Changing Lanes: Laneway Suites in the City of Toronto – City of Toronto

On Wednesday, October 27th from 7:15pm to 9:00pm the City is hosting a virtual meeting to present their work on the Laneway Suites Review and Monitoring Initiative, respond to some questions raised at previous consultation meetings, preview the draft amendments to the Laneway Suite By-law for comment, and discuss other findings and potential recommendations.  

We have lots of laneways in Bloor West Village, so If you would like to attend and participate in this virtual meeting, a link to this session will be posted to the Changing Lanes website under the “Meetings & Events” tab, shortly.  

The history of Bloor West Village in Toronto

Imagine walking through your neighbourhood and being able to pull back the curtains of time as you go. What do seniors remember from decades ago? What family anecdotes do they have to tell? What used to be where that condo now stands? What did newcomers experience when they settled in Toronto?

These are some of the questions Back Lane Studios hope to answer with their newest project, Mapping our Memories. Here’s their plan: Build a team to collect memories and historic information about our neighbourhoods in the west part of Toronto, including ours. Then, make the material easily accessible through links to digital maps. They will be focusing for now on Roncesvalles and High Park, Parkdale, Swansea, the Junction and Weston, with
some forays into Etobicoke.

Back Lane Studios decided to embark on this project when one of their videos, Growing up in the Junction, gained more than 2,000 YouTube views in fairly short order. In the documentary, Lois Broad, 94, who has a remarkable memory, reminisces about places and childhood experiences in west-end Toronto. The video showed the strong interest people have in what life in their neighbourhoods used to be like, and they decided to create a way to
continue collecting and organizing seniors’ memories geographically.

Mapping our Memories is supported by funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. They are using the grant to pay instructors and cover the cost of developing the website mapping platform. Most of the work is being done by volunteers. Current funding runs until February, 2022 however, they are hoping to build a team of volunteers, involve interested partners and seek further funding to continue this as a long-term Back Lane Studios’ project with expanded geographic reach.

If you want to help or support, here is their contact details: info@backlanestudios.ca.

Ontario Place - Home

If you live in Bloor West Village, then you know we’re blessed to be near the waterfront and nearby, to Ontario Place. Waterfront for All, an organization that represents over 20 neighbourhood and community associations like ours, is hosting a panel discussion about the Provincial Government’s plans for the redevelopment of Ontario Place.

Register here for a Public Information Session on October 27th at 6:30 pm. Click here to fill out the province’s survey. The survey closes October 28th – but note the comments below about this survey

A call out to local landlords: Would you consider renting the apartment to a refugee family?

Techfugees Toronto is working with Romero House on a new project called the Refugee Housing Network to help families living at Romero House transition from temporary to affordable permanent housing faster.

We are looking for landlords who agree to be contacted by Romero House in the event that a settlement worker identifies a potential match with a refugee family living there. Settlement workers will only make tenant recommendations if the tenants have stable income.

Conditions for joining as a housing provider:

  • Agree to share your unit information with Romero House (location, price, availability)
  • Agree to be contacted by Romero House if a settlement worker identifies a potential match with a family
  • Agree to meet with the settlement worker and the family if a rental arrangement is possible (with no obligation to rent)
  • Acknowledge that many refugee claimants do not have a credit score upon arrival and that many receive stable income from provincial assistance

Email toronto@techfugees.com to learn more about #VacanciesForRefugees. Techfugees Toronto is a local chapter of the global social enterprise Techfugees, which is an impact-driven organization dedicated to nurturing a sustainable ecosystem of tech solutions to support the inclusion of displaced peoples.

Marlborough’s, the much-loved stationery store near Bloor and Windermere, has closed after nearly 100 years in business.

Sorry to see it go, but grateful for all the years the store has served the community. It is the oldest store in the village – established in 1922 – so it has been kind of a local institution for generations of people living and working in the area. Always a dependable stationery store, Marlborough’s has also carried art supplies, greeting
cards, educational toys and other useful stuff. Consider the thousands of school projects that
relied on Marlborough’s to get things started (or for that last-minute final touch).

Marlborough’s has always been family-owned and operated. The current owners, Jo-Anne and
David, took over the store in 1997 from family members who bought the store in 1967 from the
founders, the Marlborough’s, who opened up in 1922.

So, on behalf of many villagers, thanks to Jo-Anne and David for many years of great service on
Bloor Street West and best wishes for the future from the BWVRA!

Marlborough's - blogTO - Toronto

We’re reminded that CaféTO is supporting nearly 1,200 restaurants this season with expanded outdoor dining space in curb lanes and on sidewalks. The have launched a new survey, which will help the City to better support recovery of the restaurant industry, enhance understanding of the appropriate use of public sidewalks and curb lanes, and identify the effects of expanded patios on private properties.

The survey is currently live and will be open until September 19, 2021. You can find the survey at toronto.ca/CafeTO.

Outdoor dining features heavily in our neighbourhood and so we encourage all residents of Bloor West Village to complete it to help CaféTO shape the City’s outdoor dining programs and the future of Toronto’s streets, including ours.

The top 5 patios near High Park

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
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.