Being on the periphery of the development industry for over 20 years, I was always led to believe that no matter what type of development, no one in a community would like it and it would have to go to the OMB (the Ontario Municipal Board). This would delay the development, costing the developer tons of lost revenue and potentially increase costs to the community. This was unpleasantly referred to as NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard).
It was not until a few year’s ago, when my local government decided that the top of my street would be a perfect place to build a “half-way” house of sorts for those with mental and addictive challenges, that I finally understood the outrage of a NIMBY. It wasn’t the type of inhabitants, per se, that were a concern, but more how the building would look like and if there were any plans for monitoring and integration into our community. Also, the fact that the community wasn’t consulted about these issues brought the community’s back up!
Well it takes the foresight of innovative collaborative thinkers to start looking at this process differently. So I give you the 4th annual YIMBY(Yes In My Back Yard) Festival. Held at the Gladstone Hotel on Oct. 16.
Here’s what it’s all about:
The focus of the YIMBY festival (Yes, In My Backyard) is to provide an easy-going event where people working in or interested in citizen based community development and/or neighbourhood associations can gather and exchange ideas, strategies and celebrate the achievements of their organizations in a relaxed fair-like atmosphere. The one-day event invites groups to “turn the tables” on policy makers and invite them to see the work that we do outside of the antagonistic dynamics of official meetings.
Christina Zeidler and Magdalena Olszanowski of The Gladstone Hotel started the festival in 2006 as a result of working with neighbourhood groups who were responding to wide spread unchecked development in the Queen West Triangle. They realized that many groups are unfairly labeled NIMBY when so often they were the ones networking, sharing information and making sure that people did not get left behind in the city building process.
This October, The Gladstone Hotel with the help of Ryerson University is presenting the 4th ANNUAL YIMBY FESTIVAL and invite your group to “show and tell” what you do. We are looking for groups who want to share strategies and information with other groups and want to educate the general public, Councillors, MP and MPP’s about the issues that face your community.
Your group can make a difference. The focus of this festival is on positive and decisive change. The last YIMBY Festival was attended by over 45 associations and hundreds of visitors including policy makers, city councilors, MP’s and MPP’s who came to listen to YOU.
As Toronto continues to densify, as our neighbourhoods get larger and more complex, how does the citizen express hope, dreams and new ideas for the city?
Why participate in YIMBY at The Gladstone Hotel?
Broaden Awareness of Your Group: A chance to inform the general public about the issues that face your community.
Present your group’s platform to policy makers: Invitations sent to all GTA councillor nominees, MP & MPPs.
Network and Share strategies: Invitations sent to Neighbourhood groups, BIAs and Urban Issue Advocacy groups and associations.
The Gladstone will publish participating groups on the Gladstone Website.
Event will be publicized in listings in NOW and EYE.
Table Rates very reasonable, $25 + http://gladstonehotel.comper table.
Press from the Toronto dailies, Radio and Television will be sent press releases.
Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and showcase your group in the bright and beautiful spaces of the historic Gladstone.
Participant quick FACTS:
Participation is easy!
Pre-register by contacting : firstname.lastname@example.org
All we need is your group’s name , contact and a brief description of your group’s mission
Attend the one-hour pre-event meeting on Oct. 5th 2010 at 7pm (Gladstone Hotel 2nd floor)