96 Ritchie Ave. Habitat For Humanity Home, Volunteer Opprotunities, and an Update From Loblaws on Pedestrian Access

Pedestrian Walkway Update:

I have been in contact with the representative from Loblaws regarding the construction of a pedestrian walkway and watermain changes for the 96 Ritchie site.  I am told the work on these two issues should commence any day now.  Mario Fatica the Loblaws representative states,

“Regarding the walkway… confirms our intent to have the walkway constructed prior to Habitat commencing construction… we continue to work at implementing the pedestrian walkway at the end of Ritchie Avenue. I am working with our contractor and our subtrades to complete this work expeditiously… the intent has always been to have the new pedestrian access available prior to Habitat construction commencing. Should we be delayed in any way I will update all parties immediately and we will consider implementing a temporary solution in order to achieve the objectives of all parties.”

 

 

Groundbreaking Ceremony:

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Habitat For Humanity Toronto Groundbreaking Ceremony for the 96 Ritchie Ave build. And a big welcome to the Sinato family, we are looking forward to having you as a member of our great Ward 14 community!

If you would like to learn more about our newest neighbours please see: Sinato Family.

More pictures are available from today’s event at: Gord.Perks

 

Volunteer Opportunities:

Anytime now  the Ritchie site should be posted, “on the Online Scheudling System at www.torontohabitat.ca/scheduler and volunteers will be able to sign up for shifts. Build shifts are limited and are available on a first come first serve basis. If neighbours are interested in volunteering, please tell them to check back frequently to ensure they are able to secure a spot – they go fast!

Volunteers are at core of everything we do – it would be impossible for us to succeed without the support of people like you!

Build Site Volunteering

Our build sites are open from Monday to Saturday and shifts run from 8:00AM – 4:00PM. We request that all volunteers complete a full day shift. There are no qualifications required to volunteer with us other than having an open mind and an enthusiastic attitude! We provide all the tools and equipment necessary on-site (do not bring personal tools) and also provide hard hats and steel-toed boots. You are welcome to bring your own hard hat and boots, but please ensure that any steel-toed boots are CSA-certified (look for the green triangle).

*If you have a combination of construction experience, team leadership skills and regular availability, please contact Pat Laforet, Director of Build Site Experience at: PLaforet@torontohabitat.ca with a detailed explanation.

Please note: you will need to create an account with us in order to sign up for shifts. Volunteer opportunities are available on a first-come first-serve basis. If a volunteer cancels his/her shift, a spot will open up on the online scheduler. If the date you would like to volunteer is full, please keep checking back!”

 

 

Pedestrian Walkway To Loblaws Update:

 

One of the main issues that arose from community meetings was pedestrian access to the Loblaws site.  At the meeting Loblaws committed to installing a scissor ramp at Herman Ave.  After investigating further over the winter, we’re told that Loblaws has decided to repair the stairs at Herman Ave and put a pedestrian walkway at the end of Ritchie Ave.  Further we have just been informed by Loblaws that they,

“Are not proceeding with the ramp at the end of Herman Avenue as proposed at our information meetings with the residents last year. The proposal to create a pedestrian ramp at this location became significantly complex. There is a significant grade difference from Herman Avenue to our parking lot grade. At the time we believed based on some sketches we created with our architect and engineers that a simple switch back ramp could be constructed. But as we went into design and had our contractors price the work accordingly the scope of the project exceeded our expectations. The existing retaining wall at the end of Herman Avenue would likely require reconstruction or we would have to design the ramp so it was constructed further into our site. This created essentially a tunnel affect with retaining walls at all sides prior to getting to the ramp. Not a design that would be pedestrian friendly.”

With regards to Herman Ave. Loblaws has stated, “The existing stair at the end of Herman Avenue will be reconstructed as we committed.”

Further, “In lieu of the ramp at the end of Herman Avenue we are prepared to construct an at grade walkway at the end of Ritchie Avenue. We currently own all the land at the end of Ritchie Avenue (dead end street). At our public information meetings there was considerable discussion by the community to create an at grade walkway at the end of Ritchie Avenue to replace the existing pedestrian walkway that currently exists on the lands provided to Habitat for Humanity. It was our decision to pursue the Herman Avenue ramp. This option has now been discarded and we will proceed with the at grade option as noted at the end of Ritchie Avenue.

They are proposing,  “to create an opening in the chain link fenced area at the end of Ritchie aligning with the existing municipal sidewalk. A new 1.5 m asphalt walkway will be constructed on our lands. We have setback the walkway 15m from the last home on Ritchie for separation purposes. The walkway would then align with our asphalt parking area. We would relocate parking and create a striped pedestrian walkway to the front of the store. In addition we would implement signage “watch for pedestrians”for the crossing that aligns with the sidewalk fronting our store.”

Loblaws believes, “this proposal will be welcomed by the community and encompasses the spirit of our prior proposal. In addition it has the benefit of being at grade and will assist seniors, mom’s with strollers and customers with buggies for their groceries,”  and that the, “intent is to construct the walkway prior to the construction of the Habitat home.”

Finally, in regards to some concerns raised by the community and our office, Loblaws has confirmed that they,  “have no intentions of pursuing the opening of Ritchie Avenue for vehicular or truck access to our site. We are appropriately serviced by access from Dundas and seek no additional access to our site.”

 

We will be in discussion with Loblaws and Habitat to try and ensure that the pedestrian walkway is finished prior to construction on the 96 Ritchie Ave build site.  If you have further questions or concerns please email my office at councillor_perks@toronto.ca.  If you have specific thoughts you would like to share with Loblaws please contact Mario.Fatica@loblaw.ca.

 

To see the current pedestrian walkway proposal please click: ritchiewalkwaytoloblaws