John Street residents want speed humps

John Street residents have started a petition to get speed humps on their street, according to David Nickle from Toronto.com.

Best idea ever.

To the east of Pine Street toward Jane Street, the community has opted to have speed humps remain following a road resurfacing — in no small part because of Weston Memorial Elementary School’s location there. But from Pine to Rosemount Avenue the residents have felt differently, for years demanding that the residential street in the Lawrence Avenue West/Weston Road vicinity remain smooth and clear — and also, very fast.

Upcoming events

Hussen’s Community Barbecue

Our MP, Ahmed Hussen, will be hosting a barbecue this Sunday, the 21st of July, from 2 to 5 at 1765-1775 Weston Road


Faisal Hassan’s town hall on community safety

Hassan will be hosting a meeting on Monday, July 22nd to discuss community safety.

  • Doors Open @ 6:00 pm
  • Meeting Starts @ 6:30
  • Falstaff Community Centre, 50 Falstaff Avenue

Mount Dennis’ Coffee Culture events continue on Thursday, July 25th at 7 pm at supercoffee. This month, Leah Lane will be performing.


And, of course, Shakespeare in Action’s performance of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream continues in Little Avenue Park.

Derelict houses to (finally) be destroyed

Frances Nunziata’s office says that the derelict houses at 2270 and 2274 Weston road, which have been an eyesore and hazard for more than a decade, will finally be demolished to make way for a  12-storey apartment building.

One of the two derelict houses
One of the two derelict houses

After years and years of waiting, an application has finally been submitted to the City to demolish the two derelict houses located at 2270 and 2274 Weston Road, which have long been an eyesore in the community for many years. I am pleased to update you that a demolition permit has been submitted to tear down these two buildings. In 2015, the owners received approval to construct a 12-storey apartment building. The project is going through the site plan approval process.

 

Your job is easy

You think your job is tough? Try dressing like Marie Antoinette and standing on the pavement when it’s 42°. It has to be brutal.

My favourite performance was by Kate Mior, who returned this time as Madame Guillotine. Her performance was brilliant. She ‘executed’, with audience cheers and encouragement, an innocent man drawn from the crowd, before her own death by baguette. It was funny—and a slicing commentary on the difference, if any, between audience and mob.

The BIA, the performers, and volunteers did a great job in really tough conditions this year. Hats–or heads!–off to them!

 

Is the CBSA doing random street checks in Weston?

A Reddit user reported last week that her father had been stopped by border officials after he bought cigarettes in Weston.  Two officers approached him, she says, and asked for his identification. According to her, they questioned other people and detained a woman.

Other Reddit users concluded that this was likely an identity theft scam, or, perhaps, alt-right nutjobs doing vigilante ‘policing’—but CityTV reported this week that Canadian Border Services officials were in Weston.

 CityNews confirmed with [the] Canadian Border Services Agency that immigration officers were in the area of Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue on Monday, though they would not tell us what they were doing there or whether they interacted with people.

In a statement, a spokesperson told CityNews, “The CBSA does not publicly discuss ongoing investigations or provide information relating to investigative techniques or plans for specific lawful investigations.”

Hours later, a second email added, “The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) does not conduct random street checks.”

 

 

Nunziata blames distracted pedestrians for getting killed

City Council voted unanimously this week to adopt the Vision Zero 2.0 program, which aims to end pedestrian deaths in Toronto. Version 1.0 was, at best, only partially successful: 47 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in Toronto in 2018, two more than in 2017.

The 2.0 plan will “reduce speed limits on dozens of arterial roads across Toronto, install more sidewalks and implement more pedestrian head-start signals, among other measures”.

Frances Nunziata acknowledged the challenges councillors face: “it’s just constantly people wanting traffic calming, speed humps, they want stop signs, they want lights, because it’s really an issue throughout this city.” And Nunziata has been very good about getting speed humps and slowing traffic. Her office has also been working on a cycling plan for the ward.

However, in discussion, she blamed distracted cyclists and pedestrians for their own deaths.

I think it’s important that pedestrians are educated as well, when they’re crossing the street and cyclists as well. You see so many pedestrians crossing the street at an intersection, texting on their phone, talking on their phone, with their earphones, and they’re walking across the street, red light, or they’re not even crossing at an intersection, and that’s very dangerous  as well. And you know, continues to happen, and you know, I know a few years ago, I put a motion through that they should be fined. The province did not support that at that time, but if you… a lot more of them are not paying attention to the roads, the pedestrians, and I think there’s a lot of fatalities as well because there’s no education and they’re not paying attention and the cyclists as well, when they’ve got the earphones, and they’re not hearing, and  they’re not paying attention the road safety. So I think it’s not just for the motorists, it’s for the pedestrians, the cyclists, all of us have to share in making our streets safer.


In 2016, Nunziata asked the province to ticket distracted pedestrians, an idea that was quickly shot down.  She has also called for cyclists to be licensed, an idea proven to be terrible.

A failure of politics in Ward 5.

Just 8 days after NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visited residents of Rockcliffe-Smythe, another heavy rainfall inundated the area and a nasty sewage mix flooded many homes. It must be the last straw for families who were flooded as recently as last year. Last week, resident Franco Ruffolo despaired that his house is uninsurable and unsellable because of the regular flooding. Franco, and many others in Toronto and particularly in Ward 5, York South-Weston, constantly dread that heavy rain will lead to the inundation of their homes.

The problem stems from  the fact that as more of the city becomes paved over, runoff from roofs, driveways and streets is dumped directly into channels, rivers and storm sewers which in many parts of the city are combined with the sanitary sewers. This means that rainfall overloads the combined sewers leading to raw sewage being dumped into rivers and eventually into homes – City News.

From Bergen Counties Utility Authority.

In the Rockcliffe-Smythe area, the creek that used to flow naturally through the area (Black Creek) was channelled into a concrete straight jacket. Thanks to heavier rains and more buildings, the channel overflows occasionally with horrible yet predictable results. In other areas, the extra pressure on a combined sewer forces sewage up into homes through basement drains.

What can be done? We need to plant more trees, put up green roofs, divert downspouts so that runoff from roofs drains onto ground where it will be absorbed rather than piped directly into sewers. We also need to separate storm and sanitary sewers so that raw sewage stays out of people’s homes and our rivers and creeks. A few years ago, Toronto instituted a mandatory program to disconnect downspouts where possible. Most of all, we need politicians and agencies to actually do their job and work for the people.

Councillor Nunziata in the City News clip blames the TRCA for dragging its feet. The horrible flooding of six years ago should have propelled all actors in this tragedy to get their act together and do something. Sadly, the councillor even voted against an innovative hard surface charge that would have made homeowners pay for the hard surfaces covering their property. This revenue would have been directed towards flood relief but Giorgio Mammoliti framed it as a roof tax and Council (including Mayor Tory and Ms Nunziata) voted against it.

Perhaps it’s time for politicians and agencies to stop the blame game and actually do something. We can start by accelerating the separation of storm and sanitary sewers in priority areas. Holding tanks can reduce the flow in the meantime and planting trees would help. We also need Council to take this issue seriously.

That’s without even considering the bizarre and troubling sale of 8 acres of Rockcliffe-Smythe flood plain land to St Helen’s Meat Packers Limited for less than $4 million – with the support of Councillor Nunziata.

Incidentally, St Helen’s President Robert Bielak donated (the maximum allowed) $1200 to Ms Nunziata’s 2018 campaign.

As Brian Mulroney used to say, “You dance with those who brung you”.