In April, 2021 the City released a survey to explore residents’ opinions and concerns about new backyard houses in their neighbourhoods. City Planning then hosted three virtual community consultation meetings (May 11, 12 and 13) for residents to learn more, ask questions, and share comments about Garden Suites. Here is the Garden Suite Community Meeting Presentation discussed at the consultation meetings.

City Planning will present a Draft Report to the Planning & Housing Committee (PHC) on June 28.  The Report will be made available to the Public on June 21. It’s understood that consultations are to take place ovr the summer so they may submit a Final Report and the Amendments to the Zoning By-laws for PHC review on Sept 21 and City Council approval on Sept 30.
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.

It may not be a guarantee this summer.

How the battle over Toronto's new, temporary bike lanes might play out in  2021 | CBC News

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.