Elephant In The Neighbourhood


So you’ve done your housing research and you know the inside skinny of the Toronto neighbourhood you are going to buy in.

  • checked comparable housing prices
  • checked houses out and they are solidly built
  • checked local school’s EQAO results
  • checked local shops and they are healthy
  • checked neighbours out and they look great
  • phoned local police to inquire about local crime rate (bonus marks)
  • even a local Starbucks on the corner (everyone says that’s a healthy sign of a good neighbourhood)

You have found the perfect place to live, so hand over the paperwork honey and lets buy into this Shangri La

Wait a minute! What’s that outside? Why its the elephant in the neighbourhood. The one big issue which locals knows and its seems everyone knows about but YOU. Don’t be surprised in Toronto every neighbourhood either has one or is living next door to one.

Let look at a couple of issues out there you should be aware of:

Proposed wind turbines on the lake:

An ever energy hungry Toronto will feel this offshore breeze which can have an impact from Etobicoke to the Scarborough Bluffs. It you have ever driven along Lake Huron near Kincardine you can hear and see these massive sentinel from klms away. Now I am as eco friendly as you can get, but as a citizen and home owner I would like to see them 5 klms off shore and not 2 to 3 as some developers are proposing. Residents are very concerned about the excessive noise, environmentally impact on migrating birds and ruining lake side views.

Gerard and Victoria Park High Density Development

In an area 15% larger that Yorkdale a developer is proposing to build 7 towers, between 23 to 27 floors each and 1400+ apartment units (not condos) this high density development has the potential to shake up many east end neighbourhoods. Sitting on a former Scarborough quarry,then dump, a 1960’s zoning bylaw is going to permanently change the face and charm of a number of local communities: the Beach, Hunt Club, Birchcliff/Cliffside, East End Danforth and Oakridge. The OMB sent the city and developer off to work out a compromise late last year, but no go. So back to the OMB and a final decision in looming this year. (This hits close to home for me as I live and work in the community)

Closure of Toronto Schools

This issue is an IED ready to explode in almost every Toronto neighbourhood. With declining students enrollment in the city in June of 2010 Toronto District Board school trustees voted to close eight schools. The biggest area hit was Scarborough with 5 of the 8 closures. A longer walk for some students, busing for others, and an a big uncertainly of what will become of the school property once sold. We all know both the Toronto Catholic and Toronto District school boards have seen declining school enrollments-due to a number of factors we all know about. With 92 of TDSB’s 533 schools running at less than 60% enrollment we will be hearing more schools closing their doors permanently. If you are curious if your school is one of them fire me off an email or send a comment.

You need to know, so get the unvarnished truth, neigbourhood warts and all.