U of T yields to naysayers: Source

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

There are probably a whole lot of people living and working in the Bloor and Devonshire corridor that are happy the Varsity Stadium project has fallen through.

At a community meeting last week hosted by Olivia Chow, the chairman of the city's community services committee, numerous people voiced their concerns about the project. A source told The Toronto Sun that the concerns related specifically to the size of the stadium and the potential for noise, congestion and hooliganism from the crowds in the proposed 25,000-seat stadium.

"They did agree that there should be some sort of sports facility on the site -- a track, football/soccer field (seating) 5,000 tops," the source said.

The students council agreed on that, but Trinity College and the Royal Conservatory of Music didn't want a big stadium on that site, either."

Chow could not be reached for comment.

"There were about 50-60 residents (at the meeting) and clearly some of them were not comfortable with the project and they were also concerned about traffic," a source said.

"But to see (only) 50 or so people come out instead of thousands, I saw that as a good sign not a bad sign."

Another source said Mayor David Miller did not want to see the Devonshire St. closed for any period of time, which would have been necessary for a portion of the 18-24 months it would take to build the stadium, and lobbied against the project.

Another source claimed that while U of T pointed to escalating financial issues as the reason for the demise of the stadium project that it was really not about money but more to do with naysayers within the school who didn't want anything to do with it.


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