Thornhill residents fighting proposed Muslim condo development

The Jaffari Centre located near Bathurst St and Hwy 7 wants to build two highrise condos and 61 townhomes on about 30 acres of land

A local residents group insists its concerns over a proposed development in Thornhill has nothing to do with religion.

The Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Toronto, which owns the Jaffari Community Centre located near Bathurst St and Hwy 7, wants to build two highrise condos and 61 townhomes on about 30 acres of land. The units would be sold to Muslims.

Rom Koubi with Preserve Thornhill Woods says the neighbours' concerns have nothing to do with demographics or religion.

"If any other developer would have proposed the same application, we would have objected it the same way," he says.

He and other local residents are worried about overcrowding and parking. Residents are also worried that the subsidized units would lower neighbouring property values.

More than 3,500 people have signed an online petition fighting the proposal, which is still in the early stages.

Representatives of ISIJ, meanwhile, are defending the development. 

"This project is very important to us because it is a realization of a long-awaited dream and the vision of the members of the community, many of whom initially participated in the purchase of this property some twenty years ago" Shabbir Jeraj, president of the ISIJ, says in a statement.

The statement says the development would "contribute directly to the local economy by creating jobs and incomes to the surrounding community."

Jeraj adds that many parts of the development would be open to all residents, including the playing fields and tennis courts. 

A public meeting is being held today where residents can voice their concerns and get more information.

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  1. justsaying posted on 02/04/2014 04:49 PM
    "The units would be sold to Muslims." Can this even be legal?

    How can a seller of property discriminate against others based on faith? No Catholics or Jews allowed? (not that they would want to but.....?)

    Intentionally ghettoizing a community before it is even built? Wow.

    Can you imagine if a subdivision was being set up and the one criteria would be No Muslims Allowed; or only White People of Arian Ancestry. I thought that was what WW2 was fought

    You can't have it both ways.

    Thornhill City Council had better tread lightly and with conviction.
    1. vj posted on 02/04/2014 06:02 PM
      @justsaying Yes, lets set up a condo for only yellow people> does that sound ridiculous! Lets go to Scarborough and set up condo living for gays? Does that sound ridiculous? I suggest that these muslims go home, wherever your birth country and family came from and establish a habitat there. It is religion and segregation and we Canada allow it. This is starting to be massive segregation and growing in our diplomatic Canada.
    2. Frances posted on 02/04/2014 08:21 PM
      @vj Even apartment buildings are not able to ban dogs now so how can you ban non-muslims.
  2. Frankie posted on 02/04/2014 04:56 PM
    If it were any group other than Muslims it'd be shot down. Politicians will do anything not to offend Muslims, no matter how illegal (remember how close they came to accepting Sharia law in Ontario).
  3. Steve posted on 02/04/2014 05:35 PM
    How is this even possibly being considered? Can you imagine a Roman Catholic only community being allowed. What is this country turning into?!!
    1. ralph linstead posted on 02/05/2014 12:18 PM
      @Steve Politicians are terrified of offending radical Muslims ,we are turning into a "Muslim controlled " Country . We the " Infidels " will pay for our politicians' temerity .
  4. vj posted on 02/04/2014 05:46 PM
    It is not religion but, religious segregation done by its own cultural background.\Yes, this is a multicultural country for everyone not only predominantly a specific cultural background owning the land.
  5. Johnny posted on 02/04/2014 07:08 PM
    What kind of nonsense is that? This happens in Canada - to amend zoning from low density to high density populated AND for just ONE ethnic group only? The proposal had to be rejected from the very beginning, once and for forever. Lord! I'm attending the meeting now - wanna see how the area will look like? See reports from Iran! God bless Canada after all!
  6. MS posted on 02/04/2014 08:17 PM
    As much as Quebec is a pan in the rear end, they get some things right. This would never be allowed in Quebec and I hope it doesn't happen here.
  7. cmats posted on 02/04/2014 09:56 PM
    What if i was a developer and decided to only sell to white. protestants or just to jews? you get my point. i can;t believe this is even being considered. i am totally shocked and speechless
  8. Dean J. Baker posted on 02/04/2014 10:07 PM
    You don't want this allowed in any way as that is how the Sharia-controlled zone began in London, England.
  9. ohwow posted on 02/04/2014 10:46 PM
    Seems ironic that during February, which has been deemed black history month, that such a one sided exclusive opportunity has reared it's ugly head.

    What sort of uproar would there be if the Orange Order came to town and said they would like to build a community that all would be welcomed, if you a Protestant only, Catholics need not apply. Shades of racism?

    Maybe we should have water fountains designated for infidels and believers. Elevators for men only and stairs for women? tsk tsk tsk

    I guess it's okay to marginalize others when you try to promote togetherness and community.
    1. donny p. posted on 02/05/2014 08:04 AM
      @ohwow Go read some local history, before Nathan Phillips, ALL Toronto mayors and most politicians had to be Freemasons and members of The Orange Lodge. The Orange Day parade was big deal back then. Catholics and Jews were banned from high office...Jews had to be buried outside the city, hence those Jewish cemeteries on Pape, Jones, and Royal York.

      Suck it up, people like to live with people that have the same values, language, traditions...especially new immigrants who need that comfort level as they transition...that's why most ethnic groups have two ghettos in the downtown for new immigrants, the other in the suburbs where they have their churches, grocery stores, and people that speak their native language. The only exception are the Germans, but then they don't live at Weston Road/Lawrence or Oakwood/Eglinton either.

      I can't believe how racist and bigoted this comment section has become...first the Muslims, now the geirlings and the CN Tower. Must be that Robby effect on CFRB that destroyed any ethical credibility this station had.
    2. Angry Bill posted on 02/05/2014 04:00 PM
      @donny p. I'm a Freemason. We have many Jews, Catholics and yes, even Muslims in our fraternity. Not too many politicians, anymore.. I think Diefenbaker was the last PM who was also a Freemason.

      There are far worse organizations to belong to.
  10. kenfromcanada posted on 02/05/2014 09:31 AM
    donny (the putz)

    THANKS for being so predictable! You post that you can't believe how racist posts here are?
    As donny you lead the racists, as em you defined them...................
    By the way - how is your right hand? You didn't tell me in the other post...
    1. donny p. posted on 02/05/2014 02:47 PM
      @kenfromcanada You call me a racist because, as a Jew, I define Israel as an illegitimate country with artificial borders, situated on land stolen from it's rightful owners.

      Even Canada had more respect for the Aboriginals, and unlike Israel, worked with them, negotiating legal treaties and is still paying compensation, not locking them up in fenced concentration camps...calling them Gaza and The West Bank. The only other example of this type of genocide in modern history is how the Indians treated the Pakistani Muslims after 1948....not a good year for minorities.

      So, if having respect for fellow human beings and respecting minority rights makes me a racist, then I'm very happy to plead guilty. My parents were victims of the NAZI Germans, the Palestinians are the victims of the NAZI Jews. Any student of history must accept this as sacred truth.
    2. Angry Bill posted on 02/05/2014 04:04 PM
      @donny p. I accept very little as "sacred truth". This is not one of them.

      Minds are like parachutes. They only work when they're open.
  11. justsaying posted on 02/05/2014 10:21 AM
    I take no issue with any member of any religious, cultural group of like-minded people choosing to live in the same neighborhood.

    But setting up a sub division where the criteria for living in the neighborhood is based solely on being Muslim cannot and must not be allowed to happen - otherwise we open up a giant can of worms and every other ethnic, cultural or religious group will seek the same.

    It must be illegal and against the Canadian Charter of Rights too. Bet you $1,000 is against the charter of rights>

    So, we re-write the Charter? Why not re-write sharia law? No, that would not be acceptable. We hold the Carter in the same regard as some hold Sharia Law.

    The Charter is what all new arrivals in Canada swear to uphold. If the law of man is not accepted, then those who do not accept it are admitting their citizenships oath was a croc. If so, then if one does not accept the laws of the land, they can and should leave. Why would they want to be in a place where their interpretation of law is questioned?
  12. independentthinker posted on 02/05/2014 01:36 PM
    I am a Muslim and I totally disagree with this idea. We moved to Canada for a change and by creating similar communities and cultures that we had back home, we are missing out on the positive change that this country has to offer. If we want to surround ourselves with the same cultures and traditions that we had in our home country, it might not be a very bad idea to move back. - this is coming from a person who is a minority!
    1. Angry Bill posted on 02/05/2014 04:08 PM
      @independentthinker I pray that you are representative of most Muslims here in Canada. I certainly hope so. You came to Canada for the right reasons, but unfortunately there are a few who have not. And setting up a condo complex for just Muslims would ONLY cater to the latter group.
    2. donny p. posted on 02/05/2014 04:21 PM
      @Angry Bill That's the same reason why my parents left Israel and came to Canada...for a change and by creating similar communities and cultures that we had back home, we are missing out on the positive change that this country has to offer....perhaps the Jews in Thornhill should move back to their Homeland, as theindependentthinker just posted. Thank god he's not a racist!

      Yes, the Muslims should build a condo on THEIR land for Jews and NAZIs...when you live in a complex owned by a mosque, perhaps you should share in their cultural and religious beliefs, much like the Catholics do in their church sponsored buildings.
    3. Angry Bill posted on 02/05/2014 05:08 PM
      @donny p. By your logic, if I own some land and I belong to the religion of the spaghetti headed monster, then I have the right to insist that anyone who moves into any condo I build on MY land also worships the spaghetti headed monster.

      Of course that is illegal. Just as this is. However, people tip-toe around any issues involving Muslims. I have Muslim friends who are very angry at other Muslims who think they can bring their country's problems to Canada with them, or force Canada to cater to them.

      Sometimes, I think the States has the right idea.. everyone goes into the same melting pot, regardless of your origins. You avoid a lot of these problems this way.

      But even with problems like this, I still would rather live in a country that celebrates differences in culture. My only problem arises when one culture thinks it is superior to another, and deserves things that other ones don't. Muslims, like most religions, think that their religion is the one and only true one, and they're the only ones going to heaven. Fine, believe that all you want. I don't really care. All I have to say is, you must feel really insecure in your religion if you feel the need to kill others just because they don't believe in your religion. Christians, same thing for you.

      Now, donny p. Historically, Christians have killed others because they weren't Christian. Not so much in the last couple of centuries, but seeing as you are a devout "student of history", I'm sure you are aware of this. Muslims also have killed others because they weren't Muslim. Now, let's look at your favourite group, the Jews. To my knowledge, they don't have a history of going around and killing people just because they don't belong to their religion, unlike Muslims and Christians. They are currently protecting the homeland that has been given to them, because they are surrounded by other countries whose only goal is to totally destroy Israel. These countries will never rest as long as Israel exists.

      Sounds like intolerance, right? Unless you are in the position of Israel, which is fighting for its very existence, then you cannot say much about the measures Israel is taking to help ensure its survival.

      Now, I admit that is the high level view of the situation. I know there are elements in Israel that are fundamentalist, just as there are everywhere else. But I believe my points are still valid.
    4. donny p. posted on 02/05/2014 05:26 PM
      @Angry Bill I agree with pretty much everything in your post...It's some sort of synergy on a snowy night. The worst mistake that Trudeau and our politicians made was making multiculturalism the official government policy, funding programs, even teaching mother tongues in our schools. Great idea at the time, it got the Liberals elected for generations, but destroyed the concept of "the melting pot" and prevented the assimilation of immigrants into our society. I posted that Toronto is a city of ghettos, but it's worse in rural Ontario. Very little tolerance for visible minorities and non-Christian religions outside the GTA, unless these groups live together, like the Lebanese in Kirkland Lake or the Poles in Barry's Bay.

      In America, the "melting pot" created the concept of "The Real American" defined as white, Christian, conservative...not really a good thing if you didn't fit in. But everyone learned English back then and were proud of being American...I've worked with people that have lived in Toronto for 40 years and couldn't speak English...they lived and worked with people that spoke their mother tongue.

      Lastly, I'm the wrong person to talk to about Israel's survival. In it's present form, it's a regional pariah, perhaps when it negotiates with it's neighbours and achieves legitimacy from the Palestinians, we can talk again.

      Good post, though.
    5. Angry Bill posted on 02/06/2014 02:09 PM
      @donny p. Thanks, donny. Yes, Trudeau did open a can of worms, that's for sure. One of the things I have against liberals is, they would make that same decision all over again, even after having seen how damaging it is.

      I agree as well that small town and rural Ontario, and in any other province, are not that tolerant of what we know as multiculturalism.

      But let me act as a bit of an apologist for them, as I am white, conservative, and I have lived on a farm or two in my day. Yes, there are "rednecks" in rural and small town areas. What you need to realize is, a lot of the prejudice is because of the perception by these folks that people come from other countries to here, and expect us to cater to them, to treat them better than other folks who have been here for generations. They read news stories and see the news on TV that reinforce this point of view. Not having many immigrants as neighbours, this is the only source for their opinions on these people. And then, some people are just rednecks. Nothing you can do with those. Also, most immigrants gravitate towards high density cities, such as Toronto where the rest of their ethnic group lives. They have no interest in living anywhere else. They aren't helping their cause by doing that.

      I don't agree with insulating cultures in their own pocket of the city to such an extent that they don't even have the need to learn English. They never leave their ethnic community, and I don't really see what they contribute to society. Maybe they do, I don't know.

      Like I said about Israel, there are fundamentalists in any culture. There are also elements in Israel who would like to work toward a settlement. But, my point remains. As long as you have Israel surrounded by countries with a much higher population who will only accept Israel being wiped off the map and nothing else, then how can there be negotiation? Let's see how Israel acts when they don't have the constant threat of total eradication hanging over their heads. A scenario that I don't really see ever happening.
    6. Sarah posted on 02/22/2014 05:54 PM
      @independentthinker How about you go back home and let people live their lives. People do not have to be a sell out and be pressured to accommodate to the values of the dominant society. As long as people are not breaking the law and are not disturbing anyone, they have the right to live their lives as they please. Please do not group Muslims as one, Muslims as Christians come from multiple countries over the world and have different cultural values. Some Muslims come from war-torn countries and some are third or fourth generation Canadians who still hold on to their values. Canada is a multicultural country and minorities should not feel pressured to be sheep.
  13. kenfromcanada posted on 02/05/2014 06:29 PM
    donny, donny, donny - putz, putz, putz

    I see you and your other profiles are voting again.

  14. Sarah posted on 02/22/2014 05:46 PM
    Okay, so lets start off with this: Canada was built and is being built by "immigrants." So to all those white folk who think they have the right to tell someone to go back home just because their values aren't inline with the dominant culture's values need to remember that Canada would not be as successful as it is without the hard work of the "immigrants" that are treated like crap.

    Second, I disagree that this building complex should be "Muslim" only, however I do agree with Donny that "immigrants" or people who do not identify with some of the values the dominant culture possess typically feel more comfortable and more productive with people that share the same values as them. Why? because there are a lot of assholes who are aversive racists... don't know what that is? Well google it... basically its the new form of discrimination that occurs (surprisingly overt forms of racism obviously still exist.. oh wait.. that's only when they can hide their identity... cowards much?). Minorities are being treated unfairly (and it is scientifically proven that this is the case) in most facets of society (work, school, employment, judicial system).... So maybe until that's fixed we can get along? Thats up to YOU (the white folk) to fix. Enough with that go home bull crap... seriously if you are not native indian then STFU and you go back to YOUR HOME in your europe... The take away points are: (1) "Muslim only" shouldn't be a criteria
    (2) Racism in Canada is alive and well in today's society just as much as back in the day.. just a covert form
    (3) This country was built by immigrants and would be nothing if it wasn't for immigrants
    (4) Hillbillies.. your ancestors were immigrants .. and your IQ is low as F
    (3) To all the hillbillies who are saying to go back to your country... you are a waste of breath, of sight, and the scum of society.. GF Yourselves I Fing hate you and wish youd wake the F up.

    Thank you
    1. kenfromcanada posted on 02/22/2014 08:51 PM
      @Sarah With all of the INTELLIGENT and balanced posters, you chose donny p(utz) to quote? lolololololololololololololol

      You swear like him and rant like him. Is this ms.donny? hahahahahaha
    2. donny p. posted on 02/22/2014 09:13 PM
      @kenfromcanada Why is this a problem you fucking cunt???
    3. kenfromcanada posted on 02/22/2014 10:12 PM
      @donny p. So which one is it donny p(the putz)?

      Another of your FAKE profiles - or - there really is someone out the other than your right hand?

      Hit a nerve, did I.

  15. a.minority posted on 03/05/2014 01:43 PM
    Thank-you Justine Lewkowicz, I don't know how I found your Article, but Thank-you for writing it! It makes me wonder since only 3500 people signed a petition fighting the proposal, where the remaining 6,054,191 people are? [GTA 2011 Census] Are there other sources out there that we are unaware of? I've experienced having a muslim neighbour [who had moved from Montreal,Que.] I remember a comment made to me, ie. "Look around you, You are the Minority now!" I can't help but think that if this proposal were made in Quebec or any other place in Canada/USA, would it be rejected. It's no surprise if the government , as it has let in so many muslims who want to come to our country [to escape what's going on in theirs] might condsider it(?) Is $$$$ more important ? They will come here and try to change our countries laws 'under the premise of religion'. That is Not what the Canada I know stands for. If they get away with it...then What is Next? If they win this, I will move out of this Province sooo quickly!
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