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LETTER: Where's Porcupine? Group questions plan update

There's a public meeting on the Community Improvement Plan on September 25
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TimminsToday received this letter about the Downtown Community Improvement Plan. The Sept. 25 meeting is in regards to making the entire City of Timmins eligible for the safety improvement grant incentive program. The full details are available here.

Miss G lives in Connaught – Ward 4 City of Timmins and is a taxpayer.  She has no city water/sewage, garbage pickup or road maintenance and pays $7,000 a year in property taxes.  It takes her 41 minutes to drive to Canadian Tire or Walmart to go shopping.  

Mr. T lives on Star Lake Road located outside of the city’s limits.  He also has no city water/sewage, garbage pickup or road maintenance, however, he does not pay any city taxes.  It takes him 26 minutes to drive to Canadian Tire or Walmart to go shopping.

The city’s focus on growth and development at the west end of the city does not take into consideration how it impacts the city’s taxpayers.

The City of Timmins’ Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is an example of this. Since the first document in 2007, Porcupine’s “downtown” has never been recognized even though it has been included in the Official Plan since 1975 (the first Official Plan following amalgamation).

Porcupine has one of the three enclosed malls within the city. This is the busiest area of the community with foot traffic, a grocery store, a bank, retail stores, hair salon, dentist and a restaurant.  There is lots of paved parking, traffic lights, vacant highway commercial property for future growth and development and is located across the street from Northern College, the Whitney fire hall and the East End Family Health Team.

Their "downtown" core starts at the Tisdale/Whitney boundary line from the Tim Hortons heading east to the Porcupine bridge and continues to the ONR tracks where there are older businesses, a post office and the new future train station.  This is the main artery for the community of Ward 4 – Porcupine and is the “gateway” to the City of Timmins.  This is Porcupine’s “downtown” so why is it not being recognized?

On March 23, 2021, council decided to proceed with amending the Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) to include a section for Porcupine and to put Porcupine back into the draft Official Plan. This has not been done to date.  

A public meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, for an amendment to the CIP, which still does not include Porcupine. Taxpayers are asking why? If Porcupine is not considered as part of the city then why are we paying taxes? 

We are asking city taxpayers for their support to help the community of Porcupine by sending an email to the mayor and/or attending the public meeting on Sept. 25 to voice concerns. If Porcupine is not included in the CIP, it (could) be removed from the Official Plan. This will impact the City of Timmins and the community’s history and identity as the first community which was established in the early 1900s. 

Your support and assistance would be greatly appreciated. 

Carol Tanguay,
Voices of Porcupine
Timmins, Ont.