As the final community consultation, City Planning has provided the following documents on the Garden Suites website for review by the public: 

– Proposed Garden Suites regulations
– Draft Official Plan amendments and draft Zoning By-law amendments 
– A video explaining the regulations with illustrations.

A reminder that Bloor Street West residents have until November 30th to submit their comments. Planning will be preparing their Final Report for submission to the Planning and Housing Committee in January, 2022.
Toronto wants to add garden suites to neighbourhood housing options | The  Star
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Question Mark Flat Building Vector Images (over 110)

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.

Encore Blog: Do You Want A Native Front Yard? - Dyck Arboretum

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. 

2018 patient engagement survey results – Can-SOLVE CKD Network

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.

High Park Subway Station - 1874 Bloor St. W.

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.