On June 13th the East York and Toronto Community Council will look at the development proposal for 796-802 Broadview. If the address doesn’t sound familiar perhaps its other infamous name “The Vape Lounge” night trigger some memory.
This property overlooks the houses to the west from 61 to 65 Cambridge. The built form follows the Mid-Rise guidelines of a 20m height with a 5m mechanical penthouse. The angles of the western balconies ensure setbacks according the guides. Way more detail about the development is here.
This development has not raised much attention or resistance from the community. Likely that is because if follows the guidelines that were built into the Broadview avenue plan right from the beginning. Additionally, plans to have the parking garage access and garbage pick up from the alley between Broadview/Cambridge came to nothing preserving the ally for heavy pedestrian use (despite the occasional driver who causes problems).
This is by no means a perfect development though. It has an unnecessarily large two storey parking garage.
“The applicant proposes 48 vehicular parking spaces. This total parking supply satisfies and exceeds the total parking spaces required in the Zoning By-law.” As noted on the architectural drawings the minimum number of spaces required are 21 for the residents and 4 for the commercial. They are building nearly double the capacity.
It seems very odd to have a gate that separates 31 of the lower parking spots from 17 of the upper parking spots. Especially when “To ensure that the vehicular parking spaces are for the use of the residents, the draft zoning by-law prohibits a commercial parking lot.” Further on this point when asked Hamid Emami (Feb 22, 2015, owner) what the extra parking spots were for “We have not considered selling any of the parking spaces. There are only enough spaces for residents and visitors.”
On the other hand, Section 4.5.2 (page 111) of the Mid Rise guidelines states:
“The City should be able to lower the parking and visitor requirements for new development if developers can justify that they can meet their parking needs in creative ways (e.g. adjacent to subway or LRT stations, auto share opportunities, sharing parking between commercial and residential uses on the same site, or using surplus parking in existing developments).”
A further challenge is the exit/entrance to the parking garage which will be just to the north of where Erindale hits Broadview. This adds complication to an already messy area. To recap, we have multiple bus routes, a taxi stand, two street car lines (the 504 is the busiest in all Toronto) and the funnelling effect of the Prince Edward Viaduct to back up vehicles. Throw in the Broadview subway station’s draw on pedestrians – some who take the beeline from the Cambridge/Broadview alley to the station and it is one challenging area. More parking equals more cars going in and out.
The Mid-rise guides state:
“the City should be able to lower the parking and visitor requirements for new development if developers can justify that they can meet their parking needs in creative ways (e.g. adjacent to subway”
The traffic study that supports the proposal indicates the whole area is going to traffic hell anyway (F level of service is the lowest rating possible)
“Future total traffic conditions (2020)
- Danforth Avenue / Broadview Avenue – in the AM peak hour, the westbound through, northbound left-turn, and southbound through movements are expected to operate at LOS E or F and be at or above capacity (v/c = 1.00 to 1.04). Deficiencies were already noted with the background conditions. There is no space at the intersection to make any lane improvements.
- Broadview Avenue / Erindale Avenue – the analysis indicates that the westbound movements will operate at LOS F.The westbound movements were already operating at a poor level of service with the future background conditions.
- Broadview Avenue / Driveway – in the PM peak hour, the analysis indicates that the eastbound movement would operate at LOS F and approach capacity (v/c = 0.93).”
And this is just the first of the mid-rise developments that will be built along Broadview. It seems the buildings are fine but as long as they continue to build parking garages even at minimum standards we are going to see the Prince Edward Viaduct no longer be viable unless you are on a bike.
Further, we have to consider the effect of adding this extra traffic right at the point where the 504 and 505 begin their journeys. Creating traffic jams at Erindale/Broadview will just slow down the streetcars and make the schedules more erratic and unpredictable. This at time when the City is spending millions to improve the operation of the King Car.
Full list of documentation here: