Development application filed day of meeting
Local residents’ association feels left out of process by RioCan
A Thornhill community group arrived at a Feb. 3 idea session to find developer RioCan had already submitted their redevelopment proposal for Spring Farm Marketplace plaza at 441 Clark Ave W. in Thornhill.
Spring Farm Ratepayers Association (SFRA) was there to discuss a mixed-use redevelopment proposal, which includes a two-storey commercial building as well as a 20-storey residential tower on the site.
“We were taken aback actually. We found out after the [meeting] had started, and it wasn’t from RioCan. It was from another source,” said Pamela Levy-Taraday, chair of the SFRA. “They didn’t even have the courtesy to tell us.” Levy-Taraday kept regular contact with RioCan by email beforehand. “I would have hoped we had developed enough of a relationship that they would have at least given us a heads up,” she said.
Area councillor Alan Shefman was also in attendance. He said the community’s response to the proposal was passionate.
SFRA conducted a survey of area residents that generated hundreds of responses last year.
Levy-Taraday and Shefman both take issue with the addition of the residential tower to the commercial space.
Vicki Leung, a spokesperson for Sobey’s, which has a location under renovation in the plaza, said their real estate team is in discussions with RioCan to make sure the development does not negatively impact the store.
There will be more public consultation concerning the proposed redevelopment as the City of Vaughan reviews RioCan’s application.
“We have a very tight group of members, and we haven’t called them to action yet,” said Levy-Taraday.
RioCan spokesperson Dolores Cece said their representative attached to the project is unable to comment at this time.
The City of Vaughan confirmed that the application was submitted Feb. 3, the same day as the meeting.