Posts Tagged ‘Willowdale’

Another walking day, another part of the city to explore.  Sometimes I find new places to wander around but the other day I went back to Sheppard Ave East to see what other changes are happening.   This is a section of Sheppard Ave that is living in the shadow of Yonge Street developments.  It’s an area of mixed residential and commercial.

below: Sheppard Ave East looking west towards Yonge Street from Willowdale Ave.

Sheppard Ave East looking west from Willowdale Ave towards Yonge street

below: A smaller bungalow, and architectural “style” that was common along here.

old white bungalow with side fireplace and chimney wall, exterior

below: Some of the bungalows are being replaced by much larger houses, especially in the side streets behind Sheppard.

large new house being built in Willowdale, on Maplehurst Ave., in place of a small bungalow like the house beside it

below: More signs of  the times, no kids playing outside in the playgrounds of the schools and day care centres.

black fence around playground with some toys but no kids

below: A CTR rabbit trying to run away.

a painting on a metal street box, of a rabbit running, by c r a

below: This front door with it’s clean and ornate door frame has always fascinated me.

white door on small porch with black railing. door has fancy white trim with details on top

below: 176 Sheppard Avenue East has been empty for a while.   I found information about the development here on different websites.  One of the sites stated that the new building would be ready to move into in 2019.

front door of abandoned building at 176 Sheppard Ave East with collection of garbage on overgrown front step

below: A vacant lot

orange cone o n its side in front of a vacant lot

below: This is the same vacant lot as there was nothing to prevent me from wandering in.

vacant lot

below: The front of Dudley Court at 166 Sheppard Ave East.   I have driven past here a few times this year and I keep thinking that I should check it out before it disappears.  The orange “tree protection” fence was a more recent addition. Maybe part of the reason why there is no development proposal sign here is that it’s been about 20 years since the owners started “negotiating” with the city about what was going to be built here.

front of Dudley Court from across the street, a 1960s brick three storey apartment building, overgrown pine trees in front, also construction fence

closer look at closed and boarded up front doors of Dudley Court

below: The back of Dudley Court from the vacant lot mentioned above.

behind 166 Sheppard Ave East, row of empty garages, with new glass building behind as well as apartments from the 1980s and 1990s

metal wire fence around an empty parking lot and row of garages with broken brown doors

below: What surprised me is that there are actually 3 apartment buildings that are empty.  The plywood is there to protect the trees that are between the apartments and a ditch.  The “ditch” continues underground under Sheppard and then south through a small park towards the 401.

plywood fence around trees to protect them from construction and demolition, on walkway beside 166 Sheppard Ave East

below: There is a pedestrian walkway on the west side that continues north a couple of blocks.

old ready for demolition with newer glass buildings in the background building

below: Sheppard Ave looking east

Sheppard Ave East looking east from Kenneth & Leona streets

below: Sheppard Ave looking west.  An evolution of sorts… at first there were small houses that became offices; now they are being torn down.

Sheppard Ave East looking west towards Yonge street from Kenneth and Leona streets

below: Some of the mid-sized buildings that were developed in the 1970s and 1980s are also “moving upward”.  In this case, to 11 storeys with 55 residential units and lower floor retail.  It is currently home to medical offices.

development notice on the front yard of a commercial (office) building from the 1970s

below: Once upon a time this was a Pizza Pizza.  Then it was for sale.  Next, it provided headquarters for an election campaign.  And now?  Possibly in limbo?  All that I could find is a 2017 rejection from the city for a 10 storey development on this lot and the one adjacent (where The Beer Store is now).   The official plan calls for lower buildings as you move away from Yonge Street.  In the meantime you can call it an eyesore.

parking lot, empty, and painted over pizza pizza sign in front of empty building

below: But not everything is ugly!

a street box painted with a red bird and an orange bird in green bushes, Tim Hortons behind as well as street scene at Willowdale and Sheppard Ave East

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a row of single family houses on a street, large tree, cars in driveways, behind are 3 or 4 large twll condo buildings

a small white bungalow with a single car garage with a black garage door, awning over the front door, tall tree in front yard, black roof

yellowish colour bungalow with black front door, a window on either side of two, 2 dormer windows in roof, a red single car garage door,

Another story of changes underway;
more documentation of buildings about to disappear.

trees and overgrown yard, two large signs advertising townhouse developments to come

On a leafy stretch of Bayview Avenue, there are some buildings that now sit empty.  The weeds have taken over the yards, as have large signs advertising the townhouse development that will be built there.   Actually the signs are only on one yard, this one:

below:  There are curtains in the window but some shingles are missing and the frontyard is overgrown with weeds – 2716 Bayview Avenue, sitting empty.   If you drive past it on Bayview you’d probably miss it because of the large trees between the house and the street.

small brick house with attached garage, overgrown front yard, tiger lilies growing by the front, piles of mulch on driveway, some ivy on front of house, some shingles missing from the roof

below: Nature takes over very quickly if you let it.  The lilies haven’t lost to the thistles yet though.

thistles, orange tiger lilies, and ivy, growing in a garden at the front of a house

below: The backyard was very overgrown too. The side door was open but I didn’t go in.  The basement appears to be in good shape.

an open basement door on the side of a house, overgrown yard, pile of debris in the foreground

If you go to their website, only 7 townhouses are shown in the drawings while the properties on either side of it (4 in total) are included in the plans as “future development”.   If you look at the original application on the City of Toronto website, the whole plan called for 20 townhouses facing Bayview Ave and a single family dwelling facing the street behind.  Each townhouse is 4 storeys (including basement level which is half garage and driveway) and 18’9″ wide.  The above ground levels are 47′ deep.   The site drawings and architectural plans were from June 2017.   I am not sure why the discrepancy.  It’s not uncommon for changes to occur between the planning stage and the final product…   So take the measurements that I just gave you with a grain of salt.

below:  One house to the south, 2710 Bayview.  A newer style house than its neighbour with part of its front yard hidden behind a glass block wall.   It too is set back a large distance from the street.  Once upon a time, someone put some love and care into this house.   I hoped that it was well used in its time.

modern style house with glass brick wall in front, around a front porch, large spruce tree, overgrown driveway,

modern style house with glass brick wall in front, around a front porch, large spruce tree, overgrown driveway,

double red doors, front entrance way to an empty modern design house

below:  Moving north, this is 2720 Bayview.  There is evidence that large trees have already been cut down.  At the moment all the evidence is well hidden from passers-by.   A year ago, farther south on Bayview a developer cut down 30+ large trees without permits from the city because they were building townhouses on the site  The outcry was big but the penalty is small.

white stucco bungalow with the remains of a chopped up tree in front

below: But….  if you have permission to build townhouses, there is no way the trees can stay.  Any plan that involves creating 20 new townhouses in less space than four single houses doesn’t leave room for large trees.  Those will be a thing of the past on this stretch of Bayview.  The one below was so big that I couldn’t reach around the trunk of the tree.

a large mature broadleaf tree in summer, green

below: The fourth building, 2722 Bayview, was originally built as a residence, but it has been a medical clinic for decades.  If you peer in the window, there are still posters on the wall (Is It Flu?) and even reading material on the table ([something] Task Force).  There is a sign on the front door that says that 2 June 2017 was the last day the clinic was open.

interior of medical clinic, no longer used, looking in the window, chair, posters on wall,

weeds coing up through the cracks in the pavement of a parking lot in front of an unused medical clinic, front entrance of the clinic, full length windows

Lastly, I took a picture of this house too as it is beside the ones above.   The “Notice” sign on the fence was a bit of a surprise considering how new the house was.  My original assumption was that the house was going to be demolished.  In fact, the planning application says that the house will be moved to the back of the property and three townhouses will be built in front.  One driveway down the north side of the property will access both the new townhouses and the moved house.

Apparently the application was submitted in December 2016 –  However, I noticed that the original application called for three 3 storey townhouses (and is on the City of Toronto website as such).  The sign says three 4 storey townhouses and a three storey single family dwelling.  The house in the photo is only 2 storeys.

a city of Toronto blue and white notice of development sign is on a black wrought iron fence in front of a large stone faced two storey house with a large front yard, grass and shrubs

What I’ve also learned while researching these properties, is that there is an official document called, “Bayview Townhouse Design Guidelines” that covers Bayview Avenue from the 401 south to Lawrence Avenue East.  It was adopted by City Council late in 2015.   In fact, large portions of the city have design guidelines and you can find them online.

I was curious to find out how many ongoing development proposals/applications there are in the city.  There is an interactive searchable map online that I used.  When I searched on ward 25 (where the above sites are), it showed 52 locations.  When I tried searching on the whole city, there were too many results.  If you’re interested in development, you can play with the website too!

thistles, close up of flower part of thistle, one purple flower

weeds growing out of cracks in the pavement of a parking lot, handicapped parking sign still there.