 394 8083. Submissions can also be sent to the eleven individual Councillors prior to the meeting. A submission, for example, could be the same one that you sent to Greg Hobson-Garcia with an explanatory add-on.

Councillor contact information is available at



During the public meeting, Councillor Grimes said that he would work with to communicate with the community and that the people behind that organization should be the “spokespersons for the community”.

At the meeting, there was representation from many other community groups: CCFEW, Good Neighbours, LAMP, the Lakeshore Planning Council, the New Toronto Historical Society, Lakeshore Environmental Gardeners, the BIA, Friends of Sam Smith Park, 51 Lakeshore Drive blog spot, the Lakefront Homeowners Association, the Watershed Coalition, Spirit of the Lakeshore as well as There were probably other community groups at the meeting as well.

All of these groups and individuals care very much about our neighbourhood and deserve information on proposals in Ward 6. Councillor Grimes needs to understand that the more community groups he communicates information to, the more people in Ward 6 he can reach. It is hard to understand why he would shut any of his constituents out by choosing to only work with a select few, shunning the rest.

As our elected representative, he is required to communicate the same information to all interested community groups equally.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


The community group “Our Lakeshore” hosts a blog about 51 Lake Shore Drive. There are many comments from community residents that make for interesting reading. Here are the links …..

Thursday, November 20, 2008


There is an example of a Dunpar lakeside, four storey, townhouse development on Nautical Lane at the foot of Sand Beach Road. (Sand Beach runs south from Lakeshore between First and Royal York). The development extends to the new seawall at the water's edge. The buildings are very tall without any sight lines in between. The private enclave is isolated from the community, protected by a fence, "No Trespassing" signs, motion and sound detectors and security cameras. There have been water's edge access issues between residents and neighbours, particularly with regard to the community garden that was planted this summer in the public space next to the development . One of the photographs shows the fence that was erected down to the water to prevent people from accessing the beach in front. A townhouse in that development is currently listed at $749 000.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The site plan does not provide anywhere to store snow removed from the side drive. The snow will be piled on the side streets where parking is already an issue, or on the green space where salt and contaminants will leach into the soil. Jennifer from Fourth Street posted these photographs to illustrate the snow storage problem we had last year at Fourth and Lakeshore Drive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Make sure you get your submissions in as soon as possible.
An example of a recent letter from a neighbour is posted below
(Click on image to see larger version)


Councillor Mark Grimes:

This letter is in response to an application submitted to the City of Toronto planning division for the development of a parcel of lake front property with an existing structure at 51 Lakeshore Dr. The purpose of this letter is to outline my concerns regarding the proposed application and the impact this will have on both my neighbours and the neighbourhood in general. I respectfully request that I be kept informed of any meetings or matters regarding this application by email.

Last Thursday Oct 23, I attended an informal meeting with many of my neighbours in a roundtable discussion to learn what the current plans are for this property. In lieu of a copy of formal plans for the property, a sketch was drafted by one of the attendees from the original plan. It should be noted that the developer would not release a copy for our pursual. It should also be noted that while this application was submitted for approval on August 12, 2008 there is still no notice of the application posted on the property. As a long time resident of the area (20 years), I am compelled to voice my concerns regarding this application as I understand it.

1. A four story townhouse complex with seven units.
The size and height is totally unreasonable for both the lot size and the general character of the neighbourhood. I understand that a change in zoning would be required. The city should honour the current zoning rules for density as they are correct for this area and not allow site specific zoning changes where it is inappropriate. This area is primarily 1, 1 1/2 and 2 story single family homes. This structure will overwhelm the area in its size and height. The structure is to be built 20 inches within the property line, therefore there is no front or back yards, just a wall 4 stories high blocking any view of the lake that we and users of the waterfront trail currently enjoy.

2. Future of the mature trees on 4th street south of Lakeshore Dr. The plan includes many of the mature trees that are currently there but I have real concerns for the long term health of the trees. If as a rule of thumb, the canopy of a tree is similar in area to the root system, these trees will suffer severe stress from the excavation that will be required and will most likely loose a substantial portion of their roots which will eventually result in their death.

3. Parking. As a parking permit holder on 4th street, I find that often there is difficulty in finding a spot already and often have to park up a ways up on 4th and not close to my home. The plan does not include any guest parking so this will only reduce the limited amount of spots available for myself and my neighbours.

4. Changes to the existing shoreline.
The plan includes landfilling the shoreline to extend it further into the lake. This will have unknown results of shoreline erosion as it will change current wave patterns.

5. Changes to bylaws and zoning.
To approve this plan, it will require several changes to existing bylaws and zoning laws. The purpose of these rules is protect the homeowner, community, and shoreline of Lake Ontario from inappropriate development, if the City of Toronto is serious about its goals to preserve the shoreline and access to the waterfront, then it must honour the bylaws and zoning that it has put in place.

In closing, I must again state that these are the facts only as I know them. Any future public meetings must have the official proposal available for the public to view. This structure is certainly not in the best interest of the neighbourhood, community or the many people who use the waterfront trail. Given the limited amount of waterfront property remaining in Toronto that has not been developed, maybe the City of Toronto could purchase and lease the property with the existing structure or use it in a way that benefits its taxpayers.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Citizens Concerned for the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront, or CCFEW, are also very concerned about the proposed townhouse development and its impact on the waterfront. CCFEW was instrumental in forcing developers and the City to create public access to the waterfront when the condos were being built at Humber Bay Shores. They have remained waterfront watchdogs and guardians.
They will be discussing the issue at their next Planning meeting on Monday, November 10th, 7:30pm at LAMP, 185 Fifth Street. Please feel free to attend. Monthly meetings are used mainly to discuss current issues, projects and policy positions. They are always open to anyone who is interested in attending.
Link to the issue on the CCFEW website .......

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I talked to Greg Hobson-Garcia today and was both pleased and somewhat alarmed by what I heard. First, he has already received quite a few submissions from the community challenging the developer's application. (Keep sending them.) He has also received the report form the Toronto Region Conservation Authority saying they cannot support the application for a number of reasons listed in a previous post. He is waiting on reviews of the application from other City departments. The mayor is advised of the community's interest in this and has asked for feedback from the planners. If residents keep the pressure up, I sense that the Planning Department's decision in their final report will hopefully end up being a refusal.

Here's the problem, though. If that is the case, the Planning Act says that a final report that is a refusal can go directly to Etobicoke-York Community Council without the need for a public meeting first. At Community Council, the report would be presented and the eleven members (west Toronto Councillors) have the power to either rubber stamp the Planning Department's decision, modify it or instruct the planners to reverse their decision and accept it! The planners' job is merely to advise council; they have no authority - the politicians have total power.

So, that could mean, for example, that a motion could be put forward to limit the townhouse row to six units and it could be passed on the spot - all without a public meeting first. This on-the-spot-modification-to-pass-at-community-council has all happened before.

Greg is trying to set up the Community Council meeting for January. We should know exactly when during this month of November. At that public meeting, it will be possible for residents to make a short deputation. In order for anyone to do this, they need to know the meeting date and they need to get on the deputation list by calling Sandra Domotor, Etobicoke-York City Clerk, at 394 8083.

Meeting dates will be passed on by the planner to those people who have requested to be on his notification list. To do that, contact Greg Hobson-Garcia at 416 394 2615 or e-mail him at This is a new file from the earlier "monster home" application, so you need to make sure that you get on the list for this current one. We will also post the information on this blog.

We also need to be aware of the fact that a developer can appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board when there is failure to announce a decision on an Official Plan Amendment by the City's Planning Department within 90 days of receipt of the developer's application. That time will be up in early December.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The new sign was finally put up on the site yesterday. It indicates who the developer is. Dunpar is a name well known to many residents and community groups in south west Toronto. There is a new file number for the current proposal. Please make sure that this file number is clearly indicated in submissions you make to the Planner.


Planner, Greg Hobson-Garcia

Copy Councillor Grimes

Copy Mayor Miller


To view an online, downloadable copy of Toronto’s Official Plan, authorized by the Province in July 2007, go to

This comprehensive plan, long in the works and much anticipated, is constantly challenged by developers. We need to support City politicians and Planners in their efforts to defend it. Developers will effectively capitalize on any opportunity to utilize precedents set by any exemptions and deviations form the Official Plan with respect to their development proposals. This will further erode and weaken its integrity.

Many aspects of the proposed 51 Lakeshore Drive Townhouse development contravene the Official Plan.


Last week, a flyer from Councillor Grimes office was distributed to a few residences close to the site. Excerpts from that flyer are posted below ....

The Community Planning Department for Etobicoke-York District, has received an application that proposes the development of a townhouse complex at 51 Lakeshore Drive.
I have already informed both the Developer and the Planning Department that I am opposed to this application
Although it is not my decision alone to allow a development proposal to be approved or denied, I do not believe this type of development fits the ambience and structure of the neighborhood

Mark Grimes
Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


On October 20th 2008, the TRCA informed the City Planner, Greg Hobson-Garcia, who is reviewing this Official Plan/Zoning By-Law Amendment and Site Plan Applications (08 192870 WET 6 OZ and o8192900 WET 06 SA), the proposed seven townhouses and seawall, that it cannot support the developer's application. It presented a number of arguments.........
  • The property is partially located in within a Regulated Area of the lake Ontario Shoreline and, as such, would need a provincial permit, which it does not have.

  • The southerly half of the property is designated Parks and Open Space Areas - Natural Areas. It appears that four of the seven units are proposed within that area! City official policy on those areas says that they should be kept in a natural state and development generally prohibited (See Chapter 4 of the City's Official Plan)

  • A portion of the site is part of the Natural Heritage System. The Official Plan specifies that the natural features in the system should be protected, restored and enhanced.

  • TRCA considers "hazardous lands" (shoreline areas where development is not allowed) to extend 27 meters inland from the existing toe of slope (to the water); the proposed development, including servicing, extends well into "hazardous lands". The TRCA does not support the construction of new shoreline works for the purpose of accommodating new development inside the hazardous areas.

It seems that, along with rejecting the proposal, the TRCA is giving a strong argument for the City to expropriate the property (or, at least, the southern half) and turn it into a naturalized, waterfront parkette. Add to that the fact that a portion of this property is zoned G (Green Space) and the Toronto Official Plan states in Chapter 2 that within G zones .....

  • Lands on the water's edge should become a network of public ally accessible open spaces.

  • Physical and visual barriers between the Cituy and Lake Ontario should be minimized

  • Public access to to lands along the water's edge should be increased and improved

  • The Waterfront Trail should be protected, improved and extended

  • Private development and public works on lands along the water;'s edge should maintain and increase opportunities for public views of the water and support a sense of belonging to the community


Etobicoke By-law 1991-41 (OMB Order 9100219)
This by-law from pre-amalgamation 1991 ordered a set back from the lake for any redevelopment on a number of properties zoned Residential R2 surrounding 51 Lakeshore Drive to be based on a measurement from the street line and not from the water. The water benchmark changes with water level, erosion, season etc. and is not consistent. The measurement from the south curb on Lakeshore Drive, on the western edge of the properties, is to be 19.8 meters. In other words, no structure can be built closer to the lake than that; the footprint of the existing building on 51 Lakeshore Drive just about conforms to that. The by-law was enacted to preserve "views to the south over the lake and east towards the City of Toronto", based on a 45 degree sawtooth pattern . 51 Lakeshore was also zoned R2 at the time but there was a nursing home on the site, allowable because of former pre-1975 R4 zoning. It was not listed in this By-law. To be consistent, however, it could be argued that the same setback should be applied because the property is also at a 45 degree angle and the same concerns about views are applicable.


OMB Ruling 1 - File No. 07 227937 WET 06 OZ - December 6, 2007

An older application to develop the site was refused by the OMB. The decision said that the proposed new structure compromised the Toronto Official Plan and, if accepted, would "make it unenforceable" and "weaken its integrity". The Official Plan states that existing neighbourhoods should be "maintained and protected" and "any redevelopment in the area is required to conform to it" It declared it "imperative" that a three-dimensional architectural model of the proposed development and the surrounding neighbourhood be produced so that local residents can see how the proposed development physically impacts the community" and that, before any application for redevelopment is considered, a "survey of the current built form and structure of dwellings and lot sizes on Lake Shore Drive and Fourth Street be undertaken". The ruling goes on to say that "development applications for a particular property are not to be considered in isolation; the established scale and built form of existing buildings is to be maintained to preserve the character of a neighbourhood".


The Planner, Greg Hobson-Garcia is asking for feedback from the community on the development. Please take the time to write the planner with your concerns and copy Councillor Grimes and Mayor Miller. The Planning file number is 08 192870 WET 06 OZ

Below are suggestions to include in your letters to the Planner, Councillor Grimes and the Mayor on the new proposal to demolish the existing building at 51 Lake Shore Drive and to build seven four-storey town homes and to make changes to the existing shoreline and stone coastal protection wall at this property.

Contact information for the Planner Greg Hobson-Garcia, Councillor Grimes and Mayor Miller is included at the bottom of this post.

If you agree with some of these arguments and wish to include them in your letter, please put them in your own words

1. The proposed development for seven four-storey town homes at 51 Lake Shore Drive does not fit the existing home size, height, front and side yard space of the rest of the neighbourhood.

2. The development application sign is not yet put on the property. The application date is August 12, 2008, yet the developer has not erected a sign regarding the town house development. As the weather gets colder fewer and fewer people have an opportunity to find out about this proposal that will impact the community and the view from the waterfront trail.

3. The community should be allowed to depute or present at the Etobicoke-York Community Council meeting when 51 Lake Shore Drive is on the agenda.

4. Anyone with an interest in this development needs to be copied on all notices or meetings regarding 51 Lake Shore Drive (you can call Greg Hobson-Garcia at 416 394 2615 or e-mail him at

5. If the plan is revised, the community needs another public meeting. We want to be informed and consulted on revisions.

6. The City should expropriate all or part of the property, buy it and turn it into a waterfront parquette.

7. The waterfront at 51 Lake Shore Drive should be donated to the TRCA as part of any planning or development proposal.

8. The current zoning for the property should be respected and enforced; the property is not zoned for the proposed density. It is now R2 and would need to be changed to R4 for this kind of density.

9. Blocking public views of the lake contravenes the City of Toronto Official Plan. Once the view of the lake is gone we have lost it forever, there is no going back.

10. This land is part of the waterfront trail and should be protected.

11. If the new town homes are worth much more than the surrounding homes, tax assessments for all the homes in the area will significantly increase.

12. There is no visitor parking included in the plan. Street parking will be an issue, it already is.

13. At the December 5, 2007 public meeting on the previous application - the community asked if the developer wanted a town house development at 51 Lake Shore Drive, and the representative for Zanini repeatedly stated that the lot is not big enough for town homes. What has changed since that meeting?

14. The site plan does not provide anywhere to store snow. The snow will be piled on the side streets where parking is already an issue, or on the green space where salt and contaminants will leach into the soil.

15. The planner needs to bring the actual site plan including the lake wall changes to the public meeting. We need the details of the dimensions, height, and density of what is permitted on the site under the current zoning, bylaws and the official plan.

16. The developer should be directed to pay for a survey of the current built form of dwellings and lot sizes on Lake Shore Drive, and Fourth Street. This will establish the character of the existing neighbourhood of New Toronto that is to be "maintained and protected" under Toronto's Official Plan, and which any redevelopment in the area will be required to conform to.

17. The developer should be directed to pay for a three-dimensional architectural model of the proposed development, the surrounding neighbourhood and the changes to the lakefront and adjoining shoreline for the public meeting. This will allow local residents to see how the proposed development physically impacts the community. Most people have difficulty visualizing the impact of new structures on their neighbourhood and the view of the lakefront when looking at a two-dimensional drawing on paper.

18. Some mature trees would probably have to be removed.

If you want to share letters with people on the distribution list, please send to:
I will forward them out to the distribution list.

If you are willing to allow us to post quotes from your letter on the blog for 51 Lakeshore Drive, please let me know in your e-mail.

We will include your name but remove your address and phone info because the blog is available to anyone world-wide who wants to view it.

I have called the clerk from the Etobicoke-York Community Council to find out the process to depute or present our comments to Community Council when 51 Lake Shore Drive is on the agenda. The next Community-Council meeting is November 18th and the agenda will not be set until two weeks prior to the meeting. You can check the agenda online at:
Or you can call the Clerk's office at 394-8101, about two weeks prior to the meeting.

Send your letters, e-mails, faxes, voicing your concerns to:

Greg Hobson-Garcia, Planner
Tel: 416-394-2615
Fax: 416-394-6063
City Planning, Community Planning Section
2 Civic Centre Court, 3rd Floor, Toronto, M9C 5A3

Councillor Mark Grimes
Phone: 416-397-9273
Fax: 416-397-9279
Mail: Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Suite C48, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Mayor David Miller
Phone: 416-397-CITY (2489)
Fax: 416-696-3687
Mail: Toronto City Hall, 2nd Floor, 100 Queen St. West, Toronto ON M5H 2N2

Thank you for your concern and efforts to make our neighbourhood the best part of Toronto!


Jem Cain
H: 416-259-7328

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Proposed building height 14.10metres 46.26 feet

Size of units

Lot 1 – 2,635 square feet

Lot 2 – 2,576 square feet

Lot 3 – 2,576 square feet

Lot 4 – 2,576 square feet

Lot 5 – 2,576 square feet

Lot 6 – 2,576 square feet

Lot 7 – 3,617 square feet

Disclaimer - we have nothing in writing on the development; all the measurements and drawings are from concerned residents asking questions on the proposal. At this point in time, we cannot get any hard info from the developer on the proposal


Double click to view in larger frame


These sketches were made from the developer's original drawings at the City Planner's office. We are posting our sketches because the site plan drawn by the architect is protected under copywrite and will not be available until the public meeting.
If you double-click on the photographs, you can view them in a larger frame.


This old sign from the Planning Department of the City of Toronto is still lying around on the property. It refers to the September 2007 application by CIC Millwork to build a "monster home" at the lake end of the site. This was challenged by residents and the developer withdrew the application. Someone has changed the old sign to read "7 Town Houses" to reflect a new application by the same developer on August 12th. for a zoning change and variance for this site. The City is obliged to erect a new sign with the new details. This kicks off the public consultation process. Please call the planner (his name and phone number have not changed), inform him that there is no new sign yet, ask to be put on his contact list to receive updates about development on this site and ask him four questions. Answers can be posted as "comments" to this post if you wish.
1. When will the new sign be put up?
2. When is the public community consultation?
3. When will the Etobicoke York Community Council deal with this application?
4. This property is zoned R2. What exactly does this zoning allow to be built there?
Do not use the reference number on the old sign. It will have changed.