Comment 113093

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted July 27, 2015 at 09:29:43 in reply to Comment 113079

Do you mean actual intensification (as in many new larger buildings being built), or conversions of single family houses to multiple (often illegal) student rentals? I wasn't aware of much real intensification in Ainslie Wood, but the issue of conversions in Westdale and Ainslie Wood has been active and contentious for decades.

McMaster has a liaison group that meets regularly with residents and neighbourhood associations. McHattie was also very involved in trying to mediate between residents, students and the university including facilitating the construction of a new student residence near the Main W Fortinos.

However, in my opinion, one of the difficulties is that AWWCA is not a true neighbourhood association: it restricts regular membership to "resident property owners".

This perpetuates an us versus them situation, with resident property owners on one side and everyone else (students, renters, rental property owners, business owners) on the other. It might be easier to influence the local politicians if the politicians felt the neighbourhood association truly represented all residents (including students and other renters).

Another point is that students need to live somewhere.

It would seem most appropriate to densify along major corridors and shopping areas (e.g. build apartment buildings along Main West or add extra stories to the commercial buildings in Westdale, say up to six stories rather than the mostly 1-2 storey buildings), but even this leads to opposition.

A beginning would be for everyone to recognize that students have a right to live in the neighbourhood, and then try to work out the best solution to accommodate them. I would imagine that neither students nor resident property owners like illegal substandard divided houses.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2015-07-27 09:34:52

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