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Council votes to move forward with zoning bylaw for Durham Live

Pickering city council is taking the next step towards giving the green light to a $1.6 billion tourism development which could see the construction of a casino.

By a vote of 4-3, council approved a motion to instruct staff to move forward with a zoning bylaw for the proposed site, located at Church Street and Highway 401.

The zoning bylaw would permit roughly 40 uses for the site, including hotels, offices and a casino.

The proposed project, called Durham Live, would be the largest entertainment complex of its kind in the region.

Despite supporters of the project saying it would bring thousands of jobs to the area, reactions remain mixed.

“My concern is that people are running around talking about 15,000 jobs,” city council candidate Ian Cumming said following the vote. “That’s twice as many people that are employed in Caesar’s Palace. You have to get realistic.”

Deputy mayor Doug Dickerson said he doesn’t have any concerns about bringing a casino to the area.

“People try to bring up that there’s going to be some sort of a social evil to it and yet Ajax has it for eight years and they don’t seem to have had any problems with that,” he said.

Pickering voters will get to have their say on whether or not they support the project with a question on the Oct. 27 ballot.