April 13th 2018
Letter to City Planning Staff Attention Emily Caldwell, MCIP, RPP
RE: PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT, BRIMLEY-ELLESMERE CORNER
Based on questions and comments from GACA members at our March 26th community meeting, the following issues are of concern to the community focusing on vehicular access, height and massing, density and community facilities as set out below.
1. Vehicular Access
The property is so small and has such limited frontage on the public streets so close to the intersection that it must operate both vehicular accesses as in-right/out-right only driveways.
I am aware of only one developed property in our Centre which is restricted to only in-right/out-right access:
The Lay-Z-Boy furniture store on Progress Avenue. Not a lot of traffic compared to 262 residential apartments plus commercial and the Lay-Z-Boy store will soon be demolished for a TBM insertion shaft.
There are a few other driveways restricted to in-right/out-right but these are secondary access such as the one from Progress to Canyon Creek and the secondary exit from the Tridel Consilium Towers garage onto the ramp up to McCowan signals.
This kind of restricted access is terribly inconvenient to residents and service vehicles. Some will ignore the movement restrictions and try to force their way in/out with left hand turns.
The driveway to/from Brimley is supposed to serve all delivery-pick-up for the apartments and the small bit of commercial floor space. This is also the garbage-recycling truck access driveway and serves some visitor parking.
Elementary age school children living in this building will more than likely be bused to/from schools in the broader community each day. The Public Board estimates 262 units would generate about 58 public elementary school children. I have not seen an estimate from the Separate School Board.
None of these vehicles will use the Brimley driveway. They are going to load-unload in the public streets.
The Brimley driveway will be all but useless even for in-right/out-right during the extended parts of the day when traffic is backed up southbound right up the hill and through the lights at Omni-Golden Gate.
Typical Evening Traffic Southbound on Brimley Road at Ellesmere.
Backed up to and sometimes through the signals at Golden Gate
The ‘main’ driveway to/from Ellesmere will be controlled access with a card reader or some similar device. The Ground Floor Plan in the architectural submission indicates there are 37 visitor parking spaces at this level within the controlled access garage. It’s not clear where the control gates are located on this driveway but the total distance to the garage door from the street line is +\- 14 meters. We’ve all seen it: someone has forgotten/misplaced their parking card, a visitor buzzes the person they are visiting and no-one is home. More residents’ vehicles arrive and pull in behind them. What happens? How many vehicles does it take before someone is stuck blocking the sidewalk or hanging out onto the through lanes on Ellesmere? Who backs out over the sidewalk?
The sort of “Who cares about vehicle congestion? Everyone walks cycles or takes transit anyway!” attitude of some architects and planners may work in downtown Toronto. That part of the city has an incredibly rich transit environment and all sorts of ‘walk to/cycle to’ commercial and employment opportunities.
Those conditions do not exist in Scarborough. Even with the subway extension to our Centre and eventual full development of our Centre as a dense urban area, arterial roads like Brimley and Ellesmere are still vitally important to all our residents as to way to work, shopping, day care, and a thousand other trips each year.
Glen Andrew is concerned therefore that this site is too small to appropriately handle the vehicle access requirements of 262 residential units.