NOVEMBER 23, 1972
The Next Mayor of Toronto
ADDRESSES BY Aldermen David E. Crombie, Anthony O'Donohue, David Rotenberg
CHAIRMAN The President,
Joseph H. Potts
Permit me to quote from a speech delivered to this Club entitled "City of Toronto Disposal of Sewage and Water Filtration".
"The subject that we have taken up today is, and ought to be, one of supreme and paramount interest to the whole business community of this large City, and it is no new subject; it is a subject which has been discussed at length; it is a subject which has been, off and on, before you for forty years. Bundles of reports have been made from time to time, which have been regularly and duly pigeon-holed, and the municipality, as a whole, has progressed with callous indifference to what it is doing, and the citizens have gone into a state of apathy, if not nausea, regarding this all-important question. "
Thus spoke Charles M. Sheard, Medical Health Officer of Toronto, on October 24, 1907. Later in the same year, Mr. W. F. McLean, M.P. in addressing The Empire Club stated:
"-now is the time to outline the policy for a system of tubes in Toronto. The tubes cost very little. You would be surprised what a tube running to the north for quick underground traffic would be. You could run it thirty miles an hour. You could have one to the north-west and one north and these same tubes could be built in connection with a sewer system, the distribution of electric wires, etc. Is it not a shame the uptearing of these streets that you see? Let us once and for all adopt a policy of development that will from this day forward make provisions for the rapid growth of the city. "
And on April 28, 1910 Mr. William Houston, Associate Editor of the Toronto Globe had this to say:
"Looking to the future we should have a sea-wall drive at least fifteen miles long from the Humber River to the Scarboro' town-line, including the Island. We should have as its counterpart a boulevard from the mouth of the Humber, inland and around the city to the lake shore at Scarboro, at least twenty-five miles long, making a continuous drive, with electric car tracks, of 40 miles."
I find it useful at times to look at our current problems from an historical perspective.
Ladies and gentlemen, today's meeting is a new departure for The Empire Club. As far as I can ascertain we have never had more than one candidate for public office address the Club on the same occasion-indeed, I don't believe we have ever had a candidate for the mayoralty address us in the midst of an election campaign.
We were, however, anxious to give our members and their guests an opportunity to hear from the three candidates who first publicly declared their intention to run for the Mayor of the City of Toronto.
Your attendance here today certainly confirms that we have accurately assessed the wishes of our members in this regard.
A further departure from our normal proceedings is that I do not propose to give you a detailed resume as to the background of our three guests since, in attempting to do so, I might be accused of some bias, which would be particularly unfortunate having regard to the non partisan tradition of the Club and to my well established neutrality in all matters political.
However, let me express, on your behalf, to each of our guests a very warm welcome. We are indebted to you, not merely for being with us here today, but more particularly for being prepared to make the heavy sacrifices, personal and financial, in offering yourselves for public office.
It is one thing to carp and to criticize and it's another to throw your hat into the ring.
Ladies and gentlemen, I propose to call upon our three candidates to speak to us as nearly as possible for ten minutes each, I won't be too strict on that but I would ask you to comply as far as possible. I know you wish to get away by two o'clock. I wish to tell you that the order of speaking was determined before we came in here-Mr. Phillips was good enough to draw the three names from the hat and the gentlemen will speak in the order that their names were drawn. Without further ado I am pleased to call on Alderman David Crombie.
ALDERMAN DAVID CROMBIE:
Thank you very much, Joe Potts.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very glad to be here. I would like to talk to you today-by the way, I should say I'm pleased to be here with Mr. Phillips as well. We miss the stoplight at the corner of Gormley and Avenue Road by Oriole Parkway. It's nice to see him. He says, we elect him mayor and he'll get it back.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the campaign for the mayoralty of Toronto has been going on now for some number of weeks. I would like to talk to you today about the issues which I think are important and I think they are important to the City of Toronto and the people who live in the City of Toronto.
The first, and I think the most important issue, is the way in which we go about the future growth of this city. The past five to seven and, indeed, the past ten years have seen a tremendous explosion of growth in this city. It has brought enormous benefits; benefits in terms of new experiences, standard of living, more jobs, all those things. Outstanding! In my view this had two serious defects. One, we have attempted to grapple with the problem of growth and development; at the same time we have attempted to grapple with the problem with respect to the stability of neighbourhoods.
Neighbourhoods in this city have always been its touchstone-that is to say, neighbourhoods have always given Toronto its stability. That stability has brought investment and that investment has brought development and the development as it proceeds must continue to integrate rather than destroy neighbourhoods. It wasn't a question of meanness or a question of not caring which put us on a course of action whereby the construction of high-rise buildings has destroyed neighbourhoods. But the fact is that they have been. It is absolutely essential that as we proceed in the '70's that we revise our bylaws and our planning procedures and our planning principles, leaning to open space, side yards and setbacks, envelope systems, and all the rest of the planners' jargon. Those things can be changed so that development will have an effect on neighbourhoods that support them rather than hurt them.
Also, a second defect has been the growth of downtown with respect to development. Increasingly, Torontonians are beginning to feel just a little edgy about the course of that development. Not that we don't need it but, in fact, how we go about it because increasingly we are beginning to feel that Toronto downtown may not be our own anymore. We have, perhaps, not taken enough care to see that it does not become a kind of continual "wind tunnel". I teach planning implementation, I can assure you that it does not have to be. There are things that can be done, which I have indicated in my pamphlets and literature that I put out to you, there are things that can be done which can make sure that development continues to be human, touchable, liveable. All over North America Toronto is becoming a kind of beacon because all over North America, in the major cities, people don't want to live downtown. In many of those cities, many which are close to Toronto like Buffalo and Detroit, the downtown is becoming bombed out and the people won't want to go there. And that was an old Toronto custom if you will recallgoing to Buffalo shopping. Going to Buffalo shopping? Nobody from Torogto goes to Buffalo shopping anymore because it is not a liveable, touchable, human thing. It doesn't have to be that way and we can revise our planning principles and our procedures to make sure that it doesn't.
Secondly is the problem of the issue of transportation and traffic and just yesterday the Premier of this Province vindicated a number of people who have been saying "We can no longer continue to rely on the automobile as our fundamental mode of transportation for coming to and from work." This city has a golden opportunity to become the showplace with respect to rapid transit and the movement of great numbers of people without destroying the urban environment at the same time. If we continue to simply mindlessly use the car then we will choke, both in terms of our physical growth and our social health.
Again, this city has that opportunity. We can learn from what happened in Los Angeles or, indeed, Boston. A charming city cut to pieces by expressways. The Premier of this Province has given a lead, even willing to fund it to 75%. We can grab that. We can say "This will be the place, probably the only major city in North America, where it's possible to make that commitment to rapid transit."
The automobile is a wondrous thing, it is a flexible thing and there are people who need to use their cars to come downtown. There are vans and trucks that need to come here to feed this city with goods and services but there are good numbers of people who need not use their cars and we simply have to make public transportation convenient, so that they will get out of their cars and into that public transit.
The third issue deals with how people in this city are able to get involved in the planning of their own neighbourhood and the planning of this city. There was a time, perhaps, when it was just enough to allow us to elect politicians to go ahead and do the work and then come back to us at election time and we would make a judgment and either re-elect them or de-elect them. That's no longer possible. The speed of change is so great, today, and attitudes towards ourselves and our environment change so quickly that it is absolutely essential that the governed become involved with the government on a continuing basis. Whether that is in the form of ratepayer groups, or homeowner associations, or task forces, or working committees, or citizens' forums, the specific form is irrelevant. What is really important is that the City Hall has an obligation to encourage those where they exist in every neighbourhood and if they do not exist, we have an obligation to develop them. My experience as the Chairman of the Trefann Court Urban Renewal Committee, as Chairman of South St. James Town Committee and Liaison for the Yonge-St. Clair Task Force, I can assure you it is a painstaking, sometimes very boring, sometimes very troublesome process but, in fact, we are slowed down when people's selfinterest is not being observed. That it why people are beginning to say "Hey! I'm involved here. I live in this city and I want to have something to say about my own neighbourhood and about where this city is going." It is not a question of outside agitators and radicals and Maoists and hippies and so on. Anybody who lives in the Yonge-St. Clair area knows that because in a short space of an hour and a half in June 1972 when the Planning Board of this city offered their thoughts to the people in that area they arose in anger 700 to 3 and rejected that. I was moved to make a comment at that time that the Planning Board in an hour and a half had radicalized more people than John Sewell had been able to do in three years.
And the explanation is clear. If people's self-interest is not going to be observed, then they will not act reasonably. That's a simple, commonsensical understanding of human nature. So it's absolutely essential that we pay attention and encourage and develop vehicles for self-expression in every neighbourhood in this city so that when traffic, or development, or whatever that specific issue is, is going to affect that neighbourhood, that neighbourhood is heard from first and not after.
The fourth issue is the relationship of this city to the other two levels of government. We can no longer afford a "hitand-miss" situation. The problems of this country are increasingly the problems of the city and we are strapped in terms of the amount of money we have to bring to bear on the solutions to those problems. The Federal Government has money. The Provincial Government has money and we have increasingly an enormous number of problems. Too long Toronto has simply taken a back seat and reacted to what those two levels of government have done rather than asking them to act in connection with us. The Federal and Provincial Governments must be involved on a continuing basis, that's why I support, for example, the proposal for the continuing tri-level commission. We have to have them involved in the solution to our problems as they make sense to us, not merely when it's convenient to them, like at election time. Here's one specific examplethe Olympics. Anybody who has seen the proposal that Toronto made for the Olympics would be ashamed. It is the thinnest, palest, most anaemic attempt to get the Olympics as I ever heard of. Secondly, in connection with the Olympics, there seemed to be the assumption that the Olympics only happen in one city. Now anybody knows that the Olympics in fact decentralizes many of the events. When the Olympics was held in Munich it was, in fact, held in seven other cities as well. We're going to be spending just about a billion dollars in this country-just about a billion dollars on the Olympics in 1976. We know Montreal has them. Now 45% of that billion dollars comes from the Province of Ontario. It seems to me we have an opportunity to help Montreal out and I think we should approach the Federal Government and indicate to them that this city is capable of taking over some significant Olympic events. For example, waterfront events. You can imagine trying to conduct the waterfront events in Montreal. It's very difficult. The waterfront in Toronto is adequate. In fact, it's more than adequate to cover the water events. There is no city in this country, secondly, that can cover the cultural events. Caravan has shown us that. We can look after the cultural events and make strong representations to the Federal Government and say "Look, you've got a problem, we know they've got a problem and Montreal has a problem" and we can get those.
Behind the issues which I mention I think there is something which links them up. It's indeed a kind of instinct, a philosophy, if you will, but it is something that perhaps a new generation of Torontonians is also saying. It's saying slow down, just slow down a bit. Make sure that the change that occurs continues to allow this city to have a sense of roots, a sense of time and a sense of place. People need roots in their lives. If they don't have those roots then they won't have a commitment to this city. If they don't have a commitment to this city then we won't have to wonder what it is going to look like. Travel 95 miles south of Buffalo and you can see it. We have an opportunity to correct the trends that have dominated North America for a generation.
This election is important in this regard because the speed of change is so great we can't let it get ahead of us. The time is now to reverse those trends. That's why I decided to run for Mayor in June of 1972 and that's why I'm running now and that's why I'm before you today. If you feel as I do, I would ask you very much for your support. I need support because I want to win on December 4th because these are the things I'm concerned about. And when I go to the Beach and when I go to the Annex, when I go to Swansea, when I go to south Forest Hill, Moore Park, Deer Park, I find the same response. People are concerned about development in respect to their neighbourhood, concerned about transportation, traffic, concerned about how to get involved in the construction of this city and are concerned about how to relate the other two levels of government. Those are the issues.
Thank you very much for listening to me.
ALDERMAN DAVID ROTENBERG:
I want to thank The Empire Club for giving me this opportunity to speak today. The fact that so many of you are here shows that you care, as I do, about the City of Toronto.
I was pleased that today the Toronto Star officially endorsed my candidacy for Mayor and indicated in their editorial that Toronto needs firm and decisive leadership. So let's talk about ability and responsibility and the job of being Mayor of Toronto.
The City of Toronto is quite literally a corporation, a huge corporation, with an annual budget of over $300,000,000. The Mayor is the Chairman of the Board and its Chief Executive Officer. He has to bring a combination of wisdom and administrative confidence to that office. There is no question that he must be a capable, experienced manager. Capable of knowing and understanding a complex organization that is responsible to over 700,000 people.
As President of City Council and as Budget Chief for the past three years, I have the credentials to be Mayor. In 1971 I produced the first tax cut for city taxpayers, the first since 1953. I have taken part in all the major decisions for the past decade that have made our city so unique in North America. It was at my suggestion as a member of the City Planning Board that led to the creation of the Toronto Plan which guarantees the protection of Toronto's residential neighbourhoods. I worked with my good friend, former Mayor Nathan Phillips, in the planning that led to the building of our new City Hall. Between these two achievements, we have had a great impact in the shaping of the Toronto we know and enjoy today.
So far in my campaign for Mayor, I have been making policy proposals for the Toronto of tomorrow. Proposals dealing with citizen involvement, urban housing, development, taxation and the economy. I wish to review some of these platforms for a few moments and then go on to outline some of my views on transportation and the parking problem.
I have proposed that Toronto establish a land stabilization bank which would purchase and redevelop obsolete industrial land and other vacant Toronto land. The land would remain City property and the City would use it to plan new intercity residential neighbourhoods and expand existing ones. Because we could acquire this land for prices well below the normal cost of residential land, the cost of a completed unit would be significantly less than it would be in commercial projects. This would help to halt land speculation and stabilize land prices. As part of this land acquisition program, I have proposed that we take an important environmental step, the covering of the outdoor settling tanks at the Ashbridge's Bay Sewage Plant. Anyone familiar with Woodbine Beach, the Somerville Pool, the Yacht Club, the east downtown area, knows what happens when those tanks sit baking in the warm sun. They spoil the summer for thousands of residents and visitors and make it a stinking hell in the east end. I have examined some of the preliminary engineering studies done on this problem. They have determined that for an outlay of about four to five million dollars we can clear up this problem for all time. We cover the tanks, we collect the gases that are now spread over east Toronto and burn them off offending neither the air, the eye nor the nose. Of those 500 acres of vacant land at least 200 could suddenly become prime residential land and the rest should be retained for recreational use. Remember this is now publicly owned land and at a cost of something less than 50 cents a square foot to cover the tanks, we can convert useless land into residential and recreational land. Anywhere else in the city residential land would be selling for $15 to $20 a square foot. This land would become part of our Land Stabilization Bank and give Toronto an opportunity to launch a major residential lakefront project with accommodations for senior citizens, single family dwellings, low income homes, multiple family dwellings, a completely balanced community following the paths of our other successful Toronto neighbourhoods.
In light of our successful experience in the design and the construction of the new City Hall, I am proposing that we conduct again an international competition inviting urban planners from all over the world to meet the most spectacular challenge ever conceived by a city-the creation of a completely new neighbourhood in the heart of North America's most exciting urban centre. 200 acres of new housing with another 300 acres of residential land at its doorstep. In the same way that our City Hall put us on the world map of architecture and set a high standard for every commercial development that followed downtown, the Ashbridge's Bay Project will give us an opportunity to create a new international standard for a residential life style. A new standard for the neighbourhoods of North America. A standard again which will be the envy of the world.
I want to see this project through as Mayor of Toronto because I believe that Toronto should take its place among the great cities of the world. A leader in creating a decent and human environment for people to work and to live.
In the process of acquiring property, the Land Stabilization Bank will be purchasing obsolete, industrial land in the poorer area of Toronto. Land that becomes available as industry continues its inevitable flight to the suburbs and to the small towns of Ontario.
I have proposed that the city establish new business incubators in the obsolete buildings as they await redevelopment. There is no question that a real correlation exists between the number and size of a city's business enterprises and the health of that city. On one hand, we look at such cities as Pittsburgh and Detroit, deteriorating cities with heart disease, and we realize that these cities have only a handful of employers. Massive corporations and massive payrolls. In Toronto, however, the average company employs only forty persons. It's a warm, lively city with a great variety of jobs and places to work and these two situations go hand and hand. It is therefore in the best interests of the city to encourage the proliferation of innovative new businessmen. As Mayor, I would invite some of our successful businessmen and professionals, perhaps some of you here today, to act as advisers to promising new businesses. Small companies that have a chance to go somewhere if they have professional know-how to help out. We would provide them with know-how. Provide them with space and obsolete buildings and point them to sources of private capital investment. They will avoid the pitfalls that await the fledgling entrepreneur. And as each new business succeeds, and certainly it will, it would be the incubator and new ones would be invited to take its place.
It is obvious that if Canadians are to own a greater share of the national economy, more Canadian companies must be established and must prosper. We want to provide the environment for this to happen for the good of both Toronto and for the good of Canada.
I wish now to turn for a moment to taxation. A subject in which I have special interest as Budget Chief for the City. I have taken strong stands on Council and as a member of the Finance Committee of the Canadian Federation of Mayors urging a new look at property taxes. The first tri-level conference in Toronto was held this week and I was Toronto's representative at that conference. I believe the conference was a major forward step. After 105 years we have finally got the other governments to admit that three levels actually do exist and at the urban level is where the needs are. My proposals, made first to the Canadian Federation of Mayors and through them to the tri-level conference, has been to establish a permanent tax commission representing all three levels of government to examine the tax resources that are available and to reallocate these resources so that the burden of property taxation is removed from the homeowner. Our progresses may be slow but the die has now been cast. I want to continue my involvement as Mayor of Toronto to insure the cities of Canada have a strong voice to speak on behalf of our homeowners.
And turning now to transportation, I first must applaud the actions of Bill Davis yesterday in announcing his visionary plans to meet the transportation needs of Ontario. When Bill Davis opens his treasury chest to the tune of 1.3 billion dollars as he did yesterday, you can rest assured that Metro Toronto will be first in line. What the Premier has announced is a completely integrated transit system based on median volume, elevated trains operating in the city and, equally important, to outside points. This dovetails very neatly with something I believe in-the Toronto Centred Region Plan and its proposals to create satellite cities well outside of Toronto. Since the Metro area is adding over 50,000 residents every year, it is clear that we will soon have reached the housing saturation point. Even now, many people working in Toronto commute distances of 40 or 50 miles to their homes. Our major priority in making these satellite cities into sensible realities is to have fast, public transit available from the first day that they begin their existence. Experience here and elsewhere has shown that highways cannot be built fast enough or wide enough to accommodate commuter traffic. We know this ourselves. By providing our satellite suburbanites with adequate public transportation from the outset, the pressure to build more roads will simply not materialize and, of course, it will take much of the traffic off our city residential streets. Now our own City of Toronto Parking Authority should have an important voice in deliberations about transportation. It may well be that priorities of the Parking Authority should be changing, that to solve Toronto's parking problem the Parking Authority should be looking for solutions beyond Toronto's city limits. Perhaps even beyond the Metro limit. Parking should no longer only be a service accommodating itself to traffic but one that helps shape the flow of traffic. I propose that in the city we nominate specific areas for free on-street overnight parking. Areas which now do not have sufficient garages and driveways. I propose new parking stations on the edges of the downtown core with easy access to the Gardiner Expressway. Parking stations that can be underground and covered by a park and interconnecting these with the TTC, mini bus services or with some of Mr. Davis' innovative new transit. These transit systems would shuttle drivers and passengers to and from the new stations during rush hours and service the downtown commuter service during the rest of the day keeping the cars out of our downtown streets.
These are practical solutions to the problems of both parking and transportation. Solutions that can be implemented quickly. It may be a few years before we can see the fruition of the Davis transportation plan. We in Toronto can take useful steps to solve our own problems within a few months providing we have a Mayor who can take the initiative.
I earlier compared the Mayor's office to that of a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of a Corporation. This is an office of responsibility and honour and I urge you to examine the candidates and the qualities of those candidates by those standards. My candidacy is based on twelve years' experience. My ability to solve problems with realistic and imaginative answers, answers that emphasize keeping Toronto a place for people, keeping Toronto the finest city in North America.
ALDERMAN TONY O'DONOHUE:
Before I came down here today my wife said to me "Where are you going for lunch?", and I said "Well, I am speaking to The Empire, Club", and she said "My God!" "Make sure you don't make any mistakes today," she says. You know, to some people The Empire Club might seem to be the Club where big people in Toronto meet and make decisions. You meet everybody at The Empire Club. I've been going across this city for the past six years, meeting people, tenants' groups, ratepayer groups, Portuguese soccer club, Empire Club, I'm glad to be here today. And I know I am speaking to a group of people today that are vitally interested in what happens in the City of Toronto, not only now but in the years ahead.
I am a new person to Toronto. I came here sixteen years ago, as my wife did, in 1949, as a refugee. She was born in Lithuania and her father died in a slave labour camp in Siberia. I emigrated here in '56 as a young engineer. When I got off the boat in Montreal I took the plane to Toronto, got a job and have been here ever since. We love this city. We love this city like nobody else loves this city. This city has been good to us like it has been good to thousands of other people who have come here before us. Maybe lots of you people, or your fathers, or your grandfathers, had the same experience as we have now and we are thankful for the opportunity of being able to say that to you today. Toronto has opened its heart to many people and that is why many people have made Toronto their home.
I have worked in the buildings in Toronto, the tall buildings, little buildings. I have worked in the water mains in the streets, in the bridges, in the sewers. I know what goes into the making of a city. It's part of my profession. I'm a professional engineer. I know the sweat and the blood. I've got the feeling of it in my fingers, in my hands and in my blood to what makes a city like Toronto "go". So Up approaching this election with the knowledge that I've got that background in my profession and also as a politician because I've seen it from both sides of the fence.
You all know of my contribution to the environment in the early '60s, the papers that I have done that have been published nationally, when nobody else was talking about pollution. You know of the fights that I've led in the late sixties to have the Heam Power Plant converted from coal to natural gas. You know of the fight we had to convert the Pearl Street Plant to natural gas. You know of my fight to stop the Jail Farm from being sold. I'm sure you know a lot more about me from what you've read in the paper and the fights that I've led at City Hall.
I want to point out one thing to you--I am nobody's boy. As far as the running of the city is concerned, I will listen, I've got an open mind and I listen to what people say and it's an input into the final decision that I have to make. I have approached this election with that in mind. I have not been able to get the support as Alderman Rotenberg can claim from the established systems here in Toronto. I haven't got the Star, neither have I got the Globe nor have I got the Sun. I think I've got one thing going for me, I've got the people of this city for me. I think I've got a cross section of support in this city that no other politician has because I have made it my business in the past sixteen years since I've got into politics to get to know the people of this city and I know them like nobody else knows them and with my background as an engineer I think I can make a contribution to this City second to none.
Well, Mr. Chairman, I have decided in my campaign to try and do a policy paper every day and I'd like to show you that this is my city-it's called "Tony's Toronto"-it's a whole list of the things that I believe in and I hope you will read it and when you've read it I hope you will decide to vote for me.
But I would like to talk to you today about some of the most interesting areas of the campaign with respect to issues and where I stand. Then I want to get into one specific one before I close. First of all, I want to tell you that I'm "for" amalgamation. I would like to see the Metro Chairman elected by the people of Metropolitan Toronto. I would like to see the Spadina Expressway and the Gardiner Expressway completed. I would like to see the Toronto Islands developed as a park, the whole Islands. I support the proposals made by the Prime Minister of the Province yesterday with respect to the transportation plans that he unveiled and I would like to say to you very simply that if I get in as Mayor that I will be behind any plan that will try and double the amount of subway that we have in this Metropolitan area. We must put more emphasis on subways.
I would like to throw out a challenge to engineers, architects and planners to bring to this city a renaissance in building. We haven't had this. In this respect I would like to tell you that I am for the Eaton's Centre. Unfortunately, the other day there was a little bit of a mixup in times and I came into the meeting about a half an hour before it finished when it should have been the following day. But the plan itself is sound and I will be supporting the Eaton Plan in Council. Metro Centre is another plan that I have supported. It will be good for this city. This city needs redevelopment. It has to have redevelopment. Any city without redevelopment will surely die. We have to have it.
Now I would like to mention a specific program today. I am committed to a policy which sees no building of historic significance to the city, province or nation torn down. Preservation of the physical record of our heritage should be of paramount importance. All steps possible must be taken to insure that such monuments remain for ourselves and for our children and for future generations.
Historical areas are a different matter. As distinct from historic areas, an historical area is one typifying a particular style of life or architecture or a community environment of a particular nature. The historical areas of Toronto, taken collectively, are the character of this city. As such, they must be protected. It is my policy that no historical, and I mean in the broadest sense, residential or neighbourhood area should be demolished. The bulldozer must not rule and the people who live in the area have every right to stay there.
Our city is unique in North America. We have areas of high density then falls off to adjacent residential areas and builds back up again. What that means is that the entire core area of the city has people living in it. It is not only worth preserving this kind of mosaic but absolutely essential to the continued life and vitality of Toronto as a city. Undoubtedly, some of these neighbourhoods require rejuvenation. I am committed to see that the rejuvenation takes place without the wholesale demolition of worthwhile and sound existing buildings and in an atmosphere where the tax base pressure is not such as to force owners to sell out and where buyers find themselves in a situation where they must develop to full density in order to be able to justify their investments.
My policy is to preserve the amenity of the City of Toronto. The means of preserving that amenity are people and buildings. The neighbourhoods, their characters and their skills must be preserved not as museum pieces or some eccentricity to be studied as a specimen but as vital and living organic segments of the entire city structure. And here are some proposals for municipal preservation:
(a) I would like to establish immediately after December 4th a Selection Committee on preservation to list within three months at least the ten most important historic buildings in the City of Toronto following which the Selection Committee would make an up-to-date inventory of all historic buildings and historical streetscapes that should be preserved for the benefit of the people and to ask City Council to take immediate steps to protect the designated buildings from any possible demolition or major exterior alteration. The Selection Committee would work in cooperation with the Toronto Historical Board.
(b) To establish within the city budget an emergency preservation fund and in this connection I recommend in addition a maximum nine months' property tax relief program for owners of historic buildings which are under pressures from the owners themselves or from builders for demolition and the property used for commercial or residential high-rises, etc. A nine month delay period to be used in search of new or alternate use of the existing historic structure.
(c) To commission a study of rental effects of high-rise commercial building construction.
(d) To examine the feasibility of an architectual design review board within the city and to work with the city itself in conjunction with the Ontario Association of Architects. This board would review all applications for commercial and residential high-rise structures. It would not be empowered to refuse or delay building permits to anybody but rather appraise each project and release its findings and comments to the public prior to the building permits approval or rezoning changes. The board would mostly want to draw attention to developers that in designing new structures and new buildings they should relate to the surrounding streetscape and complement the existing environment within the area.
(e) To establish a permanent advisory committee or task force to advise the city on historic and historical preservation. And these proposals are made, particularly the Architectural Design Review Board so that the public interest is protected and it can best be protected through some of the proposals made above and if it has the opportunity, indeed the right, to be in on the discussions at every beginning.
Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to say to you that I am appealing for your support on December 4th. I know that I've got the qualities and the qualifications. I've got everything it takes to lead a city to greatness and I want to be part and continue to be part of the growing of this city. I can assure you that if you give me your trust on December 4th you will not regret it.
Thank you very much.
Aldermen David Crombie, Anthony O'Donohue and David Rotenberg were thanked on behalf of The Empire Club by Major Charles C. Hoffman, a Director of the Club.
This is one of the few times when every person in the audience would welcome an opportunity of being able to thank our speakers today. We all know that we live in possibly the greatest country in the world and the most outstanding city in Canada. Part of this has been made possible through the dedication and hard work of these three gentlemen you have heard from today. Of course, there have been others who have served in the past and who still serve in the present on some of the Councils, both in Toronto and around this community and Metropolitan Toronto.
Toronto is truly an exciting and a very beautiful city. Through my own work in the convention and tourist business I have visited many countries around the world and I have seen some beautiful places but I've seen a few horrible places like you have. I can remember not too long ago being in a city that looked so terrible that the City Fathers levelled it to the ground and erected a slum.
Some of you in this city may think that our kids in this city are a little bit on the tough side. Well, the kids there were really tough. A woman visitor was walking down the street. She came across a very tiny boy sitting on the sidewalk drinking out of a bottle of liquor and smoking a cigar. She furiously walked over to the kid and said "Son, why aren't you in school?" He said "Why hell lady, I'm only four years old."
Well, we've had many firsts in Canada like the discovery of insulin and hockey and five pin bowling and so on but I think this is possibly the first time we have had a head table like this one here today. It provides the members of this Club, their wives and their friends with an opportunity of not only hearing from these three speakers but also acknowledging, and gratefully acknowledging some of the other Mayors who served in this Metropolitan Toronto. Some of them aren't here today like Bill Dennison-Mayor Dennison who has been on our Board for many years served as a Director and a long time member and is here most Thursdays. And Mayor Tru Davidson who is not here today.
Mr. Crombie, we are all pleased with your very deep concern for the people of Toronto and those in all the neighbourhoods around this Metropolitan area. For, as you say, this can make Toronto a most interesting and more attractive and more comfortable city in which to live. We thank you for your service to the city and for being with us today and we wish you well in the future.
Mr. Rotenberg, your twelve years on City and Metro Councils and your three years as President of City Council has enabled you to fight for parklands and as the Budget Chief to play a very strong part in the financial affairs of our city. We wish you well in your future endeavours and we thank you for all that you have done in the past and for being with us today.
Mr. O'Donohue, as a professional engineer, you have assisted greatly in handling the technical problems of our city and you have certainly made us all more aware of the water and air pollution which affects both our present and our future. We thank you for all you have done in the past and for being with us today and wish you well in the future.
Good luck to each of you candidates. We wish you well, of course. And so that our city will be directed to having the strongest and most capable Mayor in North America, everyone in this room would join me in saying-may the best man win.