TORONTO –Rob and Doug Ford were the only councillors Monday to vote against the Toronto Raptors new practice facility.
The mayor had previously said he’d support the motion if there were concessions made for Toronto Community Housing residents allowing them guaranteed time to use the facility. His motion was referred to staff rather than being accepted.
“There’s no reason in the world why these kids at TCHC can’t get the same treatment as any other kid in the city,” the mayor told reporters Monday afternoon.
“It really, really bothers me that these kids aren’t having the same privileges and aren’t treated the same as all the other kids are. They’re at a huge disadvantage as it is and now you’re just ignoring them.”
Access to the facility will be split between The Toronto Raptors, MLSE and the city’s parks programs. The team will use the facility for practice but also open it up to the public through MLSE charitable organizations.
The city will open the facility to residents. TCHC residents will have the same access to the facility as any other resident of Toronto.
The council decision to send the mayor’s motion to staff doesn’t nullify it and it could come back to council in the next session.
But the Ford brothers suggested the deferral sent Ford’s idea to “never, never land.”
“What is wrong with ten per cent going to TCHC?” Doug Ford said. “That tells me that all the councillors that voted against this don’t give two hoots about the people in TCHC.”
City council also voted unanimously to request Exhibition Place try to build a new baseball stadium at Exhibition Place to replace the current ballpark being paved over for the Toronto Raptors practice facility.
The ballpark is currently used by the 58 year old Lions CNE PeeWee Baseball Tournament, one of the longest running CNE attractions.
But the diamond will be removed to make way for the parking lot, which will surround the Raptors new $30 million facility.
The decision came minutes before city council voted 38-2 to build the new facility for which the city will receive $2.6 million over 20 years.