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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