Is 68 storeys too high for the Toronto waterfront?
Prepare to look out toward Lake Ontario and catch a glimpse of that bright, shiny steel cladding. Nature's miracle, indeed. That might very well be the view for some concerned Harbourfront residents, who gathered for a community consultation meeting last night to discuss a proposed 68-storey residential tower for Toronto's waterfront.
And while 68 storeys might sound unbelievably tall, the first renderings of the structure-to-be at 10 York St. were actually drawn to include 75 floors. Either way, that will be one hell of a move-in day. Currently a parking lot, the building will be plopped down between Harbour Street and Lakeshore Boulevard, with York Street to its east and, ostensibly, disgruntled neighbours all around.
Last night was the third community meeting on the building, and it was clear to me that area residents are still far from warming to the idea. While several predictable concerns were aired — namely, those of area density, traffic congestion, and visual obstruction — the most alarming issue I picked up on is the possibility of a City of Toronto conflict of interest.
10 York, as the project is being called, is a Tridel initiative with Build Toronto on its back. In essence, the City of Toronto is an investor, which means the higher the building goes, the more money the City stands to make. Huh.
Councillor Adam Vaughan, who played director at the meeting, cited a $40 million figure in terms of potential profit. He called the relationship between the City and the builder an "uncomfortable" one, adding that there's "No guarantee that the $40 million will go back to relieve congestion in the area."
"My job is to get you the right building on this site," he said, in that Adam Vaughan way.
10 York, as currently planned, will house 726 units and 280 parking spots, along with a three-storey lobby at street level and a widened sidewalk right outside. No word on whether the developer has opted for quartz or granite countertops.