|There’s been a lot going on in Bloor West Village as we head into summer (which fingers crossed, appears to be on our doorsteps). Here’s a wrap up:|
Humber Theatre Condo Development
The Site Plan has been approved and demolition permits have been issued for the buildings on Bloor from Riverview Gardens to the Theatre. We expect demolition will begin in the not too distant future.
Harcroft & Bloor Condo Development
The original developer sold this site, along with the approved plans. The new developer is currently working with City Planning, and the immediate neighbours on Harcroft, on some small changes before going ahead with this project.
Avenue Study & Heritage Conservation District Study
While the Avenue Study has wrapped up, the HCD Study has determined that, while there were individual properties meriting an HCD designation, there were not enough Heritage Elements to warrant a District designation. We are pleased to report that a number of HCD guidelines are currently being worked into the Avenue Study. The approval process has been slowed down by the COVID -19 pandemic and staffing changes in both the Planning and Heritage offices. We are hoping things will soon get back on track with the next steps being a presentation to the Community before being sent to City Council for approval. Our efforts toward encouraging responsible development should be significantly reduced once the resulting bylaws and zoning restrictions are put into place.
Laneway Suites & Garden Suites
Laneway Suites, approved by the City of Toronto in July 2019, are typically located in the rear yard, with access next to a public laneway, and are generally smaller in scale and completely detached from the main house on the lot. Garden Suites are similar except that their access is from the front of the property. The Garden Suites project is one of several studies being undertaken by the City to help create more housing options in residential neighbourhoods. The City would like to hear what you have to say on this topic by taking a brief survey that can be accessed on the BWVRA website.
Bloor Street Bike Lanes
The Bloor Street Bike Lanes have been successfully installed westward from downtown to Runnymede Road. Planning is now underway to eventually extend these lanes all the way to The East Mall. This extension of the Bike Lanes will require the approval of the Etobicoke-York Community Council.
Kennedy Park-Margdon Parkette
In 2019 there were extensive improvements made to the Kennedy Park-Margdon Parkette, located behind the Runnymede Library, between Glendonwynne Road & Kennedy Park Road. A section remains that has not been renovated, immediately behind the Library, that has mysteriously fallen off the Toronto Parks to-do list. We are working with our Councillor Gord Perks to get this project back on track.
BWVRA Annual Meeting
The BWVRA fiscal year is April 1st to March 31st, usually followed by an Annual Meeting in May. Last year we postponed our Annual Meeting to the Fall, in the vain hope that large gatherings would once again be possible. So, here we are a year later facing the same situation. Our virtual Meeting last Fall was a success and we thought it would be best to once again postpone to the Fall, with the hope that by then there may be some progress to report on the Avenue/HCD Study approval process and, if the chatter is accurate, there may even be a Federal Election!
In addition to reporting to the Community, a key element of our Annual Meeting is having the Financials and our Board approved by our Membership. Only Residents who are Paid-up Members of BWVRA (have paid the $20 annual fee) are eligible to vote on any Motions presented at the Meeting. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated on-going restrictions our expenses have been minimal, so we have made the decision to suspend our Annual Membership Canvass. This means that those eligible to vote at our Annual Meeting, to be held at a yet to be determined date in the Fall, will be all those Residents who have already renewed their Membership since April 1st, 2020 last year, along with those who might decide to renew their Membership anytime between now and our Annual Meeting in the Fall.
No doubt, you’ve noticed construction along the Humber River in Etienne Brule park. Here’s more information.
The City of Toronto is replacing the sanitary forcemain (a pressurized sewer pipe that transports wastewater from a lower to higher elevation) through Etienne Brule Park and Home Smith Park, which has reached the end of its life cycle. The existing sanitary forcemain pipe beneath the river is nearly 60 years old and is in danger of failing. This work includes the construction of sewage valve chambers, shaft construction and microtunnelling (an efficient trenchless method for construction of small diameter tunnels) beneath the Humber River. It also involves connecting the new sanitary forcemain outside the existing Baby Point Sewage Pumping Station.
In order to ensure public safety during the construction, the City will be undertaking weekday closures at Etienne Brule Park. The park will be closed (Monday to Friday, excluding holidays) to pedestrians travelling near and through the active construction work zone. This closure will be in effect starting Monday March 15th and is expected to be completed in July of 2021. The construction zone occupies Etienne Brule Park between the Humber River and the Humber Ravine slope and the Humber River Recreational Trail and the park paths are required to move heavy machinery in and out of the construction site. The area of the park off-trail is not maintained and there is not a safe route for pedestrians. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to the residents due to this closure.
This closure will only be in effect on weekdays (Monday to Friday). On weekends (Saturday to Sunday) and holidays, the park will be opened with an access path for pedestrians.
We’ve been advised that Toronto Hydro will be improving the electricity system in our area. The boundaries for the project include Humberside Avenue (North), Dundas Street West (East), Bloor Street West (South), and Clendenan Avenue (West).
Toronto Hydro advised that they expect this work to begin May 2021. More information can be found here.
We’ve been advised that the Howard Park Tennis Club will be getting a long-overdue service of its own.
The City will be undertaking construction and repairs, the scope of work including replacing the existing dilapidated timber retaining wall with a new pre cast stone retaining wall, and replacing the existing unit paver driveway, new concrete steps and handrails. Work is scheduled to commence starting April 5th and is expected to be completed during the summer of 2021. Sounds like match point to us.
For a map of the location of the work, please visit our Councillor’s website.
A garden suite is like a laneway suite, only not on a laneway but in a backyard or garden. It’s safe to say that they will be transformational in many ways, to neighbourhoods like Bloor West Village. And the City is thinking you may have lots to say about them. If you do, click here to take part in a brief City of Toronto survey.
It may not be a guarantee this summer.
Cycle Toronto wants to hear from you. Or more importantly, wants your pledge to ensure it is guaranteed. To show your support to City Council, click here for more information. Last year, there were as many as 21,000 people riding bikes and 4,400 people walking on weekends along Lakeshore Blvd. West. Cycle Toronto wants your help to ensure it can happen again.
Backlane Studios, a non-profit creative hub located in Parkdale, are offering free workshops on Zoom which will show you how to research a
building or a street in the Toronto archives.
The next workshop is March 18, 2021.
They are also beginning a project called Mapping Our Memories. This project collects the memories of seniors and links them to digital maps.
The first six session course on interviewing and writing begins March 9, with more workshops to follow.
Find out more at backlanestudios.ca
8 inches, or 20 cm.
The City is seeking feedback on the natural garden exemption requirement and wants input from Toronto residents. Feedback will inform a report expected at the Planning and Housing Committee in Q2 2021.
The Grass and Weeds Bylaw requires that grass and weeds on private property be maintained so that growth does not exceed 20 cm (8 inches) in height. However, property owners or occupants can apply for a permit to be exempted from this requirement if they have a natural garden. Natural gardens provide environmental benefits, including the creation of natural habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
Staff are considering removing the requirement for natural garden exemption permits. This means that residents can have a natural garden without applying for an exemption. Natural gardens will still need to meet maintenance requirements to ensure health and safety of Toronto’s neighbourhoods.
Residents can provide feedback on this proposal by emailing MLSFeedback@toronto.ca. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 31 at 11:59 pm. More information is available at toronto.ca/NaturalGarden
The City is currently undertaking a third-party review of its community engagement process for new shelter and other services for people experiencing homelessness. This review will identify opportunities to enhance this process, to make sure that all new shelter and other services for people experiencing homelessness are set up for success.
Local residents and businesses in Bloor West Village are invited to share their perspectives, whether or not they have participated in the community engagement process or live near a shelter or a service for people experiencing homelessness.
There are two ways residents and businesses can provide input into the Community Engagement Review process:
1. Participate in an anonymous online survey
2. Participate in a virtual focus group
You can learn more about the Community Engagement Review process on the Welcoming New Shelters web page.
We’ve been informed by our local Councillor Gord Perks, that the High Park TTC Station will be getting accessibility upgrades.
As part of the TTC’s ongoing efforts to make all TTC stations accessible by 2025, the work is expected to commence early next year. The project includes installing two new elevators via a new one-storey structure/addition fronting Quebec Avenue. The majority of the work would take place on the Quebec Avenue side.
There is a Committee of Adjustment meeting for this project tentatively scheduled on March 3, 2021 at 4 p.m (Application 20 229717 STE 04 MV). The TTC requires minor variances in order to provide an accessible station to the community.
We’ve been advised by Plazacorp that an Application for Temporary Street Occupancy During Construction has been submitted for the Bloor Street West address. It’s expected that demolition will begin in approximately 4 weeks’ time (end of March). Expect traffic disruption to begin at this time in the Bloor Street West and Riverview Gardens area.
Are you a registered charity, not-for-profit group or individual hosting free activities in support of social, environmental and recreation initiatives in High Park and Western Beaches that needs funding?
Grants up to $3,000 are available to support Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) objectives of environmental stewardship, promote activity, social well-being and/or other as outlined in PFR Parks Plan.