Thursday, January 15, 2009
West Hill Site Considered for Telecommunications Tower
Bell Mobility has made application to the Ministry of Industry to build a
telecommunication tower on the CNR property located near Galloway Road, behind the Boys and Girls Club. The tower will resemble a flag pole, 37 metres in height with a hut at the base.
The City of Toronto does not have any legislative authority over the placement of these towers but does mandate that a community meeting take place for community residents.
Bell Mobility are looking at the site as an alternative to the earlier proposed one at the Guildwood Presbyterian Church. Guildwood residents had raised objections to the Church agreeing to the placement of the tower on Church property, concerned about aesthetics and potential health concerns.
In the past, the City of Toronto Board of Health have noted concerns that existing guidelines may not be health protective for continuous lifetime exposure to radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic levels and that several jurisdictions have adopted stricter limits than those in Canada.
In 1999, the Board of Health recommended a prudent avoidance policy that RF waves from telecommunication towers and antennas be 100 times below Safety Code 6 in areas where people normally spend time. The Medical Officer of Health has recommended that the City collect data from cell phone carriers on predicted RF levels of proposed towers and antennas to allow the City to monitor the potential impact of proposed telecommunication facilities in Toronto.
Bell officials reassured residents that testing done at the base of other towers showed the electromagnetic radiation is "thousands of times" lower than acceptable levels.