Category Archives: street scape

*MVTG comments regarding design of new park

To: Mike Layton, Graig Uens, Jonah Letovsky (Westbank)

From: Mirvish Village Task Group

Re: Design for Mirvish Village Park ​​​​​

Date: June 26, 2018.

In anticipation of the public meeting on July 9, members of the Mirvish Village Task Group met to discuss our vision for the Mirvish Village Park. We offer these comments to the park designers and city planners as part of the public input. We are very grateful to have this dedicated park space in the Mirvish Village. It is a wonderful opportunity for creating something special on the site. We also recognize that the space presents many design challenges.

We have come to the view that the space can best be conceived as a small, green sanctuary from the busyness of the Mirvish Village market and retail, from the comings and goings within the site, and from the activity of Bloor St in general. Given this busyness and activity, we expect the site will be enjoyed and valued by many different people, at most times of the day and evening, and by all ages.

We researched online and found one New York Park of about the same dimension that had many attributes we found delightful. Greenacres is a similar size to the main space of the Mirvish site park, with dimensions of 120 x 60 feet approximately. It has some of the sanctuary feel that we think the site could profit from. An oasis, it could be a place for people to sit and eat the food or drink from the market, or the cafes that could flank the space. Paley Park, again in New York, is another ‘pocket park’ with attractive elements that could be learned from. We note that both these parks have waterfalls, and we highly recommend trying to incorporate something similar into our project. (For more information and photographs of these two parks see: and

The site could be conceived as two main rooms: Markham to the lane, 100 x 60 framed by buildings north and south; the second, a child friendly area 40 x 50 running south along Palmerston Lane.


Elements that would be desirable could include:

1. Paved permeable surface (granite sets?) with plantings and large trees—little leaf lindens, perhaps a copse of trees including a specimen tree—a beech or copper beech.

This promotes the contemplative feeling, sheltered from the sun. Dappled shade.

2. Water fall along the south wall, creates visual interest in winter and dampens street sounds in summer, again promoting sanctuary.
3. Seating areas, well designed tables and chairs. Not rustic.Tailored, distinctive and comfortable.
4. Stone seating around trees, if desirable. Near the water fall.
5. West wall along Palmerston Lane – a decorative, designed, metal screening with plantings. Perhaps poplars along the screening? Several points of entry and exit in the screen.
6. No provision for amplified sound or concerts. This is a lovely sanctuary where folks will want to sit, talk or just be quiet.
7. North wall framed by cafes.


We expect that the outdoor area of the daycare will be available for public use by younger children when the daycare is not in operation. Therefore we would not wish to have typical playground equipment as part of the park; however, we would welcome provision of a child friendly installation in the south ‘room’ laneway spur – a unique architectural feature that invitesexploration and play. The materials could emphasize wood to connect with the surrounding trees, and the structure could have an improvisational character. The area would need woodchipsfor safety. Perhaps include large stones to sit or crawl on.

The park area would be easy to keep clean. Maintenance would be reasonable.

There are other issues to consider such as the relation to the streetscape of Markham and an inviting access through Palmerston Lane so that there are no dead or unsafe spaces.


We hope these suggestions are helpful, and we look forward to the future discussions on the design of this important park in the Mirvish Village site.

Yours sincerely,

Paul MacLean (on behalf of the Mirvish Village Task Group)



*And so it goes… the removal of the Honest Ed’s sign

I think it’s amazing that people care so much about an old sign…” David Mirvish, May 23, 2017. Part of the massive Honest Ed’s store sign will be installed on the Mirvish Theatre.

To watch the Toronto Star’s recording of the sign removal process click here

Also see :

*City Planning’s final report on the Westbank development proposal

Please note this report will be considered at TEYCC on April 4, 2017.  View the agenda item 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)

* Westbank’s Third proposal to redevelop Mirvish Village and Honest Ed’s

On January 16, 2017 further revisions to the application were submitted. When compared to the May 19, 2016 plans, the January 16, 2017 plans have further reduced the proposed density, made additional adjustments to the height and mass of towers and street-adjacent buildings, increased the size of the proposed public park space, incorporated additional heritage buildings, and incorporated changes to the pedestrian environment and parking and loading areas.

The proposed development includes a number of mid-rise and tall buildings, ranging in height from 28-storeys on Bathurst Street, and stepping down toward the south and west. A total of 23 of the 27 listed heritage buildings on the site are being retained and incorporated into the development.

The revised proposal comprises a total of 804 residential units in 59,883 square metres of residential floor area, and 15,253 square metres of new non-residential uses. The overall density of the proposal is FSI of 5.69 times the site, inclusive of retained heritage buildings, and 5.29 times the area of the site, exclusive of retained heritage buildings.

Access to underground parking is proposed from Lennox Street. A total of 480 underground vehicle parking spaces, 14 underground loading spaces, and 1038 bike parking spaces are proposed on site.

The application also proposes 1150 square metres of on-site parkland and a new 440 square metre day nursery.


Renderings : viewSupportingDoc (5) (1)

Other supporting documents

See all three of Westbanks’s submissions here: