Toronto

Controversial Etobicoke concrete plant may be moving to the east end

A long-standing concrete facility that has created years of frustration for Mimico residents, could be packing up and moving shop.

ML Ready Mix on Judson Street has been the subject of many complaints from neighbourhood residents

The ML Ready Mix concrete plan could be relocating to the Eastern Port Lands. (CBC)

A long-standing concrete facility that has created years of frustration for Mimico residents, could be packing up and moving shop.

On Thursday, Coun. Mark Grimes announced that a potential site for ML Ready Mix had been found in the Eastern Port Lands. 

"The proximity to the downtown core, highways and development sites make this a more appropriate site for industrial operators such as ML," according to a press release sent by the councillor.

Grimes attributed the potential move to the efforts of a working group created in 2014 to address community concerns about the factory.

Residents of Judson Street in the Mimico neighbourhood of Toronto have been complaining for years about the noise and dust generated by an industrial concrete mixing facility that sits adjacent to many homes. (CBC)

Community concerns

In 2014, CBC Toronto reported that residents in the community said they had been complaining to the city and province about the excessive noise since 2007.

Neighbours who live in the Judson Street area, near Royal York Road, said that as many as 384 trucks were heading to and from the factory every day, alleging that many of them operated outside of permitted hours.

Coun. Mark Grimes said the new location is a 'more appropriate site for industrial operators such as ML.' (CBC)

In an email to CBC Toronto this week, Grimes said a zoning amendment would be required to move the facility. He said that he's working with the deputy city manager and city staff to speed up the "necessary approvals to get the correct zoning in place."

"Timing will depend on what type of approvals are required, but I am working to expedite this, and relocate ML out of our community as soon as possible," he said.

A report on the matter will be considered by city council next week.

'The city had nothing to do with it'

Local resident Dan Irwin, who has been leading the charge in the community to have ML Ready Mix shut down, is happy about the news but said he doesn't think Grimes should take any credit.

Everyone knows that he did absolutely nothing about [the problem] to help us.- Dan Irwin

"Everyone knows that he did absolutely nothing about [the problem] to help us," said Irwin, who lives up the street from the concrete plant. "The city had nothing to do with it, the province had nothing to do with it."

Irwin has contacted the city demanding answers about the timeframe of the move, among other things.

Dan Irwin has filed numerous complaints about the ML concrete facility in his Mimico neighbourhood. (CBC)

In October 2016, CBC reported that city planning documents showed Dunpar Homes Ltd. had a conditional offer to buy the plant with hopes to build a condo tower — the offer being conditional on city council rezoning those lands.

Nearby lands rezoned

Last June, city council voted to rezone nearby lands on Judson Street to allow for residential development, despite opposition from city planners and Metrolinx. Dunpar has applied to build townhomes on the site.

Metrolinx — which is currently appealing the rezoning — warned councillors the facility might have to close if new residents complained about noise or vibrations coming from the maintenance yard. Yet city council, at the request of Etobicoke councillors Mark Grimes and Justin Di Ciano, voted to rezone the lands — a move that would benefit the developer.

Coun. Justin Di Ciano asked for planning amendments that could benefit Dunpar, a developer to which he had personal ties. (CBC)

CBC News has previously reported on councillor Di Ciano's ties to Dunpar.

The city's integrity commissioner is now investigating allegations Di Ciano may have benefited "financially and politically" from the developer. They are claims Di Ciano has denied.

With files from John Lancaster