As regular visitors to this blog know, there has been a lot of construction around here over the past several months. I’ve been periodically documenting the changes here on this blog.
The Ontario Municipal Board adjudicators who have approved severances side-by-side at 2 and 4 Twenty Seventh might have you think that these changes do not significantly alter the character of our community. I disagree. For better or worse, lower Twenty Seventh Street has been transforming. As well as two severances, there is also construction on two re-builds, as builders are putting large single family homes where smaller ones once were. In my opinion the large new single family homes represent a much more reasonable change than the severances.
There has been a brief break in the activity over Christmas and I took the opportunity to take a few photos as I was out walking the dogs. Here’s how the lower part of our street is changing.
This is the construction at 2 Twenty Seventh. I don’t know how it will be numbered now that the property has been split into a pair of narrow and deep lots. .
And here is the view from Lake Promenade. This used to be a view of several large spruces, but those trees have been destroyed to make way for construction of the large building with the small windows. The property owner was charged for destroying the trees.
The bungalow at 4 Twenty Seventh is still intact. At some point, it will be replaced with another pair of tall, narrow homes, as a severance has been granted by the Ontario Municipal Board after the property owner appealed the Committee of Adjustment’s refusal.
North of that, at 6 Twenty Seventh Street, the small bungalow has been razed and a new large bungalow is partially built. This home will add some stability, as it means at least there won’t be 3 severances in a row.
Across the street and next door to our home on the south side, the hole has been excavated for another single family home. The design for this home looks very good in my opinion, and hopefully it will be a good fit in the neighbourhood. I have my fingers crossed that the large spruces which run along our side of the property line will not be badly harmed by the construction. I believe the owner of the property intends to avoid undue harm to them, but after watching what happened across the street, I feel the need to remain vigilant.
I’m getting tired of all the construction. The line-up of 8-10 dump trucks lining the street at 7:00 AM last week was pretty disruptive to our quiet street. On the other hand, if all the construction happens at once, it will all be finished and over with at more or less the same time. I’d rather have that than have construction linger on indefinitely.
Some change in our neighbourhood is inevitable and reasonable. There are many older homes in need of an update. We have quite a few elderly residents around here who have been here for 40-60 years and they are starting to move on. There are many wide and deep lots, quite a few of which are 50X150 feet. Interest rates remain low. It’s a perfect storm for a surge in development.
I just wish we had better planning at a community level. The current system involving the City (Committee of Adjustment) and the appeal body (Ontario Municipal Board) works fine in stable communities, but is just not adequate for communities under development pressure.