What is Justice for Queen and Close?
Justice for Queen and Close is a community coalition formed to make sure Skale Developments honours its promises to Parkdale residents and the City of Toronto to build healthy, safe, and affordable housing in its proposed mixed-use development at 1375 Queen Street West in Toronto (located at the corner of Queen Street West and Close Avenue in South Parkdale).
Justice for Queen and Close Coalition members gather and organize on the traditional territories of the Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
The Developer: Skale Developments
Skale Developments is a boutique building company targeting the luxurious, multi-million dollar housing market that has arisen in Toronto’s mixed income neighbourhoods. Armaan Salek is the President of Skale Developments and the Development Manager is Michael Halpern. For the proposed development of 1375 Queen Street West, Skale has been utilizing the established influence of land use professionals at the planning firm MacNaughton Hermsen Britton Clarkson Planning (MHBC Planning) and the legal firm Goodman’s LLP.
Armaan Salek states in a 2013 interview “I wanted to build higher-end, unique products so we started building custom homes, including executive townhomes and single-family units. And now we’ve progressed to building boutique condos”.
Parkdalians may be familiar with the ongoing construction of Skale’s high-end project 1181 Queen Street West, located at Queen Street West and Sudbury Street across from the Gladstone Hotel. This fifteen-storey development includes 118 units ranging from 610 square feet to 1,719 square feet, priced at $559,900 to over $1.4 million dollars.
Skale has a number of other residential developments throughout the city, including 537 Eglinton East and 2815 Kingston Road. The Kingston Road development in Scarborough includes units ranging from 475 square feet to approximately 1,500 square feet, with penthouses priced at over $1 million dollars.
Don’t “Skale” Back on Affordable Housing
Skale Developments, DON'T “SKALE” BACK on Affordable Housing in Parkdale: Skale Developments' 5 broken promises to embed affordable housing in their new fifty-unit mixed-use building at 1375 Queen Street West.
Skale Developments submitted an application to redevelop the site in March 2020 that called for an eight-storey mixed use building comprised of 46 rental dwelling units. The planning rationale stated “currently, the owner is contemplating the provision of 20% of the proposed rental units as “affordable” units, however, this is still to be confirmed as the application moves forward.” This was the second time Skale made a promise for affordable housing.
During their mandatory community consultation in September 2020, Skale stated they would “provide a variety of rental housing units” and “provide 20% affordable rental units through the City’s “Open Door Affordable Housing Program.” They also claimed they would “provide a variety of unit types including larger family units.” This was the third time Skale made a promise for affordable housing.
Don’t “Skale” Back on Safe and Healthy Housing
From the Archives
1920: Premier Gasoline service station on the corner of Queen and Close (source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 1912)
2014: The site is vacant a decade later (source: Kevin Steele)
Sept 2022: On Close Ave looking north-east (source: J4Q&C)