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.

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.

Are you a registered charity, not-for-profit group or individual hosting free activities in support of social, environmental and recreation initiatives in High Park and Western Beaches that needs funding?

Grants up to $3,000 are available to support Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) objectives of environmental stewardship, promote activity, social well-being and/or other as outlined in PFR Parks Plan.

Image result for western beaches, toronto

The City Planning Division has been working on a range of initiatives to extend our housing supply through the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) work program. This plan expands upon recent work that’s supported laneway suites. As Bloor West Village has plenty of laneways, this program is quite relevant.

Laneway Housing in Toronto | Laneway Houses, Homes in Toronto

A new report has been published which can be found here. In it, the City looks at options for laneway type units (known as Garden Suites) for homes that aren’t on laneways.

This type of home too, features prominently in Bloor West Village. According to the report, City Planning will consult with interested stakeholders on potential permissions for Garden Suites in the City of Toronto during the first quarter of 2021 and then report to Planning and Housing Committee with recommendations by the end of June 2021 on findings and next steps. Stay tuned.

Ontario Place is technically not part of Bloor West Village but we’re guessing many Bloor Street West residents enjoy the grounds of Ontario Place and perhaps even have fond memories of the park from when they were younger.

An we’re guessing you probably didn’t know it came close to being considered a property not worth preserving. That has changed as of this week, thanks to the efforts of Ontario Place For All. Read more about this exciting update here.

As we’ve mentioned in an earlier post, Toronto has nearly 300 KM of laneways (that’s nearly the distance to North Bay). If you are in Bloor West, there’s a good chance you back on to one.

The Laneway Project in Toronto has published this great resource to assist you in getting the most from your unique property. It’s worth having a look and will likely offer you great information and insights you hadn’t thought of.

And, possibly put money in your pocket.

On Energy Efficiency Day, Reflecting on Why I Chose a Career in Energy  Efficiency! - DNV GL Blog - Energy in Transition

BetterHomesTO was created by the City to help homeowners take steps to improve the comfort and efficiency of their homes and reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change.

Why is that important? Because improving the energy efficiency of their homes may be the biggest thing residents can do to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Homes and buildings generate about half of the GHG emissions in Toronto today.

BetterHomesTO offers a one-stop website (BetterHomesTO.ca) that makes it easy for residents to find information, tips and resources to help them take action.

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.