June 4, 1999
To:Toronto Community Council
From:Commissioner of Urban Planning and Development Services
Subject:Preliminary Report on Rezoning Application 199014: 305 Bremner Boulevard - Reduction of Required Bus
Parking for the SkyDome (Ward 24 - Downtown)
To introduce a proposal to reduce the number of bus parking spaces required in the Zoning By-law for SkyDome and to
give this proposal further consideration, including a public meeting in the community.
Source of Funds
It is recommended that the Commissioner of Urban Planning and Development Services be requested to hold a public
meeting in the community to discuss the application, and to notify owners and residents within 120 metres of the site, the
local residents' associations and the Ward Councillors.
The site (Block 18C) is located immediately south of SkyDome, west of the John Street Pumping Station (see Map 1). As
the site also incorporates Van de Water Crescent, this applicant will have to apply to close the street. It is noted in the
Stadium Precinct Agreement, however, that the City will "act expeditiously" to close the street upon receipt of an
The proposed development site is 6490.9 m2 in size. Both Block 18C and Van de Water Crescent are currently owned by
Canada Lands Corporation (CLC) and are subject to an option to purchase by the Stadium Corporation of Ontario Limited
(Stadco). The site is currently vacant.
To the south of the site is the undeveloped southern linear park in the Railway Lands Central area, and south of that is Lake
Shore Boulevard. To the north, across Bremner Boulevard is SkyDome; to the west is Block 20/23 which was recently
purchased by Concord Adex Developments Corporation and on which the current bus parking lot is located; to the east is
the City-owned Block 18A/B on which the John Street Pumping Station is located.
On April 26, 1999, Stanley Stein of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt on behalf of the Stadium Corporation of Ontario Limited
(Stadco) filed an application to reduce the number of bus parking spaces required by the Railway Lands-Central Zoning
By-law (No. 1994-0806) from 125 spaces to 75 spaces on Block 18C. In addition, the applicant requested an amendment to
the definition of "parking space" as it applies to the bus facility to allow tandem bus parking as is currently permitted on
the temporary site located on Block 20/23.
While Stadco sold its interest in SkyDome to Stadium Acquisition Inc. in 1984, Stadco has retained certain on-going
responsibilities related to SkyDome, including responsibility for providing a bus parking facility. SkyDome was recently
purchased by Sportsco Canada, Inc. (Sportsco).
3.Official Plan and Zoning
The Railway Lands Central Part II Official Plan designates Block 18C as "SkyDome Subcentre Special Mixed Use Area
C", while Block 20/23, located just west of Van de Water Crescent is designated as "Spadina Subcentre Special Mixed Use
Area B". Both sites are allowed to be used as a bus parking facility.
The language in the Part II Plan is broad with respect to charter bus parking. The only provision which appears to address
this matter is found in Section 10.7.2 which states:
"Council recognizes that Spadina Subcentre Special Mixed Use Area B presently accommodates the interim charter bus
parking facility to serve the urban stadium and multi-purpose facility. It is the policy of Council to ensure that a
consolidated permanent bus parking facility is provided near the SkyDome, either in its present location in Spadina
Subcentre Special Mixed Use Area B or in, with appropriate, direct grade-separated pedestrian links, SkyDome Subcentre
Special Mixed Use Area C or in a consolidated, suitable location elsewhere in the Railway Lands."
This provision aims to ensure that the location of the bus parking facility is proposed in a "suitable" location near
Block 18C is zoned CR (Mixed Use) in the City's Railway Lands Central Zoning By-law 1994-0806, as amended. The
maximum permitted density is 23,225m2. The maximum permitted height is 35 metres. The Zoning By-law allows for the
bus parking facility to be located on either of Blocks 20/23 or Block 18C providing it is located in a bus parking garage and
accessory to SkyDome.
The original Zoning By-law requirement of 125 spaces was an estimated requirement for bus parking set before the
opening of SkyDome. As part of the facilities required by the City prior to the opening of SkyDome, the 125 bus parking
space parking lot was temporarily located on Block 20/23. It was always intended that this was to be an interim
arrangement until the City could determine exactly how many spaces were required for SkyDome to operate efficiently and
where the permanent bus parking facility should be located.
4.Basis for the application
Recently, Concord Adex Developments Corporation purchased the majority of the lands in the Railways Lands Central and
West, including Block 20/23. Concord has indicated that it would like to proceed with developing its lands, including this
In support of the rezoning, the applicant has submitted a Draft Transportation Impact Analysis of Block 18C Bus Parking
(SkyDome) and preliminary design drawings, both prepared by IBI Group, showing what the bus parking facility could
look like and how it would function. The preliminary design drawings are attached to this report.
There are a number of issues related to this proposal which require continuing review by staff prior to any decision being
made in respect to this application. These issues may be summarized as follows:
Number of Bus Parking Spaces
-the Draft Transportation Impact Analysis of Block 18C Bus Parking (SkyDome) study submitted by the applicant
concludes that a bus parking facility on Block 18C with a capacity of 75 bus parking spaces would be adequate for the
majority of events currently being held at the SkyDome. The applicant indicates that the facility could also serve other
downtown attractions when not in use to meet the needs of SkyDome. The current bus parking lot is only used for
-the review by City staff of the adequacy of the proposed bus parking will determine whether the usage figures associated
with the current parking arrangement truly reflect the demand for bus parking generated by SkyDome, or if significant
demand for bus parking is being met by illegal on-street parking within the area. If the latter is the case, then the usage
figures for the current lot on Block 20/23 may be under reporting the true demand for bus parking generated by events at
SkyDome. It is important to also understand the current usage figures in relationship to the recent draws at the stadium and
its actual capacity before determining whether an off-site facility would be required when the stadium is used at, or close to
-the design of the facility shows bus access to and egress from the site via Bremner Boulevard;
-the applicant is exploring the possibility of an entrance and/or exit via Lake Shore Boulevard West which could result in
less bus traffic on Bremner Boulevard. This alternative would impact on the cost of the southern linear park and could
modify the number of bus parking spaces to be provided.
-south of the site is the unconstructed southern linear park which is approximately 1200 m2 in size and which would be
located on the berm which was formerly part of the rail high-line;
-the applicant has discussed with staff the possibility of integrating the design of the southern linear park into the
building design so that useable linear park space would be on top of the proposed bus parking facility; this could benefit
the City and could modify the number of bus parking spaces to be provided, but will need further discussion with the
applicant and Parks staff. If the application is expanded to include the linear park land, the application would have to be
amended to include land which is currently in escrow to come to the City as parkland.
Design of the Building
-the drawings show a one storey retail building attached to the bus parking facility fronting on Bremner Boulevard. The
applicant needs to consider how the retail and bus parking facility design could be integrated into the surrounding
development context of the SkyDome;
-a 2m setback from the Bremner Boulevard right-of-way to provide a wider sidewalk for the safe movement of
pedestrians is also required. The applicant has indicated that this could reduce the number of bus parking spaces provided
and requires further review.
Closing of Van de Water Crescent
-Van de Water Crescent is currently owned by CLC and, like Block 18C, is subject to an option to purchase by Stadco. A
provision regarding the closing of Van de Water Crescent is contained in the Railway Lands Central Agreement. Article
3.2 of the Agreement states that the City will act diligently upon a development application from the Owner (in the form of
a letter) to close Van de Water Crescent;
-the Owner is to pay the costs of the closing and conveyance, including the costs of relocating services.
The requested rezoning pertains only to appropriateness of the reduced number of bus parking spaces required to be
provided by SkyDome. The use of the site for a bus parking facility and the details pertaining to site design, access, open
space and the availability of the site for storing buses related to other venues are matters which are primarily relevant to the
Site Plan Approval application which still has to be filed by the applicant.
The impact of the reduction of the required number of bus parking spaces is the primary issue pertinent to this application.
Related to this is how to deal with the overflow of buses generated by the few large events which will more than fill the
It should be noted that the location of the proposed bus parking facility has several benefits over the current facility. As the
proposed location would be immediately opposite SkyDome it would improve the amenity and ease of use for patrons. In
addition, this would provide a permanent enclosed facility and is a more attractive solution, lending an air of permanence
and opening up Block 20/23 for development. Finally, the new facility could also improve the safety of bus access by
passengers and could assist passengers in locating their waiting buses after events, as the facility would be equipped with
the latest technology.
To proceed with the review of this application at this time is important to the overall development of the Railway Lands as
the provision of an appropriate bus parking facility impacts on the attractiveness and amenity of the entire area. It will also
benefit the viability of SkyDome when attempting to market this facility for events.
Contact Name:Angus Cranston
Telephone: (416) 392-0425
Fax: (416) 392-1330
Director, Community Planning, South District
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