ANTI‑

On 2007.05.18, a public meeting was held at the Ralph Thornton Centre to discuss the latest incarnation of plans for the so-called Foundry District, which has now become a proposal for 18 acres of big-box stores. I attended and took notes and pictures.

Paula Fletcher started the meeting at 19:10. Peter Tabuns, MPP, was also present. (Photos of architectural drawings.)

FLETCHER: We had asked the applicant, SmartCentres, to attend this meeting last week, and got a letter from them that they were not attending, and lo and behold they turned up tonight. But we did have a presentation set up for tonight to bring everyone onto the same page about this issue, the South of Eastern employment lands. Around the place, you can see there are several drawings we received on May 2 in preparation for an OMB hearing.

TABUNS: I’m sorry that I can’t be here [all night]. I have not seen these plans. I know only very simple things – that Wal-Mart is proposed for this area, or a very large big-box store. I see that as very problematic for this community. We have vital, alive retail that’s building on Queen and Gerrard [applause], and I’ve been in too many towns who’ve had their street retail hollowed out by big-box. [WOMAN: Yes! Yes!] So on that basis alone, I have huge problems.

And also, we have a film industry that, in Ontario and Toronto, is based in this community. And this land cannot be rezoned for big-box because it will undermine availability of lands for our film industry. We have to have those jobs and economic activity here to keep this community healthy. I look forward to working with Paula and with you to oppose any big-box store in this community undercutting our economy in too, too, too many ways.

FLETCHER: This application has been taken to the OMB and kind of circumvented the community process and the political process. [Puts Jack Layton on the line via BlackBerry.]

LAYTON: Naturally, we have serious concerns about this development, a big-box proposal. Not too long ago we worked to oppose the Home Depot development. Then we also took on demolishing the Gardiner Expressway so we could get a much better kind of growth in the community. I just wanted you to know that we’ll stand behind you. Move it in the direction that’s very, very positive for the community and local businesses. It’s very unfortunate that Wal-Mart has gone directly to the Ontario Municipal Board instead of through the democratic process. But you can take on these processes; Riverdale already has.

FLETCHER: You’ll hear from the applicant later that it’s not Wal-Mart but SmartCentres.

The 19 acres sit within a larger employment district – from the river to Coxwell – and comprises 7,000 high-value jobs in these eastern employment lands. I’m not sure that I want a power centre on the waterfront. This isn’t our vision of the waterfront. [SAME WOMAN: Hear, hear! WOMAN 2: You go, girl!]

[Runs presentation with slug resembling Wal-Mart slogan: “Always high costs. Always.”]

It’s privately-owned land, 18.5 acres, on the south side of Eastern Ave., formerly occupied by Toronto Iron Works and the A.R. Clarke Tannery. That tannery burned down a number of years ago and sits vacant beside the Toronto Film Studios. The site has been successfully converted for film purposes; these lands are central to the Studio District character.

TFS submitted a rezoning application in August 2004, asking for a range of uses including residential, office, service retail, hotel. In fall 2006, the Rose Corp./TFS sold a 50% share of the land to SmartCentres [perverse official orthography: Smart!Centres], formerly FirstPro. The application has been at the OMB under TFS, now SmartCentres, who has declared they are now representing the joint ownership.

On May 1 [or 2, as she stated a moment later], SmartCentres delivered the plans to the city for the first time in writing, even though this application has been in for three years, on order by the OMB through the city’s lawyer.

The current zoning is I2 D5. The old official plan lists it as a restricted industrial area permitting manufacturing and film studios, with no retail or residential approved. Even though you might see houses down Carlaw from Eastern to Lake Shore, those are grandfathered in. Under the new official plan, even though this application is under the old one, employment districts may have various uses, including offices, manufacturing, warehousing, R&D, utilities, restaurants, small-scale stores, and of course all manner of film and television production. It protects employment lands from the encroachment of non-economic functions. An amendment was passed last year to state that power centres are not permitted in the South of Eastern employment district.

The current plans submitted: There’s a mistake in metres vs. feet, and the flyer you got saying it was 690,000 square metres, it’s actually 690,000 square feet. By comparison, Sherway Gardens is 500,000 square feet of retail. There’s almost 1,900 parking spots on this site. There’s a few residential units that have been stuck on the top of retail on Eastern Ave., and 60 parking spots for them. Two new traffic lights, one at Pape and another on Lake Shore.

There are new employment districts in Toronto, housing over 370,000 jobs. Toronto’s have the same level of employment as the 905s – 45 jobs per hectare. Sometimes we think all the jobs have left. A study of South of Eastern reported that that the area showed consistency and employment stability. An estimated 93% of land in Toronto’s employment districts is occupied; it’s being used for jobs, but part of our conversation here tonight is what kind of jobs? What do we hold land back for for employment? Only in northeastern Scarborough is there a patch of unused land in employment districts.

Toronto will have to add 6.7 million square metres to accommodate 300,000 more jobs in employment districts, so taking out lands is not an option. We’re trying to discourage the loss of employment land by encouraging the retention and renewal of employment, with no support for residential on those lands.

We had meetings before when we had pictures and nothing in writing of 14-storey residential units onto the Lake Shore, so nothing was ever turned in officially. Tonight is the first time we’ve ever had anything in black and white about this. At the time, the community said we wanted creative jobs, many of which already exist there; environmentally-sustainable jobs; responsible transportation; waterfront connectivity; and protection of small business. Could people be walking to work, biking on Eastern Ave.? Are they coming there to work or coming there to shop? I think that’s the question before us tonight.

What can the community do? This has been taken out of the process that would include you. But because these are not permitted uses, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a big impact on what we want for a new employment districts.

WOMAN: How did council define a power centre?

— You’re going to have to ask the planners that.

GARY WRIGHT: There’s no clear definition. What we contemplate it to be is a collection of substantial retail buildings in one particular location. It’s not a defined term specifically.

With respect to the OMB, there has already been a pre-hearing to give the OMB a sense of how long the true hearing will take. One took place in February, another coming up May 22, a third for September, and by that time they expect to have some idea of the real issues that will be debated by the board. There is no date set for a hearing in which actual witnesses appear. The expectation is it will be sometime in 2008.

FLETCHER: When did the application go to the OMB?

GWEN: December 2005.

GEORGE SPEZZA, City of Toronto Economic Development: Our focus is to retain employment and attract new business. The location of this district is very important. We envision it as an area with high-level jobs. IT brings good intensification into the area, and there are opportunities, as pressures grow in the downtown office-sector market, there’s often a limited amount of land in employment areas to accommodate other offices, business professional services, film, media, other consulting firms. This represents an excellent area in close proximity to the core to accommodate these requests for offices or locations.

Q&A

FLETCHER: If you could outline what concerns you here.

  1. WOMAN: Was I correct in understanding that this would not be a permitted use of the land? If that’s the case, I fail to understand why it’s even an option.

    WRIGHT: That’s correct. It is not a permitted use. But there is a method to apply for a change in zoning, which includes an appeal to the OMB.

    — I really don’t want it, personally.

    — So there’s the first vote in.

    MAN: Second!

    — So there’s quite a vote in on that. Who’s next?

  2. MAN: I understand the film industry has had tough times in Toronto. What kind of shape is the film studio on that site in? Can they continue to support employment there or not?

    FLETCHER: It’s a long story.

    SPEZZA: Just from my experience with relocating some of the film companies from the West Don Lands, what we found was there’s an excellent synergy of film-related companies – not just studios – in this area, and what we found is that when we were looking for alternative locations, many of them wanted to remain in this area. We’d like to see that cluster of filming in this area.

    FLETCHER: [Canada Metals site] is setting up an operation at 721 Eastern Ave. I’m committing to bring forward to the city all of the same tax [incentives] to ensure that this is a stable film studio [set back up by Cinespace after losing their marine space].

  3. WOMAN: [Is film technician who’s worked in Toronto 22 years.] Just one bad year to us is not significant. We’ll continue to be here. The retail area that is already on Queen St. is a significant part of what we d. I’m a set decorator; we use all the antique stores. Quite frankly, I can drive up to Laird to an incomplete power centre. I’d rather have character stores, authentic communities.

  4. MAN: My name is Bob, and I’m president of one of the local film technicians’ unions. I’ve been working here for over 20 years. I’d like to speak of the uses that were approved earlier. The motion-picture industry has many creative, innovative side industries and businesses that support this community. We have brought much revenue into this district, and we have built and committed many businesses for many years that pioneered the area and wish to continue on. Our business has been impacted significantly in the last year – we saw the closing of Cinespace, and your reference to Canada Metals was a godsend to us. But we need more space if we are to continue to grow in this are. It would be devastating to the 25,000 members I work with, not to mention the ancillary [jobs]. I’m categorically no.

    FLETCHER: So we’re all at “no” still.

  5. WOMAN: We’ve been referring to this a a big-box store. Is it not the case that it would be a collection of big-box stores?

    FLETCHER: I can safely say it would be a collection of big-box stores. And your vote is a no?

  6. GRANT ORCHARD: [On the federal Liberal committee.] It’s been on the news lately of the gutting of our corporate Canada, and the takeover by foreign interests. Wal-Mart has the highest number of employees on Medicaid and welfare [according to The High Cost of Low Prices]. Does Wal-Mart own any of this land, and how did it go to the OMB? How can we stop that?

    FLETCHER: I’m going to let SmartCentres answer who owns what.

    WRIGHT: The OMB is actually a very old institution, originally set up to deal with railways and debt financing for cities. It acquired the power of an appeal board. If a municipality did not deal with an application in a certain time period, or if it did not deal with an application, it could be appealed. It’s a semi-judicial tribunal. People have to be sworn in and give testimony. There are one or more panel members who hear evidence. And it does have the power to override a municipality. With the exception of certain powers of the legislature, it has authority over municipalities in appeals on planning matters.

    FLETCHER: One of the powers we didn’t get in the City of Toronto Act is power over our own rezoning, but there is more sensitivity now to some of those matters of critical importance, which has also been laid out by the provincial government, that jobs cannot keep leaving the city. Our discussion at the OMB at this point, then, is what constitutes good employment for these lands? And that’s one of these discussions we’re having today.

  7. WOMAN: In Guelph, my mom was on a committee to try to stop Wal-Mart and they lost. People can talk to them about what did and didn’t work, if it is in fact Wal-Mart we’re dealing with. [Call Paula’s office.]

    FLETCHER: We may go and visit them, or have them visit us. All the city councillors who opposed it [in Guelph] were defeated because of the power of lobbying. And I can tell you know that I believe that lobbying has started on this file, and that one of the former chiefs of staff of Mel Lastman is lobbying on behalf of the applicant on this file at city hall. That’s my understanding at this point. [Also asks for support for her for taking this on.]

  8. MAN: Filed under the old official plan?

    GWEN: Was filed in 2004, and the old official plan was in force. But in doing that, we have to look at it in the entire context of [subsequent] actions of council. The in-force plan is the old one, and it would be strictly evaluated under that as an industrial application.

  9. JOYCE: How did this go directly to the OMB, and at what point can city council or did individual citizens have some input into the process?

    WRIGHT: It didn’t go directly to the OMB. There’s a time period after which, if council does not come to a decision, the applicant can appeal – I believe it’s 180 days. Time elapsed, and the applicant was able to appeal it. Who knows, I’m not second-guessing why they appealed it; they have rights to appeal, and that’s a matter of fact. [What about council?] When the city solicitor goes to the OMB, they are directed by council for certain applications. We recommended refusal in a previous report. Council and its directions evolve over time in this. Council has a role to play in directing staff at the OMB.

    [What they’re not telling you here is that the application went to the OMB because the city, true to form, simply cannot respond to an application in the six-month timeframe allotted. It was already established that the clock ran out and Rose Corp. exercised its rights. It had nothing to do with community consultation, which has no bearing on the city’s official response to an application.]

    FLETCHER: So when I say there’s lobbying going on, there may be lobbying of councillors to agree with this rezoning, which I think would be very detrimental. So I’ve got my eyes out watching what is going on on the second floor of City Hall with high-priced lawyers.

  10. MIKE: The OMB had to have regard for provincial policy. Is that still the case? Like housing and environmental policies. Do the planners know if that’s still the case?

    GWEN: Yes. They must have regard to the provincial policies in effect at the time.

  11. WOMAN: It sounds like what people are trying to go for is that using the excuse of having a power centre there would employ people, but if it is going to be a Wal-Mart, we handed out flyers about how Wal-Mart treats its employees. That is not the kind of place we want employing people. They are not an equitable place at all. They have lawsuits slapped against them as we speak by millions of women, child labour. We would prefer to have jobs that are equitable, reserving that land for stable jobs and to have Leslieville continue to grow as an independent neighbourhood. [Cf. Wal-Town.]

  12. PAUL: We get the sense of almost unanimous agreement against Wal-Mart, but we have to take that further into big-box. A report I have is that standalone power centres are not permitted in employment areas unless they front onto major streets. I don’t know if Lake Shore is considered a major street; I suspect it is. There are also things like street capacity. It seems they are permitted under the new municipal plan. I’m afraid that OMB will look at Canadian Tire, Loblaws, and Price Chopper and say: How can you deny us when you have those?

    GWEN: This is where we get into the discussion of the two official plans. The old plan is industrial. The new one does have a policy about the consideration of big-box retail, and Map 3 outlines a number of streets where you could consider large-scale retail. Eastern Ave. is one of the streets. There was an amendment to say no power centres in South of Eastern. The city also wants to expand what those employment uses could be, like offices, business services. This has become a project area to look at doing a community improvement plan to look at incentives for making this an area that we are showing a commitment to for employment uses. If you were to consider any retail at all, the form, scale, fit of the retail, the design, had to be considered. For the zoning of this site, the type of retail proposed here is not permitted.

    SPEZZA: We envision this area to be a hub of activity for architectural firms, possibly customer-service contact centres, a wide range of new media, IT companies – all high-value jobs. And believe me, Economic Development is also in the business of attracting business to this city. The demand is there; the supply and the availability of land are what we need, even with local companies. One major software development company was looking for space downtown and threatened to go to Mississauga, and we found them space [SAS on King East]. We just relocated another architectural firm that was north of the city into the downtown area.

    FLETCHER: With our climate-change plan, we want to have more local food, we don’t want to be going so far to work. One way to do that is to bring work and people together, not necessarily shopping and people together.

  13. WOMAN: The film industry recycles everything. A big-box store is going to make packaging garbage. 2,000 parking spaces shopping for an hour each – 22,000 cars emitting greenhouse gases in that area. To put in something that will not be ecologically safe or even sane does not make much sense to me.

  14. MAN: I think we have almost unanimity on this about the malignant project that they’re trying to bring here. They have a huge amount of power, so we have to have people power to counteract that. Hopefully we can. Wal-Mart is infamous for its low wages and its exploitation – particularly of women, who are already oppressed in the labour market. We need to lobby Queen’s Park for an indirect way of stopping it – we have to lobby for an immediate $10 minimum wage.

  15. WOMAN: What happened in the time between the initial application and when it went to the OMB?

    FLETCHER: The application was for a residential use. That was the discussion. There was a very long series of meetings in which many people said this is the Studio District and should stay that way. Because TFS was also moving to Filmport, we were trying not to do business [on both files] at the same time. Then council said there would be no residential, but before that it got taken to the OMB. But you could say they jumped the gun and took it to the board.

    — Was the actual application turned down?

    FLETCHER: Nothing was ever on paper.

    GWEN: There was not a council decision on the application, so it was appealed because of that.

    CROWD: Yeah, but why wasn’t there a decision?

    FLETCHER: There was this community process that had been requested, and it was taking a long time, and this issue was appealed. 180 days is nothing when you’re dealing with this kind of application. We requested a larger window and were denied.

  16. JACOB: I did urban design at UofT. I did a class with Mitch Goldhar. Runs FirstPro, which I guess is now SmartCentre. He’s a very intelligent guy, very warm in person, very convincing, young, maybe 40. From a development family; his brother’s in residential development. It’s interesting to know what we’re up against. We went to see the one in Leaside [for class]. There was a certain amount of posing about who was in control of that situation. Was there capitulation to the community? Did the community rise up against it? Goldhar went on about how important it was to work with the community, and improve it in the process, so you’re not confronting them with decisions that are fait accompli. Put that together with the image of an intelligent warm-seeming guy, the red flags are coming up: Why did he completely avoid the community and go straight to the OMB? It may have been the kind of community here. Keep in mind there’s an actual person involved.

  17. WOMAN: I think it’s a mistake to expect that people like the man you’re talking about have red horns and a tail and so on. [Guelph took 13 years and they lost.] To me, the OMB remains this mysterious thing. I ask people, who benefits from this in the end? We also need to be talking to our neighbours that we are really clear about the costs. The whole idea about the high-priced lobbyists bothers me. What about us?

    WOMAN: You can’t convince me that a man like that would buy into an area like this from the Rose Corp. and all these mysterious things happening. Somebody’s in bed with somebody here. It just doesn’t happen like that. You’re talking about lobbying. Is it a done deal?

    FLETCHER: If it is, we should just fold up and go home. I don’t believe this is a completely done deal.

  18. MAN: This development is entirely inappropriate for this area; whether it contains Wal-Mart or another big-box store, it’s entirely inappropriate. It’s the nature of the development that’s simply wrong. This is a small-scale area; the grain of development is fine. We already have to contend with Canadian Tire, the power plant and portlands; these are the wrong kinds of things. The growth guidelines for the greater Golden Horseshoe relate to density of jobs per hectare. Is this application too small to be assessed within those guidelines?

    WRIGHT: The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe requires municipalities to be consistent with it. But it was brought in after this appeal was made. So timing is important with those.

  19. MAN: They have the right to appeal the decision. Do we have any right to appeal?

    WRIGHT: There are a couple of mechanisms that are used not that frequently, and they’re typically initiated by city council, not by residents. One is called a review of the OMB decision, in which the OMB reviews its own decision, appointing different people to hear it. City Council can seek leave to appeal to Divisional Court, but that is used only if there is an error in law, not a question of judgement in planning.

    MAN IN CROWD: You can appeal to cabinet, too.

    — I’m not sure about that.

    OTHER MAN: Yes, but what law? The OMB is breaking City Council’s law by bringing power centres here.

    — They’re supposed to be interpreting the law, not making it.

    FLETCHER: They actually have a lot of power, which is one of our problems with it.

SmartCentres

Tom Smith appeared onstage at 20:18.

FLETCHER: Even though this is our community meeting, I’m giving them a chance. This is their first time here.

SMITH: SmartCentres is a 50% owner with Rose Corp. of the Eastern lands. We acquired our interest in fall 2006. We are probably the largest retail developer in Canada. We’ve created probably 60 million square feet of retail space, mostly suburban, with a little office and industrial. We have about 300 or 400 employees.

One of the big trends now in retailing is the return of retailing to city cores and urban environments. The tenants we work with are asking about opportunities to return to core areas of cities. There’s a client we’re trying to serve to bring it back in. We also see retailers as trying to serve residents, because they wouldn’t be wanting to come here [if there weren’t a market].

We’re evolving as a company. One was mentioned, Laird: That was one of the very first times in Canada in which a developer was able to build a centre with multi-floors. It isn’t [completed], and we continue to learn from the people we deal with. We tried to change the look of the buildings. It’s got pluses and minuses, but we’re trying. In Vaughan, we’re running one down a public street [so it won’t be car-based]. It’s a big change from the Laird project.

At Eastern, we recognized early on that this was gonna be a special place. It wasn’t going to be a suburban project, and we’d need, quite frankly, to raise the bar. We looked at the existing building stock. We looked at the opportunity on Lake Shore. The previous applications had gone in a certain direction. We accept that history and we’re trying to move forward.

We were directed by the OMB to provide materials to the City of Toronto. The challenge we face today is that we had to hurry up to get the built form, the massing of the project, [finalized]. The challenge is we haven’t completed all the technical studies that support the development because of the timelines to get the drawings in. [Seeks technical analysis from us, not just design critiques.] The challenge is to be sympathetic and respond to the needs of the community; part of that requires technical analysis, especially in dialogue with the city.

Russell Fleischer is here, the project architect. It’s 700,000 square feet of retail, two- and three-storey buildings at street edges. We’ve hidden the parking behind buildings. The architecture picks up on the vernacular we’ve seen in the area, and we’ve tried to accommodate a range of tenancies from large to small. There are no signed tenancies.

Q&A

  1. MAN: Your concern for the community has really only been expressed by virtue of this meeting. If you were so concerned, why didn’t you approach the community before you went to the OMB?

    SMITH: The referral to the board was commenced prior to our involvement. Normally we’d complete our plans and technical studies, and them come to the community.

    — But you have a preconceived idea. Why haven’t you asked the community what it wants in that area before you prepare those plans?

    — We fully intend to do that, partly tonight. We’ll be holding some open houses in the future once our technical studies are complete.

    — It’s too late.

    FLETCHER: Yes, the application was in early, but you bought [your 50% later]. It was the city’s lawyer that said you had to put something on paper. You’re hearing quite a bit from this community bout what they think.

  2. WOMAN: In your heart of hearts, if you walked around this neighbourhood, do you believe your development is in any stretch of the imagination going to blend in here? Would you want to live, as I do, on a very small, quiet residential street? Would you like to buy my house after you build this? I live half a block from Eastern. And answer me honestly.

    FLETCHER: You might buy it and flip it, so ask if he wants to live in it.

    SMITH: Part of our challenge is to explain the project at a detailed level.

    — You’re avoiding my question.

    — We really believe, corporately and personally, that it will really fit in here. [Grew up in the Beach and lives in the east end now.]

    — OK. Would you like to put this in the Beach? [Applause]

  3. MAN: Would your technical studies include a headcount of all the small-business proprietors who would be damaged by the influx of big-box stores into this neighbourhood?

    — Yes. [There’ll be an economic study.] There will be opportunities not only for national retailers but for independent and local businesses.

    MAN 2: What, are you going to have antique stores in there?

    — I haven’t heard anything from any antique stores.

    MAN 3: Starbucks.

  4. WOMAN: The fact remains that it is still a big-box store. We have a very healthy and growing community of small retailers, and we’re very happy to give them business. I don’t feel that many people win this room believe there is room for a Wal-Mart. It isn’t suburbia; it’s downtown Toronto, and we live in Downtown Toronto because it isn’t suburbia.

    — We feel it’s a highly urban project…. It’s freedom of choice and opportunity. You cannot compel people to shop there.

  5. MAN: You can drive across the lot and shop at the next store. That happens in suburban areas, not downtown Toronto. That’s obscene.

    SMITH: The design of the centre is totally oriented to the pedestrian once you arrive on the property. The idea is multi-storey retail and, through the centre, a pedestrian mall. You will not be getting back in your car, and hopefully bicycling on the Martin Goodman Trail to come shopping.

  6. WOMAN: The fact that you’re having so many parking spaces when the city’s trying to become greener, and you say you’re learning as you go along, but wouldn’t you be winning accolades if you developed something [other than this form], a people-friendly city?

    SMITH: We will take that to heart. We’ve tried to orient the stores on the streetfronts and be cognizant of how loading would be done for these stores. We’ve got a long way to go here. This isn’t something that is done and put in a can. We want to learn from your ideas and we want to make this a better project. Mitch and I believe that you make the project better by including other people’s ideas, not just your own.

    FLETCHER: This amount of retail is not really allowed under the official plan. What’s your vision of retail here? Big-box retail?

  7. MAN: Somebody mentioned SAS, the first gold-certified building [for environmental sustainability]. Will you commit today that this development be gold or platinum [LEDD]-certified?

    SMITH: SmartCentres is a member of the Canadian Green Building Council. If the developer or landlord does some of the work and the tenant the rest, there’s a gap that has to be bridged. A trial program, Core & Shell, is what we’re trying to be equivalent to. We have an energy consultant as member of our team.

  8. WOMAN: Economic impact of your kind of stores. I spend thousands a day in my job. I go to a lot of suppliers that hand-make things. They’re closing shop because people [whine about the prices]. Your stores teach people to accept ratty quality and homogenous goods.

    SMITH: There’s a whole series of issues involved with procurement and selection an buying. In our view, there’ll be national chains, there’ll be local. Our leasing guys are trying to approach these different segments that are not traditionally who we do business with. There are lots of people in the centres who bring value and there are many who shop on low prices. There’s a huge decision matrix in the selection of a good and your ability and willingness to pay.


Fletcher dismisses Smith and Fleischer back to the audience at 20:41. Says we can write to the minister of municipal affairs and housing, Tabuns, her, the mayor. Pre-hearing is May 22, 655 Bay St., 12th Floor.

FLETCHER: Thank you for showing us your 700,000 square feet and your 2,000 parking spots. This is an application; it doesn’t mean it’s happening.

Everybody that’s not a community member, including the media, SmartCentres, city staff, please leave – and anybody else who’s had enough.

[We milled around looking at drawings for a few minutes (pictures forthcoming), and then we had another 45 minutes of discussion. I didn’t take notes. After being warned, rather unnecessarily and with too much hostility, that she’d take the mike away from me if I went overlong, Fletcher permitted me to say that I was cautiously optimistic about the original plan, which could have become another sub-neighbourhood within our little microcosm of neighbourhoods in South Riverdale/Leslieville/Riverside. But the drawings here are merely a simulacrum of a neighbourhood. I was thus able to stand up in a public meeting and use the words “microcosm” and “simulacrum” (twice), all within a minute 27. I left at 21:30.]

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.05.18 13:00. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
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