To everyone who wrote letters of support, who came out to the May 19 Planning and Growth Management Committee, and who in other ways voiced their concerns about the application to rezone the site of our current manufacturing facility for condo development – a sincere thank you.
In part because of this support, and the constructive dialogue established with our landlord, the City, and the developer, we were able to reach a fair deal that we’re happy with. Diamond Corp. has agreed to let us stay at 30 Ordnance for the next two years, and we’re hopeful about finding a suitable, transit-accessible manufacturing facility in Toronto where we can continue to grow after this.
Here’s a more detailed update on the outcome of the PGMC meeting:
- The Committee ultimately voted to recommend to Council that 30 Ordnance Street be rezoned from industrial to mixed-use residential.
- City Council will vote on this recommendation during their July 8 and 9 Council Meeting. It seems likely that the application will go through.
That said, the Committee also unanimously passed a resolution that the City’s Economic Development department be tasked with helping Morgan Solar transition into a new location in Toronto.
Voting followed five speeches made at the Committee meeting; three made in defense of keeping the land zoned as industrial; two in support of redeveloping the land to build two high-rise condos.
Speaking in defense was John Paul Morgan, an earlier version of whose impassioned speech you can read here. James Nugent, a PhD student in Geography at the University of Toronto, who was also representing the Toronto-based Good Green Jobs for All Coalition, spoke next. He argued that the fast pace at which the City is losing well-paying, fulfilling manufacturing jobs is hurting its economy and the quality of life of its residents, many of whom are having to turn to lower paying jobs in the service sector. Nic Morgan made the third deposition, drawing attention to the fact that the City had blocked rezoning on 11 and 25 Ordnance, sites which were in the original application, but were taken out before the May 19 meeting. Both are City-owned buildings.
Speaking in favour of the redevelopment was a legal representative for Diamond Corp. and a representative of the Fashion Design Council of Canada, who are in discussions with Diamond Corp. to host their annual Fashion Week at the proposed redevelopment site.
While we are not supportive of the scant amount of public consultation with which most of the rezoning application went through, we aren’t planning on going to the next Council meeting.
We’re anticipating that the City will provide meaningful assistance to mitigate the effects of the rezoning on our hiring, purchasing, and manufacturing schedules, and to help us transition to a suitable location in Toronto. What matters now is what the City decides to do going forward – with us, and moreover with the remaining industrial lands that allow good jobs, making good things, to stay in this city.