In late 2017, Tridel Development submitted plans for two condominium towers at 12 and 14 storeys, containing 192 units and 367 parking spaces at the back-end of the Thornhill Ladies Golf course, essentially on the Royal Orchard exit to Bayview Avenue.
While I appreciate the Golf Club’s desire to raise funds, I am very much against the proposed development. Key criteria in judging any development application include its particular location and intended density. To my mind, having these new mid-rise condominiums situated effectively on Bayview Avenue (although technically on the Royal Orchard circular), would be absurd given the existing gridlock on Bayview. I believe such a project would adversely affect the local homeowners along Royal Orchard and its side-streets generally but obviously tremendously so the closer one lives to Bayview, from both a traffic as well as skyline perspective. These are important quality of life issues and part of the reason many residents chose to live in Thornhill in the first place.
When I was first elected in 2010, I inherited a re-development application for the Shops on Steeles plaza at Don Mills and Steeles. The developer, Bayview Summit, originally proposed 8 condominium towers of 32 stories, amounting to over 2,100 units. The Mayor appointed me to the negotiating team and I can honestly say that this application occupied a portion of each day for the first 8 months I was in office. Working with the area ratepayer association, we stood up to the developer and negotiated a settlement based on the best interests of the residents, not the developer. In fact, I organized something which was unprecedented in Markham – inviting the ratepayer president into Council’s final in-camera meeting to both hear our deliberations and provide his thoughts on the proposed deal. I mention this because while I don’t believe all developers or developments are bad, I have no issue whatsoever in standing up to them. My first concern has been and would always be the best interests of the residents I represent.