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East Toronto communities to hold town hall on impacts of Ontario Line

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Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher and Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Trustee Sara Ehrhardt will host a virtual community consultation meeting on Tuesday, April 16, to discuss Ontario Line constructions that will impact various Transit Oriented Community (TOC) developments in the ward.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and the main focus will be on plans for the Pape Avenue area from Cosburn to Danforth avenues.

An Infrastructure Ontario initiative, TOCs aim to diversify housing options by building mixed-use communities around transit stations. The Ontario Line subway is proposed to have stations at both Cosburn and Danforth avenues and at Pape and Danforth avenues. The stop at Pape and Danforth will connect with the TTC's existing Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth line) to create a transit hub at that intersection.

Some of the Infrastructure Ontario initiatives include the Pape TOC (which proposes 439 residential units); and the Cosburn TOC which proposes to provide 623 residential units to the neighbourhood.

According to Infrastructure Ontario, 35 to 40 per cent of these units will be two or three bedroom units suitable for families. However, there have been no concrete plans for affordable units as part of these two TOC proposals.

“I have made it clear, as has City Council, that IO (Infrastructure Ontario) should be prioritizing affordable housing in these developments,” said Fletcher in her April 5 newsletter. “There has been no commitment to do this.”

In 2022, Ontario Line Technical Advisors (OLTA) submitted a zoning bylaw amendment application for the Pape TOC on behalf of Metrolinx (the provincial transit agency building the Ontario Line) and IO.

The application was for the redevelopment of properties at 670-710 Danforth Ave., 2-16 Eaton Ave., 1-21 Lipton Ave. and 11-15 Gertrude Place.

These properties would be redeveloped into a 29-storey mixed-use building and a seven-storey building which are connected by a pedestrian bridge on the south site. There would be another seven-storey building on the north site of the proposal.

The Pape TOC proposes 2,150 square metres of retail space which IO says would “help support local economic development”.

Around Ontario Lines future Cosburn Station, Infrastructure Ontario is proposing the redevelopment of properties at 1002-1052 Pape Ave. and 103-109 Cosburn Ave. into two mixed-use buildings. This TOC project will comprise two buildings (29 and 28 storeys) on the northwest and southwest corners of Pape and Cosburn avenues. It is also expected to deliver 2,200 square metres of retail space.

Together, these two Transit Oriented Communities, according to Infrastructure Ontario, will create a total of more than 100 jobs.

Metrolinx has now expropriated both the Pape TOC and Cosburn TOC properties for Ontario Line construction. Upon completion of the Ontario Line, the properties will be “turned over to Infrastructure Ontario and the developer they select”, said Fletcher.

Further adding to development plans for the Pape and Danforth intersection is a proposed 49-storey mixed-use residential building on the northeast corner. That building was first proposed in July of 2002. The proposed building consists of 496 residential units made up of 38 studio apartments, 324 one-bedrooms, 84 two-bedrooms, and 50 three-bedrooms. There will also be indoor and outdoor amenity spaces on the sixth and seventh floors of the building.

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