200 Queens Quay West Redux

New design for 200 Queens Quay West, at Harbour St. and Lower Simcoe St. Image: Diamondcorp.

What a difference a year can make!

On January 12, 2021, the City held a (virtual) community consultation meeting about this project. At that time the 8 storey parking garage, with frontage on Harbour and Lower Simcoe Streets, was going to be demolished and replaced by a 12 storey podium on much the same footprint, topped by two residential condominium towers of 41 and 71 storeys. Vehicular access was to be taken from the existing driveways serving the Waterclub complex.

Now we are learning that the developers, Diamondcorp and Lifetime Developments, have responded to input from City staff, the Waterfront Design Review Panel, and the community, to come up with a revised proposal.

As the rendering (right) shows, the idea now is for one tower towards the east end of the site. The height is 59 storeys on a 5 storey podium, yielding 1002 units and 400 sq m of commercial space close to Lower Simcoe Street. 10% of the units are still to be affordable. The green space at the intersection of Lower Simcoe and Harbour Streets is increased slightly to 500 sq m and is now intended to be a public park rather than publicly-accessible private land.

The access for parking, loading and drop-off is to be from Harbour Street. They are planning for 340 parking spots on 4 levels underground, 150 for the residents and 190 for paying customers. Parking and storage is proposed for 1003 bicycles.

A second community information meeting is to be held on February 9, 2022 starting at 7 pm via Webex. Watch this space for registration details or we will mail them out to members. More details of the proposal can be found through this link.

Is YQNA Political?

The Simcoe WaveDeck on Queens Quay West. Photo: Waterfront Toronto

This is a good time to make YQNA’s role clear as the neighbourhood association of the Central Waterfront. Since we began in 2003, we have had the same mandate — to give voice to people who live and work here, so they can engage in the fast-moving developments. Everybody is welcome. 

YQNA has worked with over 40 organizations, such as City departments, Waterfront Toronto, Harbourfront Centre, developers, ecologists, planners, architects, law firms, businesses, and we entered successful protests and lawsuits to protect the Waterfront. 

As a public and impartial service, YQNA has hosted many all-candidates meetings over the years to help residents cast their vote. After election, we have worked closely with local politicians from all levels of government, because they are essential for us to achieve our goals. Information flows between us. The municipal, provincial and federal politicians attend all YQNA’s public meetings to answer questions and report on developments. Yes, we appreciate them as our allies regardless of their political stripe.

Ergo, the answer to the headline is NO. 

YQNA Court Victory Against Cabana Pool Bar

A packed dance party at the Cabana Pool Bar by the Eastern Gap. (Screen capture from the Bar’s video)

By Ed Hore

YQNA recently won a legal victory against the Cabana Pool Bar in the Ontario Divisional Court. The effect is that the outdoor nightclub won’t be authorized to make more amplified noise than it’s already making.

The nightclub owners already had a liquor licence that allowed thousands of people outside at Cabana Pool Bar, and to have amplified music until 11 pm on weekends. They applied for a new licence that they hoped would allow them to have a lot more people and make more noise for longer hours.

The Toronto Islanders, City Council and YQNA objected. I represented YQNA pro bono.

Ed Hore is a keen outdoorsman who knows both the law and the lake. 

After a 17-day hearing in 2017, the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) granted the nightclub a new licence, but with a condition that prohibited amplified music outside.  It found Islanders had been disturbed by loud music, and that the nightclub’s efforts to control noise had been casual and ineffective. The new licence was worse than the old one from the point of view of the nightclub.

On appeal, the Ontario Divisional Court upheld the Licence Appeal Tribunal in a lengthy decision released on June 14, 2021.

The Court dismissed the City’s cross-appeal which argued that the nightclub owners couldn’t apply for a new liquor licence because they already had one for the same premises through a related corporation. Nothing in the wording of the statute prevented the second licence application, said the Court.

The odd result is that the nightclub’s owners can, it seems, pick and choose which liquor license they like better: they’ll still probably stick with the old one because it allows amplified music outside.

But at least the recent decision prevents the nightclub from getting the licence it wanted. The loud music problem may not get better, but at least won’t get worse.

Both the nightclub and the City need permission to appeal. We don’t know yet if either will try.

Edward Hore is a lawyer, former chair of YQNA and founding chair of Waterfront for All.

Meeting: Jack Layton Ferry Terminal

Jack Layton Ferry Terminal

TAKE PART IN THE FUTURE OF OUR WATERFRONT. Waterfront Toronto is holding a public meeting to bring citizens up-to-date on the master plans for the revitalization of the Ferry Docks and Harbour Square Park. We encourage everyone to come out to this important meeting which will define the future of our Waterfront. NOTE: Included in this presentation will be the proposed changes to the Ring Road around the back of Harbour Square condos and to the parking lot now there. In lieu of an Open House, there will be an extended Q&A session.

DATE: TUESDAY, JANUARY 26

TIME: New Time: 6:30 – 8:30 PM

PLACE: Brigantine Room at Harbourfront Centre, 225 Queens Quay West

For more information, contact Waterfront Toronto at info@waterfronttoronto.ca.

Talk: City Building on the Waterfront

Ken Greenberg

Ken Greenberg, Toronto’s great innovator of urban design, will give a unique presentation at YQNA’s next meeting with the title “City Building on the Waterfront.” For over three decades, Ken has shaped downtowns, waterfronts and regions across North America and Europe, in cities such as Toronto, Amsterdam, New York and Paris. He has a prominent role in our own Waterfront neighbourhood, where we enjoy the results of his holistic approach and long-term view of planning. Ken and his wife Eti are often seen here on their bikes or in kayaks. Ken’s book, “Walking Home: the Life and Lessons of a City Builder” expresses his philosophy that cities may be big, but they are enjoyed on a human scale.

We are honoured to welcome Ken Greenberg, and invite you to attend this free event:

Tuesday, September 9th at 7 – 9 p.m.

Radisson Admiral Hotel

249 Queens Quay West, Rain Dance Room