Weston is a “red zone” for bikes—but that isn’t changing

The city says that Weston and Mount Dennis are “red zones” when it comes to cycling and social equity—but it isn’t doing much about it.

The city says that Weston Road would make an excellent bike route (red in the map below). But according to Spacing Magazine, it’s not going to happen. It’s not part of the city’s 2021–2023 implementation plan.

Jane St (orange) would make another good route, but it will only be studied —though, as I reported earlier, the city had been planning extensive bus-only lanes. As far as I know, the orange route along the railway tracks is only a dream.


Planners did say that there will be

Weston neighbourhood connections extending from Silverthorn Ave and Trethewey Dr.. and will connect to the Mid-Humber trail and
closure of the gap.

However, in the city’s recent briefing slides, these connections are only to be studied.

Mount Dennis is in particularly bad shape, with less than one percent of the street (measured by the kilometer) having a bike route. However, Mount Dennis looks to be getting only a path along Eglinton, to connect to the new station.

Transportation Services will be reporting on their new bike plan for 2021–2023 later this fall, and will bring it to City Council.

Very tall building proposed for Hollis Ave

The owners of the properties between 15 and 21 Hollis Avenue in Mount Dennis are proposing a 34-storey, 365-unit residential building on the small, residential street.

From the proposal

Bousfields, who wrote the report, say that the tall tower fits in because it will

frame and enhance the streetscape along Hollis Street, and provide an appropriately scaled building that is compatible with the future development potential of adjacent properties.

I’ll be honest. Try as I might, I don’t get it. The planners provide many reasons why this should work, but to me it comes down to something simple: This is a very tall tower surrounded by lovely little homes on a very narrow street. Will it fit in the future, if the whole block is redeveloped? Maybe. Does it fit and frame the neighbourhood as it exists now? No.

Speaking of redeveloping the block, though, the report references a nearby and similar proposal. The owners of 8–16 Locust—just one street north—are asking to build a 35-storey building (the tallest building in Mount Dennis). It, too, would be on a quiet, narrow street. That application, Bousfields notes, is being appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal, “following Council’s failure to make a decision”.

Know any Weston and Mount Dennis photo spots?

The city is asking for your input on what areas of Weston and Mount Dennis deserve photographing.

According the Councillor Nunziata’s office,

The City of Toronto will be enhancing its photo collection of each ward across the city. Our office has been asked to identify the top five spaces and places in Ward 5 (York South—Weston) that tell the story of our ward.

This project is intended to build the City of Toronto’s image database to showcase the broader city. Please identify five iconic spaces and places in our ward that tell our community story (e.g., community hubs, parks, landmarks, tributes to the history of the community, artworks, etc.)

You can submit your ideas online, but do so before July 8.

Mt Dennis firehall being studied

The city and ERA Architects are asking for your opinion on the former Mount Dennis Firehall (now the Mount Dennis Community Centre) at 4 Hollis Avenue.

From Google
https://i2.wp.com/static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/images/LC/s1-337c.jpg?w=840&ssl=1
From the TPL
Fire Hall, York, Hollis St., north side, east of Weston Rd., Toronto, Ont.
From the TPL

They are

looking to collect your stories to better understand the site and its cultural value. All information collected will help inform its future in parallel with the City of Toronto’s Mount Dennis Planning Framework Study.

30 click speed limit proposed in much of YSW

Red and blue streets will not have their speed limits changed. Black streets will have the limit dropped to 30.

The Etobicoke York Community Council will consider whether to lower the speed limit on all “local roadways” in Ward 5, which covers Weston and Mount Dennis.

“Local roadways” are the great majority of streets—the last meters between major roads and driveways. In these maps, they are the black streets. Blue and red streets will not have their speed limits changed. (I may have copied the maps for all all of Mount Dennis and Weston. If your street is missing, let me know.

The speed limit changes come from the “Vision Zero” plan the city adopted in 2017.