The NO TOWER Coalition, formed by residents of Grandview-Woodland opposed to a massive high-rise tower on Commercial Drive proposed by Boffo Properties, announced today that their petition has now exceeded 3,500 signatures.
Almost 75% of those who have signed are from the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood, where the tower at Commercial and Venables Street is being proposed. The rest are regular visitors who come to the Drive for shopping and entertainment.
Roughly 1,100 people have signed the petition online (http://chn.ge/1JV55mc) and the majority of people have signed the paper version, making their feelings known at the NO TOWER Coalition information table at Grandview Park. This has allowed the Coalition to discuss the proposal with thousands of residents and visitors, to debate the issues, and to collect neighbourhood opinion. Much of that opinion is unwavering in its criticism of the tower which most say will destroy the very character of Grandview-Woodland.
Spokesperson Susan Garber, noted, “Our Coalition’s open and transparent community engagement approach contrasts sharply with the developer’s. They have refused to meet with neighbourhood residents for a genuine exchange of ideas.”
The developers have not held a single community-accessible meeting, and continue to refuse to reveal their plans for the building. They have, instead, relied on private, closed-door, invitation-only meetings with small groups likely to support them.
“We call on Boffo to let the residents know what their plans really look like,” said Garber. “They have suggested their design is for 12 storeys, which is way out of step with the neighbourhood. But Daniel Boffo has publicly stated his business need for 15 storeys and has even suggested he would like 20. How are we to know just what this would be until they reveal their plans? Our goal is to ‘Keep the Drive Under Five’ storeys.”
The NO TOWER Coalition plans to continue the engagement of our concerned neighbourhood in opposition to this tower. They hope to co-create viable alternatives for the site that will give the Kettle what it needs to provide effective services to its mental-health clients without destroying the character of our neighbourhood.