A church situated just west of Scarborough’s Cedarbrae Mall near Lawrence Avenue East and Markham Road could be demolished to make room for a new family-friendly rental housing complex.
In early February, a zoning by-law amendment application was submitted to the City of Toronto to construct a 10-storey rental apartment building with 112 units at 3379-3385 Lawrence Avenue East. The architect on the project, KPMB Architects, has also worked on a number of Toronto developments, including Cielo Condos in The Annex and 2 Tecumseth Street in the city’s Niagara neighbourhood.
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The 0.61 hectare development site is located on the south side of Lawrence Avenue East and the west side of Greencedar Circuit, just east of Bellamy Road North. The rectangular lot is occupied by the Church of the Master, which was formed in 1958 and is formerly known as Bendale United Church. A six-storey rental building constructed in 1992 with 48 units also inhabits the lot.
If approved, the development proposal would demolish the existing church structure and keep the rental housing already onsite. A new 10-storey apartment building would be constructed on the land, oriented towards Greencedar Circuit and Lawrence Avenue East.
Of the 112 new “fully accessible and family-friendly,” units proposed for the development, 30 per cent would be reserved as affordable housing at 80 per cent of the Median Market Rent per CMHC National Housing Co-Investment Fund criteria. This would bring the total number of units on the lot to 160 residences. The breakdown of the new units would include 62 one-bedroom, 39 two-bedroom and 11 three-bedroom suites ranging in size from 55 to 103 square metres.
The new building is designed to transition from 10 storeys down to two storeys at its southernmost point. It’s façade would be designed to fit with the existing building onsite. Townhouse-style units with patios fronting onto Greencedar Circuit would form the base of the new building, along with indoor amenity space. Additional townhouses are also proposed for the south end of the new building.
Based on the application’s architectural drawings, the new and existing buildings would centre around a circular landscaped courtyard. A 135 square-metre Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) is proposed at the corner of Lawrence Avenue East and Greencedar Circuit to provide “opportunities for passive recreation and social interaction,” as well as connection to the internal courtyard.
In addition to Passive House Certification and Zero On-Site Carbon use, the development is also exploring the use of a geothermal system.
“Consideration for environmental and community sustainability was an integral part in the design of the
proposed development,” explains the application’s planning rationale. “Beyond affordability, the proposed development will incorporate family-friendly amenities, timber construction, high-quality materials, and passive ventilation.”
A 17-metre setback at the south end of the project would allow for a “significant landscaped buffer,” to incorporate the land’s existing trees and provide space for parking and the access to the driveway leading to the building’s underground parking garage. A total of 103 parking spaces would be provided, 55 of which would be kept in a new underground garage. The project would also include 148 bicycle parking spaces.