Interesting Mount Dennis article

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.

Read all about it here.

Tory promises no demolitions in Mount Dennis

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.


Mount Dennis a major issue in campaigns

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.

Mike Mattos from the MDCA told the Sun:

“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.”



Eglinton flats makes the news

I like slow news days: reporters wander off and occasionally end up here, in Weston—Mount Dennis.

The Star showed up last week and wrote a special on one of the local gems, Eglinton flats:

It is an idyllic oasis featuring wildlife, a large pond and green space that is now flooded with soccer players, tennis enthusiasts, cricketers and many less organized activities.



Mt Dennis art project sparks discussion

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

Or this one from TorontoSavvy

That’s not bad, not bad at all!

Maybe I’m stretching a bit here, but I think this art is ugly and urban and hides its potential—only to transform  overnight into something beautiful and a little startling.

I think it fits right in in Weston—Mount Dennis.


Thanks to KR for the tip.

Meeting about NIAs

A reader sends along this:

“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”.