Residents in Ward 19 against the expansion and 30 bed shelter at CONC 850 and 854 Bloor St W.
We are the residents of the Bloor and Ossington Area and Ward 19. We are opposed to a 30 bed men’s shelter under the management of the Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre. They have had a poor track record in the past in which users of their Women’s shelter and youth groups would move out into the neughbourhood – especially Irene Parkette which their building backs onto.
There was drug dealing, pimping and sexual activity going on in the parkette. Needles would be dropped in the sand boxes and grass among other things. When CONC was approached regarding this, there was a complete dis-respect to the neighbourhood and the BIA. Their was a paper show of cooperation with the neighbourhood but nothing changed.
There is no reason to believe the management/owner, who does not live near this facility has changed in this approach to the surrounding area. This is most reflected in the lack of communication/discussion with the BIA or surrounding neighbours regarding their intention to develop a shelter.
The Bloor-Ossington strip has gone through a number of changes over the years and finally ‘breathing’ a little easier and we are feeling safer and less intimidated walking in the area. While there is an increase in the number of bars in the area and an LCBO they do not represent a threat at this time. Other businesses are able to move into the area. Crime rates are down in our area. We do not want to lose the gains we have made. For someone to think a Men’ Shelter right in the middle of an area with multiple bars, LCBO and a small parkette (right behind CONC) that does not have a night watchmen present shows a short-sighted solution that will only make a bad situation worse. There will be an escalation of drug dealing, pimping and crime headed by an organization with a poor history of neighbourhood engagement. This does not make sense.