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July 27 2008

Dear Neighbours,

We are pleased to have some positive news to report in regards to the Quarry Lands.

In mid-July, members of the CCQLD Board met with councilor Brian Ashton and two senior executives from the Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO), the City’s arms-length development agency (overseen by the City) which has agreed to assume control of the City’s roughly 18-acre property on the Quarry Lands. While we had an extended briefing from Councilor Ashton and TEDCO on a number of Quarry Lands-related topics, we are encouraged by one central point: In their discussions with TEDCO, the Gerrard Clonmore Development Corporation (ie. the Conservatory Group) has agreed to discuss working with the City on development concepts for the Quarry Lands other than their original high-rise proposal.

We consider this a significant step forward as we work to achieve a positive outcome for the Quarry Lands and our community.

As you know, Gerrard Clonmore has the right to build 1455 units on their portion of the Quarry Lands. Recent developments have not changed this fact. But it does appear that Gerrard Clonmore has come to an understanding that it is in their own interest to consider alternatives that more closely fit with the balanced development vision for these lands held by both the City and our community.

With TEDCO’s involvement and now Gerrard Clonmore’s engagement in this process, there is a better chance of finding creative solutions that would ii) allow Gerrard Clonmore to realize an economic benefit from their zoning rights; and ii) fulfill TEDCO’s goal of creating something special and innovative on this site, which TEDCO President Jeffrey Steiner referred to in our discussion as a precondition for all TEDCO developments.

(The Quarry is TEDCO's second residential project. We are encouraged that TEDCO's first foray into residential development resulted in Canada's largest low-rise residential green community, called Evergreen. The development, currently under construction at Midland and St. Clair, will offer environmentally friendly homes built to the new LEED-H standards. For more on TEDCO, see www.tedco.ca)

We do not know what form the development might take, but it is likely to include a mix of residential, retail and possibly commercial uses, spread across a variety of building forms. This will play out over the next four to five months as TEDCO, Gerrard Clonmore and other property owners on the Quarry Lands site engage in further discussions. The City’s Planning Department, meanwhile, continues to work on laying out a vision for what the Quarry Lands could become. This work could result in a preliminary ‘master plan’ for Quarry Lands by the end of 2008.

All that said, there remains much work to be done and much more community consultation to be undertaken before any development takes place. For our part, CCQLD will continue to ensure that environmental concerns are given top priority throughout this process. We have repeatedly stated to Councilor Ashton, the Planning Department and now to TEDCO that we will not give our approval to any development plan that does not adequately address both the environmental sensitivity of the site and the impact of any such development on our community as it relates to both hard and soft services (ie. transportation, schools, social services, etc).

We’ll continue to keep you informed as developments progress throughout the summer months and into the fall.

Best regards,

Executive Committee
Concerned Citizens of Quarry Lands Development

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