North York Mirror
To the editor:
Re: 'Don Mills Arena meeting a heated affair,' News, May 18.
As a resident of Don Mills, I read this article with interest and am glad to know the majority of those in attendance were opposed to this proposed location for the Civitan Arena/community centre.
Sue England, one of the few residents who is in approval, said she fears if the land is not used for the arena, it will be sold to a developer. While this land should remain as green space, if that weren't an option, would it not be better to have some sort of housing built on the site rather than a massive twin pad arena and adjoining community centre?
England also said that "most places (neighbourhoods) would love to have a community centre" and, of course, she's right but I wonder if she realizes this won't be your small local community centre run by parks and recreation.
Rather, as Cadillac Fairview stipulated in their agreement, the new community centre, which would be located on their property at Don Mills Road and the Donway West, is to be run by a group of their choosing (they had, at that time, spoken to representatives of the YMCA), which means that anyone wishing to join would pay an initial membership fee, and ongoing monthly user fees thereafter easily putting the centre out of reach financially for most Don Mills residents.
As well, Terry West, the president of Don Mills Residents Inc. (DMRI), told the reporter he is "working on behalf of the community as a whole" but, if that is the case, why are a large number of residents still unaware of this site and why weren't all residents, especially those living in proximity to it, notified of his meeting?
West also states that "it makes no sense to consult with the community prematurely before an idea is properly explored" but I understand that although he had a drawing of the design on display, there were no structural plans, completed traffic and noise studies or reports on water and sewage available.
And finally, West said he expects his association will be given an opportunity to vote on the proposal.
The DMRI, which has a membership of 1000-plus, does not represent the 25,000-plus people who live in Don Mills. The community, as a whole, should be allowed to vote for a change of this magnitude or, at the very least, the decision should go to those living along the Donway West and on the streets running off of it.
Mary Jane Mills