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Imagine this: two brand new purpose build rental towers. 24 stories each, 369 new rental units in total with 45 per cent of the planned units as two-bedroom or three-bedroom, in an area that is currently walking distance to a subway station. And by the time the buildings are built, walking distance to a subway station which is also a Crosstown station, and a different Crosstown station. Add to this a new public green space, and hopefully wider sidewalks.

Sounds pretty good, in my opinion. Apparently this is proposal is so abhorrent that a community group formed with the sole purpose of opposing the development. Dubbed No to Brownlow, this group is dead set against the new apartment buildings and is working with the South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SERRA) to halt any chance that this proposal might have of coming to fruition.

The main reasons for these groups’ opposition? Too much density, a bad transition from single family homes (on the south side of the street) to the large towers (on the north side), a change in the neighbourhood, too much car traffic, noise…so the usual Toronto NIMBY concerns.

Once again, it’s people who own million dollar homes complaining that the area they live in isn’t remaining the same in perpetuity. Granted, with 200 Soudan, residents of neighbouring condos are also upset that they could be getting company soon and losing their view.

What really irks me is how frequently local Councillor Josh Matlow echoes his voters’ NIMBYism. I mean I get it, he wants to get re-elected, but his motivations are just so transparent. He is opposing a rental proposal…a RENTAL proposal, because it’s too much development…near a subway station and soon to be two LRT stations, in the heart of midtown. If this is the wrong place for development, where is the right place? This does not represent an over development of the site, which currently has 16 units on it. It does represent a huge increase, that’s obvious, but the area infrastructure can support it.

Yep, sorry renters, you aren’t welcome in the neighbourhood. Go somewhere else, as Matlow and homeowners would like their neighbourhood to never change EVER. Not even in there’s a fire!! (A little Step Brothers humour.)

I get the traffic concerns. Eglinton a couple blocks north is a disaster right now, and will be for a few more years due to Crosstown construction. The east-west traffic has spilled onto side streets including Soudan, making for a lot of cars. By the time 200 Soudan is built, Eglinton should return to its pre-Crosstown state. Not to mention that the majority of these renters won’t own cars, given the nature of young people and renters in Toronto.

The towers are tall for a reason

Are the towers too tall? Maybe, but in most Toronto towers, the usual is 10-units per floor. This proposal has a total of 48 floors and only 369 units. Which is 7.69 units per floor. This is due to the above mentioned percentage of two- and three-bedroom units. To remain profitable, these buildings have to go higher because they are including larger units! As someone who wants to live in larger units,  this is AMAZING! Let’s hope the units are large!

OMB

The proposal for the two rental towers is now heading to the Ontario Municipal Board, where SERRA and the No group will assuredly argue against the buildings. In July and August, the OMB hearing will take place, and let’s hope that these buildings get approval, for the sake of keeping rental prices in check in the city.

Putting people on blast

To those who are against these proposals, and development in general, particularly city Councillors: you are directly responsible for the housing crisis in Toronto, and are causing both home prices and rental prices to soar. Please stop opposing everything, these proposals are needed for the future of the city and for the economic future of the region. Toronto is a booming city, and new places to live are required. SERRA, No to Brownlow, you are advocating for single family homes in an urban area near rapid transit. You are thinking in a 1950s mindset, and you are hurting the city. Shame.

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