1631 queen east toronto

Toronto neighbourhood wants proposed skyscraper reduced to 6-storeys

A proposed 18-storey skyscraper at 1631 Queen St. E. has local residents up in arms and petitioning their city councillor to reduce the height of the tower and ensure it provides affordable housing to the neighbourhood rather than being another expensive eyesore.

The petition in question was started by the Beaches Residents Association of Toronto and is being submitted to Councillor Brad Bradford who has been promoting the skyscraper.

The petition claims that the the proposed 18-storey building is three times higher than the allowable height on that part of Queen Street.

It also states that 1631 Queen St. E. is public property and therefore should provide housing for residents rather than undergoing a market offering process that could see it sold to condo groups looking to take advantage of the unique look of the building and its beachside view.

When asked during a recent online community consultation why he was not fighting against this building that goes against community building height guidelines, Councillor Bradford responded that, "Contexts change, guidelines change."

Bradford has also responded to the backlash by posting a lengthy article to his website detailing the specifics of the project and suggesting that many community members are opposing it due to the spread of "problematic and stigmatizing misinformation." 

In the article he details how the project is part of the City's Housing Now initiative, an initiative which has identified a number of public sites around the city that can be used to develop affordable housing.

"This particular site is going to contribute almost 300 new homes to the Housing Now initiative, with half of those being affordable rental units for the kinds of people that we have spent the last 19 months talking about supporting (our frontline health workers, teachers, TTC operators, etc.)," Councillor Bradford explained on his website.

"The building will also include a new childcare centre, as well as a new public space designed based on principles from Indigenous communities given the rich Indigenous history in the area (Kishigo Lane)."

Currently, the site is home to the Beaches Employment & Social Services Centre, the Coxwell Toronto Early Learning Childcare Centre and a closed road allowance while the development will turn it into a mixed-use building featuring the aforementioned housing.

The petition has already collected well over 1,500 signatures.

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