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Old Posted Dec 13, 2011, 6:28 PM
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Citizens at public forum suspicious of plans to fast track waterfront development

Don’t push the Port Lands

Dec 13, 2011

By Ben Spurr

Read More: http://www.nowtoronto.com/daily/news...content=184301


Hundreds of people turned out to a public consultation on that subject Monday night. The prevailing sentiment, however, was that it doesn’t need to be sped up. The fear expressed by many is that rushing through the development risks bungling long-term goals of making Toronto’s waterfront ecologically sustainable, publically accessible, and pleasing to the eye. The consultation at the Toronto Reference Library was a joint effort by the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto, the arms-length agency in charge of harbour development, and was the first since council voted to accelerate planning for the massive Port Lands project.

- The capacity crowd that answered the call for feedback had plenty of suggestions, but few of them focused on fast-tracking development that will reshape nearly 1,000 acres of industrial land on the city’s eastern waterfront. Instead, when the nearly 700 people in attendance broke into working groups they came back with recommendations to conserve and expand recreational areas, or make sure the design work lives up to the highest ecological standards in the world. One group demanded to know why the project is being sped up at all. Another summed up the popular suspicion that Mayor Rob Ford’s administration is seeking to make a quick buck by selling off Port Lands to developers. “Don’t accelerate this project for short term-gain,” they advised.

- While there are still two rounds of public consultations and several stakeholder meetings to go before June, when a staff report on the accelerated plans is presented to city council, Campbell speculated that speeding up development could mean building less housing on the waterfront. Instead, Waterfront Toronto is eyeing big anchor projects that it could use to generate cash for the Don re-naturalization and more modest mixed-use residential construction. “Are there things we could put there that would spur development? Like a university, and entertainment area, or a research cluster,” Campbell said in an interview. “Are there ways we can bring the private sector in to finance this?” Where to find multi-billion dollar financing remains the huge question mark of the Port Lands review.


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Old Posted Dec 13, 2011, 6:31 PM
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Dont they realise how over inflated property markets are right now?

Do it asap!
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