There is always room for improvement along our main commercial street. There is a wide variety of businesses, restaurants and bars serving a wide range clientele. The Wellesley to Carlton blocks have little room for new development with several new build townhouse units, a new Starbucks with housing above and a new bank recently developed along the street. The businesses along this stretch serve a wide range of customers from the St Jamestown Apartments to the north and Cabbagetown along the center blocks and the old Regent Park and Moss Park to the south. Many of the businesses are well and long established in the neighbourhood. There are several one story buildings such as the No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart etc. that could be better developed with commercial space on the ground floor and low rise housing above.
The building housing Cycle Solutions is a good example of a storefront with residential units above. The commercial row south of Carlton is under renovation and hopefully a new business will lease the space in the near future..
This part of Parliament Street will likely see the most change, especially in the coming years particularly in the stretch south of Lord Dufferin School . The New Regent Park will hopefully spur on new development in this area. There is a wide variety of small businesses housed in buildings in various states of disrepair on the blocks south of the school down to Shuter Street. Several businesses are geared towards the new immigrant population in Moss Park and the old Regent Park. This waive of immigrants will likely move on to other parts of the city as they become more established and likely the businesses will follow. There are some one to three storey buildings housing thrift stores, community service agencies etc. that could be better utilized with new development with some commercial/office space and low to mid rise housing above. This part of Parliament Street could also be primarily residential since it tends to be quieter then the east/west streets with regular streetcar traffic.
Low rise condos with flexible commercial/office space similar to what is pictured above with townhouses facing Poulett Street would be a perfect fit for this stretch. Apparently the Duke of York/Regent Park school at Shuter and Parliament is slated to close in the next year and the property will be put up for sale. This large sight could be redeveloped to include townhouse and low/mid rise development similar to the buildings pictured below.
The most recent proposal for development was recently approved by the Committee of Adjustment to allow Kabul Farms currently at 240 Parliament Street to convert 224 Parliament Street into a supermarket/restaurant by creating a one story addition on the back of the property to Poulett Street. The plan also calls for three parking spaces/unloading space facing Poulett Street. This was a permitted use for the property and neighbouring house owners concerns, about noise and traffic were not considered. Although Parliament backs onto a residential street, planning and zoning regulations seem to view Poulett as a laneway rather than a street. City Planner's admitted that they had not taken garbage and recycling issues into play before passing the file on to C of A. The property owner and architect did agree to meet with concerned neighbours to deal with how the back of the building will look. Sean at Pam McConnell's office will follow up on our behalf. There is also a concern that a blank concrete wall would draw even more graffiti which is already a big problem and we asked that grafitti proof surfaces such as green walls be considered. Contact information for the design firm is Eden Engineering & Design Inc. Albert Yerushalmi P.Eng. email address firstname.lastname@example.org . Additional information may be available on the website. www.edenengineering.ca
There is also a number of storefront mosques along this stretch of Parliament Street which is creating parking and traffic issues in the area. A plan balancing retail, commercial and religious institutions which looks into parking and traffic flow is needed for the area. We have contacted City Planner's for both Cabbagetown South and Regent Park in this regard.
A provincial parole office also recently relocated on Parliament from the downtown core. Surprisingly they did not have any discussion with the neighbours regarding this plan. The MPP's office was also blindsided by the move. We have had reassurances from the MPP's office that clients served are from the area and not being drawn into the neighbourhood from other areas. To date the office seems to be quiet and there is no evidence of clients loitering in the area before or after their scheduled appointments.
Low rise condo and town house developments with adequate parking and commercial space facing the main streets, similar to those posted below, would be a good fit for this area.
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