Aldershot residents get an early look at plans for the Solid Gold site

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 21, 2018



Whenever there is anything to do with the Solid Gold adult entertainment operation in Aldershot there will be an audience.

Things were not any different last night when Darko Vranich and his team were on hand to speak to and support their application for changes to the current Official Plan, and a change to the current zoning on the site to permit the construction of two apartment buildings that with a total of 450 units.

Solid G from south west corner Plains

View from the south west corner of the site

Residents packed the East Plains Road United Church where planners from Bousfield, a Planning consultancy and the project architect explained what the project was about and why it should be approved.

Most in the audience didn’t share their views.

The only thing there was agreement on was that the adult entertainment operation had to go. Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven isn’t particularly proud of one of the busier commercial establishments in the ward – an opportunity to put something else on the 3 acre site is something he might welcome.

The residents weren’t all that keen on what was put in front of them.

Solid G Plans and Cooke Rd

The view is from the intersection of Cooke Avenue and Plains Road

The Planning department took the audience through the process:

A public neighbourhood meeting.
A Statutory public meeting at city hall
Staff analyses the application
A report to city council Planning and Development Committee (P&D) that either recommends, does not recommend or asks for modifications.
The P&D committee meeting recommendations go to city council where a decision is made to approve or not approve the requested changes in the Official Plan and zoning changes.

The rules call for 874 parking spaces – Vrancor, the developer proposed 581 which led one resident to tell the audience that there would be parking wars without more parking space.

There were a number of concerns expressed by the residents – parking spaces, height and massing: the ground floor of the two buildings, which will be commercial space, would be set back just six feet from the sidewalk – that isn’t likely to get past the city planners.

There was no park space in the proposal.

The development is at the corner of Plains Road and Cooke Street. The 12 storey apartment building will run along Cooke; the ten storey will run along Plains Road.

58% of the units will be two bedroom units, 40% will be 1 bedroom.

Darko Vranich and his team

Darko Vranich on the left with his team.

Besides wanting to get rid of the Solid Gold operation what the people of the west end of Aldershot want most is a supermarket.  If Darko Vranich could deliver on a supermarket in the building the residents might let him have a 15 storey building.

One resident asked the Vrancor people what the benefit to the community was for approving the development would be. The answer was: “You would be getting rid of Solid Gold”

Judy Worsley, Executive Director – Aldershot Village BIA told the audience that a supermarket is probably not in the cards. She explained that Loblaws has announced that it is closing 22 stores in Ontario and that the future model is going to be one where people order grocery items on line and pick their order at a GO station kiosk.

Vranich told the Gazette that he has talked to every supermarket operator that will take his call to see if he could convince them to locate in the development – no takers so far. “If you know of anyone who might be interested, have them call me please” said Vranich.

Related new story:

The new model for grocery shopping.


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

16 comments to Aldershot residents get an early look at plans for the Solid Gold site

  • Angel

    Should be a grocery store & a park! We have 2 dogs and live nearby && I grew up I. Burlington for a decade of my life and I would love to see some of the naturalist of it left alone and accommodation for food be a plus. It’s disgusting how much is already developed I personally absolutely disagree with the construction you’ve done to the historic museum on lakeshore beside St. Joes hospital. During huge events that was nice untouched grass where I could go sit with my dog. It was fresh trees for fresh air that you ripped out. I’m disgusted to see what I’ve grown up in dissipate.
    Dump money into a grocery store or a Foodbank! & turn the green space into a beautiful kids park like exercise &climbers but tons of grass for animals! Trees for shade like please invest in the community don’t make traffic worse. Create something for the community that’s already here.

  • Slate

    It’s too this it’s too that! The fact the public input is a must but folks lets be realistic here…The city planners are actually condoning building as close to the sidewalk and your input will not change this matter. Take a glance at the majority of newer developments on Plain St and you will see the majority of newer builds are closer to the sidewalks. Also, knowing that the former Canadian Tire lot has multiple 10 plus storey condos will make this application go through with no hesitation.

  • Elle

    It’s too high and too close to the road. The traffic is already heavy at certain times. I will not ride my bicycle on Plains. My mother would not drive on Plains even before these developments. The air quality will get worse. The older people in this community need a small supermarket they can walk to. We don’t need a huge Loblaws or retailer. Think outside the box. Darko Vranich – who owes the city of Hamilton $18 million dollars and has been involved in the sex industry his entire career – trying to bully the good, conscientious citizens of Burlington is a joke.

  • Robin

    As a resident of Clearview I don’t need “protection” from this build, I’m happy for it. What we needed protection from, especially when my kids were younger, was the opening of my street with a tattoo parlour on one side and a strip Club on the other. I was always nervous for what types were around with my kids in and out. Nothing kills a neighbourhood feel more than that could and yet no one cared. I’m not alone. It will look better and we may even have some great shops next to us. It was never interesting enough with 6 floors for Solid Gold to make a change. Now it is. Don’t ruin this for us who live next to it. Anything is better than the club with its obvious motel rooms. That was never a great look to explain to kids. In time I would consider moving there so I can stay in my “hub”. A fresh new build ? Some extra cars? Kids stuff.
    Try sleeping at 2 am when patrons from the club are yelling and fighting in the back. Even construction noise is a step up

  • Robin

    10-12 stories is still within reason of the mobility Hub 7-11. There should be some small margin of flexibility. Let’s give this our blessing and get it built before someone wants to build a 26 floor. There is a desperate need for high quality rentals here in Aldershot. The building looks elegant. Let’s not drag this out, it will only mean the rents will be pricier when some of us eventually live there.

    • Tom Muir

      As others say, this area is existing OP allowed at 6 stories, but proposed OP is permitted at 7 to 11.

      It does not permit 12, so in what good good faith is a height bylaw exception if it allows 12, which is way above 6, and exceeds 11?

      The south side of Plains east to the Affinity project, right across the street, is existing OP permitted at 2 to 3, and in the proposed OP at 4 to 6 stories. This is far lower than what is asked for on the north side here.

      It is right adjacent to an existing low density, single family Clearview neighborhood, and is too high at 10 and 12 to protect this neighborhood from intensification, as promised, and is is not compatible at these heights.

      There are also a lot of bylaw exceptions requested as specific area exceptions. The commercial part will not be fully serviced, and this is needed.

      There needs to be a lot of discussion to get to a suitable height – it is not 12 stories. This will just break the rules that are proposed.

      I suggest that 6/7 or 8 at most could work in this large parcel location. With fully serviced commercial uses and potential.

      Higher builds are proposed for farther north in the Hub, and farther from the Clearview neighborhood.

  • Dayna W

    What I want to know about this development, and am receiving no answers from the City Planners on, is how the City is going to handle this application since it goes above the height guidelines set out in the Aldershot Mobility Hub concepts. The “concepts” state that that site would range in height from 7 to 11 storeys. This application is 10 and 12 storeys. What is the City prepared to do to enforce their “Mobility Hub Concepts”? And if they aren’t planning to enforce them or bring applications in line with them, then what is the point of the whole Mobility Hub exercise?

    For the sake of correctness, it’s Cooke Boulevard, not street.

  • Penny

    I agree that getting rid of Solid Gold is a definite plus. Plains Road is definitely a street that could accommodate taller buildings, but, in return the residents of Aldershot should get more benefit than condos and increased traffic. The Community benefit ( Section 37) should be a grocery store, if that is what is most needed. The Bridgewater which is being developed now had to have a hotel component. Why can’t the City make that a condition for this development proposal?

  • Perry Bowker

    Once again, wildly deceptive images of the buildings. Cars appear to be toys, people are child-sized, and Plains road is going to be ten lanes wide (with no traffic)?

  • Byron

    “Judy Worsley, Executive Director – Aldershot Village BIA told the audience that a supermarket is probably not in the cards. She explained that Loblaws has announced that it is closing 22 stores in Ontario and that the future model is going to be one where people order grocery items on line and pick their order at a GO station kiosk.”

    Which goes to show how out of touch with reality Loblaws and Ms. Worsley are.

    How many residents of Aldershot use the Go Train daily? How many will make the trek from their retirement property to a Go train kiosk at a station where there is zero parking available between the hours of 7:30 and 18:00 daily.

    A full service grocery store is the number one priority for our community.

  • Dan S

    I think that short set back from the sidewalk is something that was developed several years ago as part of the Plains Road Village Vision/ BIA. It will give the street a more pedestrian/ European feel. Does anyone know if there would still be room for a bus stop out front as part of the complex? Did they mention at the meeting if the complex would have amenities like a pool, gym, common rooms or roof garden ?

  • Carol Thompson

    Don’t diminish the benefit of getting rid of Solid Gold- while they don’t cause any trouble as neighbours the look of the cheap motels along the whole street has long since given our area a certain stigma. We have gotten used to it but it looks bad to people from other neighbourhoods. Its embarrassing. Given the changes downtown the height seems quite modest.
    Lasalle Towers and the Drewlo buildings are not short and many of us are happy to call them home.

  • Penny

    There is no guarantee this development will be rentals. My guess would be they will be condominiums not rentals. Mr. Vranich builds condominiums.

    • Dayna W

      The application says that it will be rentals. I don’t know if developers are allowed to change things like that mid-stream. I would hope that the City would keep an eye on something like that.

  • Stephen White

    If the only implied benefit of the development is, according to the developer’s representative, getting rid of Solid Gold, that, in and of itself, isn’t much of an endorsement. Add that to the list of perceived shortcomings raised by attendees (i.e. insufficient parking spaces, excessive height, only a six foot setback from the road, lack of park space) and it leads to the inevitable conclusion that this development, like so many others, hasn’t been carefully thought out.

  • Carol Thompson

    I disagree that that the residents of Aldershot are not keen on this build; for those of us downsizing but wanting to stay in Aldershot and rent it’s a gift. We have been wait listed for close the a year for the two other rental buildings in our neighborhood. This will fill up fast wIth folks like us. I do hope they manage to find a food store though. Even a boutique style one. Even something like a Marcheleo’s (Toronto). Maybe someone knows them?