Kiowa Wind McComb mural at ROM

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

Mural
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”.

22 John in the news for large rent increases: quite a bit to do about much less than appears

The new rental building at 22 John was in the news last week for asking tenants to pay as much as 21.6% more than last year—an increase they’ve since backed down on.

From Google Maps

A spokesperson told The Star that tenants can reduce the rent increase  by signing a year-long lease instead of moving to a month-to-month agreement when their agreements come up for renewal. The increase could still be as much as 10%, however.

Chiara Padovani, a local advocate, said today on Twitter:

Padovani, who was a rival for the councillor’s seat, has started a petition calling for rent control province wide.

It’s a bit more complicated than that.

Rockport did not receive city tax money to build for-profit rentals. They received waivers  and $7 million in provincial and federal money—but it was to build  below-market apartments and public spaces. 22 John is a mixed-use building, with a jumble of market and subsidized spaces.

Rockport only received help to build the below-market spaces. They built the for-profit spaces with their own money. Those rents are—rightly or wrongly—theirs alone to set.

Frances Nunziata, rightly, voted against applying rent control on buildings just like 22 John: buildings in which mixed incomes live together. It was perfectly reasonable to do that; after all, mixed-income buildings are good and should be encouraged.

 

 

Hussen shuffled into new position

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed his cabinet yesterday, and Ahmed Hussen, our MP, was moved to the Department of Families, Children, and Social Development.

The move may come as a relief to Hussen, whose position as Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship was very contentious. A loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement has allowed 23,00 people to enter Canada and claim refugee status, placing his department under scrutiny and contributing to the Liberal’s loss of seats in Quebec.

He had a strained relationship with his provincial and Conservative counterparts before the PM took him off the refugee task force and gave the responsibilities to Bill Blair.

From Wikipedia

Metrolinx considered upping fares

Metrolinx considered raising fares on the UP Express because it is too successful as a commuter line, according to the Toronto Star.

If you’re new here, a brief recap: the UP Express was designed to be an executive-class ride from the airport to downtown. There were jazz bands, an in-ride magazine, cheese and wine pairings, and a fashion show. I’m not making this up.

It should have been a scandal up there with e-Health and the gas plant bribes.

Everyone said it would lose money, including the private partner and the Auditor General. It went on to lost not just money, but gob-smacking amounts of money—more than $50 per rider.

But, before the line completely bled out, the Liberals dropped fares, making it a swish ride downtown for the proles like you and me. We get first-class service on a cattle-class budget. Unfortunately, the first-class airport passengers get cattle-class service because we get our sweaty pits right in there.

The good news: the UP Express now loses about $6 per rider, instead of $52. That may be because they cut the in-ride magazine, but it’s more likely to be because there are more riders, so the same subsidy is spread out over more people.

Now, according to The Star, Metrolinx was considering raising fares to $20 chase that business-class traveller again (never mind the fact that she is taking an Uber to her hotel). The plan was not—ugh—”actioned” according to the spokesperson The Star spoke to.

 

But don’t worry. You can’t be fined  if you don’t pay your fares.