Painful disappointment at city hall

(Sometimes an editorial writer is trumped by a letter writer. This open letter to Mayor David Miller was sent to The Bulletin by a local resident. We can’t say it better than she does.)

I have been a supporter of yours since you first entered the political arena in Toronto. You promised a commitment to improve public spaces, to beautify the city and you mentioned concern for the “soul” of the city.

You also stated a commitment to preserve what remains of the waterfront for the people of this city.  To be enjoyed by the residents of Toronto. You said you were a follower of Jane Jacobs.

I have just seen, in this issue of Our Toronto [the little city-published magazine that costs taxpayers $800,000 a year], your plans for the waterfront area that runs between Yonge St and Parliament St. I am horrified. You have allowed building development right down to the water’s edge.  How irresponsible of you!

No one will EVER AGAIN have the opportunity to create beautiful parkland along the waterfront for us all to enjoy and experience this beauty. A park bench and a bicycle path do not make a park.

It certainly does not make for a beautiful environment to provide the peace and beauty that is good for the “soul of a city” (your words).

You claimed to have been inspired by what Chicago has done along the waterfront. You claimed to have learned lessons from all the great cities of the world. Clearly the learning hasn’t stuck!

You criticized previous administrations for building too close to the water along the west side of Yonge St. They left a much larger area for parkland than you have done. Your plans show only a SMALL park in what is now called the Portlands. This is not exactly around the corner from most of the residents of this city.

I believed you would think BIG for the people of this city.  I believed your legacy would be something wonderful, on a scale of New York’s Central Park. Your legacy, instead, will be more concrete and pavement. You will be remembered as the mayor who had an opportunity and blew it.

You can no longer count on my support for anything.