On Monday (19 March) consultants working on the Secondary Plan gave a presentation to councillors, painting a picture of what high growth and low growth would mean for Newmarket.

In this context “growth” means the increase in population and jobs in those areas earmarked for more intensive land use.

The thing that strikes me immediately is the huge difference between the high and low growth projections.

That said, even with the accompanying Committee paper it is not terribly easy to get a feel for what the alternative scenarios will mean in practice.

If I had been a fly on the wall, tuning into the conversation between councillors and staff during and following the presentation it may have helped my understanding. 

Seems to me these presentations could go out on YouTube.

Why not?

It is a cheap and cost effective way of keeping people informed.

You can find the presentation in the Newmarket Documents section of this website.

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 shrinkslessorsquare.ca advising his readers to visit us.

That’s what we like to hear!