Fundraising Letter

October 31, 2012

Dear Leaside Neighbour,

We are writing to update you on the initiatives of Leaside Unite (LU) and the Leaside Property Owners Association (LPOA) regarding the proposed SmartCentres North Development, which is immediately north of the existing SmartCentres location.

LU is a working committee under LPOA, and is comprised of concerned Leaside residents who are committed to ensuring that the proposed SmartCentres North Development is approved only for a reasonable scale of development. The current plans represent nearly twice the level of development that has been permitted in recent retail developments along Laird.

Our goal is to ensure the proposal respects the cohesive neighbourhood qualities we all value and that Leaside has carefully fostered over its near 100-year history. Many individuals have already volunteered countless hours and contributed out-of-pocket expenses to the cause, and we are now asking for your support.

Why we need your support

Your donations will assist with the following initiatives that are currently underway:

  • Engaging legal counsel – Eric Gillespie has acted as legal counsel in a number of major hearings involving large-scale retail developments, including successfully opposing an 800,000+ sq. ft. SmartCentres proposal in the Leslieville area;
  • Engaging an independent traffic consultant to evaluate the developer’s traffic assessment;
  • Engaging an independent Planning Consultant to evaluate all deviations between the proposed development and the City of Toronto’s Official Plan policies; and
  • Marketing and public relations – informing Leaside residents and the City of the impact caused by the over-development of Laird Drive.

LPOA has a long track record of representing the interests of Leaside residents in such proceedings, most recently in its successful opposition to the demolition and development of the Talbot apartments on Bayview. The proposed SmartCentres North Development is not a done deal. With your help, we can prevail at City Council.

What will happen without your support

  • Overdevelopment of the Laird retail node will jeopardize the quality of our neighbourhood – this includes residents and businesses alike. Recent Eglinton Avenue construction demonstrates how Leaside’s residential streets can become alternate routes for motorists who wish to avoid the potential gridlock on Eglinton and Laird. Overdevelopment also puts the safety of local residents at risk.
  • As a consequence of any approval of the unprecedented density of development, underground parking will attract greater numbers of vehicles while the potentially higher frequency of truck deliveries (including 53’ trailer and cabs) will further impact residential amenity, noise and safety on our streets.
  • The proposed SmartCentres North Development will set a precedent for higher density commercial development.

How you can help

  • Donate. For those interested in supporting the cause, please donate by cheque (preferable) or by PayPal via www.leasideunite.com. Cheques should be payable to “Leaside Property Owners’ Association” and please include Leaside Unite in the memo field on the cheque. Our mailing address is Leaside Unite, 660 Eglinton Avenue East, PO Box 50055, Toronto, M4G 4G1.
  • Volunteer.  We have a number of positions available. Please go to our website to see how you can assist.
  • Show your support. LU is providing information pamphlets and offering lawn signs to all interested residents who wish to help raise awareness. Please contact us if you wish to obtain a lawn sign or further information.

We urge you to take action and assist with this cause. Leaside is a community worth fighting for. Let’s put our Community First!

Graham Shirley
President, LU Working Committee

Carol Burtin Fripp
Vice-President, LPOA

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