Sunday, January 23, 2011

Delay the Oasis demolition!

Please consider attending the upcoming community meeting hosted by Councillor Adam Vaughan of Ward 20. The meeting concerns the proposed Minto/freed development at Front and Bathurst, which is ultimately going to result in the demolition of the warehouse structure that houses the Rock Oasis climbing gym.

Update to Oasis' situation - a plea for help; a hopeful note.

Minto is pressing ahead with its demolition plans, even though it may be years before they are ready to commence construction -- because they want to build a sales office. The expected project completion date for their proposed development is 2015!

We're losing the utility of the gym needlessly early. We're being forced out way too soon.

I accept that the development is going ahead inexorably, one way or the other -- 500 condo units mean big bucks, tax wise and for the developers -- but the demolition should only take place when the developer is ready to proceed with construction.

Think of how the southeast corner of Yonge and Bloor has sat vacant and unused for almost two years -- because demolition went ahead before the developer was able to proceed. Was that a fruitful use of that space? I don't think so. It was a waste. Why let essentially the same thing happen again at Front and Bathurst?

Has it really benefited anyone to have this space vacant for the past two years?

The meeting is taking place Jan. 31, at 7:30pm in the Harbourfront Community Centre, 627 Queens Quay (at Bathurst), Medium Assembly Room.

If Oasis has to close the Front and Bathurst location before they can construct and open another location (keep your fingers crossed!), it's going to suck for the local Toronto climbing community. Even if you don't climb at Oasis -- think about it, everybody who climbs there will be forced to use the other gyms in town. That is not going to be enjoyable.

Hope to see you at the meeting!

Update: Read my subsequent essay, Farewell to Rock Oasis!, on the history of the gym, the industrial structure in which it was built, and the surrounding neighbourhood around Front and Bathurst.