On the death of clubland:
It’s not dead – it’s changed. What has died is the era of the Walmart-style big-box nightclub. That has nothing to do with anything I may or may not have done, although I’m happy to take credit for it.
On residents’ complaints about crime in the neighbourhood:
When about a sixth of the city’s police force is policing eight square blocks on a Friday night, that’s serious. You don’t get 40 people brawling on the street like you used to. But you still get this phenomenon that happens at around 3 in the morning when everyone who came down in a limo decides the best way to end the night is to have a fist fight on the street. That’s still fairly common.
On the influx of outsized condos:
The height is going to be there whether we like it or not. We need rules we’re trying to introduce some planning discipline. We can no more afford a monolithic approach to residential development than we could with commercial development.
On the preservation of heritage properties in the Entertainment District:
We’ve funded a heritage conservation study that will direct development onto empty parking lots and substandard buildings first. The warehouses are not just important from an architectural perspective. If you think of the 401 [arts building on Richmond West], they’re also important incubators where we can build cultural capacity. We have a multi-billion-dollar high tech industry housed in those warehouses.
On the future of the area:
John Street will probably become the city’s first pedestrian street. We’re putting in storefronts for independent artists. There’s a complex discussion happening. If it’s going to be an Entertainment District, let’s make it more than just nightclubs and theatres. We’re creating a destination here, not just a thoroughfare.