News and opinions from the Jane & Sheppard area of Metropolitan Toronto. The news will usually reflect the views of the Sheppard West Neighbourhood Association (http://sheppardwest.org). This blog may also feature at times guest views and opinions.
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Ontario Municipal Board overrides city and the community again
Neighbourhood activists say they worry about the noise and mess that hundreds of undergraduates could bring. And locals fear the towering structure coming to 245 College, between Huron St. and Spadina Ave., will set a precedent for the construction of other tall buildings in the area.
The planned 25-storey student residence will be built at 245 College St., between Huron St. and Spadina Ave.
“I think it’s a dreadful decision,” said Ceta Ramkhalawansingh of the Grange Community Association. “It means the end of all of the heritage on College St. There are two or three other applications that want 20-plus storey buildings.”
“This is exactly the reason the OMB needs to be abolished — because it will destroy neighbourhoods.”
Patrick Miksa, vice-president for academic assets at Knightstone, said he was “pleased” with the ruling. “We moved forward with the OMB after all efforts had been exhausted,” he said. “We believe in the process that’s in place and we followed it. We’ll obviously make the best efforts to ensure that (the residence) fits well in the community.”
Opponents of the residence forced the reduction of its proposed height from 42 storeys to 25 over the course of a prolonged battle. But they still feel that the OMB and the developer won.
Ramkhalawansingh says residents of the neighbourhood have been serially abused throughout the process; the university “leased this land in secret, in a secret meeting, to a private developer. So we get f---ed by the OMB and we get f---ed by the university, and we’re about to get screwed again by the developer.”.
The story of police understaffing has been somehow dominating the headlines for quite a while. Although there are far more police per capita in Toronto than in London for instance, Toronto police officers are reportedly so “demoralized” that they took a symbolic vote against Chief Mark Saunders.