Up to 35 storeys still permitted in revised plan to regulate development around Victoria Park

New plan, same heights.

After two years of consultation and review, the latest version of the Victoria Park Secondary Plan to regulate building height and density around the urban greenspace may reignite a long-simmering debate.

“This has been a very polarizing discussion,” admits Councilor John Fyfe-Millar who represents the downtown. “The park is something very close and dear to the hearts of people in the downtown core.”

In February 2020, the city council rejected the first draft of the planning document.

Some neighbors told a public meeting that the maximum building heights on properties around the perimeter of Victoria Park would harm the park.

On Wednesday, city hall released a revised draft plan.(Source: City of London)The document proposes leaving the maximum height permitted on each property unchanged from the previous report, but scraps the use of a so-called ’45 degree angular plane’ to gradually step-down building heights towards lower density areas like the West Woodfield Heritage Conservation District .

Eliminating the angular plane could reduce structural massing around the park, addressing public concerns about shadowing, sight lines, and other impacts on the park.

The secondary plan would allow the tallest buildings, up to 35 storeys, on Dufferin Avenue, gradually stepping down in height towards the Victorian homes on Central Avenue.

Councilor Fyfe-Millar emphasizes that the plan remains in draft form to allow further consultation with the public and stakeholders.

“I think intensification at any cost is not what we are looking for,” he adds. “At the same time we also know that revitalization of our downtown needs people living here.”

On March 7, the Planning and Environment Committee will consider scheduling a public meeting this spring to receive input on this latest version of the secondary plan.

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