New vision for area near Promenade mall in Thornhill

Local residents form a committee to discuss development


Published:

Josh Martow in front of the proposal sign of the seven 27-storey towers near the Promenade in Thornhill

In anticipation of a new proposal for seven 27-storey towers around the Promenade shopping centre, representatives from three ratepayers’ associations in Thornhill have banded together and formed a committee, titled the Centre Bathurst Association (CBA). The committee focus on gauging public opinion and ensuring that developers and  Vaughan City Council have an opportunity to hear the concerns of the community. 

The CBA’s first official act was distributing a survey around to Thornhill residents, with questions relating to, but not limited to, the seven 27-storey tower proposal by Torgan Group. The group will also look at traffic along Centre Street and Highway 7. 

“We’re asking how people use the area, how they get to the Promenade, which traffic streams are important to them, and what they’d like to see in the development,” said Josh Martow, president of the Beverley Glen Ratepayers Association and member of the CBA.

“We’re not trying to say that they don’t have the right to develop [the area] — they absolutely do — but we want to make sure it’s something that fits with the community.” 

Ward 4 councillor Sandra Yeung Racco said the biggest concern for most people living near the Promenade is “that there have been a lot of condos that have gone up, and there are more that are coming up.”

A written statement from Ward 5 councillor Alan Shefman, a ward that encompasses the Promenade shopping centre, echoed those thoughts.

“Without a doubt, the community is concerned with excessive height and density,” he said.

However, Torgan Group is confident about its contribution to the area and is willing to work with community members to find a balance from which all parties can benefit. 

“We have been developers for 34 years,” said Sam Cohen, co-owner and general manager of Torgan Group. 

“We are very much established in the area. We always work with the community and our buildings are thought of as very welcome and serving the community.” 

Both council and community members are skeptical of Cohen’s plans. Currently, Vaughan’s  Official Plan states that the maximum height limit of highrise developments is 14 storeys, and the application to amend this bylaw is under peer review. 

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Jessica Wei is an associate editor for Post City. She has lived and worked as a journalist in Montreal, Hong Kong and, now, Toronto. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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