BCI Closing September 2020, do we accept the City’s ‘ best offer’ at the LPAT?, Big on Bloor and a Community Award
It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from us. We’ve been quiet only because we’ve been so busy, in countless meetings with our City Councillor and the developers to stay in active dialogue about what our community wants and needs. Here are some highlights of recent weeks.
Bloor Collegiate students to move out in 2020
Students of Bloor Collegiate Institute (BCI) found out this spring that the entire school’s population will be relocated to Central Tech in Sept., 2010, before the new BCI gets built.
In the heated 28 May meeting about the move, parents and students responded with outrage to the fact that the TDSB knew for years that this relocation would occur and knew the timeline written in the deal but hid it from the community until very recently. The scheduled September 2020 removal of students meets the developers’ “needs” but students are concerned about its impact on their high school experience and residents are unhappy that the proposed new school will have fewer amenities for an anticipated larger number of students (especially considering the high-density developments going up in the neighbourhood).
Keeping up the pressure
BBBD has party standing in the LPAT hearing for the TDSB lands at the southwest corner of Dufferin and Bloor. The next prehearing is scheduled for November but the developers aim to have the deal passed through City Council in October. BBBD will oppose a vote to settle at City Council unless significant gains are made over the next two months. Given that there still isn’t a plan for affordable housing or a community hub on the site, it’s hard to see how the community’s needs will be met by October.
Please fill out our Summer Survey
Now is an important time to keep up the pressure. You can support us by sharing your hopes for the site in this survey: https://bit.ly/2LZ9U4r. It will give us evidence that residents want to see community benefits on the site, such as affordable housing, space for arts organizations and community services, and a large public park. This land was bought and paid for by taxpayers. People who live, work, and go to school in the neighbourhood want this public land to be used for public benefit.
And of course, please let our City Councillor know what you want to see on this site. She needs to hear from as many of our neighbours as possible so that she can represent us accurately! Councillor Ana Bailão: 416-392-7012, email, or web.
Big on Bloor
We had a booth at last week’s annual Bloordale festival on 20 July, the hottest day of the year. BBBD volunteers heard from many residents and visitors who are still just learning about the sale of the TDSB land and the developers’ plans for multiple condo towers at Bloor and Dufferin. People expressed alarm, anger, and sadness when they learned about the paucity of affordable housing and reduced community and green space in the proposed plan. And then many offered to help. We have such a great neighbourhood!
BBBD wins community development award!
Maureen Fair (left) Executive Director of West Neighbourhood House, introduces BBBD’s (from left to right) Lynn Cepin, Maggie Hutcheson, and Emily Paradis.
On 20 June West Neighbourhood House honoured Build a Better Bloor Dufferin with the Sir James Wood award for community development. With a cheque for $1,000, the award recognizes an individual or group who, among other things, “works at making change and community impact; goes above and beyond the call of duty towards the betterment of society; has demonstrated the ability to provide leadership and vision which promotes community development and has a commitment to improving the quality of life in their community.” Maureen Fair, the executive director of West Neighbourhood House, said the award “is so well-deserved—you are an amazing group of people fighting persistently for our community.”
Stay cool, enjoy the summer and our wonderful neighbourhood and don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to get involved in our work.
The Build a Better Bloor Dufferin Team