The Steering Committee is not blind, nor deaf to the issue of Queen St, often noisy with late night celebrants. As a neighborhood group oriented to planning we have not participated in the enforcement problems regarding bars and their patrons. The Beaconsfield Residents Association took on that problem. However the concentration of bars and restaurants is an issue which concerned us from an urban planning perspective. Mixed use is a necessity and makes for better neighbourhoods, a strip that is virtually all bars is bad stuff. With thousands of new folk moving in Queen St. needs to service them as well – a lovely bakery, a bookstore, a bank – and other places that are open during the day. This will continue to serve the people in the neighbourhood as well as people that visit.
The City recently put through a Bylaw regulating the size and shape of bars on Queen St., back yard patios, open windows at the front etc. This was a minimal effort to deal with the problem. The Bylaw does not address the issue of concentration, despite our urging that the Planning Department do this.
The Social has several applications before the OMB on zoning issues that they lost at City Council. The Bylaw noted above is one. Another is their failed application to become an “entertainment” establishment. The Steering Committee agreed to appear at the OMB in support of the City with respect to these issues. While this fight is short of the mixed use along Queen St we like enforced, the conversion of The Social to an even bigger entertainment establishment is a move in the wrong directions.