A complicated story

I’m going to ask you to do something a bit hard: to recognize that in an argument, both parties can be wrong.

This week, some community members started organizing against the supportive housing LOFT announced on Church Street. They put flyers on street posts and in mailboxes (including my own).

The flyers said that “crime, drugs, theft, property damage, low income, [and] prostitution” are problems in the community—and that “the former Humber River Regional hospital is turning 5 houses on Church St. into rooming/halfway houses for profit”.

As far as I can tell, little of that is accurate. They’re not going to be “rooming” (for profit) or “halfway houses” (for former criminals). They are “supportive housing for outgoing patients facing mental health challenges”, according to Debora Jesus, from LOFT.

Nor are they likely for profit. They are owned by the hospital, and LOFT is a charity, not a business. I’m not a lawyer, but this seems impossible. (And I’ll leave it to you to decide whether Weston has a large problem with petty crime. I don’t think so.)

But LOFT and the HRH don’t come out of this blameless.

I don’t think they did enough consultation, or sought opinions from far enough around the community.

I’m far from a good barometer, but I do try to keep attuned to what’s going on in Weston. I didn’t hear about LOFT’s “information session” (notably, not a consultation) until after it had passed.

I wasn’t the only one. Several members of the Weston Village Neighbours group didn’t know about it, and MPP Faisal Hassan wrote a letter to the CEO of LOFT saying he would have hoped to have been included. He wasn’t.

He also wrote “I … urge you to have broad community consultations and to involve local residents and elected officials such as myself.”

LOFT, for their part, says that they met with the WVRA and Frances Nunziata, and circulated flyers in a 3-block radius.

They also say, however, that “there are no further in-person meetings planned”.

This sort of stuff isn’t rocket science. I’m in favour of supportive housing, but LOFT should have known—or been told—that Weston gets quite enough “information” and not enough consultation from developers, Metrolinx, and, yes, the Humber River Regional Hospital. (Which announced years ago that they would be selling the property until, whoops, community members told them that they legally couldn’t.)

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

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A neighbour
1 month ago

Interestingly, not ALL residents received this flyer in their mailboxes… selective distribution? In any case, I’m appalled by the language in this. I guess compassion only goes so far with some.

And agree 100% that the limited to no pre-consultation is a definite problem. Especially if this has been in the works for a while as it seems. Funding doesn’t ‘just happen’. Really bad judgement on the hospital and LOFTS part. Do better…

Travis Moore
1 month ago

People in this neighborhood continue to be blinded by what is going on in this neighborhood.
Shootings in broad daylight at a very busy plaza on a Saturday afternoon. Shooting in a Pizza Pizza, stabbing in broad daylight on a weekday at Shoppers Drug Mart and you fail to mention crime and drugs is not an issue in Weston. Invite some friends over, ones that have not been over to see you in awhile. Give them directions to drive down Weston Road and then wait for their comments. You mention Frances Nunziata, well she is well past her due date when it comes to representing the people in Weston. The only time anyone hears from her is come election time.

Anonymous
1 month ago
Reply to  Travis Moore

Exactly Travis!

Elizabeth Shepherd
1 month ago

I agree we should be better informed on this issue.

I looked up LOFT – According to their 19/20 financial statements, the majority of their funding 2019/20 $45,570.043 is from government grants received and $40,766.264 in salaries and benefits are paid out. (they emply over 700 people) Fundraising expenses were $380,081. Administration costs were $2,289,404. Several other smaller contributions from members of the public and service clubs are listed.

I cannot find anything online about the Residents Association. The last AGM that was posted on their website was 2014. I can find no record of any financial statements ever being posted.

I have a lot of questions so have sent an email to LOFT outlining my concerns, and if and when I get the answers I will share.

1 month ago

@Travis Moore, I don’t share your views on Weston but you have my respect because you have the courage to put your name behind your comments. On the other hand, this flyer was circulated anonymously. The main thing that bothered me about the flyer (aside from it being anonymous) is that the writer lumped in “low income” with the list of “crimes”. Since when is being broke a crime? At some point in our lives (student/ senior/ unemployed) haven’t we all had “low income”? Does having a low income make you the same as a drug dealer? I hope not. We need low-income housing in our community, just like every other community.
Secondly, as much as there are elements of ‘small town’ to Weston, which I love, we do NOT live in a small town. We live in one of the biggest cities in North America and yes, there is crime, prostitution, drugs etc. We have to accept that and also accept that the city offers pathways to heal from those things… halfway houses, recovery centers etc. and some even have to be in our own “backyards”. That’s the part of living in the city.

Susan
1 month ago

What is the email address to sign the petition?

fred stanford
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

I see the email was not in the picture above
[email protected]

Anonymous
1 month ago

What happened to the Humber River Hospital land? Did the City get it back?

Anonymous
1 month ago

Everyone says oh there wasn’t enough consultation when they really mean is they didn’t get to say NO enough times. Really what good would have come from more consultation? Loud misinformed yelling? Because that is what “consultation” is.

Anonymous
1 month ago
Reply to  Anonymous

true

fred stanford
1 month ago

I have had a love affair with Weston since I was a small child.
A great place for people to live and grow with likeminded views.
A place where you would dream of the future and see a rainbow at the end of the horizon.
I have friends tell me I live in a shitty neighbourhood and I use to defend my beloved Weston. But not anymore.
The person we trusted the most, our dear Francis Nunziata is in cahoots with developers to turn Weston into a overpopulated mega hi-rise urban ghetto.
Our cute town will be be no more. All the little shops at Weston Road and Little Ave. will be torn down for hi-rise rentals. More hi-rise at Weston and Lawrence with renderings of a beautiful happy life in Weston. Another crafty Frances Nunziata job of lining the pockets of developers and owners of properties on the Weston strip.
Also the 5 hospital houses on Church street turning into housing for drug addicted outpatients is a slap in the face to people of Weston trying to raise a family. This type of housing near primary schools makes me so mad. The decisions are made by people who live outside our community for our community. Let the people of Weston have the say in how great Weston could be.
All these behind closed door deals will be Frances Nunziatas legacy.
Weston WAS a great place to live and grow.

NuttyProfessor
1 month ago
Reply to  fred stanford

Good grief, get a clue. Loft is provincial, receiving assent and funding from the ministry of health, your dear MPP was made aware of the plan mid august, minutes are public record. Drug dealers, ffs, this is a transitional home for persons needing mental health support, your rhetoric is disgusting, elitist, and delusional. As for the rest of your tirade against the councillor, at least pick a topical article (i.e. development) to spew your tribal, offensive rhetoric.

Anonymous
1 month ago
Reply to  NuttyProfessor

The way Loft and Frances Nunziata conducted this scheme is disgusting.
The author of this article made mention “LOFT, for their part, says that they met with the WVRA and Frances Nunziata”.
I don’t know who the WVRA are to be able to speak on the community’s behalf as they are not transparent. That is the meeting I would like to see minutes of.
Way too many hidden meetings.
@ nutty professor there was no mention of drug dealers, ffs.

Anonymous
1 month ago
Reply to  Anonymous

The City has no say in this, the properties are hospital assets, get your head out of your ass. You’re railing against supportive housing for people with dementia for christ’s sake.

Anonymous
1 month ago

“As far as I can tell, little of that is accurate. They’re not going to be “rooming” (for profit) or “halfway houses” (for former criminals). They are “supportive housing for outgoing patients facing mental health challenges”, according to Debora Jesus, from LOFT.”

Very true. Sadly, some in the community (including the MPP) are actively promoting toxic “alternative facts”: https://fb.watch/8ZMcb6kLF5/