Committee of the Whole (Public Hearing)
Tuesday November 26th, 2013 at 7 pm
Item 2. Draft Concord GO Centre Secondary Plan (File 26.3)
Deputation by Dr. Gila Martow of the Beverly Glen Ratepayers Association:
Hi. I’m Gila Martow from the Beverly Glen Ratepayers Association and I want to make a few points. One is – I don’t know if people here are aware but there was supposed to be an exit from the 407 onto Centre Street. Right now the distance between the exit at Keele and the exit at Dufferin is the biggest stretch on the 407 without an exit. The reason that exit did not move forward is because the people of Glen Shields, with support from the then City Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco, argued against it and they felt it would bring too much traffic near their homes. So, to say that advocacy can’t make changes is just untrue. Susan Kadis has also changed – Centre Street was supposed to be widened up to Yonge St., she fought [together] with the residents – it has stayed a country lane. So, it’s very important to have support and support from the Council to say to the Province – listen, we’re increasing density as much as we can, but we also have to also respect the quality of life of our residents. We have to respect the communities. People to the north of us are coming through our communities. You’ve allowed building to the north, that’s not our fault, even north of York Region, you’ve allowed all kinds of development. The cars are traveling through our areas and unless, you know, you’re going to build some super highways to take people around our areas, we have to allow these people to come on our roads.
As far as transit goes, we all have been to New York, I think most of us have been to New York, and the subways work great, everybody takes the subways, even if you’re Donald Trump, you take the subways. But, you don’t see Donald Trump taking a bus. People take taxis. Maybe he takes a limo. But people take taxis in Manhattan between the subways. There are cheap taxis. We do not have inexpensive taxis and I think that that is one of the prime reasons why we don’t see more people more often taking public transit. They would take a taxi from their house to a subway stop if they could do it, like the way they can do it in Manhattan. For $11.00, you can take a taxi a fair distance. Here, it would cost about $20.00 – $25.00. So maybe something we need to look at is somehow lowering the cost of our taxis.
Having more subway stops doesn’t get people to use more transit because it just slows down the route if you’re traveling long distances. Everybody knows, on the Council, that I don’t think that the Rapidway for the the Highway 7 route should travel through the Thornhill area. Today there was another accident. It’s been a regular occurrence at the corner of Disera and Centre Street – a terrible accident with a fire truck. Councillor Shefman is on our Ward 5 Vaughan Residents Stay Connected group and the picture is up there so you can take a look at it.
I support Dr. Correa’s vision of a hub. Downtown, somebody built, I forget the gentleman’s name, a skywalk. Do you know what I’m talking about? The Action Party has been there from CJPAC. It’s a glass walkway that goes right over the streets and connects between transit and I think the Air Canada Centre [ed. The Skywalk connects Union Station to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, CN Tower and the Rogers Centre]. It’s rented out at nights. It’s highly profitable. And why can’t we have some kind of a connection of a retail walkway? People don’t mind walking to transit so much as they mind walking outside. It’s hot in the summer, it might rain, it’s windy, it’s cold, there’s snow. I don’t want to ruin my boots. But, if we have a nice walkway, the way we see in other cities, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, that can take people, basically, from Dufferin and Centre. There’s a new development going up on the north west corner, and I looked at the plans and it’s just again buildings and parking and buildings and parking and retail but there’s no indoor, continuous retail walkway that people can come, even from the Beverley Glen area, come to the end of Beverley Glen and Dufferin, walk through that whole complex down towards Centre and Highway 7, coming from Centre and Dufferin into that complex, walk through, so you’re not walking outside with the 407 crossing over you – that you’re through that complex and it connects to some kind of skywalk that goes over to a GO station that should be on the north side, which is where it was originally. I’ve met with Fred Darvish from Liberty Development and I asked him about Dr. Correa’s proposal and that was about two years ago, and he laughed and he said the reason he doesn’t want to build his development with a GO station is because he doesn’t think people want to buy condos where there’s a GO station underneath. I thought that was ludicrous. Of course people would, if it’s built properly and quietly and if there’s no diesel from trains. And I think that basically what he was saying was I don’t want it because I don’t have to have it. And why would we build this high density development and make people cross the street to take transit? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Thank you very much.