Cops save canoeists

It’s old news, but still good news: last month, a 12 Division police officer helped rescue canoeists in danger in Algonquin Park.

The Police were leading youth as part of an outreach program when they saw two boys clinging to a tree in the water.

“We quickly located them as they were holding on to a large tree in the water,” said Langdon. “Cold and exhausted, they said they had ventured out from the beach in hopes of reaching what appeared to be a large rock on the other side of the lake they assumed they could jump from into the lake. When they swam close enough, they figured it was not a good place to jump from. When they looked back, they realized it was too far to swim back.”

Read the rest! Even more people get rescued!

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Photo from the TPS

Kodak Building move is temporary

Lots of people made standing room only bus trips this morning to witness the Kodak building’s big move of about 200 feet. Built in 1939, Building 9 as it is known, contained a gym and cinema / theatre among other things. It is the last of the buildings to survive and the community pressed hard for its preservation in some meaningful form. The stars aligned, politicians and Metrolinx listened and plans are under way to make Building 9 (now basically an empty shell thanks to vandalism) a key feature of an LRT station and mobility hub planned for Mount Dennis.

Buses were chartered from the TTC by Metrolinx in response to the anticipated demand to see this famous local landmark being prepared for a starring role once more.

It's standing room only in the shuttle bus.
It’s standing room only on the 8:30 am shuttle bus.

A large crowd filed onto the bleachers that had been set up for the occasion. On this warm and steamy morning, there was an added promise of lunch after the move.

Councillor Frank DiGiorgio, MPP Laura Albanese and Councillor Frances Nunziata watch the move from the bleachers.
Councillor Frank DiGiorgio, MPP Laura Albanese and Councillor Frances Nunziata (front row L to R) watch the move from the bleachers.

One thing not made clear by recent articles and certainly not clear to me until today (is it me?) is that the Kodak Building will return  to its original location.

The building moving along the path to its temporary location.
The building inching towards us along rails to its temporary location.

The idea is that the building’s current basement is inadequate for its future role as the main access point for the Eglinton LRT, UP Express and a bus terminal. The building is being moved off to one side while the old basement is demolished and a new one built from scratch. Once the work is done, the Kodak building will return to its old location on the new foundation.

The reason for the move today is to build
The reason for the move today is to build transportation infrastructure into a brand new basement. Click to enlarge. From thecrosstown.ca

Today, many former Kodak employees were in attendance along with Weston and Mount Dennis residents and the mood was one of celebration. A large contingent from Metrolinx helped with making sure everything went smoothly.

Metrolinx workers pose to mark the occasion.
Metrolinx workers pose to mark the occasion as the building moves along slowly.
The building inching along its rails.
The building inches along its rails.

There are many more fascinating details of the plans for Building 9 and how it will be part of an exciting transportation future. Read all about it here.

The preservation of part of Mount Dennis history is a mark of respect for an alert and politically active community. No doubt we’ll be doing the whole thing in reverse in about a year when the basement is completed.

Well done to Metrolinx for organizing a great day and allowing the community to celebrate the occasion.

Pop-up shops. Still a good idea for Weston / Mount Dennis.

From
From: http://www.startup-hub.co.uk/popup-shops/

Here at WestonWeb, we often think we know better than anyone else. After all it’s easy to second guess from the sidelines. Sometimes though an idea seems so right for an area that it should be given a closer look.

Pop-up shops are an idea that originated in Australia and the idea is that empty stores are cleaned up by volunteers and then opened by businesses for a short period of time. Landlords charge little or no rent but benefit because successful pop-up businesses sometimes end up as paying tenants. The whole street benefits because more spill over sales traffic is generated. Even Kanye West uses them!

There is quite a wealth of experience out there in the successful implementation of pop-up shops and it is likely an endeavour best undertaken by Mount Dennis BIA or Weston’s BIA. We wrote about the idea in 2012 but sadly, nothing happened.

We still think it’s a great idea.

Over to you Bob Caplan and Masum Hossein.

Have your say about rental apartment licensing

When I was a young lad in some dim and distant past, rental apartment buildings were glamorous creatures. They were modern, had great views, lots of room and everything was included in the rent. Most had a sauna and outdoor pool. For gosh sakes they even had laundry facilities in the basement!

Then in the 1970s, the practice of subsidizing tenants in rental apartments was a cheaper alternative to building public housing. Poor people flooded apartment buildings and with rising incomes, middle-income earners began to abandon rental housing. For the most part, rental apartments became the domain of the poor and were synonymous with shabby conditions and health issues. Conditions steadily deteriorated and ten years ago, in Weston, the two towers at 1765 and 1775 Weston Road were in atrocious condition and the subject of bitter complaints. The federal government stepped in with forgivable loans and millions were spent upgrading rental buildings.

1765 Weston Road in 2012 (file).
1765 Weston Road pictured in 2012 (file).

Nowadays, renting is the only option for many people in the current real-estate market. While conditions have improved, many buildings are poorly maintained and it is felt that legislation concerning these buildings needs an overhaul.

The City of Toronto wants to hear from its citizens about licensing rental apartment buildings. According to the City,

The intended goal of the licensing framework is to build on the current Multi-Residential Apartment Building Audit Program by promoting best practices in building maintenance, strengthening enforcement of property standards violations, and improving tenant engagement and access to information.

The public and stakeholders will have an opportunity to:
• contribute to establishing goals and objectives for a licensing framework
• create recommendations related to current challenges and/or gaps in regulation; rules governing the operations of rental apartment buildings such as maintenance and cleaning plans; enhancement of the current building audit program, including enforcement of property standards; and improved public access to information about rental buildings, and
• submit their own recommendations for improving tenant living conditions.

The meeting for our area will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, August 24: Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall, Meeting Room 1/2/3, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.