Thai Embassy Office Zoning CPCA Response

Following up on, the following was submitted to the City planner managing the Thai Embassy application for a zoning amendment to permit the residence at 180 Island Park Drive to be re-built as an office.

The deadline for public comments is 6 July 2018. If you wish to add your say on this file, the city planner can be reached at

Subject: Application to re-zone 160 Island Park Drive
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2018 18:26:56 +0000 (UTC)
To: <>

30 June 2018

Dear Mr. Renaud

I am writing on behalf of the Champlain Park Community Association (CPCA) to reaffirm its opposition to the re-zoning application made on behalf of the Thai Embassy with respect to its residential property at 180 Island Park Drive.

As a supplement to the Community Association’s intervention last year (Please see attached 22 August 2017 submission below), we wish to further emphasize the following:

1. The applicant asserts in the submitted planning rationale that “The new building will be an increase in physical size but does not represent increase in use. The Embassy will continue to operate within its existing framework in terms of staff and services”.

Please note: the “existing framework” to which the applicant refers is that an office use is permitted but only as “ancillary” to its residential use. The claimed planning rationale plainly contradicts the facts of the matter.

As we see it, the applicant’s assertion amounts to an admission that the Thai Embassy has not been in compliance with the zoning by-law’s permitted uses provisions since at least 2010. Were it otherwise, there would be no requirement for a re-zoning application to permit the building to be used “primarily” (i.e. as a practical matter “solely”) as an office instead of as the currently permitted “ancillary” use. In reality, the Thai Embassy is being used as an office, not a residence.

We note that the applicant offers no planning rationale for seeking the addition of “office” as a permitted use beyond admitting The Embassy is in non-compliance with a longstanding requirement that it has wilfully chosen to ignore. We would underscore the precedent-setting implications of such a questionable rationale.

The request to permit an office building, whether disguised as a residence or not, at a key gateway location that intersects two NCC parkways, the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway (SJAM) and Island Park Drive, lacks substantive justification and is highly inappropriate for that location. To our knowledge no office building has been permitted anywhere nearby on Island Park or on the SJAM, nor should one be.

2. We note the applicant’s statement that the Thai Embassy site plan control application will be provided at a later date. We would ask that the site plan control application be submitted in conjunction with the re-zoning amendment application.

Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards.

Roland Dorsay
Board Member
Champlain Park Community Association
Tel: 613.729-3640

Thai Embassy Re-zoning.pdf