October 15th 2015
Director, Community Resources, Social Development, Finance & Administration
City of Toronto
Dear Ms Allevato,
Thank you for your response to my inquiry of October 5th 2015 concerning the long-standing tenancy of this City building by Storefront Humber Inc. For us, as we approach 2016 and the expiry of the lease term, it’s extremely important that we improve the community`s access to the building.
As you know, Storefront Humber Inc. [a private not-for-profit organization] at 2445 Lakeshore Boulevard West has been the tenant for a generation and built a business that operates across Etobicoke without holding any discussions with the residents and stakeholders of the Mimico community in which it is based and housed. As far as we know, Storefront Humber Inc. has not consulted other Etobicoke communities.
We want to assure you that we know that the work they carry out serves their clients admirably and is of high standard. This issue is certainly not about reducing services to the elderly or those less fortunate citizens.
The Mimico Residents Association is concerned by your present view as outlined in your response to me on October 6th on the necessity of holding a public consultation on the use and future of this City-owned facility. As you know, the building forms a crucial part of Mimico`s central square and is a key part of our approved Secondary Plan.
So there is a big picture at stake here in which the City must take a pivotal role.
We worry that meeting immediately with SFH in private and depending on the outcome, and not seeking other views or not taking the big picture into account may lead to a decision that is inimical to neighbourhood interests.
One of the key items raised at our Sept 17th 2015 meeting was Parks and Recreation’s support for a public consultation as part of its Facilities Master Plan. John Fulton made the point that public consultation is an important tool in assessing local needs and guiding future investment in City-owned properties.
We are concerned that representatives from Storefront Humber Inc. may misrepresent the nature of the “onsite services” provided at this facility. The bulk of the services provided by Storefront Humber Inc. take place “off-site” inside client’s homes or facilities outside Mimico so suggestions otherwise could be viewed as a placement of barriers to local community groups to have access to the building.
As it stands now, someone could attest that this private corporation has used its privileged position with the City to customize the building, thus entrenching its presence. All this going ahead without any public consultation. We trust that you are going to be even-handed in managing the possible future expansion of a private corporation while taking into account neighbourhood community interests.
The Mimico Residents Association feels that it is paramount to engage local residents and stakeholders in a transparent and public discussion about how this City-owned facility could better serve the needs of the local community.
John R. Cary
President, Mimico Residents Association
CC: Mark Grimes, Councillor Ward 6; David Pritchard, Mimico BIA; Don Henderson, HBSCA; Peter Milczyn, MPP, Etobicoke-Lakeshore