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.

mike

 

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.

Townhomes on old Beer Store site.

The town homes with the single entrance and exit on Weston Road.
Developer’s impression of the townhomes with their single entrance and exit on Weston Road.

On Wednesday evening, approximately 25 residents witnessed a presentation from architect Alex Boros and developer Jack Morelli hosted by Councillor Frances Nunziata. The topic was the dismal site at 2059 – 2069 Weston Road that once housed Weston’s beer store along with the adjoining property to the rear that a generation ago, hosted white clad Weston lawn bowlers. Developer Jack Morelli mentioned the pollution that has delayed development of the property has been cleaned up but as yet the Ontario Ministry of the Environment hasn’t certified the site. The meeting wasn’t official so invites (2000 according to the councillor) were sent to a wider audience.

As anticipated, this little slice of Weston Road will be positively festooned with town homes; 38 of them will be shoehorned onto the site with living spaces of 1400 – 1800 square feet and will be marketed to prospective punters in the low $400,000 range. City of Toronto planner, Natasha Lang mentioned that as with any development, plans go back and forth for amendments but that the latest plan hadn’t yet been seen at city hall. She mentioned that previous incarnations of the plan had failed to meet city standards in several areas including rear yard space as well as driveway and sidewalk widths.

Residents mentioned the already crowded conditions at H.J. Alexander school which abuts the site as well as concerns with lack of amenity space and the sole entrance to the development from Weston Road. Councillor Nunziata chimed in at this point to declare, ‘We’re looking at putting a recreation facility at Weston and Lawrence’. This might be wishful thinking.

Westonites obviously aren’t overly concerned as the turnout was relatively sparse considering that 2000 invitations were allegedly distributed by Canada Post. Any development will be an improvement over an empty, weed infested, contaminated site. We also get that density will be increasing. However, Weston doesn’t want or need another supply of problem housing simply because the quest for short term profit is allowed to trump community building. The developers responsible for the mess that is Weston Road pocketed their money and disappeared long ago leaving all of us to cope with the resulting fallout.

Let’s do this one right for a change.

Big concrete pour coming up

Get your boys (and 21st-century girls) and head down to the big dig tomorrow and Thursday. Metrolinx will be pouring concrete for 18 hours straight to form the base slab of the tunnel.

The pouring will start at 1 in the morning and continue all day and into the evening. They promise that it will be relatively quiet, though there will be some trucks coming and going. 20130911 Weston Tunnel Continuous Concrete Pours_Ver 2_FINAL

Welcome and not so welcome signs of spring.

Spring is late this year and plants and animals alike seem to have been slow to react. Here are some signs of spring seen around Weston.

A pair of mallards swim by the Humber.
A pair of mallards swim by the Humber.
A recumbent cyclist passes by the newly green grass of Raymore Park.
A recumbent cyclist passes by the newly green grass of Raymore Park.
A carpet of bluebells flows like a river in Cruickshank Park
A carpet of bluebells flows like a river through Cruickshank Park
Tennis players are out in force at Weston Tennis Club.
Tennis players are out in force at Weston Tennis Club.

The downside of spring is also present. With the stores along Weston Road looking a bit bedraggled, the last thing Weston needs is beggars adding to the atmosphere of neglect. This gentleman happily obliged on Tuesday afternoon.

A beggar (face obscured) adds the finishing touch to a bedraggled looking Weston Road.
A beggar (face obscured) adds the finishing touch to a sorry-looking Weston Road.

Now that the snow has gone, the unsightly legacy of people who litter is revealed in all its glory. This lovely stretch is in Lions Park by the condo’s on Hickory Tree Road. The nearby soccer field is kept very clean so why this adjacent patch is left alone is a mystery.

This litter brought to you by folks too lazy to walk to a bin.
This litter brought to you by folks too lazy to walk to a bin.

Lastly, we have some great kids with artistic talent in Weston. On the other hand, the kids responsible for this mess think art is short for Arthur. They think Banksy is a small bank. I could go on…

Graffitti by the talentless under the Lawrence Avenue bridge.
Graffitti by the talentless under the Lawrence Avenue bridge.

Eyesores may be demolished to make room for apartments

Two of the ugliest eyesores in Weston are edging closer to demolition. Builders have applied to the city for permission to demolish the two abandoned houses around 2272 Weston Rd to construct a 12-storey apartment building with 121 units.

The houses on site have been abandoned for many years–at least 5, and likely many more. 

Weston rental property snapped up

A 96 unit Weston Road apartment building was recently purchased for $9.3 million. The property at 2304 Weston road purchased by InterRent is just 50 metres from another of the company’s holdings at 2336 Weston Road. According to the company’s press release,

This purchase has a solid going in cap rate, upside potential and adds more scale and efficiency to our operations in Toronto. With this purchase we will have acquired 1,000 suites so far this year, all of them in strong rental markets that we have targeted for growth.

InterRent obviously sees Weston as a stable income source and a place for future investment.

We would be a great home for the new TCHC headquarters …paging Councillor Nunziata.

Squibb’s turning 85

Squibb’s Stationers will be turning 85 this week. The beloved Weston bookstore was started on May 5, 1927 by Arthur Squibb and his wife Cary. It is the oldest business in Weston, and the oldest stationery and textbook store in Toronto, according to the owners.

In the press release, Suri Weinberg–Linsky, the current owner, says,

Working with some of Toronto’s best private schools has kept the store in business despite shifts in the marketplace over the past 20 years.  After major changes in the public school system changed the way they do business in the early 1990’s, the store has had to adapt to stay relevant.  While the primary part of the business is textbooks for Grades 1 through 12, the store also offers all kinds of stationery products including business and office items, social stationery including wedding invites, art supplies and school supplies as well as a large gift selection and Bibles.  It is a store that is unique and different.

Suri and Mike, her husband, welcome you to the store for a little get-together from 1–5 pm on May 5. Squibb’s, as if you didn’t know, is at 1974 Weston Rd.