Your historic main street will be assimilated, Resistance is futile !

Tridel

Steven Upton's letter in the December 8th Auroan was titled "Yonge development a good thing : reader"

I think we can safely assume that Mr. Upton is biased towards development, being the vice President Development of Tridel and all.

Perhaps a more accurate tile would be "Yonge development a good thing : developer"

I like his assertion that council and residents should keep an "open mind" when it comes to shaping the "inevitable growth" of their community.  So am I reading it correctly that residents or councilors that oppose development, even in part, are "close minded" ?  I guess that assertion, coming from a developer, was inevitable.

And then he goes on to say that "residents should not be concerned with increased height and densities"

Excuse me Mr. Developer but where do you get off telling me what I should and shouldn't be concerned about?

As a citizen I am extremely concerned with increased heights and densities, and will continue to be until I see development strategies that put the needs of the community and residents before that of the developer.  Tridel has no such strategies.

In doing a quick Google search for reviews Tridel hardly looks to be an ethical company:

http://reviews.smartcanucks.ca/tridel-condo-builders-ripped-us-off/

http://homestars.com/companies/2570229-tridel-corporation?show_review=27244

Digging a little further I see that CBC's show "The MarketPlace" did an show on condo developers
http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2008/01/09/condo_crunch/

Here's what they reported:

"You may be surprised to learn that the beautiful rooms you see in the model suites are not necessarily like the ones you’ll live in once your building is complete. The den on your floor plans may become a walk-in closet by the time you move in. Your ceilings may turn out to be a foot or two lower than the ones you saw in the model suite when you decided to buy."

As Wendy Mesley reports, "buying a condo is fraught with risk for you, the buyer. The developers? They’re pretty well protected."

And user feedback on the page for the episde included the following owner review:

"I purchased a brand new condo in 2006 from Tridel. It's been nothing short of a nightmare. The show is completely accurate. Caveat emptor is definitely the rule."

I couldn't help but notice Mr. Upton's objection to Toronto's bylaw mandating green roofs.  He seems to have a very limited view, in his words "What the bylaw does is limit our options for future buildings,"

I find it upsetting when a developer claims that environmental issues get in the way of their planning.  What else get in "their way"?

Mr. Uptown is correct that A historic main street such as Aurora's needs focus and refurbishing of historical buildings.  It needs improvements to local parks/community facilities and the creation and improvement to public spaces for everyone to enjoy.

He seems to be of the belief that the only way Aurora will see these benefits is if we accept what developers, like Tridel, propose and hike up huge rat bag condos.  Perhaps he does not realize that as taxpayers we already contribute to town projects that provide us these benefits.

All of the "benefits" that Mr. Uptown outlined that come from new development is not what will be opposed, its how the development is proposed.  Increased height and densities is only inevitable if poor planning is what is turned to. 

No thanks.

Aurora deserves better.

The more I'm coming to understand about Urban Planning the more I believe developers and council should work to include concepts presented in the book "The Endless City", you can read a review here:

http://www.core77.com/blog/book_reviews/book_review_the_endless_city_by_ricky_burdett_and_deyan_sudjic_9633.asp#more

Co-author Jacobs speaks lovingly about the diversity of the city streets, the need for a heterogeneous population and a "neighborhood" actively engaged in monitoring or policing its own behavior and growth.

Co-author Richard Sennett talks about the need for anti-planners to break up the homogeneity that developers pursue, exploring deep issues like the migration of creative talent, the growing political influence of the metropolis and the environmental impact of humanity in large conglomerations.

In response to Mr Uton's closing in which he uses a cliched blanket statement that "too often people refer to new development as a bad thing, not in my backyard", I am curious Mr. Upton, where exactly is your backyard?  If it doesn't back onto Yonge Street I suggest that your comments take a back seat to someone who does.

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