Roncesvalles Polish Festival

Posted on September 19, 2008

For the second year in a row I had the pleasure of participating in the procession at the Roncesvalles Polish Festival. This year I believe the Polish Festival was more exciting than ever! It was attended by thousands of residents from Toronto and abroad, many of you who I walked with last year and was delighted to see again.

I want to extend a huge thank you to the Roncesvalles Village BIA and local residents for their commitment to making this a fantastic event. The Polish Festival is a great example of what can happen when dedicated community members bring their knowledge, experience and resources together to celebrate the larger community.

Looking forward to doing again next September!

Feather Factory Commercial Lofts

Posted on September 19, 2008

I believe there has been a lot of misinformation circulating in the community regarding the permitted use of building at 2154 Dundas St. W. Since I was first notified by residents of their concerns regarding parking and occupancy I have been working very closely with staff in Building, Municipal Licensing and Standards and City Planning to ensure that the developers create clear communication tools to confirm the commercial use of this property.

This building was originally constructed in 1919 as a 5-storey light manufacturing building. It appeared to be used as such up to 1981 when permits were issued for uses described as light manufacturing and “artist and photographers studio”. It’s important to note here that the “artists and photographers studio” is still an industrial-type use within the zoning bylaw and it does not allow spaces to be used as residences, including “live/work” or apartments.

Currently the Property is zoned MCR. Under this zoning the City allows a wide range of commercial and residential uses, however, the building is currently classified as a commercial building which means that the loft must be used exclusively for commercial purposes.

Should a property owner want to use their loft for residential purposes, they must apply and obtain a building permit from the City of Toronto for the proposed change of use prior to commencing such residential use. Applying for such a permit would involve payment of application fees, the obtaining of planning approval(s), an application for a building permit for a change of use and the payment of a number of levies and charges.

I have provided this information to you because while a conversion from commercial to residential may be permitted, any alteration could result in planning approvals necessary for parking and loading among other things. I will stress that an approval of this kind can be a lengthy, costly undertaking, and may require site plan approvals and a traffic study (residential use would require provision of parking). As many of you have stated, the neighbourhood is strained for parking as is.

Finally, I have confirmed with staff in the City’s Transportation/permit parking department that this is a commercial building and that no permits are to be issued to this address. Transportation’s computer system will be updated to ensure parking permits are not issued to anyone at 2154 Dundas St W.

West Lodge Park Improvements

Posted on September 19, 2008

I am pleased to announce that through my work on the budget committee, West Lodge Park has been secured for wading pool rehabilitation in the 2008 Parks capital budget. Much of the improvements will be made to the water chamber, but I have also requested that a number of landscaping features also be incorporated in this project. After meeting with staff and speaking with some of you in the community, a seating wall, new walkways and softscaping have been added to the design.

Please be advised that I will be hosting a public meeting in late October to share the project design with you and get your feedback on the design work done to date. I would like to invite all of you living around this green space to share your experiences of accessing West Lodge Park, and to identify additional opportunities for improvement in this great space.

I will post more details on my website as they become available. Stay tuned!

Items of Interest

Posted on September 19, 2008

Come and celebrate the new rainwater harvesting system with Greenest City!


Food, Earth & Culture Festival

HOPE Garden, Masaryk Park, 220 Cowan Ave

Sunday, September 28th

12 noon – 5pm


There will be:

Food! Sample free food from our delectable Local Food Café… and enjoy an afternoon corn roast and local apples. Local Food Café opens from 12:00-1:30.

Music! Featuring accomplished performer Chris McKhool, who at 1pm will delight with his children’s music for the green-at-heart; also featuring African drummers, Tibetan folk music, storytelling and harpist, and more.

Eco-activities! Arts and crafts, free bike check-ups and garden scavenger adventures.

Fall Fun Fair! 3-legged races, bobbing for apples, hay-bale toss and more! With prizes for the fastest, strongest & silliest!

Press Conference! Join Greenest City, Organic Gardening Magazine and local dignitaries to officially open our NEW12:30 pm. rainwater harvesting system at

For more information contact: Gelek 416-922-7626.

And don’t miss out on the satisfaction of volunteering to make it a great day! Please let us know if you could help with one of these important teams:

1) Food preparation [9:30 am – 11:30 am]: 2 hours of chopping help.

2) Set-up team [9 am – 12 noon]: this team is important.

3) Dish Washing Station [11:45 – 2:00 pm]: help keep the dishwashing station stocked and moving well.

4) Corn Roast [1:30 – 4 pm]: be a fire keeper, husker and all-around corn-y king.

5) Food Servers [11:45 am – 1:30 pm]: have the pleasure of serving local organic food to guests.

6) Clean-up [4:30pm – 6:30pm]: the all-star “many hands make light work”team.

7) Runners [12- 2pm and 2-4pm]: fetch things that we need during the day.

Volunteer letters and hours will be provided. Just email us and say what team you would like to be a part of, and thank you!

Gelek Badheytsang

Communications Manager

Greenest City


September 2008