There’s a fascinating article about Mount Dennis that was published in blog.TO on October 5. The tone of the article is mostly positive with many interesting observations but the comments that follow are equally interesting and reflect the dichotomy of opinions that currently swirl around our close neighbour. Weston itself gets a couple of mentions too.
Rick McGinnis toured through the neighbourhood and extolled its upside potential, saying
the main drag on Weston Road is only gradually shaking itself out of its doldrums and decay. In the meantime, day-trippers to the area can stake their claim to seeing Mount Dennis ‘when it was still dodgy,’ and perhaps shop for more house than they’d find in Parkdale or Leslieville.
He also walked through Weston, complimenting us on our nice houses and excellent fish and chip shop.
But an otherwise generally complimentary and sympathetic article was marred by a startling assumption about crime. McGinnis said:
“Here’s how to spend a day in Mount Dennis, from morning to as late as you feel safe” and “It’s not generally a great idea to be found on Weston Road after the sun goes down”.
Let’s be clear: he is wrong. Mount Dennis is very safe. In fact, it has a lower assault rate than any neighbourhood in the downtown core. It’s safer than U of T, than Bay Street—safer even than Toronto Island.
John Tory, under fire for his back-of-the-napkin plan to build transit through Mount Dennis, has promised that no homes will be demolished to make way for the trains.
The Globe and Mail reports
It is equally fair for [Olivia Chow] to ask in debates whether he can assure residents that building the western spur of SmartTrack would not require the demolition of local homes. When asked at the editorial board whether he can give such an assurance, he said: “Well, the bottom-line answer is that, where you have to go below or around obstacles, that’s what you’ll do. So the answer to the question is yes.”
Many questions remain, however: how much will it cost? How will it be paid for? No—really—how will it be paid for? Why not repurpose the UP Express? Is there even space on the rails?
According to Steve Munro, a transit genius, “None of this is simple—certainly not as simple as Tory would have us believe. And almost none of it makes sense.”
Still, Tory has made one promise: no homes will be demolished. Let’s hold him to that.
Weston–Mount Dennis is becoming a turning point in the mayoral campaign.
Olivia Chow has been hammering John Tory’s SmartTrack plan for the bungled Mount Dennis section. She’s been saying his plan was drawn on the back of a napkin and has egregious errors—which, indeed, it seems to.
Yesterday, Chow poked fun at Tory’s plan for Mount Dennis in a mayoral debate on the arts.
Roy’s been over the plan already once before, here’s the gist of the problems:
The land along Eglinton that Tory needs has already been sold and has houses on it
Tory says he has a plan to pay for the train, but it’s not much of a plan at all.
The train ends near the airport but not at the airport
And there’s already a train going that way. It’s going to cost $25 each way, though.
“We finally got the LRT to a stage where the community is pretty happy as far as station placement goes. It has been a lot of work over 10 years and his plan comes along and throws a monkey wrench into the transit hub and the LRT station,” he said. “This is a poorly-thought out plan.”
A controversial Mount Dennis $250,000 art project is finished and was unveiled last night.
“Nyctophilia” is a collection of streetlamps with bulbs of different colours—and in the daytime at least, it’s not pretty. Mike Sullivan, our MP, was a bit indirect in his criticism, but his comment “wherearethetrees” sums up, I’m sure, the critics who think that this art is too urban in an already urban place.
But then look at this, a picture from the new proprietor of the Super Coffee shop in Mount Dennis
“A Community Forum on Neighbourhood Improvement Designations by the City is being held Wednesday April 9th from 6-9pm at Greenborough Community Church, 2000 Keele Street above Eglinton. Weston, Mount Dennis, Rustic, Keelesdale, Rockcliffe area residents all invited to learn what is is about and how to get involved.”
Weston and Mount Dennis were recently named Neighbourhood Improvement Areas—areas that were formerly known as “Priority Neighbourhoods”.