Over 200 members of The Humber Valley Village Residents’ Association (HVVRA) met at Kingsway College School on Tuesday, December 10th and unanimously approved the mediated proposal that was negotiated with First Capital Realty (FCR) on the design for the Humbertown Shopping Centre site. The settlement has also been endorsed by the City of Toronto and another local ratepayer group.
“We are pleased that our members voted to support the outcome of our efforts during the OMB mediation process,” said Ian Ihnatowycz, president of HVVRA. “With the support of a trusted team of consultants, along with the City’s solicitor and the independent planner retained by the City, our Executive is confident that we negotiated the best result possible for our membership. Our negotiated concessions reasonably address the Community Established Urban Design Principles that formed the basis of our own HVVRA design concept. And, the new deal will establish a positive precedent as the City carries on with the Secondary Plan Review of the adjacent apartment neighbourhood of Humber Valley Village” he concluded.
Residents had expressed their deep dislike of tall tower buildings looming over the surrounding low-rise, residential neighbourhood. A key negotiation point was the agreement by FCR to add terraced architecture and reduce the angular plane of their buildings generally to 30 degrees, where these buildings are adjacent to low-rise residential properties. “The gradient will make the towers appear lower at street level, and the buildings will feel like they are further away from the residential homes,” said Michael Spaziani, Architecture & Design consultant for the HVVRA. “This sets an important, new precedent for Toronto where a 45-degree angular plane has been the norm for developers in comparable circumstances.”
In addition, FCR has agreed to:
- Increased setbacks between the buildings and roadways to allow for a legacy tree canopy to grow along Royal York, Lambeth, and Ashley Road;
- Increased green spaces throughout the site;
- Creation of an enhanced, larger neighbourhood square to allow public gatherings, cultural performances, and the like;
- Establish a 160-unit seniors’ residence, which will facilitate senior residents remaining in the Humber Valley Village neighbourhood;
- Limit the overall amount of retail space with restrictions to ensure that no “big box” stores are permitted;
- Participate in a collaborative site plan approval process with the HVVRA and the City so that we can provide input into architectural design and landscaping;
- Provide an $80,000 budget to HVVRA to retain professional design consultants and landscape architects for the site plan approval process;
- Allow input from the HVVRA to the City on how monies given by FCR under Section 37 of the Planning Act will be applied to upgrade facilities in the neighbourhood; and
- In addition to the seniors units, reduce the residential component to 455 condo units and townhouses.
“Our Executive looks forward to continuing to work with First Capital Realty and the City in a manner that will benefit both the corporation and our residents,” said Niels Christensen, past president of HVVRA. “We’ve learned to appreciate each other’s viewpoints, and I hope that the new Humbertown will be viewed by communities across the GTA as a case study on how to achieve a level of excellence for both the developer and the community,” Mr. Christensen concluded.
HVVRA Board of Directors