Gunshots?

12 Division police are asking for the public’s help. On July 9, there may have been gunshots around Weston and Lawrence at about 9:40 p.m..

On Sunday, police responded to a gunshot at Weston and Denarda.

Very tall building proposed for Hollis Ave

The owners of the properties between 15 and 21 Hollis Avenue in Mount Dennis are proposing a 34-storey, 365-unit residential building on the small, residential street.

From the proposal

Bousfields, who wrote the report, say that the tall tower fits in because it will

frame and enhance the streetscape along Hollis Street, and provide an appropriately scaled building that is compatible with the future development potential of adjacent properties.

I’ll be honest. Try as I might, I don’t get it. The planners provide many reasons why this should work, but to me it comes down to something simple: This is a very tall tower surrounded by lovely little homes on a very narrow street. Will it fit in the future, if the whole block is redeveloped? Maybe. Does it fit and frame the neighbourhood as it exists now? No.

Speaking of redeveloping the block, though, the report references a nearby and similar proposal. The owners of 8–16 Locust—just one street north—are asking to build a 35-storey building (the tallest building in Mount Dennis). It, too, would be on a quiet, narrow street. That application, Bousfields notes, is being appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal, “following Council’s failure to make a decision”.

Three proposals for Humber Gap

City staff have come up with three proposals to close the Humber Gap—the missing part of the recreational trail between Cruickshank Park and Crawford–Jones Memorial Park.

The Humber Gap is a royal pain. It divides the wonderful, long path that runs to Lake Ontario (and beyond) from 30 km of trails to the north—and “is a discontinuity in the future Loop Trail, a 65 km off road, multi-use ring that will connect multiple ravines, neighbourhoods and trail systems throughout Toronto.”

But boy, is it a tough problem to solve. There is a railway, a river, a bridge, an arterial road, landowners, and an expensive private golf course. There are no simple solutions.

City staff have come up with three complicated ones.

The first would impinge on the private landowners and golf course, but create a lovely, entirely off-road path with two boardwalks crossing the river.

From the city presentation

Bike and foot traffic would no longer have to climb up the stairs and fend with the dangerous traffic squeezed close by the railway bridge. But, as staff note, it would impinge on the golf course and a land trust.

The second option is much worse from the point of view of a trail user. Instead of crossing and re-crossing the river, there would be a cantilevered trail and a boardwalk on the east side of the river, and there would be no conflict with the golf course. The path would run alongside the trail on Metrolinx property into the ravine

From the city

However, trail users would still be forced up and out of the valley, and under the extremely unpleasant, narrow, railway bridge. It would also be expensive.

The third option is the worst for trail users and a pain for drivers. (It’s my money for what we’ll get, too.) It is roughly what we have now, but with a proper bike lane on Weston Road instead of weakling sharrows.

From the city

The bike path would impinge on the sidewalk under the bridge and could force narrower lanes there, too, where traffic is, honestly, already pretty awful. Further along, Weston could lose a lane of traffic.

This plan is, however, cheap.

ACORN protests 1901 Weston Rd

ACORN, an anti-poverty group, protested the Toronto Community Housing building at 1901 Weston Road this week. They say,

Toronto Community Housing is not maintaining their buildings and are not providing a healthy home for tenants to live in! Tenants are facing pest issues, cleanliness issues, security issues and various other repair issues!

MPP Faisal Hassan joined  the small protest. He said “the conditions of the tenants here [are] not acceptable…. We need to make sure that the tenants here are safe in their homes.”

He also said that the building was not in good repair and blamed underfunding by government.

Know any Weston and Mount Dennis photo spots?

The city is asking for your input on what areas of Weston and Mount Dennis deserve photographing.

According the Councillor Nunziata’s office,

The City of Toronto will be enhancing its photo collection of each ward across the city. Our office has been asked to identify the top five spaces and places in Ward 5 (York South—Weston) that tell the story of our ward.

This project is intended to build the City of Toronto’s image database to showcase the broader city. Please identify five iconic spaces and places in our ward that tell our community story (e.g., community hubs, parks, landmarks, tributes to the history of the community, artworks, etc.)

You can submit your ideas online, but do so before July 8.

COVID this week

COVID cases fell again this week, to 15 in the past 21 days. Last week, they had stalled at 21.

Vaccination rates, however, have stalled. 53.7% of residents have initiated vaccinations, up only 0.8% from last week. In Toronto as a whole, 68% of residents have started their shots.

In better news, Westonians are getting their second shots a very good clip, and almost 30% of us have had both.