TORONTO, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - The Ontario Divisional Court today heard an
application by Bloor Street retailers seeking a delay of the Bloor Street
Transformation (BST) Project pending completion by the City of the necessary
studies and consultation. The Court reserved decision. Well-known Toronto
lawyer, Clayton Ruby, representing retailers, called on the City not to wait
for a Court decision.
"We look forward to hearing the decision of the Court and are confident
they will rule in favour of delaying the BST Project until the proper study
and consultation is completed," said Ruby. "In the meantime, we call on the
City to do the right thing by delaying construction immediately and working
with retailers to make the BST Project a success for the whole community."
Ruby, a partner of the law firm Ruby & Edwardh, launched proceedings in
August seeking a delay in the construction of the BST Project. Retailers argue
that, for a project of this magnitude, provincial law requires extensive
economic studies and public consultation, which the City neglected to do.
Retailers feel it is shocking that the City would engage in a two-year
experiment on retailers without an economic study, given that the City has
acknowledged that the impact on retailers will be $1.3 billion annually.
Retailers on Bloor Street were concerned because of the Project's poor
planning. Further, the City had not considered the expertise of local
retailers or conducted the necessary expert studies of the potential negative
impact - economic and otherwise. Aspects of the proposed project were not
conducive to retail businesses and would cause irreparable economic losses. In
addition, both safety and environmental issues within the existing plan were
of serious concern to retailers.
"The Bloor Street Transformation Project was flawed from the start. It
has been planned, and is now being executed without the expertise of retail
businesses on Bloor. Not only are retailers paying the lion's share of the
cost, which will amount to approximately $20 million, but when improving a
shopping district, it would be common sense to consult with those who know
shopping best - the retailers," said Ruby. "That's why my client took the
drastic step of launching proceedings against the City."
Concerned About Bloor strongly supports efforts to improve the Bloor
Street shopping experience but believes that the involvement of retailers
throughout the process will ensure that the transformation of Bloor Street
will be a success for the whole community.
Concerned About Bloor is a coalition of retail businesses operating on
Bloor Street that are concerned about the BST Project and the process by which
it was developed.
For further information:
For further information: Tyler Fleming, (416) 642-6122