For the last several months, I have been working closely with Ward 8 Councillor Matt Mahoney and several other key stakeholders in addressing the many issues that have arisen at the commercial plaza southwest of Eglinton Avenue and Ridgeway Drive adjacent to the southern border of Ward 10.
The plaza, officially known as Erin Mills Centre, is home to dozens of restaurants and eateries (among other businesses) and has become a ‘regional food court,’ drawing visitors from across the Greater Toronto Area. Several unsanctioned events, promoted by some of the business operators, have been held in the parking lot since the summer, with amplified sound, honking horns, fireworks displays and thousands of people on site til the wee hours of the morning. These activities have negatively disrupted the adjacent residential neighbourhood.
For the past three weekends, a coordinated enforcement team consisting of City bylaw officers, Peel Regional Police, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services and Peel Public Health officials have attended the plaza to monitor and enforce laws related to traffic, business licensing, occupancy limits, amplified noise and other health and safety regulations. The work of this team has resulted in the issuance of several fines and notices of contravention, immediate compliance in some cases, and improved safety for business operators and patrons alike.
In addition, City Council recently approved an increase in fines related to its fireworks bylaw targeting commercial property owners who allow illegal displays of fireworks on their property. And, Council will consider enacting a Nuisance Gathering bylaw that – through substantial fines – seeks to prevent large gatherings that lead to unsafe, disorderly and disruptive behaviour. Such legal measures have proven effective in other jurisdictions where nuisance gatherings are no longer a serious concern. The hope is that these significant penalties will serve as an effective deterrent and never have to be used.