Council approves two 27-storey towers, nine-storey podium above Lyon Station

Claridge Homes' proposed development at 383 Albert St. and 340 Queen St.

A pair of 27-storey apartment towers and a nine-storey commercial-use podium set to rise above the Lyon light-rail transit station will include 300 units of affordable housing, city council heard Wednesday.

Claridge Homes’ mixed-use development at 383 Albert St. and 340 Queen St. got the all-clear this week nearly a decade after the project was first proposed. The 3,850-square-metre site sits next to Lyon Station and will replace a vacant lot and a two-storey building, previously home to the Glue Pot Pub.

Claridge first proposed three mixed-use towers at heights of 22 storeys, 27 storeys and 28 storeys on the site in November 2010, but had its application for a minor variance denied. The developer successfully appealed the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board the following year.

The final project will instead see 582 dwelling units split between two 27-storey apartment towers and the 28-storey building proposed for the corner reduced to a nine-storey commercial-use podium.

The build will include 359 vehicle parking spaces in a four-storey underground garage – a point of contention for Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney, who argued in city staff’s report on the application that a centrally located development next to an LRT station should not encourage vehicle traffic in the already-congested downtown core.

City staff responded to parking concerns during Wednesday’s meeting, noting that the intended number of spots is 520 fewer than are permitted at new builds close to transit, and is intended to provide “balance” to residents who might use cars to travel out of town on evenings and weekends but are expected to use transit during peak times.

One of McKenney’s principal concerns, affordable housing requirements in the downtown core, was also addressed during the meeting. City staff said Claridge had signed an agreement with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. to provide 300 affordable housing units in the residential buildings at monthly rents of around $1,450 per month, more than the quota of 72 units needed to qualify for subsidies.