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Dear Minister Clark,
I am writing today to ask for your support in reversing the changes made to Official Planning Amendment 405. It is clear that the Yonge-Eglinton area has faced a degree of overdevelopment that has been seldom replicated in this province, and it is incredibly important that we see more responsible development in this area moving forward. The altered OPA 405 that has been implemented by the province is an incredibly irresponsible plan that will have a severely negative impact on the Yonge and Eglinton area.
As we know, adequate public services are vital for communities to thrive. In Yonge and Eglinton, we are already seeing overcrowded transit, schools that cannot accept resident children, and serious local safety concerns due to construction related traffic. There are further concerns in relation to things like large amounts of dusts, shadows being cast, and a lack of green space that severely impact the livability of the community. The altered OPA 405 does practically nothing to address these concerns in any real way and removed most of the language that addressed these issues. In fact, the language that has been introduced will specifically allow developers to pave over these issues.
Communities need childcare, park space, medical services, programming for seniors, and more.
Currently, social services in the Yonge-Eglinton area have not expanded alongside the rapid densification of the area and, as a result, residents are underserved. If the development in the area continues to go unabated, we will only see these problems intensify. We need increased amenities as the population continues to grow. In order to ensure the construction of such amenities, the need must be codified, and that codification has been demolished by the province with their changes to OPA 405.
The City of Toronto passed the Midtown in Focus plan in the summer 2018 and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) held public consultations until November 2018. However, following these consultations, the changes that were made to OPA 405 gutted it of any power it would have to benefit our community. The voices of our residents were ignored and instead, the updated version being implemented by the province removed key language that would have protected Yonge and Eglinton from further irresponsible development.
This is unacceptable.
Please reverse the changes made to OPA 405 and revert back to the Yonge-Eglinton Official Plan Amendment No. 405 as adopted by the City of Toronto.
Thank you for your time in considering this matter.