The Ossington Community Association is holding its first fundraiser with the aim of connecting neighbours and raising some money to bring their voice to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
All proceeds from their dance party and fundraiser, called ‘We <3 Ossington’, will go to The Ossington Community Association (OCA) legal fund to fight against the ‘109OZ’ proposal. The ‘<3’ being the computer keyboard emoticon symbol for ‘love’.
The 109OZ proposal is for a six-storey condo at 109 Ossington Ave., formerly a car lot and garage. Reserve Properties, the developer behind 109OZ, has taken their application to the OMB on the grounds the City of Toronto has taken too long to respond to it. The city has not yet completed the study of the area, which is necessary for the application to proceed.
“In cases such as the present the city is compelled to do the area study that they are doing, but it takes longer than the 120 days allowed to complete such a study,” explained Benj Hellie, spokesperson for the OCA.
The pre-hearing for the application to develop 103, 109-11 Ossington Ave. has been scheduled for May 17 at 10 a.m. at the OMB.
The OCA wants to be a party to that and subsequent hearings, explained Hellie, but in order to do that they need to raise the money to pay the lawyer representing the group, Charles Campbell. Campbell is the same lawyer that represented the Active 18 community group at the OMB hearing regarding the Queen West Triangle.
The Ossington Community Association formed last summer with the objective of promoting the neighbourhood north of Queen Street to Harrison Street between Crawford Street and Dovercourt Road, and its business districts on the Ossington Strip and the Dundas Bend.
“Basically we are a community association so the way we see this is we are a multiservice group and one of the services we provide is to be a locus of community for the Ossington community,” Hellie said. “Most important thing is to have good interaction rituals.
‘We <3 Ossington’ is the first such ritual and it is taking place at Lower Ossington Theatre at 100A Ossington Ave. on Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.
“We need to raise money for a lawyer and a planner, so we need to pay two professionals and their offices,” Hellie said. “But, primarily it is a chance to get the community together and get to know each other and have a good time.”
The OCA anticipates costs at the OMB to range between $15,000 and $20,000.
Hellie has long said he and his group believe the development would suck the life out of the strip because it doesn’t fit in with the character of the street and would negatively affect neighbours.
“Mostly what we are concerned with is the stability of the neighbourhood and the character of the Ossington strip as a place that Toronto loves,” said Hellie, a philosophy professor who lives on Argyle Street.
The party will have dancing, a DJ and a few local restaurants have donated food.
Hellie said there has been a lot of enthusiasm around the event by OCA volunteers and he expects it will be well attended.
There is a $20 suggested donation at the door and there will be a cash bar and 50/50 raffle.
“We are keeping it simple this time around,” Hellie said. “Food, booze, people equals a good time – it’s the ancient secret to a good time.”
People who would like to make a donation can do so by visiting tinyurl.com/weluvoss
On April 23 the councillor for the area, Mike Layton, will hold a public meeting for the community to work together to prepare for the pre-hearing on May 17 should this case proceed to the OMB.