Timelines unclear for Unilever, Queen-Spadina

On Nov. 3, approximately 30 Corktown area residents attended the Corktown Residents and Business Association (CRBA) monthly meeting at Little Trinity Church Annex Building on King St. E.

A large portion of the meeting surrounded a presentation from Derek Goring, vice president of development, First Gulf Corporation, who explained in detail the future plans of the Unilever site located at King and Riverside streets.

The Unilever site is comprised of 67 acres with a unique development designation of employment use only.
“What’s interesting about this site that makes it quite different from most developments happening in the city is the site is within the area called South of Eastern employment zone, which means it’s intended for employment use, not residential,” explained Goring. “So the way we are planning this out as a major employment node, eventually having up to 50,000 people working there every day, will be a mix of office and retail, institutional, cultural, recreation and other types of amenities but not residential. That’s what’s been dictated by the city and we are embracing that idea.”

First Gulf Corporation is taking people and their working environment into account with the Master Plan focusing on health and wellness, which includes parks, public spaces in addition to retail that will make the location a destination during the day and evening.

Goring told the audience that currently there is no specific timeline for the project.

Another important update was provided in reference to the Queen-River Secondary Plan area, bounded by Queen St. E., Dundas St. E., River St. and Bayview Ave. There are many stakeholders involved with regards to future development and the CRBA is one of the many community area groups that will be a part of development hearings in the future.

“I’ve been asked to provide an update on the OMB appeal for the Queen and River Secondary Plan area,” said Scott Barker, member of the CRBA development committee. “Under a month ago was the OMB prehearing so this was the first in a semiformal court environment. There is a board member present, the city is there with all the other people, and what we were doing is just discussing the issues. We understand what’s coming next is the mediation process sorting out what the issues are. There is a second prehearing scheduled for March. It could be all settled through mediation but there are a lot of parties so it’s unlikely. There will be a hearing with a final outcome. This might all take place next year but it might drag out into 2017.”

Snil Issac, community engagement manager, Good Shepherd Ministries, asked Corktown residents to not only volunteer during the holiday season, but to look at other times of the year.

“We have a lot of people who sign up, which is typical for this time of the year,” Issac pointed out to the Corktown residents. “I’m here to talk about what you can still do during the rest of the year to help us out and in terms of fundraising endeavours. Throughout the year we help out about 8000 plus people in different ways.”

Issac suggested people come in and help make beds, fold laundry, prepare and serve meals or share a talent they might have. In addition to this people can help through fundraising. The Good Shepherd has had schools and community groups volunteer for years but individuals are always welcome and are continually needed for support.
For more information about the CRBA visit www.corktown.ca.

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