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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Six-Storey Condo in Beaches gets Green Light

Beaches Community Council voted unanimously Tuesday in favour of a six-storey condo in the Beaches where a Lick’s hamburger restaurant currently stands. The proposed condo building (called the 'Intimate Boutique') received a chunk of negative attention from local residents who don't want condos in their quiet neighbourhood.

Dozens of Beach-dwellers showed up at the council meeting to voice their opposition to the Queen St. E. project, calling the mere six-storey building “an unbridled monstrosity” and even “an abortion”.

Now come on... seriously. Its only 6 stories tall. Its not a 30-storey building.

And apparently the Beaches Community Council thinks the same way, unanimously no less. Its not a huge building. Larger than a house, but still dramatically smaller than the condos by the Toronto harbourfront.

And really its the issue of having it so close to the beach. And silly when you consider Queen Street East is already dotted with 10 to 20+ storey condos, but none close to the beach.

I think it comes down to the concept of NIMBYs (NIMBY = Not In My Backyard). The same type of people who complain about their neighbours putting up windmills, solar panels or even hanging their laundry on a clothesline. Whiners and complainers who think that if they whine enough that the squeaky wheel will get the grease.

Although I would point out that NIMBYs are quick to flip-flop on the issue if you ask them if they would prefer a new coal burner down the road instead. Ontario has a shortage of electricity and we need to be building more windmills and other renewable energy sources. That or cheap coal and nobody wants coal in their backyard either. That or expensive nuclear, which means raising taxes.

So regardless of what energy source we choose there is always going to be people to complain about. Even hydro-electric dams get complaints because it disrupts local wildlife and fish spawning.

Back to condos what you have to realize is two things:

#1. The Beaches community has tens of thousands of people living there. Only dozens of people showed up to complain. Likely around 24 to 36 people. Not really a lot when you consider that 99.9% of Beaches-ites either stayed home or had something better to do or are in favour of the new condo.

#2. Toronto is becoming ever more crowded. With the growing scarcity of land there really is only one option: Build upwards. While it is true that Toronto is currently facing a condo bubble implosion in the next 3 years from too many condos being built, its also true that 10 years from now all those extra cheap condos after the bubble bursts will be a benefit when dealing with the GTA's soaring population.

So whether the NIMBYs like them or not there are going to be a lot more condos in the future. Some of them will be a lot taller and more "monstrous" than the 'Intimate Boutique' condo to be built in the Beaches.

GET USED TO THEM.

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