Quarry Lands group holds AGM

The Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development (CCQLD) will meet for its 2013 Annual General Meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, 33 East Rd., starting at 7:30 p.m.

The CCQLD board will update the community on recent developments. These include a recent Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) appearance by Gerrard Clonmore Developments (GCD), where the OMB ruled in favour of GCD related to high rise zoning rights.

Build Toronto also unveiled plans several months ago for its roughly 22 acres of land on the western end of the site.

The plan calls for about half of the land to be developed as low-rise housing, meaning two- or three-storey homes. About a quarter of the land will be set aside for a park (despite the current unofficial use of most of the vacant land as park space, only about five acres are actually zoned as parkland). The remaining quarter, fronting onto Victoria Park on the site of the former Beach Golf Fairway, will be developed as retail.

Rumours of a secret deal with a large discount retailer have been circulating in the neighbourhood; however, officials with Build Toronto said no deal has been signed with any retailer or retail management company.

In an email, Bruce Logan said Build Toronto is still actively looking to complete a deal with a tenant or tenants who “would best support the development objectives discussed with the community, and that would enable the revitalization of the former quarry lands as a new mixed-use neighbourhood…To confirm, no deals have been completed.”

He said Build Toronto has spoken with a wide range of potential tenants, and those discussions are ongoing.

In the meantime, Build Toronto is focusing its efforts on environmental concerns.

“A key focus right now is on the environmental cleanup and sustainability management measures across the site,” said Logan.

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This development should be stopped. The neighborhood is already too congested. There are only two NS access routes across the CN lines – Victoria Park and Warden. The area is congested and stressed because of the city bouind traffic on Gerrard-Clonmore and Kingston Road being squeezed south of the train tracks. The city’s traffic survey was taken before the Main Street townhouses were built and the survey is thus flawed and does not represent the current state of affairs.

The quarry landfill is still subsiding as can be checked because the city replaced both Gerrard St. fire hydrants in the past 8 years. Two utility access ports on the quarry lands stand one to two metres above the surroundingf fill because the fill is still compacting and subsiding. John’s garrage parking lot has sunken so badly in the past that ramps had to be used to manhandle cars from the lot into the service bay.

The quarrylands was an uncontrolled and unsupervised landfill and is now home to kestrels in the white oaks, groundhogs and from time to time is a refuge for coyotes to have their pups. It is a safe gathering place in the fall for a very large flock of blackbirds. All that wildlife will be lost, along with a peaceful getaway for trail biking kidsand dog walkers from miles away.

When open space becomes invisible in the not too distant overtaxed future, the quarry will be missed and we’ll ask how did that priceless property get developed? There are far better uses for it like a bandstand, a ball field, or just leave it alone…

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