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375 Lakeshore Road West

Council has approved the re-zoning for: 18 x 4-storey freehold town houses fronting on Godfrey's Lane (units each to be 20 ft. wide), in 3 blocks, at a height greater than the former apartment buildings, and with an average size of 2115 square feet. Demolition is complete and site preparation has begun, along with marketing of “Park Lane.”  The Site Plan is still undergoing approvals with issues such as the grading and height of the end unit(s) to be resolved.

PUBLIC MEETING:  Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 6:00 p.m. at CITY HALL in the Council Chamber, Planning & Development Committee (PDC).  Click for AGENDA (very large and may take time to load -- Report starts p334).

REVISED CONCEPT PLAN: June 2013.  Click image to view full-size (revised) Concept Plan, to be presented at PDC on June 24, 2013.  TOPCA is pleased to see the improvements which have been made, per our Concerns with the original design.








PUBLIC MEETING:  Monday, January 7, 2013 @ 7:00 p.m. at CITY HALL in the Council Chamber, Planning & Development Committee (PDC).  Click for AGENDA.

There is an application to redevelop the site at 375 Lakeshore Road West (map) to include 19 x 4-storey condominium townhouses with frontages along Godfrey's Lane (photo). Includes the rear portion of 14 Ben Machree Drive (images shown below). 

ELEVATIONS ARE NOW PUBLIC -- above are the three (3) TH blocks: West elevations, facing Godfrey's Lane.  Click for enlargementClick elevations below to view.

Click image to read the MEETING NOTICE.

Click to view the INFORMATION REPORT prepared by Planning Staff concerning this application (29p PDF).  Excerpt: "Community concerns include the height and appearance of the townhomes, the adequacy of visitor parking spaces and tree preservation."

See further below for background about this development proposal, including site plan, photo album of the site, and details from past meetings with TOPCA reps.

Front and rear of 14 Ben Machree Drive.

COMMUNITY MEETING:  Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at CLARKE HALL.

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss a development proposal submitted by 375 Lakeshore Development Inc. to develop the site for 19 common element condominium townhouses at the Southeast corner of Lakeshore Road West and Godfrey’s Lane. 

The townhouses are proposed to be four storeys in height and have frontages onto Godfrey’s Lane.  Garages are proposed to be facing an internal common element road with access onto Lakeshore Road West.

Click image to read the MEETING NOTICE.

TOPCA reps attended this meeting and reported:

Some of the comments/concerns/praise:

- aesthetic concerns around the post modern architecture; 'monolithic' wall effect of the development and suggestion that it is inconsistent with character of the neighbourhood; 'militaristic' uniformity of planter boxes in front of units.

- lack of parking (5 visitor spaces for 19 units) and its impact on neighbouring streets. Parking does conform to City requirements.

- need to raise the grade of the southern-most end of the property for sewage considerations and the impact on surface drainage to existing homes on Ben Machree Drive.

- property to feature a bioswale to help manage hardscape runoff.

- use of permeable pavement in some places but not on the driveway itself. When asked why the use of permeable pavement could not be extended to the driveway, the Developer said there is no reason other than increased cost, but it hasn't been ruled out.

- height of retaining wall appears to have been reduced using a railing as one moves south along Godfrey's Lane.

- lots of windows and translucent balcony barriers.

- elevation facing Lakeshore Road appears to have been softened with landscaping features, but trees will need to be located on 375's private property due to 3 metre setback requirement for new developments on Lakeshore Road to allow for future boulevard enhancements.

The Canahahns Company proposal for the .92 acre site at 375 Lakeshore Road West (map) includes 19 x 4-storey townhouse units with frontage on Godfrey's Lane.  Aerial image shown at left.

REVISED Concept Plan, dated November 2012
(click to enlarge)  

REVIEW OF ELEVATIONS AND SITE PLAN: On July 11, 2012, representatives of TOPCA and other community groups met with the proponent to review revised plans for the site (further to original outlined below).  TOPCA has received the June 15, 2012 circulation of the Existing Survey (in sidebar) and proposed Site Concept Plan (dated May 2012). 

The elevations are not being circulated as the plans are still in flux.  TOPCA's notes:

NOTE: The backyard of the adjoining property to the south (address is 14 Ben Machree Drive) has been acquired to add to the site.  This requires a severance at Commmittee of Adjustment.  This enables the 3rd bank of four (4) THs to be swung back onto Godfrey’s Lane, rather than being sideways. This also means the grading concerns at the back are reduced, as the sloped bank there presently will remain and become open amenity space rather than parking lot.  Smaller retaining walls abutting neighbouring properties may be needed.  Truck turnaround works with a hammer head area that can also be used for moving vans, etc.

1. The THs are freehold with a common element condo arrangement.

2. The large maple on the NW corner of the property will be taken out.

3. Proponent wants a Godfrey’s Lane address, instead of 375 Lakeshore Road West. 
NOTE: Godfrey's Lane is a public roadway and maintained by the City.

4. Plan is to plant lots of trees and do landscaping.

5. Lakeshore Road ‘frontage’ for the north end TH unit will wrap the terrace half way around and put in a side door to make it look like a forward facing unit.

6. The “decorative fence” planned along Lakeshore Road is essentially a 4’ brick wall and TOPCA has asked for some softening to avoid the gated community look – it is not intended as a perimeter wall but rather to block the view of the garages, and they will try some different treatments, with gaps and plantings along with lighted posts at night.

7. Materials: 2 shades of stone, 2 shades of brick and an orangey-brown ‘metal’ siding.

8. The size and features of the units (some with elevators) will push the price to $1M in some cases, min of $700k but most 800-900k --- the demographic won’t be 30-50 as stated last time but rather 50-70.

9. No actual basements – landing is 2 steps down – functionally 4 storeys but City regards as 3 (a technicality) – they will certainly present to the observer as 4 storeys.

10. We are concerned about the height, confirmed to be taller than the apt buildings there now. Ceiling heights of 9’; ground floor is 10’. 4 Floors of living space.

11. We expressed concern about the lack of articulation of the 3 banks of THs – the effect is a very high and long wall along a natural laneway – how can this be mitigated?  We asked for a less subtle approach to articulation; the banks are currently staggered slightly.

12. On-site “playground” or “parkland” will be dictated by the City – the park is across the road, but we questioned this contextual approach to planning the amenities on the site. There is now room (with land acquisition) for both if required.

13. We questioned the imposing brick wall across the front of the units (i.e. along Godfrey's Lane) – towards the south end it is a retaining wall to a max of 6’.  Planter boxes in front – will follow-up.

14. The sidewalk is private and there was considerable conversation about it – could the public walk there?  Lack of connection to the laneway (have to jump a slight ditch to get there).  Has a suburbanization effect which may be mitigated by using materials to make clear it is not a municipal sidewalk.  'Bridges' may be put in to connect to the Laneway.

15. Only 5 visitor parking spots. There will be no lay-by parking on Lakeshore Road, apparently.  More parking comes through reduction of green space -- it is a balance.  Concern about street parking on Ben Machree instead.  Confirmed there will be no parking on Godfrey’s Lane.

16. Proponent wants to be at Council in Fall for approval.  Will need to be a public meeting first. Proponent promised to hold another community meeting after they get any approvals to discuss design elements, e.g. how to go about creating the Lakeshore Road “frontage”.

17. Will consider LEEDS certification; probably meets Bronze level anyway given today’s building standards. Flat roofs (might be white).

18. TOPCA stated that there is a vision for the entire Lakeshore Corridor and every new build needs to aspire to that and add in their bit to make it so.


On February 16, 2012, representatives of TOPCA and other local residents' associations met with Tong Hahn (President, Canahahns Company) and Gregory Priamo, a planning consultant with Zelinka Priamo Ltd. to learn about the proposal.  A builder has not been confirmed.  This company has not done infill projects before. They attended the City's DARC Committee (Development Application Review Committee) in November 2011 and have re-worked plans based on feedback.  The site has recently been fenced off.  The buildings on-site have been vacated.  No site plans or images were released at this time.

The Project is for 18 luxury freehold town houses in place of the two 4-storey apartments with 30 total units.  The town houses will be approximately 2100 sf, 20' wide with parking for 2 cars in the rear garage for each unit; units are fronting onto Godfrey's Lane.  City Transportation staff is said to be recommending that access to parking be off Godfrey's Lane, but the developer feels the laneway should be kept as a walking / biking path with minimal traffic (which will be more attractive to purchasers) versus becoming a main roadway.  Access is proposed to be off Lakeshore Road using the present driveway, with a paved area in the back to allow for visitor parking and truck-turnaround for garbage pick-up, etc.  There are presently 30 parking spaces on the site. 

The proposed 4th storey of the town houses will be set back (for a room with a large terrace at the front).  This will need to go to the Committee of Adjustment if approvals can't be attained in a timely manner through an Official Plan Amendment.  Presently, according to the Zoning, 2-3 storey THs are permitted.  A bid may be made for the 4-storey THs to be technically viewed as 3 storeys.

With approval, the target target timeframe is for summer/fall 2012 sales with ground breaking shortly thereafter dependant on sales results.  Most of the construction could be done through the Winter 2012/2013 period to avoid disrupting the Summer 2013 season when most people would be accessing Godfrey's Lane and the adjacent Rhododendron Gardens.

Price range is projected to be $700-800k.  Demographic is "30-50" but would possibly attract empty-nesters who live in the area - an elevator option is available in each TH unit.  The look is urban, with 15 units along Godfrey's Lane and 3 units angled in towards the backyards of residences on Ben Machree Road. 

The Developer has confirmed that once the application is formally submitted, a public meeting will be held.