February 11, 2013
Please take action
The city of Toronto is currently considering zoning by-law changes that will determine where Places of Worship will be able to lease permanent facilities or purchase property. If this legislation passes it will have a negative impact on Toronto churches and all other religions for generations to come.
Thankfully, the Toronto Faith Coalition has made great progress to gain concessions with the city planners. Previously, the legislation was very restricting. Today, the legislation is still restricting but we have made progress.
There are two issues that still need to be addressed:
- Parking Formulas will restrict the size of Places of Worship based on an unfair parking formula.
The formula for Places of Worship is much higher than similar venues.The proposed changes will not immediately affect the APC central site at Kennedy and Finch. However, if we apply for a building permit in the years to come (not including our current building permit) it would be very difficult to meet the new parking restrictions.
- Light Industrial Zones are still not available to Places of Worship. This is important because Light Industrial zones are often an ideal place for churches to locate.
If our satellite churches (Toronto Community Churches) in the years to come want to lease or purchase permanent facilities this legislation could restrict where we will be able to locate.
So, what can we do?
- Phone or email as many councilors as possible by Tuesday March 5, 2013.
• Click here to educate yourself on the issue. (View a short presentation from the Toronto Faith Coalition)
• Click here, for a list of councillors email addresses and phone numbers
• Click here for a sample phone call
• Click here for a sample letter (Word doc)
- Attend the Planning and Growth Committee meeting on Wednesday March 6 at 9:30 AM at City Hall Council Chamber. You can simply attend the meeting or you can register to speak to the councilors at the meeting. Visit www.torontofaithcoalition.org for more information.
Thank you. Together we can have a positive influence on our city.
About the Author
Pastor Dale Tollefson
Pastor Dale gives leadership to the Pastoral Care team, missions and the Toronto Community Churches. He and his wife Cathy also lead the MarriedLife Belong Group. Currently he is the interim pastor at one of our Toronto Community Churches, at Kingston Road Community Church.
Dale is the proud father of three daughters, one son and one son-in-law. He is also a very proud grandfather!
He joined the team at APC in 2009. His home town is Mississauga, Ontario.
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