City Council Approves Ossington Area Planning Study

Yesterday, Toronto city council approved a planning study for the Ossington area by a vote of 33-8.

If you didn’t live in the neighbourhood you’d think that there were angry protests going on constantly from the amount of press one development proposal has received. Much of this attention can be attributed to a group formerly known as  Smart Growth for Ossington, which has recently changed its name to the Ossington Community Association. They have been successfully soliciting media to focus on the 109 Ossington Proposal. Now, Torontoist, The Grid, The Star, the National Post, Global TV, Omni TV, and Toronto Life have all produced stories about both the community meeting itself and this issue as a reflection of the general Toronto tension between condo developers/residents and the homeowners who live near them. Spacing recently did a cross post from Alex Bozikovic, an architecture writer, which took an editorial stance on the issue.

Mike Layton has been actively listening to his constituents and has undertaken a couple of processes to get things moving, including the area study approved yesterday in council. Area studies generally don’t get approved on first passage, often having to go to community approval and then back to council. The area study takes time, as it enters a queue with a number of other area studies running concurrently. The purpose of the study is to help city planners decide how to handle applications made by developers.

Mike also endeavored to push through an area visioning study which will help to guide the area study. The visioning study involves a panel of 15 or so local residents and experts to help guide the visioning process.  The visioning study group will host a series of community meetings to involve a broader number of community members and get their opinions. Details will be released in the next few days and we will keep you informed.

  • Jessica Wilson

    This is fantastic news. Thanks to Mike Layton for working to get these two important processes up and running!

  • I should note that it is not really correct to say that Smart Growth for Ossington changed its name to Ossington Community Association.

    Smart Growth for Ossington was a casual grouping with no formal structure, operating on a strictly emergency basis, and ‘led’ (if you can call it that) by me for an ad hoc purpose, namely getting bodies to T-B Rec Centre on June 25.
    The Ossington Community Association, by contrast, is, by design, an entirely Robert’s Rules-compliant Society — bylaws, formal membership rolls, well-defined leadership and committee structure, elected leadership — with the object of promoting the flourishing of the neighbourhood (above Queen to Harrison, Crawford to Dovercourt) and its business districts (the Ossington Strip and the Dundas Bend).
    Detailed information on OCA is available at ossingtoncommunity.ca.
    At present the OCA is operating under provisional bylaws, led by a provisional executive board. We are about to roll out our summer membership drive — cost free for all residents of the neighbourhood, nearly all concerns operating in the business districts, and friends of the neighbourhood: watch your mailbox for our literature. Once the membership rolls are sufficiently expansive to warrant a first general meeting, OCA will “de-provisionalize” its bylaws and exec board, and be established as an entirely regular Community Association.
    The relation between SGO and OCA is this. (1) SGO has wound up its operations and transferred its intellectual property to OCA: this transition occurred on 3 July, the day OCA was chartered, voted in its provisional bylaws, and elected its provisional exec board. (2) There is, of course, significant overlap between the exec board of OCA and some of the more active participants in SGO: the membership of the provisional exec board is available in the ‘OCA structure’ file linked at ossingtoncommunity.ca. But OCA has already expanded its membership well beyond the group more active in SGO — indeed, we see a “big tent” approach as essential to our object of promoting the flourishing of the neighbourhood and its business districts. (3) OCA is, in light of this overlap and the transfer of intellectual property, continuing some of the principal projects of SGO: though it is once again worth stressing that while actions of SGO were those of the individual members gathered under that name, actions of OCA are, in light of bylaw restrictions, permissions, and mandates, representative of the will of the membership.

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