St. Catharines council rezones lot to okay 5-storey apartment construction


Published May 2, 2023 at 3:33 pm

A new five-storey apartment development at the corner of St. Paul St. West and Flummerfelt St. was okayed at St. Catharines Council last night. (Photo: Artist's Rendering)

A lot that has been vacant for over 20 years is going to get a new five-storey building built on it after St. Catharines Council gave the okay last night (May 1).

Years ago, a gas station was on the corner of St. Paul St. West and Flummerfelt St. but nothing has occupied it since that station was torn down. In recent years, there has simply been a large ‘For Lease’ sign posted on the lot.

The five-storey tower will contain one 190-square-foot commercial unit (shown in the photo above as a coffee stand) and 16 apartment.

To accommodate the new dwelling, something council was eager to do given its long vacancy, staff simply had to shift the zoning from medium density to medium-high density and okay the proposal to have 11 parking spaces at grade, including one accessible (handicapped) parking space.

In fact, at least one councillor was curious why the new apartment even taller. The answer back was that the building might not be able to accommodate the necessary parking.

Susan Smyth, a senior planner with Quartek Group which was representing the property owners, noted, “There was some consideration to go higher which therefore would increase the density on the site as well and then pose some conflicts with parking.”

She adds, “We believed both with consultation with city staff that maximizing at 20 metres was appropriate given the size of this site.”

The staff report said according to historical records, the first use of the property was as a residential dwelling in 1921. The lands were then used as an auto-service station beginning in the 1950s.

In the 1980s, the lands were briefly used as a retail commercial building before being converted back to an auto-service station in the mid-to late-1980s. “This use appears to have been in existence until the late 1990s when the building was demolished.”

Given the site’s previous use as a gas station, a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment has been completed. Now the land will have to get clearance from the Ministry of Environment before the building permit can be issued.

A Google Street shot of the empty lot at St. Paul St. West and Flummerfelt St.

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