That’s the thorny question that Professor Robert MacDermid from York University will try to answer on Saturday 31 March from 1pm-3pm at the Newmarket Public Library on Park Avenue.

All local councillors have been invited. As I tap this out, I know that Regional Councillor John Taylor will be coming along.

Councillors Joe Sponga and Tom Hempen will also be there.

You can see Professor MacDermid talking about his research on campaign finance in the 905 area.

The event is organized by Occupy Newmarket.

In the Huffington Post I stumble across a curious piece from a think tank based in Calgary.

One of their policy gurus, Steve Lafleur, wants to see the repeal of the Places to Grow Act - which will allow a rash of developments all over the place.

He is against “prescriptive land use planning”.  He would unleash a free for all where, presumably, even the Green Belt would not be sacrosanct.

Lafleur pokes us in the ribs by saying Newmarket is full of NIMBY types.

In the UK there are two much lampooned groups. The NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) and the NOTE (not-over-there-either).

The Shrink Slessor Square group (aka the Shrinkers) do not fall into either category.

It is perfectly possible to accommodate the projected growth in Newmarket without building giant towers that loom over surrounding neighbourhoods.

We are not against development. 

So long as it doesn't turn Newmarket into a pastiche of, hmm, Calgary. 

Here is a date for your diary.

We are looking forward to the meeting on 27 March from 7-9pm at the Maple Leaf Public School when Ward 4 councillor Tom Hempen will be giving an update on the "Davis Drive expansion ie traffic, construction, public transit etc".

He will be joined on the platform by Slessor Square's Brad Rogers, who is billed, more neutrally, as a "municipal planner".

Roger's will be talking on the theme: "What's the impact of the Davis Drive expansion on my property values?"

Prepare to be amazed by what you hear!

The excellent Ward 1 Councillor, Tom Vegh, has voiced serious concerns about the proposed Slessor Towers development.

Writing in his website, he lists four specific objections to “this high density development”: 

  • Lack of green space for residents.
  • Traffic impact on Yonge Street.
  • Height of towers and the shadow impact it will have on existing residential.
  • The skyline transformation inherent in the height.

Tom also gives a welcome plug to advising his readers to visit us.

That’s what we like to hear!

I write to Ted McFadden, the editor of the Era Banner, asking for a correction to the 23 February editorial which gets projected future growth figures for Newmarket completely wrong.

This is important because the Era Banner is pushing for high rise development - the sky is the limit. The paper is backing Slessor Square – with no qualifications. What the paper says is hugely influential.

This is what Ted McFadden tells me today.

There must have been a last-minute change to the editorial that indicated there was a growth projection of 97,000 rather than a growth projection to 97,000. When I was editing Dr. Bahlieda's letter, I must have referred to an earlier version of the editorial that didn't contain the error, so I removed that part from the letter.

The online version has now been corrected and a correction will appear in Thursday's paper.

Thank you for bringing the error to my attention.