Here’s what developers want to build on a patch of Toronto Community Housing land in the Annex
What it is: A 28-storey, 315-unit condo tower with townhouses around its base, shown to the right in the rendering above. All of it would be built at 250 Davenport Road, near Avenue Road, on land owned by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation.
Pedigree: Diamondcorp, a relatively new developer with a few projects under construction in different parts of the city, partnered with Metropia to win the right to build on this parcel of land back in 2013. The designer is Tact.
Most promising feature: Because it owns the land, TCHC expects to earn a minimum of $31 million on this deal. Admittedly, that’s nothing compared to the amount of money the housing corporation actually needs (it’s currently short about $1.728 billion for repairs over the next decade), but the cash would make a difference—particularly to residents of the neighbouring TCHC rental building, a high rise built in 1968. That building would get much-needed repairs and improvements as a direct result of the transaction.
Risk factor: The developers have only just applied for rezoning, and city council hasn’t even formally given TCHC permission to sell the land, so this project still has a whole gauntlet of bureaucratic and political approvals ahead of it.
Likely opposition: The proposed construction site is currently a wide-open green space and parking garage for residents of the TCHC building. It also has 11 townhouse-style TCHC rental units on it, all of which would have to be demolished. Some tenants—particularly the ones living in those townhouses—won’t be happy about the change. The developers have pledged to build 11 new affordable-rental townhouses to compensate for the loss, though.
The odds: The developer’s pre-application meetings with city staff and TCHC residents have resulted in a relatively diplomatic proposal: the building doesn’t appear to be that much taller or bulkier than its older neighbour, and it preserves some parking and green space. That, combined with the promise of money for TCHC, should bring politicians onside.