First came the protest against what they perceived as a developer’s “aggressive” ad. Now a band of activist Keewatin Avenue residents are responding with a message of their own: lining neighbourhood streets with lawn signs to raise awareness to their pushback against density creep.
The initial protest was against developers Freed Development Corp. and Trolleybus Urban Development Inc. advertising units for sale in a proposed 80-unit stacked townhouse complex that would replace eight detached houses along 200–214 Keewatin Ave. The ads appeared in a local publication only days after the release of a city planning report that expressed reservations about the not-yet-approved project.
Calling themselves the Density Creep Neighbourhood Alliance, the group of neighbours — led by Marcia Visser, Lisa Goodwin, Vicki Fecteau, Mary Ellen McGeachie and Astrid Fischer — have announced their presence by distributing 70 lawn signs to date along Keewatin Avenue, Sherwood Avenue and Mt. Pleasant Road. And they have invoked names and situations from the fictional Game of Thrones TV series in appealing for “reinforcements” from residents of streets to the north to help guard “Keewatin’s Wall.”
The group fears that if the city ultimately approves the developers’ proposal, more high-density projects could follow.
“This is not only us, but the streets north of us,” said Goodwin, who designed the signs that call for help in saving their North Toronto streets from density creep.
Goodwin likens the battle to that of the Game of Thrones scenario where the men of the Night’s Watch guard the Wall, a massive edifice that represents the southern kingdoms’ only protection from the monstrous, zombie-like horde known as the White Walkers.
“It’s like Keewatin’s the Wall,” Goodwin said. “We need the streets north of us to support us and send reinforcements, because they don’t realize that Keewatin, as the Wall, has a crack, and if this crack is not repaired and dealt with — if it crumbles — nobody is safe.”