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August 4, 2009

Dear Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development members, and members of the community,

We hope you're having a great summer. We wanted to take a moment to update you on developments with respect to the Quarry Lands.

As you know, we have been working as a community since 2003 to oppose a proposed four-block apartment tower complex of approximately 1,455 units by landowner Gerrard Clonmore Developments, who own roughly 18 acres of the 49-acre Quarry Lands site, and to advocate for a development resolution over the full site more in keeping with the nature of our existing community. (To this end, CCQLD was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2005 with a Board of Directors elected each year by members of the community.)

A five-day hearing at the Ontario Municipal Board over a rezoning application by GCD had been scheduled to start on July 20. This hearing was postponed by advance agreement of GCD and the City because of the city strike; the two parties met on July 20 only to set a new date for the hearing. That hearing is now scheduled to take place on October 5. The purpose is to hear GCD's appeal of a rezoning application to remove minimum unit sizes from their as-of-right zoning. If the hearing goes ahead as scheduled, CCQLD will be there to represent our members' and our community's interests.

As many of you know, since January 2009, members of the CCQLD have been taking part in discussions with the City, GCD and the Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) under terms of a 'Standstill Agreement' previously agreed to at the OMB by the City and GCD. The hope has always been that this forum would allow us to come up with ideas that represent a workable best case scenario for our community, the City and GCD. By agreement of all parties, the content of the discussions was to be kept confidential. It was suggested that confidentiality would promote open and honest dialogue and for that reason -- similar to the understanding that takes place in many bargaining or negotiation environments -- the CCQLD Board agreed. The most recent meetings took place in May and at this time it is uncertain if or how the process will continue. We do know that CCQLD will continue to be engaged with all parties to represent community interests.

All that said, we have stated repeatedly both to our membership and within the discussions that CCQLD participants cannot and will not make any decisions or commitments on behalf of the community behind closed doors. Proposals that might emerge out of any discussions must be taken back to our membership and the broader community. We will never make commitments on your behalf without broad consultation and input.

On that note, there is a newly formed collection of residents working under the name of 'OurCommunitySpeaks' also concerned about the Quarry Lands issue; this group recently distributed a flyer within our community. Members of the CCQLD Board have met with some members of OurCommunitySpeaks on several occasions. While we applaud any and all efforts to find a positive resolution to the Quarry Lands issue, there are differences in the way our groups are approaching this issue, and we are concerned that misunderstandings might arise out of their flyer regarding the work that CCQLD has been doing. Specifically, without naming CCQLD directly, the flyer makes a point of saying that OurCommunitySpeaks will 'share all available information' and promises 'not to enter into any confidentiality agreements.'

We believe that your membership and CCQLD's direct participation in the 'Standstill Agreement' discussions gives our community exceptional credibility. As CCQLD and as a broader community, we can never be accused of not being informed; of not being committed to the difficult process of building a better city; of not putting in all the time necessary to reach a realistic and workable solution in the best interests of our neighbourhood, whether it be through formal discussions or through other channels at the appropriate time.

As always, we will keep you informed of any and all new developments. Please feel free to contact either myself or CCQLD President Wilf Longley if you have any comments, questions or thoughts. We will endeavor to keep our website at as up to date as possible.

Thanks as always for your support.


Mark Brender Vice-President, Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development

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