By Tim Lambrinos
The building of an Emery Village Square, complete with a towering Canadian flag, has been looked at by many as an exciting initiative that unquestionably will bolster the profile of the community. The concept for the square was adopted by the Emery Village BIA in hopes that the community would be able to have its own square that could be used for outdoor community events. The creation of the square is also expected to increase the national profile of Emery Village’s residential communities and promote the local businesses. The square will also increase the knowledge of Emery’s history, with various initiatives conceived and showcased within the square.
The building and erection of a flagpole with the world’s largest Canadian flag will draw national attention as a feature attraction at the square’s centre point.
After a lengthy process, it was decided the perfect spot for the square should be along Finch Avenue between Arrow Road and Highway 400. The landowner (Mr. Deluca) was identified and seemed to be genuinely interested in the idea of creating Emery’s public square.
The precise method to have the square built would be intricate since the BIA learned that technically, it cannot own or make modifications to any privately owned land (by current municipal guidelines). However, there have been other zones in the city that were able to set up municipal partnering arrangements and beautify city owned land, as a BIA. This meant that for the BIA to see the square project come to fruition, the city would have to own the land first. The delivery of this grand project required the BIA to hire an experienced firm and respected consultant in Paul Sutherland.
His expertise has been widely recognized. He has successes in the past in laying out the groundwork and blueprint for the original formation of the mega-city. This occurred when the Harris provincial government ordered the mega-city be formed in 1997.
Recently, one long-time standing City Councillor from east North York brought forward some wild accusations (apparently based on a hunch) about announcements involving Emery’s Square. He made a request for the city’s Auditor General to investigate what he had apparently visualized may involve a wrong-doing. There was also recently written accusations published in the Toronto Star alleging that Paul Sutherland had also been retained by both the land owner and the Toronto Parking Authority on this matter, too. The Emery Village Voice has learned that these accusations are categorically erroneous.
Even more recently, another Toronto City Councillor raised concerns (apparently based on a hunch) claiming he felt something was wrong about Emery’s project. Again based on nothing except the fact that seemingly the Emery Village Square is planned to be in Emery and not in his area of North York near Avenue Road and Eglinton?
Or perhaps specifically within one of the seven BIA’s that are listed in his ward of the city?
You the reader can extrapolate.
The results of the city’s Auditor General confirmed that all delegates of the BIA involved in the project have indeed been correctly following the rules in efforts to reach our objective of having a public square in Emery.
It’s not the first time that Emery and Humber Summit have received second class treatment by unfamiliar elected officials of the municipality. For many years, our northwest section of North York always seemed to be a forgotten corner. Maybe by design or by some convenient oversight but this time, it’s our turn to get something good.
Our community deserves to have the Emery Village public square as our showcase.
For many decades, enhanced public development has occurred throughout communities east of us that beautify their communities. Our Emery residents have traditionally remained silent as we were often steamrolled by undesirable purposes. Not this time. Not now. Emery Village Square is our significant point in time. Faye Smith states that the addition of historic commemorative markers at the square will be wonderful. She knows first-hand how the original pioneers and their descendants toiled on Emery’s land, since her father is Jack Devins of Islington Avenue.
Faye Smith is a prominent member of the Pine Ridge Cemetery Board of Trustees in Humber Summit. She feels the funding for Emery’s Square is “long overdue” and echoes, “it’s Emery’s turn now.”
Our community has a long legacy of hard working residents that don’t deserve to be overlooked and have our community efforts intentionally and craftily obstructed.
With the creation of a square in Emery Village, the area can promote itself as being a destination. In addition, we can promote Emery with a sense of community pride and national patriotism. The underlying objective of the project will generate a return of investment for Emery and contribute to the revitalization of our community. The Emery BIA is committed to forging ahead with our plans in finally being able to create a remarkable community public space for all of us to enjoy and ultimately be proud of.