Guest editorial: infrastructure meeting was damp

A report from Robin Breon

Over 50 disgruntled Weston residents turned out to a meeting Tuesday, January 28th, held at the Weston Memorial Jr. Public School to voice their concerns regarding construction work being done on several streets to replace aged storm drainage pipes. The construction work currently taking place is part of the city’s Basement Flooding Protection Program.

The local city councillor’s office reported a high volume of complaints coming from residents who were either not informed of the construction project properly or misinformed by city staff or private contractors that the city had hired to do the work.

One resident reported that both his (underground) Bell cable and his Rogers cable had been severed by the all the digging around his driveway and when questioned about who was going to repair it was told by the contractor, “You have to go and ask Bell or Rogers about that.”

Other residents complained that they have yet to be told what the time-frame for completion of the project will be and when they will have access to their driveways and streets on which they live. There was a lot of head bobbing by the four city staff assembled by the councillor’s office to attend the meeting with many “we’ll have to get back to you on that one” kind of answers, but no real strategies put forward to lessen the impact of construction on the Weston streets that are affected. 

One resident asked how much of the drainage infrastructure is being replaced throughout Weston, in that there has been a marked increase in homeowners experiencing basement flooding and clogged drains. City staff indicated that “there just is not enough money in our budget to do all that needs to be done, but we are trying to designate those streets that need it the most.”

One resident suggested that if a community meeting had been called prior to the commencement of construction, people would have had a better understanding of the work that was to be done and the time-frame for completion. In response, our city councillor asked the resident: “Would you have even come to the meeting if I had called one?”

One wonders if a similar meeting in a Rosedale neighbourhood would have received such a high handed response from a city councillor.


7 thoughts on “Guest editorial: infrastructure meeting was damp”

  1. Same story all over the city. Residents complain about city not fixing infrastructure. City starts to fix infrastructure and then residents complain about the construction….

  2. One resident suggested that if a community meeting had been called prior to the commencement of construction, people would have had a better understanding of the work that was to be done and the time-frame for completion. In response, our city counsellor asked the resident: “Would you have even come to the meeting if I had called one?”

    This is a ridiculous response from a counsellor that has been in politics for what 40 years? Honestly, why do people keep voting for her

    1. This is how nunziata operates.

      At another public meeting this past year she yelled and swore at a community member who politely raised concerns during the comment period. This period of time was specifically setup so that people could ask these questions and raise concerns.

      She’s not fit for customer service let alone the responsibility of representing ALL of her constituents. She is tool for lobby and special interest groups.

  3. I didn’t attend.

    But, we have family in two of the zones.

    The size & scope of this muddy mess is truly staggering – a massive approach instead of attacking this restructuring one street at a time.

    I’m not in the trades. And so, really don’t know which approach would truly be best with this important infrastructural work.

    However, Buddy who notes that we citizens have common & similar complaints all around the city, is right.

    And, it doesn’t matter what type of project being addressed – anything and everything. But, there’s always an inconvenience, right?

    “Why now?”
    (..we’d say in the spring, summer, fall & now, winter.)

    “Why when we’re trying to get to work?”

    “Why not on the weekend?”

    “Why on the weekend – when we’re trying to get of town?”

    “Why not overnight?

    “Why overnight? I can’t sleep!

    Bottom line, one can only hope that this construction group is actually doing a good & structurally sound job for the city – verifiable and guaranteed.

    As for the cranky pants Councillor, well maybe so. She’s feisty. But, I wonder about the tone of the question(s) being addressed to her & her colleagues?

    Vinegar vs. Honey, right?

    Pretty sure, as human beings we’d all get our backs up if we felt like we were rudely under attack, and she is often.

    But, she does ask to serve. And, this crap comes with the turf, I guess and that’s even though none of us would like similar treatment.

    (Good thing she’s not a server in a restaurant – she might get back at you with a little something “special” topping your main course.)

    In any case, she may have a point about attendance when it comes to these kinds of things. And, elections, too. Sometimes we’re there & really invested and sometimes can’t be bothered.

    As already noted, this mess isn’t really affecting me, but I do have family in two work zones and it’s not easy to visit, and we do just about daily.

    Can’t really drive over cause you can’t get around easily. And then it’s, where can we park now? Next street? Okay, we’ll walk.

    Chose not to drive? Good & better idea, we’ll walk over. Usually, a nice bit of exercise. But, these days your lungs are greeted and challenged with dust & diesel fumes from the big CATs zipping around.

    And that mud..
    ..could get under your skin, daily.

    So, construction guys..
    Get’er done, already.

    But, more importantly, if you’re going to invoice the city and sign your name to it, do it well, please.

  4. Gas Plants cancelled, because Oakville residents got lawyers and complained.

    Allen “Expressway” stops at Eglinton because Forest Hill residents got lawyers and complained.

    Rosedale, North Toronto, Lawrence Park, Post Road/Bridlepath, well I don’t suppose much will ever happen there, and if it does, ie. necessary infrastructure work, it will be done very quickly. Mind you it’s a mess around Summerhill Market. Toronto appears to be incapable of getting contractors to complete work effectively and quickly perhaps(?).

    All I have say (in addition to the above), is, Westonites are vocal and engaged. We now have King Street and Queens Drive and Elm Street in a mess. Church Street is a mess. Queens Drive has ‘tar’ in places for curbs, not good.

    The area around Falstaff when it was being “done over”, was a mess for years.

    Left turns onto Jane Street each day are very dangerous.

    School kids at Weston Memorial and their parents trying to get to school through the mess, is a bit of a nightmare.

    Contractors, please get on with it, and get it done. We deserve better.

    Oh, and yes…dear counsellors and City of Toronto, we come to your meetings. But like, so what? Doesn’t make a difference, does it? Will you work faster? Repair more quickly? Run interference with Bell/Rogers, hydro or the gas company? Or just patronize us.

    I think we have a right to know a) the plan and b) when it will be finished around here. If we lnow that, then, we have hope and patience. John Street took ages a few years ago, and has taken ages all over again this past year. Will it be the same here? What a mess.

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