Traffic. It’s the bane of our existence.
Whether you live downtown, uptown, Scarborough, or most any place in Toronto, getting around in a car is a nightmare. Leaside is no exception thanks to the LRT and the impending development it will bring over the next 5-10 years.
Now imagine you’re a big cement truck or 18-wheeler trying to manoeuver through the same streets that cars are having difficulties negotiating; it’s a losing proposition for both the driver and the business that owns the truck.
This has the Leaside Business Park Association (LBPA) concerned about the proposed redevelopment at 33 Laird Dr., which calls for a mixed-use retail, office, and daycare project that in the opinion of the LBPA presents many challenges to Leaside residents and businesses.
Not the least of which is traffic. But the LBPA has a couple of solutions to deal with that.
The first way to reduce existing and future traffic issues created by 33 Laird and other development, suggests the LBPA, is for the city and Metrolinx officials to consider creating a northbound access ramp to the Don Valley Pkwy. from Don Mills Rd. south of Overlea Blvd.
Currently there is only a southbound ramp onto the DVP from the Thorncliffe Park area. A significant amount of industrial, shopping and residential traffic could avoid Leaside residential streets with a northbound ramp.
The current building occupies the southeast corner of Canvarco Rd. and Laird Dr. very comfortably. But Canvarco is a rare dead end in the industrial park, which brings into play the LBPA’s second solution.
Several of the LBPA’s board believe that if the city were to open the dead end and extend Canvarco through to Esandar Dr. near the Longo’s plaza, it would provide cars and trucks alternate access to the existing traffic light at Laird and Esandar.
It is unlikely that a traffic light would ever be installed at the Laird/Canvarco intersection as it is too close to the trio of streets converging immediately south of the property.
The redevelopment proposes a new two-storey building to the south of the property and a second-floor addition over the existing building. It would see many cars trying to enter and exit Canvarco from Laird both northbound and southbound.
These turns would generate traffic jams at the intersection of Laird, Millwood and Southvale, which hopefully the city is planning to ultimately make more pedestrian friendly with a moderate redesign of the intersection.
But it’s not just traffic that concerns the association.
It also takes issue with the proposed uses at 33 Laird, some of which do not fall under the existing zoning.
For example, the proposed daycare requires a rezoning and presents a dangerous intrusion into the area and in particular to Canvarco Dr., which is an unkempt mixed industrial use road upon which big trucks travel on a daily basis. The thought of children playing outdoors on that location flies in the face of logic, the LBPA suggests.