“Nightmare LRT work bringing drastic change to Leaside”

The Ontario government growth plan mandates drastic change ahead for Leaside and there is not much the community can do about it, Jon Burnside told residents at the Leaside Property Owners Association Annual General Meeting Wednesday night. This bitter truth seemed to be both well understood and a deeply resented by many present. “I guess the LRT is going to be a wonderful thing but it is a terrible nightmare, no ifs, ands or buts,” said the Councillor for Ward 26. “The construction nightmare and what comes with higher-order transit is going to drastically change the neighborhood,”  he said. Burnside referenced the “provincial growth plan” which hopes to funnel the 30,000 people who move to Toronto each year mainly along or near those higher-order transit lines like Eglinton Ave.


He said the planning department applies a formula for density which he stated as 160 people (or jobs) per hectare within a 500 metre radius of a high-order transit stop or station  He said there are 70 hectares within that radius. Thus the population mass is about 12,000 people (or jobs) at each station. “That’s why we’re stuck with development. It’s not a not a matter of stopping it. It’s a matter of managing it.” Burnside noted that the large developments planned for the LRT route across Leaside in Ward 26 have resulted in about eight million dollars in so-called Section 37 funds. These monies are essentially taxes although members of Council often talk about them more like an inheritance. Developers pay for getting variances and creating density.  Mr. Burnside said that the money may be used to build a community centre within the development at 939 Eglinton that RioCan will build on the southeast corner of Eglinton and Laird. This is now known as Leaside Centre.


The LPOA AGM was chaired by Carol Burton Fripp and Geoff Kettel who spoke briefly of the many accomplishment and tasks of the association  Ms Fripp reviewed traffic concerns related to traffic passing through Leaside from the west on the way to the new Costco on Overlea Blvd. The meeting heard from Staff Sergeant James Hogan of 53 Division regarding traffic. Among those seen in the Lea Room at Leaside arena were Vanessa M. Rose and Jon Kieran, the PC candidate in Don Valley West

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