Duff Mall Towers and Bloordale Beach

Spending time on Bloordale Beach? That’s the name locals have given to the sandy, barren demolition land slated to be the site of the new Bloor Collegiate Institute. It was the former site of Brockton High School. Artist Shari Kasman and other locals have posted signs promoting the beach… and apparently nominated the site for UNESCO Heritage protection.

There is an important meeting this Thursday of the Toronto East York Community Council, which will be debating the city’s response to the development of four massive towers on the north-side of Dufferin Mall.

At issue is the developer petitioning the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to make the City approve the plans and issue the needed permits. The City Planning department wants direction from the council and says the development, as proposed, doesn’t meet basic requirements for parks, affordable housing and community benefits, among other deficiencies.

Build a Better Bloor Dufferin is voicing our support of the planning department’s concerns. Read our letter to the council, below.

If you want some light summer reading while catching a few rays on Bloordale Beach, here is the Planing department’s report https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-148522.pdf and here is their backgrounder on the development.https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-141191.pdf

If you want to attend the virtual meeting, it starts at 9:30 a.m. You can watch at http://www.youtube.com/TorontoCityCouncilLive. If you want to speak to the issue, you must register by noon the day before the meeting: 416 392 7033 or email teycc@toronto.ca. The Dufferin Mall issue is expected to be debated about 10 a.m.

Submission to Toronto East York Community Council

ATTN: Ulli S. Watkiss, City Clerk, (clerk@toronto.ca)

Ana Bailão,Councillor, Davenport (councillor_bailao@toronto.ca)

re: July 16, 2020 meeting agenda

TE16.8-900 Dufferin Street – Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment – Request for Direction Report.

Build a Better Bloor Dufferin would like to add our support and agreement to the Planning Department which recommends:

“…that the City Solicitor, together with City Planning staff, and other appropriate City staff, attend the LPAT in opposition to the current proposal. As proposed, the application is not consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (2020), does not conform to the Growth Plan (2019), and does not conform to the City’s Official Plan.”

Further we note from the background report on the request:

“Although the current application only applies to the north portion of the Dufferin Mall site, the entire property has an overall size of 8.5 hectares, which would constitute as a large site as per Official Plan Policy 3.2.1.9. For applications requesting an increase in height and/or density, this policy requires that the first priority community benefit be the provision of 20 per cent of the additional residential units as affordable housing. Affordable housing is not currently proposed in the application.”

We agree with City Planners when they state in the background report:

“To ensure that the Dufferin Mall site redevelops over time into a complete community which fits into surrounding neighbourhoods, this application needs to be reviewed in the context of a master plan framework for the entire mall site.”

Given the scale of new development planned for Bloor and Dufferin, a site this large requires a comprehensive plan to properly integrate it with the surrounding neighbourhood and address impacts on park space, transit, and walkability. BBBD is very concerned that, if approved, this plan would set a dangerous precedent enabling owners of large sites to develop their sites piecemeal and evade responsibilities such as provision of affordable housing.

BBBD is a resident-led volunteer group which includes service providers, artists, business owners, and members of the local school communities who advocate for equitable and inclusive development in Bloor-Dufferin. Our neighbourhood wants significant community benefits in all new development; public parks, affordable housing, space for community services and arts organizations, and robust schools and daycares. BBBD represents more than a thousand supporters; residents, service providers, artists, business owners, and members of the local school communities, We advocate for equitable and inclusive development in the Bloor-Dufferin neighbourhood.

Members of our community will attempt to attend the July 16 virtual meeting.

Emily Paradis

Maggie Hutcheson

Co-chairs, Build a Better Bloor Dufferin

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