291/299 Carling Ave – Canada Lands Company Project

Canada Lands Company (CLC) has considered feedback it received since the last public consultation in 2019, and has amended its proposed rezoning for the site. The rezoning includes a list of permitted and non-permitted uses, maximum building heights and setbacks.

There is a virtual open house underway – residents can provide feedback on CLC’s proposal until October 16th. Details can be found here: https://www.clcsic.ca/299carling. We also have some hard copy materials for anyone who would like them. Please email us if you would like a copy.

There have been a number of changes since we last saw this proposal:

Building Height

In response to criticisms that the maximum building heights were too tall, building heights were reduced from maximums of 25, 20, and 13 stories to 20, 15 and 8. This is positive.

Park space

The planned green space includes an area along Bell St. S., where a future park was previously planned at the rocky outcropping. However, some of this area did not meet City requirements for parkland, so CLC has relocated the future city park area to the north end of the site (near Hasenack Place). CLC will consult the community at a later date, and then build the park before turning it over to the City. (You can indicate your top three preferences for park features as part of the online open house in the interim.)

Much of the Bell St. S. rocky outcropping area will remain green space. It is expected to be privately owned and developed, but publicly accessible.

Despite these changes, the amount of green space overall remains relatively consistent, and the public will be able to access both areas. However, changes to building height and the park location means that residents who live north of the proposed redevelopment (Hasenack Place, Henry St., part of Dow’s Lake Towers etc.) will now have more access to sunlight – this is particularly positive for those residents.

Land Use Areas

The land is now divided differently – there are four land use areas instead of three, giving the appearance of more buildings overall. This has been a source of concern for some residents. However, the preferred development concept plan on the website is just an illustration for the purposes of the rezoning – it does not necessarily show the number of buildings that will be built.

For instance, in the June 2019 plan, while three buildings were shown, it was possible that more than three buildings could have been built in the three areas. It is thus not necessarily true that there will be more buildings as a result of having more land use areas.

Overall, these changes are neutral. However, as a result of the park location change, the designated green space along Bell St. S. is now smaller. This increases the likelihood that a building will be built closer to Bell St. S, greater affecting residents such as the Lakelander as well as some of the townhouses along Bell St. S.

Land Uses

By and large, CLC’s amendments for land uses permitted on the site are reasonable. A number of people have expressed concerns about potentially allowing outdoor amusement parks and night clubs, as these would increase the noise in the neighbourhood. Some have also expressed concern with permitting uses such as a parking garage or amusement centre (laser tag, trampoline parks, axe-throwing etc.), as amenities such as these would increase traffic, but provide little tangible benefit to the community in return.

All in all, the changes since last summer are positive, although the neighbourhood will be unevenly impacted by them. We encourage all to review the plans and submit comments – particularly those who will be affected by the changes.

Through the online open house, we can also comment on what we’d like CLC to incorporate into its design guidelines for developers. This is also important, as it includes architectural features as well as how to make the site more pedestrian-friendly. GACA is putting together our input on these issues. Please feel free to send us your thoughts, so we can incorporate community perspectives in our feedback.

This is the largest development in our neighbourhood and is expected to make a great impact. We continue to encourage all residents to consider what they would like to see for this site and to let CLC know.

PDF Download: Preferred Development Concept