January 28, 2000
To: Toronto Community Council
From: Acting Commissioner of Urban Development Services
Subject: 1320 Yonge Street, Application No. 999095: Request for approval of variances from Chapter 297, Signs, of the
former City of Toronto Municipal Code, upon application by Robert J. McCrea Architect, 31 Chaplin Cres., Toronto,
Ontario, M4T 1E5 on behalf of The York School, 1320 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1X2
To review and make recommendations for an application for minor variances to erect, for identification purposes, an
illuminated projecting banner sign on the front elevation of the building at 1320 Yonge Street.
There are no financial implications resulting from the adoption of the report.
It is recommended that:
(1) City Council approve Application No. 999095 for a minor variance from Chapter 297, Signs, of the former City of
Toronto Municipal Code to permit an illuminated projecting banner sign, for identification purposes, on the front elevation
of the building at 1320 Yonge Street, on condition that the projecting banner sign be illuminated only between the hours of
7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and that this be achieved by means of an automated timing device.
(2) The applicant be advised, upon approval of Application No. 999095, of the requirement to obtain the necessary permits
from the Commissioner of Urban Development Services.
The property is located at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Farnham Avenue in a (MCR) mixed-use zone district.
The property contains a three-storey building, which is occupied by "The York School", a private academic school and
office. The applicant is requesting permission to erect an illuminated projecting banner sign, for identification purposes, on
the front elevation of the building. The sign is 1.07 metres long and 8.57 metres high with an area of 9.17 mē (see Figure 1
The sign does not comply with Chapter 297 of the Municipal Code in the following ways:
1. the proposed sign will be located above the 2nd floor and more than 10 metres above grade; and
2. the area of the sign (9.17 mē) exceeds by 3.57 mē the maximum 5.60 mē (0.1 mē for each metre of the building frontage
of the commercial unit) sign area permitted.
The first variance occurs because the banner sign will extend more than 10 metres above grade and it will also extend
above the second storey of the building. Signs are permitted to be located only within the first two storeys of a building and
not more than 10 metres above grade. The intent of this provision is to restrict signs to their traditional locations in order to
minimize the impact of signage on the building to which they are attached, on the streetscape and on the adjacent
residential uses. Although the sign extends into the third storey of the building, the major portion is located within the first
two storeys of the building and less than 10 metres above grade.
The nearest residential unit from which the sign would be visible is approximately 20 metres away in the condominium
building located on the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Farnham Avenue. To mitigate concerns about visibility of the
illuminated sign, I have required the owner to limit the hours of illumination so that the sign is turned off from 10:00 p.m.
to 7:00 a.m. by an automated timing device. With this condition, I find the sign is acceptable.
The second variance relates to the aggregate area of projecting banner sign on the Yonge Street elevation. The size of signs
above grade is regulated in order to reduce the visual impact of signs on the streetscape and on the buildings to which they
are attached. The maximum area for a projecting sign is based on the amount of frontage the commercial unit has on the
In this case, the banner sign is designed and positioned to complement the proportions of the rectangular building facade.
I am therefore recommending approval of this application, as I find the requested variances to be minor in impact and
within the general intent and purpose of the sign provisions of the Municipal Code.
Contact: Norm Girdhar, West Section
Telephone: (416) 392-7209
Fax: (416) 392-0580
Director, Community Planning, South District
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