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Planning and Zoning

Riocan at Laird Proposal

RioCan development at Laird & Eglinton
RioCan submitted a revised development application on July 31, 2018, and it’s a shocker.

RioCan submitted a revised development application on July 31, 2018 and local residents were shocked to discover that instead of decreasing the density in the course of reviews, as normally expected in a project of this type, it has been significantly increased. The plans also fail to create a new civic plaza for Leaside as requested by residents.

Documents submitted by the developer can be viewed and downloaded from the City of Toronto website.

Why should you be concerned?

  • 7 towers – three mid-rise (6, 8 and 10 storeys) line Eglinton Avenue and Laird Drive, and four high-rise (18, 21, 36 and 38 storeys) in the centre and east of the site; four high rise towers instead of three 
  • Increased density, reduced amount of public parkland, no public plaza
  • Total of 1655 units (projected population increase of over 3,000), up from 1435 units – a 15.3% increase
  • Issues of traffic, lack of space in local schools, shadowing of neighbourhood remain inadequately addressed

What can we do about it?

  • The RioCan at Laird application is supposed to be in line with the City’s Laird in Focus Plan. Laird in Focus is in Proposals stage and there will be another round of public consultation this fall. BE THERE.
  • The RioCan Laird application will be coming to City Council for approval in the spring. TELL THE COUNCILLOR TO OPPOSE THIS. 
  • The RioCan Laird application is already at the Ontario Municipal Board. HELP THE LPOA TO PAY FOR COSTS OF AN APPEAL. 

Planning and Zoning

Laird in Focus Planning Study

Background, Visioning and Principles Workshop

On Monday, May 1, 2017 join the City Planning Division for a Background, Visioning and Principles Workshop for the Laird in Focus Study.

Laird in Focus Study AreaLaird in Focus is a study led by the City of Toronto City Planning Division that will develop a planning framework to guide future development of the Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue East area. The study will refine and build upon the existing planning structure as well as recent planning initiatives undertaken in the area. It will develop a vision and policies for a complete community which supports new streets and blocks, parks and open spaces, buildings, community services and facilities, enhanced public realm and a transportation and servicing strategy.

The purpose of this meeting is to engage the community in the development of a vision statement and fundamental principles that will guide planning and design for the study area. Additionally, the study team will share the results of their background review and receive input on the inventory and analysis of existing and planned conditions for the area.

See the Laird in Focus section of the City of Toronto website for background studies, reports and meeting information.


Monday, May 1, 2017
Leaside Memorial Arena
1073 Millwood Road
William Lea Room

  • 1st Session – 4:30pm Presentation & 5:00pm-6:30pm Workshop
  • 2nd Session – 7:00pm presentation & 7:30pm-9:00pm Workshop

*Please note each session is the same

Planning and Zoning

Laird In Focus

“The Eglinton Connects Planning Study identified the Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue East area as one of six Focus Areas with larger parcels of land fronting Eglinton Avenue that could have a greater capacity to accommodate future population and employment growth.”

“The vision and principles for three Focus Areas (Bayview, Dufferin, and West Side Mall) were advanced to a stage where a clear understanding of the appropriate planning directions had emerged….The remaining Focus Areas (Laird, Don Mills and The Golden Mile) along with mobility Hubs (Mount Dennis and Kennedy) were identified by the Eglinton Connects Planning Study as areas that required additional study and public consultation.  The Laird Focus Area consists of four large sites with large-format, low rise buildings and surface parking located on the southeast corner of Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue bounded by Eglinton Avenue East, Laird Drive, Vanderhoof Avenue and the western limit of Aerodrome Crescent (Study Area A).”

See the Laird in Focus section of the City of Toronto website for background studies, reports and meeting information.

Planning and Zoning

Development Proposal 815-845 Eglinton Ave. E.

RioCan, owners of the Canadian Tire site at Eglinton & Laird have submitted a proposal to the City of Toronto for the site.

The proposal is for the redevelopment of the existing 8.8 acre site with a total density of 3.7. The proposal includes 16,130 m2 of retail, 116,110 m2 of residential (1,435 units), a new public park (0.34 ha), publicly-accessible open space (POPS 1,687 m2), community space (701 m2) and a network of public and private streets. The proposal includes 6, 8, 9 and 12 storey buildings along Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue and a 26 storey and two 34-storey buildings towards the S/E end of the site.

Documents submitted by the developer can be found here:


Please note: as of yet, no public meeting has yet been scheduled and there is no preliminary report from the Planning Department.

Planning and Zoning

660 Eglinton Ave. E. Settlement

As of November 15th, the LPOA and RioCan have reached an OMB-Mediated Settlement regarding 660 Eglinton Avenue East (Sunnybrook Plaza). The settlement details can now be made public and are as follows:

The original application by RioCan called for two towers of 19 and 13 storeys, with podiums of various heights. The finalized settlement calls for significant improvements in height, massing, density, and urban design, as well as important guarantees of protection for the natural habitat and tree protection to adjoining properties to the east and north of the site. We can report that Board-assisted mediation involving RioCan, City staff, and the LPOA was extremely helpful in winning important concessions.

Here are the key elements of the Settlement:

Height, massing, density, and design 

Our objectives were to reduce height, and density, and improve the buildings’ design, setbacks angular planes, to create a simpler, more distinctive building profile and minimal shadowing.The final height reduces the originally proposed 19 and 13 storeys to 16 and 11 storeys, with a less massive appearance. Setbacks were introduced at the 5th storey instead of the 8th. The visual impact is considerably improved.

Outdoor amenities: 

There will be some surface parking (car and bicycle) as well as underground, and landscaping, with details to be dealt with in the Site Plan Application process; RioCan will supply us and the City with their Site Plan Application at the same time. We have already submitted many comments and concerns from residents on the subject, and will ask Councillor Burnside to ensure these suggestions are considered, and to set up a Working Group with the LPOA, residents, RioCan and the City to plan details.


Underground water and flooding have long been a concern at the Bayview/Eglinton location. RioCan agreed to pay for the professional fees of a hydrogeologist chosen by the LPOA to assess RioCan’s hydrogeology study and to investigate impacts of the construction on both the site, and adjoining properties. The situation was thoroughly analyzed, and RioCan confirmed to our hydrogeologist’s satisfaction that there will be no offsite deleterious impacts to neighbouring properties.

Traffic access and parking:

We continue to have concerns regarding impact on local residents from diverting traffic and site-related traffic patterns. These are matters which fall under City (not RioCan) jurisdiction, and LPOA intends to work for traffic solutions to protect residential streets.

Natural heritage and tree protection: 

These were major issues for both residents and the LPOA. The viability of several trees on homeowners’ properties was threatened. The LPOA hired an arborist (at RioCan’s expense) to identify concerns with RioCan’s natural heritage and arborist reports. The settlement allows for our arborist (again, fees to be covered by RioCan) to be present during construction of the retaining wall to monitor and evaluate tree protection issues, subject to neighbours agreeing to access to their properties for arborist survey purposes. The settlement provides for fence replacement to be covered by RioCan.

Section 37 Funds:

The settlement provides $2.7M for community purposes. Councillor Burnside has expressed an interest in these funds going towards the cost of a community centre to be located to serve the North Leaside community.

Residential/commercial/office component: 

According to the Settlement, there will be a minimum of 4000 square metres of non-residential gross floor area assigned for these uses.

Professional fees: 

RioCan will reimburse LPOA’s professional planning, legal, hydrogeological, and arborist fees (including future arborist fees during construction) less the amount already raised by the community including the GoFundMe account which we understand to be approx. $13,000.

IN SUMMARY, the LPOA believes that this Settlement provides both short-term and long-term provisions which are significantly improved over the original development proposal. The input received from local residents, both in public meetings and during the Ontario Municipal Board process, has been invaluable, and key to reaching these improvements. All of Leaside owes you great appreciation.

Planning and Zoning

Laird in Focus Study – Community Engagement Launch

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 
4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Open House
5:00, 6:00, 7:00 p.m. Presentation (repeated on the hour)

Leaside United Church 
822 Millwood Road
Church Gymnasium
Enter off of Field Ave. and McRae Dr.

Laird in Focus is a study lead by the City of Toronto City Planning Division that will develop a planning framework to guide future development of the Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue East area. The study area includes lands south of Eglinton Avenue East, north of Vanderhoof Avenue, between Laird Drive and Aerodrome Crescent. It also includes the properties located on the west side of Laird Drive between Vanderhoof Avenue south to Millwood Road.

The study will refine and build upon the existing planning structure as well as recent planning initiatives undertaken in the area. It will develop a vision and policies for a complete community which supports new streets and blocks, parks and open spaces, buildings, community services and facilities, enhanced public realm and a transportation and servicing strategy.

For more info: www.toronto.ca/lairdinfocus 

Planning and Zoning

939 Eglinton Ave. E. Community Consultation Video

October 13, 2016

Planning and Zoning

3-5 Southvale

The proposed condominium development for 3-5 Southvale Dr. is at North York Community Council on Nov. 15 and while the recent community meeting revealed a revised plan that was more in proportion to the site and had some design improvements, we are awaiting the staff report from Planning to know how the staff is responding to the revisions and whether or not they will recommend Council approve the proposal. The revised drawings are available on the City website (under Oct. 12 resubmission).

Planning and Zoning

Community Consultation – 3-5 Laird revised proposal

Thursday, Sept. 8

The developer for 3-5 Southvale Drive has recently resubmitted his proposal with numerous changes.

In order to get your thoughts Councillor Jon Burnside will be hosting a community meeting on Thursday, September 8th at 7 p.m. at Leaside Memorial Gardens.

The developer’s team will be in attendance to hear your comments and answer any questions you have.

If you are unable to attend and would like to speak to Councillor Burnside, please contact his office at 416-392-0215 or email him.

When: September 8th, 2016
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Leaside Memorial Gardens, 1073 Millwood Rd.

Planning and Zoning

Sunnybrook Plaza, 660 Eglinton Ave. E. UPDATE

July 26 OMB PHC#4

About 25 community members attended a one day Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Pre-Hearing Conference (PHC) on July 26th. This session was held to sort out the procedural aspects of which cases would be heard, which can be settled without a hearing, and who would have status to be part of the proceedings which are already scheduled for November 21 to  December 9, 2016. It was Pre-Hearing Conference (PHC) #4 for the RioCan appeal of the City of Toronto’s Official Plan Amendment (OPA) for the Bayview Focus Area and PHC #1 for RioCan’s Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) for their proposed development at 660 Eglinton East (Sunnybrook Plaza).

The results of the July 26 PHC were:

  • The LPOA requested and was granted Party status by the Chair.  This means that the LPOA will be able to call witnesses and cross-examine the City and the other side’s witnesses.  RioCan and the City already had Party status.
  • Five individuals requested and were granted Participant status, which means they can make a formal submission to the Board.  The five were: Adam Brueckner, Linda Martin, both residents of Bessborough Drive, Marney Charles, resident of the condominium building at 1801 Bayview,  David Sprague, resident of Hanna Road, and Heather Mitchell, resident of Cleveland Street.
  • The Chair refused to allow a request from RioCan and the City for a mediation, as the Board procedures for establishing mediation had not been followed. From our perspective this was a relief as this might have occurred without the LPOA and residents being part  of the discussion. Now that the LPOA is a Party, in future we will be part of whatever goes on.
  • A date was set for another Pre-Hearing Conference (October 12) when the Issues List (i.e. the topics for which evidence will be brought forward) and the procedures for the Hearing will be decided by the Chair.
  • The next step for the LPOA and the residents is to prepare for the November-December hearing, including submitting what we see to be the key issues for the Issues List, and working with our lawyer and our planner on our case.
  • The other thing that happened was with respect to the OP for townhouses west of Hanna on the south side of Eglinton where the LPOA has appealed the OPA, and a property owner has come out in support of the City. The owner (Lindsay Lorimer) claimed they already had Party status and the Chair did not agree and deferred a decision to the Oct. 12 PHC.