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What’s Coming Up at Council: Dismantling anti-Black racism, new church

January 13, 2023

Posted on: January 13th, 2023. By: Joseph Quigley,, Original Article. 

Newmarket council set to approve new plan, also considering development projects for Blue Door, Coptic Orthodox church

The Town of Newmarket is set to adopt a plan to dismantle anti-Black racism in the municipality and community.

Town council will review the plan coming forward Jan. 16 after months of consultation work from EMPOWER Strategy Group.

Council will also consider a rezoning for the building of a new church and a ministerial zoning order for a new housing facility.

Here is what NewmarketToday will be following:

Anti-Black racism

Town staff is recommending approval of a new plan to address racial inequity in the town.

The anti-Black racism plan lays out actions the municipality should take to address the issue. It comes after a task force made more than 117 recommendations on anti-Black racism in December 2021.

The final version of the plan recommends specialized training for staff and council, an ongoing advisory committee for dismantling anti-Black racism, at least one staff member dedicated to this work, and dozens of other actions with timelines over the next few years.

Newmarket hired EMPOWER to work on this plan over several months, incorporating public feedback.

Church zoning

The St. Philopateer and St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church is seeking a zoning amendment to build a new place of worship and daycare at 1095 Stellar Dr.

LARKIN+ Land Use Planners will present to the council about the proposal. The application seeks to redevelop a two-storey building on the site into a new church, changing setbacks, parking and landscaping.

A staff report recommends approving a rezoning bylaw, allowing the planning process to continue. A future site plan application would come forward to address more of the project’s technical details.

New Blue Door Facility

The housing charity Blue Door seeks to demolish Kevin’s Place to construct an improved replacement transitional housing facility.

The new facility would be 14 units of stacked townhomes, acting as emergency housing for up to 30 days or affordable housing for up to one year for families.

To make this happen, Blue Door seeks a ministerial zoning order to speed up the planning process, which would assist in securing grant funding. Council will consider backing the order, which would then go to the province for approval.

The charity has said the new facility could be finished in 2026 if it secures the approvals and funding.

The town will stream the council meeting at 1 p.m. You can watch the stream at or attend in person at 395 Mulock Dr. You can also arrange a deputation or send correspondence by emailing