Marylake / Augustinian Fathers (Ontario) Inc. – Site Plan Control Application

Photo credit: Marylake.com
Feb 19, 2021

CCKT is actively monitoring developments at Marylake where the Augustinian Fathers (Ontario) Inc. would like to host a Long Term Care Facility with up-to 188 beds. Following is a letter that CCKT board member Cathy Wellesley wrote to the township regarding the staff’s information report presented to council on Feb. 8, 2021.

February 8, 2021
Mayor & Council
Township of King
Re: Marylake / Augustinian Fathers (Ontario) Inc. — Site Plan Control Application

The recommendations put forward in this report by the Growth Management Services Department are extremely concerning to me.

I am especially disturbed by the request to have Council delegate authority to the Director to approve the Site Plan Control Application once it is submitted. The reason stated is that it’s “as a result of Marylake’s request for a speedy process due to the potential for this matter being concluded in the summer months… “ Why suddenly is there such urgency? It took AFOI until November 2020, almost a year, before getting back to Planning Staff. There is no rationale whatsoever to fast-track and potentially short-change the planning process. This very important Site Plan Control Application must be presented to Council, and the Public needs to be kept well informed.

There are many more details that Council and the Public need to know before a decision can be made. The new OP is not in force yet, so how can this be approved. What about the question of water and wastewater servicing? There is no mention of that in this report. Is there capacity to allow for the extension of full municipal services beyond current settlement boundaries. What about the criteria in terms of its impact on this sensitive ORM site?

Why did the recommended “roundtable’ agreed to in the December public meeting not take place? Instead, we now learn that there was a separate meeting involving Planning Staff, TRCA, York Region, and AFOI where a strategy for the Marylake lands and the building of a LTC was discussed. Why were other “stakeholders” not included — ie. representatives from the public and from environmental groups?

If the basis for Staff’s assessment is that the proposed LTC would simply be an expansion of current long-term care activities at Marylake, I believe the Public needs to better understand what exactly that sustained activity has been in recent years. Also, a modern-day 188-bed LTC institution would be a significant large-scale development. What company or organization will manage this facility? In point #3 of the Report, it says “… as AFOI was entertaining proposal by a Long Term Care Facility provider to transfer existing ‘bed licenses’ to the subject lands.” We know that private LTCs are ‘big business’ these days with politically connected interests. Also, it seems that LTCs are sometimes used alongside MZOs to “sweeten the deal” for those with financial interests and to help fast-track residential development. What assurances can be provided to the Public that this LTC would remain in the control of the AFOI and not become the gateway to push for expanded development on this site? In addition, it’s stated in the Report that AFOI will only agree to a ‘roundtable discussion’ if the Township supports the LTC zoning. They say they still want to discuss “potential future uses and options for these lands”. “These lands” being Oak Ridges Moraine core area, provincially significantly wetlands, and Greenbelt! This should be highly concerning to all of us.

I appreciate the need for more LTC facilities, especially in our region; however, they must be built within our towns, rather than on the outskirts, so that residents and staff have easy access to public transit and all types of amenities associated with busy community life. I was the caregiver for four elderly relatives over many years, so I am well acquainted with LTCs. I experienced first-hand the differences between private for-profit LTC facilities and not-for-profit facilities. If King Township is to approve a LTC, it should be a not-for-profit operation and it should be located within the core boundaries of King City.

Thank you.

Catherine Wellesley
12974 Keele Street
King City, ON L7B 1H8