Development of new concrete batching facilities will be on hold for a year in the industrial lands where eight years ago Sunrise Propane was levelled in a massive propane fire and explosion.
Toronto Council approved an interim control bylaw at its meeting Feb. 4, to prevent the site that includes the vacant Sunrise Propane lands from being redeveloped with heavy industry — in particular, with a concrete batching facility similar to others in the neighbourhood now.
The bylaw puts heavy industrial development on hold while the city develops a plan to turn the old industrial lands in the area – bounded by the west side of Murray Road, north of Wilson Avenue and south of Plewes Road – into a regeneration zone where other land uses might be contemplated.
At issue is the proximity of the old industrial lands to single family homes — many of which had their windows blown out following the 2008 Sunrise Propane explosion.
“What we have here is a community that is in turmoil and has been since the explosion took place. The kinds of uses going on in this community east of Keele Street are heavy industrial and really don’t belong across the street from single family homes,” said local Councillor Maria Augimeri. “We’re using all the tools we have available to change the areas into regeneration areas.”
Augimeri noted that the community of houses and industrial properties have been uneasy neighbours for many years prior to the explosion.
“I think that a strong message ought to be sent by this council to those who will listen and those who will not, this is not an appropriate place to expand heavy industrial uses where there are schools, a major hospital nearby and institutions that can ill afford to have this kind of poor quality air and everything it brings,” said Augimeri.