General (5)

Why Was the Preserve Thornhill Woods Association Formed?

The Preserve Thornhill Woods Association was formed by several residents of Thornhill Woods that are concerned about the high rise development ‎being proposed by Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto, also known as the Jaffari Centre. There have been many concerns identified by area residents.

Our mission is to unite and represent the property owners of Thornhill Woods against changes to bylaws or zoning that negatively affect our community. We wish to preserve the unique characteristics and attributes of our community, especially its uniformly low rise and low density construction

We are in the process of registering with the City of Vaughan as a ratepayers association, allowing us to become the official voice of the residents in dealing with the city.


Can I Help?

Yes you can. While we do have an elected board, we are all volunteers and there is always work that needs to be done.‎We also have several committees that need volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please send us an email at info@preservethornhillwoods.com

If you don’t have time to volunteer, you can help by putting a lawn sign to show your support. And of course, the biggest way to help is with your financial support. If you are able to make a financial donation, you can visit our donation page. All donations are used 100% to fund the current campaign and any amount is appreciated.


What Are the Board Members Doing on a Weekly Basis?

There are many issues involved in this application and the board has been very busy dealing with them all. This has been a team effort which requires coordination of effort and regular updates. The board meets on a weekly basis to discuss our strategy, talk about what has been done in the past week and what needs to be done in the upcoming week.



When Will We Know if the High-Rises Will Be Built?

This is the beginning of a long process.  ‎The City has still not approved the application, and we are working hard to ensure that it does not get approved.  We don’t expect the City to make any decision before the municipal elections in the fall. If the City rejects the application, the developer has the option to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). We’re not sure how long that appeal will take to be heard, but we estimate approximately 18 months before it would go before the OMB.


Which Municipal Lawyer Did the Association Hire?

The Association has retained Quinto Annibale from the law firm Loopstra Nixon. Quinto practices municipal, land use planning and development law. He has 26 years’ experience as an advocate, appearing before the Ontario Municipal Board in hundreds of cases.



Donations (6)

How Can I Donate?

Our Donation page offers three ways to donate: With a credit card, through PayPal and with a personal cheque.



Will I Get a Tax Deductable Donation Receipt?


The Preserve Thornhill Association is a non-profit organization, but it is not a charitable organization, so our receipts are not tax deductible.

If you are donating on behalf of a business, please contact us for sponsorship opportunities.  A sponsorship will be a deductible business expense for your business.


Why Do You Need So Much Money?

There are so many complex zoning, planning, traffic, infrastructure, heritage and conservation issues with the Jaffari application that subject matter experts are required to effectively analyze and object to every aspect of the proposal.

The Preserve Thornhill Woods Association hired a top tier municipal lawyer who has worked with the City of Vaughan and who can advise us on the best legal strategy for objecting to the proposed application.  A Land Use Planner was hired to provide a professional opinion on reasonable uses for the Jaffari land and to counter any claims that are tabled by the applicant.  Independent traffic, parking, infrastructure and environmental impact studies will have to be funded to provide unbiased technical reports to support our objections.

As you can imagine, these experts cost money – but we are finding that they have been well worth the expense so far.  And you can be sure that we are watching every dollar that is being spent to ensure that the money is being spent effectively.

If this application ends up in the OMB, our costs to fight the development will increase exponentially. We will only have one chance at the OMB, so we must be prepared.


Why Didn’t You Get a Pro-Bono Lawyer?

We initially looked for a pro-bono lawyer. However, municipal law is a very specialized area, and we could not find a lawyer who met our criteria that would do the work pro bono. The lawyer we hired is very experienced in municipal law and well worth the money. If there are any lawyers that you are aware of, that are interested in assisting us pro-bono, we would be happy to discuss this with them.


What Happens if We Run Out of Cash?

Unfortunately if we run out of cash we will not be able to continue working with our professional team. While we will not give up the fight, ‎not having these experts will severely limit our ability to be successful.


What Happens if We Have Excess Cash?

We are constantly updating our website to report on the amount of funds that have been collected. We are still very far away from reaching our ultimate goal. If we have extra funds at the end of the process, this money will used for future challenges that may arise. While this is the current issue facing residents of Thornhill Woods there may be other issues in the future that we will have. Our association will continue to exist to represent the residents even after this matter is resolved.


Jaffari Village Application (4)

I live close to Dufferin. Should I care?

Definitely! If this proposal is approved, it will not only impact the residents in the Bathurst street area. This development will draw a lot of additional traffic into the entire area. Traffic on Bathurst Street is already heavy. Adding another 438 residential units, along with retail stores will only make this worse. And the new residents trying to avoid Bathurst street will certainly drive through the neighborhood, adding hundreds of additional cars into the neighborhood.


What Does the Jaffari Village Want To Build?

The Jaffari Centre has submitted an application to build

  1. a 17-storey, 205 unit residential apartment building with ground floor office & retail space;
  2. a second 17-storey, 172 unit seniors residential apartment building; and
  3. 61, 3-storey townhomes.

In addition, while not specifically part of the current application, the applicant has indicated that it intends to build another mid-rise building and a school on their property.


What Are the Concerns With the Proposed Jaffari Development?

There are many concerns with the current proposal. The major concern is that the subject property is currently zoned for low rise usage only. The applicant is requesting to change the zoning and city by-law to permit high-rise buildings on their land. They are also asking to amend the City’s Official Plan. If approved, this would be the ONLY high rise development in Thornhill Woods and would dramatically change the look and feel of our neighborhood.

Having a high density development will have a significant impact on traffic in our neighborhood. Not only will there be over 400 additional households, but there will be additional visitors, customers to the retail stores, and parents dropping off their children at the future school. Our neighborhood was designed for low density, low traffic volumes. The streets were not designed to accommodate such a large volume of additional traffic. Many of the neighborhood streets are narrow and some do not have sidewalks. Adding such a large volume of cars, especially during rush hours and when children are walking to school will make the situation unbearable.

The applicant is also requesting an exemption to the minimum standards for parking. The neighboring residents are already experiencing overflow parking from the current facility spilling onto their streets. This is partially due to a previous application that the Jaffari Centre submitted to the city requesting an exemption to the minimum parking standards. The previous application was accepted by the City and area residents are paying the price. The current exemption being requested is for less than half of the minimum standards. If this exemption is permitted, it will only make a bad situation worse. In addition, the future planned mid-rise building sits right on top of the proposed parking lot, meaning that once that application is submitted, the parking situation will be even further compromised. We cannot allow this situation to continue to deteriorate.

But this is not only about density. Residents have also expressed other concerns with the proposed development. For example, there is currently a large woodlot on the property which provides privacy and a noise buffer for the homes along Ner Israel Drive. The applicant wants to cut down the majority of this woodlot to build their townhomes. This neighborhood is called “Thornhill Woods” for a reason – we would like to preserve this green space.

There is also a Heritage Building located on the subject lands. This building dates back to 1899 and has been listed on the City of Vaughan Heritage Inventory as a building of architectural and historical value. The applicant has one of their 17-storey buildings right on top of where this heritage building currently stands. We do not want this building destroyed.

There are also environmental concerns and issues with the ability of the existing infrastructure to service a high density development.


Will The City Approve the Jaffari Village Application?

We cannot say for sure if the City will approve the application. We are working very hard to make sure that this does not happen. This is the primary focus for the Association at this time and the reason we need your ongoing support.


Municipal Application Approval Process (5)

Will The City Approve the Jaffari Village Application?

We cannot say for sure if the City will approve the application. We are working very hard to make sure that this does not happen. This is the primary focus for the Association at this time and the reason we need your ongoing support.


Total raised 2013-2017: $76,000, 2018: $15,780. See our post about how we use your donations for more information. Detailed financials will be presented at our upcoming event, March 22, 2018.


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