Oakwood and Vaughan’s homeless-shelter fight just got real

Oakwood and Vaughan’s homeless-shelter fight just got real

(Image: Google Street View) (Image: Google Street View)
 

A few weeks ago, we noticed battle lines beginning to form in the neighbourhood surrounding the intersection of Vaughan Road and Oakwood Avenue. Residents were upset over Cornerstone Baptist Tabernacle’s plan to relocate its men’s homeless shelter to a vacant former pub in the area. The whole thing was very typically NIMBYish, insofar as none of the opposition seemed to be about homeless shelters in general; residents just wanted this particular one a lot farther away from their homes. Today, the Star reports that things have gotten a bit more serious: a lawyer representing Cornerstone has released a legal opinion saying that if city council refuses to approve the shelter (which it could do at its meeting this week) it will have violated the Charter rights of the shelter’s users. The opinion carries no real legal weight—it’s not coming from a judge, after all—but it may succeed in clouding the issue for councillors who are inclined to vote “no.” At least some of the pro-shelter organizing is being led by Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, of Rob-Ford-conflict-of-interest fame, who happens to live nearby.