Toronto, ON – Over the past few months there have been many new applications to the AGCO for cannabis retail store licenses. There have also been a noticeable amount of applications made in the Riverside neighbourhood of Toronto-Danforth – a cluster of four stores along Queen St. East between Hamilton St. and Degrassi St.
Residents have shared their concerns with local City Councillor Paula Fletcher. The Board of the Ralph Thornton Community Centre has sent a letter to the AGCO to voice their concerns about the proliferation of stores in such a small geographic area.
Councillor Fletcher will be putting forward a motion at the July 16th Toronto & East York Community Council meeting that will recommend City Council request the AGCO to consider proximity to schools, parks, public spaces and other cannabis retail stores when reviewing applications.
The community centre is not the only sensitive use in this area, as there are multiple parks, a Toronto Public Library branch, children drop-in centres, a city recreation centre and supportive housing projects.
The current Provincial regulations are more permissive than the originally proposed municipal rules, which would have prevented some of these clustering issues.
“Riverside is a welcoming and growing neighbourhood, but four cannabis shops in such a small stretch is too much. Residents are concerned about the impacts these shops will have on the area. There were much stricter guidelines related to community impact contemplated before the Ford government decided that no regulations are required in relation to setting up ‘shop.’ This is why I am bringing this motion to Community Council,” said Councillor Fletcher.