|Garment District Neighbourhood Association|
Construction at the Ace Hotel site is a daily source of entertainment for me as I live across the street at 50 Camden. Thanks to urbantoronto.ca I can visualize what this recent structure, this arch, will look like when finished.
Valerie Eggertson, Secretary, GDNA
The GDNA sub-committee dealing with development at 51 Camden Street (for the Ace Hotel) met with the construction team for Alterra on August 18th. Construction will begin shortly.
The shoring phase will begin in October. Fencing (hoarding) will be erected around the perimeter, on the property line, with an opening on the diagonal at the corner of Camden and Brant to permit truck entry to the property. Flagmen will be on duty to ensure that traffic and pedestrians move through that intersection safely. Alterra has determined that large trucks will need to approach from Brant Street since the turn at Spadina and Camden is too tight. There will be a secondary opening at the north-east corner of the property but that will be used for smaller vehicles which are capable of making that tight turn onto Camden.
Excavation will follow in January, possibly February. At that time the sidewalk on the east side of Brant Street will be covered with a pedestrian walkway. On the south side of Camden Street, the existing sidewalk will be assimilated into the construction site and another covered pedestrian walkway will be extended into the street … resulting in a loss of the current traffic lane. However, parking will be prohibited on the north side of the street to allow for a normal vehicular flow.
These changes will be considered at Toronto and East York Community Council on September 7 … the notice is available here, a diagram is available here.
Once activity begins at this site, the Site Manager and two others will be on site on workdays. Work will probably start at 7am and continue until 3 or 4pm on most days. There may be the need for an occasional late day or Saturday (when work will begin after 9am per the City bylaws). A 24-hour phone number will be posted at the site but will also be found here when it is made available to us.
Understandably the sub-committee team raised concerns about mud tracking, idling trucks, waiting construction vehicles parked/stopped on Brant Street, and the potential for increased street parking caused by workers at the site. Assurances were given and these concerns will, of course, be monitored. One raised issue was resolved within the week: it was anticipated that construction hoarding would reduce visibility to traffic turning from Camden to Brant so Alterra erected a convex mirror to facilitate safe turns (per the image below).
Alterra is facing a tight schedule as it needs to finish construction by April 2018 in order for the owners to prepare the site for commercial activity (rumour has it TIFF activity) by the fall.
Report details are available concerning the re-zoning application for the "Ace Hotel" development at 51 Camden Street
Below is a link to the report that will be considered at the Toronto and East York Community Council meeting on June 14, 2016. Be sure to request an opportunity to speak at the meeting or to submit your written comments by referencing these instructions.
The applicant proposes to amend the Zoning By-law to permit the construction of a 13-storey (49.8 metres, including mechanical penthouse) hotel development at 49 to 51 Camden Street. The proposal includes 130 hotel suites, a lower-level restaurant, a hotel lobby, a gymnasium, hotel-related meeting rooms, and a penthouse lounge. The total gross floor area proposed is 7,918 square metres. No vehicular parking spaces and 39 bicycle parking spaces are proposed.
City Planning Staff have reviewed the application against applicable policies and guidelines and do not believe that in its current form the application conforms to the Official Plan policies. City Planning Staff require modifications to the proposed built form, and the applicant is in agreement with these modifications.
The report reviews and recommends approval of the Zoning By-Law Amendment application with revisions to the proposed built form as outlined in this report and reflected in the attached draft zoning by-laws. This approval is also subject to a number of conditions as detailed in the recommendations.
A public meeting concerning the re-zoning application for the "Ace Hotel" development at 51 Camden Street.
Date: Tuesday June 14, 2016
Time: 10am or as soon as possible thereafter
Place: Committee Room 1, 2nd floor, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West
Options for involvement are:
City Clerk contact details can be accessed HERE.
Six of us from the Ace Hotel Subcommittee representing 50 Camden, 42 Camden and 39 Brant, met with the Ace Hotel developers (Alterra and Carbon Hospitality) March 23rd. The proposal is for a 13-storey hotel with 130 rooms at 49-51 Camden.
Concerns that we raised were similar to concerns identified during the public consultation meetings in April and November 2015:
(1) Height and Shadow
-The building is too tall given the narrowness of Camden and Brant Streets. Other tall buildings in the area are located on much wider streets.
-The building is too tall given the height of surrounding buildings. At 13 stories, it is twice as high as 50 Camden and 40% higher than 39 Brant.
-St. Andrew's Playground would be in shadow in the mornings for 1.5 hours during spring and fall, and 5.5 hours during summer.
-During March and September, buildings on the north side of Camden (50, 42, 32 Camden) would be in shadow between 10:00 am-5:00 pm, and those on the south side of Camden (29 Camden) would be in shadow after 4:00 pm. This shadowing would be worse through the fall and winter months meaning that surrounding residential buildings would be in shadow for most of the day during 7 months of the year.
We asked the developers to lower the height. Their response was the hotel requires a certain number of rooms to be profitable. They may only entertain modifying it by "inches".
-Given the Ace Hotel's reputation as a 'party hotel' and plans for a lower level restaurant and penthouse lounge and outdoor terrace, its atmosphere and clientele would result in noisy disruptions that would affect local residents' quality of life.
The developers acknowledged that the neighbourhood becomes progressively quiet as one moves north from King toward Richmond. They felt that it would not be a 'party hotel' like the Drake or Thompson Hotels. The restaurant and penthouse lounge are small spaces. They are working with a sound engineer to examine the effect of acoustics from both inside and outside of the hotel.
-There are existing traffic challenges on Camden and Brant which would be much worse with the additional traffic from the hotel given the proposed development's size, lack of parking and narrowness of Camden and Brant. The proposed cut away on Brant for pick-up and drop-off is inadequate to prevent the anticipated traffic congestion and safety issues.
We asked the developers to put a full lane drop-off drive in front of the hotel (similar to the Ritz Carlton). They responded that they would work with the city to minimize traffic problems, but did not indicate they would be willing to change the design.
-The laneway to the south shared with 39 Brant will be used for deliveries to the hotel and garbage pick up. The laneway is already narrow at a width of 5.5 m compared to the zoning standard of 7.5 m. The increased traffic congestion in the laneway and noise disruption from garbage trucks will negatively impact 39 Brant residents.
The developers indicated that the majority of deliveries would be with smaller trucks. They plan to contract a garbage disposal company that uses smaller trucks as well.
The developers will submit the FINAL proposal to the city in 6-8 weeks. If approved by the city, they hope to start construction in early summer.
Although the meeting was congenial, we did not feel that the developers would make significant changes to their proposal to address residents' key concerns.
If you have similar concerns, we would urge you to contact the city councillor and city planner in the next few weeks:
Joe Cressy's Assistant
The Ace Hotel Subcommittee of the GDNA
Traffic nightmares even before the Ace Hotel has been built
The room was packed with residents from the community and about a row of “experts” attending for the developer, there to defend the hotel’s plans whenever there was a question and there were many. Issues for the community include the narrow lane way between the hotel and Brant Park Lofts, the close proximity of the two buildings, traffic congestion concerns (entrance to the hotel will be from both Brant and Camden), noise pollution from the roof top bar, and the proposed height which is more than double the permitted height.
In follow-up with city planning afterwards: the city appears to have given up trying to enforce the permitted 23 meter height, considers it “out of date,” and now has a “vision” to limit mid-rises to 35 to 40 meters. The Ace plan is for 49.8 meters. The hotel will have no parking. We were disingenuously told at the meeting that many guests would be arriving by bicycle!
Please express your concerns to the city planner for the file, Avery Carr, at 416-392-0423 and our City Counselor, Joe Cressy at 416-392-4044.
... can be found at this website:
... and a reminder, the public consultation meeting is scheduled for
Date: November 17, 2015
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Metro Hall, Room 308, 55 John Street
According to October edition of The Cressy Courier:
49-51 Camden Street (re-zoning application)
Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Location: Metro Hall (Room 308)
This is an application to build a new hotel on the corner of Camden and Brant. Now that an official application has been submitted, City Planning staff will make a presentation about the proposal, followed by another presentation from the applicant.