Now that the provincial election is over, the question is: what happens next?
Specifically, what happens next for Leaside, and for the larger City of Toronto?
We’ve all heard, over and over, that the city is the ‘creature’ of the province and that the provincial government is not only in the driver’s seat, but also the owner of the car.
Time will tell whether any of the controversial provincial changes made to our city’s planning procedures in recent (pre-election) months will remain or be amended, but for now residents’ groups like the Leaside Residents Association (LRA) have work to do at the city level. This means communicating and working with our councillor and city staff on matters concerning or affecting Leaside.
I’m a strong believer in playing devil’s advocate to proposed planning and traffic applications and bylaws: taking the time to try to prevent unintended negative impacts, or at least to minimize them. As that old saying goes: “Act in haste, repent at leisure.”
Even with MZOs (Ministers’ Zoning Orders) and other policies fast-tracking housing and infrastructure, it is worth the effort to push for meaningful public consultations. One is not a NIMBY by holding out for good planning.
Leaside’s location, in midtown Toronto, with the new Crosstown set to cut through our middle, makes us a very desirable target for development. As you have no doubt noticed, development applications are now being submitted not only on our outskirts, but also closer to us. It is important that your voice, opinions, and concerns are heard.
The LRA, to be effective, needs your support to be effective. That means being a dues-paying ($30 annually) full member. It means joining the LRA board of directors, getting involved in issues which affect you, and sharing your point of view and experience with us. Leaside as a community is stronger when the community is engaged.
Don Valley West all candidates’ meeting
Were you among the over 600 attendees at the recent all candidates Zoom meeting before the provincial election? We organized it in conjunction with nine other Don Valley West residents’ associations, and we are considering holding a similar meeting before the October municipal election.
At this point we do not know who is running for councillor in our ward. A final list of candidates in the municipal election will only be certified by the City Clerk on Mon., Aug. 22, so it’s still early days. If there isn’t a contest in Ward 15, we might consider turning what would otherwise have been an all candidates meeting into a town hall opportunity: to offer ideas and proposals, with attendees identifying or suggesting priorities and directions they think the City should take (or NOT take). I’m interested in your opinion! Please email the LRA at the address below.
The next meeting of the Leaside Residents Association is on Wed., July 6th via Zoom. You are welcome to attend any of the LRA’s monthly board meetings, which take place on the first Wednesday of each month. If you’d like to come and watch, ask questions, or participate, please let us know by July 6th so we can send you the access details. You can also reach us at www.leasideresidents.ca.