When the Weekly writes, apropos of 429 University proposal, that the discussion is a “proxy battle in a broader debate” over development, don’t they actually mean that there is inscrutable and undue resistance here because leadership is unwilling and afraid to say no to any whim of establishment landlords and developers such as the Thoits brothers, Chop Keenan, Jim Baer or Roxy Rapp, and that Jaimie and Elizabeth Wong are in effect a scapegoat or whipping boy couple, and or subject to a type of bias or discrimination?
And when you say “Victorian homes” on Kipling, don’t you mean office and retail? Michael Harbour’s argument is dubious in that his building, likewise is more office space, for a venture capital firm (and not his practice, as you state).
My understanding is that the Wongs suggested to pay in lieu fees for example to eliminate the problem of under-grounded (sic) traffic exiting onto Kipling north but staff told them they could not do it. Merely hindering or repressing the redevelopment of 429 does not in itself turn Kipling into a pedestrian mall.
Also I had to chuckle when commissioner David Bower made some ludicrous speech about Ms. So-and-So’s button shop his dear mum used to drag him to, on Kipling, and his opposition to the changes. Bower was the one who, when I suggested we push Keenan into having a cultural tenant at nearby 456 University (The Varsity, now a “co-working space”) and his reply was, as reported herein, “This is America! Go ahead and buy your own building”. Even if we’ve moved Bower off his jingoism, I doubt that means that there’s anything more Democratic about our policy downtown. Or show me.
Let’s see how they treat the similar pipeline proposal at Lytton and Kipling before we crow over taking back commissions and council from the powers-that-be. d
The Wong’s proposal fits under the “downtown cap” and before the moratorium.