Protecting our Leaside Business Park

The Leaside Business Park is a major industrial park in the heart of Toronto, with direct access to the Don Valley Parkway and Highway 401.
Since October's election, I've heard from neighbours across Leaside concerned about the future of the Business Park. Specifically, many Leasiders want to ensure that planning policies will protect the Park from an influx of condo buildings and other residential developments.
In January, the Government of Ontario announced their plans to introduce new amendments to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017. The Province proposed the implementation of a new designation, Provincially Significant Employment Zones (PSEZ), but only extended it to 67% of Toronto's current Employment Areas.
While the 67% percent of lands would receive additional protections, the remaining 33% could potentially be "unlocked" for redevelopment. The Leaside Business Park was not designated a PSEZ in the Province's initial plan.
My office caught this issue early and developed a strategy to ensure the Leaside Business Park would be included in City staff's recommendations to the Province. I am pleased to report that our efforts paid off and City Council adopted the staff report requesting the Province to designate the Leaside Business Park a PSEZ. In my remarks, I highlighted the importance of use compatibility and reiterated my commitment to protecting our Business Parks from residential incursions.
Though City Council has submitted their comments and recommendations on the proposed amendments, the ultimate decision lies with the Government of Ontario.
When I met with the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, I request ed that the Province include the Leaside Business Park as a PSEZ in their final amendments to the Growth Plan. I specifically articulated the value of the employment provided by the Leaside Business Park and advocated for its continued protection.

The Minister seemed receptive to my comments and I am cautiously optimistic that the Province will make the changes necessary for the continued protection of Toronto's valued Employment Areas. Thank you to the Leaside Business Park Association (LPBA) and Leaside Property Owners' Association (LPOA) for their ongoing support.