Stop signs coming to South Station and John

The curve in the road where South Station meets John Street is pretty dangerous. To me, it looks like it should be an all-way stop because there are wide sidewalks and a large pedestrian area near the bridge.

But the cars don’t stop—in fact, they move pretty fast around the corner, I’ve found when crossing with my kids.

Happily, if Etobicoke York Community Council approves, the city will be installing stop signs at the intersection. The EYCC will consider the proposal on July 14.

Notting Hill condo development coming to Eglinton.

Plant World in May last year. From google.com

Remember Plant World, that sprawling 2-hectare garden centre on Eglinton with rather high prices but some spectacular and unusual horticultural specimens? It was operated in various guises by the Delworth-Reeves family from 1889 when, “Cornelius Delworth purchased a parcel of land on Richview Side Road (now Eglinton Avenue) in the outlying farming community of Weston, as an expansion of his downtown nursery operation.”.

Many green-fingered folk were dealt a crushing blow when the last customers were ushered out last September having been sold several years earlier. Yes, you could say their lives were uprooted.

The site from the air (marked in yellow). From google.com. Click to enlarge.

The large site was a tempting one for developers and the owners were probably made an offer too good to resist. In December 2015, purchasers Lanterra Developments submitted a site proposal for 5 condo towers on the site ranging in height from 18 – 33 stories with 1900 apartments and townhomes. The project was grandly named ‘Notting Hill Condominiums’ but don’t expect to see Hugh Grant or Julia Roberts anytime soon.

Lanterra’s 2015 proposal went over like the proverbial lead balloon with the Planning Department and people attending the community consultation in May 2016. Issues such as, density, school capacity, shadow and traffic concerns and compatibility with the neighbourhood (despite already being dotted with 16-20 storey apartment towers) were some of the objections raised. The developer was told by Etobicoke York Community Council to tone it down, sharpen their erasers and try again.

Later in 2016, Lanterra invoked the Ontario Municipal Board’s appeals process (an appointed body that prior to having its wings clipped by Premier Wynne was accused of rubber-stamping developers’ excesses). The developer wanted an OMB intervention claiming that Council was dragging its feet.

Instead of bringing judgement from on high and picking a winner, the newly relevantOMB mediated an agreementreleased in 2018 between all parties and the result was lower overall podium and tower heights, no townhomes, revised setbacks, lower density and a reduction to 1360 apartments. In addition, 25% of the apartments were mandated to be 2 or 3 bedrooms; the developer was to pay $3.8 million in (Section 37) community benefits including up to $800,000 in public art (oh dear lord).

 

According to Urban Toronto, the latest plan submitted in June has the number of dwellings at 1275 but Lanterra’s website says 1320. The OMB has reserved the right to step in again if needed but so far everyone seems happy. Ontario Liberals might call it a Wynne Win.

Artist impression looking south-west towards Eglinton Avenue West. From Lanterradevelopments.com

The mediated agreement was approved by Toronto City Council in 2018.

More details from Urban Torontohere.

View the condo sales pitch here.

Happy Canada Day!

There will be no activities on the old Weston fairgrounds this year and no fireworks to cap off the evening. Here’s a look at some of the celebrations from a few years ago.

Councillor Frances Nunziata sings with ‘Elvis’ in 2011.

Frontlines staff and volunteers at their booth in 2012.

The band entertains the crowd in 2012.

Fireworks are prepped in 2013.

Former MP Mike Sullivan talks to constituents in 2013.

Councillor Frances Nunziata addresses the crowd in 2014.

Frances Nunziata walks through the crowd in 2014.

Former MPP Laura Albanese in 2014.

Laura Albanese (foreground) greets constituents in 2014.

Just getting started in 2015.

Camping in Cruickshank Park

The start of a tent city or a one-off? (Click to enlarge.)

Someone’s camping in Cruickshank Park; they’ve been there for several days. Their position tucked under the trees provides shade and renders them almost invisible from the south. Let’s hope they can find better accommodation soon. The park should not become an alternative housing location as is happening in Nathan Phillips Square and several downtown locations. There are no toilet or washing facilities in Cruickshank Park and no doubt human waste is either piling up or going into the river.

Let’s hope social services can step in and find them better accommodation.

Today in Weston

A wild turkey was grazing quietly today in Cruickshank Park.

Two of us were photographing the rare sight when a large white dog got loose from its owner and chased the turkey down the length of the park, its flexi-leash flailing after it. The turkey and dog were last seen heading south. Fortunately, wild turkeys can fly and the two of them disappeared towards the river.

The owner’s response was, “That f***ing dog”. Mine was, “That f***ing owner”. According to another dog owner, this particular dog is allowed to run loose quite often.