Posts Tagged ‘Urban development’

Lessons learned from a 10 year long city planning fight

July 12th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

Charlie Campbell, one of our founding partners,  has just published his history of the planning fight over the development of Toronto’s West Queen West Triangle lands from 2005 to 2016. These are the lands south of Queen St from Dovercourt to Gladstone, bordered on the south by the rail line, that have seen massive transformation into a veritable ‘condo forest’ in recent years.

But it’s a lot more than a history – it  includes a host of his trenchant observations and conclusions on what’s good and what’s bad with the planning process for new developments in Toronto. It’s also a valuable guide for how other communities facing development pressure can influence the process, which often feels rigged in favour  of developers.

Charlie is a key volunteer member of Active 18, the community group that took the lead in advocating for good design, parks, arts and artists’ workspace, heritage preservation and other community focused goals in the new developments in the West Queen West Triangle. It makes for fascinating reading from anyone interested in planning issues and the intricacies of dealing with developers, city hall, the OMB and various other interested parties. It’s also not without some of Charlie’s infamous absurdist humor. Look for the almost entirely redacted section in the middle of the “WQW at the OMB” chapter that insinuates that Putin was somehow involved in the ordeal. Charlie’s hope is that community groups dealing with similar issues will find it useful.

Read the history here.

Client Profile: Artscape

June 3rd, 2013 by Iler Campbell
The Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre while under construction in 2011

The Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre while under construction in 2011

Artscape is a not-for-profit urban development organization that connects the dynamism and power of creative people with other public, private, philanthropic, community and neighbourhood interests. Over the course of their 26-year history, they’ve become leaders in creative placemaking, and have generated many positive cultural, economic, social and environmental outcomes with their projects. Artscape projects are designed to build and leverage the local community’s cultural assets and creative resources while serving as catalysts for neighborhood growth and transformation. To date their projects have been catalysts for regeneration and have helped stimulate some of Toronto’s most vibrant and creative neighbourhoods including the award-winning Artscape Wychwood Barns and multi-tenant arts facilities in the Queen Street West, Distillery Historic District, Toronto Island and Liberty Village neighbourhoods. Artscape has earned a reputation as an international leader in the fields of culture-led regeneration and city-building through the arts.

Iler Campbell LLP has been a part of Artscape’s team for many years, playing an active role in making many of Artscape’s projects happen on the real estate side. In particular, Iler Campbell is proud to have worked with Artscape to create a model for ownership that allows artists to purchase affordable live-work spaces and to share with Artscape in the increase in the property value. The model also ensures that the spaces are available for resale to other artists on an ongoing affordable basis. So far this model has been used at the Artscape Triangle Lofts where artists have been owners since late 2010 and this will also be used at Artscape Youngplace, a non-residential artists project planned at the Shaw Street School site in Toronto’s west end. And there are more projects in the works.

If you’d like to read more about what Artscape is doing, please take a look their website at