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June 25th – 109 Ossington Community Consultation – Meeting Reminder

If you’ve walked Ossington recently you may have noticed some signs saying “Let’s Talk About Ossington.” They are encouraging community participation in an upcoming meeting regarding the new development at 109 Ossington. Whenever a new development happens the city planners are required to hold such a meeting, so this isn’t anything out of the ordinary process of community participation.

The meeting is taking place at the Trinity Recreation Centre, 155 Crawford St between 7 and 9pm.

The official link to the meeting is here. And don’t go to the meeting unprepared! Download the preliminary report for the meeting here.

We will be in attendance, of course.  We will also set a live feed of the meeting on our site thanks to the services of CoveritLive.  We will be using the hashtag #CC109Oz which will be run into the live feed. Feel free to participate online if you can’t make it.

 

  • Melinda

    And tweet with the hashtag if you DO make it!

  • sol_chrom

    Hi folks:

    My understanding is that only the planner and the developer will be allowed to make formal presentations. Members of the community and concerned citizens will be allowed to comment and ask questions afterward, but there is no provision for actual deputations. This is not Mike’s idea, it’s just the way the city planning department does things. 

    A dreadful cynic might suggest that the setup is pretty much designed to make ordinary members of the public look angry and reactive. It’s not an ideal way to forge collaborative relationships, and it’s got the potential for confrontation and volatile tempers. The kind of coverage that generates could be more harmful than helpful, so it might be worth keeping that in mind going in.

  • http://www.smartgrowthforossington.ca/ Jessica Wilson

    Yes, it’s strange that members of the community are not allowed to use visual media, Sol.  I asked and argued for the right to do this, as required to appropriately communicate certain points I would like to make; more generally, I always use PowerPoint presentations when giving talks, since it’s much more efficient and leads to better audience comprehension than the spoken word alone.  I was denied, met with the “well, this is how we always do it” response.  I’m planning on pressuring the Planning dept. to change this in future: surely community members should be allowed to use modern expressive resources when providing input.  Meanwhile, your point about keeping it chill is very well taken.

    Also relevant to Sol’s comment, and to the meeting more generally, is preparing in advance for what you want to say.  It might be better to focus on one particular issue and develop that point in some (concise) detail, rather than try to hit every point that might be made about the proposal.

  • boooozilla

    The community already looks “angry and reactive” thanks to the tone of those ubiquitous posters. The “Keep Ossington Real” campaign smacks of newly arrived yuppy NIMBYs, riding their wave of self-entitled gentrification. The many valid concerns are diluted by “frat house” comparisons and subjective design critiques. A few Portuguese posters could have gone a long way in strengthening the communal voice. That said, 109OZ. should be restricted to 3 stories, no question.

  • Jessica Wilson

    To be a “Nimby” is to be someone who rejects a project that would
    enhance the public good just because it would interfere with some aspect
    of your pleasure. What is the public good that the introduction of
    MIDRISE development with chain store retail is supposed to bring about?
    One might suppose that the need for growth is the public good in
    question. But growth is a public good only if it is smart. Alll sound
    planning principles—enshrined in Toronto’s Official Plan—say that
    growth should be appropriately integrated into existing built form, and
    should not negatively impact abutting neighborhoods. The introduction
    of MIDRISE development with chain store retail would not be good growth,
    since it would (a) drastically depart from existing built form on
    Ossington, and (b) drastically negatively impact dozens of residential
    homes, not to mention raise serious safety concerns (see Smart Growth
    for Ossington’s remarks on the 109OZ proposal for details). Moreover,
    the call for growth—that is, good growth, that does not cause more
    problems than it solves—can be answered while staying within the
    LOWRISE by-law limits—there is double or even triple the room for
    additional density within these limits. On Ossington, we have not
    outgrown the by-law. There is no good reason to go MIDRISE on
    Ossington, and many good reasons to STAY LOWRISE. Sorry, that’s not
    quite correct. Some people would stand to make millions of dollars by
    air-dropping a MIDRISE condo onto LOWRISE Ossington. But that’s not a
    public good. To resist the imposition of development whose only real
    motivation is profit—not the public good—and which would drastically
    negatively impact both business and residential communities is not
    NIMBY-ism. It is common sense.

  • Pingback: Tempers Flare at Community Consultation on Ossington Condos | news | Torontoist

  • Jessica Wilson

    To start, we agree that some of the earlier flyers were a bit rhetorically overblown. We are new to this local activism thing, and are still finding our feet; hence the much mellower tone of our ‘Let’s talk about Ossington’ flyer—people can decide for themselves about whether to support the proposed development, on the basis of the facts.

    Still, thanks to these ubiquitous posters, as well as heavy engagement with both business owners, the Portuguese community (which included a mailbox flyer in Portuguese and door-to-door canvassing with my Portuguese neighbor), the Givins-Shaw school community, and more generally reaching out to all those who appreciate Ossington’s presently wonderful business district and neighborhood vibe, we had one of the biggest turnouts ever for a Community Consultation meeting—500+ people. Randy of Beaconsfield Residents Association said “It was the one meeting you had to be at in the last 7 years”. Councillor Mike Layton explicitly said that if we was trying to get our point across, we were completely successful.

    Moreover, Layton has responded to the overwhelming show of community opposition to the proposal by promising to immediately initiate an ‘Area Study’ of Ossington, as directed by Policy 3 of the ‘Healthy Neighborhoods’ Section of the Official Plan, when “significant intensification” threatens to negatively impact neighborhoods or otherwise destablilize the community area. And dedicated City Planner Francis Kwashie, who is legally obliged to take community opinion into account, heard everyone loud and clear.

    This meeting was a huge success for the Community at large. Thanks again to Ossington Village for helping to get the word out!

  • Jessica Wilson

    Ummm… didn’t you give the event just that kind of coverage, Sol?

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