Category Archives: Editorial

*For the Record : Westbank proposal adopted at TEYCC

On April 4,  Westbank’s third proposal to develop Mirvish Village and Honest Ed’s was adopted by Toronto East York Community Council.

You can read MVTG and PARA’s deputations here: Presentation to TEYCC 04.04.17 HVRA’s deputation here: TEYCC Westbank final  SVRA’s deputation here: SVRA Deputation WB TEYCC April 4 2017

To watch the full meeting, which includes a ten minute presentation by Graig Uens summing up three years of work on this project by City Planning, comments from the councillors and deputations from a diversity of citizens, click here and move the time marker to 1:02.29, Item 23.6 :

To review the full documentation of the adopted motion – including reports and amendments, click here:

*City Planning Heritage Recommendations – Mirvish Village Buildings – MVTG response

This item was adopted without amendment at the Toronto Heritage Preservation Board, March 23. 2017

To see the letter of support from Harbord Village Residents’ Association, click here : Mirvish Village heritage designation


a coalition of four local residents’ associations

REGARDING: Toronto Preservation Board – March 23, 2017.

 The Mirvish Village Task Group – a coalition of the four, local residents’ associations that border on the intersection of Bloor and Bathurst Streets – would like to thank Heritage Preservation Services for their extensive work and attention to detail on this file.

The conservation of 585 Bloor Street and the buildings on Markham Street, in situ, in full volume including the roof-lines, is commendable. The recognition of the historic value of the adaptive reuse of vernacular, domestic architecture is encouraging. We hope that this sets a higher standard for any future development proposals.

On Bathurst Street we are heartened by the preservation of the group of five buildings constructed by T.W. Wilson in 1891. However, we would also like to see the three other Wilson buildings – 760, 758, 756 Bathurst – designated and protected to ensure the rhythm, scale of the storefronts and historic context of the block. As one of the earliest commercial intersections in our area, we think the heritage buildings along Bathurst Street warrant more recognition and conservation.

Preserving these twenty-four buildings out of the twenty-seven buildings cited as having heritage value by the Four Corners Study is very much appreciated and goes a long way to honouring this much-storied and beloved part of Toronto.

Best Regards,

Donna McFarlane


* Westbank’s third proposal Viewed from Street Level

The three images above are of Markham Street, facing north, as viewed from Lennox Street. (Note the mature trees in these renderings don’t exist.)


above: Corner of Markham and Lennox, facing east (towards Bathurst Street) from ground level on Lennox Street

above: the proposed east-west lane viewed from the opposite side Bathurst Street (B streets condo building) 

above: Corner of Bathurst and Lennox as viewed from the sidewalk on Lennox  east (in front the Central Tech swimming pool)

above: the Corner of Bloor and Bathurst as viewed from street level, looking south. B Street condos are on the left.

above: the corner of Bloor and Markham as viewed from the north side of Bloor

above:  the view from ground level in the backyards on Palmerston Blvd.

above: the view from street level on Palmerston Blvd. 

NOTE the renderings above were contributed by Roy Sawyer and are based on Westbank’s. Only the view point has been altered. 

FOR COMPARISON to Westbank’s renderings from an aerial view point click hereviewSupportingDoc (5) (1)

* MVTG response to City Planning regarding Westbank’s third proposal.

On January 25, 2017 the Mirvish Village Task Group met to assess the third submission from Westbank. This is a summary of the group’s comments, which were sent to City Planning and are now part of the public record.

Paul MacLean, chairperson.


  • What is the position of Heritage (department of City Planning) on this application?
  • Is WB retaining the full volume of Bathurst St buildings, or just the facades?
  • We believe that the full set of 5 buildings running north from Lennox should be retained in order to preserve the symmetry of the block. It is not impossible to retain at least the façade of the 5th building as an entrance to the tower.
  • We would prefer that the ‘3rd sister’ be retained (at least in its façade), while appreciating the issues created by the parking ramp below this building. (The 3 sisters are the block of heritage buildings on Bathurst to the north of ‘Trainers’. As with the 5 buildings to the south, they form a unique heritage block. The heritage is diminished if the integrity of these two blocks is not maintained.)
  • To retain all 8 heritage buildings on Bathurst would enhance the street wall and provide a sense of unity along the street.
  • We recommend using brick for the lower walls so as to fit in with the existing on- site heritage and adjacent heritage buildings.
  • We are in favour of preserving as much of Markham St as possible as the charm and feel of the street depend upon maximum retention. We will be losing some heritage on the west side in favour of the park. However, it should be possible to retain the building on the east (northernmost heritage building) if the proposed east/west laneway is narrowed into a pedestrian walkway. Narrowing the laneway would also assist retention of the endangered heritage building (3rd sister – façade at least) on Bathurst (see comments under ‘Traffic’).


Park & green space:

  • We need to think through the use of the park in order to create a design that will work effectively.
  • Any design should relate to the public space along Markham.
  • We understand that WB will be required to convey land along Palmerston Lane to the City, ostensibly for widening the lane. We think there is no longer a valid reason to widen this lane, and we recommend that this conveyed land be developed as green space to enhance the park.
  • We note that the park will probably see a lot of usage as a place for people to eat food purchased in the market. This can create a lot of garbage. We recommend that WB agree to maintain the park, given the lack of City resources to do so.
  • We like the idea of retail facing the park on the north side.
  • Lennox should be kept to 2 lanes. In addition to benefits for traffic management, this would also allow for tree planting along the street.
  • This project offers a great opportunity for tree planting along all the streets. Extensive tree planting (& retention where possible) would enhance the development itself and also tie it in with the heavily treed neighbourhood.
  • When the site plan comes up for discussion, we would like to see a design competition for the public realm on Lennox and Markham, the streetscapes and the park.


Towers and built form:

  • We note that the tower heights are the maximum allowed under the new zoning. We believe that these heights will be strongly opposed by residents. Tower heights have a strong symbolic element, which will be resistant to argument, and they will be seen as unsuitable for the neighbourhood.
  • The northern tower to the east of Markham St has an improved podium. However, this building still needs improvement. At 24 stories it will have a major impact on Markham and dominate the street. Also the street wall presents a sheer face to the street, which detracts from the overall ‘village’ effect the design is trying to achieve on Markham. The building itself is calmer, which is an improvement. We would like to see the tower set back deeper than the current 3.5 meters above the podium base.
  • The southern tower to the east of Markham is 19 stories, whereas City Planning had recommended 12 as an appropriate height. There are pros and cons to the new design of this building, but we still think that the height should be reduced and the design of the building reconsidered.
  • The street walls are for the most part an improvement.


Traffic management:

  • We are opposed to widening Lennox. Traffic can be managed by signaling and a ‘left turn, right turn only’ at Lennox and Bathurst (proceeding east, which means that traffic could not enter Harbord Village from Lennox). See also comments under ‘park & greening’.
  • Preventing traffic from entering the neighbourhood remains a key issue that needs attention. We request a meeting with the relevant City Traffic staff to discuss further.
  • There is no longer a reason to widen Palmerston Lane. The conveyed land provides an opportunity for additional green space. (see above)
  • The proposed east/west lane from Bathurst to Markham is very problematic if it is vehicular, not least of which would be the access and egress onto Bathurst. We do not see that is serves a useful vehicular purpose. On the other hand, it is a very important pedestrian entry to the site, and creating a narrower pedestrian-only lane is a much better plan.



  • The bylaw forbidding restaurants on the west side of Markham needs to be retained in the OPA. Given the amount of grief caused to residents by the Victory and its patios, we recommend that a similar restriction be added to the north east corner of Markham and Lennox.
  • There are no Markham entrances to retail in the northern tower to the east of Markham. (see comment above). This should be changed.
  • There are many improvements to the retail structure: omitting loading bays, increased market, reducing large retail units, getting rid of dual entrances.
  • What is planned for the large underground commercial space? Is there just one entrance from ground level?
  • If there is to be a delivery service as part of the market, space should be allocated on the plan.



  • We would like to see a diverse usage of the site, which will contribute to its vitality and success. In addition to the planned residential, retail and commercial usages, would WB consider non-retail daytime small businesses such as a digital media company or small architectural firm? These small to medium sized offices could replace some of the residential and provide daytime activity.


*Short Sheet – a break down of residential units and parking in Westbank’s three submissions – contributed by Roy Sawyer

Residential Unit Summary and Estimated Occupancy / Parking Ratios – Westbank’s third proposal (submitted Jan 2017) 

Residential Units # units Estimated Occupancy # of people
Studio 225 (28%) 1 person 225
1 Bedroom 237 (29%) 1.5 persons 355.5
2 Bedroom 188 (23%) 2 persons 376
3 Bedroom 115 (14%) 2.5 persons 287.5
Live / Work 41 (5%) 1 person 41
TOTAL 806 units 1285 residents


Residential Parking spots = 248 Parking spots per unit = .3
Residential Bike Parking Spots = 808 Bike spots per unit = 1


Residential Unit Summary and Estimated Occupancy / Parking Ratios – Westbank’s second proposal (submitted May 2016)

Residential Units # units Estimated Occupancy # of people
163 (18%)
1 person 163
1 Bedroom 394 (42%) 1.5 persons 591
2 Bedroom 257 (28%) 2 persons 514
3 Bedroom 90 (10%) 2.5 persons 225
Live / Work 25 (3%) 1 person 25
TOTAL 929 units 1518 residents


Residential Parking spots = 352 Parking spots per unit = .38
Residental Bike Parking Spots = 795 Bike spots per unit = .85


Residential Unit Summary and Estimated Occupancy / Parking Ratios – Westbank’s first proposal 

Residential Units # units Estimated Occupancy # of people
62 (6%)
1 person 62
1 Bedroom 462 (45%) 1.5 persons 693
2 Bedroom 390 (38%) 2 persons 780
3 Bedroom 87 (9%) 2.5 persons 217.5
Live / Work 15 (1%) 1 person 15
TOTAL 1016 1767 residents


Residential Parking spots = 436 Parking spots per unit = .43
Residential Bike Parking Spots = 867 Bike spots per unit = .85



  • Honest Ed’s Alleyway retained in current position; proposed to be sold to WB so they can put parking beneath it; city will require easements for public access in perpetuity and no allowance for building on it
  • Palmerston Lane widened to 6m (+2.6m)
  • Eliminated East-West laneway at north end of park and added that space to the park
  • East-West laneway between Bathurst and Markham Street (WB owned land with public easement)


  • Sidewalks widened to 6m in blocks with all new construction.
    • Bloor Street (Markham to Bathurst) and Bathurst Street (Bloor to East-West Laneway)
    • Planting of Trees in these sections
  • Sidewalks maintained at current depth for sections of Bloor and Bathurst with Heritage Buildings (very narrow; no room for trees)

Enhanced Public Realm – Loading Docks / Parking Ramps, etc

  • Parking Ramps
    • 1 Parking Ramp off of Lennox Street Servicing Commercial + Market + some Tenet (underground parking on property between Markham and Honest Ed’s Laneway)
    • Main idea is to combine all underground parking IF the city allows construction under city owned Honest Ed’s Alley
    • Eliminates surface level market docks and moves them below grade
    • Eliminates parking ramp off East-West Laneway
    • Combines Commercial and Tenet Parking into 1 huge underground parking lot accessed off Lennox Street
    • Elimination of 2nd ramp and moving loading docks below grade opens up space that WB proposes to use to extend the market and enabling a “diagonal cut-through” to the Plaza at the Bathurst-Bloor Corner

Road Modifications:

  • Version 3 proposal is to widen eastern end of Lennox Street creating a dedicated left turn lane
  • Lennox is widening by taking property from the city owned right of way on both the WB and Randolph Academy sides of the road

click here to download the above information:  WB Submission Summary_Cheat Sheet_25 Jan 2017