Residents living on or close to Queen Street West (from Roncesvalles to Dufferin) have and are continuing to complain about problems with the licensed restaurants, bars and nightclubs. At previous community meetings held in November 2010, June, 2011 and November, 2012, residents expressed concerns regarding the impact of the operation of restaurants and bars in the area.
City Council implemented an Interim Control By-law (ICB) in October 2012 that stopped all applications for new business licenses dealing with food and alcohol for one year along Queen Street West from Roncesvalles Ave. to Dufferin Street. The City Planning Dept. carried out community consultations with residents, local businesses and created a Working Group of citizens, businesses, Police, AGCO, MLS, and Health to study the issues – The Queen Street West Restaurant Study. The final Study Report was presented to the community in April, 2013.
The Study Report detailed issues with the large influx in the number of new and expanded capacity licensed establishments along Queen Street West. New zoning by-laws were recommended that place some restrictions on the size and operation of restaurants and bars and sets a limit on the percentage (25%) of storefronts that can operate as restaurants and bars. This limit is a cap on concentration. The bylaw amendments are an effort to find a balance between different interests in Queen Street West’s future.
Draft zoning by-laws and the Study Final Report were presented and approved in June, 2013 at the East York Community Council (TEYCC) meeting. City Council met in July and approved the new amended zoning by-laws. The new by-law will be in effect for 3-years and review then for continuation or cancellation.
UPDATE: The new City approved zoning by-law has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel & Motel Association. This means that the Interim Control By-law remains in place until resolved at the OMB. You can check the OMB web site and do an e-search for Case Number PL130926.