A belated Shana Tova and Sukkot wishes to all of our Jewish members of SFRA and local residents! And a Happy Thanksgiving to all.
1. Ward 5 All-Candidates Meeting – Wednesday, October 19, 2022 7:30-9:30pm, 613 Clark Ave. West
SFRA has partnered with the Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (BAYT) Congregation to hold an All-Candidates Meeting for the Vaughan Ward 5 Councillor position. Both candidates (Alan Shefman and Gila Martow) will participate in this moderated debate. This is your chance to ask questions about local issues and what they plan to do about them, in the open Q&A session. Doors open at 7:00pm at 613 Clark Avenue West (parking lot entrance is off York Hill Boulevard) and the parking lot entrance is wheelchair accessible. Here is a link to the flyer.
1. Revised Yonge-Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan – OLT Hearing Decision Approves City’s Multi-party deal with Developers
As I wrote in my August Bulletin, the SFRA has been extremely concerned about the content and process behind the City’s Revised Yonge Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan. After a few delays, the Ontario Lands Tribunal (OLT) began its Hearing on August 8th and finished on the 22nd .
SFRA had submitted a Participant Request and Statement, laying out our concerns which you can find a link to here. Even while the hearing was under way, the City was continuing to resolve issues with the developers. As a Participant, SFRA could not call witnesses or cross-examine the developer’s or City’s witnesses.
Not surprisingly, the OLT issued its Decision on September 12th, in which it essentially rubber- stamped the revised Secondary Plan negotiated between the City and the appellants (developers), and will add 45,000 new residents to the northwestern corner of Yonge & Steeles. (the other corners of Yonge & Steeles, in Markham and the City of Toronto, will add at least another 24,000 residents, adding up to 69,000 new residents, and their vehicles, to the area!) See Schedule 8 below for land uses.
On the somewhat positive side, only 18,000 new residents can be added before the Yonge Street North Extension (subway) is completed (Metrolinx’s target date is 2030). The revised Plan does include land for a linear park, with wider separations (50 m) to the nearest buildings. However, that park is broken up by north-south roads down to Steeles Avenue and requires expropriation of five houses on Crestwood Road. The extension of Royal Palm from Hilda to Yonge Street will be built in sections as developments come on stream. But there are still unanswered questions about how the road will be financed, parking requirements for the new buildings and holding provisions, at a hearing to be held on November 14th. Members of the public can access the videoconference (but cannot speak) at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/914098901 (Access code: 914-098-901).
SFRA remains extremely disappointed in the City’s negotiated result, which excluded SFRA and local residents’ concerns, (and was approved in camera at Council on March 22nd). The deal basically gave the developers everything they wanted, including no limits to building heights or densities, only minimum density levels of 300 persons and jobs per hectare and with little regard to local residents’ concerns about overdevelopment with dozens of 50-65 storey towers surrounding the area on Steeles Avenue and Yonge Street. The shortest new buildings (by our estimate) next to the linear park will be 30 storeys in height. Developers will now be able to get Council approval without seeking additional Official Plan or Zoning By-Law changes.
Here is a link to the OLT Decision on the Revised Yonge-Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan: https://www.omb.gov.on.ca/e-decisions/OLT-21-001218-SEP-12-2022.pdf.
3. Call For SFRA Board Member Nominations
Do you want to make a difference in your community? Do you have experience in organizing, researching, or advocating? SFRA is seeking nominations from individuals willing to serve for a 2-year term on our Board of Directors. As a director, you will be expected to attend monthly board meetings (typically two hours long) as well as to take on projects or lead committees or other tasks, which may take on average 5 hours per week. The Board then chooses the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary to serve as Officers.
If you are interested in being on our Board, please send a letter with a statement of your work or volunteer experience, as well as the local issues you would like to be involved with, to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than October 31st. Note: Only residents who live within or own property within our boundaries (Bathurst to the west, Steeles to the south, Yonge Street to the east, and Centre Avenue to the north) are eligible to be members and on the board of directors.
4. Donations Needed
As we have mentioned previously, SFRA is a volunteer organization, led by volunteers. We do not charge an annual membership fee to raise funds, as all local residents within our boundaries. Therefore, we would really appreciate if you can make a $20 donation to SFRA to support our operations. You can make donations through an online banking Interac e-transfer at your financial institution to email@example.com.