To the Editor:
What has our community lost and what has it gained with the Ashcroft Development on Merivale Road?
People who formerly had walked in the area on which the development now sits know that the fox den, a wintering ground for the clan, has been bulldozed. That the resident and migratory bird populations have for the most part moved on for their own good. That the spring peepers, an endangered species of frogs that lived in the wet areas, have been silenced.
One of the few natural horizons in the city has been replaced by a wall of vinyl and the chock-a-block skyline of sprawl. A green cell in the middle of the city that provided respiration for all and a sustaining habitat for wildlife has been emptied.
In its place, a landmark to the suffocation and tedium of government/corporate partnerships, the only motive force remaining in our society.
When kids on Kingston Avenue go to the park or to visit friends they go out onto the street on their bikes and rollerblades, dogs in tow. There are no sidewalks.
Since the development's construction and occupation they have been facing an increased volume of car and truck traffic. Kingston Avenue serves as a shortcut for drivers not content to use major thoroughfares. Many in their haste blow through the stop signs in each block and are apparently unmindful of the kids hidden from view by parked cars.
The increased noise and pollution were what many residents moved to this neighbourhood to avoid. We await the tragedy that will focus the minds of municipal authorities on this dangerous effect of the new development.
If the developer proceeds with plans to build a super-box commercial space, if the residents on the west side of the tract continue to resist access/egress onto Clyde, if the projected numbers of units are loaded onto the same services and the political/business liaison continues apace, heedless of environmental and social concerns, what will avail in our community?
Along with our losses to this point, of the darkness of those fields at night and the life that once filled them, and of the relative peace and tranquillity of this area which will continue to disappear, we have gained a confirmation of our cynicism in the self-serving government/business union that seeks control over our lives, even the view.