YESP

A New Secondary Plan for the Yonge-Eglinton Neighbourhood - Great News!

I've been a vocal opponent of the out-of-control pace of development in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood at City Council for many years. The Yonge-Eglinton Urban Growth Centre (UGC) is the most densely populated UGC in the Greater Golden horseshoe and ranks among the densest communities in Canada. Over the past several years, I've repeatedly asked the Chief Planner for a moratorium on new development applications until the City's infrastructure is improved to accommodate the rapid influx of new residents.
 
In the absence of a comprehensive and up-to-date Secondary Plan, development in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood has gone unchecked by the Province for many years. The negative consequences of this rapid intensification include overcrowded transit, constant construction, traffic congestion, lack of sunlight, significant dust, and lack of green space. In 2015, I moved a motion directing City staff to expand their study of the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood to address infrastructure capacity issues in the area.
 
On June 7, 2018, City Planning staff's new Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan was presented to the Planning and Growth Management Committee. While the Secondary Plan included many beneficial policies, I was very concerned by the permitted building heights proposed for the north-east quadrant of Yonge and Eglinton. If City staff's plan was adopted, building heights on Broadway Avenue, Roehampton Avenue and Eglinton Avenue would range from 32 to 56 storeys. I introduced a motion calling for further community consultation to ensure that the new Secondary Plan accurately reflected our vision for the future of this neighbourhood.
 
I assembled a working group of neighbours to create a revised plan lowering the permitted building heights in the north-east quadrant of Yonge-Eglinton to between 15 and 20 storeys. After an overwhelming show of community support, the Planning and Growth Management (PGM) Committee voted unanimously in favour of my motion to adopt reduced building heights on July 5, 2018. While the PGM Committee's decision was an important step forward, the amended Secondary Plan still needed to be considered by Toronto City Council.
 
In the interim weeks, the City received hundreds of letters from residents of the north-east quadrant asking City Council to support PGM Committee's decision to adopt our Option #3. I spent countless hours discussing the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan with my colleagues on City Council. I'm very pleased to report that as a result of our collective efforts, City Council voted in favour of the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan – Option #3.
 

When I first moved a motion asking for further consultation, I could never have predicted the unprecedented outpouring of community support for Option #3. The adoption of the amended Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan was an outstanding accomplishment for an area experiencing rapid intensification. This long-term Secondary Plan will shape the future of our neighbourhood for years to come. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this process—I am so proud of what we have achieved in just a few short months.