FoNTRA expresses concern about the planning rationale for amending the Official Plan to permit neighbourhood retail stores

July 4, 2022

Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Attention: Nancy Martins

PH35.1: Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods – Neighbourhood Retail and Services Study Final Report Phase One (Ward All – Statutory: Planning Act, RSO 1990)

Dear Councillor Ana Bailao, Chair, and Members of Planning and Housing Committee,

The Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations (FoNTRA) does not object in principle to the proposed OPA; however, we are skeptical about its feasibility and practicality. In a retail universe that satisfies consumers’ desires for both shopping convenience (via on-line and next day (or less) delivery), and bulk shopping at megastores like COSTCO, it is questionable whether there is any longer a desire and consequently an adequate market for new local neighbourhoods services, or whether this is a planners’ dream throwback to a simpler time?

While we are skeptical, we do not object. However, we do support the very specific concern and recommendation made by the Confederation of Resident and Ratepayer Associations in Toronto (CORRA). CORRA opposes the deletion of the present wording in 4.1.3 which states:

“a) serve the needs of area residents and potentially reduce local automobile trips;”

No rationale is provided for the deletion. CORRA’s concern is that the deletion of this requirement may be read that destination retail is encouraged, and as a consequence, increased automobile trips.

Respectfully submitted,

Yours truly,

Geoff Kettel
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

Cathie Macdonald
Co-Chair, FoNTRA