Interesting Twitter exchange between Nunziata and Ferreira.

Longtime local political operative and former York South-Weston MPP, Paul Ferreira had an exchange of views on Twitter a couple of days ago. In a tweet, local Councillor Frances Nunziata claims that for years she has advocated direct TTC service along St Clair Avenue West from Gunns Loop to Scarlett Road.

Here’s the original tweet and the replies:

Did I mention we love elections here at WestonWeb?

2346 Weston Road affordable rentals ‘open house’.

The 2346 Weston Road site. From architect’s plans.

Toronto with a vacancy rate of 1.1% needs lots more rental apartments, especially affordable ones.  Very few have been built in recent years thanks to rent controls keeping margins low and there being much more money in building and selling condos. City incentives are in place to encourage new rental buildings. I attended an ‘open house’ last night held at 1901 Weston regarding an application to build an affordable rental building at 2346 Weston Road.

Quite a few people attended but there was no presentation made, organizers choosing to scatter their people around the room and answer questions one at a time. Councillor Nunziata was on hand too.

A typical floor layout proposed for 2346 Weston Road. Click to enlarge.

The development will be a 15 storey building; the typical floor having 11 apartments as in the floor plan above; rents will not exceed the amounts posted below – 2018 numbers:

  • 1 studio apartment – 280 square feet – $922 monthly
  • 6 – 1 bedroom apartments – 409 – 473 square feet – $1,097 monthly
  • 3 – 2 bedroom apartments – 570 – 635 square feet – $1,284 monthly
  • 1 – 3 bedroom apartment – 807 square feet. – $1,477 monthly
  • No balconies
  • Each apartment will have one bathroom only.
  • The building will have one elevator.
  • There will be 52 underground parking spaces.
  • Heating will be forced-air gas and the building will not be air conditioned.
  • Tenants will pay their own utilities
  • Residents may install their own window air conditioners.
  • Rents will be controlled / held to inflation for 25 years.
  • The building owner will get property tax breaks and other financial incentives.

Comments: If we are trying to keep low income people in one area, this building will do the job and fit quite nicely into the current stock of accommodations along Weston Road. In fact, it may even be more bare-bones and certainly less roomy than others along the strip. It’s great that affordable rentals are being built but does Weston have to roll over and be grateful for what is just a modern-day continuation of the awful apartments of the 70s? The place won’t even be air conditioned – in 2018.

52 parking spaces would be admirable for a downtown building with 157 apartments. In Weston, not so much.

The fact that there will be one elevator serving 157 apartments and two levels of underground parking will be a serious issue when it inevitably fails and vulnerable tenants are stuck on upper floors.

Can we not do better than this?

For comparison, the renovated rental building next door has a spacious 2-bedroom 1-bathroom apartment with balcony going for $1300 monthly. Utilities included.

Read the complete set of application documents here.

There was a form handed out at the meeting requesting comments on the proposal. The application reference number is: 18 120119WET 11 OZ.  Email Councillor Nunziata with your comments at: councillor_nunziata@toronto.ca

The true measure of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. Gandhi.

Meeting about severing 135 John

Nunziata’s office will be hosting a meeting to consider whether the owner of 135 John should be allowed to sever the lot and construct two new homes, with 8m wide lots.

The meeting will be at 7 pm on Monday, January 29 at Weston Memorial, . The owners will be there to present their case.

The OMB recently recently rejected a similar case just down the street at 96 John, in which the owners had asked to create two 7.5m lots. That appeal was denied on the grounds that the smaller lots would destabilize the character of the neighbourhood.

 

Vote for $20,000 for Frontlines

Frontlines hopes you’ll vote for them to receive a $20,000 grant for their Frontburners youth kitchen.

Youth at Frontlines; picture from @FrontlinesTO
Youth at Frontlines; picture from @FrontlinesTO

Frontburners helps young people from 18-29 learn with “hands-on training in the kitchen, in-class instruction and food handling training and assist them with finding employment”. Participants also cook for the kids from 6-12 in the after-school programs, and “facilitate workshops to teach them about meal preparation and healthy eating”.

The grant is from Epicure.com’s charitable arm, and the competition is pretty stiff: 15 charitable food organizations across the country are competing—so don’t delay.

Frontlines has really been knocking it out of the park with their culinary skills programs. This week, they catered the local politician’s Holiday Open House (and they would be delighted to cater for your holiday event, too).

Province seeking input on payday loan shops

Frances Nunziata is asking for you to give the province input on payday loan, rent-to-own and cheque cashing stores—what she calls “predatory lenders”. The proposed changes would make payday loans less attractive.

financial institutions
A search for cheque-cashing shops

For payday loan shops, province is considering

  1. Extended payment periods for repeat borrowers
  2. Lowered lending limits
  3. An extended, six-day waiting period
  4. Clear display of the cost of borrowing and credit counselling information

Most intriguingly, the province is also asking that credit unions be exempt from these regulations.

You can provide feedback on all the proposed changes.

 

New park to be built in Mount Dennis?

The Mount Dennis Community Association showed the power of the people and got Frances Nunziata to look into creating a new park out of a “wasteland” at Brownville and Barr Ave.

A long-time vacant City owned lot on Brownville (beside the rail tracks opposite Barr Ave.) has been generating complaints from neighbours about accumulating litter, dog-poo and general lack of maintenance. The City’s Real Estate staff administer the site, and proposed to simply fence it in. But fifteen local residents showed up at an April 24 meeting with Councillor Nunziata at the Library, and most of them had other ideas. At the end of the meeting, the Councillor agreed to try and get the site transferred over to the Parks & Recreation Department as a first step towards upgrading it for community recreational activities. 

Frances Nunziata’s rightward tilt

How conservative is Frances Nunziata? She was besties with Rob Ford , who drove a mammoth Cadillac Escalade. She, however, drove a Prius. Fire-breather or tree-hugger? Morebucks or Warbucks? The answer has eluded me.

Here, then, for your edification are Frances Nunziata’s votes from the last city budget. Right-wing votes to cut spending are, naturally, Conservative blue. Left-wing votes to increase funding are NDP orange.

 

I only counted votes about actual money; a lot of City Council votes are asking a staffer to write a report about whether to spend money later. I ignored them.

My unscientific impression of the results: Nunziata isn’t as left-wing as  would like, but she’s more middle of the road than I had assumed.