The Judson Street and ML Ready Mix public meeting took place on Feb. 6, 2013

Judson Street and ML Ready Mix public meeting, Feb. 6, 2013. Jaan Pill photo

I attended the Judson Street and ML Ready Mix public meeting meeting on Feb. 6, 2013 because I learned about it from the Mimico Residents Association.

The meeting took place at the Trident Banquet Hall and Conference Centre, 145 Evans Avenue.

You can read about the content and likely outcomes of the meeting at the Mimico Residents Association website as updates are posted.

I don’t live in Mimico. I attended mainly to get a sense of the process – to get a sense of how the meeting was set up and how it proceeded.

Well-organized, well-run meeting

I was very impressed.

Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes and Kyra Trainor, President of the Mimico Residents Association, did a first-rate job in keeping the meeting moving forward at a steady clip, with a focus on the gathering of information that is “actionable,” as Kyra Trainor described it.

Mark Grimes introduced the topic and panelists. The procedure was that each panelist gave a brief overview and then Kyra Trainor asked questions of the panelists.

The questions were based on ones that residents had submitted beforehand – and also ones that residents wrote down on cards that were distributed during the meeting, row by row within a packed meeting room, by members of the MRA.

The process was inspiring, from the perspective of this observer. This was a great way for residents to ask specific questions, and for officials from the City of Toronto and the Province to answer them.

My only complaint is of a technical nature: the wireless mic used by the panelists cut in and out regularly, occasionally impeding the flow of information and irritating some members of the audience, especially if sitting at the back of the hall.

A wired mic or series of mics – or a high-end wireless mic that’s up to the task at hand – would have been a welcome feature at the meeting. You want people to hear every word. That’s the point of having the meeting.

History of Mimico and New Toronto

I have no idea what will come out of this meeting. I strongly hope that the outcome will be of benefit of residents who live close to ML Ready Mix.

As a person with an interest in the history of local communities, I was most interested in Mark Grimes’ brief overview of how the history of zoning in New Toronto and Mimico have resulted in situations such as a the one that this meeting was called to consider.

I also thought about the modernist imperative that in ideal city planning, functions such as residences and industry are ideally separated, instead of being mixed in together. The separation of functions has in the past led to unintended negative consequences, as a study of the intellectual history of urban planning indicates.

The history of the mixing of industrial and residential zones in Long Branch, New Toronto, and Mimico has led to positive consequences in some cases, given that industrial zoning can bring employment to a community. It has also led to negative consequences as the ML Ready Mix story indicates.

I very much like what I have heard, read, and seen of the work of the Mimico Residents Association. They and the local Councillor warrant strong commendation for arranging the meeting at the Trident Banquet Hall and Conference Centre on Feb. 6, 2013. I look forward to knowing how the story unfolds.


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