City documents show millions of dollars earmarked to hundreds of projects in exchange for loopholes allowing the building of dozens of storeys on a lot designated for two.
Meanwhile, the cash for pet projects for some councillors is stacking almost as high as the monstrosities now blocking out the sun.
One example in Ward 20, a downtown area with almost $51 million in its fund, shows that for the building of 56 Blue Jays Way an agreement for density was agreed to for “$1.35 million, of which $150,000 is for affordable housing, $1.2 million for capital improvements to nonprofit arts, community and cultural facilities, streetscape improve-ments on John St. and/or Mercer St., Heritage Conservation District Studies in the King-Spadina East precinct, and public art contribution of 1%.”
The agreement also has a “conservation plan to restore the heritage facade or provide a heritage study of the King-Spadina East precinct; provide seven units of affordable rental housing within the development for a minimum of 20 years; minimum of 10% of the residential and rental units in the building to have at least three bedrooms.”
There are dozens of other examples of wheeling and dealing, including “$100,000 to the Artscape project in the Shaw School at 180 Shaw St.”
It sounds like a game of monopoly? No wonder condo prices are so high.
And why are these bonanza’s not enjoyed in wards that only have $300,000 in the kitty?
“Not one pothole is fixed with all this money,” said Kit Kat restaurant owner Al Carbone. “Instead, it becomes a giant re-election fund for certain councillors.”
It does raise the question, who exactly gets the $1.2 million for “capital improvements to non-profit arts,” how is it decided, and do the residents need that anymore than better transit?
What controls are in place to ensure no corruption?