Sunday, June 22, 2008

Early Morning Excitement in Aurora

This morning I was awoken by the sound of breaking glass. I looked out the window to see the old, and long since vacant, used car sales centre for Aurora Toyota fully engulfed in flames with narry a fire truck in sight. It was 5:50 A.M. when I dialed 911 to report the fire.

However, as I was connecting to the 911 dispatcher, a Central York Fire Services pumper truck responded. The crew made short work of the old closed gate to keep people from stealing cars from the parking lot when it was a Toyota Dealership. Quickly the crew got out their saws and within two minutes got through the rented temporary chain link fence. The pumper pulled onto the site.

York Regional Police quickly moved in and shutdown Yonge Street between Brookland Avenue and Murray Drive to traffic.

I ventured over later after the ruckus died down and everyone left:

The main issue with this property is since the Aurora Toyota dealership moved out, this piece of property has sat vacant for quite some time. While sitting vacant the two buildings on the site have been vandalized by teenagers off and on both day and night.

The vandals are further assisted within the last week with access to this piece of property when the temporary rented fence was fully removed. Rumour has it in the neighbourhood the property owners failed to pay the bill for the fence rental. So for about a week the property sat vacant with no fence and with several smashed windows on the rear, north and south sides. Then later in the week a temporary fence was reinstalled along the front of the property only. This didn't do much considering both the north and south sides of the property were not fenced off to keep anyone out.
Further, this property, according to Town of Aurora development records (see section 41 of the link) due for rezoning in order "to allow ground floor retail and 44 residential units within 4 storey building." This seems like a great redevelopment plan for instensifying developmeny along the Yonge Street corridor in Aurora in terms encouraging sustainable development along routes well serviced by transit. However, the applicant, i.e. the property owner has put the development application on hold for the time being. So it seems the neighbours of 14785 Yonge Street will have to live endure the blight this property has become for a while longer.

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