City Square and the Third Tower

Janice Brown

“No two men ever judged alike of the same thing, and it is impossible to find two opinions exactly similar, not only in different men but in the same men at different times.”  ~Michel Montaigne

I found this quote to be quite fitting for the very intense and sometimes unsettling circumstances that we experienced with the proposals for the third building in the City Square Development located at 85 Robinson.

Brief History

The current zoning is the result of a compromise agreement in 1996 between a previous developer and the DNA that avoided going to the OMB.  The developer and the DNA agreed that the site would be developed with an eight-storey building on Robinson, a seven-storey building on Charlton and a row of four storey townhouses on the smaller site at the corner of Robinson and Park.  This agreement was binding on all future owners, and the property was flipped many times before the current owners finally were able to go ahead.

The DNA was supportive of the previous development projects (putting many hours into meeting with the developers).  This support continued with the minor variances regarding increased height and a number of dwelling units for both Towers 1 and Tower 2.  The DNA had no knowledge of a final approval in December 19 2012 for a shared lobby with Tower 2, nor the surprise Zoning Application to increase the height from 4 storeys to 17 storeys and dwelling units from 32 to 156.

Jeff Paikin held a meeting in May where over 100 upset Duranders voiced their outrage over his new plans for the third building.

Jeff Paikin then asked to meet with the Board in early October of this year and presented his latest proposal to build a third tower of 11 stories rather than the 17 storeys that we heard about in May.   It was to be joined to the second tower with a lobby in the middle.  This was to service entry into both towers. Mr Paikin presented, we questioned, and then asked him to leave so that we could discuss.  Mr Paikin was seeking DNA’s approval.  It was obvious that evening that the Board was divided but we all agreed that we needed to hear from Duranders. Jeff had already accepted an invite to be our guest presenter at the AGM.  This provided an excellent forum.  It also provided the Board with the opportunity to gage the reaction as well as the concerns of Duranders.

Following the AGM, the Board decided to take no position. The Board members ascertained that there was not a consensus with Duranders.  However, we did make note of all of your concerns and issues and will be proactive in helping to address them on your behalf.  We are suggesting that you personally write your letters to:

Jeff Paikin,
Councillor Farr,
Edward John,
and of course the DNA,