Recent Posts

Friday, October 12, 2012


Hi Everyone,

Ontario Municipal Board coming up next week, beginning on Tuesday October 16 at 10am. This is over the Conservatory Group’s application to sever one of its four ‘blocks’ —  the area known as block 1 — on the southwest portion of its lands.

CCQLD will be there to speak against to the Conservatory Group’s application, and to voice once again the community’s unanimous opposition to the proposed high-rise development under consideration and the outdated 1960s zoning on which it is based.

If any members of the community would like to attend the hearing, it would be helpful if you could contact Joanne Smith,  (, so we can have an idea of numbers. The hearing could extend over several days and we do not yet have confirmation when CCQLD’s presentation will be.

Thanks for your ongoing involvement and we’ll be back in touch soon.

Board of Directors,
Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development

Monday, October 8, 2012

More Work to Do

Hi everyone,

Thanks to those who came out to the meeting on Oct. 3 to listen to and provide feedback on Build Toronto's development ideas for the western portion of the Quarry Lands site.

Build Toronto's initial plans call for its roughly 20 acres of land to be divided among low-rise residential (50 percent), retail (25 percent) and park space (25 percent) uses.

We will be providing a more complete update in the near future once we have received and looked through all the feedback provided by those in attendance. In brief, the retail development and traffic were identified as major concerns. Some people expressed satisfaction that only low-rise residential is being considered.

There was also ongoing concern expressed about the Conservatory Group's plans for the eastern portion of the site -- currently zoned for high rise residential towers -- and how any Build Toronto development might affect what happens on Conservatory Group land.

Back in touch soon,
Board of Directors, CCQLD

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Public Meeting with Build Toronto -- Oct. 3, 2012

Hi everyone, 

As you know, there are two major parcels of land on the Quarry Lands. The eastern portion of the site is owned by The Conservatory Group (also known as Gerrard Clonmore Developments), while most of the land on the western half of the site is controlled by Build Toronto, the city’s arms-length real estate and development corporation. 

CCQLD’s mandate has always been to fight for a responsible development outcome across the full Quarry Lands site. Over the past year, as Build Toronto has become more engaged in articulating a vision for their portion of the site that does not include high rises, CCQLD frequently has requested that Build Toronto share their ideas with the full community for input and feedback. We are pleased that Build Toronto now has accepted our invitation. 

We are awaiting one small detail before Build Toronto will be able to make an official confirmation, but it is highly likely the meeting will be held the evening of Wednesday Oct. 3, with details below. 

Wednesday Oct. 3, 7 – 9:30 pm
Malvern Collegiate Institute
55 Malvern Ave.

Because this is already short notice, we wanted to let the community know so you can mark the date off on your calendar and plan to attend. We will send out another email as soon as we get official confirmation, likely early this week.

Build Toronto has let us know they are preparing an information sheet available for distribution to the community in advance of the meeting. We will pass it on to you as soon as we receive it. 

This meeting is an important opportunity to become informed and provide input on the future direction of our community. We look forward to seeing you there and will be in touch again soon. 

Warmest regards,

Board of Directors,
Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Build Toronto's new approach

Hi everyone, 

Apologies for the considerable amount of time that has gone by since our last update. Needless to say, there has been a lot going on. 

First off, many of you were caught off guard, as we were, by a surprise motion from Gerrard Clonmore Developments (GCD) at the Scarborough Committee of Adjustment in March. The application was to seek approval to sever a portion of GCD's property on the Quarry Lands site. Thanks to those who were able to make it out to the meeting and others who complained of improper notice, as CCQLD did, the hearing was deferred. GCD has since appealed the matter to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and a hearing is expected in late summer. CCQLD executive met last month with Councillor Gary Crawford and city planning and legal staff to discuss the case and ensure all parties are prepared. We have been assured that notice for all future hearings related to the Quarry Lands will be widely circulated. 

There have also been developments on the Build Toronto front. As you know, Build Toronto is the arms-length city development agency that has been assigned responsibility for the city-owned section of the Quarry Lands site -- roughly the land now occupied by the driving range. At various times since Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development came together nearly ten years ago, it has appeared that we were fighting for responsible development not just on one front -- in other words, with private landowner GCD -- but on two, also against Build Toronto. Those of you who attended the public rally organized by CCQLD in April 2010 may remember this was the case. 

CCQLD has been in frequent communication with Build Toronto and its predecessor, TEDCO, for many years, but until now never brought specific plans from Build Toronto or TEDCO to the community, either because only vague ideas were shared with us or because discussions were so diametrically opposed to sound planning principles and common sense that it wouldn't have been worth anyone's time. 

Recently, that has changed. 

Over the past 18 months or so, undoubtedly in part due to the engagement of our community, Build Toronto has changed course. They are now talking about concepts and a design plan over the city-owned lands that we believe merits presentation to the community. Build Toronto's ideas are outlined in the letter directly below this note. As you can see, Build is considering a low-density development with single-family homes, a large park space and a retail development at the northwest corner of the site. Build has responded favorably to CCQLD's request that they share ideas at full community meeting organized by CCQLD, and have said they would be ready to do so in September. We will get back to everyone on date and location in coming months. 

We understand that the Build Toronto ideas may not be to everyone's liking. Those who would prefer the entire space be dedicated to parkland will be disappointed, as will those who feel the driving range should stay on the site indefinitely. We also need to hear more about what Build Toronto is envisioning for the retail area, and to of course be diligent regarding environmental concerns. potential traffic impacts, and areas services. All that said, CCQLD realizes that the city needs to achieve some economic value out of the site, and that this parcel of land, from a planning perspective, can be used constructively provided it fits with the existing community. We also need to consider how Build Toronto's plans might impact what happens on GCD's land. Clearly, there is a lot to consider.  

It is the opinion of the CCQLD executive that in the context of what has been considered by TEDCO / Build Toronto in the past, even as recently as two years ago, the ideas now on the table represent a major improvement and deserve a full community forum. It will be important for all of us to engage with Build Toronto officials and our elected representatives, to both listen and be heard. 

While we can't promise to get back to everyone directly, we certainly welcome your thoughts. Most of all, we hope you will stay informed, make it out to the meeting in September, and get involved. Putting aside the Build Toronto front for the moment, there remains plenty of work to do to ensure that sound planning principles and a progressive vision for what our city can be triumph over archaic zoning from the 1960s. 

Thanks for your ongoing support, and we'll be in touch soon. 

Warmest regards,
Board of Directors, Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development

Mark Brender
President, CCQLD
June 15, 2012

Dear Mark,
We are writing further to your request to provide some additional information on Build Toronto’s development plans to the Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development (CCQLD) Membership. Our last update to your Membership was prepared for the CCQLD 2012 Annual General Meeting.
Build Toronto continues to work on designing a mixed-use community that would fit within the existing ‘fabric’ of the neighbourhood. In doing so, we have referenced past community charettes, and collaborated with CCQLD executive, Councillor Crawford, and City staff including Planning, Transportation, Technical Services, Urban Design, and Parks.
Our intention is to implement best practices of responsible and balanced development where communities can live and play. In keeping with the character of the local neighbourhood, we are planning for a low-rise residential development, with a usable park space, and well-designed urban retail. We have been working with market consultants to complete a study for the retail, and better understand market demand. We anticipate obtaining feedback from the community on the ‘look and feel’ of the low-rise development, and the best programming options for the park.
As you are aware, the property was historically used as a quarry, and was subsequently backfilled with earth ‘fill’ and construction materials like wood and concrete and debris. Given that land context, Build Toronto’s key focus and investment over the last year has been in the area of environmental sustainability. In accordance with the Ministry of the Environment, Build Toronto has completed a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and is further investing in a Phase II Site Assessment, Risk Evaluation, and if necessary, Risk Mitigation Programs. This thorough remediation strategy is needed to evaluate the nature and extent of possible contamination to determine the measures that might be necessary for mitigation. Our final development concepts will incorporate all risk mitigation plans.
We also have been working with traffic consultants to understand the existing traffic conditions, and to design a plan that will allow for better traffic flow while accommodating development plans. We anticipate creating a new road network that may extend into the lands owned by the Conservatory Group. However, we must underscore that we have no ability to formally change the Conservatory Group’s plans, or require any road connection to be constructed on their lands.
In addition to traffic consultants, we have also engaged other consultants to better understand the site conditions and requirements for a successful redevelopment, including building and landscape architects, archeologists, environmental consultants, structural and civil engineers. All finalized and full reports will be circulated as part of the planning process and discussed with the community.
We thank you for your request to hold a meeting with the community, organized by CCQLD and in consultation with the Councillor’s Office, prior to the statutory meetings that are part of the Official Plan and Zoning amendment process. We anticipate being sufficiently advanced to attend such a meeting by September of this year.
Working with the community is part of Build Toronto’s mandate and a key component of our public policy principles and City-Building interests. We are pleased with the collaboration that has taken place so far, and we are committed to keeping CCQLD informed with as much clarity and information as possible as we work to finalize the details.
Bruce Logan
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
c.c. Councillor Gary Crawford, Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest
Prakash David, Senior Vice President, Residential & Retail Development
Salima Rawji, Senior Manager, Development

Friday, March 2, 2012

Update from 2012 CCQLD Annual General Meeting

Hi everyone,

Please accept our apologies for the delay in getting out a long overdue update on our 2012 Annual General Meeting, held Jan. 18 at Birchcliff Bluffs United Church.

First off, the official business:

· Members voted in the following members of the Board of Directors for 2012: Mark Brender, Karen Direkze, Tamara Hermann, Reg James, Wilf Longley, Sheila McIsaac, Joanne Smith and Tim Weber. We wish to express our appreciation to Sneva Lee, who stepped down off the board after several years of service.

· Our thanks also go out to Councillor Gary Crawford, MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti and MP Dan Harris for their attendance, participation and support. Huge kudos as always go out to Mary Louise Hall for her pro bono work as CCQLD’s auditor. And most of all, thanks to all the members who came out to the AGM and continue to support our collective goal of ensuring responsible development on the Quarry Lands.

Much of the meeting was spent discussing information provided to the community by Build Toronto, in the form of a letter and a map showing land ownership and, for Build Toronto property, land use plans. As you know, Build Toronto is an arms-length city agency responsible for developing underused city-owned land, inlcuding brownfields such as the Quarry Lands. In the letter addressed to CCQLD and handed out at the AGM, Build Toronto (BT) outlined the following points:

· BT continues to plan a low-rise residential development with a focus on open space and pedestrian scale on the 11-acre land parcel south of the CN Rail Line (ie, predominantly the north-central section of the Quarry site).

· BT is working on plans for “higher quality retail” roughly on city-owned lands currently occupied by the driving range.

· Commercial developer RioCan has purchased the 6-acre commercial plaza area extending north and east from the Victoria Park/Gerrard corner.

· A traffic consultant is studying potential road networks over the BT controlled land portions, with potential for expansion into lands owned by Conservatory Group, should an agreement be reached that would make a unified road network possible

· BT does not foresee any environmental concerns associated with its planned development concept.

From a conceptual standpoint, the board of CCQLD shared its belief that ideas being put forward by Build Toronto do represent positive developments in what has often been a long and frustrating process. In marked contrast to where we stood two or three years ago, we no longer feel that we are fighting a battle on two fronts -- ie. with the city as well as the private developer. Build Toronto is now expressing similar thoughts to those that have long been advocated by CCQLD – and this is a direct result, we believe, of the strong advocacy and mobilization undertaken by so many our community in recent years.

All that said, we have no new information to share regarding developments on land owned by the Conservatory Group. We will continue to advocate for responsible development. We will also continue to oppose, speak out and mobilize against an outdated and highly inappropriate high-rise tower vision for our community, based on planning and zoning from the 1960s, should events proceed in this direction.

For those who were unable to attend the AGM, please renew your 2012 membership today by sending a cheque for $10, made out to ‘Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development’ to 63 Woodland Park Road, Toronto, ON, M1N 1X5. Thank you as always for your ongoing support.

Warmest regards,

CCQLD Board of Directors

Sunday, January 1, 2012

CCQLD Annual General Meeting - Jan. 18, 2012

Hi everyone,

This is to let you know that the 2012 Annual General Meeting of Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development Annual will be held on Wed. Jan. 18, 7:30 pm, at Birchcliff Bluffs United Church (33 East Road).

We look forward to having the opportunity to update residents on recent events, and to discussing together how best to move forward to ensure responsible development on the quarry lands.

We expect attendance at the AGM from our local elected representatives as well as from Build Toronto.

As we're reported in earlier communications, we are hopeful about the direction Build Toronto appears to be taking on its portion of the land. Recent attempts by the City and Build Toronto to negotiate a land swap with the private developer Conservatory Group, however, were not successful.

One thing that hasn't changed over more than eight years many of us have been involved with this issue: 1960s high rise zoning and planning principles are no way to build a healthy, livable, welcoming community.

Please join us at the AGM and renew your membership for 2012 to show your support.

Warmest regards,

Board of Directors,
Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development