So…what did we find out?
We had a good response rate: 2,169 individual responses were received (once duplicates and out of area responses were removed). The M4G postal code has a total of 3,741 houses and 2,882 apartments (6623 households). Approximately 18% of respondents lived in the same household as another respondent, so it would appear that we received at least one response from over 25% of Leaside households, which we consider to be a very good response rate, considering that many responses came from people who were NOT already on the LPOA mailing list and therefore made their way to the survey via other notifications.
Most of you knew about the development proposal: Almost 76% of respondents were aware of the development proposal (and 69% of respondents were aware of it because they’d read about it in Leaside Life) prior to receiving the survey. 22% had been unaware of the proposal until they received the survey notification.
Almost nobody wants high-rise on this site: Almost 92% of respondents felt that high-rise (over 11 storeys) buildings were inappropriate for this site. Only 5.5% thought they were appropriate. 78.5% were in favour of a mix of low and mid-rise buildings (up to 4 storeys, and 5-11 storeys) with just over 12% supporting all mid-rise development. 7% supported various mixes of mid and high-rise and low, mid and high-rise, with only 0.74% supporting all high-rise.
Not surprisingly, given the above results, 92.67% of respondents did not think that the development proposal for 939 Eglinton E. was appropriate for Leaside. A mere 4.32% thought it was appropriate, with 3% saying they didn’t know.
Most think the proposed population is too dense: 90% of respondents did not think that the building massing and number of dwelling units were appropriate for the site. 63% thought that the amount of public open space proposed was inappropriate. Opinions were much more divided re: office space and retail space although it would appear that over 40% were either in agreement with the amount of space provided or didn’t disagree with it. (Unfortunately, space limitations meant we weren’t able to quantify that question).
Traffic: Traffic congestion was of extreme concern to 87.5% of respondents. A mere 0.79% had no concerns at all about this issue. Almost 70% were extremely concerned and another 15% very concerned about local school capacity. Less than 5% had few or no concerns about this issue. Sense of community was of considerable concern to 83% of respondents, as was shadowing of the neighbourhood, and parks and open space (just over 75% each). 90% expressed at least some concern about the ability of the current utilities to support the proposed development and 85% had at least some concerns about the appearance of the proposed buildings.
It’s still the traffic: Questions related to the intensification of the entire Laird Eglinton Focus area showed major concerns with traffic increases on both major and residential streets (90% and 95%), increase in population (85%), increase in on-street parking on residential streets (87%), impact on community cohesion and safety (80%), impact on community amenities and shadowing by tall buildings (77%), and lack of space in local schools and lack of parks/open space (75%). About 70% were very concerned about the adequacy of the local utilities, 67% were quite concerned about lack of affordable housing and visual appearance and character, and 43% about the lack of affordable daycare. Just over 52% had major concerns about the impact of intensification on the existing businesses in the Leaside Business Park.
In general, the small percentage in favour of the development were also those with the fewest or no concerns about the issues, although there were a few who supported the proposal/high-rise development and still indicated great concern with things like traffic congestion – apparently not connecting the impact of high density development on things like traffic and space in the schools.
Lots of thoughtful, nuanced comments: About one third of respondents (731) provided additional written comments regarding the proposal for 939 Eglinton – some of them quite long and very thoughtful. Well over 90% of the written comments indicated that the respondents thought that proposal was too big, too dense, too high and out of character for the Leaside area. Many felt that the proposal was insensitive and motivated by greed. Traffic congestion (existing and future) and the existing lack of space in local schools was mentioned repeatedly. A great deal of frustration was expressed that the Official Plan and existing by-laws are constantly being challenged by developers, who take proposals to the OMB – which most think is very developer-friendly. Some accused the City of being complicit/in the developers’ back pockets.