January 20, 2021
MAYOR TORY’S STATEMENT ON THE PROVINCE’S DEMOLITION OF THE DOMINION FOUNDRY BUILDINGS
I strongly support getting on with building affordable housing in our city and across Ontario.
But the province has begun this demolition without providing a clear plan to the City or the neighbourhood on the manner in which it intends to build affordable housing on its property.
Building affordable housing should be a priority of all governments right now and we should all be committed to doing it as quickly as possible while still consulting with local communities in a timely manner since any new development, good as it may be, will have an impact on existing communities.
I have reached out to Minister Clark's office and urged him to respond to concerns raised by the community, the local councillor, the Chief Planner, and myself. This would include more transparent examination of heritage issues including the making public of existing provincial heritage studies to help us all know more.
This site is subject to a Ministerial Zoning Order which gives the City limited options to intervene and stop the demolition underway. I acknowledge the existence of these legislative powers but I think it unwise and unnecessary to use them without local consultation.
I am committed to working with the province and the community to find a timely solution here.
And there are precedents where this process works when we all work together cooperatively. The City itself has successfully requested Ministerial Zoning Orders from the province in order to get affordable housing built quickly on other sites. These orders, secured in the spirit of cooperation, have led to modular housing sites getting built in a matter of months and will help us move forward with several Rapid Housing initiatives funded by the Government of Canada. These are good examples of how the process should work and how it will lead to more affordable housing options.