Markham-Ellesmere Revitalization study comes as surprise to local businesses

Some local business owners are baffled by a study that is looking into plans to build a new “square” in the Markham Road and Ellesmere Avenue area.

Kingsberg Monetary Corporation, owner of 1221 Markham Rd. is proposing to demolish the existing commercial plaza and replace it with a mixed-use development including 1,217 condominium units, as well as retail stores, restaurants and offices.

But this comes as a surprise to businesses like Taj Mahal Sweet & Restaurant, and Double Double Pizza – both current tenants in the plaza.

Photo courtesy of City of Toronto.

“I have no idea about this so-called study,” says Bashir Ashgary, manager of Taj Mahal.

A working group comprised of area residents and landowners has been formed to participate in issues regarding the study, says Gurjeet Dhillon, executive assistant to councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker,.

However, none of the businesses within the plaza claim to know anything about this group.

“Our planning team sends out notification within a three kilometer radius of that particular location,” Dhillon says.

Roger Kanapathippilai, manager of Double Double Pizza, is just as dumbfounded as Ashgary and says he needs to know more about the study.

The Kingberg Monetary Corporation was not available to comment, but Dhillon says the private owners are free to do as they please as long as they are within their zoning bylaw.

“The city is not displacing people,” Dhillon says. “The plaza, owned by a particular corporation, is.”

In accordance with the Markham-Ellesmere Revitalization Study, Ed Watkins, who is Manager of community planning for the Scarborough district city planning division, is also proposing new road links in the area east of Markham Road, between Brimorton Drive and Tuxedo Court.

Walking and biking trails on Highland Creek greenery are an additional element of the study.

The study will go to Scarborough Community Council in February.