Open house for Mount Dennis economic development strategy

You can provide feedback on the Mount Dennis economic development strategy at an open house on December 10. The study designers hope to improve Mount Dennis’s main street and the nearby industrial lands by “realizing economic growth opportunities within the local business community”.

The strategists identify many of Mount Dennis’s strengths, including an active community, transit, and relatively affordable housing, and lays out a framework for improvement:

  1. Building on the excellent transit
  2. Remediating the “someone deficient” reputation of Mount Dennis
  3. Increasing “Cluster Development and Investment” in areas in which Mount Dennis enterprises already excel
  4. Promoting creative and cultural enteprises
  5. Supporting local talent and skills development
  6. Supporting inclusive economic growth


IB program at Weston CI faces $3000 fees

The TDSB has announced that it will be introducing a $1500 fee for each year of the two-year International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Weston CI is one of  only five schools in the board that has an IB stream.

The IB program gives exceptional students a diploma recognized by universities around the world. It is a “rigorous academic program which requires students to study English, a second language, mathematics, science, social science, the arts and theory of knowledge. As well, students enrolled in the program commit to 150 hours of activity divided among volunteer service, sports and the arts.”

The TDSB says the fees are necessary because “there are costs associated with the IB program that are required by the International Baccalaureate Organization. These costs are related to teacher training, annual dues, program coordination, and participation in IB examinations.”

Weston CI is not a otherwise high-achieving school. The Fraser Report places them in the bottom 10% of all schools.

Upcoming events

Shakespeare in Action and the Weston Silver Band are hosting what sounds like a fantastic event: a dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol with live music. It will be in Artscape Weston Common’s Rockport Performance Hall from December 10th-12that 7:00pm.

Four professional actors and one special (and surprise!) community guest each night will take the stage, and what will follow is the holiday classic told in five sections interspersed with delightful music from the Weston Silver Band Quintet.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door with cash or credit card, and you can reserve them  by calling Shakespeare in Action at (416)-703-4881.

You are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item to WAES.

The Mount Dennis Community Association will be hosting a holiday pop-up every weekend before Christmas and a Winter Solstice Celebration under the lights of Nyctophilia on December 20 and 21. Sounds like fun!

Kiowa Wind McComb mural at ROM

The ROM has named a mural after a young man killed in Weston.

From NOW Toronto

Kiowa Wind McComb was stabbed to death outside Gucci’s Bar and Grill on Jane Street in 2016. He was the Indigenous Youth Intern at the ROM at the time of his death.

“We did get a question about the wind in the hair of the horses, so we talked about Kiowa,” recalls McCue. “I got a little bit more emotional than I thought I would.”

Lauren Lavallee had been dating McComb for two years at the time of his death. She was at the unveiling and was gifted a shawl, a cultural tradition for a grieving person, and only realized the nod to McComb in the mural after McCue explained it.

NOW Toronto has more.

Some answers to community questions about Greenland Farms development

The developers of the Greenland Farms site held a  consultation this week at Weston CI, and their representatives answered some of the community’s questions.

The developer’s concept drawing of the finished product. Note the size of the storefronts at the base of the structure. Click to enlarge.

The development was repeatedly framed as “regentrification” and an opportunity to have more owners move to the neighbourhood. Adam Brown, the solicitor for the applicant, also suggested that the prices would be in $500–$800 per square foot range, much less than downtown.

I got little sense, however, that the developers had any interest in community development, except insofar as it was required by law. Brown said the building would conform to the city’s green standards  because it has to, and that the developers would contribute to development funding, because it is the law. It was, to my mind, a contrast to the 22 John development, which promised public benefits above those required by the city.

The audience applauded when Mike Sullivan, our former MP and a contributor to WestonWeb, asked why the site was so ugly. The audience was generally skeptical and critical of the projects size (two towers), height (29 storeys), and proximity to the property lines.

The developers’ representatives did answer questions posed by the audience, some of which Roy asked in an earlier post.

Why is this development not in keeping with the scale of the area.

Brown said that development required a “critical mass”. “You will not see regentrification or redevelopment of the area at 8 storeys”, he said—the height called for by the local planning guidelines. “There is an economic reality to it.”

If this project is approved, where will the considerable Section 37 monies be spent?

Brown said that there hasn’t yet been any discussion of section 37 benefits, because the development is at too early a stage.

  • Why are there so few parking spaces allocated?

“We are not anticipating a high demand for parking…. I know the city would like us to provide more parking on site”, he said. He suggested that most residents would be commuters to downtown and not want cars to get around the suburbs—a questionable assumption, I think.

He acknowledged, too, that if a grocery store were to be a tenant, that “they will ask for more parking”.

Where are the shadow studies for the winter months?

City rules do not require shadow studies for the winter. The city planner said “we have some concerns”.