Our summer straw poll showed we are united over Housing, Parks, Community Space and Schools
We asked—and you answered! BBBD’s summer community survey garnered more than 125 responses from people of all ages (half under 40) and all living situations (60% owners, and 40% renters).
The results show how committed BBBD supporters are to keeping the Bloor-Dufferin neighbourhood diverse, inclusive, and affordable.
- Your priorities for the site are the same as BBBD’s. When asked to rate aspects of the development on a scale from “not at all important” to “very important,” there was strong consensus about what is important to you:
- Public park space (93%)
- Community services (91%)
- Arts & culture (91%)
- Affordable housing (87%)
- Almost two-thirds of the people surveyed say that at least 50% of the units should be affordable to people with average incomes—including one in seven who say ALL units should be.
- Almost three-quarters of responses say that 20% or more of the units should be affordable for people on low incomes. In fact, one-third of all respondents want to see 50% or 100% deeply affordable units on the site.
- Almost three-quarters also say that 25% or more of the commercial space on the site should be for non-profit community services and arts organizations.
- 93% say the 0.6-acre public park the developer is proposing is too small. A large majority want to see at least 1 acre of public park on the site, and many want the current 2.7-acre green space on the site to be maintained.
- Three-quarters want the TDSB and developer to find a way to keep Bloor Collegiate students in their school until the new school is built, instead of moving them to Central Tech in September 2020.
- 85% say the current plan for the BCI rebuild is inadequate. Most want to see the new school have at least the same amenities as the current building, including an auditorium and pool, and they want it to accommodate more students as the neighbourhood grows.
Click on graph to enlarge
When asked to share their priorities, hopes, and worries about the site, survey respondents were eloquent and visionary. The range of passionate responses and exciting ideas show how important it is to engage community members throughout the process of redevelopment.
Here’s just a small sample:
“I would like to see mix of housing that people from different backgrounds can access and will live in for many years. These might include young families who want to buy a home, older residents who are downsizing, renters and people with lower incomes. This type of housing will sustain the neighbourhood and the people who live here. I am concerned that the units will quickly become vacant or short-term rental spaces and used only as income properties. I understand the need for densification in Toronto but tons of people are getting pushed out of the area (or even the city) by developments. They’re not actually solving the larger housing issue.”
“Each of the suggested buildings should have a large green roof patio for the residents. There should be lots of small retail spaces to accommodate family businesses/ workshops or offices and some of those who will undoubtedly be displaced by this development. There are plenty of large retailers at Dufferin Mall. All buildings should be built to a high environmental standard with low energy use and emissions, easy access to recycling facilities and a large amount of bicycle parking. A daycare facility and space for after school programs.”
“[The park should be] At LEAST 2 acres with provisions for new tree planting and an area for a community garden. Initiatives across the country for large buildings have proven to be an effective way to build neighbourly relationships by way of sharing garden tending duties.”
“These are Indigenous lands and local Indigenous peoples need to be consulted on this project. Also, disabled people should be consulted to ensure that the space is physically accessible.”
“I would be more excited if I felt that the development included different types of housing that would address the shortages / inaccessibility / affordability in Toronto.”
“This could be an exciting addition to the neighborhood and an example of good development:
- be truly Green (as the developers had in their initial advertising)
- serve Toronto’s diversity of incomes, family types, immigration periods
- keep the landscape of small owner occupied stores – on ALL levels of retail.”
“A school that will accommodate the predicted student population projections for the coming decades. It must include amenities, like an auditorium for the arts, that will foster a diversity of skills for the students.”
“I’m not excited about the redevelopment because I don’t trust the developers to make considerate and thoughtful decisions for the neighborhood.”
“I love the diversity in our neighbourhood and how people know and look out for each other. I’m concerned this development will change that. Not to mention a staggering number of units in an area where the buses / subways are already packed and traffic at that intersection is a gong show.”
“[I am excited for] the potential to create incredible park space that has more qualities than the existing green space. The opportunity to get away from unaffordable, private condos, and a quick, expensive build, like the rest of the city and the chance to actually make a meaningful project that serves the community (which this doesn’t look like it is doing at all yet).”
“I am concerned that the site will just be another condo and retail space that prices out the people who currently live and work in the neighbourhood, continuing the segregation of lower income and otherwise marginalized people further and further towards the outskirts of the city and away from public transit. I am concerned that the developer might care more about short term profit than the health of our city.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
We will be sharing all the survey results with our Councillor, City staff, and the developer.
It’s not too late to have your say—take a few minutes to add your voice here.