Bloor and Dufferin Development Update

Bloor Dufferin Development Proposal Moves to Toronto East York Community Council


I am pleased to update you once again with respect to the lands at the southwest corner of Bloor Street West and Dufferin Street.

As you may know, in 2013 the Toronto District School Board decided to essentially relocate Bloor Collegiate Institute to the former Brockton High School site on Croatia Street.  They then declared 7.3 acres of their lands on the site to be surplus and directed that they be sold.  In 2016, the actual sale process by the TDSB was commenced and in December 2016 a successful bidder was chosen.   

Since the TDSB's decision to sell and the subsequent choosing of a successful bidder in 2016, I have been actively engaged with residents, a local community group, the developer, non-profit housing stakeholders and City staff to ensure that this site moves forward in a manner that best serves our community and those who will eventually reside there.  If you'd like to review some of history of this process it is available on our website:  http://www.anabailao.com/bloor_dufferin_school_lands

The developer of the site submitted plans to the City's Planning Division and they also initiated an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, the provincial appeal body that can make decisions outside of the City's Planning process.  With this in mind, it was important that we all worked together to make sure this development served the needs of our community. 

My objective as your Councillor and your voice in this process has been to ensure that through consultation and collaboration we secured for our community as many benefits as possible including affordable housing, community space and a development that best serves our needs and our vision of our neighbourhood moving forward.

I am grateful to all who worked on this project together and a special thank you goes to residents of our community who came together to achieve this goal.  I would like thank housing stakeholders --Habitat for Humanity and St. Clare's Multifaith Homes for their unique and innovative contribution.  I was pleased to bring everyone together to work on this project.  

This was a collaborative process in which everyone came together as a community and I am again very grateful to everyone who gave of their time, energy and experience to achieve this result.  Clearly, when we all come together, we can achieve great things for our community.

Through a long and involved process over the past few years we have succeeded in securing affordable housing on this site, numerous community benefits and a unique and visionary agreement with the developer that includes a major affordable housing partner, Habitat for Humanity.  This unprecedented approach will we hope become a model of how developments of this kind move forward in the future.

This unprecedented agreement will create a Not for Profit Land Trust which Habitat for Humanity will lead and to which the developer will contribute $9 million, $2 million of which will be dedicated towards community space, as well as provide the NFPLT with an $8 million loan which will be used for community and affordable housing purposes.  A minimum of 50% of these funds will be used within our Ward 9 community.  This is in addition to other community benefits secured through this process.

The Not for Profit Land Trust was announced jointly with Habitat for Humanity and their statement can be found here:

http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/11/26/1952683/0/en/Historic-17-million-affordable-housing-land-trust-launched-in-Toronto.html

The City's official planning report has been submitted to Toronto and East York Community Council and can be viewed at this link: 
http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.TE11.5

Highlights of the Project and the Community Benefits We Have Secured

Through the planning process and as part of this unique agreement, along with conditions of the sale, these are the highlights of the proposal including the significant benefits we have secured for the community:

  • 2,162 units total spread over 7 buildings
  • a fully completed affordable housing building with 31,000 square feet of residential gross floor area, (Block F in the City's planning report) that the City will own, meaning affordable housing will be located here permanently
  • a $9 million contribution from the developer to the Not For Profit Land Trust
  • a minimum 30,000 square foot community hub (located in the existing bottom 2 floors of the Kent school building) with an option to use funds contributed to the Not for Profit Land Trust to purchase additional community space -- up to $2 million of the developer's $9 million contribution
  • a new fully completed 8,000 square foot child care centre within the community hub
  • a new Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) underground tunnel linking the site (south west corner of Bloor Street West/Dufferin Street) to the Dufferin Subway Station
  • a public plaza (area) at the northeast corner of the site and two pedestrian mews on the north and south side of Kent school
  • a new minimum 38,000 square feet public park – in the future there will be consultation with the community on the design and features of the park
  • a new public street from Bloor Street West connecting Croatia Street
  • new multiple and varied retail opportunities to serve the development and the surrounding community
  • the heritage conservation and designation of the Kent School building at 980 Dufferin Street
  • the commemoration of the Bloor Collegiate Institute building 1141 Bloor Street West.

As always, I would be pleased to hear your comments regarding the proposal and again thank everyone who has participated and worked so constructively to achieve this agreement.  This proposal will come before the Toronto East York Community Council at the December 3rd, 2019 meeting and then Toronto City Council at the December 17th, 2019 meeting.  The Ontario Municipal Board/LPAT hearing will become a settlement hearing/decision.

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