Toronto neighbourhood has had it with concrete company after cyclist killed by truck
Community members in Mimico have been trying to get cement company ML Ready Mix to leave the neighbourhood for years now, and the recent tragic death of a cyclist has added even more urgency to the situation.
On Friday, Nov. 20, Toronto police reported that a 59-year-old man had been travelling southbound on Royal York Road on his bicycle when he was hit by a cement truck making a right turn from southbound Royal York to westbound Judson Street.
Tragically, the cyclist succumbed to his injuries at the scene, according to police.
This is horrifying and steps from my door. No doubt in my mind it’s an ML Ready Mix truck, an awful community business that’s spent years doing their best to make the north end of Mimico a worse place to live. https://t.co/fHLzVC6UlW— T.J. Goertz (@TJGoertz) November 20, 2020
The terrible accident that occurred last week has since rocked a community that had already been working to push out the cement company for years, citing noise and pollution as just some examples of the disruption it has caused in the neighbourhood.
Roughly one year ago, the city listened to residents' concerns and ordered the company to move its operations within a year — spending millions to buy out the land it sits on.
At the time, the company was told to move to a new home in the Port Lands by the end of 2020.
And while that deadline is fast approaching, Etobicoke-Lakeshore city councillor Mark Grimes said the move will unfortunately be delayed by at least a few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cyclist killed at Royal York/Judson was hit by a cement truck. ML Ready Mix Concrete is located close by on Judson, in a residential area. People have complained for years about heavy trucks. City bought the site but ML remains @CycleToronto https://t.co/UNr1Xffemx— Pamela Gough 🇨🇦 (@pamelagough) November 21, 2020
In an update sent out to residents in mid-October, Grimes said the company submitted their site plan application, and the city provided comments on adjustments that needed to be made to the plans.
He added that their new site, at 545 Commissioners St., must be operational before they can vacate their current location, and ML has submitted their revisions as required by the city. Next, planning staff will work towards issuing approvals by early December, Grimes said.
"ML Ready Mix will be leaving the community, however at this time, I don't have a confirmed date when the move will happen," Grimes told community members. "We anticipate the move to occur in Spring 2021."
But it seems residents don't want to wait a moment longer to see the company vacate their neighbourhood following Friday's tragedy.
"I live just a few blocks from there and walk every day with my wife. It could easily have been us. Everyone is horrified because this was preventable and predictable and now it's happened," resident Tim Ellis told blogTO.
"The community has put together a petition demanding the city order an immediate shutdown and we are considering picketing the site."
Indeed, an online petition calling on the city to "to put an immediate halt to ML Ready Mix's operations" has garnered roughly 261 signatures to date, and the campaign also demands that the city commit to converting the property into a publicly accessible green space for the community.
"ML Ready Mix has been a hazard for years with trucks driving recklessly, noise pollution, and toxic air. We have called that intersection an 'accident waiting to happen' for ages," said Ellis.
"Local residents association has filed a letter to the councillor for action; the community is united in desiring them gone and we're tired of being ignored."
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