Dufferin Jog Update

Posted on February 27, 2009

I am happy to report that although the construction phase has been slightly delayed (unknown fibre-optic cables were discovered that needed to relocated), this project is moving forward well and set to be complete in March of next year.

An update: The contractor is currently working on track piling and expects to start work on the Queen St. side this summer. Staff in the City’s Clean and Beautiful department are working with Parks staff and the BIA to finalize the park design and lighting scheme at the north west corner of Queen and Dufferin.

The call to artists has been closed and the following five finalists have been selected for the public art installation: Vera Frenkel (Toronto), Isabelle Hayeur (Montreal), Luis Jacob (Toronto), Ken Lum (Vancouver), and Aniko Meszaros (Toronto).

I am also pleased to share that the call was put out internationally and the City’s Culture department received over 80 applications (the average is 40) from all over the world including France, UK, the Philippines and the United States. The enthusiasm from artists both near and far confirms an interest in Parkdale’s rich cultural history. I look forward to seeing their submission in May of this year.

Go Transit grade separation project in CN/CP rail corridors

Posted on February 27, 2009

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the construction noise and vibrations at the West Toronto Diamond Rail Yard.

Please be advised that the City of Toronto’s Noise By-law is not applicable when the noise is generated as a result of activities on either provincial or federal lands.

I have received several complaints about the noise emanating from the site. In response to those complaints, I have asked staff to contact GO Transit who are responsible for overseeing the construction activities. I understand that GO is well aware that some of the noise and vibration as a result of the pile driving activities may be of concern to some of the area residents. Staff kindly asked them to attempt to resolve the neighbourhood’s concerns. I understand that City staff were advised that all construction work is occurring during the hours our Noise By-law would normally permit, however our Noise By-law is not applicable in this case.

The City’s GO contact has provided me with telephone numbers and contact information for the public to call to address any concerns they have about the on-going work. As of February 23, 2009, the public can contact McCormack Rankin, the contract administrator, at 416-604-9582.

You may also want to contact the office of MP Gerard Kennedy at 416-769-5072 or by email at KenneG1@parl.gc.ca should your complaints not be resolved in a timely manner.

Thank you.

Update: Toronto West End Bikeways

Posted on February 27, 2009

Please be advised that the West End web page has been updated. http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/public-consultations/west-end-toronto.htm

 

The next meeting will be held on March 10th at 6:30 at the Parkdale Public Library.

 

 

Items of Interest

Posted on February 27, 2009

Free Chess for Kids!Parks, Forestry and Recreation are hosting free chess for kids at Parkdale Community Centre.See attached flyer for more details:microsoft-word-parkdale-sat-spring-2009.pdf

Fireside Culture Week – NEXT WEEK!!!

Fireside Culture Week begins next week March 2nd – March 7th 2009.

Please take the time to check the Parkdale BIA site www.parkdalevillagebia.com for full event listings, and visit your neighbour’s shops and restaurants during the week, and enjoy some of Parkdale’s Culture.

See attached event listing:

detailed-event-guide.pdf

Upcoming Events at High Park Public Library

Wed, Feb. 25, 2009

7-8 pm

“How to Decorate with Colour”

Afraid of colour? An interior designer with Lissee Interiors shows you how colour can add personality, drama and style. Bring a fabric swatch, pillow or accessory for inspiration.

Wed, Mar. 4, 2009

7-8 pm

“Mary Novik – author of Conceit”

The author will read from her critically acclaimed debut novel about the life of Peggy Donne, daughter of poet John Donne.

Mon, Mar. 16, 2009

2-4:15 pm

“Library Bingo”

An annual tradition at our branch. Lots of interesting prizes for the lucky winners.

Tues, Mar. 17 2009

2-3 pm

“Turkey Rhubarb”

The well-known children’s music trio, Turkey Rhubarb, entertains.

Wed, Mar. 18 2009

2-3 pm

“Comedians Evan Carter & Ann Vautour”

Connect with your funny bone. Interactive comedy workshop. Expand your creativity and learn some how-to’s of comedic performance.

Thurs, Mar. 19 2009

2-2:45 pm

“Puppet Show: The Fat Cat”

A hungry cat eats everyone he meets. Will the woodcutter put an end to this? Based on the Danish folktale.

Fri, Mar. 20 2009

2-3 pm

“Paper Airplane Flyers”

We will make several paper airplane designs and then fly them. Followed by contest and award for distance/target flying. Age 6 and up.

Toronto Fire Services

Don’t miss out – Learn More about Careers with Toronto Fire Services

Come listen and ask questions of the recruiters as they focus on the application process and career preparation for Probationary Firefighter, Call Taker/Dispatcher and Fire Prevention Inspector

See attached flyer:

cis-flyer-marapr-2009.pdf

Harm Reduction Speaker Series

Please see the attached flyer from the Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force.

This Speaker Series with Ethan Nadelmann will be held on February 27, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. at 410 Sherbourne Street, 3rd floor.

microsoft-word-toronto-harm-reduction-task-force-speakers-series.pdf

 

Open House meeting, West-End Bikeways project

Posted on February 20, 2009

Please be advised that City staff will be hosting an open house for this project on Tuesday March 10th, 2009 at the Parkdale Public Library, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The purpose of the open house is to share with the community the preferred bikeway projects for the West End study area as identified by staff in consultation with the public. This consultation process began in October 2008, and has included a call for submissions, public meeting and ground proofing workshop.

Attached are documents that summarize the process to date. If you have any comments and/or questions, please do not hesitate to contact staff at bikeplan@toronto.ca or by phone at 416-338-5072

 

west-end-bikeways_textsummary_combo.pdf

west-end_routesubmissionsum_8x11.pdf

Sorauren Park Rink

Posted on February 20, 2009

Thought that I would pass on this link – Friend of Sorauren Park have put together a video of the rink this year. Looks like fun! Keep enjoying the winter season.

http://www.soraurenpark.com/rink.html

Update – 2154 Dundas St.

Posted on February 13, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I met with residents to discuss their concerns regarding the proposed development at 2154 Dundas St. Below I have clarified some issues that came up regarding zoning, Heritage designation and process for approval.

Please be advised that the Toronto Preservation Board will be hearing this property (report attached) at its meeting scheduled for Friday, February 20, 2009, at Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, 2nd Floor, Committee Room #4 at 2:00pm. If approved the report will be considered by the Toronto and East York Community Council at its meeting to be held on Thursday, March 26, 2009.

Further, 2154 Dundas is on the Committee of Adjustment agenda for March 4th. Please see attached.

Zoning :

2154 Bloor is zoned MCR (mixed commercial residential) and can be occupied as residential and/or commercial without applying for a variance regarding gross floor area, as the building was in its current form prior to July 20, 1993. However, the bylaw states that while residential uses are permitted as of right on the Property, introducing dwelling units into an existing commercial building triggers zoning requirements for residential purposes (eg. window separation and residential amenity space) not applicable to commercial uses and requires approval at Committee of Adjustment.

Currently the three variances are:

1. Section 8(3) Part II 1(A) (II) of By-law No. 438.86 – requires 5.5m set back – proposed building 1.975m

2. Section 4(12) of By-law No. 438-86 requires 86 square meters of indoor amenity space 0 is proposed; requires 86 square meters of outdoor amenity space – 40 is proposed

Heritage Designation:

2154 Dundas is listed on the Toronto’s Inventory of Heritage Properties. 2154 Dundas was listed prior to Plazacorp purchasing the property and is considered worthy of designation to preserve features on the interior and exterior of the building. To clarify, listing a property on the Inventory of Heritage Properties allows Heritage Preservation Services to review development and building applications affecting those properties. It also requires the owner to give the City 60 days notice of his or her intention to demolish the property. Listing only allows Heritage Preservation Services the opportunity to monitor and does not require the developer to get permission to alter or demolish. When a property is designated it confers a legal status giving HPS greater powers of refusal.

Time Line – Committee Approvals:

Heritage Board – Plazacorp has applied to the Feb 20th Heritage Preservation Board for Designation – if approved it will go to the March 26th Toronto and East York Community Council, for final approval at April meeting of City Council (notice attached)

Committee of Adjustment – Plazacorp is on the March 4th agenda for CofA (notice attached)

There will be an opportunity to depute at both board hearings.

If you have questions that you would like to pose to the developer, please contact Leslie Yager (lyager@plazacorp.com) and please cc my office.

2154-dundas-st-w-notice-plans.pdf

2154-dundas-st-w-notice.DOC

2154-dundas-st-w-area-map.doc

microsoft-word-dundas-st-w-2154-full-report-attachments.pdf

Farewell to our Community Planner – Kevin Edwards

Posted on February 13, 2009

Dedicated and creative public servants are a profound resource in the lives of our neighborhoods. Sadly, Ward 14 is about to lose one our best public servants. Kevin Edwards, our community planner is leaving the City to take up the Job as Chief Planner in Sarnia. Kevin lives and farms part-time near Sarnia and his roots are there, so this is a marvelous opportunity for him.

Many of you have worked along-side Kevin on a host of issues large and small in Ward 14 and know what a treasure he has been. Even if you haven’t met him, you will have seen the results of his work. With good grace, humour and a keen eye for the liveability of our neighborhoods Kevin has done it all: everything from initiating the Bloor Dundas visioning study to improving the quality of affordable housing to helping many of you sort out the sometimes complicated procedures for minor property improvements.

If you want to pass along warm wishes you can email him at kedward@toronto.ca. His last day at the city will be February 20th.

City of Toronto takes action to help residents and businesses

Posted on February 13, 2009

The City of Toronto is taking action to directly help residents and businesses in this time of economic uncertainty. Mayor David Miller today announced a set of proposed new and enhanced City programs and services that are part of the City’s 2009 Operating Budget to be introduced tomorrow.

The actions announced this week are in addition to the steps already taken by the City including the proposed freeze of TTC fares and development charges. These programs are in addition to the $25.9 billion in capital investments the City will make over the next 10 years. An investment that will create and protect 35,000 jobs this year, and over 300,000 jobs over the next 10 years, maintaining our infrastructure and keeping Torontonians working.

The City is proposing new and enhanced programs and services in areas that can have the greatest impact. The total costs of the proposals are $1.3 million in 2009.

The proposals mean that in 2009:

– 100 families living in Toronto’s social housing will not have to fear being evicted because they can’t pay their rent. A housing allowance for households in social housing that pay market rent will help them avoid eviction because of loss of income due to the recession.

– 1,300 low-income households that are behind in their rent will be able to access more flexible Toronto Rent Bank loans so they can remain in their housing and avoid eviction or bankruptcy.

– 450 households who must leave their homes to find more affordable housing will have the help they need to pay the last month’s rent deposit on an unsubsidized unit that is often required, but not affordable for many.

– The City will accelerate Toronto’s “Starting in the Right Place” plan. Through its 14 employment and social services offices and new web-based tools, the City will continue to help people find jobs, education and training, get financial help, and access childcare, housing and health supports. The City will also expand the Investing in Neighbourhoods and Partnership to Advance Youth Employment programs.

– Toronto Employment and Social Services will create a Toronto Employment Hub that will be located in Metro Hall and will have a full-service employment resource centre, information about City employment opportunities and a hospitality services training program with the YMCA.

– Toronto Public Library will help job seekers by expanding job programs to reach over 6,000 people, adding 35,000 new books at all 99 branches for additional employment resources, and offering a new online website for job, career and small business information at www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/jobhelp.

– Low-income seniors living near the City’s long-term care homes will be able to access noon-hour cafeterias to purchase prepared nutritious meals at a low cost and eat the meals at the home or take them to go.

– Long-term care homes that also operate adult day programs will be expanding their services to create safe seniors drop-in centres.

– The City will expand the existing homemakers program to provide homemaking services for even more low-income seniors who qualify. These programs help maintain the independence of our seniors and support healthy living.

– Toronto will launch the “Gold Star” program for business developments. The program is an enhanced case management approach which will facilitate municipal approvals for strategic industrial and office developments. Effective immediately, Industrial, Commercial Office and Institutional (ICI) projects are eligible. Each project is assigned to a District Review Team led by a Planning Director and an Economic Development officer who work proactively with the proponent and staff across the corporation to identify approval requirements, help resolve any issues, and ensure that the client receives prompt attention. Ten projects that will retain/generate 20,000 jobs and $2.3 billion of investment are receiving “Gold Star Service.” An additional three projects are anticipated in 2009.

New web pages on the City’s website are dedicated to providing the public with consolidated information on the new and enhanced City services and programs to Toronto residents and businesses. The web pages can be found at www.toronto.ca/torontohelps.

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