In 2008, a proposal to re-develop the Humber Theatre site at 2442 Bloor Street West as a 10 Storey mixed-use commercial and residential condominium received approval from the Ontario Municipal Board. That project never proceeded.
Looking west through the Village, Bloor/Jane is one of our most iconic intersections and any development there will have a major influence on the eventual look and feel of our neighbourhood as intensification continues.
- In January of 2016, Plazacorp, another developer, approached our Councillor, Sarah Doucette, to inform her it planned to submit an application to the City Planning Department for a 14-storey development on the Humber Theatre site and over to Riverview Gardens, from 2442-2454 Bloor Street West. She asked that it hold a Community Meeting prior to submitting this application, to hear the thoughts and concerns of our residents. This meeting was held on Monday, February 8th at the Humber Theatre with a large group of local residents in attendance. Following that meeting, Plazacorp submitted an application to the City which did not reflect any of the input received from the residents at the meeting.
- 1st PUBLIC CONSULTATION arranged by City Planning took place on September 29th 2016 at St. Pius X School. Many residents, along with the local Resident Associations, attended this consultation where they shared their views regarding the latest proposal. Overall, the residents thought the proposed building is much too high and massive for the location. They also expressed their concerns related to the potential for increased traffic at an already complicated intersection and their discontent with removal of the theater, which has been a highly valued cultural asset for generations of Village residents. The numerous objections expressed at the meeting did not reflect a categorical rejection by the community of the site’s re-development, but rather that a built form be utilised that respects the local midrise context of Bloor Street and the scale of the immediate residential neighbourhood.As a next step in the approval process, City Planning staff engaged the Design Review Panel. The DRP’s mandate is to assist Council in fulfilling Official Plan objectives by providing staff with independent professional design advice on public and private development. The DRP’s goal is to improve people’s quality of life by promoting design excellence within the public realm, including the pursuit of high quality architecture, landscape urban design and environmental sustainability.
- 1st DRP for the Humber Cinema site was held on November 23rd 2016. The panel voted unanimously for a redesign of the project. Please see the minutes.
- In December 2016, Plazacorp informed Councillor Doucette that it was prepared to consult more directly with the community starting early in the 2017. In anticipation of this opportunity, a Working Group was formed, consisting of three local Resident’s Associations and led by the Old Mill Humbercrest Neighbourhood Association,(now merged with BWVRA); Regretfully, there was in fact no further contact from the developer and no consultations with the Working Group followed.
- 2nd DRP for the Humber Theatre site was held on April 21st 2017. Plazacorp, submitted a revised proposal to the City’s Design Review Panel. This scheme had substantive changes, but unfortunately the height and massing of the building were not significantly reduced. Instead, the alterations to its form could arguably have made it even more imposing and less sensitive to it’s the Bloor West Village context. Please see the minutes.
- On May 15th 2017, after being roundly criticized by DRP, the developer appealed its’ original application to the Ontario Municipal Board, that did not address any of the concerns expressed by the community or the significant recommendations from the DRP.
- Pre-Hearing at the Ontario Municipal Board to be held on Thursday, September 28, 2017. This is the first step the OMB takes to identify all of the Parties that have an interest in the matter, explore whether there is an opportunity for a Mediated Settlement and, failing that, set a date for the Hearing.
We want to ensure that residents’ concerns regarding this proposal are heard at the OMB. To do that, we need your help to raise more than $60,000 to pay for legal and planning professionals who will attend the Pre-hearing and the proceedings that follow.
If you care about Bloor West Village, and everything that makes it a highly desirable place to live and visit, please take the time to get informed, spread the word and DONATE!