Let’s be honest: Sewers are not a sexy issue. But did you know that strong storms in 20 years will dump three times as much rainfall in Toronto as they did in the past? That incredible storm we had this year was a spring shower compared to what’s coming. In future, we can expect a third more rain than that diluvian drenching—166mm of rain will be the new normal. This summer we got 126 mm.
Canadian Underwriter magazine has an excellent article on the petition our MP, Mike Sullivan, presented to the House of Parliament asking for federal funding for improved sewers.
The petition, the article says, has been signed by more than 1000 people, and asks the feds to “immediately take action necessary to fund urgent municipal infrastructure projects to prevent property damage such as that suffered by the residents of the City of Toronto on July 8th 2013.”
It’s a shame the feds will flush it.
Developer’s impression of the townhomes with their single entrance and exit on Weston Road.
On Wednesday evening, approximately 25 residents witnessed a presentation from architect Alex Boros and developer Jack Morelli hosted by Councillor Frances Nunziata. The topic was the dismal site at 2059 – 2069 Weston Road that once housed Weston’s beer store along with the adjoining property to the rear that a generation ago, hosted white clad Weston lawn bowlers. Developer Jack Morelli mentioned the pollution that has delayed development of the property has been cleaned up but as yet the Ontario Ministry of the Environment hasn’t certified the site. The meeting wasn’t official so invites (2000 according to the councillor) were sent to a wider audience.
As anticipated, this little slice of Weston Road will be positively festooned with town homes; 38 of them will be shoehorned onto the site with living spaces of 1400 – 1800 square feet and will be marketed to prospective punters in the low $400,000 range. City of Toronto planner, Natasha Lang mentioned that as with any development, plans go back and forth for amendments but that the latest plan hadn’t yet been seen at city hall. She mentioned that previous incarnations of the plan had failed to meet city standards in several areas including rear yard space as well as driveway and sidewalk widths.
Residents mentioned the already crowded conditions at H.J. Alexander school which abuts the site as well as concerns with lack of amenity space and the sole entrance to the development from Weston Road. Councillor Nunziata chimed in at this point to declare, ‘We’re looking at putting a recreation facility at Weston and Lawrence’. This might be wishful thinking.
Westonites obviously aren’t overly concerned as the turnout was relatively sparse considering that 2000 invitations were allegedly distributed by Canada Post. Any development will be an improvement over an empty, weed infested, contaminated site. We also get that density will be increasing. However, Weston doesn’t want or need another supply of problem housing simply because the quest for short term profit is allowed to trump community building. The developers responsible for the mess that is Weston Road pocketed their money and disappeared long ago leaving all of us to cope with the resulting fallout.
Let’s do this one right for a change.
A simple pumpkin run turned into a candy battle last night, so your humble correspondent wasn’t able to make it to the planning meeting for the Beer Store townhouse development . Frances Nunziata’s people, though, have put the plans up on her site.
The proposal has 39 three-storey townhouses each with a small yard. There would be parking for two cars on most of the homes, and extra spaces for five visitors.
There are no plans for the condos, but each will be about 1300 square feet. The yards are much smaller—between 15′x15′ and, roughly, 15′x40′. Eight townhomes will face Weston Road. They will be four storeys tall, but will not have a yard.
All good developments have an aspirational-but-baldfaced lie for a name; my favourite is Oakdale Village by the Conservatory Group on Torbarrie road, where they razed a forest to put up a muddy suburb by the 400. Any contributions from our readers? A few from YHC:
- Bottlecap lofts (let’s hope you don’t get staph from stepping on one)
- The Beer Gardens
- Stubbies’ flats (I actually like that name)
Great news: the development at the former Beer Store will be town homes not some monstrosity of an apartment building. Frances Nunziata’s office sent along some details. First Avenue Properties will be the developer. They have developed many plazas and are working on a small condo project.
Something is happening at the Beer Store lot, but there are few details. Frances Nunziata’s office will announce the new plans at a meeting at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 30, at 1901 Weston Road. Alas, your humble correspondent has not yet received an invitation.
Nunziata’s office would not provide any detail about the plans or her announcement. The last plan for that site was for “thirty-eight, three-storey townhouse units with integral garages located in seven building blocks.”¹
Thanks to the tipster!
Oddly, YHC was unable to find the plans last night and, to his recollection, had never seen them before, despite fairly regular searches of the planning site. An email this morning from our fair Councillor’s office said that he “may not view the planning documents online” though they might be available in person.
But, lo!, this afternoon, YHC was able to find them online. Perhaps it is merely his inept searching and faulty memory that did not bring them to the fore in the first place. And perhaps the good councillor’s staff did not search themselves. And perhaps the councillor’s noble efforts to save postage by hand-delivering flyers meant that he did not receive one. And perhaps the councillor’s staff is merely trying to build suspense by not revealing plans in advance.
And perhaps your humble correspondent will be pleasantly surprised to see plans for 38 well-designed townhomes with integral garages on the evening of the 30th.
And perhaps not.
The Junction Triangle Rail Committee won a meeting with Transportation Minister Glenn Murray, and they have just released their eminently reasonable demands. The group has been pushing for an improvement to the wall designs released by Metrolinx, which are (in your humble correspondent’s view) community-shattering, graffiti-magnet works of the shadow lord. The JTRC wants to make lemonade out the lemons the UP Express has given us. The train tracks should, they say, “create public amenities for the neighbourhoods adjacent to the rail corridor and city at large” by “reconnecting communities and creating new routes through the city.” They say Metrolinx should cancel the current plan and:
- Build only the 3-kilometres of noise walls mandated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
- Study green walls that would be an alternative the concrete and plexiglass barriers.
- Replace the trees that they have cut down and plant “10,000 trees along the 21-kilometre corridor”
- Use the corridor as a bike and walking path to link communities instead of dividing them
Your correspondent despairs that Westonians don’t seem to give a damn about the shadow lord’s walls. Are we that tired of fighting?
Etobicoke York Community Council has asked the city to put the Mount Dennis Scotiabank on their heritage list. After the property had been threatened by the Eglinton LRT, The Mount Dennis Community Association lobbied to have it protected.
The bank, which hadn’t really rung my bell, is, in fact a little architectural gem.
Crowning the public open space at the northeast corner of Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue, the Bank of Nova Scotia is a significant example of a post-World War II bank branch designed by the influential Toronto architect Gordon S. Adamson. Expressive of the change in architecture and society following World War II…. the building’s Modernist features exemplify this new sensibility in the simple one-story L-shaped form, flat roof extended in a shallow plane, asymmetry and extensive use of stainless steel and glass. In contrast, traditional Classical elements are present in the Indiana limestone cladding and the three stone panels carved in relief with the elements from the bank’s seal: the Bluenose Schooner, a codfish and wheat with a plough. Selected in 1950 by the Journal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada as one of fourteen branch banks in Canada representing social and architectural changes after World War II it continues to be a dignified and accessible community facility.
The Community Council decision must still be approved by City Council at its next meeting, in November.