By Nick Rondinelli, 21 Year Resident and Business Owner in Cabbagetown.- Another Cabbagetown Commercial/Residential Property Taken Using Delegated Authority in an Already Saturated Area.
My name is Nick Rondinelli. I have been a resident and business owner on Carlton St. in Cabbagetown for 21 years. Some of you may have seen a video series I developed called “Future Cabbagetown.” If not, I encourage you to watch them on my YouTube channel called Giraffe Multimedia and to please subscribe for future episodes. I wish for this article on Parliament Street News to provide insight into potentially corruptive City practices and a broken system that causes harm to those who live and work in Cabbagetown. I have seen firsthand the negative impacts on our business area and community at large. My need to speak up has just recently emerged as I can no longer sit by as the downward spiral of our neighbourhood continues.
I feel it is important to state my support for the lease of 233 Carlton St. by the City of Toronto for a Women’s Resource Center and 24-7 Drop-in. I also support the purchase of 218 Carlton St. by the City of Toronto, which will be converted to 20-Units of affordable housing. I would like to focus attention on further instances of re-zoning affordable, mixed-use properties away from the neighbourhood’s business community and protect what we have remaining. Saturating business areas with services for vulnerable populations creates impoverished areas and economic hardships for the neighbouring businesses and community at large.
I would like to use my video series to bring attention to certain City processes that many do not know about. These include backroom decisions on properties under $10 million that City staff with delegated authority make without community involvement. It is time for Cabbagetown to identify breakdowns in City policy and hold City officials and associates accountable.
My upcoming videos will examine how discrimination and systemic racism play a role in City staff having delegated authority and an educational summary of the pros and cons to Section 37 of the City’s Planning and Development Act which allows City Councillors and condo-developers to barter properties for “community improvements” without any transparency as seen with 218 Carlton St. These “impact fee’s”, which is ultimately a tax for developers to pay are collected and spent as Councillor’s see fit, such as on “pet projects”.
As a resident, business owner, and father, my aim is to gain the support of my community in exposing issues that threaten our prosperity and harm our investments for our children, who ought to grow up to enjoy the fruits of Cabbagetown.