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2007 01 16
The Story Of An OMB Death Foretold
Last weekend's OMB decision to allow a condo project in the Junction Triangle to go ahead may be the one last defiant act of an irrelevant organization. Once again the board chose the needs of the developer over those of the city and the community in spite of overpowering evidence that the plan will destroy the character of Queen Street West.

Our mayor was against it. City planners responsible for the area did not want it. Local residents hated it so much they started Active 18 to protest it. Small entrepreneurs who are driving international interest in the neighbourhood cringed at the thought of it. The developer wanted it though and got it. Big money plus big, unresponsive bureaucracy prevails - once again. What else is new? Well, times are changing and the careless disregard of good design practices in an effort to maximize revenue at the public's expense is harder to justify in a networked world.

When the Ontario government acted to limit the cancerous destruction of the Oak Ridges Moraine by unchecked, OMB approved development, it did the right thing and everyone knew it. It is time for the Liberals to once again act for the public good, this time to stop the destruction of another kind of critical resource -- the local arts community and a vibrant, popular neighbourhood. In an economy increasingly driven by highly educated workers who can live wherever they want, destroying a cultural resource that gives texture and life to our city and acts as a cultural incubator for the arts may well be a kind of economic suicide.

Is the OMB an obsolete organization that is meddling in the city's ability to recreate itself? The city thinks so. Queens Park should too.

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 01/16 at 01:04 PM

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