Casa Loma Residents Association

Heritage Neighbourhood • Vibrant and Strong Community

Monitoring & Controlling Gypsy Moths Followup

This is a followup to our original posting.

Annabel Weinstein has been staying in touch with Josh McMeekin, Inspector, Forest Health Care for the City of Toronto. We have now been informed that, subject to City Council approval, Urban Forestry is planning on conducting an area wide aerial spray over the Casa Loma neighbourhood with a helicopter in the spring  of 2019 in order to control the rising population of gypsy moth in our area.  The City will hold a community meeting  about the 2019 Gypsy moth control program in the Casa Loma neighbourhood, most likely in late February-March.

In order to try and make the best use of time in this presentation, Urban Forestry would like a list of questions, concerns and/or topics that people would like to be covered during this session.  This will help Urban Forestry prepare, and organize a presentation to better cover the topics of interest/concern.

Please with your questions, concerns and topics you would like covered in this meeting before the end of January.

As soon as we know the meeting date, we will post it on our website and email our members.

 

 

Winston Churchill Park Update & Reminder

Good News!

Work on the northwest section of the park has been completed one year ahead of schedule. Due to the early completion of this work, the northwest part of the park will re-open in December 2018 (please refer to map below). The remaining areas of the park remain closed and are scheduled to re-open in the fall of 2019 as per the original project timeline.

Reminder

 Drop-In this Tuesday Dec 11th at Timothy Eaton Church between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm to hear about plans for the tennis club and dog park and give your input to park officials.

Traffic Management & Mitigation Plan Updated to Dec 2nd

Posted Nov. 12, 2018

Updated Nov 16, 2018

Updated Dec 2, 2018

The City of Toronto has engaged WSP Global Inc. to advise on improvements to the traffic and parking problems related to events at Casa Loma.  A public Drop-In event for the Casa Loma Transportation Management and Mitigation Plan (TMMP) was held November 6th at the Toronto Archives Building on Spadina Avenue.  The City plans on a follow-up meeting early in the new year after more feedback from the community and further study and evaluation of various alternatives to solve the traffic and parking problems.  The City is maintaining a website to keep us posted.

The CLRA is taking input from our neighbourhood residents on both concerns and solutions. Please us with your comments and suggestions. We will be adding them to this posting  and passing them along to the TMMP team so that our residents will have a voice in the process. The CLRA will also be organizing a meeting and making a formal submission as part of the TMMP review. This will be communicated by email to our residents and by posting on our website.

CONCERNS

  • Traffic chaos in front of the Castle
    • Cars, taxis and Ubers who stop to let off passengers block traffic as vehicles cannot pass when volume of traffic is heavy
    • Vehicles waiting to enter the parking lot from the west side back up on to the street and vehicles from the east making a left turn block traffic behind them
  • Residents who live on Walmer and Castleview are experiencing serious traffic congestion as cars look for parking spaces on those streets; many times there is double parking as cars wait for Casa Loma visitors to be picked up.
  • Visitors to Casa Loma are precluding residents and their guests from parking on Walmer and Castleview.
  • Residents with overnight parking permits on Walmer and Castleview cannot find parking until after events are over.
  • Drivers searching for parking spaces on Walmer and Castleview are distracted and pose a risk to neighbourhood children.
  • Residents who live on Walmer, Castleview and Russell Hill Drive just north of the Castle, on Ardwold Gate or in Forest Hill above St. Clair experience delays in getting home
  • Unwanted noise from cars honking their horns
  • Pedestrians crossing Austin Terrace to reach the castle from the sidewalk at the corner of Austin Terrace and Walmer Road are put at risk maneuvering between traffic exiting the parking lot, exiting Walmer Road and proceeding both ways on Austin Terrace (at times at high speed), particularly because of the sharp and largely blind turn on Austin Terrace immediately west of the Castle.
  • Visitors exiting the Castle on to Walmer through the Stables or who are waiting for a pick-up at the corner may be boisterous at times (there was a serious personal injury fight in October) and are not reminded by signage that they are in a residential neighbourhood.
  • Some bus tour visitors and others occupy the front lawns and patios of residences on Austin Terrace while waiting for their buses, asking for water, use of washroom etc. as if they were still on public property.
  • There is not enough enforcement of parking regulations, in no parking, restricted parking , and in front of hydrants and driveways, particularly on Walmer Road, Castleview, Austin Terrace west of Spadina, Lyndhurst Court and Ardwold Gate
  • Any expanded use of the Stables and Pellatt Lodge either by Casa Loma or other tenants will only exacerbate the congestion and noise issues and should be addressed by the City in the upcoming lease renewal.

SUGGESTIONS

(These suggestions are those made by area residents for review and discussion; they may be mutually exclusive and not every resident may be in agreement. The CLRA is in the process of getting input from its members as we engage in discussions with our councillor Josh Matlow, City officials, its consultants and the Liberty Entertainment Group).

  • Improve the use of the two existing parking lots at Casa Loma
    • Better pavement markings to  identify parking spaces
    • Better coordination between the use of the two lots
    • Eliminate the taking of a parking fee on entry and instead take payment on exit or use automated payment machines such as those at Green P lots.
    • Move valet parking away from the main entrance to the parking lot
    • Use part of the east lot for drop-off and pick-up “DOPU”use by vehicles (Ubers, Taxis, other)
    • Have clear signage to the DOPU area
    • Advise Uber, Lyft, taxi companies of the DOPU area
    • Require tour buses to wait at the Bridgman parking lots to free up space in the east lot
    • More use of traffic officers rather than off-duty police officers
  • Place lighted signage, electronically controlled by the attendant at Casa Loma, advising when the lot is full and directing traffic to alternate lots at George Brown and Bridgman so that traffic heading to Casa Loma from the south does not enter Austin Terrace and from the north proceeds past the Castle without stopping.
    • Suggested locations would be on Spadina just south of St. Clair; Davenport at Macpherson, Spadina at Dupont and Davenport east of Bathurst
  • Improve the pavement, markings and lighting for the Bridgman parking lots so visitors will accept them as alternative lots
  • Have Casa Loma operate a shuttle service during major events to the DOPU area from the corner of Spadina and Macpherson (can pick up pedestrian traffic from the Dupont Subway Station) and the corner of Macpherson and Bridgman for the parking lots
  • Have Casa Loma operate a shuttle service from the St. Clair West subway station during major events to the DOPU area.
  • Re-design the home page of the Casa Loma website to advise of (1) public transit alternatives (St. Clair West Subway, Dupont Subway, and 127 bus, including walk times) and (2) parking alternatives so that this information is prominent, including on mobile devices.
  • Casa Loma should provide to the CLRA for posting on its website an advance shedule of events, quarterly or monthly as needed.
  • The TTC should evaluate a new bus service running from St. Clair West  down Spadina to Dupont such as extending the Forest Hill 33 Bus route down to Dupont station
  • Widen Austin Terrace in front of the castle by moving the south sidewalk so that it is adjacent to the Casa Loma wall and construct a minimal amount of new road space on the north side to accommodate the 2 lanes of through traffic and a Drop-off/Pick-up lane in front of the Castle.
  • For pedestrian safety, construct a sidewalk on the north side of Austin Terrace and a Crosswalk in front of the Castle
  • Consider taking some of the space at the north end of the Baldwin Steps park for a DOPU area.
  • Put signage at exits to the castle and stables reminding  people they are in a residential area and asking them to respect private property and keep noise and litter to a minimum.
  • Bus drivers should remind passengers on arrival that they are in a residential area and to respect the privacy of residents
  • Provide seating in the DOPU area for passengers to wait for their buses and cars
  • Change the exit from the stables from the east side to the south side.
  • Employee parking should not be allowed at the Stables as the driveway is entered from Walmer Rd., a residential street. Employee parking should be limited to the Casa Loma parking lots or the lots at George Brown and Bridgman.
  • Limit the number of days for the Legend of Horrors event; every day is too excessive.
  • Parking permits should be made available to residents of Walmer Rd. and Castleview Ave. on a 24 hours/7 days basis and include 3-5 visitor permits which could be used by their guests on a temporary basis.
  • Install rectractable automatic bollards on Castleview at Spadina to prevent traffic from entering Castleview and Walmer during major events; residents would use an electronic mechanism to obtain access for themselves, guests and trades/delivery people.
  • The City should ensure parking enforcement officers on on duty at the times of Casa Loma events.
  • Install  Bike Share in a suitable location and other bike parking at Casa Loma.
  • Open the South Gates for all major events to encourage use of the Dupont Subway Station
  • Rename the Dupont Subway Station to Dupont Casa Loma Subway Station to bring more attention to this transportation option

Most recent update Dec 2, 2018

PRINTER FRIENDLY

If you wish to bring other concerns and/or suggestions to the attention of the CLRA, please us.

Winston Churchill Park Reconstruction – Drop-In Event

The Winston Churchill Park will reopen by the end of next year. The City is holding a Drop-In Event on Tuesday Dec 11th between 6:30pm and 8:30 pm at Timothy Eaton Church to show us the plans.

The Dog Off Leash Area (DOLA) will be moved down the hill as the Water department has determined that dog pee may leak into the new reservoir. Unfortunately, the proposed area is smaller than the previous DOLA which was already overcrowded on busy summer days. The location of the new DOLA will not impact the protected environment of the ravine.

They are considering adding 2 or 3 unlighted tennis courts to the 10 that were previously there. They also say there will be no more changes for 75 years!

The Winston Churchill Park is a great benefit to our neighbourhood and I’m sure the tennis club, jogging/running paths, playground and dog park make a difference not only to us but to others who will move into our neighbourhood over the next 75 years.

Please drop by the open house at Timothy Eaton and offer your input on their plans. The website for the park renovation is www.toronto.ca/stclairreservoir

St Clair Reservoir Notice of Public Drop In Event FINAL

Noise Agreement reached between the City of Toronto and Liberty Entertainemnt

We are pleased to report that thanks to the persistence of JoAnn Breitman and the stewardship of Councillor Joe Mihevc and his staff, the City of Toronto and Liberty Entertainment have formalized by Agreement the commitment made by Liberty Entertainment  and first reported on in June this year.

Noise Agreement Nov 16, 2018

Traffic Study Information and Drop-in Event Tuesday November 6th.

The City of Toronto has engaged WSP Global Inc. to study and address traffic and parking congestion in the Casa Loma neighbourhood generated by special events at Casa Loma.

The study area, as shown on the map  below,  is bounded to the north by St Clair Avenue West, to the west by Bathurst Street, to the east by Avenue Road and to the south by Dupont Street.

A drop-in event will take place:

Tuesday November 6, 2018

6pm – 8:30pm

Toronto Archives Building

 255 Spadina Road

The City and WSP would like to hear from area residents about our neighbourhood traffic conditions. We encourage you to attend the upcoming drop-in event to learn about the study and provide your input.

map provided by WSP Global Inc.

Construction Begins on Wychwood Library Expansion

Construction has begun on the Wychwood Library expansion and modernization. The library will be closed until work is completed, expected in late 2020.

 

The expansion will add nearly 11,000 sq. ft. of space or about 9,000 sq. ft. net of the demolition of the 1978 addition. The expanded library will also accommodate the new clubhouse of the Wells Hill Lawn Bowling Club whose original clubhouse will be demolished. The capital budget for the project is $15.8 million of which $1.5 million has been paid by purchasers of the Rise Condominium as part of the city’s Development charges for that project.

The renovated library will have several lounges with generous views of the street or lawn bowling green outside, a new early literacy centre, a new theatre and a digital innovation hub.

 

Any construction road encroachment will be on Melgund Road, not Bathurst Street.

Casa Loma Golf Classic

Interested in a round of golf with your neighbours? The Casa Loma Classic, the annual neighbourhood golf outing will be held this year at the Upper Unionville Golf Club on Saturday September 15th at 9:50 AM. Cost for 18 holes including power cart is $86.25 plus HST.

Upper Unionville is a Doug Carrick designed course that was formerly the Mandarin Golf Club. It reopened in 2017 under the ownership of the highly regarded Copper Creek Golf Group. Picturesque and challenging, the course plays a reasonable 5742 yards par 72. Located on Kennedy Road, north of Elgin Mills, it takes about 40 minutes to drive there on a Saturday morning. MAP. Car pools will be organized from the neighbourhood between 8:00 and 8:30 AM.

This is a fun event with the added attraction of the winning foursome being awarded the Casa Loma Classic Trophy and Plaid Jacket to be treasured for the following year. In order to organize balanced teams, please include your usual score for 18 holes when you sign up.

For further information and to sign up, please email as soon as possible.

CLRA Opposes UrbanHensTO pilot program

BACKGROUND

Ward 21, supported by our Councillor, Joe Mihevc, was chosen as one of four wards in the city to participate in The UrbanHensTO pilot program. This program, which runs from March 2, 2018 to March 2, 2021, allows residents to have up to 4 hens, but no roosters, in their backyards. Residents must register the hens with the city and comply with regular inspections. City Council approved this initiative against the recommendations of their own staff who were concerned about health issues.

The following email was sent today by the CLRA to Councillor Joe Mihevc.

The CLRA is not in favour of this program. There is no reason for our neighbourhood to be taking on the risks and noise and dangers of the backyard urban program.

I would ask you to immediately stop your support of it.  As you know City staff was also against it and recommended against the program. Your pilot program is indefensible – and to say it is “only” for 3 years is ridiculous – that is an extreme amount of time and much damage can occur then, including the passing of disease to humans. It is not safe and adds no value to us – only noise and filth. Chickens are not pets and food sources in the city. There can never be proper monitoring and enforcement of regulations by the limited resources at the City, and there is no reason to believe that people will or can adhere to any regulations, which are completely insufficient to begin with.

If you insist on this it can be done in a more restricted setting like the Riverdale Zoo or at the Barns.

Please stop this program and get rid of all backyard chickens immediately. There are stronger reasons against them than for them. Stop wasting any more taxpayer money or time on it. Stop all the disease and noise and filth that will come from these chickens!

 

Casa Loma HCD Study approved by Toronto Preservation Board

On July 12, 2018 The Toronto Preservation Board approved the recommendation of the City of Toronto’s Planning Division to proceed from the Study Phase to the Plan Phase to designate two areas of our Casa Loma neighbourhood as Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs). Two HCD Plans will be developed: The Hilton Avenue HCD Plan and the Wells Hill Avenue HCD Plan. In addition the Toronto Preservation Board approved City Planning’s recommendation to evaluate 63 other properties in our neighbourhood for HCD and in some cases for Part IV designation.

Further details are on our website.

 

Monitoring and Controlling Gypsy Moths

Neighbours have noticed a large number of gypsy moths on the many oak trees in our neighbourhood. The moths are now at their caterpillar stage where they have the potential of destroying our beautiful tree canopy. We are in touch with the Urban Forestry department who are monitoring the situation. The city has sprayed trees on city property in 2007/2008, 2013/2014 and 2017. The infestation this year has not warranted a spraying or other ground treatments.

If these moths are not controlled, severe loss of foliage can take place within a few years.

The City does not treat trees on private property but does provide information on the appropriate treatment. Please CLICK HERE for their guide.

Some homeowners have taken steps to stop these red spine caterpillar creatures from crawling up tree trunks so they cannot defoliate the leaves above. They wrapped duct tape around the tree trunk and then placed petroleum jelly on top of the duct tape.

Annabel Weinstein is in communication with Urban Forestry to stay on top of this issue. We are looking to organize an information meeting this fall or winter so residents are  equipped to deal with any outbreak next spring.

Before next spring keep an eye open for their egg masses which will accumulate on trees through the fall and winter. Scrape off egg masses with a dull knife or use a vacuum and place them in soapy water for a few days before discarding them in the garbage. If they fall on the ground crush them with your shoe.

Casa Loma Noise, Traffic/Parking and Construction issues

JoAnn Breitman and Councillor Joe Mihevc met on June 7th with representatives of Casa Loma, which is managed by Liberty Entertainment Group (LEG).  Among the issues discussed were noise, parking and traffic issues impacting our neighbourhood.

Noise

LEG has made improvements to their sound system by putting speakers in rocks so they are low to the ground, changing direction of the sound, and increasing the number of speakers so that individual speakers don’t have to be as loud and the sound is not transmitted as far. They have committed to keeping sound levels at 65 decibels or lower and ending their Symphony in the Gardens (Tuesdays June 5 – Aug 28), Soul in The City (Mondays June 18 – Aug 27) and Just For Laughs Comedy in the Castle (Wednesdays July 25 – Aug 29) events at 9:30 rather than at 10 pm as has been past practice. Weddings will no longer have live bands outside. There will be DJs outside but the sound system will have a “limiter” which cuts off music if it goes above 65 decibels. Weddings will go to midnight. The City has agreed to monitor this during the summer.

LEG has committed to keeping all of the screaming/ fright effects inside for this year’s Legends of Horror event which runs for the month of October.

Traffic and Parking

The Italian Day on June 3rd. highlighted the need for stricter parking enforcement and a traffic control plan. This especially impacted residents on Walmer Road and Castleview Avenue. Traffic congestion in front of the castle was also very severe as there are no warning signs, say on Spadina or Davenport, informing attendees that the lot is full. LEG will open the South Gate for access as a convenience for those parking in the George Brown lot or taking public transit and will use several mobile signs around site entry points north and south to discourage drivers from heading directly to the castle parking lot. This summer, Joe Mihevc will ask for stricter parking enforcement (ticket and tow) during events. Other measures will wait on the completion of a consultant’s study that LEG has commissioned for this summer and fall.

Construction and debris

The renovation of the exterior of Casa Loma is ongoing which leads to issues related to the construction staging and debris disposal, which are concentrated in the vicinity of the stables. Rod Jones, Director of Bylaw Enforcement has recently inspected the site and will report to us.

We have made good progress in our meetings with Liberty Entertainment Group over the past year and appreciate the changes they have and will be making in recognition that the castle is located in a residential neighbourhood.  Discussions on the above matters are ongoing and resident input and suggestions are welcome. Please email your thoughts and suggestions to .

Casa Loma Heritage Conservation District Study Update and Open House.

A Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study for the Casa Loma neighbourhood was prioritized by the City of Toronto in March 2015. Research, analysis, evaluation and consultation is nearing completion. Ultimately it will be determined if an HCD designation will be an appropriate planning tool for our neighbourhood. The City Planning Division has scheduled a second Open House where you can learn about the HCD study, ask questions and share your comments:

Date: Wednesday, June 20th

Time: 5:30PM – 8:30PM

Format: Open House (drop-in at any time)

Location: St. Michael’s College School, Theatre Lobby, 1515 Bathurst Street

The City Planning Division retained a Project Team led by EVOQ Architecture with ASI Inc. (archaeology), Urban Strategies Inc. (planning) and DTAH (landscape architects) to prepare the HCD Study report. The Project Team presented their draft recommendations to the Casa Loma Community Advisory Group on May 10, 2018 and will be presenting it to the area residents at the Open House on June 20th.

Proposed HCD Boundaries

The Project Team has proposed that two streets in the Casa Loma study area be granted HCD designation: Hilton Avenue, and Wells Hill Avenue. These two streets retain a high degree of integrity as representative examples of early 20th century residential development in the city of Toronto.

Properties within the proposed Hilton Avenue and Wells Hill Avenue HCDs were individually evaluated to determine whether they contribute to the neighbourhood’s heritage value.

Contributing properties (shown in blue on the map) are those that have design, historic and/or associative value and that contribute to the neighbourhood’s heritage character. Properties were identified as contributing if they satisfied the following criteria:

  • Constructed during the proposed HCDs’ period of significance (1910-1929); and
  • maintained their integrity and have not been significantly altered as seen from the street

The Casa Loma Residents Association is reviewing the Project Team recommendation and is considering a submission that the whole neighbourhood should be included in the HCD designation.

Properties Identified for Further Research

Through the course of the built form and landscape survey, community consultation and historic research, the Project Team has identified a number of individual properties within the study area that warrant further research to determine whether they merit inclusion on the City’s Heritage Register.

These properties will be reviewed by Heritage Preservation Services against the Criteria for Determining Cultural Heritage Value or Interest (Ontario Regulation 9/06) in 2019. These properties are identified in green on the map.

 

 

It is important that residents attend the Open House on June 20th to learn more, question the Consultants on their recommendation, meet City staff and provide your input. Any comments you would like to make to the Casa Loma Residents Association should be emailed to .

The HCD Study report and an accompanying staff report will be presented to the Toronto Preservation Board on July 12th.

Provincial Election June 7th.

[updated May 2, 2018]

The Ontario Provincial Election is now less than 5 weeks away.  Intensive campaigning will soon begin.

The Casa Loma neighbourhood is in the riding of St. Paul’s.

The Casa Loma Residents Association encourages all its members to be active participants in the Association.  In the same vein, we also encourage you to actively participate in Federal, Provincial and Municipal elections.  By electing and working with our elected representatives we can successfully advance the interests of our neighbourhood.  The CLRA has successfully worked in the past with our city councillor, Joe Mihevc and our Provincial representative, Eric Hoskins as well as our Federal MP Carolyn Bennett regarding issues of interest to the CLRA.   A good example of this is the Maclean House at 7 Austin Terrace which would not have been saved without the strong support of Joe and Eric.  We will continue to build strong relationships with our elected representatives and other influential politicians.

The Progressive Conservative Party has nominated its candidate, Andrew Kirsch, born and raised in St. Paul’s riding and a former Intelligence Officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

The Green Party has nominated its candidate for St. Paul’s.  She is Teresa Pun who is a doctor practicing Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Internal Medicine in St. Paul’s riding and Richmond Hill.

The Liberal Party has nominated Jess Spindler as its candidate. Jess was Director of Legal Affairs and Party Services – ‎Liberal Party of Canada.

The New Democratic Party has nominated Jill Andrew as its candidate in St. Paul’s. Jill is a co founder of Body Confidence Canada.

The CLRA is not endorsing any candidate or party.  It is our goal to work with all of our elected representatives to ensure that our voice is heard and ensure that our representatives are responsive to our needs.

Map of St. Paul’s Riding

City of Toronto is reviewing On-Street Permit Parking

The City of Toronto Transportation Services is soliciting feedback from residents on potential policy changes and/or by-law amendments required to implement Residential On-street Permit Parking on streets that do not have permit parking. This includes the Casa Loma neighbourhood.

Transportation Services will report back to Toronto and East York Community Council on the results of the public consultation and surveys in the first quarter of 2019.

Click here to complete the Survey

The City has organized 4 information meetings

  1. April 23 – 7pm to 9pm – East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.   Register here
  2. April 30 – 7pm to 9pm – Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, 250 St Clair Ave. W.   Register here
  3. May 1 – 7pm to 9pm – St James Cathedral Centre, Snell Hall, 65 Church St.   Register Here
  4. May 3 – 7pm to 9pm – Sheraton Hotel, Birchwood Room, 123 Queen St. W    Register here 

Further information Kate Kusiak in the City of Toronto’s public consultation unit.

Annual Casa Loma Yard Sale

The 11th Annual Casa Loma Yard Sale is once again being organized by Cheryl Millett. This year’s date is Saturday, June 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm.  The more participants the merrier. Many participants elect to donate proceeds to their favourite charity.

Click here for 10 tips suggested by Cheryl on how to declutter your home. You would be surprised on what you don’t need but what others can use.

Fee is $5 to participate for advertising in the Toronto Star, Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook etc. and printed materials (posters and signs, maps listing participating homes). By working together we will have more fun, bring in more traffic and sell more! You may drop off your fee to Cheryl at 5 Nina Street.

Volunteers are also welcome to help in organizing this year’s event.

Cheryl Millett if you are interested by Friday May 18, 2017.

 

 

Mixed Use Development at 390-398 Spadina Road

The following message was sent to us by the South Forest Hill Residents’ Association on March 27, 2018. Their message has great relevance to the Casa Loma Residents Association given the risk of inappropriate development in our neighbourhood.

……………………………

A GREAT COMMUNITY EFFORT

The South Forest Hill Residents’ Association (SFHRA) is pleased to report that a mediated settlement has been reached for the development at 390-398 Spadina Road. This is the property that formerly included Bonanza Video and The Village Idiot at the corner of Spadina Road and Montclair. It passed City Council unanimously today.

Due to the rules of mediation, in which SFHRA was an official participant, we were restricted from providing detailed updates until after the process was concluded.

It is important to note that the compromise, which was reached after countless hours of mediation, negotiation and meetings, is a tribute to our devoted and skillful lawyer Johanna Shapira and the community effort led by SFHRA. Ms Shapira’s contributions were consistently professional and above and beyond the call of duty. Without her participation, we would have not been successful.

The original proposal was for a nine-storey, monolithic, block building with 46 units. The negotiated settlement we achieved is a six-storey building with a four-storey podium, a mechanical room on the roof, and a maximum of 34 units. The two upper floors and the mechanical room will be setback so that they will not be seen from Spadina. The mass of the podium is not ideal, but it has been designed to fit harmoniously with the heritage building beside it. The ground floor will contain at least two commercial units.

The overall result has been hailed as an enormous achievement by both the Councillors involved, Joe Mihevc and Josh Matlow – whom we thank for their skillful navigation and leadership.

During the whole process, SFHRA needed to balance its views of what was desirable against what was feasible. Despite generous contributions from within our community, we were seriously underfunded for formal opposition to the developer’s proposal. A rejection of a compromise at mediation would have meant a full OMB hearing. Any hopes for success in that venue would have required SFHRA to establish a budget in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawyers, planners and other experts. Furthermore, success at the OMB, historically, has resided with the Developer.

As a result of Ms. Shapira’s unstinting hard work and ability to work closely with the City staff, we were able to circumscribe the proposals of the developer that crossed “red lines”. At mediation, we were able to achieve a development where: the low-scale character of Forest Hill Village was respected, the precedent acceptable and, after a decade of derelict storefronts, an improved streetscape consistent with the neighbourhood.

Thank you to all – most especially to our amazing lawyer, Johanna Shapira of Wood Bull LLP and our generous donors.

We should also note, Councillor Mihevc obtained a commitment for a substantial Section 37 donation to the community by the Applicants. The SFHRA will play a key role in the process of deciding its allocation.

Further details on the settlement and answers to questions will be provided at a:

Community Meeting
April 12th, 2018, at 7 p.m.
Grace-on-the-Hill (300 Lonsdale Road)

The April 12th meeting will also be an opportunity to start the discussion of where people would like to see the Section 37 monies, even though the money will not flow until the development has started.

A final point of business for the Community meeting will be to consider the future of SFHRA and, perhaps, elect an SFHRA Executive. Further information on this agenda will be circulated before the meeting.

Please join us for the Community Meeting hosted by Councillor Joe Mihevc for an opportunity to learn more about our community, to celebrate our achievement, to thank our lawyer, Councillors, the amazing hard-working City staff and to elect an SFHRA Executive.

350 Walmer Road TLAB Decision

350 Walmer Road proposed streetscape

On March 1 a Settlement was approved at the TLAB Appeal hearing regarding the proposed development for 350 Walmer Road. The Appeal was launched last year after the City approved the subdivision of the 50 foot lot into two 25 foot lots, an increase in the permitted coverage for both lots from 60% to 73% and the building of a 3 story detached home on each of the North Lot and South Lot to within 18 inches of the lot lines. The City of Toronto, the Casa Loma Residents Association and many homeowners joined in Appealing the decision. The Appeal was led by Ed Eng, an owner of 348 Walmer Road whose property to the south was most affected by the proposal. The owner of the property to the north at 352 Walmer Road, which unlike 348 Walmer Road has its own personal driveway separating its structure from the proposed structure, chose not to appeal.

All parties were advised prior to the Appeal hearing that the severing of the lot was not inconsistent with the mixture of lot sizes in the area. The Appeal therefore focused on 2 issues: (1) the impact on an adjacent property of a structure being built within 18 inches (.46 cm) of a property line and (2) the damage to the neighbourhood streetscape and building pattern if properties of the proposed size were built, separated by only 18 inches to the next property line.

As the owner adjacent to the North Lot did not appeal, the building for the North Lot was approved. That made changes to the South Lot very difficult to consider as the structure on the North Lot was now fixed.

The Settlement that was approved at the TLAB hearing was between Mr. Eng and the owners of the proposed development. The Settlement provided for, among other things, the building on the South Lot to be built 24” ( 60 cm) from the lot line, for the waterproofing of the north wall of Mr. Eng’s home, for an engineering consultant to ensure that the grading plan and drainage between the house structures (to be separated by less than 3 feet) is appropriate, for a window on the third floor to be set back with no option of later being an access to a third floor deck, protection of a tree on Mr. Eng’s property, construction of a retaining wall and fence between the two properties, additional landscaping and for the payment of Mr. Eng’s legal and out of pocket expenses to a maximum of $10,000.

As stated in the Casa Loma Residents Association Objection to the development proposed for 350 Walmer Road the proposal is not consistent with Toronto’s Official Plan that directs new development in Neighbourhoods (Casa Loma is designated as a Neighbourhood) to respect and reinforce the existing physical character of the area, including the pattern of streetscapes and open spaces.

In the opinion of the Casa Loma Residents Association, the development at 350 Walmer Road is not consistent with Toronto’s Official Plan as stated above and will not be the last that will require our attention.

The 512 Showcase at Wychwood Barns – March 3 @ 7pm

The 512 Showcase celebrates the incredible and diverse local talent here in the St. Clair West community. Hosted by Award Winning singer/song writer Amanda Martinez and Award winning actor and writer Joanne Vannicola, 14 acts will perform live on stage at the Artscape Wychwood Barns as celebrations begin for its 10th anniversary! Food and drink will be avaiable to purchase.
All proceeds from the event will go back into the community through the Wychwood Barns Community Association whose sole mission is to build, strengthen and engage the St. Clair West Community.
PURCHASE TICKETS @$10 each

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