Yonge and Eglinton: Midtown in Focus
The Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood has been experiencing unprecedented amounts of growth and intensification. This pace of development is out of control, and its cumulative effect has put a strain on our existing infrastructure capacity and public amenities. While growth has the potential to be a positive force, it must be strategically guided in such a way to protect the quality of life and integrity of our neighbourhood.
Over the past three years, I have been working with City staff on the Midtown in Focus study to develop a new planning framework to improve the public realm, green space, and infrastructure provision in and around Yonge and Eglinton. Initiated as a response to this growth, the study will inform policy on the vision, form, and fit of future development to ensure that the context-specific character of the neighbourhood is considered.
In 2015, I moved to expand the scope of the study to include a review of the area's infrastructure capacity with special attention to transit, schools, water, utility services, community centres, and daycares so that infrastructure can accommodate existing and projected growth. You can read my full motion here.
For years, I have been pushing for a pause on development applications until our infrastructure can catch up with this growth and responsible planning guidelines are put in place. I am happy to see that my concerns have been reflected in the proposals report recently put forward by City Planning. The report recommends that decisions on new development applications are paused starting November 15, 2017, until proper planning guidelines are introduced. Ultimately, the goal of these efforts is to mitigate this irresponsible and aggressive development and preserve the unique character of the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood which is vital to the vibrancy and health of this community.
These recommendations were put before City Council at the end of last year, a final report is anticipated to follow in the second quarter of 2018. The results of this study will inform amendments to the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan. You can read City Planning's proposed Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan Update here. Civic engagement is essential to the success of this project. To stay informed about upcoming developments and public consultation meetings, be sure to visit the Midtown in Focus website and subscribe to my newsletter mailing list. I encourage you to get involved!