The Bloor and Bathurst intersection is perhaps the most studied intersection in the recent history of Toronto. Since 2012, there have been three overlapping studies, all with heavy City involvement, as well as Councillors from Wards 19 and 20, all involving hundreds of hours of public and resident association interest and time.
The concerns arose from development pressure along Bathurst and expected pressure at the major intersection of Bloor and Bathurst. In 2013, the Bathurst study, which looked at the street from Queen to Dupont, was quickly joined by the Four Corners study, which looked at the specific areas adjoining Bloor and Bathurst, including Honest Ed’s properties. Then, beginning in March of 2015, the City, councillors and surrounding communities began a close examination of the plans for the redevelopment of the Honest Ed’s site.
We have assembled critical documents about all three processes. (Please scroll to the bottom for the most recent information )
May-June: Bathurst Street Land Use and Built Form Study
Public consultation process began with DTAH and Swerhun Facilitation on land use, built form, heritage, streetscape and retail. It included a public survey.
October: The Bathurst Bloor 4 Corners Study
The consultation process began to engage local residents in a process to refine the planning rules for the Bathurst-Bloor area.
Bathurst Bloor 4 Corners Study area
October 5: “Building a community vision for the intersection of our communities”
It was common knowledge the Mirvish properties were to be sold. Concerns were acknowledged that there had to be special attention paid to update and refine the zoning regulations at Bloor and Bathurst. The last development in the area had been the B Street Condos, at nine storeys. It was clear the Mirvish properties might be subject to higher density applications.
A widely attended visioning exercise was held at Central Tech, hosted by Councillors Vaughan and Layton.
“Bathurst and Bloor is unique. It is the boundary between municipal wards and the dividing line for downtown Toronto. It is the intersection of at least four distinct communities. As such, it is had never been looked at as a whole. This meeting was the first time we sat down, together, as a community to examine this intersection and the neighbourhoods from London to Lennox and Markham to Albany/Lippincott.
With the future of Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village up for debate, it was important to set out a vision for the four corners of Bathurst and Bloor. There are many sites at this corner that may become development sites in the next decade and we needed to be prepared as a community to define how we want our neighbourhoods to grow. The outcomes of this charrette on the Four Corners of Bathurst & Bloor will be included in the Bathurst Street study.”
Video courtesy of West Annex News: https://vimeo.com/76231370
October 22: Bathurst Land Use and Built Form Study draft report: City recommendations for land use, built form, heritage and public realm were presented at a Community Consultation. The meeting focused on the Study Team’s Draft Proposed Recommendations about Land Use, Built Form, Heritage, Retail and Public Realm. View the meeting summary
And check Bathurst Land Use reports at: http://www.toronto.ca/planning/bathurst.htm
October 27: sale of Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village was confirmed
By the end of 2013, there had been public and residents’ association input to two City Planning studies: Bathurst Land Use and the beginning of the Four Corners-Bloor Bathurst study area.
Pressures were mounting on other boundaries leading to 2 further area studies:
The Dupont St Study: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=efa15886289e3410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=4b4452cc66061410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&appInstanceName=default&vgnextrefresh=1
College Street Built Form Study: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-60742.pdf
March: Bathurst Land Use and Built Form Study consultant final recommendations
March 3: Westbank unveiled its proposals for the Mirvish properties at a Park Hyatt gala. 600 people attended.
An unprecedented public relations campaign by the Westbank Corporation began. Multiple meetings were held with local residents and resident associations. It is understood there will be no formal application for many months and that the final planning rules that govern any application would be determined by the Four Corners study process, and official plan amendments that would ensue.
Here is the link to the City’s website for the Honest Ed’s Mirvish Village Redevelopment
April: Bathurst Bloor Four Corners Study is initiated by Community Council.
Because the study precedes a formal application by Westbank, the planning rules that will govern the site will be determined by this process, which will include multiple public consultations and stakeholder meetings.
May 29: Bathurst St Built Form and Land Use Study final report, zoning amendment and official plan amendment:
Westbank Corporation began a challenge to Ontario Municipal Board
According to Liora Freedman, (Planner, City of Toronto) Westbank did not appeal the Bathurst Study OPA. They appealed the zoning by-law amendment No. 714-2014 which regulates retail size at the street front to 12 metres wide and places a maximum size of 3500 square metres GA per retail store.
Side Note: from Liora – my understanding, however, is that Westbank’s current proposal does not conflict with the retail by-law. In addition, Westbank has not pressed for a pre-hearing date at the OMB and a date has not been set.
You can read all of the staff reports on line which detail the zoning by-law and Bathurst Study Official Plan Amendment:
The Bathurst Street Study was initiated at the request of City Council. At its meeting on July 11, 12 and 13, 2012, City Council directed staff to initiate a planning study focussing on built form and land use on both sides of Bathurst Street from Dupont Street to Queen Street West. The motion can be found at the following link:
The Bathurst Street Study resulted in a Zoning By-law amendment to regulate the size of retail uses which was approved by City Council at its meeting on July 8, 2014. The by-law amendment has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. The link to that report can be found here:
The Bathurst Street Study also resulted in Official Plan Amendment No. 465 for Bathurst Street which was adopted by City Council on August 28, 2014. The report requested the initiation of the Bathurst-Bloor Four Corners Study and directed staff to report back on any properties for inclusion on the City’s Heritage Register within the Four Corners area.
The Official Plan Amendment has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. The link to that report can be found here:
At its meeting of May 5, 2015 City Council endorsed the March 24, 2015 report titled “Bathurst-Bloor Four Corners Study Official Plan Amendment Principles Report” which included a set of principles which form the basis for the Official Plan policies described in this report. A link to the Principles Report may be found below:
At its meeting of November 3, 2015 City Council adopted the September 8, 2015 report titled “Inclusion in the City’s Heritage Register – Bathurst-Bloor Properties” which included 35 properties for listing on the Register. A link to the report may be found below:
At its meeting of June 14, 2016 City Council adopted the June 8, 2016 report titled “Bathurst-Bloor Four Corners Study – Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment – Status Report”. A link to the report may be found below:
Four residents’ associations – Palmerston Area (PARA), Seaton Village (SVRA), Harbord Village (HVRA) and Annex (ARA) – joined together to form the Mirvish Village Task Group (MVTG)
Westbank held a well-attended public open house at CSI (720 Bathurst St) and presented the feedback they had accumulated up to that point. Their principal public relations and planning advisors, Brook Pooni (http://www.brookpooni.com/), Urban Strategies (http://www.urbanstrategies.com/) and Westbank officials were there to answer questions.
The open house presentation panels are available online at: http://gwerk.ca/mirvish-village/
July – August 2014: Community survey: Palmerston Area Residents Association circulated a survey to residents of all four residents’ associations to gauge community concerns about the Westbank proposal. Read the survey results
Results informed the communities’ ongoing evaluation of the project. Issues centred around the potential impacts of a highly intense development programme adjacent to low-rise stable residential neighbourhoods. While there were desirable parts of the Westbank proposal, there were other elements that raised concern.
Among these were:
- Lack of greenspace
- Lack of affordable housing
- Proposed high density
- Potential Traffic Congestions
- Building Heights and massing
- Heritage Preservation
- Overall proposed intensity and crowding
December 9: Bathurst Bloor Four (4) Corners Study draft principles were presented to an open house. View the staff presentation panels from the meeting
At the end of 2014, the Bathurst Study had passed council, but was challenged at the OMB by Westbank Corporation. Work was underway on the Bathurst Bloor Four (4) Corners study which would set the planning framework for evaluating developments in the area was under discussion.
December 9: Bathurst Bloor Four (4) Corners Study draft principles were presented to an open house. View the staff presentation panels from the meeting
At the end of 2014, the Bathurst study had passed council, but was challenged at the OMB by Westbank. Work was underway on the Bathurst Bloor Four (4) Corners study which would set the planning framework for evaluating developments in the area was under discussion. Westbank was finalizing its application.
- PLEASE SEE ABOVE FOR DETAILS and LINKS TO ALL MUNICIPAL FILES/DoCUMENTS/INFO
Consultations with the City, the Councillors and the Developer continued through the winter of 2015. There were many meetings to identify ways to ensure that there be full public consultation and stakeholder representation. The project presented challenges because of its complexity, and because of its location, at a corner shared by four residential communities which were also under study by the City.
At the same time, the developer refined its designs and began work on the reports that were necessary for a re-zoning application to be dealt with by the City.
July: The application designs were first seen at the City’s Design Review Panel.
July 7: Design Review Panel: Westbank proposal + relevant planning studies were presented. Presentation and minutes from that meeting can be found on this website.
July 10 City Planning officially received applications from Westbank to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-laws to redevelop a number of properties bordered by Bloor Street West, Bathurst Street, Lennox Street, and Markham Street, as well as a number of properties on the west side of Markham Street, also known as the Honest Ed’s/Mirvish Village site.
The proposal comprises a total of 1,017 residential units in 71,005 m2 of residential floor area, and 17,555 m2 of non-residential uses. The overall density being proposed is 6.25 times the area of the site. Vehicle access to a 3-level underground parking area is proposed from Lennox Street. The applications propose the relocation of a city-owned lane, currently connecting Bloor Street West to Lennox Street. Markham Street is proposed to remain in City ownership, but become a pedestrian-priority street, which will discourage, but not preclude, vehicle movement.
Fall 2015: Honest Ed’s/Mirvish Village Redevelopment and City Planning Public Consultation Process
City Planning developed a detailed website for the application and its materials. On an ongoing basis, information regarding public consultation, related Planning information (Four Corners study, etc.) will be posted to the website, along with the application itself. The application documents can be found on the website here: www.toronto.ca/planning/mirvishvillage
MVTG was invited by City Planning to participate with Councillors Cressy and Layton + Graig Uens to be part of a stakeholder/ advisory group for Honest Eds/Mirvish redevelopment (Mirvish Village Discussion Group). Nominees from each resident association, along with the Bloor Business Improvement District, a tenant representative, and a business are included. Consultation with this group is ongoing. Minutes are posted in the consultation section of the Toronto Planning Mirvish Village website.
September: Four Corners Study Heritage protection recommendation: PARA, HVRA, and SVRA depute to Toronto Preservation Board recommending on heritage listing and protection for 36 properties within the Four Corners Study Area. To view the Item and Decision
Letters from PARA, ARA, HVRA, SVRA supporting the heritage listings can be found on this site under the category: “Heritage”
October 6th PARA, HVRA, ARA and SVRA attend Community Council to respond to Westbank’s development application. Articles written for the Annex Gleaner in response to Westbank’s first proposal can be found on this site under the category “Editorial”
Oct 7 Bathurst Bloor 4 Corners: The City’s first community consultation session: Meeting details
November 28, 2015 Bathurst Bloor 4 Corners Community Consultation open house review of Draft Official Plan Policies
December 2015: City Planning provided official response to Westbank Projects Corp on their application for the Honest Ed’s Mirvish Village site. Read Planning’s letter to Mr. Ian Duke.
By the end of 2015, City planning had held two meetings with the Mirvish Village Discussion Group. City Heritage had presented its findings on heritage listings. Recommendations included: Developments are to respect heritage buildings. Cornice lines should be reflect those of adjacent historic buildings. Materiality should respect the heritage structures. New buildings must not overhang listed heritage buildings and the full-volume (wall to wall building exteriors) of the listed buildings must be maintained. Merely preserving the facade of the building is not acceptable. As a full street, Mirvish Village is a unique example of adaptive reuse of architecture over the past century.
January 20: Mirvish Village discussion group (Includes MVTG, area reps and Planning Staff – see earlier reference) heard from the Bathurst-Bloor Four Corners project leader on its possible recommendations for official plan amendments on the site. There will be future meetings dealing with transportation and other issues that arise from the revised application.
February 2: Bathurst Bloor 4 Corners: The City is holding its 3rd and possibly final community consultation meeting to get feedback on revised draft Official Plan policy for the study area. At the meeting staff will present refinements to the draft policy direction that was presented in November 2015. These draft policies will be forwarded to City Council for adoption later this year.
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Place: Bickford Centre Cafeteria located at 777 Bloor Street West
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Meeting Presentation and materials
The City held a community consultation meeting on Saturday February 2, 2016 to get your feedback on draft Official Plan policy for the Bathurst Bloor Four Corners Study Area on built form, heritage, the public realm, movement, and land use.
If you could not attend this meeting and would like to participate, please review the materials the presentation materials below:
View the Presentation
View the Panels
READ the MVTG opinion letter to Planning regarding the presentation and recommendations
Please note: this response reinforces and supports the opinion of the residents of the community who attended the consultation.
February 2016: Westbank is expected to give the City a revised development application. Stay tuned…
May 16, 2016: Westbank submitted their second version of a proposal for the re-zoning and redevelopment of Mirvish Village along with an amendment to the official city plan for Toronto. Please note at this date, city planning’s proposed Bloor/Bathurst “4 corners” amendment to the official plan has not yet been submitted to City Council.
June 13.2016: Process information boards that Toronto City Planning used at the June 13 public consultation: June 13 HE Boards Web
November 9. 2016: 4 Corners Report Staff report and Draft Official Plan amendment (amended by Toronto East York Community Council on November 15.2016)
The Final Report on the Four Corners study was released on Nov 9,2016 , and is posted on the City’s website – you can access it here: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-98211.pdf
December 24, 2016: Four Corners Amendment to Official City Plan passed by Toronto City Council.
January 16, 2017 : Westbank’s Third, revised development proposal submitted. You can view the supporting documents here: http://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/City%20Planning/Community%20Planning/Files/pdf/H/PlanningRationale_MirvishVillage_Part3.pdfhttp://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/City%20Planning/Community%20Planning/Files/pdf/H/PlanningRationale_MirvishVillage_Part3.pdf
January 2017 : Four Corners Amendment APPEALED to the Ontario Municipal Board by two different developers, Aird & Berlis and Westbank Corporation.
March 2, 2017 : Councillor Layton and Councillor Cressy held public meeting at the Bickford Centre : Hon Eds Mirvish CM Notice Sept March 2 2017.
Release of Toronto City Planning’s written report on Westbank’s third proposal is anticipated
March 23,2017. City Planning’s Heritage Preservation recommendation: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.PB21.1 (adopted without amendment)
City Planning’s final report on Westbank’s development proposal :http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-102235.pdf
April 4, 2017. Re-zoning application and official plan amendment ADOPTED by TEYCC. To view the full meeting see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2kPIOBxLE0
April 28, 2017. Toronto City Council unanimously approved Westbank’s proposal to develop Mirvish Village and Honest Ed’s.
April 2017 : to view the final report/ agenda to city council click here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.TE23.6
September 6, 2017. A pre-hearing was held of Official Plan Amendment 349, known as the Four Corners.
Click here to view the details : Update on OMB challenge to the Official Plan Amendment
OMB file number PL170103, File name: 500 Bloor Street Property Inc V. Toronto (City)
November 2017 : Demolition of the Honest Ed’s Store begins
January 10 : affordable housing documents: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-110722.pdf
January 15 2018 : Under supporting documents in the link below see updated architectural drawings 1 through 10. http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentApplications/associatedApplicationsList.do?action=init&folderRsn=3785237&isCofASearch=false&isTlabSearch=false
April 4 : A request was put to TEYCC to direct city staff to undertake a study of movement and public realm in and around Mirvish Village. to see the agenda item click here http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2018.TE31.105
Background to the request : http://www.mirvishvillagetg.org/home/mvtg-letter-to-councillors-layton-and-cressy-regarding-traffic-concerns/
July 9 : public consultation for design of new park in MirvishVillage. you can view the notice here : 2018-06-18 Mirvish Village New Park Visioning Notification July 9_18
and to see comments regarding park design click here: http://www.mirvishvillagetg.org/home/mvtg-comments-regarding-design-of-new-park/
July 31, 2018 : link to Westbank’s updated plans and studies : http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentApplications/associatedApplicationsList.do?action=init&folderRsn=3785237&isCofASearch=false&isTlabSearch=false