New sidewalks on Cardell and Fairglen planned

I was driving near CR Marchant earlier this week when school was out—and though I’ve lived here almost 15 years, I was really surprised: there are no sidewalks on Rosemount where it meets Ralph. Kids were walking on the grass and on the street, and it seemed mighty unwise.

I’m not the only one to have noticed, I’m pleased to say. In fact, City Council will be considering a motion this week to “request the General Manager, Transportation Services to continue with the planned delivery of sidewalks” on Ralph and on Cardell Avenue (and Fairglen Crescent).

Walking podcasts

Weston and Mount Dennis have a lot going for them—great people, beautiful geography, and the highest number of walking-tour-podcasts per capita anywhere outside of Paris, I figure.

I haven’t had the chance to try these out (I keep trying to recruit my daughter, and she continues to demur)—but enough waiting. You go. Tell me what you find.

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WestonTrax was created by Natasha Adiyana Morris.

Follow Destiny and friends as they head home after school, discovering more knowledge about their historical neighbourhood and recent changes that are hard to miss. We start off at Weston Collegiate Institute, pass by rows of quiet residential streets, cross above train tracks towards Weston Road, and circle around to Lawrence Ave W. as our final stop.

To follow WestonTrax, download the app on Android or iOS


ArtworxTO has four tours of Weston and Mount Dennis.

The first, along the Humber River, starts at the intersection of Lawrence and Hickory Tree Rd. Star Nahwegahbo narrates a meditative audio tour.

Image from ArtworxTO.ca

In the second, the Essencia Art Collective tells us the history and context of their massive Water Mural where the 400 off-ramp meets Jane.

From ArtworxTO.ca

Krystal Ball narrates guides the third walking tour, of the murals of Weston, starting at 1901 Weston Road.

From ArtworxTO.ca

And finally, mural artist Nick Sweetman is the guide to murals of Mount Dennis. He leads listeners through an interpretation of the paintings near Weston and Eglinton.

From ArtworxTO.ca

Meals on Wheels looking for drivers

This week will be National Volunteer Week, which is a convenient news peg, because our local chapter of Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteer drivers.

Your humble correspondent has been volunteering for them for two weeks, and it’s rewarding work. Typically, the shifts are from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and as can be infrequent as once a week. It’s been a blast, and the people have been great to work with. Volunteer drivers toodle around the neighbourhood with a ‘runner’ who drops the meals off.

The Meals on Wheels program is run from Reconnect Family Services on Weston near Eglinton.

Community benefits restored

The provincial government reversed its decision to remove community benefits agreements for major infrastructure projects, including the Eglinton West extension.

CBAs benefit provide avenues to work for people typically left out of the hiring process for construction jobs. They were pioneered in York South–Weston.

6 large developments posted

Six new developments were posted to the city’s planning site on one of the rare occasions it was working.

The ones I noted before the site stopped functioning were:

1–9 Oxford Dr:

The proposed development will have a podium element with ground-level units. The podium will rise to 4 storeys as the street wall height, with the 5th and 6th storeys stepped back from the street. The tower portion will step back further and sit atop the podium and rise to 26 storeys. The building will have 3 levels of underground parking with a vehicle access from Oxford Drive on the south side of the site. Service vehicles will access from Oxford Drive on the north side of the site.

There is no image of the proposed development that I can find. The site is currently residential houses.


1736–1746 Weston Road: Hickory Tree Tower, on the site of the Starfish Carribean Market.

Image from A1

From Google.

The proposal consists of a 25-storey mixed use building with a 6-storey podium. The building will have a total GFA of 19,900.03 sq.m. to produce a Floor Space Index of 10.8 times the lot area. Of the total GFA an allotted 420.12 sq.m. will be for retail space located at grade fronting onto Weston Road. Zoning By-law Amendment application to permit a 25-storey mixed use building with a 7-storey podium, containing 253 residential units. The building will have a Floor Space Index of 10.8 times the lot area, a residential Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 18,914.26 m² and a non-residential GFA of 472.15 m² for retail space located at grade fronting onto Weston Road.


300, 310, 320, and 330 Sidney Belsey Crescent.

A “proposed development of 4 residential apartment buildings” with no other details.

The site is currently a field.

From Google

If you, like me, find it hard to keep track of all the changes in Weston and Mount Dennis, I’ve made a map of all the proposed large buildings.

See full screen

El Catracho: really good!

The family and I got takeout from El Catracho on Jane this week. It was very good, and I’m sorry that I hadn’t been earlier. They serve Latin American food from a Honduran foundation.

We ordered enchiladas, Mexican-style tacos, nachos, and tacos flauta (fried tacos). I’d happily do the same again; each mains came with three servings, and we passed them around (except to my wife, who is a vegetarian).

I think the tacos flauta were best. They were filled with chicken, and the shell was golden and crunchy. They were topped with cabbage, sauce, and cheese, and looked as good as they tasted.

Tacos flauta

I didn’t get to try the enchiladas, but my son, who knows a thing or two about eating (not food, eating) said they were “very good” and had “lots of flavour”. The nachos, he said, were “excellent”. I agree. The thinly-sliced peppers were beautiful, too.

Nachos

My parents’ carne asada tacos were also good. They are, however, served in the Mexican style—which shouldn’t have been a surprise, since they are called “Tacos Mexicanos”. I didn’t know, though, that Tex-Mex tacos have sour cream and shredded cheese, while true Mexican tacos do not.

Tacos Mexcianos—w. sour cream from the fridge

If you’d survived my cooking, you’d know I’m in no position to give suggestions. Still, I would love to see some vegetarian (or even vegan?) options on the menu. The chef was extremely accommodating when I asked if they could make something for my vegetarian wife. She got very nice looking meatless enchiladas with beans in place of the beef. Still, I felt a little awkward ordering off the menu.

Vegetarian enchiladas

El Catracho is at 1808 Jane, just south of Queens Drive. The restaurant is small and bright, and the staff couldn’t have been better. Dinner was about $20 a person, and well worth it. They don’t have a liquor license.