4 Corners: The Billion dollar question

I love Four Corners. And to be clear, if a proper analysis determines that Four Corners is the best place for a University campus, great! It’ll be a great addition to the area. But not because “Four Corners just gets it because they get every other government dollar so why stop now?”  That reason just isn’t good enough. Below is a comment I posted in a separate Facebook thread, and I am repeating it here for broader consideration. 

The problem is when is enough money enough? We, the city, have spent at least $1Billion on Four Corners … And still the merchants say it isn’t working, they’re not making enough money to justify staying vs relocating. At what point do we admit that it’s not: 
– a lack of transit (6 services, via, go rail, go bus, transit, zum, licensed taxis) 

– a lack of students (7 schools in the area, between the career colleges, martial arts schools, dance schools, high schools, private schools and Day cares, and of course, the existing university)

– a lack of gov’t investment (over $1 Billion spent locally plus department of defense spending plus whatever the province has spent on GO)

– a lack of events (seriously I can’t even count the events) 

– a lack of infrastructure or business investment (there are over 500 businesses in Four Corners)

– a lack of residential density (seriously, there are now 6 apartment buildings in a 5 minute radius), or even

– a lack of interest or lack of best efforts! 
When do we admit that there is nothing else to do there because WE HAVE DONE IT ALL and sometimes, certain ideas just don’t work and never will. Converting the Four Corners from a professional district (the bank’s lawyers and real estate companies are doing fine by the way) into a “retail European inspired pedestrian tourist area” is maybe just one of those ideas that isn’t going to work?

We have to consider that possibility. Maybe it will always just be a boring 9 to 5 business area. And guess what, maybe that’s okay. Maybe it doesn’t have to be the cool the part of town. 
And at what point do we recognize that there Over 8,500 businesses in Brampton outside of Four Corners, and only about 500 in it. How long will they tolerate “the magic 500” getting all the government spending when the other 8,500 have also invested in this City and helped it grow? Where is the New Years Eve Party at Bramalea City Centre? The Fireworks at Trinity Common? The New Years Levy at Mount Pleasant? The pumpkin toss at Shopper’s World? Why don’t those business areas get a TV or a Walk of Fame or a Museum or a funded BIA? 

Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves, have we gotten any value out our Billion Dollars (other than artificially inflating the land value of the landlords)? 

Are we really going to spend another Half Billion Dollars between the LRT via alternative routes, riverwalk, University building, more funding for BIA, more PAMA renovations, more renovations to city council offices, more flood remediation measures…etc? 

All without even talking about the possibility of spending some of that money somewhere else? 

Where does it end?

And how much money has Brampton spent on bringing up Kennedy Road where businesses and employers are failing and leaving empty factories behind to be converted to mega warehouses? Or Ardglen where house’s literally burned down? Or any of the other projects we’ve shelved because they aren’t in viewing distance of the mayor’s office? About $0 

It’s not sustainable. The city is bigger than Four Corners. A lot bigger. 

I am not disparaging Four Corners. I love the area. I shop there regularly; 3 to 5 times a week I eat lunch there. My kids have lessons there weekly. But that doesn’t mean I think we have to spend another Billion dollars there and continue to ignore the rest of the city. That would be a vanity that spells long term disaster for the city.

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