By Yen Chu
The Yonge and Dundas development could make Ryerson a dangerous place, says the president of the Urban Planning faculty.
Professor Joe Springer said crime will be pushed off Yonge and Dundas Sts, and on to the Ryerson campus.
“It will make places like Bond St., the Quad, and the area outside Pitman Hall really dangerous places for students,” he said.
“The response to that increase in danger would be an increase in levels of security. That turn will have a very negative impact on the campus in which a large proportion is visible minorities,” Springer said.
“So you will have security hassling visible minorities, especially visible minority males.”
The Yonge and Dundas development $19-million project, will include a 30-screen movie complex as well as entertainment and retail outlets. Construction is expected to start in spring.
But Linda Grayson, v.p. administration, said the development will improve safety and security at Ryerson because it will attract a wide range of people.
“Instead of having just one age group, we’re going to have families coming down and using this area and a lot more tourist, all of which will be helping this area in general.”
As part of the development, the City of Toronto repaved Ryerson’s sidewalks and is repairing Lake Devo’s underground pipes.
Springer does not want to stop the project, but said negative aspects will need to be addressed.
“The development focuses on architectural design rather than community impact,” he said. “What you need is a community impact study.”
Gregg Lintern, senior planner with the City of Toronto, said the problems of homelessness and drugs “go beyond the city and Ryerson.”
“We are working with security and police, but there are social and community workers to help with those problems,” he said.