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Stop SmartCentres

The province should step in and quash a proposed “big box” complex thatresidents of a central Toronto neighbourhood fear will alter the fabricof their community, NDP Leader Jack Layton said yesterday.

The province should step in and quash a proposed “big box” complex that residents of a central Toronto neighbourhood fear will alter the fabric of their community, NDP Leader Jack Layton said yesterday.
Should the SmartCentres development — which would feature a 1,900-car parking lot and is rumoured to include a Wal-Mart — go ahead as planned, residents fear it will clog the area with traffic and set an unsustainable precedent for future development in the city’s core.
“I say to Premier (Dalton) McGuinty: Do the right thing. Step in and stop the Wal-Mart here in the east end,” Layton said before a vocal crowd that rallied against the development yesterday afternoon.
“If you had suggested that Wal-Mart would be located where we took down the Gardner Expressway, we all would have said ‘leave it up,’” he said.
But SmartCentres has said the project isn’t a big-box store. In fact, plans it submitted to the OMB for approval show a pedestrian mall beside a mixed-use development that tops out at three-storeys.


 
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