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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