The likelihood that Mayor Rob Ford will be able to put a megamall and a Ferris wheel on Toronto's eastern harbor, displacing earlier plans for a mixed-use community and natural features, appears to be ebbing.
The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that the mayor's plan is losing support:
Opposition expanded Thursday with a group of 147 leading academics, urban designers and architects issuing an open letter denouncing the mayor’s plan and describing it as “window-dressing for an old-fashioned land deal.”
“Given that our waterfront has always been a working waterfront, it would be a mistake to make it a spectacle,” said urban guru and business professor Richard Florida, one of the letter’s authors.
There has been denunciation not only of the content of the plan but also of the way in which it suddenly sprang into view without normal community consultation. The mayor's brother, Councillor Doug Ford, startled many Torontonians by talking about undertaking a huge change in waterfront planning "long before any drawings were made public," the paper said.
The mayor wants the city to seize control of the site—a former industrial area—from Waterfront Toronto, a three-government agency that has been responsible for redevelopment of the harbor for more than a decade.