The No Tower Coalition’s street party on Sunday to celebrate the Drive that we love, and to oppose the massive towers that will forever change it, moves to the wider open spaces of Woodland Park!
The No Tower Coalition issued the following statement this afternoon:
Community Gathers At Rally To Oppose Massive Towers On Commercial Drive
Concerned citizens of Grandview-Woodland will gather next Sunday at 10:00am to celebrate the neighbourhood we all love, and to oppose an oversize project proposed by developer Boffo Properties at the corner of Commercial Drive and Venables Street.
Boffo is proposing a massive development for the site, including a 15-storey tower with up to 200 market condo units and an eight-storey tower with expanded facilities for the Kettle Friendship Society.
The No Tower Coalition had planned to hold a street party on the site of the tallest of the proposed towers. Mindful of concerns expressed by the Kettle’s Executive Director that an outdoor gathering so close to the Kettle might be misconstrued by their clients, the Coalition has decided to move the party to Woodland Park.
“We are not opposed to the Kettle or its valuable services for people with mental health concerns,” said spokesperson Barbara Cameron. “We strongly support the Kettle and its work. In that regard, we have listened to the Kettle’s concerns about our rally. In turn, we can only hope that the Kettle will now listen to the thousands of local residents who believe that the tower is an unwanted and inappropriate intrusion into the low-rise neighbourhood that is Grandview Woodland.”
The party at Woodland Park, at Adanac Street and Woodland Drive, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, 16th August, will include free coffee, lemonade, cookies and muffins, activities for kids, and a balloon raising to demonstrate the extraordinary height that the developer wants to impose with its towers on Commercial Drive.
The No Tower Coalition is active and growing, with more than 1,900 signatures on its two ongoing petitions against the tower proposal. The group will continue to lobby vigorously for practical alternatives to the project, without a tower. All the members and supporters of the Coalition oppose the building form of the tower and the changes that will bring to the Drive. For many, there are deeper concerns.
“We absolutely reject the notion that mental health services should be delivered at the whim of a for-profit private corporation,” said Coalition member Tom Durrie. “Giving private developers inappropriate density and height bonuses in exchange for providing necessary mental health services sets a dangerous precedent. It should not be allowed.”
Services to people with mental illness are part of Canada’s social safety net. They should be publicly funded, in ways that do not have a negative community impact. The No Tower Coalition points out that similar NGOs in the neighbourhood have recently expanded without resorting to private developers and massive development.