St. Kosmas Aitolos Greek Orthodox Monastery: Approval for Phase 3 – Monastery Building and Additions (2010)


Ta Skedia

The owner has filed a site plan development application to facilitate the construction of a new 2 storey residence for St. Kosmas to replace the existing monastery residence which is proposed to be demolished (574 m2  or 6179 square feet) in order to provide for sufficiently sized living quarters for the existing sisters as well as provide guest rooms for travelling bishops, priests and nuns. The new residence would have a total gross floor area of 1788 m (19,250 square feet). A front entrance feature is proposed to be added to the existing place of worship
consisting of 87.37 m2 or 940 square feet.  The place of worship and residence will be connected through a basement corridor. Within the cluster of buildings a stand alone monastic prayer building is also proposed (70.95 m2 or 764 square feet). These buildings will be located  approximately 470 metres from the Caledon-King Townline Road.  Since the existing septic system was upgraded in recent years there is no proposal to make any changes to the system as the daily use of the residence cannot exceed 4500L/day.

St. Kosmas Monastery

A minor variance was obtained by the owner to reduce the front’ yard minimum from 480 metres to 470 metres to permit the construction of the monastery residence in February of 2010 with no appeals filed.

5.6 Discussion

5.6.1   Replacement Dwelling
The proposed monastery will replace a current dwelling on the property which is currently being utilized as a residence for the sisters; however the size does not accommodate their current or future needs. When the new monastery was originally proposed as part of the overall master plan for the site it was to be located in the same general location of the current residence. The owner is proposing to complete the overall site development with the construction of a monastery originally outlined in the master plan for the property except for a future cemetery. The proposal is for a replacement dwelling as well as a small expansion to the place of worship and the construction of ·a prayer building. The overall design of the monastery is to resemble a large country estate home and not to appear institutional in anyway in order to achieve the intent of the official plan amendment for the property.


In order to attain this country home appearance, significant site works are proposed in the form of a circular driveway with a main entry covered with a porte cochere, central terrace in which the house, place of worship and prayer building surround, terraced retaining walls, green roof for the underground area connecting the house to the place of worship and terraced gardens which is flush with the grade of the terrace. Substantial site works are proposed as part of this development area in order to adequately address stormwater on the site. Storm drains, dry wells and catch basins are proposed to deal with overland flow routes. As a result, a detailed stormwater management and grading plans were submitted with the required erosion and sediment controls illustrated on the drawings. Based upon a review by Township Engineering staff, the overall stormwater design is found to be acceptable.

In order to address safety, the existing driveway was constructed at an appropriate grade to  accommodate EMS vehicles.   Further, it is proposed to have the residence installed with a sprinkler system so this further provides another element of safety from the standpoint of the Township of King Fire and Emergency Services Department.

St. Kosmas 1

5.6.2  Addition to the Place of Worship

The proposal also includes an addition to the existing place of worship in the form of a multi­ purpose room, gift shop and lobby. Due to current space constraints, some of the public functions of the place of worship such as the gift shop are carried out in the present monastery residence. With the replacement of the monastery with a proper residence and an addition to the place of worship, public uses will be solely directed to the place of worship. The intent of site plan development agreement for the proposed uses on the subject property in the past always related to ensuring the public interest was maintained. The first two phases involved the construction of gates and an extensive driveway leading to the place of worship and monastery. The second phase concerned the construction of a parking lot with screening.

The proposed site plan for the overall development was reviewed in terms of stormwater management and grading and there are still outstanding issues identified by Township staff. These are to be resolved prior to the execution of a site plan development agreement. The outside place of worship courtyard provides a public gathering space which is then linked to the parking lot with an existing sidewalk. The draft site plan development agreement has conditions relating to the site works required for the area of the place of worship only as this is the area of public interest to ensure they are constructed appropriately.

St Kosmas 2

5.6.3   Valley Slope Reforestation

As part of the overall master plan, valley slope reforestation was to occur to help stabilize the steep valley slope at the far rear portion of the site. This valley slope reforestation was also part of the phase 3. During pre-consultation to complete phase 3, it was determined at the time of the official plan amendment in 2000 there was concern addressed by the TRCA and Township of protecting the stream corridor from development and to stabilize this area. As time has passed, the area has naturalized and reforested itself. Based on a site inspection by TRCA staff in August of 2009, the area targeted for restoration has already naturally regenerated and therefore, there is no need to propose a planting plan. TRCA has no objection to agreeing that this condition in the site plan development agreement has been fulfilled for the phase 3 works (APPENDIX B)

St. Kosmas 3


The required application fee has been submitted. In addition, any external costs incurred by the Township through the processing and review of these applications will be recovered from the applicant.

7.        CONCLUSION

The application proposes the construction of a replacement dwelling to the existing monastery, addition to a place of worship and a stand along prayer building. The proposed development represents the final (phase 3) of the overall site works for the subject property except for a future cemetery. The replacement dwelling is required to address space constraints associated with the existing monastery building. The place of worship addition with its connection to the monastery will concentrate all public uses into one structure. The development has demonstrated conformity with the site specific official plan amendment and zoning by-law for the subject property.


The proposal has been reviewed by the relevant commenting agencies and departments and the applicant has addressed the majority of issues which have been raised to date except for stormwater management. It is recommended that site plan approval be approved subject to the owner resolving the stormwater management issues prior to the execut ion of a site plan development  agreement.


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