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Residents fighting proposal to demolish North York building with ‘rich history’ for condo development

By Andrew Palamarchuk, Reporter, Jan 13, 2021

4700 bathurst national council of jewish women of canada



Residents of a North York street are banding together to oppose a proposed nine-storey condo that they fear would shadow their homes and cause traffic and parking problems.

“It’s a beautiful neighbourhood, and the impact of the (proposed) condo will tarnish it,” said David Cohen, 59, a longtime resident of Carscadden Drive, southwest of Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue West.

Cohen is among eight residents who recently formed a group to fight the proposed development at 4700 Bathurst, currently a two-storey office building that had been home for decades to the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Toronto section.

The residents’ group has started a petition on change.org that has so far garnered more than 300 signatures.

Cohen, whose home backs onto 4700 Bathurst, said he only found out about the proposed mid-rise development a few weeks ago when a neighbour alerted him to a sign on the site that states the city has received an application to amend the zoning bylaw to allow the construction of a nine-storey condo with two levels of underground parking.

“I was shocked,” he said. “The neighbourhood was under the impression that it would be a townhouse development.”

Cohen was born and raised on Carscadden Drive and moved back to his childhood home 14 years ago. His mother is the original owner of the semi-detached home, which was built in 1959.

Cohen said he fears the proposed 142-unit condo will create a lot of extra traffic on his quiet residential street. He also has environmental concerns, noting large mature trees close to the property line may be destroyed due to construction.

Cohen said there will also be a “huge amount of shadowing from the (proposed) structure” along with a loss of privacy.

“People on their balconies will be looking at us and we’ll be looking at them,” he said. “Lastly, the construction may crack a lot of the foundations of these homes, being that the homes here are a little over 60 years old.”

Weston Consulting, the “planning agent” for 4700 Bathurst owner Frontdoor Developments, said both a traffic impact study and sun shadow study were submitted for review as part of the formal application process.

“We are still awaiting comments and feedback from the City as it relates to these items,” Weston Consulting senior planner Michael Vani said in an email.

“We will be arranging a public open house (virtually) in the near future to provide residents the opportunity to ask questions, hear more about the proposal, and provide us with their feedback.”

A planning justification report prepared by Weston Consulting said the proposed condo won’t have “any significant” shadowing impacts, and that it will “intensify an underutilized parcel of land in a manner that respects the existing neighbourhood context while providing additional intensification and density along a major roadway.”

As part of the proposal, the existing building at 4700 Bathurst, built in the 1960s, would be demolished.

Coun. James Pasternak said the “iconic” building, which has a mirrored façade, has a “very rich” history. “It was a fairly striking building for its time,” he said.

“(There were) a lot of historical moments in there, where a lot of charitable work was done, a lot of advocacy for women, for the Jewish community.”

A preliminary city staff report on the proposal is expected to come before North York Community Council on March 1; a community consultation meeting is expected to be scheduled shortly after.

Pasternak said he’ll fight to protect the “historical character” of the area and will work with the community to address concerns.

“We have to look at how they want to configure . . . the exit and entry points of the building to make sure there’s no cut-through traffic in the neighbourhood, and we want to make sure it’s esthetically pleasing,” he said.

“I share those concerns about the number of units and potential disruption to the neighbourhood, so we have to look very closely at this file and see if there’s any kind of common ground between the applicant and the residents and then work with that.”

Pasternak added the developer will likely be obligated to “do some parkland dedication so there’ll be new investments in the neighbourhood.”

Editor’s note — Jan. 13, 2021: This story has been changed from a previously version to add a comment from Weston Consulting.

media residents no to the 9 storey condo 4700 bathurst


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