Toronto, Ontario -- April 12, 2018 -- Following reports of explosions and a fire at a bodyshop in Scarborough, a Toronto Councillor come out against the presence of collision repair facilities operating near residential properties.
In an interview with Global News, Councillor Michael Thompson said, "We often have pressures from people in the automotive sector and asking us to allow them to put auto repair facilities close to residential properties and so on, and we are always, always against that because of the potential problem for safety."
A five-term City Councilor, this is not Thompson's first outburst against auto repair facilities operating within Canada's largest city.
In 2009, following a police raid on an auto repair facility that resulted from complaints about piled tires, Thompson told the Toronto Star that the facility was "absolutely disgusting," adding that he hoped the raid "sends a message to other businesses that want to operate in this fashion."
"This is part of an ongoing effort to clean up the community..." Thompson told the Toronto Star. "I hope this sends a message to other businesses that want to operate in this fashion."
While Thompson's antipathy to autobody businesses in residential areas may have a long history, it has--thus far--had a significant impact in his ward, which contains one of the densest concentrations of collision facilities in Toronto.
The incident which sparked Thompson's more recent comments on the collision industry occurred on Thursday morning. Firefighters arrived at Preferred Auto after a passing security guard witnessed an explosion inside the facility. According to the fire department, a passing security guard witnessed an explosion and reported it to emergency services at about 4 a.m. By 5.20 a.m., the blaze had been extinguished.
Collision Repair has reached out to both Councillor Thompson and Preferred Auto for interviews.
The Councillor's office has yet to respond to interview the request.
In a brief interview with a man and a woman who identified themselves as members of the Preferred Auto management team, Collision Repair was informed they were unwilling to comment on the incident.