By Hedy Korbee
There’s a new proposal on the table that would allow tenants living in affordable low-rise housing on Kingston Road to eventually return to the neighbourhood and live in the new 10-storey condo proposed for the block between Lakeside and Birchcliff Avenues.
Details of the revised rehousing plan were unveiled at a community meeting on Feb. 10 organized by the City of Toronto and attended by tenants, community members and the developer, Altree Developments.
The proposal affects tenants living in 32 units at Lenmore Court at 1615-1641 Kingston Rd. as well as tenants living in a single-family home on Birchcliff Avenue directly south of the condo.
Under the previous proposal, the tenants would be required to vacate their apartments, find alternate living arrangements for two or three years, and then be rehoused in rental units in a Cliffside condo that hasn’t been built yet.
Under the latest plan, the tenants will be offered on-site replacement, which means they would eventually get to live in Birch Cliff again instead of being forced to move 1.6 kilometres east.
Karen Azucar, a Lenmore Court tenant and local business owner, said she’s relieved. Azucar is opposed to the development but said the rehousing proposal is a step in the right direction.
“I was satisfied with the fact that they acknowledged that we should remain in the Birch Cliff community,” Azucar said. “That should have been a no brainer, though. I really don’t feel like we should have we needed to fight for that.”
Approximately 50 people attended the community meeting and were told that the new proposal is guided by the city’s rental replacement policies, designed to preserve and increase affordable housing stock in Toronto.
City Planner Allison Smith explained that the tenants will be offered on-site replacement rental units of approximately the same size as their current apartments.
Smith said the rent will be similar to what they’re paying now, which is about $1,100 for a two-bedroom unit but will include a one-time 4% increase.