2395-2443 Kingsway OH
As detailed in the notification copied below, an open house on this proposed major site redevelopment was held on 4 November 2015. Panels from the open house and the development application can be viewed at
Following is the formal comment that we have made on the development application, based on the application, the materials presented at the open house, and discussion with developer agents and planners.
November 8, 2015
We are disappointed that more detailed information on this proposal was not available at the Open House held on 4 November 2015. There was no real model, and most questions to the architect received a standard response indicating that detailed planning had not yet occurred. If this were a Pre-App Open House, this would be understandable. If this is to be the only Open House opportunity for the public to respond, it seems premature and inadequate.
On the basis of the limited information available, we offer the following comment.
1 — Building Form
In general, the proposed building form is consistent with the Norquay Plan. We like the building form proposed on the “Photorealistic Visualization” board. The wider vertical and horizontal separation of windows on the tower, and the brick finish on parts of both the tower and the 4-storey portion of the development, are an improvement to the design. We find it difficult to visualize the appearance of the front of the 4-storey portion, and were hoping that a model could help us to do this. The face of the building might look more unified if the balcony railings on the 2nd and 3rd storeys were to be made of a material more visibly substantial than clear acrylic. The pedestrian connection between Kingsway and the lane appears to be adequate.
Our preferred color scheme is:
(a) Tower. We propose that the primary color be light gray, similar to the color seen in the “streetscape” file on the CoV rezoning application web site. White is less suitable because it can look dirty very quickly, and makes the building appear even more massive. If the glass is to be tinted, we prefer a very light blue or very light gray (definitely not green!)
(b) Four-storey. We propose dark blue as a primary color.
(c) Brickwork. We propose that the brick be red.
2 — Interior Layout
Information on interior layout was minimal. Many of the suites labeled “2-bedroom” do not seem to have enough windows to allow for 2-bedroom suites. The proposed amenity room is poorly located, has a problematic shape and too few windows, and is too small for the size of the development. A solution would be to put a larger room with more windows on level 5 beside the rooftop garden.
3 — Allocation of Community Amenity Contribution
To date Norquay has received no substantial amenities from a considerable amount of development under the Norquay Plan. The 37 daycare spaces at 2300 Kingsway (far fewer than there should have been) and the redevelopment of Norquay Park (paid for mainly by federal stimulus grants) were both funded outside of the Norquay Plan.
It is important for Norquay residents to be able to see that the rapid densification of their neighbourhood is actually bringing some of the benefits that CoV has promised since the planning process began in 2006. It would be very discouraging if the CACs from this development were to be sequestered in the Norquay Village Amenity Reserve Fund, where $3 million of the CACs generated by Kensington Gardens is already languishing and depreciating. All of the CACs generated by this development should provide amenities immediately.
The three top priorities identified in the Norquay Public Benefits Strategy are:
1. Community space at 2400 Kingsway. This space is to be built when the site is redeveloped, something unlikely to happen soon.
2. The Renfrew Ravine Linear Park. A concept plan for this park is currently being worked on.
3. Redevelopment of Brock Park and Slocan Park. Brock Park has been identified as a priority because there has already been so much development nearby. The Renfrew Ravine Linear Park and Brock Park are approximately equidistant from the site at 2395-2443 Kingsway.
We propose that the CACs from this development be allocated to the Renfrew Ravine Linear Park. CoV has said that the park will be built in modules, so that individual parts can be fully connected when all the necessary properties have been assembled. We would like to see at least one new module (i.e. one that does not incorporate land currently being used as a community garden or orchard) built immediately. If this module cannot be delivered by the end of 2017, the CACs from this development should be allocated to the renovation of Brock Park.
Jeanette and Joseph Jones