Mistakes you are probably making when you make soup - T-fal By Your Side

The Stone Soup Network is now five years old, launching out of Windermere United Church, in Toronto’s Bloor West neighbourhood. It’s provided more than 1,000 gifts of much needed products and services to families and individuals in need, thanks to our local businesses like pharmacies and book stores, who continue to help. Another big milestone this year; their online matching platform has enabled more than $250,000 in donated goods and service to be distributed via their amazing team of non-profit partners.

In honour of their five-year milestone, and in the spirit of the folktale that inspired Stone Soup Network, they are hosting a virtual soup making event the evening of September 22nd, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. They’ll celebrate where they’ve come from and make some great soup, with one of the new generations of great Canadian chefs, Bashir Munye.

Stone Soup Network is looking for your support, with the purchase of an event ticket, a donation, or perhaps a combination of the two. All support will help them continue this simple, yet powerful, approach to sharing modern abundances.

Event specifics, tickets and donation information can be found here.

The City of Toronto is launching a study called the High Park Movement Strategy to improve the travel network for High Park and better serve park users and the community. The goal of the study is to improve the travel network to better serve park users and the surrounding community, prioritizing safety and accessibility while preserving the park’s ecological integrity. The study will consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and other users in the park when it comes to mobility.

The study is in early stages and will be underway by the fall 2021. Over the summer, the City will be retaining a consultant team to support the study, finalizing a work plan, collecting data and conducting background analysis. The study is expected to be complete by summer 2022 with implementation of the preferred solution in 2023.

If you enjoy the park and think about how it can improve, please complete this brief survey here: https://s.cotsurvey.chkmkt.com/?e=233567&h=33D6B15564BE93F&l=en

It will ask about your typical park visits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and about your experiences visiting the park over the past year. It will also ask for your feedback on the current weekend road closures and your thoughts on longer-term changes to the travel network serving High Park.  The survey will remain open throughout the summer.

The survey will be followed by a community consultation in the fall.

The Planning and Housing Committee received a Proposals Report submitted by Planning on June 28, 2021. Draft regulations have been proposed including:

– Heights up to 6 meters (~ 20 feet)
– Basements are permitted
– Using up to 40% of the rear yard up to a maximum of 60 sq. metres
– Reduced Soft Landscaping 
– Zero parking

Planning is to use the draft regulations as the basis for further community consultation and technical review. A final report detailing Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments for Garden Suites is to be prepared for a Planning and Housing Committee Meeting in Q4 of 2021 (Oct-Dec).

Awaiting the additional consultation meetings, we would recommend that you read the Proposals Report and review the draft regulations (starts on Page 25/also see Attachment 1).

We will distribute information on the schedule for consultation meetings in the Summer and early Fall  as soon as the City releases information. If your organization would like to meet with the Garden Suites planners, email the Lead Planner David.Driedger@toronto.ca.
Toronto wants to add garden suites to neighbourhood housing options | The  Star

Good news! The Province is ahead of schedule in reopening after the latest COVID lockdown. Here’s what step 1 of that plan means for our neighbourhood:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 10 people;
  • Outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
  • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 15 per cent capacity of the particular room;
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 15 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold;
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold;
  • Outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households;
  • Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training and outdoor individual/team sport training to be permitted with up to 10 people, among other restrictions;
  • Day camps for children permitted to operate in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas may open outdoors for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance with no more than 10 performers, among other restrictions;
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens with capacity and other restrictions

More information can be found here.

OSHA Scaffolding Requirements for Construction and General Industry -  Grainger KnowHow

Requirements for automobile and bike parking in newly erected or enlarged buildings are identified in a city-wide zoning by-law.

Back on January 19, 2021, the Planning and Housing Committee asked staff to review these requirements to better align them with the objectives of the City’s Official Plan. The Review is guided by the principle that parking standards should allow only the maximum amount of automobile parking reasonably required for a given use and minimums should be avoided except where necessary to ensure equitable access, such as for accessible parking or in areas which would be difficult to serve with transit.

The Review is expected to conclude by the end of 2021 and will include two rounds of public consultation, planned for early June and September. Through these consultations, Staff will seek the public’s feedback on proposed amendments to parking requirements in the zoning by-law and other related work.

If you are interested in taking part, please visit this link under meetings and invents.

Étienne Brûlé Park - Wikipedia

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.

Toronto Hydro warns against power saving device scam - The Globe and Mail

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.

Toronto's High Park to close tomorrow for duration of cherry blossom bloom  period | News
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!  

BWVRA Membership   
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. 

We’ve been advised that the Howard Park Tennis Club will be getting a long-overdue service of its own.

Howard Park tennis club is a hidden High Park gem | The Toronto Observer

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.