Feather Factory Commercial Lofts

I believe there has been a lot of misinformation circulating in the community regarding the permitted use of building at 2154 Dundas St. W. Since I was first notified by residents of their concerns regarding parking and occupancy I have been working very closely with staff in Building, Municipal Licensing and Standards and City Planning to ensure that the developers create clear communication tools to confirm the commercial use of this property.

This building was originally constructed in 1919 as a 5-storey light manufacturing building. It appeared to be used as such up to 1981 when permits were issued for uses described as light manufacturing and “artist and photographers studio”. It’s important to note here that the “artists and photographers studio” is still an industrial-type use within the zoning bylaw and it does not allow spaces to be used as residences, including “live/work” or apartments.

Currently the Property is zoned MCR. Under this zoning the City allows a wide range of commercial and residential uses, however, the building is currently classified as a commercial building which means that the loft must be used exclusively for commercial purposes.

Should a property owner want to use their loft for residential purposes, they must apply and obtain a building permit from the City of Toronto for the proposed change of use prior to commencing such residential use. Applying for such a permit would involve payment of application fees, the obtaining of planning approval(s), an application for a building permit for a change of use and the payment of a number of levies and charges.

I have provided this information to you because while a conversion from commercial to residential may be permitted, any alteration could result in planning approvals necessary for parking and loading among other things. I will stress that an approval of this kind can be a lengthy, costly undertaking, and may require site plan approvals and a traffic study (residential use would require provision of parking). As many of you have stated, the neighbourhood is strained for parking as is.

Finally, I have confirmed with staff in the City’s Transportation/permit parking department that this is a commercial building and that no permits are to be issued to this address. Transportation’s computer system will be updated to ensure parking permits are not issued to anyone at 2154 Dundas St W.