West Queen West: Standing up to the OMB

Posted on February 25, 2007

As you know the Ontario Municipal Board has sided with developers against the City for a series of buildings at Queen and Gladstone known as the West Queen West Triangle. In my first major speech at Council I spoke out about some of the issues community members had raised with me, letting Council know that Parkdale residents felt it was worth fighting for community planning control. The City is appealing the OMB decision. Watch this space for updates.

McBride Cycle, 2789 Dundas Street West

Posted on February 25, 2007

I have both good and bad news regarding the old McBride Cycle Building at the corner of Dundas Street West & Indian Grove. The sad news is that the existing building will be demolished. The City lacks the legal means to prevent the demolition because commercial properties are not subject to the same restrictions as residential sites. For example, there is no requirement to provide notice to the Councillor before a demolition permit for a commercial site is issued and an applicant can proceed without obtaining a building permit for a new structure – in contrast to the rules for residential sites.

The good news regarding the site is that the new owner and his architect Robert Chang have agreed to my request to meet with residents to discuss their project and look for common ground. Mr. Chang has designed a number of buildings along Toronto’s main streets including 260 Queen St. West and the former site of the Bamboo Club. An initial meeting to begin a dialogue has already taken place with representatives of the West Bend Residents’ Association. At this early stage the proponents are proposing a mid-size, 74 unit condominium building with commercial at grade. If properly designed the project could provide an important boost to the retail business strip along Dundas Street West in the Junction. I would encourage all interested residents to work with me and The West Bend Residents’ Association to ensure the new building is a positive addition to our community.

Lamport Stadium: Where Do We Go?

Posted on February 25, 2007

Lamport Stadium is a long-neglected jewel along King Street West, where Parkdale & Liberty Village meet. I support local residents who have asked for an opportunity to participate in plans to enhance the site and increase use by the immediate neighbourhood. A community meeting, organized by the Planning Department, will be held at 6:30 p.m. on February 27th at Marco Restaurant, just south of the stadium at 135 Liberty Street. Please join me and have your say about the future of the Stadium precinct.

Currently, Lamport Stadium is used by field hockey and Frisbee leagues, and for the Caribana King & Queen events. There are also occasional soccer camps and other activities, but the site is under-used. The facility is aging. The field is nearly invisible from King Street due to fencing and brickwork. Residents have asked for increased local recreational opportunities and enhanced green space in any redesign of the site. I will keep these requests on the table as discussions continue about the site.

Working For a Wabash Fieldhouse

Posted on February 25, 2007

The Wabash Community Recreation Centre has been a long-term dream of residents living in the vicinity of Sorauren Park. Over the years, thanks to dedicated volunteers from the non-profit Wabash Building Society and previous elected officials, funds have been raised and the City has secured a site on Wabash Avenue adjacent to Sorauren Park. Since I took office in December, I have been working with Parks staff to try and secure a City contribution sufficient to kick-start the first step in the process: renovation of the building at 50 Wabash. This modest two storey-building would serve as a fieldhouse for activities at Sorauren Park.

The fieldhouse will provide a meeting space for the whole community and support the many recreational activities at Sorauren Park (currently, the park has no washrooms!). We will know whether funds are available to start renovations when the City’s Capital Budget is approved in few weeks time.

Environment Day!

Posted on February 25, 2007

Spring is officially around the corner and with it comes renewed energy to enjoy the rest of the year ahead.  This is also an excellent opportunity for me to share with you a worthwhile local event.

I want to extend a warm invitation for everyone to come out on Saturday April 21st, 2007 to our Environment Day at the south end of Sorauren Park, along Wabash Avenue, west of MacDonnell and east of Sorauren Avenue. For 16 years, Environment Day has been a great way to participate in the great environmental initiatives taking place in Toronto. Pick up some free compost (first come, first serve) and mingle with your neighbours. Environment Day activities begin at 10 am and run until 2 pm. A postcard sized reminder notice will be in the March installment of the newsletter for you to print off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on February 25, 2007

Here is a brief guide to some frequently-used City Services. …

“My garbage has not been picked up. Who do I call?”

Green bin, garbage bins, recycling and yard waste must be put out no later than 7 am on the day of collection. You can have 6 cans/bins/bulky items per household with a maximum weight of 44 lbs per bag/bin/item. If your garbage/recycling pick up were missed or if you have a large item (i.e. a couch) that needs to be picked up, call 416.338.2010 to arrange for a special pick up.

“My Landlord won’t repair/maintain my unit or building. Repairs won’t get done even though I have asked for them. What can I do?”

If you haven’t contacted your landlord directly, you should do that first.

If you don’t get a reasonable response or action, you should call Municipal Licensing and Standards at 416.392.0856 and request an inspection. The inspector can issue a work order that can be followed up with fines or court action if the work is not completed.

“My street is a mess! How can I get it cleaned?”

Councillor Perks and Mayor Miller are working to make our streets clean again, and you can help!

The next time you see a “litter hot spot,”such as an overflowing bin or basket, or an unusually dirty street or sidewalk, please call 39-CLEAN (392-5326) to report it. 39-CLEAN is a special call-in line that’s fast, convenient, and easy to use. It allows you to alert City of Toronto staff to send a clean-up crew to address the problem.

“My neighbour’s property is a mess. Can the City make him or her clean it up?”

The City’s Property Standards By-laws say that all homes must meet minimum standards for safety and tidiness. For instance, weeds and grass must be kept clipped, and garbage and debris must be contained.

If a homeowner does not properly maintain his or her property, the City will send a Property Standards Investigator to the home to identify bylaw infractions. The homeowner will be sent a notice requiring them to make the necessary repairs by a set date. If the homeowner doesn’t comply, the City may take them to court. Other common by-law infractions include missing or broken windows and doors and dilapidated cars being stored on the property.

If you’d like an inspector to visit the property, call Municipal Licensing and Standards at 416-392-0856.

If you have trouble reaching any of these services, please call my office at 416-392-7919.

February 2007