A five-storey seniors’ rental apartment building proposal in an area of north Etobicoke that rarely sees development got the green light last week.
Etobicoke York Community Council voted Feb. 22 to approve the site-specific zoning change from commercial to residential on a 0.26-hectare lot at 1155 Albion Rd. just west of Islington Avenue.
The project proposes 56 bed/sitting rooms, including eight, one-bedroom units and three bachelor units.
Area Councillor Vince Crisanti expressed enthusiasm for the project.
“It’s not too often we hear about a development opportunity in Ward 1. I think we should embrace it,” Crisanti told councillors.
York West Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said the project could qualify for city affordable housing funding.
Councillors endorsed Mammoliti’s motion that Neil Cresswell, director of community planning with the city’s Etobicoke York district, meet with the developer and Crisanti to investigate the feasibility of city affordable housing funding.
Cresswell said the project does not qualify: “(Affordable housing) subsidies are available, but it’s given to nonprofit organizations.”
Mammoliti disagreed: “It doesn’t have to be nonprofit. It has to be in the criteria set out in the rents.”
“Rents in the building would typically be low enough to qualify. We should be encouraging this kind of housing all over the city,” Mammoliti said immediately before the vote.
Only one deputant spoke in opposition not to the project itself, but to possible shadow and traffic impacts. Anthony Adamson said he represented property owners at 1207 and 1215 Albion Rd. to the west of the proposal.
City planner Sabrina Salatino characterized the proposal as “modest,” and said it would not cast shadows on abutting properties to the west after noon.
The neighbourhood is a mix of mixed-use buildings, one-storey houses, West Side Long Term Care Home and the West Humber River valley lands.
Councillors heard from city planning staff the project is too small to qualify for so-called Section 37 community benefits funding.
“We typically don’t target smaller application for Section 37,” Cresswell said.
Toronto City Council will consider the matter on March 9 for a final decision.