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Friends of Silver Creek - Letter to the Editor

On May 14, 2018 The Etobicoke Guardian published a story on the Buttonwood Hill RA Provincial All-Candidates Meeting:  

"Verbal punches thrown in Etobicoke Centre race. Party politics at play at all-candidates'. 

Friends of Silver Creek did not agree with statements made during the all-candidates meeting and FofSC Co-Chair Janet Griffiths-Maxymiw provided a response which was published online May 31, 2018. 

Ford’s Lack of Civic Vision Continues to Create Headaches for Eglinton Ave West Area   
Published May 31 2018, The Etobicoke Guardian

To the editor:

Re: Verbal punches thrown in Etobicoke Centre Race, May 14

Kinga Surma’s statement at the Buttonwood Resident’s Association's all-candidates' meeting held May 11 that “they (Ford Nation) found $875 million ... through efficiencies” should resonate deeply with Eglinton West Corridor residents from Scarlett Road to Martingrove Avenue.

During that “stop the gravy train mandate,” the Eglinton Avenue West city properties were transferred in 2014 to Build Toronto (now Create TO), the city’s real estate and development corporation. These lands, long reserved for anticipated transportation needs, were sold and rezoned to allow development.

Etobicoke North Coun. Doug Ford sat on the Build Toronto board. Money went into the city coffers, but Ford’s lack of civic vision will continue to create headaches for Etobicoke residents for many years.

Current development population projection on the former city land from Widdicombe Hill to Wincott Avenue is 3,000+. These figures don’t include the daily influx of employees, shoppers and visitors to the Shannex Seniors building currently being constructed, nor to the proposed new Richview Square development (proposed three towers with retail). The projected population for the Lanterra development (Plant World) east of Royal York is 3,500.

Land reserved for transportation was sold under the Ford watch and now local residents are urged to support an LRT surface track in the middle of Eglinton Avenue West in an already narrow, congested stretch.

In addition, local residents are asking where is the supporting infrastructure for the population increase? Where are community supports, what is the impact on recreational space? Ward 4 has been identified by the city as lacking a community centre, but where will the land be found? The city owned that land on Eglinton Avenue West, but it was sold — to developers.

Traffic on Eglinton Avenue West is intense — tragically, on May 11 a vehicle slammed into a newly built townhouse unit. More development keeps coming because it can — the Eglinton corridor is identified as a priority transit corridor and thus justifies the growth plan — but ironically, the transit land was sold to allow that intensification.

In the meantime, Etobicoke Centre MPP Yvan Baker succeeded in having the remaining Toronto Build/Create TO lands along Eglinton Avenue West withdrawn from the market and in December 2017, Baker convinced Mayor John Tory that a tunnelling study is necessary.

City lands were sold to make money for the city. Sounds good “on the stump” but the actual experience is different. But Ford Nation never considered what the future would look like, nor reflected on the impact to community and services.

Janet Griffiths-Maxymiw, Friends of Silver Creek

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