June 8th, 2010
At the end of May we posted a story on the Waterfront based East Bayside plot, on the South side of Queens Quay just to the East of Sherbourne Park.
We posed the question – What’s going on?
Well, we here at BuzzBuzzHome decided to do a little investigating and what we found was worrying to say the least.
We called the York Quay Neighbourhood Association. We called Councillor Pam McConnell’s office. We called the Waterfront Secretariat. We called the Waterfront BIA. All of these were kind enough to answer our questions and return our phone calls.
Each one however, directed us towards one organisation, whom they said would be able to provide us with all the information we were looking for – Waterfront Toronto.
Well, after calling several people there and leaving several voicemails, we never heard back. Disappointing really, especially since the information that we gathered from our other research resulted in alarmingly conflicting results.
Here’s what we DO know: An RFP was put out in December of last year for the site which is to be a residential and commercial property.
That’s it. That’s the one bit of concrete information that we have.
We got conflicting stories from the various people we managed to talk to. One said there was a shortlist of 4 developers being negotiated with at the moment, with the successful candidate being announced over the ‘next few weeks’.
This flies in the face of the TWO separate people who told us that in fact, Waterfront Toronto had decided on ONE bid to submit to the City of Toronto for final signing off and that that had already been submitted.
We were also told that a report to the city on the evaluation of the bids will be taken to council in their last meeting of the year, in August. If there’s no decision on it then, it will ‘have to wait until the new year’.
When asked on the issue of public process and why the public have not been involved in the decision making thus far, we were assured that it was completely typical that everything was ‘confidential’ at this stage, seeing as it was a ‘competition process’ and that when the winning proponent is announced, Waterfront Toronto will decide how much information they want to release to the public.
We have several issues with this:
1. If in fact there has been only ONE proponent’s bid sent to City Hall, then where’s the competition in that?! They aren’t up against anyone!
2. Why don’t the public get to have a say? Or at least a LOOK at what the plans are. If there are 4 developer’s in the running then why not let the people know what the proposals are and let them have their say?
3. The general lack of transparency. It’s been over 5 months since the RFP’s were put out and not a single word has been heard since.
So, Waterfront Toronto, here’s your chance to clear things up and tell the people of Toronto what is going on. Why so secretive about this site? Our number is 416.929.8087. If you check your voicemails you’ll find it there.
And we PROMISE we’ll get back to you as soon as we can if you leave us a voicemail……or two……….or three……….