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Letters – October 2015

A split Leaside ‘not effective representation’

Open letter to Councillor Jon Burnside:

Dear Councillor Burnside,

I write with reference to the Toronto Ward Boundary Review, and the ward redesigns provided in its
report.

The Leaside Property Owners’ Association, Inc. (LPOA) is concerned about the five options provided. Four of the five divide our community in half, with each half reporting to a different community council. The fifth option shifts Leaside into a much larger ward quite unlike us in policies and priorities.

This is not “effective representation,” nor does it acknowledge and respect historical geographic and social connections.

“Voter parity” is not the only important consideration, and frankly it is less important than preserving neighbourhood identity. Moreover, dividing a cohesive community between two separate community councils creates less good representation, certainly requiring more complicated, work-intensive efforts to retain neighbourhood patterns and identity.

We feel very strongly that council should choose from a larger number of options than the five in this report, with much greater (per ward?) public notification and consultation.

And while council considers ward size/population, and other potential proposed designs, it might be worth also considering whether returning to the (post-amalgamation) six community councils, one per previous municipality, might reduce the above problems.

We would appreciate your letting your council colleagues at City Hall know of our strongly negative response to the Options Report. I would be surprised if there weren’t other communities who also face division according to the limited choices prescribed in the report.

Thank you for your consideration,

Carol Burtin Fripp,

Co-President with
Geoff Kettel, LPOA

Taxpayers did not get their money’s worth from the consultant who didn’t seem to know Leaside is a closely-knit neighbourhood (Will Leaside be split up? Sept/15). But this is not the first time Leasiders have been burned by so-called experts.

It was in the pages of Leaside Life, some four years ago, that excerpts were published of a “study” into the impact of the SmartCentres. The report asserted “while there could be a minor propensity for traffic infiltration into the local roads west of Laird Dr., the long-term impact after the LRT opens is expected to be negligible….”

In the latest issue of Leaside Life, the new ward councillor, Sheriff Burnside, has found himself dealing with duplicity by Metrolinx within a stone’s throw of the Premier’s riding office. The headline of his column asks, “Can we trust Metrolinx?”

We are told we need density to support the LRT.

Planners: If you are the “experts” you keep telling us you are, let Councillor Burnside in on the precise calculations you have used to determine just how much density, how many condos, are necessary to make the LRT pay for itself. If  it takes all the condos being planned (for example on a two-block stretch of Eglinton near Yonge condos of 60, 60, 47, 30, 30 and 34 floors) you obviously do not believe the people in the houses will take the LRT.

You have argued we need to do this to fight sprawl and to reduce gridlock and emissions but, in truth, you will not have changed a thing but to make daily life more miserable for everyone, even the people sitting in the patio cafes sipping wine which they blow back out through their nostrils when they see the $200,000,000-plus bill for Eglinton Connects.

Bob Murphy,
Eglinton East

Re Lorna Krawchuk’s column in the last issue, the Quonset hut at Laird and Wicksteed was not related to the Leaside Aerodrome which closed in the early 1930s. It just happens to be located on the same land, but long after the aerodrome was shut down. It was possibly related to a World War II-era industry, similar to another Quonset hut still to be found on Canvarco Rd. But the hangars used by the aerodrome were located where the Home Depot now stands and the last one was removed in 1971.

Rudy Limeback,
Bayview Ave.

Is the Toronto Morgentaler clinic at Hillsdale and Bayview going to be part of the new Bayview Leaside BIA?  I certainly hope so!

I can think of few other businesses on the stretch that do a greater service to the Leaside community and to the whole City of Toronto. The Morgentaler Clinic should be a source of great pride for Leasiders.

Blaise Alleyne,
Eglinton East

Editor’s note: Bayview Leaside BIA chair Trae Zammit says all commercial properties in the BIA area (Bayview between Davisville and Soudan) have the BIA levy added to the property tax bill and tenants can participate in the BIA.