Affordable Housing on Eastern Avenue Consultation (The Foundry)

Hon. Steve Clark, Minister
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay Street, 17th Floor
Toronto Ontario M5G 2E5

RE: Affordable Housing on Eastern Avenue Consultation (The Foundry)

Dear Minister Steve Clark:

The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods (Ontario) Inc. (FUN) Inc. represents many residents’ associations in Ontario’s urban areas.  Resident associations in turn are engaged with their municipal governments in land use planning and development, and advocacy regarding policy and priority setting re service provision, and revenues. FUN believes that sustainable urban regions are characterized by environmental balance, fiscal viability, infrastructure investment, and social renewal.  

This is in response to your Ministry’s request for input from residents’ groups and the public “on how some elements of the existing structures could inform development” of the provincially owned property at 153-185 Eastern Avenue. The request indicates that the Province of Ontario intends to “create new affordable and market housing, and community space, in response to numerous requests from the City of Toronto for increased affordable housing”.

This request comes after the Province’s demolition of The Foundry has been temporarily stopped per an Interim Court Order. The court hearing has been adjourned to give all parties more time to come to a resolution. However the Province’s initiation of a one-way process via submission of email comments and suggestions is insufficient and inadequate. Instead a regular two-way dialogue with the community must take place.

The Court ordered the Province to continue the pause on demolition because there is compelling evidence that the Province has not met its own standards under the Ontario Heritage Act and has breached heritage-related commitments in a subdivision agreement.

We continue to oppose the use of a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) which allows the Province to bypass nearly all planning requirements set by the City. Our members are increasingly seeing a pattern of legislative activity involving the use of MZOs across the province, along with other coercive measures the Province is using to fast-track development without full and fair public consultation with those directly affected.

Again we request that you open up The Foundry site to full and engaged consultation with all interested parties with a neutral facilitator.

Respectfully submitted,

Geoff Kettel

Cc: Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
Andrea Horwath, MPP, Leader of the Opposition
Steven Del Duca, Leader, Liberal Party
Mike Schreiner, MPP, Leader, Green Party Toronto area MPPs