Thank you West Don Lands Committee

As the West Don Lands Committee (WDLC) celebrates the end of 26 years of work in shaping our waterfront this June 8th, 2024, I share my thanks for their legacy of leadership.

As the West Don Lands Committee (WDLC) celebrates the end of 26 years of work in shaping our waterfront this June 8th, 2024, I share my thanks for their legacy of leadership.

In the building of Toronto, there is an important and powerful role of neighbours and advocates that have fought for our public lands and city planning to do good, and create a place for all.

From its very beginning, the West Don Lands Committee (WDLC) was committed to this vision of an extraordinary green and welcoming neighbourhood and waterfront.

It’s hard to imagine now as we witness a growing and vibrant West Don Lands what challenges faced the development of these lands. Political forces, severe conditions, and the complexity of long-term planning meant the risk of stalling or going backward were always present.

The thoughtful care and leadership that the WDLC put into working through each step helped guide us to some of the best city-building Toronto has seen in recent times.

At the forefront of these efforts was a belief that revitalization was a way to achieve a just, inclusive, affordable, green, and beautiful community for everyone. That has taken tireless attention to detail and rigorous principles.
The WDLC could always be counted on to push for better.

More affordable housing, a spectacular Corktown Common park, streets that are built for people, well-planned transit, and important community services including an Indigenous health centre and hub and long-term care have all been championed, influenced and enhanced by the work of the WDLC.

They have accomplished this through dedicated collaboration — bringing members together, and working with governments, their agencies and their political representatives.

The WDLC were champions for the broader areas of the waterfront, that had no neighbours yet, to support them in the East Bayfront and Port Lands. And their advocacy was also felt on city-wide debates on the future of our waterfront.
While it is bittersweet to see the end of this chapter of community leadership, the WDLC leave a lasting legacy of community organizing and advocacy for the new neighbourhood associations that will continue the work to build these complete communities.

A group is always as strong as the dedication of its members, and I recognize the immense, incalculable time, energy and heart put on by all its past members, and its most recent Co-Chairs Cindy Wilkey and John Wilson.

I am grateful for the accomplishments of the WDLC. And whenever we experience the best of the communities they have done so much to lift up I’ll always be able to celebrate their foundational work.

Thank you, congratulations, and see you in the neighbourhood!

- Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik

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