Intensification and the OMB in Yonge-Eglinton

The Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood is experiencing some of the most extreme intensification in the entire city – by 2030, between 24,000 and 28,000 new residents are expected to live in the area.

The Ontario Municipal Board continues to approve development after development without considering whether there is the infrastructure capacity to handle such a huge influx of new residents or the impacts on the existing community.

The OMB-approved 35-storey building at 18-30 Erskine Avenue – right next to John Fisher Public School – is the poster child for this irresponsible and narrow-focused provincial planning process.

I’ve voted four times at City Council to remove Toronto from the jurisdiction of the OMB but the province has yet to act. While I’d like to see the OMB abolished altogether, the province has been conducting a review of the OMB and is expected to announce reforms this spring.

In the meantime, the city is developing a new planning framework – called Midtown in Focus – to improve parks, open space and streetscape in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood. In 2015, I moved to expand the scope of Midtown in Focus to include a review of city infrastructure, including transportation networks, water and energy.

City staff will be bringing forward draft recommendations related to Midtown in Focus later this year.