Ward 14 Candidate Dyanoosh Youssefi Denounces Sale of Potential Parkland to a Developer at Yonge & Eglinton

(TORONTO) Ward 14 candidate Dyanoosh Youssefi denounced the surreptitious sale of potential parkland to a developer at Yonge and Eglinton. Youssefi stated that, “The area in question is under significant pressure from rapid intensification. There is a tremendous need for more public and green spaces to accommodate the growing population. Yet no public consultations with residents were held prior to selling this significant public asset which was identified as a potential park by City planning staff in their ‘Midtown in Focus’ report.”

One of the major goals of the report was to ensure community services keep pace with the Yonge-Eglinton area’s exploding population. “With 19,000 residential units approved and under review in the study area, additional parkland is essential” noted Youssefi.

On June 29th, 2018 Toronto City Council voted to sell a 1-acre parcel of publicly owned land near Yonge and Eglinton. Through the Midtown in Focus report this site was identified as the only large piece of public land near Yonge and Eglinton where a new park is feasible. The existing publicly owned parking lot is over 1-acre in size. The developer now is possession of the land is proposing a parkette of less than 0.15 acres. The Planning Department’s suggestion to study this site for parkland and affordable housing was public knowledge over a month before City Council sold the site to a developer. The developer has made no commitment to build affordable housing.

The City has kept its report with respect to the sale of the land confidential, meaning that the public currently has no access to information about the reasons for the sale of this precious property, or about City Council deliberations with respect to the sale.

The sale of the land has also allowed the developer to submit a proposal for a 22-storey building, more than four times the permitted height. In addition, this application seeks to amend the City’s Official Plan to permit a 10-storey component of the building in an area where only detached houses are currently permitted, setting a disconcerting precedent.

Currently, residents moving into new developments in the Yonge-Eglinton area are warned that their children may not be able to attend neighbourhood public schools, as all the schools are at capacity.

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