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.

Source: Google Maps

A landscaped public space at the Armadale entrance to the Jane subway station is expected to be completed this fall.

As indicated, work will be concentrated in the TTC green space and City right-of-way on the south side of the station and will include a new public space with streetscaping to enhance sidewalk appeal as well as secure TTC-only access to its property beyond the redesigned public area. An asphalt public walkway will also be constructed along the rear of the Bloor Street West properties to Armadale Avenue. 

Other work on the interior of the station and the bus roadway is scheduled for completion this fall, too.

We had a capacity crowd last night – nearly 150 people – at our Federal election leadership debate. It was a very engaging 90 minutes. Thanks to all candidates who took the time, those whom attended and to the Runnymede United Church for the use of their space. Don’t forget to vote on Monday, October 21.

As we get back to routine after a lovely summer, we wanted to update everyone on the status of the Plazacorp condominium development at the Humber Theatre.

A settlement Hearing at LPAT (Local Planning Appeals Tribunal)  took place April 23, 2019, at which all the Parties to the proceedings agreed to a building that will be similar in height and massing to #1 Old Mill, the existing condo immediately to the West. However, the settlement is conditional upon the developer satisfying the City’s Transportation Services staff that the proposed development will have no unacceptable traffic impacts on the immediate neighbourhood. To this end, the Developer’s updated Traffic Study is currently being reviewed in conjunction with the separate Vision Zero study being conducted by the City at the Bloor Street /South Kingsway / Riverview Gardens intersection. 

As many of us are aware, this is a particularly problematic and unsafe intersection which has an exceptionally high rate of collisions, some of which have involved pedestrians. We have been informed that a number of alternative improvements to vehicular and pedestrian safety are being considered including an option to re-open Riverview Gardens northbound from the South Kingsway.  There will be a follow-up public consultation to the first one held on July 30, 2018, and further updates will be posted as new information becomes available. 

Falls is a great time to plant trees. And the best trees are ones that are native to our neighbourhood. Even better, trees and shrubs could very well be a subsidized purchase. The timing and price couldn’t be better in the coming months, so check out this link for more information.

It looks fairly contemporary, but the Humber Theatre was built back in 1948. Then, it was known as the Humber Odeon Theatre. On May 30, it closed forever.

According to Wikipedia, it was designed by architect Jay Isadore, originally seating 1,200 patrons in one large auditorium, which was split into upper and lower auditoriums in the 1970s. It was closed in 2003, abandoned, and re-opened by new owners in 2011, after a $350,000 renovation. According to Doug Taylor, author of Toronto’s Local Theatres of Yesteryear, operator Rui Pereira preserved the upper auditorium, but split the lower auditorium into four smaller auditoria.

We’d love to hear your stories and memories of the Humber.

On April 23, the originally scheduled Contested Hearing at LPAT (formerly OMB) on this development was converted to a Settlement Conference because the remaining two objecting Party’s had withdrawn. However, the Settlement is conditional on the City’s Transportation Services staff being satisfied the the proposed development will not generate any unacceptable traffic impacts on the immediate neighbourhood.

The key concern here is that the developer is thus far unwilling to have any restrictions placed on the size of stores that could occupy the very large 50,000 sq. ft. of commercial space that will be available.  In fact, in its updated traffic study, Plazacorp has indicated that the lower level could be occupied by a mid-size supermarket which would likely generate a great deal more traffic every day than a typical mix of smaller stores.  There has been no further word from City Hall on this issue since April 23, but check here for further updates.

Meanwhile, the BWVRA is pleased to report that as a result of separate consultations with City and the developer’s Landscape Architect, an attractive landscape feature / public space has been designed for the corner of Bloor Street and Riverview Gardens.  This was the only other outstanding item that the BWVRA wanted addressed before this development proceeds, and our thanks are due to former Councillor Doucette and current Councillor Perks for their help in facilitating the very positive outcome. 

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