September 10, 2012

Real BEACHERS do not want The Beach to become the size of Regent Park or St. Jamestown. But, developers don’t care about what we want. They want what they want, which is as much profit as possible, from as much and many developments as possible, anywhere possible, as soon as possible.  They seem to have enough money, time, and assistants to get all the influence they need for approval of their intentions.  They are remarkably cunning in advancing their projects.

     You don’t yet see it that way?  Consider the townhouse development between Edgewood and Hemlock Avenues.   It, and the proposed condominium at the present site of Lick’s on Queen Street, would be architectural anomalies, entirely out-of-place in The Beaches. If they are built, they will be degradations of the visual ambience of the neighborhoods they would invade. Their presence would reduce the values of households whose attractiveness has been largely based on peaceful-enjoyment of about a hundred years of traditional hominess. By what cunning have developers advanced so far toward final approval, and actual construction of their golden dreams?

     They have exploited the rules that were said to protect the interests of neighborhoods after possible suppression of them by amalgamation to create Metro Toronto.   Each municipality in Metro would be represented by its own Community Council within Metro.  Residents in each Community could present their opinions about proposals of Metro that they might want, or not want. In practice, Beachers  cannot  exert  much influence, if any. Why not ???  Community Council hearings are held at City Hall (100 Queen Street West), which is a long and slow streetcar trip from the Beach.   The hearings are held from 9 a.m.    to  4 p.m., only on weekdays. This regimen prevents job-holders and personal caregivers from attending. The meetings are not interactive, because deponents attending in person are allowed only five minutes, only once in any meeting, to express opinion. No cross-questioning, or cross-statements are allowed. Only three such meetings seem to have been held concerning the Lick’s site. Nevertheless, that seems to be a done-deal.  How so?

     A local meeting also was held, and was attended by Michael Prue. He praised the attendees for their heartfelt  expressions of opposition to a condominium at the Lick’s site.  He also indicated that their efforts had become doomed to failure.  What does he know, and does not say, if anything?

     Prue’s comments might cause some Beachers to give way.  There is precedent, however, to encourage us. Approval has not yet been granted by vote of Council.  Council might respond as the Provincial  Government responded to thousands of petitioners who demanded cancellation of the windmill  farm off the shoreline of The Beaches.

     The time to organize massive opposition to an architectural holocaust is now, before vote by Council. Prue might be right, because vote by Council might be overthrown only by the Ontario Municipal Board. They seem to be entirely on the side of developers.

    The greatest threat to The Beaches might be desperation built out of frustration.  There then may be panic to accept what we don’t want, so we will not have even worse thrust upon us.

     A condo at the Lick’s site would be only the next in a series of invasions that might be called  “Conquest-by-Condos”.



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