By: Brennan Carroll, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
On Saturday, October 14, the Urban Leadership Program (ULP) for 2017/2018 kicked off with an immersive day in the Main and Danforth neighbourhood. We started at the Main Square Community Centre, where the ULP participants introduced themselves and heard from Councillor Janet Davis, a representative of the City of Toronto Planning Department, as well as other Community Leaders and Local Residents.
After a hearty lunch at Len Duckworth’s Fish & Chips, the ULP then set out on a walking tour of the neighbourhood that gave further context to the issues that were raised in the morning. We particularly focused on the southeast corner of Main and Danforth and the Shoppers World sites, as these two areas will be more closely scrutinized over the next 8 months by the ULP participants. With the input of members of the Community and City Planning staff, we were able to gain insights on some the key concerns of the neighbourhood as well as challenges for future development. We learned about the area’s unique connection to the Bangladeshi community and hopes for more interactive transit. Finally, we rested our weary feet at Relish Pub, where we could reflect on the day, and discuss our enthusiasm for the ULP and the opportunities for this unique Toronto neighbourhood.
The Urban Leadership participants will meet monthly from January to April and on Saturday, May 17th there will be a community presentation to showcase the vision and the action plan on the two sites.