According to Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, there may be a movement of commercial offices to the downtown core and that this is coming at the cost of the suburbs. One can only assume that the long commute times are responsible for this trend.
“Previously thriving suburban office parks are now experiencing double digit vacancy rates and declining rents, as employers flock downtown.”
Looking at commercial properties for sale in Weston, there is currently only one office property on offer:
When it comes to retail stores however, there is no shortage of properties for sale, some of them very well known to Westonians.
Workers from Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in conjunction with City of Toronto Parks were at work today at the Lawrence Avenue entrance to Cruickshank Park planting red oak trees. These native trees need lots of room and will provide welcome summer shade in years to come. According to Metrolinx spokesperson, Manuel Pedrosa, the trees donated by Metrolinx are marker trees to represent the ones recently planted in the Humber Arboretum.
There will be an official ceremony tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Avenue entrance to the park.
The city got some good news on Monday when the Ontario Court of Appeal blocked media giant Pattison Outdoor Advertising’s attempts to have their billboards exempt from taxation. In addition, the court ruled that non-compliant billboards can be removed by the city and the costs charged to the owners. The appeal judges also ruled that billboard companies must allow the city to view details of their business so that levels of taxation can be set at appropriate levels. Torontoist.com has an article with all the details here.
Hopefully this tax will enable a greater resistance to the proliferation of these signs and will make them financially less viable – notably the video billboard designated for CN land over Lawrence Avenue.
The new signs are much much more intrusive, brighter, and larger than anything we’ve ever seen in these neighbourhoods.
The city Planning Committee is recommending the approval of ten of these much bigger and brighter signs along the CN Rail utility corridor to replace some existing billboards while removing others (for now). This is being done at the urging of Blair Murdoch of outdoor advertising firm Allvision. Apparently since neighbourhoods along the CN line already put up with noise and diesel pollution, the additional light pollution will hardly be noticeable.
No doubt Allvision and the Planning Committee were hoping that the signs would be quietly approved. As a result of a deputation from concerned citizens, a consultation meeting regarding the LED billboards will be held at City Hall (2nd Floor, Committee Room 1) on Wednesday, December 14th from 6:30 – 9:30 pm.
UrbanArts is having a busy week. On Thursday, from 2–5 pm, they will be unveiling their newest mural; it’s at the corner of Weston and Lawrence. On Friday, they will be starting CultureShock, a two-day festival of art, dance and music.
The mural is part of an annual project that puts young people from the community to work to abate graffiti in Weston and Mt Dennis. They paint an average of two murals a year, and have done so since 1999. This year, they celebrate Weston as the “Home of the Bicycle”. A second piece will soon be installed in Mount Dennis.
On Friday and Saturday, UrbanArts will host the annual CultureShock Festival at Weston Collegiate.
Wes “Maestro” Williams (formerly Maestro Fresh Wes) will be headlining. Cabbie Richards, from TSN, and Canadian hip-hop pioneer Michie Mee will be MCing.
The festival starts Friday at 6, and resumes on Saturday at 1 pm.
In an exclusive interview, she clarified her comments about Chaminade College students and says her original words were the result of a ‘miscommunication’. She also acknowledged that the muggings at Weston and Lawrence were very unlikely to have originated from students at that school.
We discussed other matters such as why she will oppose future license applications for bars in Weston. Councillor Nunziata says she has no problem with applications being approved as long as there are conditions attached to ensure good behaviour; e.g. adherence to licensed hours and noise suppression. After a year these conditions would be lifted. She claims that there are too many licensed establishments along Weston Road and Jane Street already, and that some legitimately licensed establishments operate after hours too . She’s ‘had many complaints from residents.’ I asked if any licence applications ever come from deserving businesses and was told that as long as they agree to the conditions and have not caused problems in the past, they will not be refused a licence.
We returned to the topic of crime and the TAVIS initiative. I mentioned my pet peeve which is that while the TAVIS program has great potential and is a great asset to the community, officers tend to hang around in groups of three or more (let’s not call them gangs) and could cover more ground and have more contact with the community in smaller groups. Ms Nunziata replied that the grouping format was agreed to in the TAVIS meetings, as was the location of the surveillance cameras (which, perhaps, could have produced better results along Lawrence Avenue, since much of the crime seems to occur there).
Thanks to our readers for such a vigorous response.