Civitan Arena

Don Mills Civitan Proposal for a New Multi-Pad Arena 


Many residents and homeowner associations neighbouring the Don East Parklands are concerned about proposed use of some Don East Parkland as a site for a multi-pad ice arena. The land sits south of the 401 and west of Don Mills Rd and far below its road grade. Some have derisively referred to this site as "scrub land". To others, it is a precious part of Toronto's natural landscape or greenbelts. Users of the Betty Sutherland Trail would have a diminished parklands experience. Development of this site would interfere with local wildlife in the area and increase pollution.  The parklands are managed by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and technically, their use is still restricted by Ontario government transfer covenants.

The proposal for the new arena was initiated by the Civitan Don Mills group who own the 50 year old ice rink in the Shops of Don Mills (Don Mills & Lawrence). The hockey league spokesperson, Mr David Croutch, advised that the existing arena needs replacement and that more ice rental space is needed in the ward area. The proposal has a side-by-side 3 surface rink configuration with other amenities and services.
 
The site of the existing Civitan arena is also part of the proposal for Phase 2 of the Don Mills Centre redevelopment. Three local NYCC Councillors Parker, Minnan-Wong and Jenkins are involved and support the development of the parkland site.

The proponents made presentations to the North York Community Council (NYCC) in November 2008. Richard Whittle and Helen Flanagan from the Henry Farm Community Interest Association presented opposing views for this location based on environmental and traffic concerns.  Ward 33 Councillor, Shelley Carroll asked that the proposal go through regular planning procedures. Some of her concerns related to increased southbound peak hour traffic and financial risks. The NYCC directed staff to provide two reports for May and June 2009 and the Civitan group was instructed to provide a business plan for May 2009.
 
The Civitan group subsequently requested an extension to submit their business plan.  They are now actively searching for an alternate site as the cost of building a new road down to the parkland is prohibitive and the extensive environmental assessment required would also be very expensive.

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