We’ve been teased in Bloor West Village but the snow has been falling in recent weeks. Click here to be up to date on all things snow related within the City like plowing schedules and reminders like not to push snow onto streets or bike lanes (it’s illegal). There’s also content about sidewalk clearing, which in our area, is a big issue.
You may or may not know, but Bloor Street Village is home to several kilometres of laneways. Toronto has 295 KM in total (yes, that’s correct). And these laneways often offer a glimpse of neighbourhood history, with the backs of homes and businesses sometimes more interesting than the front. A good way to explore is to check Google Maps and look for long, straight “roads” that aren’t named. Chances are, they’re laneways (there’s a nice long one running parallel to Jane Street, north from Colbeck Street.)
Note also that if your home abuts a laneway, your property could be one of 48,000 in the City that qualify for the two-year old incentive program. You can read more here.
Those who travel north on Runnymede Road from Runnymede Station may have noticed a missing bus stop just north of the station, that served 71 and 79 buses. This has been an inconvenience, we’ve heard. According to one resident, the TTC are currently evaluating the long term status of this stop as part of a comprehensive review of stops at this station and the Bloor Street intersection.
We will share more information when we have it.
A key part of the Bijou development at the Humber Theatre site will be the rejuvenation of the northeast corner of Bloor Street and Riverview Gardens. Currently, this swath of property is unadorned with any landscaping or design elements and features a less-than-ideal off-camber sidewalk going around the corner. Upon completion of the condominium, this will be changed for the better.
Above is a rendering proposed by the developer of the Bijou, that our community is supporting. The current proposal was arrived at as a result of numerous consultations with a BWVRA neighbourhood advisory group. As shown, it will include greenery, a staircase to better navigate the downward slope and new seating areas. Final drawings will be made available once a Site Plan Approval is received from the City. This is another example of the BWVRA in action.
While most City services continue to run normally, several will see changes including for example, yard waste pickup. Click here to read more.
“I was just looking at the BWVRA notice about the Humber/Riverview building. I have to commend the BWVRA on its continuing work to keep the village development to a reasonable level. The rendering of the proposed building is at least kept to mid-rise and the design at least has some interesting features that break up the glass box effect. I think that without the continuing pressure that the Association has wielded, BWV would look very different at this point. Well done!”
Well, it’s a few of the things, as seen on a few neighbourhood lamp posts this week.
For an update on activities at Pearson International Airport and related articles on noise forums and transportation links, click here.
Residents should know that over the past year, City transportation staff have continued to study the area, meet with area stakeholders and review comments received from residents. This intersection doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation for safety and navigation – especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
Based on this work, City staff are putting together proposed design changes to the intersection which will be presented to the community in Spring 2020. Our local Councilors office will be in touch when the meeting date and location are confirmed.
City staff has determined that extending the left-hand turn lanes between Jane Street and South Kingsway, will relieve some of the dangerous vehicular behaviour that is currently taking place. It’s our understanding that this work will be taking place in Spring 2020.
You already know that your Bloor West Village Residents Association has been working tirelessly over the past number of years to preserve and protect the special qualities of Bloor West Village that we all value and enjoy every day. The initiatives have included successful challenges to several inappropriate over-sized development proposals, along with our continuing efforts to have effective planning controls put in place for Bloor Street through the Village.
Your Association has also hosted many highly popular all-candidate debates and Janes Walks and our website continues to record thousands of visits every year, indicating that our Bloor West Village residents really care about and want to know, what’s going on! BUT…none of this would have been possible without the many dedicated volunteers who have served on our Board of Directors to help organize the various initiatives that have made BWVRA so relevant to our community.
THE PROBLEM IS…as with any volunteer organization there is always on-going attrition, usually due to family responsibilities, career demands and relocations. Over the past year, a number of our Board Members have had to move on, leaving us with an inadequate number of Directors to carry on with our regular activities.
WE NEED YOUR HELP…and by taking on an active role with your Association you will gain a broad perspective on civic and local issues and a meaningful way to give something back to your community! To learn more about us you could go to our website at www.bwvra.ca or, better yet, give me a call at 416-762-0912!
Jamie Isbister, Chair BWVRA
* Toronto Life Survey, 2018
We’re guessing that most residents would agree with Toronto Life’s ranking of Bloor West Village as the best neighbourhood in the city! It’s well-deserved and we are fortunate to have a number of attributes that make it so attractive and livable including:
• A vibrant main street shopping area
• Mature, stable residential streets
• Top public schools
• Walkability to all the essentials of daily life
• Excellent access to public transit, and
• An abundance of parks and other public spaces
But being fortunate doesn’t mean being entitled. These advantages cannot be taken for granted and despite the Toronto Life score, they can be threatened by:
• Inappropriate out-of-scale urban intensification
• Inadequate planning tools to guide renewal and growth
• Lack of City resources to properly maintain our parks and tree canopy, and
• Market forces and property taxes that penalize main street retailers
The good news is that we have a lot of engaged residents who can take some credit for how great our village is today! You are showing up at public meetings by the hundreds to express your concerns about inappropriate development proposals. You are challenging monster home proposals all the way to TLAB, Toronto’s appeal tribunal, and sending a message that this type of renewal is not encouraged in Bloor West Village. You are supporting the work of the BWVRA as a member and a donor when called upon. You are supporting other vital organizations such as Green 13 to ensure our tree canopy and public open spaces are protected and enhanced. And, you are shopping locally to ensure our retail main street prospers and survives as the anchor of our village.
As one of the strongest collective voices in our area, let’s keep it up! The BWVRA is always looking for energetic, committed residents to contribute their ideas and talents as members of our Board.
Do you have some time to become involved? We’d love to hear from you about your interests and how you would like to help! Please click here to learn more.