Recent Posts

Saturday, November 5, 2011

York University community consultation cancelled

Hi everyone,

We have been asked to post the following message from organizers of a York University public consultation on the Quarry Lands that had been planned for Nov. 10 at Variety Village:
Due to circumstances beyond their control, the York University Community Workshop originally scheduled for November 10, 2011 at 6pm has unfortunately been cancelled.
The faculty and staff of the University apologise for the cancellation and will be back in touch shortly with an information update.

We will be back in touch with further updates as they become available.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Update: Time for a New Approach

Hi everyone,

While it has been a while since our last update, there has been a lot of activity behind the scenes on the Quarry Lands file in recent months. Results have been mixed.

Since the summer and into the fall, Build Toronto and City representatives on one hand and the private developer The Conservatory Group on the other have had discussions over their respective parcels of lands on the 49-acre site.

Specifically, the parties were looking into the possibility of a land swap that would have seen The Conservatory Group gain development rights on a parcel of land currently held by Build Toronto near the Scarborough Town Centre. In return, Build Toronto would have assumed control over virtually the full Quarry Lands site. If successful, this approach would have allowed for much greater public say over the Quarry Lands and a development more in keeping with sound planning principles and the broader wishes of the community.

This week, those discussions concluded unsuccessfully and without agreement. We do not believe it is likely that a similar opportunity will present itself in the near future.

So, despite what we believe to have been sincere efforts on the parts of the City and Build Toronto, this much has not changed: Our predominately single-family home neighbourhood is still faced with the prospect of a roundly criticized, wildly inappropriate, 1960s-era seven-tower high-rise development in our midst -- a concept that flies in the face of the best judgement of every expert and every planner and every elected official we’ve ever heard from, and most certainly every area resident even remotely interested in the future of the place they call home.

That’s what gives us confidence this development will be stopped.

As a community, and for our elected representatives at all three levels of government, it is time to regroup and consider next steps. CCQLD will be meeting with Councillor Gary Crawford in coming days to discuss options, and to reiterate our message that this is an issue of city-building that requires even greater leadership from City Hall. Member of Provincial Parliament Lorenzo Berardinetti made the Quarry Lands one of his key planks in the provincial election; we will be holding him to his word as well.

On the positive side, we are strongly encouraged about the development direction being taken by Build Toronto on city-owned lands on the Quarry site. We have been told by Build that they will be ready to make a public presentation of their plans to the community in January. This could potentially take place at our 2012 Annual General Meeting, so stay tuned on that front.

Above all, we believe the solution rests with our community. We had more than 1,000 people at a rally in April 2010 – an impressive start, yes, but a small fraction of all those who live here. There soon may be a time to come together again in far greater numbers.

Thanks as always for your support. We’ll be back in touch shortly.

CCQLD Board of Directors

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 2011 Quarry Lands Update

Hi everyone,

It has been a long time since our last update. The news around the Quarry Lands in recent months is decidedly mixed. A few key points:

1) Developments at a recent hearing of the Ontario Municipal Board May 26 confirm our opinion that City planning staff either cannot or will not use the OMB forum to act on behalf of the community’s best interest and defeat the proposed development. There is little positive news emerging out of the OMB process and we have no reason to believe that will change. Issues before the OMB at this point are largely to deal with minor zoning and site plan changes; the OMB has, in effect, already given its approval to the general idea of Gerrard Clonmore Development's high rise plans. That said, the OMB is far from the only leverage point the community has to express its opinion and drive change and common sense planning around this issue.

2) Members of the CCQLD board met earlier this month with officials from the provincial Ministry of the Environment and staff from MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti’s office. We stressed the critical importance of public input into the Record of Site Condition process, which must be undertaken separately by both Build Toronto (ie. the City) and GCD before any approvals are granted. This process will take many months, as neither the City nor GCD have filed necessary documentation with the Ministry.

3) We are in regular contact with our elected representatives from all three levels of government. Councillor Gary Crawford and newly elected Scarborough Southwest MP Dan Harris attended CCQLD’s May board of directors meeting. MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti has also said he understands the importance of this issue to the community – and on that note, we expect the Quarry Lands to be an issue again during the provincial election campaign this fall. Overall, while ongoing discussion have not been able to produce substantial results to date, it’s up to our entire community to continue to put pressure on our elected officials, wherever and whenever we can, to achieve a sensible result.

4) There has been no meeting of Build Toronto, City planning officials, elected representatives and members of the CCQLD Board of Directors for well over a year. We are working to make this happen as soon as possible. Since the last such meeting, we have a new city councillor (Gary Crawford), a new key contact at Build Toronto (Prakesh David), a new head of Scarborough planning (Raymond David) and of course a new Mayor (Rob Ford). These parties need to have a united front and a vision for how we can and must all do better, based on a common interest in strong city-building. Give them a call and let them know how you feel.

5) The Quarry Lands issue remains, at its heart, an issue of city-building. When area residents, local elected representatives from all three levels of government, city planners and outside experts agree that this development is an inappropriate land use from the 1960s that doesn’t make sense for the community and defies all reasonable planning principles, shame on all those in positions of power if they collectively let it happen. Healthy, vibrant communities are not built this way.

6) There is still time to find a solution. With environmental and other necessary approvals, even in a worst-case scenario, we’re still several years from ground being turned. That said, the clock is ticking and we all need to raise the level of our game.

Back in touch soon,
CCQLD Board of Directors

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thanks to outgoing MP Michelle Simson

Hi everyone,

As you know, the federal election on May 2 brought in a new Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest, Dan Harris. Congratulations, Dan. CCQLD is very much looking forward to working with Dan going forward, along with elected representatives from other levels of government, to ensure a positive outcome on this issue.

At this time, we'd also like to thank and pay tribute to Scarborough Southwest's outgoing Member of Parliament, Michelle Simson, for her extraordinary support of CCQLD during her time as our M.P.

Michelle took on the Quarry Lands as a strong personal cause even though there is no direct federal responsibility or jurisdiction. Never afraid to take a strong public stand on important issues, she spoke passionately in support of the community's position at our public rally in April 2010 and encouraged her colleagues to do the same.

Michelle's work and generosity behind the scenes has been instrumental in our efforts to raise awareness and build momentum within the community and with other stakeholders. She made significant personal financial contributions that allowed us to order the lawn signs that are seen throughout our neighbourhood. In addition, she set up meetings and promoted our cause with other civic leaders and officials -- efforts that helped us put this issue on the map and gave CCQLD strong credibility in discussions.

We are extremely pleased that Michelle plans to stay involved with this issue, as we will continue to benefit from her experience and insights.

With much appreciation,
CCQLD Board of Directors

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti speaks out on Quarry

Hi everyone,

A quick update: Members of the CCQLD Board met on April 5 with Scarborough Southwest MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti regarding the Quarry Lands and environmental considerations around the quarry site.

Mr. Berardinetti recently made a statement in the provincial legislature pledging to do everything in his power to stop the proposed high rise tower development and expressing his support for the aims of CCQLD. See

As brownfield regulations are controlled by the provincial Ministry of the Environment, and given that there remain serious environmental issues associated with the potential development and ongoing monitoring of this site, we are pleased Mr. Berardinetti is now engaged in this fight.

We’ll keep you posted of ongoing developments.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rally against OMB - Monday March 28, Queen's Park

Hi everyone,

As you know, the Ontario Municipal Board has played and may continue to play a significant role in the future of the proposed high rise development for the Quarry Lands. Even while city politicians, planners and local residents are overwhelmingly opposed to any process that would allow high rise development to go ahead, the OMB has effectively decided on its own that such a development could proceed.

The OMB is an unelected body made up of appointed officials. The sweeping powers granted to the OMB by the province and the OMB's ability to override local bylaws and planning priorities as set by elected municipal leaders have come under fire from numerous community groups and municipalities across the province. CCQLD shares these concerns.

Anyone who wishes to protest the OMB powers and decision-making is invited to attend a public rally next Monday, March 28, at Queen's Park, 1pm. The rally is being organized by the 'Stop High Lake High Rises Community Group' from Brampton. If you are able, please come out on Monday and add your voice to end the antidemocratic ways of the OMB.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Positive news re. Build Toronto and Quarry Lands

Hi everyone,

We're pleased to report positive news on the Build Toronto front.

Members of the CCQLD Board met Feb. 24 with Build Toronto COO Derek Ballantyne and other agency staff overseeing city-owned property on the Quarry Lands site. In contrast to earlier indications, we are now extremely encouraged with the direction and approach that Build Toronto is taking.

While plans are not complete, we were assured that Build Toronto has no designs for high rise or high density development on its property. Current thinking calls for a a mix of low rise / town-home style housing, with park space, and commercial / retail development integrated appropriately into the site towards the northwest corner. Again, this would not be a high rise development in any way. In our estimation, the preliminary ideas that were shown would be consistent with the character of the surrounding community.

We stressed the importance of Build Toronto communicating its plans directly to area residents and the need for residents to provide broad-based feedback. To this end, Mr. Ballantyne promised that Build would present its ideas at a public community meeting this spring. We will let everyone know as soon as a date is set, likely sometime in late April or May. We also reiterated our concerns regarding the environmental sensitivity of the site. An environmental risk assessment will have to be done in conjunction with any development plans, and CCQLD will be watching closely and participating in the process to the fullest possible extent.

Overall, our ultimate goal remains the same: to ensure a coherent, responsible development over the entire 49-acre site that fits with the surrounding neighbourhood. While Gerrard Clonmore Developments and the City continue hearings over a site plan application and by-law amendments at the Ontario Municipal Board, we remain hopeful and optimistic that a better solution can be found -- one that links Build Toronto and GCD lands under an appropriate, environmentally-friendly, pedestrian-friendly design. Build Toronto did indicate they would be contacting GCD in the near future to continue discussions.

We will keep you posted as we learn of any new developments. In the meantime, though, please keep those 2011 membership renewals coming (and thanks to those who renewed at our Annual General Meeting in January). Membership in CCQLD is just $10, helps cover assorted costs is a strong investment in the future of our community. Cheques made out to 'Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development' can be mailed to W. Longley, 63 Woodland Park Road, M1N 2X5.

Lawn signs are also available for $10; if you send the money and make a request when renewing membership we'll drop off the sign within a few days.

Thanks as always for your support,

Board of Directors,
Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development

Monday, February 21, 2011

2011 Board Planning Next Steps

Hi everyone,

Thanks to those who came out to our Annual General Meeting in January. The elected Board of Directors for 2011 is as follows: Mark Brender, Karen Direkze, Tamara Hermann, Reg James, Sneva Lee, Wilf Longley, Joanne Smith, Tim Weber.

Several members of the Board attended the Ontario Municipal Board hearing on Feb. 17. This was a carryover from an OMB decision last years that in effect affirmed the existing zoning for the private developer (Gerrard Clonmore Developments) on the site. The hearing dealt with minor changes to GCD's proposal for buildings on 'Block 1' of its development, to better conform to the city's tall building guidelines. The changes with respect to unit sizes and would require a further by-law amendment; a date has been set for May 26 for the parties to return before the Board.

As we've said all along, Concerned Citizens of Quarry Developments does not agree that this is appropriate zoning and an appropriate development for the site. We are dismayed that the OMB is taking this direction and once again has sided with developers over the wishes of residents, elected officials and planning staff for responsible development. (see also Similarly, we remain deeply concerned about what Build Toronto may be planning for its large parcel of property on the Quarry lands site.

It all points to a very busy next few weeks and months and for the CCQLD Board, the membership and our community. We are considering next steps and will be back to you shortly.

CCQLD Board of Directors