NOW MagazineNewsBloordale community rallies against proposed development at Bloor and Dufferin
Bloordale community rallies against proposed development at Bloor and Dufferin
Build a Better Bloor Dufferin wants the province to commit $48 million towards affordable housing, park space, community hub and a better high school
By Samantha Edwards
May 2, 2018
Nahum Mann of Build a Better Bloor Dufferin speaks at a rally protesting a proposed mixed-used development at Bloor and Dufferin.
Bloordale residents want the province to intervene on how funds are being allocated for a massive condo development proposed for the area. Community group Build a Better Bloor Dufferin organized a rally at the corner of Bloor and Dufferin today (May 2) calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to reinvest more money into a mixed-use development proposed for the intersection. The protest was attended by high school students from Bloor Collegiate Institute, local residents, business owners and housing advocates.
In 2016, the publicly owned land, which comprises the Kent Public School and Bloor Collegiate Institute, was sold to Capital Developments and Metropia for $121 million. Build a Better Bloor Dufferin accuses the province of selling the land “to the highest bidder” without considering how changes would impact the community.
“The province is allocating $34 million to build a new school, but that’s not going to be enough. North Toronto Collegiate cost $52 million to build [in 2010] for 1,200 students,” says Nahum Mann, the co-chair of Build a Better Bloor Dufferin. “The new high school is definitely going to have 1,200 students, especially once people start moving into the condos here.”
Last week, the group sent an official letter to the Wynne government asking for $48 million in funds from the $121 million revenue. They have not heard back from Wynne.
The developer’s current proposal for the site includes 2,219 condo units across multiple high-rises, converting the Kent Public School into a community hub, retail space and a small park. It also includes demolishing Bloor Collegiate Institute and building a new high school at the corner of Croatia and Brock, which was formerly the site of Brockton High School.
Mann says the province needs to reinvest more funds from the sale towards building actual affordable housing for the site, additional green space, a community hub with rental units priced for non-profits and the new high school.
Local residents rally outside of local MPP Cristina Martins’ office on Bloor West.
This isn’t the first time the proposed project designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects and Giannone Petricone Associates has met with backlash from the community. At a community consultation in February, residents voiced concerns over the density of the project and how it would drive up rents of neighbouring properties. They also accused the proposal of removing necessary public spaces and pushing out non-profits, arts groups and potential residents.
Build a Better Bloor Dufferin hopes the province will pledge more money before the writ drops in Ontario. If this doesn’t happen, Mann says the group will make it an election issue.
“This isn’t about tower height, or traffic or NIMBYism,” says Mann. “We want to make it clear that this site will set a precedent across the city, maybe even the province, it has to be seen as something that can set a high benchmark.”
Samantha writes about a range of topics including politics, music, books, feminism and race issues. When she’s not reporting, Samantha likes exploring new neighborhoods on her bike, baking and watching way too much TV.