I am ecstatic to share that today the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) ruled in the City of Toronto’s favour and dismissed the appeal submitted by ONE Properties, the developer for the re-zoning application at 64-66 Wellesley Street East. This is a big win for our local planning efforts in the Church Wellesley Village and the City of Toronto.
The OLT is a quasi-judicial, provincially appointed adjudicative tribunal for appeals on municipal and planning disputes. The OLT is also formerly known as the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and before then the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
Map of The Village showing 1 Council-approved development in green, 8 Provincially-approved developments in yellow, 1 development under review in grey, and the ONE Properties development for which the appeal was dismissed today by the Province in red.
Since 2017, I have fought overreaching development applications including from ONE Properties. My position that the Church Wellesley Village is a special character area has been supported by both City Planning and the community. This neighbourhood is home to Toronto’s diverse 2SLGBTQ+ community. I have always believed that any new development in the Village must conform to the existing character, heritage adjacencies, the low-rise scale of existing buildings and promote independently owned 2SLGBTQ+ businesses and cultural spaces in order to protect its future vitality.
Today’s OLT ruling in favour of the City and community is welcomed and extremely rare. The overwhelming majority of all the high-rise condo developments in the Village have been approved by the OLT’s predecessors, the LPAT and OMB. Their extraordinary powers to override land-use planning matters in Ontario have routinely left local neighbourhoods and planning matters in the hands of the Province.
I continue to champion the needs of the Church Wellesley Village, and I’m proud that our call to preserve its current planning context, culture and heritage have not been ignored by the OLT and the Province today.
Thank you to the City of Toronto Planning staff, the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association, as well as the Church Isabella Residents Cooperative who fought for the community at the OLT.
Thank you for all the support, this victory belongs to each and every single one of you.