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Ryerson students protest development of 80-storey condo near campus

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By Sylvia Lorico

Plans to build an 80-storey condominium on Elm Street have raised concerns among students about how the building will affect campus.

Less than 48 hours before the Toronto and East York Community council meeting on Oct. 13, Eli Aaron, an urban planning student at Ryerson, started a petition to protest the construction of the condo.

The petition, which earned more than 340 signatures from Ryerson students, was presented during yesterday’s council meeting by Aaron and another second-year urban and regional planning student, Alexander Hardy.

“As an urban planning student at Ryerson University, I feel that it is my duty to defend the campus and surrounding area from poor planning,” Aaron said in his speech to council.

The proposed condo, to be built just south of the Student Learning Centre (SLC), would contain 469 living units and 715 square metres of office space. The tower would be constructed over a three-storey heritage site and contain no parking spaces for vehicles. Aaron said that the building would create large shadows over the campus, including the Quad in Kerr Hall and parts of the SLC. It would also cast shadows over surrounding parks and fail to protect the heritage sites on Elm Street, he added. 

After much discussion, the Toronto and East York Community Council voted unanimously against the proposal. However, the final decision will be made by Toronto city council in November.

“We see a lot of development applications in Ward 27 and oftentimes we may get some good ones but often I think we are getting very aggressive applications,” said the councillor of the ward, Kristyn Wong-Tam.

Toronto City Council will vote on the final report on Nov. 8.

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