And another approval: 8 Locust

City Council also approved the demolition of six rental units at 8–16 Locust Street and 15 Oxford Drive in the way of a proposed highrise building. The motion requires that the builders compensate and provide new accommodation to the tenants.

UrbanToronto says the 36-storey building “was approved by the Ontario Land Tribunal earlier this year”.

Drawing from Trolleybus

Two other City Council motions of interest

City Council approved a motion by Councillor Nunziata to research a Somali Community Centre. The motion, which was co-sponsored by Mayor Tory, will ask city staff to “work with the Somali Cultural and Recreation Centre Steering Committee in Toronto and the impacted Councillors to explore potential partnerships for a new community cultural and recreation centre”.

Council also voted to give recurring $7500 payments to residents of Rockcliffe-Smythe who experienced flooding. The motion says eligible properties must be “within the Rockcliffe Special Policy Area and hydraulically connected sewer catchment, where beneficial works have been identified by a completed Basement Flooding EA Study but the work is not yet commissioned”.

This motion is controversial. City staff recommended against it, and Councillor Perks moved that it be made available to any similar Toronto property. His motion was defeated.

Columnist Heather Mallick said it is a waste of money:

Nunziata isn’t leaving; she isn’t any good; she would be equally un-good anywhere else. Who cares if Toronto ultimately blows an uncapped $6 million on homeowners in one floodplain while ignoring nine other floodplains? 

Voters care….Why not $6 million more for parks along the major roads where midrise condos are being built, and downtown where towers are packed in like Lego?

The motion passed 16 votes to 7.

City Council approves Weston Road and Little Ave development

City Council approved the very large development at Weston and Little this week. According to UrbanToronto, it was adopted with no debate.

If built, the development will include two tall towers—one 29-storeys, and one 35-storeys—between the Dollar Store and Little Avenue. They will share an 8- storey podium.

Nunziata asks for Somali community cultural centre

City Council will ask staff to study the feasibility of a Somali community cultural centre if Frances Nunziata’s motion is approved this week at City Hall this week.

The motion says,

While the Somali community continues to thrive, it also faces significant systemic barriers due to anti-Black racism and Islamophobia. Many studies, including the work of the City’s Confronting Ant-Black [sic] Racism Unit, and also the testimony of Somali residents at City Council or local boards have documented the deleterious impacts of systemic racism on the prosperity of this dynamic and vibrant community. In addition, action 7.1 in the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Action Plan calls on the City to “improve recreation spaces in neighborhoods [sic] with high proportions of Black residents”.

If approved, the motion would ask staff to “explore potential partnerships for a new community cultural and recreation centre” as well as find a location and funding opportunities.

MPP Ford still in the news for nepotism

Our MPP’s appointment to Minister of Multiculturalism and Citizenship led to continuing criticism this week.

Bob Hepburn, a Toronto Star columnist, said “It’s a blatant case of political nepotism — unfair and a misuse of authority” and in “total disregard for political decency”.

Marcus Gee of The Globe and Mail despaired that nobody cares that “Michael Ford owes this appointment – no, his whole political career – entirely to his family connection”. (Though Gee elides the ridings Ford won.)

Both were responding to Premier Doug Ford’s defence of his choice. Premier Ford was asked earlier this week why he appointed his nephew to provincial cabinet—and gave him a $50,000 a year raise.

He said “He just won the seat in York South–Weston that we haven’t won in 71 years. I think he’ll do an extremely good job. He has a lot of knowledge and he’s been an elected official probably longer than 60 per cent of our caucus.”

Michael Ford was also defended by Mayor Tory, who said “I put Michael Ford on the Police Board, which is a very signifant place with significant responsible…. he is thoughtful, he is hard working, he does understand his community as well as anybody else”.