Nunziata being held to ‘ransom’

Perhaps someone forgot to renew Councillor Frances Nunziata’s domain name FrancesNunziata.com or the councillor has simply decided to let it lapse. WestonWeb (as usual) saw this tragedy coming weeks ago and Adam warned Ms. Nunziata of the domain’s impending demise but sadly, the warning went unheeded. Now it has been released into the wild and recaptured by some helpful cybersquatters who will sell it back for ‘only’ $1895 U.S.

Hopefully some civic minded people can start a crowdfunding campaign to return the site to its rightful owner. Failing that, FrancesNunziata.net is available for the paltry sum of $9.99

Mt Dennis Jane’s Walk

Ever-awesome Simon Chamberlain will be leading a Jane’s Walk through Mount Dennis this weekend. The tour promises “Boom and Bust. Canals, Masons, Booze, Railroads, Disease, Flooding” (or historical facsimiles thereof).

The walk will begin at 1 pm on Saturday, May 2 at the Portage Trail School.

JW

The lady doth protest too much

Frances Nunziata’s office pamphletedIMG_20150429_223023~2 Weston this week with a defence of the proposed 30-storey tower on King. The new proposed tower will be much taller than original proposal, which had only 18 storeys.

Nunziata’s flyer says that “a[n opposing] flyer has been circulated throughout the community to rally support for an 18-story tower which will result IMG_20150429_223055in greater shadow impacts and less public space for the community’s use, including the Farmers’ Market.”

Her flyer, by contrast, says that the 30-storey proposal is necessary to meet the Tall Building Guidelines, “which apply across the city” (her emphasis). This taller building will also, she says, reduce the impact of the shadow and allow for more community space.

I don’t believe that these statements are true.

The Tall Building Guidelines say,

Tall buildings are desirable in the right places but they don’t belong everywhere…. When poorly located and designed, tall buildings can physically and visually overwhelm adjacent streets, parks and neighbourhoods. They can block sunlight, views of the sky and create uncomfortable wind conditions in adjacent streets, parks and open space, and create traffic congestion. For these reasons, tall buildings come with larger civic responsibilities and obligations than other buildings.

The longer report also says, very clearly, that the guidelines are guidelines and should be used with other important documents like the “Official Plan, applicable Zoning By-Laws, Secondary Plans and Heritage Conservation District Plans”. They also “should also be afforded some flexibility in application” (Page 12).

Far from being binding on Weston, as she suggests they are, the guidelines themselves say that tall buildings should “fit within the existing or planned context and provide an appropriate transition in scale down to lower-scaled buildings, parks, and open space.” It is not clear to me that this building is in context with the rest of our community.

I do not think that Nunziata’s shadow argument is very good either. The area of a shadow is the function of the height and the width. Certainly, a wider building casts a shadow that lasts longer in the area that it reaches—but a taller building casts a longer shadow and reaches out farther. The area affected will be, mathematically, exactly the same.

Nunziata’s pamphlet says that there will be rezoning meetings and a community consultation. I certainly hope that we can get more facts with less spin than we received this time from our councillor.

Woman killed in crash at HRRH

Toronto Police say that a woman was killed in an odd, single-vehicle collision at the Humber River Regional Hospital on Sunday.

The police say that an 81-year-old woman drove through the parking lot then hit a building. The driver “suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment” where she was pronounced dead.

Toddler killed in fall identified

The three-year-old boy killed in a terrible accident on the weekend has been identified. His name was Wallace Passos. He fell from the 17th floor of 3 Hickory Tree Road on Sunday afternoon.

Wallace Passos was celebrating his sister’s 14th birthday with family and friends when he died. It is not yet clear quite what happened, but several newspapers are saying that the building does not have balconies and that he fell from a window. The police are not investigating.

You can help the family with a donation. More than 100 people have donated $5500 towards the family’s expenses in only 8 hours.

Rapist found guilty

Kevin Michael Hicks, a skating coach who once worked in Weston, has been found guilty of two counts of sexual assault and two counts of indecent assault.

Hicks sexually abused young men between 1983 and 1990, and, at the time of his arrest, police in Weston asked for the public’s help because they believed there had been more victims. Hicks had worked as a figure skating coach at the Weston Skating Club.

One of Hicks’ former students testified at the sentencing hearing that he had suffered so many years of torment that he had even plotted Hicks’ murder.

The Crown asked for a 6-year sentence; the defense asked for an 18 month conditional sentence. The age of consent at the time of the rapes was 14 years old, which  reduced the number of charges that Hicks faced. Hicks will be sentenced in May.