As mentioned in our weekly newsletter on September 26, the Council was set to meet September 30 – October 1 to discuss Motion MM23.28, brought by Councillor Wong-Tam.
In advance of this meeting, the CRA sent a letter to all Councilors and the Mayor, in which we reiterated our concerns about neighbourhood safety and security:
“The Cabbagetown Residents Association’s objection to the siting of a drop-in and respite centre at 233 Carlton Street (in the heart of the commercial strip in Cabbagetown) has been driven, from the outset, by an overriding concern for the safety and security of residents and local businesses. Council is surely aware of the challenges brought about by pimps and drug dealers operating in the Sherbourne and Dundas neighbourhood around the Margaret’s Respite Centre. Our concern is that these same predators will migrate north to prey on the female clientele of this new respite centre. This is a real community concern, born out by the troubles that arose so rapidly, so extremely and so publicly in midtown communities adjacent to the Roehampton Hotel.”
In this letter we asked Council to demand clear, detailed, and unequivocal responses to each of Councillor Wong Tam’s questions. We also asked them to consider addressing a number of other questions that have gone unanswered since the 233 Carlton Street project was kicked-off by the Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) in mid 2019.
Similar letters were also submitted by other local residents associations and concerned neighbours.
In advance of the Council session, the city published a ‘Report for Action’, as a response to the three questions in Motion MM23.28. Unfortunately, this report provided no substantive or objective insights into the SSHAs decision making process when leasing this property.
The Cabbagetown Coalition sent an email response to this ‘Report for Action’ to its own subscriber database, pointing out the various deficiencies in the report. This email was also copied to members of the Council.
All of these communications were appended to the supporting documents related to Councillor Wong-Tam’s Motion. Unfortunately, the Council meeting was extended through October 2, and Councillor Wong-Tam’s motion came up 5 minutes before the end. To ensure proper review, she deferred the motion to the next Council meeting, scheduled for October 28-29.
This is an ongoing story and we will provide additional updates as they become available.