Defend the Beach design guidelines and protect Queen Street

Standing on the corner of Queen and Woodbine, the first thing you notice is the 108-year-old Beach fire hall, a landmark in our neighbourhood. Beyond that stretches the historic main street that makes our community so unique.

Unfortunately, the gateway to the Beach is being threatened with two condo buildings that do not adhere to the Beach Urban Design Guidelines we all worked so hard to create.

I strongly believe in citizen-led planning, and I know that many of you do too. That’s why hundreds of Beachers helped create guidelines and a zoning by-law for new development on Queen Street East last year. Our community-created rules explain what acceptable heights, footprints and styles for new developments  are on Queen Street East.

Two developers have chosen to challenge the rules we created, and we are ready to defend them.

On Oct. 7, the Ontario Municipal Board will hear our case. I will be there, as will the City of Toronto’s legal team and the Greater Beach Neighbourhood Association. We will fight to enforce the planning rules this community created and tell developers that they cannot ignore this community’s wishes. We will tell the OMB that the proposed buildings are unacceptable in their current form. This community is not against all new development, but what is built here must respect the history and character of our area.

Here is what you can do to help enforce the Beach Urban design Guidelines and tell the OMB that we know what’s best for our main street.

1. Support the Greater Beach Neighbourhood Association through a donation at

2. Let Premier Kathleen Wynne and our MPP know that you support removing Toronto from the OMB.

3. Sign the petition on my website,, to ask the province to remove Toronto from the OMB.

4. Come to the OMB hearing on Oct. 7 to show your support for our community’s planning rules (see my website for more information).

5. Get involved! Sign up for a lawn sign, come out to the upcoming information nights and talk to your neighbours about the importance of this fight.

6. Come to the GBNA fundraising event at St. Aidan’s church on Sept. 25 at 7.30 p.m.


Mary-Margaret McMahon is a city councillor representing Ward 32 Beaches-East York

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To Whom It May Concern,

Stop the overdevelopment of the Beach neighbourhood.
As the city of Toronto continues to surrender its neighbourhoods to the destructive powers of developers its citizens are suffering.

Beach area citizens do not want to sacrifice their neighbourhood in the name of so called progress. Raising the ceiling height restrictions threatens the small town character of the area, a charming oasis in a busy city, which draws millions of tourists to it each year. The increase in motor traffic that will result from higher density condo building will have a disastrous effect on tourism. It will further clog an already constantly congested Queen Street East with dense traffic that will emit a constant flow of toxic automobile pollution pouring out to the pedestrian walkways that flank Queen Street between Woodbine Avenue and Fallingbrook.

Our elected Politicians must represent the people if they are to survive. The people of this neighbourhood have spoken loud and clear in support of the fight to retain the wonder of the Toronto Beach neighbourhood for generations to come.

Marla DiGiacomo

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