Tomorrow’s leaders have a message

West NH volunteers promote Thursday’s All Candidates Meeting.




We put the call out to West Neighbourhood House newcomer youth program for volunteers to help promote our All Candidates Meeting this Thursday, (Oct.18) and did they ever deliver! 

About 40 young leaders showed up to lend a hand. West NH staff were there to help. With everyone’s hard work, we were able to blanket the neighbourhood with leaflets and posters. Spot them on Bloor and in a mailbox near you. A few of the youth even signed up to provide whisper translation in Mandarin on Thursday. 

Thanks to Yasmin and colleagues for co-ordinating the youth and to Working Women Community Centre for providing a welcoming space where we could gather to get organized and warm up. 


Advance polls are now closed.

Here’s how you find out where to vote on election day:

October 22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m

October Update

The municipal election, Oct. 22,  and a Nov. 5 hearing before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal about the massive development at Bloor-Dufferin will decide the future of our community. Your support has never been more important! 

Here are three simple ways you can make sure this public land is used for public good:

1) Come to BBBD’s candidates’ debate

Come hear what your Council candidates have to say about development in Davenport. How will they use their role to keep our changing neighbourhoods affordable, livable, and inclusive?

Thursday, 18 October, 201

New Horizons auditorium

1140 Bloor St. West at Dufferin.

Doors at 7, debate starts at 7:30. The venue is wheelchair accessible, and ASL interpretation and child-minding will be available. A BBBD volunteer will provide “whisper translation” in Portuguese.  Contact usif you can do the same in Mandarin, Vietnamese, or another neighbourhood language (don’t worry, you don’t have to be a professional interpreter or speak in public).

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2) Send the City your comments about the proposal

Thanks to everyone who has sent comments to City Planning about the proposed development. Your input is having a real impact! We hear that the City has received more comments than usual about this file – and they are taking them very seriously. This is the most important thing we can do to influence the City’s decision about the current proposal for 2098 unaffordable condos, multiple big-box stores, and less than 1 acre of green space. If you haven’t sent your feedback yet, take a moment now to let the City know that you want to see a large public park, space for community services and the arts, and deeply affordable housing at Bloor and Dufferin.

Have your say at the City Planning web page for the development.


3) Help BBBD get to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal

We have just been notified that a pre-trial conference about the proposed development has been scheduled for November 5. It is critical for BBBD to represent the community’s perspective at the LPAT – and we need your help to get there! We are looking for legal and planning advice, community input, and funds to help us hire lawyers and experts. Contact us if you can help.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, or LPAT, is the new body that will replace the old Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The OMB was notorious for siding with deep-pocketed developers against municipal planning decisions, and it was almost impossible for neighbourhood residents to defeat harmful developments at the OMB. Will the LPAT improve on this legacy, level the playing field, and help residents protect our neighbourhoods from the development gold rush? The Bloor-Dufferin case will be one of the first opportunities to test this out.

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Here’s what it means for you.


A Candidates’ Debate:

Development in Davenport

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Doors at 7, debate at 7:30 p.m.

New Horizons Auditorium

1140 Bloor St. W.


                                                                              Bloor/Dovercourt  date unknown courtesy Ann Ball


With huge projects planned at Bloor-Dufferin, The Galleria and along the rail path, Davenport will see massive develop-development in the coming decade.

But how will these changes affect our affordable and vibrant neighbourhoods?

Where are the benefits to the community?

And how can residents have a real say in the future of our ward?

Come here what your candidates have to say about development.

How will they use their role as City Councillor to to keep our changing neighbourhoods livable and inclusive?

Sponsored by Build a Better Bloor-Dufferin. BBBD is a group of residents, local business owners, artists, service organizations, and members of the local school communities dedicated to the sustainable development of the Bloor Dufferin neighbourhood as it changes with the proposed new development at the southwest corner of Bloor and Dufferin.


BBBD has not endorsed candidates in the 2018 municipal election. In the chaos created by changes to our electoral process it is important we take the time to familiarize ourselves with the candidates and issues, ask questions, work for candidates who support our values. AND VOTE.

If you don’t know where to vote, consult:

Advance Polls

From Wednesday October 10th to Sunday October 14th between 10am and 7pm each day. You can cast your ballot at one of two locations in Davenport:

  • Joseph J Piccininni Community Centre, 1369 St. Clair Ave W (near St. Clair Ave W and Lansdowne Ave)
  • Mary McCormick Recreation Centre, 66 Sheridan Ave (near Dufferin St and Dundas St W)


There are approximately 35 candidates for mayor. We have included only the two most prominent candidates.

John Tory




Jennifer Keesmaat

Office Phone: 416-848-2037





Ward nine—Davenport

If you don’t know where to vote, consult this City of Toronto map:
If you zoom in on your street, the map will indicate where you will vote.

City Council

Nahum Mann

Nahum served as chair and co-chair of the BBBD as we got started. When he decided to run for council he immediately withdrew from all activities with the group. He is a strong supporter of the Bloor/Dufferin community and will promote our values.


Anna Bailão

The incumbent from the southern portion of what is now Ward Nine. Expected to face a battle against Cesar Palacio, the ward-healer incumbent from the part of ward north of St. Clair. She was saved when Palazio retired from the field. It was expected to be one of the most interesting battles under the bastardized 25-member system.

Bailão knows the files, approves of our values, and has the ear of John Tory by sitting on his ghost cabinet, but is overwhelmed by development pressure.


1226 St. Clair Ave WestToronto, ON M6E






Mark Balack




Toronto District School Board

Stephanie Donaldson

She has been endorsed by Merit Styles, the present MPP (NDP) for the riding. Styles, before winning her seat in the 2018 election, was a TDSB trustee for the area.




Nancy Caetano

Contact information is not available

Inga Cernei

942 Yonge St, Unit PH107, Toronto, ON M4W 3S8

416-969-8845 Ext. 223



September Update

It’s back to school, but Build a Better Bloor Dufferin has been busy all summer, working to ensure that the redevelopment of the school lands at Bloor and Dufferin will benefit our community and the city at large. Read on for updates on our latest activities, and to find out how you can get involved.

Happening Now:

Bloor-Dufferin video makes the TVO Short Doc top 10!
A short documentary about the Bloor-Dufferin redevelopment by Camila Garcia and Pedro Miguez is a top 10 finalist in TVO’s Short Doc competition! Now they need your vote to get our neighbourhood’s story out to the whole province – watch the video and place your vote here.

City Planning taking community input on Bloor-Dufferin proposal
Do you want the redevelopment at Bloor and Dufferin to include affordable housing, a significant public park and adequate space for community services and the arts? How do you think the current proposal could be improved upon? Have your say on the City Planning web page for the development. This only takes a minute and is an easy way to give the planners your feedback.

BBBD seeking endorsements from local organizations
We want to make sure BBBD’s work represents the diversity of our neighbourhood. We invite local organizations–like parent councils, community services, businesses, and places of worship–to endorse our vision for the Bloor-Dufferin site, and join our Advisory Committee. Check our website to learn more and find a sample letter of endorsement.

Build a Better Bloor Dufferin Updates

Community Outreach

Big on Bloor Festival
BBBD spent July 21 at the Big on Bloor Festival connecting with our community. We spoke with hundreds of people and collected postcards with residents’ visions for the site. We now have over 800 supportive community members on our mailing list. Read more here.
Community Forum
About 100 people came to our June 12 forum at Bloor Collegiate to learn more about the Bloor-Dufferin redevelopment. Because the community consultations hosted by the City and developer did not allow open public discussion, we wanted to create a space for residents to have their say about the future of this public land. Participants spoke passionately about the need for affordable housing, more public park space, community services, and a better school building on the site.Meetings with decision-makers
Over the past few months BBBD has met with our City Councillor Ana Bailão, our new MPP Marit Stiles, and City Planner Kirk Hatcher to inform them of the community’s concerns about this development. We will continue to work with our local representatives to make sure that the public is thoroughly consulted on this development.Should Bloor Collegiate Institute have heritage status?
Did you know that part of Bloor Collegiate Institute was the T. Eaton embroidery factory in 1916, before the school opened in 1925? And that its main entrance and beautiful auditorium, built in 1949, are a unique example of moderne style? Not to mention that the school has shaped the lives of thousands of students in the past 93 years – many of whom still live in the neighbourhood. In the coming months BBBD will be investigating the heritage value of BCI, and gathering community input about how to preserve its legacy for generations to come. Read more in this recent Globe and Mail article.
How to get involved

Wear your support – buy a beautiful Build a Better Bloor Dufferin t-shirt, designed and silk-screened by hand by the newcomer youth leaders from West Neighbourhood House.

Ready to roll up your sleeves? Come to our next meeting on Monday September 24 from 6pm-8pm at Working Women Community Centre and join one of our committees. There are lots of opportunities to participate and we welcome your skills, energy and ideas. Working Women Community Centre is on Gladstone Ave, just south of Bloor St.

Can’t make it to meetings but want to contribute? Contact us and let us know how you can help! Currently, we are particularly looking for support from graphic designers, visual artists and communications specialists. e-mail us at

Coming up

This October, BBBD plans to host a municipal candidates’ debate about development in ourneighbourhood – stay tuned for details!

Who we are
Build a Better Bloor Dufferin (BBBD) is a group of residents, local business owners, artists, service organizations, and members of the local school communities. We are dedicated to the sustainable development of the Bloor-Dufferin neighbourhood as it changes with the proposed new development at the southwest corner of Bloor and Dufferin.

Our vision
BBBD believes that this public land should be used for public good. We want the Bloor-Dufferin redevelopment to include:

  • At least 70,000 square feet of finished, affordable space for community services and the arts, as envisioned by the multi-stakeholder 18-member Community Hub Visioning Group who consulted with approximately 450 diverse local residents over a 10-month period
  • A 200-unit building of non-profit, deeply affordable and supportive housing, in addition to a minimum of 10% affordable housing units integrated into the proposed condominiums.
  • A 1.5 acre public park to provide much-needed green space and compensate for the loss of the playing fields, tennis and basketball courts on the site.
  • A new Bloor Collegiate Institute building large enough to accommodate 1300 students, with an auditorium, gymnasium, and spacious playing field.
Get in touch! Build a Better Bloor Dufferin is always open to community feedback and ideas. Email us at

“Optimism” on development?

Opinion: Is the Star correct?

Christopher Hume, the Toronto Star columnist wrote in an Aug. 7 column that there is reason for “optimism” about the developers that are changing the face ofToronto.

Developers have “matured” wrote Hume, “Developers, if not planners, now include residential, commercial, retail and institutional uses in their projects, as well as community amenities and a serious public realm.”

But Bloor Dufferin residents might be forgiven if they choked on what followed:

“Matt Young, vice-president of development at Capital Developments, talks of trying achieve that urban experience of ‘organized chaos’ at the 7.3-acre property his firm is remaking at Bloor St. W. and Dufferin St. This is a far cry from the regulated sterility of every purpose in its place.

“We spent 10 months doing public engagement,” Young explained. “The biggest thing we heard is that public space is a really important part of the project. We want to create a great public realm and affordable housing along with fine-grained retail.”

Parkland, good schools, and truly affordable housing has long been what our community wants but we aren’t sure the proposed Bloor/Durfferin proposal meets those standards. And we believe the public realm includes daycare, a community centre and performance space.

Young is correct when he says, “public space is a really important part of the project.” We’d like to hold him to that.

Big On Bloor Busy for BBBD

Hundreds visit Build a Better Bloor Dufferin booth

bigonbloor edit

Volunteers staffing our booth at the Big on Bloor celebration July 21were run off their feet by people interested in what is happening in our neighbourhood.

Many people strolling the street festival stopped at our booth to express their opinions and learn more about the proposed development of public lands at the south-west corner of Bloor and Dufferin.

It’s proposed that the three public schools located on the site will be torn down and four luxury, high-density, condo towers be built, with a two-story retail mall anchoring towers that stretch to 47 stories.

“Our booth was perfectly located,” said David Lush who volunteered at the booth. “We were right across from Bloor Collegiate Institute and Kent PS and people could imagine what we are losing with the sale of our land.

“Behind our booth was the 13-storey New Horizon Towers and they could think about what a 47-storey condo would mean for our neighbourhood.”

Over 400 people gave us their names and e-mails and asked to receive BBBD’s newsletter.

 “We’re a grassroots community group working to ensure that this development is inclusive and well planned.” said Maggie Hutcheson, co-chair of BBBD. “Everyone,  from neighbours to people who live elsewhere in the city, have been supportive of our call for community benefits on this site. They want to see the best results from the sale of these publicly-owned properties.”

In the decade since it was first proposed to sell the 7.3 acre property, the community has consistently said any sale must include provisions for:

  • Affordable Housing—Housing must include family-friendly two and three-bedroom units, provisions for students and artists and those with diverse incomes.
  • Green Space—the west end of Toronto has less parkland per capita than Toronto as a whole.
  • Community Space—A community centre or Hub that can meet the community’s needs for daycare, meeting rooms, performance space and activity centres.
  • Schools—a fully funded formula to build a new high school to meet the needs of our students in a new century.