350 Walmer Road proposed streetscape

On March 1 a Settlement was approved at the TLAB Appeal hearing regarding the proposed development for 350 Walmer Road. The Appeal was launched last year after the City approved the subdivision of the 50 foot lot into two 25 foot lots, an increase in the permitted coverage for both lots from 60% to 73% and the building of a 3 story detached home on each of the North Lot and South Lot to within 18 inches of the lot lines. The City of Toronto, the Casa Loma Residents Association and many homeowners joined in Appealing the decision. The Appeal was led by Ed Eng, an owner of 348 Walmer Road whose property to the south was most affected by the proposal. The owner of the property to the north at 352 Walmer Road, which unlike 348 Walmer Road has its own personal driveway separating its structure from the proposed structure, chose not to appeal.

All parties were advised prior to the Appeal hearing that the severing of the lot was not inconsistent with the mixture of lot sizes in the area. The Appeal therefore focused on 2 issues: (1) the impact on an adjacent property of a structure being built within 18 inches (.46 cm) of a property line and (2) the damage to the neighbourhood streetscape and building pattern if properties of the proposed size were built, separated by only 18 inches to the next property line.

As the owner adjacent to the North Lot did not appeal, the building for the North Lot was approved. That made changes to the South Lot very difficult to consider as the structure on the North Lot was now fixed.

The Settlement that was approved at the TLAB hearing was between Mr. Eng and the owners of the proposed development. The Settlement provided for, among other things, the building on the South Lot to be built 24” ( 60 cm) from the lot line, for the waterproofing of the north wall of Mr. Eng’s home, for an engineering consultant to ensure that the grading plan and drainage between the house structures (to be separated by less than 3 feet) is appropriate, for a window on the third floor to be set back with no option of later being an access to a third floor deck, protection of a tree on Mr. Eng’s property, construction of a retaining wall and fence between the two properties, additional landscaping and for the payment of Mr. Eng’s legal and out of pocket expenses to a maximum of $10,000.

As stated in the Casa Loma Residents Association Objection to the development proposed for 350 Walmer Road the proposal is not consistent with Toronto’s Official Plan that directs new development in Neighbourhoods (Casa Loma is designated as a Neighbourhood) to respect and reinforce the existing physical character of the area, including the pattern of streetscapes and open spaces.

In the opinion of the Casa Loma Residents Association, the development at 350 Walmer Road is not consistent with Toronto’s Official Plan as stated above and will not be the last that will require our attention.