Restaurant owner Robert Chee has watched a sleepy stretch of Dupont Street change in a short amount of time.
"I've seen a lot of development, I've seen a lot of vibe, I've seen a lot of traffic flow," said Chee, whose Mediterranean restaurant sits on the north side of the street just west of Spadina.
The land where his restaurant sits is one of many that developers are eyeing as the area shifts from an industrial to a residential neighbourhood.
Between Ossington Avenue and Spadina Road there are eight spots that could see condo construction — some rising nearly 20 storeys high.
"What makes them the most amount of money is not always what works best for the neighbourhood and the city," said Coun. Mike Layton of some of the proposals. The city would like to see buildings that rise about seven or eight storeys above the street.
Peter Smith, a planning consultant with Bousfields, involved with three building proposals on Dupont, has slightly different ideas for construction.
He is looking at buildings for Freed Developments consisting of nine storeys right on Dupont, and then two buildings of 15 and 19 storeys toward the railpath that runs just north of the street.
Sobeys is looking at putting two 14-storey condos on top of its grocery store.
But a major issue in the area is the train.
"It's a main C.P. line," said Jamie McEwan, a manager for community planning for the city. "It carries 35-40 freights a day. 125 cars."
The city wants any new building to be at least 30 metres from the train tracks.
"This rail corridor carries dangerous goods," he said. "So we have to create an adequate buffer."
Some of the early proposals would see buildings right next to the tracks. What will be built, how high and how close buildings will be to the train tracks will become clearer in coming months.
And the developers appear to be counting down the days.
"We are planning to be here in the next five years," said Smith.