Dear Liberty Village neighbours,

I am writing to obtain your feedback about an urgent and possibly exciting opportunity for a new childcare centre in Liberty Village. Just last week, I spoke to staff in the Children’s Services division about the demand for childcare spaces in the area and found out that the City has money available to help create a new childcare centre in Liberty Village. However, building a childcare facility is difficult because there are provincial requirements about indoor and outdoor space that need to be met to get a licence. As such, the City has had a difficult time finding a possible location.

One possible place for this new centre would be in the new development at 19 Western Battery Road. I approached the developer about this opportunity and they have generously invested resources into exploring the feasibility of this opportunity in their plans. As you can imagine, significant changes to their building are needed in order to facilitate the childcare space and meet the provincial standards. So, in exchange for changing their plans and to accommodate the extra cost associated with the changes, the new owners of 19 Western Battery Road have requested 3 additional stories on the currently approved 28 storey building. Approvals for the development were originally granted in 2000 with amendments made in 2003 (20 storeys) and in a density transfer in 2010 bringing us to 28 storeys.

The proposed childcare would be owned by the City of Toronto and located on the first and second floors of the development with an outdoor space for kids located in a small part of Bill Johnston Park on Western Battery Road. I’ve included plans below so that you can see what the proposed 5,000 square foot childcare facility would look like.

This is not a done deal, no decisions have been made about this project and any changes (childcare or additional height) would need to go to the Committee of Adjustment for approval in March. Due to the significant changes to the developer’s plans that the addition of a childcare facility would require, the developer needs an indication of whether or not the City and the community support these changes before they begin.

Here is where I need your help. Prior to any agreements being made, I would like to get your opinion about this proposed change. I believe we need to be very careful in considering any additional density in Liberty Village and must only consider changes to approved plans under special circumstances. A new childcare facility would make life better for Liberty Village parents and for that reason I think this exciting opportunity cannot be ignored.

I want to hear from you with your thoughts on the possibility of a new daycare in the neighbourhood and on the revised plans for 19 Western Battery Road. Please send me your feedback by email at councillor_layton@toronto.ca or by phone at 416-392-4009 by Friday, November 17.

You can download the plans for the daycare here, height comparison with Ordnance development here, and shadow study here.