Anna Lafoyiannis comments on the closing of Mr. Christie’s

Anna Lafoyiannis comments as follows:

When I first heard about the imminent closure of the Mr. Christie’s Bakery, I was shocked. The bakery has existed for so long and is a personal landmark of the community. I have fond memories of seeing the water tower from the GO train as I would commute to Toronto. It was my personal marker; I’d see it and think “I’m now in Toronto.” When I moved to south Etobicoke, the smells of the factory became a source of comfort as I biked past. Most certainly, for me, the aesthetics of the bakery are a treasure.

Since the announcement, I’ve thought more about the value of the bakery. The value goes far beyond the murals, the smells or the water tower. Most importantly, it is a place of employment. I understand and respect the decision Mondelez has made with regards to moving the jobs (albeit, I have concerns regarding the security of current employees). In the absence of this owner, I think it is more important than ever to preserve quality employment in Humber Bay. There has been substantial growth in the number of residences in this area. However, the lack of walkable streets, ground retail, and places of work has prevented Humber Bay from becoming a community. Combined with very limited space for roads and other infrastructure, this area may not be sustainable.

How does this relate to the closure of the bakery? Well, I would like to be positive. Only 150 employees were Toronto residents, on a very large plot of land. I’d like to see the lands stay as employment lands, but support more jobs than before. A community hub,with a daycare, health professionals, artists, is an option. Employment types that reflect the residents in Humber Bay, so that they can walk to work. Other employment options could include skilled work, taking advantage of the nearby food terminal. The options are bountiful but they all start from one place: a commitment to keeping and augmenting the current heritage of the site.

 

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