Little Ave development at City Council

City Council will vote this week on the development at Weston and Little. The two very large, very tall buildings were approved at Etobicoke York Community Council last month.

Many community members, including your correspondent, disagreed with the scale of the buildings, their poor fit into the community, the opaque process, and the work of the city planners, among other things.

The development has grown (and grown) from a single 28-storey building to two 29-storey towers—and again, to a 29-storey tower and a 34-storey one. Though they initially objected, last month city planners approved the proposal without (in my view) significant improvements.

In 2020, they said,

the proposed building “would result in a bulky, overwhelming presence”, “fails to address the local and planned context” and “is inappropriate for the site”. Staff say the plan should be rejected and redesigned as a “mid-rise building with a 45 degree angular plane provided from the Neighbourhoods, open space and low-rise areas and that particular attention be paid to heritage features”.

(From a 2020 article)

The 45º angular plane was adopted, but the buildings remain just as bulky, and overwhelming, and the second, slightly-smaller building will be among the largest in Weston. The largest building in the neighbourhood will be its fraternal twin.

Metrolinx asks for huge path, sidewalk, road closures; Mayor gets mad

City Council will consider whether Metrolinx should be allowed to close a huge amount of the paths and roads around Eglinton Avenue this week. And it sounds like Mayor Tory might not be rushing approval if Metrolinx doesn’t start playing ball with City Hall.

There are two issues: fair wages and putting the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension through the Eglinton Flats in Mount Dennis. City Council would like to know why the line can’t go underground, or beside the road instead of inside the park. It seems like Metrolinx hasn’t been forthcoming with the answers.

According to the Star, Tory blasted Metrolinx:

Tory told his executive committee Wednesday he strongly supports transit expansion, but if Metrolinx officials don’t like being “left with a degree of uncertainty,” as deadlines loom to sign construction contracts, they should “speed up the work” answering questions and concerns from residents and city council…. Metrolinx is “certainly not up to, and accustomed to, the standards we set for public consultation in anything we do, whether it’s transit or not,” the mayor said.

Metrolinx is asking council to close a huge number of routes, including:

  • The multi-use trail on Eglinton between Jane and Glenvalley
  • The multi-use trail on Eglinton between Weston Road and the tracks
  • The westbound curb lane on Eglinton Avenue West east of Jane Street and Weston Road
  • The westbound curb lane on Eglinton Avenue West, between Weston Road and the tracks
  • The north sidewalk on Eglinton Avenue West, between Weston Road and the tracks
  • The north sidewalk on Eglinton Avenue West west of Pearen Street and the park

All of the “temporary” closures will be for eight years.

The Mount Dennis Community Association pointed out another important issue in a letter to the Executive Committee: the proposed closures will interfere with access to the brand-new Mount Dennis Station. They say “there has been a total failure in community consultation about plans for pedestrian access to the station’s main entrance” and that pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders will be affected.

Metrolinx is also facing “adamant and unreserved opposition” from the International Union of Operating Engineers for their refusal to follow Toronto’s Fair Wage Policy.

Friends of Smythe Park host horticulturalist expert this weekend

The Friends of Smythe Park will be exploring the park with horticulturalist Shawn Patille this weekend. All are invited.

Child attacked by coyote

A child was bitten by a coyote at Westlake Park in Mount Dennis on Saturday at around 4:25 p.m.

Toronto Police say that the child was not seriously injured.

MDCA says Metrolinx should redo planning for Eglinton flats

Metrolinx must rethink its plans for elevated tracks through the Eglinton Flats, according to the Mount Dennis Community Association.

The MDCA says “a huge amount of parkland will be lost including parts of Pearen Park both temporarily and permanently.” They also say that the renderings of the tracks are inaccurate.

In their email circular, the MDCA said:

MDCA was told by Metrolinx that the elevated guideway would be similar to the picture [above], similar to the already built section at Black Creek Drive.   Recent information reveals that the elevated solution requires a far wider right of way, and it will be located at the bottom of the treed slope, not at the top.  Furthermore, the elevated section will be far wider due to station platforms and a third track to permit trains to turn around near Jane Street. 

An online group called Stop the Trains in Our Parks (STOP) has built a website to marshal support and show the reality of the trains. They say “if it was worth the money to go underground in Etobicoke, it’s worth the money in Mt. Dennis.”