$1 million for Downsview art project sparks war of words


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A million-dollar public art project from Ontario’s Planning Act Section 37 funds for Downsview Park’s Stanley Greene neighbourhood was passed at the most recent meeting of North York Community Council (NYCC). However, the vote was not unanimous.

Lone naysayer, Coun. Anthony Perruzza, expressed concerns at the meeting that these funds would mean that a community centre for Stanley Greene would no longer be a priority. The Section 37 agreement for the Stanley Greene District lands was approved last October. As per the agreement, $864 per dwelling unit and $3.80 per square metre of non-residential floor space would be used for the provision of a community centre and daycare spaces, an amount of approximately $1.2 million.

“The one per cent public art contribution is separate from the $1.2 million,” said Al Rezoski, manager, City of Toronto, North York District Planning.

Residents of Downsview became concerned following Perruzza’s comments, which were reported in publications such as Inside Toronto and Global News.

“[Coun. Maria Augimeri] said staff had explained it three times at NYCC, and Perruzza still didn’t get it,” said Rosanna Iaboni of the Downsview Lands Community Voice Association (DLCVA). “I don’t know what [his] problem is.”

Augimeri has since been working to clarify the matter. “The public art component has no effect on the amount of funds for our community centre,” said Augimeri.

Perruzza did not return calls for comment.

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