Curbing rowdy revellers in Ward 18 hot topic at candidates debate

Junction resident Jill Leclair says she’s frustrated with rowdy bars in her neighbourhood.

The number of restaurants and bars in the area has risen substantially and Leclair says residents are dissatisfied with the noise, disorderly conduct and vandalism that has accompanied high bar density.

This concern became a focal point at a Ward 18 candidates debate Monday, Sept. 13. Eight of the 12 candidates vying for the seat — Ana Bailou, Kevin Beaulieu, Doug Carroll, Frank De Jong, Nha Le, Joe MacDonald, Hema Vyas and Abdirazak Elmi  — squared off at the Theatre Centre.

Leclair asked the candidates for their ideas about resolving this problem. She said the issue needed to be urgently addressed as it was eroding the quality of life in her community.

“It used to be a neighbourhood area,” Leclair said. “Now it is a party destination.”

Vyas suggested using pictures of children on signs to remind people that Davenport is a neighbourhood where families live and that the district is not just a place to party. Businesses and residents need to work together to solve the problem, she added.

“It’s time for us to work with businesses, the BIA, and residents,” Vyas said. “We’ve lost our balance.

“We need a mix of retailers that reflects the need of our community.”

The debate, hosted by local resident group Active18, had discussions about transportation, governance and community outreach, but planning and urban design were of most concern to candidates and constituents alike. Candidates were quick to point out that Toronto, despite the many planning blunders of council, had opportunities for improvement.

“We have a lot of redevelopment potential,” Frank De Jong said.

Ward 18 is a high density neighbourhood, De Jong added, with galleries, churches, and supermarkets all within walking distance. It’s also fairly accessible, he said.

But Vyas said accessibility issues concern many in the neighbourhood. She has encountered seniors who were unable to grocery shop because their was no bus or car service on Dundas West; construction had completely blocked the road.

“Our streets have changed without consultation,” Vyas said. “We need to sit down and plan our streets with everyone.”

Joe MacDonald agreed that bad planning can only happen if people in city hall do not care, since developments are not approved overnight.

“If a councillor does not care, then the developer can do whatever they want,” MacDonald said.

Ward 18 is a race to watch, as it has no incumbent. Current rep Adam Giambrone isn’t seeking reelection.


  1. This is hilarious. Davenport and Queen at night was not a safe place to go before the bars sprung up. Unless you were a drug addict or a john there was nothing happening, no one out and it was pretty damn ghetto. Now it’s a fun, cool, interesting place to be and people are fed up with rowdy party goers and vandalism? Sure beats knife fights, overdoses, rapes and shootings IMO.

    Oh, and for the record, I lived rond that way back inthe day, before the bars. Then I moved to Queen East and the same thing is happening here. The bars have sprung up and it’s actually NOT a ghost town after sunset anymore. Gee, so terrible. Fact is both of these hoods were neglected by both the city AND it’s own residents for far too long. Now the developers and bar owners have taken up the slack.

  2. In response to: Junction resident Jill Leclair who says she’s frustrated with rowdy bars in her neighbourhood….

    I WOULD have said…

    She is right to put forward her concerns. We need a balance in any location of what makes a neighbourhood: gocery stores, a variety of small business, restaurants, entertainment, the whole gamut of what makes an area sustainable. Many of our residents are aging and need to access what supports their lifestyle very locally; ie. walking distance. No location in a residential neighbourhood should be so overrun with draws for people who just come in to visit from elsewhere, with nothing else for locals.
    Heavy concentrations of bars and entertainment districts are for the city core – downtown. This is a PLANNING and neighbourhood CONSULTATION issue. There is already mechanism in place where places asking for significant renovations or liquor licences must go through a process whereby very local input is taken into consideration. For example, in my area a bar wanted an outside patio. The city polled locals and surveyed them Results go through council process with recommendations – which a city councillor can lobby for or against.
    As your city councillor I would actively look for community concensus.

Comments are closed.