EDITORIAL: Strong neighbourhoods make a strong city

Opinion Mar 27, 2014 Beach Mirror

Strong neighbourhoods make a strong city, and involved residents make strong neighbourhoods.

In Toronto, that’s true thanks to the work being done by our scores of local residents’ associations. These organizations play a key role in how our city is not only governed, but in how it is planned and how it grows.

Neighbourhood associations, which can vary in size from a dozen members to those with membership lists of more than 1,000, are the first place to go for residents who want to have a say in their community.

In this week’s paper, our special feature looks at these local associations and their impact. To see what’s going on in across the city and how you can get involved, visit us at http://bit.ly/1hlAN8D

Whether it’s organizing a street party or dealing with a massive redevelopment proposal, the neighbourhood association is the best way for residents to get involved. There’s power in numbers when it comes to such associations when they need to make their case to municipal politicians and big developers.

Don Mills Residents Inc. is a good example of this. The neighbourhood association with more than 1,000 members took a proactive role in negotiations with developer Cadillac Fairview when it came to the Shops at Don Mills redevelopment, which also included condos and a possible community centre. The residents’ group was able to ensure that the community centre was not lost during what was a sometimes difficult and contentious planning process.

The reality is that a powerful neighbourhood association puts the local politicians on notice that they have to work with residents to come up with a satisfactory solution to development plans, or risk not being elected again. This helps focus the politicians to bring the full weight of the city and its planning processes to bear when negotiating with developers.

A strong association also helps the developers know what the feelings of the community are, and who they need to deal with in order to come up with a successful project that can be welcomed, or at least tolerated, rather than scorned by the area’s residents,

But it’s not all about negotiating with politicians and developers. The real strength of these organizations is how they bring the people of a neighbourhood together. They make your community stronger, and by extension they make Toronto – as a whole – a better place.

EDITORIAL: Strong neighbourhoods make a strong city

Opinion Mar 27, 2014 Beach Mirror

Strong neighbourhoods make a strong city, and involved residents make strong neighbourhoods.

In Toronto, that’s true thanks to the work being done by our scores of local residents’ associations. These organizations play a key role in how our city is not only governed, but in how it is planned and how it grows.

Neighbourhood associations, which can vary in size from a dozen members to those with membership lists of more than 1,000, are the first place to go for residents who want to have a say in their community.

In this week’s paper, our special feature looks at these local associations and their impact. To see what’s going on in across the city and how you can get involved, visit us at http://bit.ly/1hlAN8D

Whether it’s organizing a street party or dealing with a massive redevelopment proposal, the neighbourhood association is the best way for residents to get involved. There’s power in numbers when it comes to such associations when they need to make their case to municipal politicians and big developers.

Don Mills Residents Inc. is a good example of this. The neighbourhood association with more than 1,000 members took a proactive role in negotiations with developer Cadillac Fairview when it came to the Shops at Don Mills redevelopment, which also included condos and a possible community centre. The residents’ group was able to ensure that the community centre was not lost during what was a sometimes difficult and contentious planning process.

The reality is that a powerful neighbourhood association puts the local politicians on notice that they have to work with residents to come up with a satisfactory solution to development plans, or risk not being elected again. This helps focus the politicians to bring the full weight of the city and its planning processes to bear when negotiating with developers.

A strong association also helps the developers know what the feelings of the community are, and who they need to deal with in order to come up with a successful project that can be welcomed, or at least tolerated, rather than scorned by the area’s residents,

But it’s not all about negotiating with politicians and developers. The real strength of these organizations is how they bring the people of a neighbourhood together. They make your community stronger, and by extension they make Toronto – as a whole – a better place.

EDITORIAL: Strong neighbourhoods make a strong city

Opinion Mar 27, 2014 Beach Mirror

Strong neighbourhoods make a strong city, and involved residents make strong neighbourhoods.

In Toronto, that’s true thanks to the work being done by our scores of local residents’ associations. These organizations play a key role in how our city is not only governed, but in how it is planned and how it grows.

Neighbourhood associations, which can vary in size from a dozen members to those with membership lists of more than 1,000, are the first place to go for residents who want to have a say in their community.

In this week’s paper, our special feature looks at these local associations and their impact. To see what’s going on in across the city and how you can get involved, visit us at http://bit.ly/1hlAN8D

Whether it’s organizing a street party or dealing with a massive redevelopment proposal, the neighbourhood association is the best way for residents to get involved. There’s power in numbers when it comes to such associations when they need to make their case to municipal politicians and big developers.

Don Mills Residents Inc. is a good example of this. The neighbourhood association with more than 1,000 members took a proactive role in negotiations with developer Cadillac Fairview when it came to the Shops at Don Mills redevelopment, which also included condos and a possible community centre. The residents’ group was able to ensure that the community centre was not lost during what was a sometimes difficult and contentious planning process.

The reality is that a powerful neighbourhood association puts the local politicians on notice that they have to work with residents to come up with a satisfactory solution to development plans, or risk not being elected again. This helps focus the politicians to bring the full weight of the city and its planning processes to bear when negotiating with developers.

A strong association also helps the developers know what the feelings of the community are, and who they need to deal with in order to come up with a successful project that can be welcomed, or at least tolerated, rather than scorned by the area’s residents,

But it’s not all about negotiating with politicians and developers. The real strength of these organizations is how they bring the people of a neighbourhood together. They make your community stronger, and by extension they make Toronto – as a whole – a better place.