Developers to give Downsview a makeover


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Though renderings show plenty of parkland, residents say it’s still not ideal

Developers Mattamy Homes and Urbancorp recently revealed their plans for a 63-acre “master-planned community” at Downsview Park. The community could now see more than 1,000 units in the area.

Public meetings hosted by Canada Lands Company (CLC), which owns the land, have recently begun for residents to voice their opinions and raise concerns about the proposal, which calls for 487 townhouses, 29 single-family homes and 550 mid-rise apartment units.

Many members of the community have been opposed to development in the area for some time.

“Our community has been more than clear that it does not support selling parkland for development,” said Coun. Maria Augimeri.

A key issue of the proposal for many in the Downsview community is the development of Stanley Greene, a pocket of land near the recently constructed storm water management pond at Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue West.

“Our community has been clear that it does not support selling parkland.”

The pocket is currently governed by the Downsview Area Secondary Plan, approved last year at the Ontario Municipal Board in February 2013 for up to 1,356 units.

“DLCVA has long opposed the secondary plan, as the proposed units are cramped, crowded and located in a remote area of the park,” said Patrick O’Neill, communications officer for the Downsview Lands Community Voice Association (DLCVA). “You need a bus to get to the nearest subway station.”

Many are also worried about how much parkland would be turned over to developers. Though many concerns were voiced at the most recent consultation, representatives from CLC were optimistic.

“Our mission is to develop an innovative community that will meet the needs of the local community,” said Manon Lapensee, director of corporate communications for CLC. “The purpose of these hearings is really to introduce ourselves to the community and outline where we have to go from here.” Consultations will continue throughout 2014.

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