The utility housing box was installed by Enbridge immediately adjacent to the sidewalk replacing a smaller underground installation nearby.
Jay Macpherson Green was named after Jean "Jay" Macpherson (June 13, 1931 - March 21, 2012), a Governor General's Award winning Canadian lyric poet and scholar. She lived in our neighbourhood for 40 years and was an active member of ABCRA.
ABCRA became aware of the box after being notified by concerned residents. We immediately began researching how this was permitted to happen without notification or consultation with area residents.
ABCRA met with Councillor Wong-Tam, staff from the City of Toronto Transportation Services, and Enbridge Gas and requested that the installation be buried or moved to the back of the park.
Initially Enbridge Gas suggested wrapping the installation in “art”, or to landscape around it. After further discussions, they offered to lower the installation but insisted that it remain at the same location.
ABCRA was not satisfied with these suggestions and throughout the summer and fall of 2017 continued to pursue the burial or movement of the installation.
In November 2017, ABCRA met with Councillor Wong-Tam, city staff, and Enbridge Gas. The councillor agreed the box should be moved to the back of the park and asked city staff to investigate steps to be taken to achieve this.
On May 2, 2018, Councillor Wong-Tam wrote to Toronto and East York Community Council and stated “After several months of negotiation, Enbridge Gas Distribution has agreed to cooperate with this request. Enbridge Gas has investigated feasibility of relocation, alongside Transportation staff, and have found that the station can be moved successfully into the extreme southwest corner of the green space.” You can see her letter HERE.
Moving such an installation requires an Official Plan Amendment. At the meeting of the Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC) on May 2, 2018, a motion was introduced by Councillor Wong-Tam for city staff to determine the appropriate location for the Enbridge Gas installation and to bring forward any required Official Plan Amendment to a statutory public meeting as required under the Planning Act. TEYCC passed the motion. You can see the TEYCC decision HERE.
ABCRA has been told by city staff that a community meeting will be held after the municipal election, but that any Official Plan Amendment will not be made until City Council reconvenes.
We will continue to advocate for the movement of the bunker and will follow the city’s actions in this regard.
We are grateful to Councillor Wong-Tam and Lorraine Hewitt, the Councillor's assistant for their continuing efforts to pursue this issue.