At the Etobicoke York Community Council (EYCC) meeting on Tuesday May 14, we had a large turnout by residents from our community who spoke and urged Council to reject the re-zoning application by First Capital Realty.

Council listened and unanimously rejected the application. Council also listened to our concerns that the submission of another re-zoning application by Elia Corporation to develop the buildings on St. Steven’s Court strengthens our argument that the neighbourhood should be subject to a Secondary Plan Review. Council passed a resolution to implement this, despite the advice of City Planning staff to Council last year, that such a review was not warranted.

The EYCC decision must now go to Toronto City Council on June 11th where the larger council could support the decision, ratify it, or it could be overturned. It is imperative that as many of our residents as possible turn out for that meeting to show support for the EYCC decision and to encourage the larger council to support that decision. The HVVRA is currently working on a strategy to get our residents to that meeting, so stay tuned for more information.

Sadly, First Capital Realty (FCR) within 12 hours of the Council decision, filed an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Despite this I am still hopeful that FCR will begin to understand the resolve our community has in its opposition to their proposal and that fact, combined with the EYCC decision, will encourage them to re-open discussions with us. To that end I have contacted the CEO of First Capital, Mr. Dori Segal and have requested a meeting with him.

While we can enjoy our victory for the moment, make no mistake the work has just begun. FCR is an experienced developer and has a significant financial stake in carrying out their plans. They will not give up quietly.  The fact remains that despite EYCC’s rejection of the proposal, FCR will be going to the OMB with a positive Staff Report. And that is a big hurdle to clear.

I spoke to the Mayor at length on Tuesday night and all of the Councillors. I thanked them for their support and asked them for their continued support on June 11th. Our Councillor, Gloria Lindsay Luby should be applauded for her ongoing support for our community in this battle.

We got exactly what we had hoped for and we should be proud of that. Over and over, the Council expressed amazement at the professionalism we exhibited in our presentations and the quality of the materials we provided them. The deputations were done in a professional, rational way and were, obviously compelling.

On a personal note, I felt a tremendous amount of pride Tuesday night in being part of a neighbourhood that cares. And being part of a group of volunteers that care enough about their neighbourhood to invest, collectively, thousands of hours of their time to contribute to our cause.

Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our Association and they are all community leaders. Our neighbourhood is indebted to you and on behalf of the Association, please accept a very BIG Thank You- just don’t expect any presents!

We are truly fortunate to live in a community that is the envy of many. Over and over again, residents have demonstrated their attachment and affection for their neighbourhood.

We are not done yet. The fight is not over and there is much, much more to come.

It is important that you support our fundraising initiative and contribute to our cause.

To donate, please click here.

Best regards,
Niels Christensen,
President, HVVRA.