08 192870 WET 06 OZ
Send content, including photos, you want posted on blog to
Publicly comment on any post by clicking "comments"
Please contact if you want to be added or removed from the e-mail distribution list for 51 Lake Shore Drive
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.

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.