A 16-person delegation representing numerous neighbourhood associations including The Republic Residents' Association, South Eglinton Ratepayers' and Residents' Association, Northeast Quadrant Alliance, Eglinton Park Residents' Association, Lytton Park Residents' Association, West Keewatin Neighbours, and Quantum Owners & Residents' Association joined Jill Andrew, MPP Toronto-St. Paul's at Queen's Park on February 20. At Jill's invitation the group sat in the Members' Gallery to support her call for the Province to reinstate the Midtown in Focus plan as approved by the City of Toronto. This is the second visit by the group to Queen's Park and a rebuke to Minister Steve Clark who reneged on his promise to meet with them after their first visit. Jill's forceful comments on what is happening to the community as a result of the Province's rejection of the plan were followed by an introduction of each group member to the Legislature. Here are her comments in full:
I want to start today by acknowledging the life of Evangeline Lauroza that was tragically cut short by a cement truck at Erskine and Yonge just a few months ago and speaks to the importance of responsible and safe development.
It’s hardly a new discovery that Midtown Toronto is suffering from irresponsible development. In fact, today we’re joined by over a dozen residents of Toronto-St. Paul’s who have been fighting for more responsible development in our community for years.
Out of their advocacy came a plan known as Midtown in Focus – that laid down some simple ground rules for development. Lowering the height density limits, and mandating that that there be enough services in Midtown to actually provide for the community. Things like schools, infrastructure and parks that are essential to any neighbourhood.
It wasn’t about NIMBYism – it was about being responsible.
They even invited the Minister to tour the neighbourhood with them to explain the plan. But when the Minister did drop by – he didn’t tell them he was coming. Instead he went with the MPP from Eglinton Lawrence - who isn’t even their MPP.
Following this “tour” the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing ripped the original plan to shreds. In a total give away to the development industry, the Ministry absolutely gutted Midtown in Focus.
Today we have a simple request - reverse your changes to Official Planning Amendment 405.
Please listen to the community for once – and not just your developer pals.