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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ontario Municipal Board Decision

The Ontario Municipal Board released its decision yesterday from the Quarry Lands hearing. (A copy will be posted here soon, and should be available shortly on the OMB website (, case number PL070317). A quick reading shows that, in general, the OMB has ruled in favour of the developer.

Before getting into the decision, a few points:

1) Regardless of which way the decision went, it was always our belief that the OMB hearing in February was one more step in a long-term process. The fact that the OMB has sided against the position of the community and the City will not dampen our determination to find a solution that results in reasonable and appropriate development on the Quarry Lands. We are as resolutely opposed to the developer's position as we have ever been, and will continue making our case that as a community and a City, we can and must do so much better than what has been proposed thus far.

2) All three levels of government have stated unequivocally their support for the CCQLD position on this issue. It is up to all of us to make our voices heard in order to ensure that our elected representatives are also working hard to ensure a positive outcome. We came together as a community with more than 1,000 people at our rally in April. If we need to do it again with even larger numbers in order to show our strength, we can do that too.

3) The CCQLD Board has met with mayoral candidate George Smitherman on this issue, and we will continue to meet with others as we move forward. We will also be meeting with candidates for Councillor of Ward 36 and seeking opportunities for broad community engagement through all-candidates meetings. Discussions continue between city staff and Build Toronto, which controls the second-largest parcel of land on the Quarry Lands site. This is all to say that while we haven’t been handed a favour by the OMB (and none was expected), this process still has a long way to go.

More on the decision:

As outlined in the document, Gerrard Clonmore Developments had been seeking approval for an amendment to a zoning bylaw that would allow for smaller unit sizes in two blocks of the proposed high-rise development; and approval for a site plan application on one of the buildings. The City of Toronto had not made a decision on either the bylaw amendment or site plan application, arguing such decisions would be premature. CCQLD agreed with the City's position and argued as such as a Participant before the Board.

The OMB has ruled in favour of the developer on the zoning amendment. On the site plan application, the Board agreed the City has some valid concerns and so did not grant approval; however, the Board stated clearly that it expects any changes to the site plan agreed to by both parties would be minor; if the parties cannot agree, the Board will hear submissions early in the 2011 and will make a decision at that time.

We will be in touch again soon with further thoughts and next steps.

CCQLD Board of Directors