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Old September 21st, 2009, 03:07 PM   #1
hkskyline
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TORONTO | Residences at RCMI - 426 University Ave | 147m | 483ft | 42 fl | Com

'Car-free' condo: 42 storeys, no parking
September 16, 2009
Toronto Star


The Royal Canadian Military Institute on University Ave. was built in 1907. The new building would provide space for the 1,500-member private club.

A controversial 42-storey condo building that will be built without permanent parking spots cleared a key hurdle yesterday.

The Toronto-East York community council overruled city staff skeptical about the dearth of parking to allow a plan that provides for only nine car-share rental spots, plus 315 spaces for bicycles.

The condominium would go up on the site of the century-old Royal Canadian Military Institute on University Ave. near Dundas St., which would be demolished, with elements of its facade preserved at the base and a thin tower above.

"If you look at the evidence of what sells downtown, the majority of units under 750 square feet in the downtown core sell without parking,'' said Stephen Deveaux, a vice-president with the developer, Tribute Communities. Parking spots typically add $20,000 or more to the cost of a downtown condo.

Deveaux called the project, which still needs approval from full city council, an opportunity to design and market an "environmentally progressive building." With so many jobs and handy transit nearby, the units will sell, Deveaux said.

A staff report on the condo plan in May gave it thumbs-down, citing, for one, the lack of parking. It stated the car-free plan "runs counter to expert study and experience."

The idea materialized when Tribute realized the narrow site would provide "challenges" to constructing a parking garage.

Councillor Adam Vaughan, who represents the ward, called the car-free building "an interesting experiment and statement about the future of downtown living.''

It also won praise yesterday from Franz Hartmann, co-executive director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, who said such buildings are uncommon – if they exist at all. "In the past it was natural to allocate parking spots, but in 21st century Toronto, where we're battling climate change, we don't need that any more,'' he said.

The few parking spots in the plan will be devoted to car-share arrangements, whereby residents can rent a car as needed by the hour.

The plan involves tearing down the decaying Royal Canadian Military Institute building, a private club constructed in 1907 that is on the city's inventory of heritage properties, and replacing it with a 6 1/2-storey structure that maintains elements of the façade. Above would rise a 35 1/2-storey condo tower with about 315 units, mostly one-bedroom.

The $65 million project is the fruit of a partnership between Tribute and the 1,500-member club. Construction could begin as early as next year and be done by 2013.

The building will continue to provide space for the club, its library and its extensive archival collection of military artifacts – including the seat of Baron von Richthofen's Fokker Triplane, its most famous item.

Though the institute's board has approved the project, several members at large oppose it.

Member Brian Lawrie told the community council that in 2007 Vaughan had "enthusiastically endorsed" keeping the building intact, calling it a "rare remnant of University Avenue's early days as a quiet boulevard dominated by trees, not highrises." He noted that the councillor had done a "180-degree turn" the next year by endorsing the demolition and condo project.

Normally, building plans follow a formula for how much parking space should be allowed; current standards, if applied to the building, would provide approximately 140 parking spaces for residents.

"To assume a residential development of the project's scale might be totally car-free runs counter to expert study and experience," the staff report stated. "Although there are many households in the downtown (area) without cars, it would be highly unlikely to find 315 of them permanently concentrated in one building."

It also stated that, "exempting the project from the city's parking standards would create a negative precedent that undermines the integrity of the parking provisions of the zoning bylaw."

But the project got the green light after Vaughan suggested a series of amendments to bring the building into what he later described as "better conformity" with the area.

The only way to save its museum and artifacts is to redevelop the site, Vaughan told the meeting.

The project goes to city council later this month for final approval.

*****************************
ON A CLEAR DAY, YOU CAN SEE METRO

What does it take to live car-less-ly? Schlepping groceries and other stuff home on foot can take some effort, especially in a downtown area that's less residential than some.

From 426 University Ave., site of a proposed condo building with no parking, it is:

• 10 blocks to the nearest supermarket (Metro at Gould and Jarvis Sts.)

• 4 blocks to the nearest LCBO (595 Bay St.)

• 4 blocks to the nearest Canadian Tire (Bay and Dundas Sts.)

• 6 blocks to the nearest mall (Eaton Centre)

On the other hand, it's:

• A few steps to St. Patrick's subway station

• 2 blocks to the opera house

• 3 blocks to major hospitals

• 5 blocks to Queen's Park

SHARE THE SPACE

Car-sharing firms should be awarded trial permits for six parking areas on downtown streets, Toronto's works committee recommended this week. The firms would pay an annual fee of $200; the four areas would hold two to six cars each.

A staff report said car sharing, a membership system for renting vehicles by the hour, cuts traffic by making it easier to live in the city without owning a car.

Some councillors said $200 is too low for commercial operators and will reduce revenue from metered parking. "We may not be driving the cars, but we sure are being taken for a ride," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong. Others noted none of the areas is metered and argued that car sharing advances city goals of fewer cars and cleaner air.

The proposal must still be approved by city council.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 11:28 AM   #2
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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:06 AM   #3
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U/C

http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthr...125#post543125


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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:09 AM   #4
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Project :

[IMG]http://i33.************/35ndf1h.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i33.************/1zmmum1.jpg[/IMG]
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Old August 28th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #5
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http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthr...125#post543125

by udo

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Old September 1st, 2011, 11:40 AM   #6
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Now that is interesting! So it got through council and is now UC without parking?
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Old September 30th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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Sept 02

http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthr...eidler)/page39

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Old January 22nd, 2012, 08:10 PM   #8
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1.15

Above ground, by caltrane74

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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From SSP





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Old March 23rd, 2012, 10:49 PM   #10
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20 years from now, I think people will be surprised that they were still building sub 150m residential in the downtown core as recently as 2012. These seem like decently scaled buildings today, but they might look like midgets in the not too distant future.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 12:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
20 years from now, I think people will be surprised that they were still building sub 150m residential in the downtown core as recently as 2012. These seem like decently scaled buildings today, but they might look like midgets in the not too distant future.
really? what are we going to see in Toronto?

I like clusters, so in a cluster of skyscrapers, the small buildings should be highrises.

I hate the sprawl of highrises of sao paulo or shangai.

highrises near the centres, some stores buidings then houses and a bit of sparawl. Perfect city shape.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #12
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UT

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Old August 24th, 2012, 10:09 PM   #13
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from somemidtowner at UT


http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthr...eidler)/page33
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Old August 25th, 2012, 04:45 AM   #14
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20 years from now, I think people will be surprised that they were still building sub 150m residential in the downtown core as recently as 2012. These seem like decently scaled buildings today, but they might look like midgets in the not too distant future.
in my city that kind of development will take at least 200 years
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Old August 26th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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Royal Canadian Military Institute



Photo by me
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Old August 31st, 2012, 10:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lezgotolondon View Post
really? what are we going to see in Toronto?

I like clusters, so in a cluster of skyscrapers, the small buildings should be highrises.

I hate the sprawl of highrises of sao paulo or shangai.

highrises near the centres, some stores buidings then houses and a bit of sparawl. Perfect city shape.
Same, I'd rather have a group of clusters in a city then just a stretch of highrise sprawl. Vancouver has exactly that. I prefer Toronto. Although 'couver does have the mountains.. so it depends.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 02:54 AM   #17
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September 19th by someMidTowner



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Old October 29th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #18
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By me

From just now

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Old January 14th, 2013, 01:57 AM   #19
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Old February 26th, 2013, 09:41 PM   #20
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February 14th by someMidTowner.

Great cladding on this building.



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