1510 King St West

Posted on May 19, 2007

Since the beginning of my term, I have been working diligently with Municipal Licensing and Standards, with the Buildings Department, with the Affordable Housing Office and with the owner of 1510 King Street West to revitalize this vacant property. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has committed funding under the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program toward this project, and I firmly believe that this is a priority matter that needs prompt attention.

As some of you may be aware, the Parkdale Housing Committee looked at this file in October of 2006, and endorsed a 20 unit building. Since that time, city staff and my office have met with the owner on several occasions to provide clarification on some of the outstanding issues. I also met with the chair of the Parkdale Housing Committee and Municipal Licensing and Standards last week to go over the submitted plans, and to confirm that they show a one bedroom unit per floor, as agreed to by the Committee.

At this point we are continuing to meet with the owner to finalize design considerations relating to landscaping, waste management and parking. Once these plans are finalized appropriately, the proposal will be presented to the community. I will keep you posted on any new developments.

Audi Advertising in High Park

Posted on May 19, 2007

Yesterday, visitors to High Park were confronted with an unfamiliar sight: advertising in parks. Audi, a European car manufacturer, arranged with Toronto Film & Television Office to launch an advertising campaign at various locations across the City. I soon become aware of the two “T” like structures, on top of wooden blocks that were placed in High Park, on the north side of Lakeshore Blvd.in Ward 13 (Parkside Drive near Garden Avenue).

While I was aware that this park is not in my Ward, I immediately wrote to the General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation to stress my disapproval of any type of advertising in the City’s green spaces. I asked that these structures be removed as soon as possible. Last night Parks staff removed the two Audi structures and advised that Parks, Forestry and Recreation did not issue a permit for the promotion campaign and was not contacted by the Toronto Film & Television Office prior to installation.

A big thank you to residents in the area and Spacing for their vigilance!

Liberty Village Walk About

Posted on May 12, 2007

On Wednesday May 9th, my staff and I had the pleasure of visiting Liberty Village. On a tour led by Lynn Clay, Executive Director of LVBIA, we explored this unique mixed use neighbourhood. The walk allowed us to not only become more familiar with the industrial space in Ward 14, but it also gave us an opportunity to explore some historical landmarks, including the Carpet Factory and Lamport Stadium.

I look forward to working with the LVBIA and local residents to make Liberty Village not only a vibrant place to work, but a safe and accessible place to live.

Close Springhurst and Close Avenue Parkettes

Posted on May 12, 2007

Close Avenue Audit

On the night of Wednesday May 9th, I organized and lead a “Community Audit” of Close Springhurst Parkette and Close Avenue Parkette. I felt it was important to bring together City staff, Police, local residents, the superintendent of 22 Close Avenue, members of the Parkdale Residents Association, the Principal and representatives of a parents group for Queen Victoria Public School, Toronto Hydro, and design consultants to talk about how we can improve the use and accessibility of the two parkettes. First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who took time out to attend and share their thoughts and ideas (and what a great turnout it was!) A number of concerns came up with respect to park design, lighting and visibility in the park, and I am happy to report that through our discussion we came up with some viable solutions to address some of these issues. In the long term, I will continue to work with residents, with City Parks Forestry and Recreation, with Toronto Police, with Queen Victoria Public School and with the Toronto District School Board to enhance these two important spaces in the Parkdale community.

Environment Day

Posted on May 12, 2007

Environment Day

On Environment Day I joined the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario to clean up the waterfront. The 200 participants and I walked from the Palais Royale to the Humber River; the group collected over 300 bags of garbage. At the end of the walk the participants were met by MP Peggy Nash who hosted a pizza lunch. Thank you all for your hard work!

Doors Open Toronto 2007 – May 26/27

Posted on May 11, 2007

Eighth annual Doors Open Toronto – The great architectural adventure goes green

Free admission to more than 140 buildings citywide, May 26 and 27

Green is more than just a colour. Green and sustainable features define many of the buildings opening their doors for the eighth annual Doors Open Toronto, May 26 and 27. Throughout the city, visitors will have a rare opportunity to explore more than 140 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and social significance. Many venues are not often open to the public outside of this event. Admission is free to courtrooms, to places of worship, private clubs to ‘green’ roof gardens, hidden gems to national historic sites.

Among the 38 new venues this year, 21 are designated officially ‘green,’ including: Canada’s ‘greenest’ church, St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish (winner of 2007 Green Toronto Award); the SAS Building, a progressive ‘green’ office; Bloorview Kids Rehab, one of the ‘greenest’ healthcare facilities in Canada; Toronto Botanical Garden, a showcase of environmental sustainability and architectural beauty; the University of Guelph-Humber, featuring a four-storey living plant wall; Levitt Goodman House, the first house in the city to have a purpose-built planted roof; Eco-suite at Tridel’s Element condominium, the first residential community connected to Enwave Deep Lake Water Cooling; and the Thomas L. Wells Public School, Canada’s first high-performance ‘green’ school.

Rita Davies, Executive Director, Toronto Culture, who oversees the Doors Open Toronto program, applauds the green theme. “Doors Open Toronto’s special focus on green and sustainable architecture, in collaboration with the Clean Air Partnership, measures the creativity of our city from a new and very current perspective. Visitors will learn firsthand what goes into designing, constructing and operating a green building more than 20 venues citywide.”

Adaptive reuse of old buildings into new, sustainable venues speaks to this year’s ‘green’ theme. Examples include: HOK, one of the first projects in Canada to receive a LEED-CI Gold certification for its office and studio housed in a repurposed clothing manufacturing building; the Robertson Building, a 1913 industrial structure with a living-breathing plant wall and a 4,000-square-foot ‘green’ roof; 401 Richmond, a historic factory transformed into a centre for cultural producers and microenterprises; and Residences at Regal Hand Laundry, one of the most efficient buildings in the city with geothermal and solar thermal heating. Free copies of the Green Companion Guide to Doors Open Toronto will be available at all 21 official ‘green’ buildings.

Three of the new venues this year will open their doors on Saturday only 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. They are: TTC Bay Lower, a subway station that opened for only six months in 1966; TTC Harvey Shops, streetcar maintenance facility and general repair shops; and the iconic home and studios of 1050 CHUM, celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Returning Doors Open Toronto favourites include: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Carlu, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, Commerce Court North, Distillery Historic District, Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, Gooderham ‘Flatiron’ Building, Holy Blossom Temple, Horse Palace, Islamic Foundation of Toronto, John St. Roundhouse/Steam Whistle Brewing (official green), Mountain Equipment Co-op (official green), Noor Cultural Centre, Old and New City Hall, Osgoode Hall, Redpath Sugar Museum and Toronto-Dominion Centre.

The official Doors Open Toronto Program Guide is in the Toronto Star What’s On section on Thursday, May 17. A complete list of participating buildings is available on the new and improved Doors Open Toronto website www.toronto.ca/doorsopen.

Note: Most Doors Open Toronto buildings are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on one or both days; however building hours vary at some sites. Check the website or program guide to confirm.

No pre-registration or tickets are required. For public event information, call 416-338-3888.

The second annual Kids’ Guide to Doors Open Toronto, in collaboration with the Clean Air Partnership, is available at 27 family-friendly Doors Open Toronto sites.

The Doors Open Toronto Weekend Information Centre is located at the CBC – Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 250 Front St. W. In addition, visitors can go behind-the-scenes at the home of the CBC and meet radio and television personalities.

Doors Open Toronto is presented by the Toronto Star and is a signature event of Toronto Culture and Live With Culture. CBC Radio One and CBC Television are the official media sponsors. Program partners and sponsors include: 360 Capture Photography; Clean Air Partnership; Doors Open Ontario; Festival of Architecture and Design (fAd); Heritage Toronto; Pizza Pizza; T-D Canada Trust (sponsor of the Doors Open Toronto kick-off event, Pecha Kucha Toronto); Toronto Society of Architects; and Woodcliffe and Wright Real Estate Ltd.

An initiative of Toronto Culture, Live With Culture is a celebration of Toronto’s extraordinary arts and cultural communities. Doors Open Toronto is one of a series of signature events that forms the core of the City-initiated programming. Visit www.livewithculture.ca, the ultimate

guide to Toronto’s culture scene.

Consultations continue as Torontonians are asked to comment on new revenue tools

Posted on May 11, 2007

The City of Toronto is holding its next meeting in a series of public consultations asking Torontonians about the possible new revenue tool options under the City of Toronto Act. The public is invited to the next consultation on Tuesday, May 15 at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, 86 Montgomery Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m. to share their ideas.

Revenue tool options available to the City include applying a new alcohol or tobacco sales tax, vehicle ownership tax, land transfer tax and others that could be directed to fund City-building initiatives and service improvements such as transportation, parks and recreation, culture and climate change.

There are two additional opportunities for public involvement. Consultations are from 7 to 9 p.m. as follows:

Thursday, May 17 – Memorial Hall, 5100 Yonge St. (below the North York Public Library)

Wednesday, May 23 – Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.

Participants can register in advance by calling Access Toronto at 416-338-0338. TTY 416-338-0889.

The public can also send their comments to Revenue Tools, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., 5th Floor, East Tower, Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2 or e-mail revenuetools@toronto.ca .

For further information about the consultation and background information, visit www.toronto.ca/finance/revenue_tools.htm .

Feedback received from consultations will be included in a report going to the Executive Committee in June 2007.

Downtown West Solar Energy Project

Posted on May 11, 2007

Downtown West Solar Energy Project has organized a bulk purchase of solar water heating and solar electric systems for homeowners. Their goals are both educational and political. Apart from educating large numbers of downtown residents about the potential and economics of solar energy systems, their project will make it easy for the “early-adopters” to have solar installed on their roof-tops and thus make solar energy more visible in our urban community. As a result, they hope that federal, provincial and municipal politicians will work to remove the institutional and financial barriers that prevent wide-spread adoption of solar energy systems.

Downtown West Solar Energy Project

The Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto Garden Tour

Posted on May 11, 2007

The Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto are holding their Garden Tour 2007 on:

June 3, 2007

10 :00 AM to 4:00 PM

Limited Tickets Available

$ 15.00 per person

Visit 15 distinctive, established gardens, in a self-guided walk-about Garden Tour, in the historic High Park area of west-end Toronto. This year’s featured gardens are located in the neighbourhood north-east of High Park, bordered by Keele Street & Bloor Street West & Glenlake Avenue; on Indian Grove, Indian Road & Indian Road Crescent.

For tickets, please contact: (416) 534-4043

Website: http://ca.geocities.com/parkdalegarden

The Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto Garden Tour

Posted on May 11, 2007

The Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto are holding their Garden Tour 2007 on:

June 3, 2007

10 :00 AM to 4:00 PM

Limited Tickets Available

$ 15.00 per person

Visit 15 distinctive, established gardens, in a self-guided walk-about Garden Tour, in the historic High Park area of west-end Toronto. This year’s featured gardens are located in the neighbourhood north-east of High Park, bordered by Keele Street & Bloor Street West & Glenlake Avenue; on Indian Grove, Indian Road & Indian Road Crescent.

For tickets, please contact: (416) 534-4043

Website: http://ca.geocities.com/parkdalegarden

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