View Full Version : methadone phobia

05-10-2013, 02:56 AM

Wharncliffe Road South will be home to the city’s latest methadone clinic, but the question remains on whether the city, or the applicant, are doing enough to ensure it doesn’t look one.
During the Tuesday (May 6) Planning and Environment Committee meeting, members heard from staff around points of contention between the city and the applicant for the methadone clinic, which will be located at 425 Wharncliffe Rd.
The proposed use of decorative armour stones was suggested by the project’s proponent, but was countered by staff and councillors who worried too attractive a setting could encourage loitering. Ironically, city staff is calling for more decorative wrought iron fencing to replace an existing chain length fence.
The final issue, one that caused quite a bit of confusion, was the inclusion of something called a clear throat entranceway. The clear throat style of entranceway — which was estimated at an additional cost of $20,000 — is designed to give vehicles space before leaving the parking area and pulling out onto Wharncliffe Road.
Alan Patton, a lawyer representing Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres, said he was concerned the city was proposing changes strictly because the property is going to be used to treat individuals with addiction problems. Patton even went so far as to call it “a phobia” when looking at how the city is framing the discussion of methadone treatment.
“My client says we would like to make the front of the building attractive, so one of the landscaping features is armour stone,” Patton said. “Staff’s response is 'oh my gosh, we can’t have armour stone because some people going for methadone treatment might sit on the armour stone.' Is that the level of phobia this city, this municipality has?”
While the armour stone was an esthetic issue supported by Patton and his client, the point turned when focus was put on staff’s contention the existing chain link fence is insufficient for the standards set out in council’s methadone clinic policy.
John Fleming, managing director planning, who played a key role in helping draft the policy, said he believes a different material, such as wrought iron, would be more appropriate in helping fit the clinic into the surrounding neighbourhood.
"I think we do have to be respectful of this commercial corridor,” Fleming said. “We have heard a lot from the community, the neighbourhood, the commercial owners in this area and something of that standard is much more in keeping with what we are trying to do."
Mayor Joe Fontana said aesthetics are important and that unfortunately too many people picture the problematic clinic on Dundas Street when someone mentions the words methadone treatment. Calling that clinic “a colossal failure,” Fontana said now is the time to set a high standard for the types of site plans that are accepted for methadone clinics.
Planning committee chair and Ward 1 Councillor Bud Polhill said he was concerned that while the city wants future methadone clinics to look as good as possible, it seems to be headed in the opposite direction.
“We don’t want the decorative stuff out front, we want a six-foot fence around it. We are doing everything we can to make this look like a methadone clinic and I am not sure that is what we want to do,” Polhill said. “There would be no other property on Wharncliffe Road with a six-foot wrought iron fence around it. It is going to stand out like a sore thumb.”
Ward 8 Councillor Paul Hubert supported that point saying the clinic should look attractive from the start. “It should look attractive, it shouldn’t look like an addiction treatment centre, it should look like a medical centre where people go to get help.”
The site plan now goes back to staff for further discussion with the applicant around changes to the aesthetics, fencing, entranceway and parking.

05-10-2013, 05:47 AM
It isn't totally clear from the article, but this is London, Ontario again. Wharncliffe road doesn't have a lot of foot traffic, and nobody should really be bothered by this place. I'm glad I left that shithole. It's so conservative, and lack of jobs is turning it into a ghost town.

They should worry more about themselves then whether or not a methadone clinic looks attractive. Unbelievable.

05-10-2013, 07:07 AM
Very few people in business would choose to operate close to a methadone clinic but they have to operate somewhere.

In the city I live in, all the thug stuff's very close together. The drug & alcohol service, the nick, the magistrate's court, the dole & the probation/court fines building. I doubt it's a coincidence.