29 judson street

Toronto community says cement factory is illegal and wants it turned into a park

A Toronto community hopes a cement factory, built without permits, can be transformed into a park or green space.

Residents have pushed since it was built in 2007 to get the concrete plant ML Ready Mix, at 29 Judson Street in Mimico, out of their residential neighbourhood.

Dan Irwin tells blogTO he has lived across the street from the plant since 1985 and was shocked when the buildings started to go up on the former CN property.

"Since 2003 is when he started constructing this wall and he took out took out over 200 trees," Irwin says. Initially, the community was told it would be a lumber yard.

Irwin contacted the city councillor but nothing was done and the cement plant was built.

Irwin is part of a group of concerned residents who launched a petition last year to have the property turned into a green space.

Last November, a cyclist was killed after he was hit by a concrete truck from the plant, which sparked renewed calls to move the facility.

In November of 2019, the City of Toronto purchased the property, and ML Ready Mix was supposed to move to 545 Commissioners St. in the Port Lands in one year. There are land use conflicts and ongoing community concerns with the concrete plant in a residential area, the city noted.

The process to move was delayed due to lockdowns, but back in November, Etobicoke-Lakeshore city councillor Mark Grimes said they would move in the spring of 2021. That time has come and gone and the community is still waiting.

"They should have been out of there two years ago… even long before that," Irwin says.

This month, the group requested a document from the city that confirms there were no building permits issued for the cement plant. Irwin says there are five buildings there, built without a permit.

"I've known since 2007, they didn't have those building permits," Irwin says.

He says community members went to committee of adjustment meetings where it was revealed the company didn't have permits.

"We wouldn't get away with it building a shed [without a permit]."

The city was not immediately able to comment on why the company was allowed to build without a permit.

They did confirm that the zoning could permit a park, but just when that would happen is anyone's guess.

Irwin says the property at the Port Lands where ML Ready Mix is to move has yet to be developed.

"They have done absolutely nothing to begin the relocation," he says.

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