Redway is upset by the SmartCentre deal

There were only two Leaside speakers at the North York Community Council meeting April 9, one announcing that Leaside Property Owners’ Association and Leaside Unite had dropped their opposition to the SmartCentre North development, the other upset about it.

LPOA and LU had reached an agreement with SmartCentres shortly before the meeting, LPOA vice-president Carol Burtin Fripp announced.

Alan Redway, a former Leaside councillor, East York mayor and federal cabinet minister, said, “While the associations have agreed to a settlement, I haven’t.”

He called the proposed retail complex at Laird and Wicksteed another threat to Leaside’s proud industrial past. Approve more such development, he said, and the remaining industry will leave, taking its taxes and jobs with it.

Just say no, he urged.

The two local associations said they had achieved the best result possible without the help of Councillor John Parker (see Page 3). “We feel this is a good settlement,” said Fripp.

A big concern of the community has been the 80,000 square foot size of the anchor tenant because it is expected to be Walmart. The LU and LPOA wanted that space reduced to 60,000 square feet.

Parker says he had discussed the reduction with his fellow community council members and was told unless there was a serious flaw with the proposal studies, they would approve the 80,000 square feet.

He says city staff told him the Ontario Municipal Board was almost certain to approve the 80,000 square feet.

In a message to his e-News subscribers he wrote:

“I considered going through the charade of bringing a motion for 60,000 sq ft anyway, but decided, no, let’s all be grownups about this and face facts.”

A decision on the development now goes to Toronto city council.