Resolution on 484 Spadina Avenue (The Waverley and Silver Dollar Room)
Ward 20 City Councillor Joe Cressy, TDSB Ward 10 Trustee Ausma Malik, and Chair of the Harbord Village Residents' Association Tim Grant released the following open letter today to residents to announce that the resolution for 484 Spadina Avenue (The Waverley and Silver Dollar Room).
Read the full text of the letter below:
After a long appeal process at the Ontario Municipal Board, we are pleased to inform you that a settlement has been reached regarding 484 Spadina Avenue (The Waverley and Silver Dollar Room).
It has been two years since the original application to redevelop the Waverley Hotel and iconic Silver Dollar Room was submitted to the City of Toronto. The Wynn Group of Companies, who owns the property, applied to the City to build a 22-storey building on the site, which is immediately adjacent to Lord Lansdowne Public School.
Many concerns were raised regarding the initial application by residents, parents and students at Lord Lansdowne, and the City. The many concerns related to the proposed height of the building, consequent shadow impact on the neighbouring school playground and the local neighbourhood, concerns regarding the Heritage value of the Silver Dollar Room and the Waverley Hotel, and the precedent a 22 story building would set for the neighbourhood. As a result, the application was not supported by City Planning and was not approved by City Council.
However, the applicant appealed this decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). As many of you know, the OMB often reverses decisions made by City Council and acts contrary to the vision of local neighbourhoods. We felt that it was very important to stand up for our community and oppose the appeal, so the City moved to attend the OMB to defend our interests, while continuing to negotiate with the applicant in the hopes of reaching a settlement that was acceptable by the local neighbourhood and the school community.
Throughout the OMB appeal process, we heard loud and clear from our community that reducing the height was of paramount concern. To do our best to ensure this, we made the decision to waive a Section 37 agreement, and instead use this to push for a maximum height of 15-storeys. We also heard that the Heritage value of the Silver Dollar Room was important to our City and our community. We worked hard through our City Legal Staff to ensure that the Heritage value and protection of this iconic City landmark was included in any possible settlement.
We have been able to achieve a positive settlement for our community, through working together and holding firm to protect our neighbourhood, our school playground, our heritage and the character of future developments in our community.
Details of the settlement include:
- 15 storey (52 metre) residential building, reduced from the original 22-storey (69 metre) proposal that was originally proposed
- Significantly decreased shadow impact on the school playground and school
- Heritage restoration of the Silver Dollar Room, including the maintenance of the existing location and the iconic “Silver Dollar Room” sign and location thereof
- Significant steps downs in height and step backs to emphasize the architecture of the Silver Dollar Room and the surrounding area
This settlement is a significant win for our community, and significantly minimizes the impact of the development on the surrounding neighbourhood, the school community and the school playground. Rather than risking the possibility of the original proposal being approved by the OMB, we worked collectively to ensure that our community was represented and protected - and we won.
It's not a perfect development, but we've come a long way, and with the new height significantly strengthened our position regarding any future development proposals.
The Toronto District School Board will still receive a cash payment to further mitigate the impact on the neighbouring school and playground. We strongly believe that this money should be invested directly back into Lord Lansdowne PS and encourage all community members to work with us to ensure that this happens.
We will also be working with the City’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration division to provide support to those that have been long-term residents of the Waverley Hotel, regarding alternative housing and any other supports that may be needed.
We applaud the work of all community members – residents, school parents and faculty, and other parties – who worked collectively to ensure that development in our neighbourhood respects its character.
If you have any questions, please free to contact any one of us.
Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina
Trustee, TDSB Ward 10
Chair, Harbord Village Residents' Association