The SERRA Party – 18 Brownlow has swung into action!

SERRA has officially formed a Party at the OMB to oppose the proposed development at 18 Brownlow Ave.

by Andy Gort

Photos by Larry Nicols

Our goal is to try to achieve a development of at most a modest mid-rise in height and density, the implementation of a 10-metre green strip along Soudan Ave. and the preservation of a low-rise transition to the south from the 75-81 Redpath townhouses.

Some 10 engaged residents made an appearance at the OMB on Oct. 17 to voice their objections to the “huge” (as Donald Trump would say) proposed development. We were also there to support the City, which has already ruled against this monster proposal.

The intent of a pre-hearing is to organize how the appeal will be conducted with the registration of groups and individuals who want to appear, the establishment of hearing length and dates, the exchange/consolidation of issues lists, and decision regarding the possibility of an attempt to mediate the dispute.

Four “Parties” registered – the developer, the City, the TSCC 2120 Condo Corporation (on behalf of 83 and 75-81 Redpath), and the SERRA-led neighbourhood group. No individual “Participants” registered. SERRA and the TSCC 2120 condo group have been closely working together, but the condo group has some unique “shared infrastructure” issues (shared garage, ramp, etc.) to resolve. All but SERRA were represented by legal counsel (but that didn’t prevent spokesperson, SERRA president Andy Gort, from representing our positions at the pre-hearing).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither the City nor the developer appeared even remotely interested in mediating the conflict (probably because the developer realizes how far apart we are), so the appeal will move first to another pre-hearing on February 9, 2017 (lasting up to two days) and then to a full hearing, starting on July 31 for up to nine business days.

SERRA also raised the issue to the OMB chair that the 10-metre Soudan green strip for this property has already been appealed to the OMB by the developer as part of a larger suit by some 25 developers, all of whom are fighting the new regulation of green strips in the Yonge-Eglinton area (OMB case PL150678).

We argued there was little sense in proceeding with this OMB case till that matter is cleared up. The chair seemed to agree, and if I understand correctly, the City lawyer (Stephen Bradley) and the developer’s lawyer (Patrick Devine), will look for a way to consolidate this issue with the 18 Brownlow development appeal, so it is not part of two appeals. We asked to receive all documents related to legal communications between the lawyers.

We will exchange issues lists and consolidate all issues at the next pre-hearing. We have already exchanged SERRA’s issues list (18-brownlow-omb-oct-17-2016-serra-issues-list-final) with all the Parties, but do now have an opportunity to make changes or additions before the next pre-hearing date.

We are working with a professional planner, who reviewed and gave his blessing to our issues list, which Andy Gort, Terry Mills (himself a professional planner) and Jane Auster had worked on.

Now that we understand how the appeal will be conducted, it is clear that our next priority is to retain a lawyer, knowledgeable with planning and development issues (municipal law) and experienced at navigating OMB hearings. The next pre-hearing will involve wrangling over what issues will be entered at the hearing, and having our own legal representation will be necessary.

We should now be able to prepare a more realistic estimate of our total costs and assess how to secure our funding.


On behalf of the “SERRA Part – 18 Brownlow” group

Andy Gort, president, SERRA





We need your help!

SERRA has officially formed a Party at the OMB to oppose the proposed development at 18 Brownlow Ave.

SERRA is heading to the OMB, and we need your support.

To help us with the funds to hire a lawyer for this OMB hearing, please fill out the pledge form found here: 18-brownlow-pledge-formfinal:



SERRA at the Mt. Pleasant Harvest Fair, Saturday Sept. 24, 2016


Margaret Walker, Councillor Josh Matlow, and Lilly McIsaac


Margaret Walker makes her point while Sharon Mourer and Lilly McIsaac ponder her observations.


A young resident (not yet a rate payer) beats the developer at the OMB in a heated game of Serr-opoly.


Interested in the new Davisville Midtown Community Hub?

Plans are afoot to create something special in Davisville Village, and you’ll want to learn more.

Parents and residents of the Davisville/Spectrum community are encouraged to attend a public open house to receive information about the status of the project and provide community feedback on the plans and designs for the new school, child care facilities and the Midtown Community Hub.

Shortly after this public open house, consultants will begin preparing options for the TDSB. A New School Review Team (NSRT), including representatives from the school and local community, will be formed to review, comment on and sign off on a preferred option. Board staff and Trustee Shelley Laskin will be present to listen and answer questions.

If you require an interpreter and/or child minding, please notify Noreen Sills at or by telephone at (416) 394-2034.

For more information, read Davisville Community Meeting Flyer 2016-09-20

Yonge St. corridor can’t handle more development

Toronto and Ontario need to halt further projects until transit and other infrastructure are radically upgraded.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

By John Bossons and Geoff Kettel

Transit in the Yonge St. corridor is at a crisis point. The Yonge subway line, opened in 1954 to serve a city of just over 1 million people, cannot handle today’s population of more than 2.8 million in Toronto and a further four million in the suburbs. Read more...