A proposed condo/townhouse complex is already causing conflict in a Thornhill neighbourhood. The project, to consist of two 17-storey condo towers and 61 three-storey townhouses, would eventually increase the population of Thornhill Woods by about 1,400 people, marketed to the Muslim community. The neighbourhood's makeup is estimated to be between 60 and 70 percent Jewish is being downplayed by the project's opponents, who they say their main concern is density, with around 500 residences suddenly being dropped into an area that's not ready for it. At a Vaughan council meeting on Tuesday night, residents argued that building two high-rise towers and dozens of townhomes in a neighbourhood made up of single-family homes would be a huge burden on the local infrastructure, increase traffic congestion, and would add new environmental stresses to the nearby Don River wetlands.
With a population as diverse as that of Toronto and the surrounding suburbs, and with culture and tradition often inspiring passionate debate, it's usually just a matter of time before one group's strategy for building a new community bumps up against the status quo. Last year a Brampton neighbourhood found itself in similar circumstances when developer Metrus wanted to build 446 townhomes; the primarily Punjabi-Canadian neighbours objected, arguing that Sikh tradition was for extended families to live together in large homes, and that townhouses—seen as more suited to smaller family units—went against that tradition. The developer pushed back, and in the end the project was approved—although the number of units was decreased by 113. Is this kind of cultural wresling match going to crop up more and more as diverse communities move closer together, or will the enforced closeness eventually make better neighbours? Talk about it in the comments.
· Muslim Condo in Thornhill Sparks Debate [Toronto Star]
· Thornhill Woods Neighbourhood Profile [Doing Jewish in Toronto]
· Debate on Muslim Group's Development [CTV News]
· Stacked Townhouse Project Causes Friction [Brampton Guardian]