Dr. Martow’s deputation, Committee of the Whole, Nov 26, 2013, 7 pm, Item #3 (File OP.07.013)

Committee of the Whole (Public Hearing)
Tuesday November 26th, 2013 at 7 pm
Item 3.  Official Plan Amendment, File OP.07.013
Liberty Development Corp,
Proposed development in the vicinity of Regional Road 7 and Keele Street

Deputation by Dr. Gila Martow of the Beverly Glen Ratepayers Association:

Hi. Gila Martow, again.  I just wanted to make a couple of comments, reiterate a little bit of what Dr. Correa just said.  It doesn’t really make sense to me.  It’s kind of like planning your wedding and you don’t have a fiancé, let alone a boyfriend yet.  It seems a little ridiculous to plan this whole project based on the words ‘transit hub’.  You know, everybody says ‘Oh yes.  We should go ahead.  Build higher density development because there’s going to be a transit hub’.  Well, I mean how can we possibly plan for a transit hub when we haven’t decided a) if there’s going to be a GO station, which I think there should be and b) where it’s going to be.  The GO station was closed, let me be clear, my understanding is that there was a GO station at this point [ed. north of Highway 7 on the Floral Lands], I think it was called the Concord GO station and it was at the north east corner of this intersection [of Highway #7 and Keele Street] and it was closed from lack of use, I guess, in the late 1960s, early 1970s.  I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t reopen it in the same location, if that was a good enough location back then.  It’s certainly a good enough location for me now.  And people would be traveling, more people coming to it hopefully from the north, you would have some kind of northern network and people can get into it.  We have to plan the parking and hopefully not one group of parking spaces, since everybody gets off the train at the same time and they all want to leave the parking lot at the same time.  There is land available, as I mentioned before, that the 407 was supposed to go onto Centre Street, and that was blocked off.  There is land available and the Province is willing to give us the land, if it’s used for transit, at the corner of Highway 7 and Centre Street and there’s some land available from the Province at Centre and Dufferin, where the ramps were supposed to be. And I don’t see why we can’t build some multi-level parking where those ramps would have been, at all corners, as well as some other parking at other sides of the tracks.  If we want to build a GO station there, all we have to say is we want it and we have to have it or we can’t move forward – and call the Province’s bluff.  ‘You want high density development?  Then you’re going to have to work with us.  This is what we need in order to give you that high density development that you’re asking for.  Let’s negotiate.’  Build enough multi-level parking on either side, build the walkway – just like other countries have done, highly successful – when we have a transit hub, because we’re trying to look at ways to get people onto transit, and the way to do it is to make it pleasant.  Everybody has to walk at the airport.  Nobody wants to walk outside at the airport.  They want the moving sidewalks.  They want to have places to eat and shop and benches to sit down on and rest and some public washrooms.  So, I just want to finish by saying that the first thing we have to do is say that we want the GO station, say where we want the GO station and then plan around that.  Once those condos go up, afterwards, 10 years or 20 years, it’s going to be very sad to hear people say well that’s where the GO station should have been.  Why did we let those condos go up?  We all know once condos go up, they don’t come down.  Thank you very much.

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