Casa Loma Residents Association

Heritage Neighbourhood • Vibrant and Strong Community

Category: News (page 1 of 5)

All Things Green – Update from the Environmental Group

Post from Barbara Chernin, head of the Environmental Group

Starting off is news about homes abutting Nordheimer Ravine and a potential project where the TRCA (Toronto Region and Conservation Authority)  is exploring the idea of a Plant Native Trees and Shrubs program on private ravine properties. It would not only contribute to the beautification of the neighbourhood but have an environmental impact as well.  When I conducted a survey with a handout dropped off to homes backing on the Nordheimer Ravine back in November, I was delighted to find that 12 homes expressed interest in the project!

Colin Love, Supervisor, Community Learning Toronto  – Education and Training for TRCA will continue to explore what a City of Toronto Community Planting and Stewardship Grant would look like with the encouragement of the Casa Loma Residents Association.  If funded, this could potentially cover the costs of native trees/shrubs to be given to residents so that residents could plant themselves on their own property.  TRCA could provide some training such as webinars for residents to participate in. The program would be launched in the summer of 2023.

In the meantime, here are non-profit and City of Toronto low cost or free planting programs with additional information now on offer for spring and summer months ahead, starting with LEAF which has a wide array of volunteer and low-cost planting initiatives.

 Native Tree and Plant Programs for Your Gardens:

LEAF, a non-profit organization that teaches people about trees and gets them excited about the urban forest is located at Wychwood barns .   LEAF “envisions healthy vibrant communities where everyone values and cares for the urban forest.” They supply native species of trees and shrubs for your backyard and public spaces such as their LEAF Learning Garden , offering urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training.  Community Programs Manager Brian Millward, suggests a few LEAF programs that Casa Loma residents can get involved in:

Backyard Tree Planting Program  (low-cost)

This program allows homeowners to plant native trees and shrubs in their backyards at a subsidized price with the guidance of certified arborists. They make sure that you get the right species for the right space! 

Please note that you must move quickly if you are interested as I noticed most of the plantings are sold out until 2023. Spring deliveries begin in April and continue through to the end of June.  

Themed Bundles for urban gardens include samples in Edible Bundles with such plants as cranberry and northern wild raisin to Songbird Bundles which include lowbush blueberry and Privacy Bundles with dense growing shrubs such as bayberry. 

LEAF OFFER: They are now offering themed shrub bundles, designed to help you beautify your yard.  A bundle of four native shrubs, delivered to your door with mulch, a planting and care guide and a specialized fact sheet (only $100 + HST– that’s like buying four shrubs for the price of three!)

If you have problems ordering, contact Jess Wilkin directly at 416.413.9244 

LEAF Volunteer Program

 This program is for those who wish to have more of a hands on role in the community.

Volunteers play a critical role in helping improve the urban forest by participating in community outreach, tending to Urban Forest Demonstration Gardens and supporting our community tree planting events.  If you are interested in tree planting at home, try their:

Full Service Tree Planting for backyards

$150 – $220 (+ HST) per tree includes *

  • 30 minute consultation in your yard with a LEAF arborist
  • 5 to 8 foot tall native deciduous tree or 2 to 4 foot tall native evergreen tree
  • delivery and full planting service
  • mulch and planting/care guide
  • online educational videos
  • 30-minute virtual consultation with a LEAF arborist

Free Street Tree Program

City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation also offers a residential public road allowance.  A property owner can submit a tree planting request for the City-owned road allowance in front of their home or business just by calling 311.

The City of Toronto also has a number of free resources for members of the public living next to a ravine, or who want to learn about native species and combat invasive plants and trees.

Invasive plants have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts reducing populations of native plants and insects dependent on those plants, permanently altering communities and ecosystem functions, and costing economies millions of dollars each year.  See Pages 7-52 of this Booklet Beautiful Non Invasive Plants For Your Garden for a list of a variety of species that are unwanted and a  list of great alternatives instead.  Instead of English Ivy? Try planting Wild Strawberry instead to protect your garden’s ecosystem!

For property owners bordering Nordheimer Ravine, TRCA’s Colin Love strongly recommends:  A Property Owner’s Guide to Healthy Ravines.  This booklet has great information about local invasive plants common in ravines and best management practices.

City of Toronto Community Stewardship Program – Nordheimer Ravine

One enterprising volunteer organization called Friends of Cedarvale (FOC) embarked on their own tree planting program. This organization is dedicated to maintaining and improving Cedarvale Park and Ravine in Toronto.  John Cummings, Chair Friends of Cedarvale spoke to me about a pilot project created with Eric Davies, one of the country’s foremost authorities on the revitalization and preservation of urban forests. The project called Oak Sapling Nurseries grew oak saplings in 5 sapling nurseries in the gardens of Heathdale Road homeowners who have properties backing onto the Cedarvale ravine. About a year and a half later, there are young oak saplings that are healthy and expected to continue their growth in tree adulthood.

John and Eric started this project because they are greatly concerned that native trees on Toronto’s ravine slopes are being displaced by non-Native Norway Maples and European buckthorn trees and seedlings. Norway maples in particular, cause shade and prevent other plants from growing around them.  John noted when recently visiting a Wells Hill Avenue backyard, a proliferation of young Norway maple saplings in the Nordheimer Ravine.  He says “it is evident as well in Cedarvale (and I believe throughout the ravine and river valley system in Toronto). Ideally, these saplings would be removed at an early stage of their growth. Invasive plants, particularly dog-strangling vine and garlic mustard can be seen in both ravines.”

Make no mistake, invasive trees and shrubs are very responsible for the poor condition of our lovely Nordheimer Ravine and I applaud the efforts of any program that gives residents a chance to keep it healthy and thriving.

For more information and to join neighbours interested in all things green , contact  Casa Loma resident Barbara Chernin at

Update on 1467 Bathurst St. (land at St. Clair & Bathurst)

You probably have noticed the pyramid pile of earth on the old Petro Canada site at St. Clair & Bathurst. This is contaminated soil removed from the section of the property on which a condo sales office is to open this summer. The sales office will be for a 3 tower condo project to replace the original 3 tower rental project for the site.

The Environmental Group had the opportunity last week to speak to Canderel’s Director of Development and Investment Dana Roebuck regarding the 1467 Bathurst Street site.

We discussed many of the concerns the Environmental Group has regarding the remediation of the property and ongoing remediation.  Presently, thanks to City Council Motions passed with the help of Councillor Matlow in July, the City has granted the developers a building permit for a sales office only which she says will go up this summer.  Pending a completed risk assessment, they will get a Record of Site Condition (RSC) to develop the property with the intention of building 3 towers of condos.

It is my opinion that the development of a 3 tower, each of 30+ stories, condo tower project with its resulting traffic congestion, use of heavy machinery equipment, overshadowing and wind tunnel effects will environmentally impact Nordheimer Ravine already in poor condition.

What is concerning now is that large mound of contaminated soil on the 1467 Bathurst Street site which cannot be moved due to a provincial trucking strike.  This means that it will sit there until the strike is over.  There are two options available—One is to truck the contaminated soil away privately so that the soil does not remain close to the street and St. Mike’s School.  Heavy rains will also affect its spread.  The other option is to stop excavation until there is a reasonable expectation that the soil will be hauled away to an appropriate landfill in a timely manner.  If you also have concerns, please contact me     I have contacted the Ministry of Environment in the hope that they will deal with this swiftly.

Community Assistance for Ukraine

Alison Reid, a resident of Casa Loma who lives at 99 Wells Hill Ave, along with a few friends, has arranged for a private shipment of goods to Ukraine to assist the Ukrainian people under attack from Russia. The goods will be shipped by MEEST a reputable shipping company that helps humanitarian efforts.

She is inviting residents in the Casa Loma community to donate anything on the list of most needed items. (See below). Things don’t need to be new so it’s a great way to purge and put gently used items to good use.

If anyone is interested in donating, she is accepting donations this Sunday on her front porch (Please place items in a garbage bag to protect them from inclement weather).

Please see the linked Google worksheet provided by Ali.


For further information, Ali’s email is

Garden Suites Final Report to Planning and Housing Committee

Garden Suites Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments to go to Planning and Housing Committee (PHC) on Wednesday January 12 at 9:45 AM

The CLRA has been following this City initiative since it was first announced in March this year.     We did not make a formal submission but did forward along comments we received from residents, including some who completely oppose the proposal.  We understand a couple of changes that were requested will be accommodated in the Final Report:

  1. The By-law will clearly specify that Garden Suites are to be used as a principal residence (e.g. tenant) and will not be permitted to be used as gyms, studios, offices etc.
  2. The separation requirement between the back wall of the principal residence and the garden suite does not have to meet the minimum separation proposed if it is to be constructed on the foundation of an existing ancillary building, e.g. garage

The Final Report to the PHC will be available on January 5 and we will publish it on the CLRA website.

The Planning and Housing Committee will meet at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday January 12 and will receive comments from the public at the meeting or prior thereto.  This meeting will be held on-line and can be viewed at the time through   If you wish to address the committee meeting directly, please register by email to or by phone at 416-397-4579, no later than 12:00 p.m. on January 11, 2022.

You may also send written comments to the Planning and Housing Committee.  Send written comments:

by email to

or by mail to

City Clerk, Attention: Nancy Martins, Administrator PHC
100 Queen Street West, 10th Floor West Tower
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Note that any submission will appear on the City’s website and will include your address, phone number and email address unless you expressly request the City to remove this information.

.For your information, the members of City Council on the Planning and Housing Committee are:

As we come to the end of what has been the very difficult year of 2021, the CLRA wishes all a Happy New Year and our best wishes for a healthy 2022 and a return to normalcy in our lives.

Join the CLRA and support your community



News Posting November 19, 2021

News Posting June 22, 2021

Additional Yard Waste Bag Pick-up Scheduled for Tuesday December 14th

We are pleased to report that the CLRA, through the assistance of Councillor Josh Matlow, has secured an additional Yard Waste Bag Pick-up for TUESDAY DECEMBER 14th.

This has been a late fall and many leaves fell just before our first snow fall and some continue to fall this week. For that reason we requested and secured an additional Yard Waste Bag Pick-up date.

Please take this opportunity to bag or have your garden service bag the remaining leaves, especially those that have been piled on the street. It is against City By-law 743 to dispose of leaves on the street. They pose a safety issue for drivers and pedestrians and will likely interfere with spring runoff.

The full text of Municipal Code Chapter 743 can be accessed HERE


Update on Casa Loma Stables

Today the Potting Barns

Tomorrow a Restaurant?







On November 17th, Councillor Josh Matlow arranged for a Webex meeting with representatives of the CLRA and neighbours in the vicinity of Casa Loma Stables.  The purpose of the meeting was to address the suspicions of local residents that Liberty Entertainment Group (LEG) was preparing the Stables for a new restaurant.  Also on the Webex conference call were representatives of the City’s economic development, heritage, and permitting departments and Nick Di Donato, CEO of LEG.   Robert Levy, Dyan Kirshenbaum, Jeff Maiste and Dale Joffe participated on the call from the CLRA.

We learned that indeed LEG is planning to open a restaurant at the Stables, namely Don Alfonso 1890, the restaurant that LEG has been operating during Covid on a temporary basis in the Conservatory of the Castle following its closure from its original location on Toronto Street.   Indeed, we also learned that the project is somewhat advanced and the above noted city departments were aware of it but that Councillor Matlow was previously unaware.  On several occasions we have been assured by Councillor Matlow that the City would not enter into a new leasing arrangement with LEG without first getting community input.  On the Webex conference call Councillor Matlow instructed the city departments to neither agree to nor sign any lease amendments or modifications for the Stables with LEG until a working group with CLRA representatives is established to review the LEG plans and evaluate the impact the plans would have on the neighbourhood and explore more acceptable alternatives if required.   We have requested copies of the proposed plans for the new restaurant.

We will keep you informed.

Garden Suites Are Coming – Update and Request for Comments

On November 16, the CLRA participated in a webinar on Garden Suites, hosted by the City of Toronto.   Garden Suites are essentially smaller houses you will be able to build in your backyard as  residences to rent or to provide accommodation to other family members.  The opportunity is available on detached, semi-detached and town house lots.  The City of Toronto is encouraging their construction as part of the city’s intensification strategy, particularly in areas within a 10 minute walk of a subway station.  An additional 700,000 people are projected to move into Toronto within the next 30 years to bring our total population to 3.65 million.  The Garden Suite initiative follows the successful, albeit slow, introduction of laneway suites which were first approved in 2019.  To date less than 250 laneway suites have been built out of a total estimated potential of 25,000.  Laneway suites constructed to date have cost between $300,000-500,000 which is likely one reason their introduction has proceeded slowly.  Another may be that the zoning regulations were at first too restrictive but more recently have been broadened somewhat to reduce the time and cost of going to the Committee of Adjustment for relief.

The regulations now being proposed for Garden Suites have been developed from this background.  Input from respondents to earlier surveys and their early introduction in Ottawa, Waterloo and Pickering also identified that garden suites have more privacy issues compared to laneway suites which have typically followed a townhouse style with entry from a back laneway.

The City is now asking for final input before the proposed regulations go to the Planning and Housing Committee in January and City Council in February for approval. There have been some changes to the proposed regulations since we last reported on June 22nd. The full text of the Draft Bylaw can be accessed HERE.

Here are some of the highlights

A maximum of 1 Garden Suite or Laneway Suite is permitted on a lot.

Located a minimum of 5 meters behind the residential building.

Have a maximum of two storeys.

A maximum height of 4 meters if the garden suite is located between 5 meters and 7.5 meters behind the residential building and 6 meters if the garden suite is 7.5 meters or more behind the residential building. The additional 2 meters must incorporate an angular plane, front, back and side, usually 45 °.

Up to an extra meter of height is allowed for ancillary items on the rooftop such as mechanical and ventilation equipment.

The interior floor area of the garden suite must be less than the gross floor area of the residential building on a lot.

The area of the lot covered by a garden suite and all ancillary buildings combined may not exceed the maximum of:

20 % of the lot area.

40% of the rear yard area.

60.0 square meters.


There are soft landscaping requirements such as grass and gardens. Note that swimming pools are currently included as soft landscaping but stone patios and decks are not.

If the lot frontage is greater than 6 meters, soft landscaping must cover a minimum of 50% of the rear yard area.

If the lot frontage is 6 meters or less, soft landscaping must cover a minimum of 25% of the rear yard area.

Tree protection will be an important consideration in the approval of a Garden Suite.

The required minimum rear yard setback for  a garden suite is equal to the greater of 1.5 meters and half the height of the  garden suite if on a lot with a lot depth greater than 45.0 meters, and in all other cases, 1.5 meters.

The required minimum side yard setback for a garden suite if the side lot line does not abut a street, and there are openings such as doors or windows in the side main wall of the garden suite, the greater of 1.5 meters and the amount that is 10% of the lot frontage, to a maximum of 3.0 meters. In all other cases, the greater of 0.6 meters and the amount that is 10% of the lot frontage, to a maximum of 3.0 meters.

If it is on a corner lot and the garden suite contains a parking space and vehicle access from the street abutting the side lot line, the required minimum side yard setback is 6.0 meters. In all other cases, the required minimum side yard setback is the greater of the required minimum side yard setback for the residential building on the lot and 1.5 meters.

Note that if a property has previously been granted a variance to a side or rear yard setback or the required separation between the main house and an approved ancillary building such as a garage, garden shed or studio, that variance will apply to a garden house on that lot instead of the proposed regulations.

In the past, many variances in our neighbourhood have been approved at Committee of Adjustment.

Fire access from the street must be provided with a width of no less than 1 meter. The garden suite cannot be more than 45 meters from the street.


No parking space is required for the garden suite. A garden suite must provide two bicycle parking spaces within the garden suite or within any required separation distance or the required building setbacks for  a garden suite

The City is asking for input on the proposed bylaw changes before November 30th.  The City has a website for Garden Suites and has prepared a video on the proposed bylaw changes. Please provide your questions and comments to the City  HERE  and please copy and paste your comments in a email to the CLRA to help the CLRA develop a neighbourhood consensus.

Environmental Group (EG) Update on 1467 Bathurst Street Site Remediation and Site Development

Report prepared by Barbara Chernin 14/07/21

June was a pivotal month for the Environmental Group and the neighbourhood in relation to this northeast corner, an old gas station site for about 50 years still in the process of remediation by Suncor and planned for residential development. The community has ongoing queries and concerns on the environmental impact of the legacy contamination, remediation efforts, and the potential that development of the site may cause further environmental impact.

Almost 20 years later, a final report indicating that remediation objectives have been achieved has not been issued.  After about two years of asking questions regarding the site and off-site cleanup, EG as lead on this project is hopeful questions will be answered.  Involvement from the Casa Loma Residents Association (CLRA,) Councillor Matlow and concerned citizens have greatly added to the project’s progress with their time and knowledge.

In June, a meeting was held through Councillor Matlow’s Office with The City, the Casa Loma Residents Association (CLRA), Environmental Group (EG) and concerned citizens.  The outcome was that action was swiftly taken in June by the Councillor’s Office in motions passed by Community Council.  The motions were directed at the Developers Kingsett Capital and Canderel as well as the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and Suncor. They called for greater transparency by the Developers, Suncor and MECP requesting ‘the relevant information relating to the contamination and remediation efforts be made public’ (See Meeting summary June 17th, 2021 below)

The Environmental Group’s Project Lead Barbara Chernin will be sending a letter to MECP Minister Jeff Yurek detailing concerns and inconsistencies in reporting which have brought us to this point.  Giving the public more knowledge about the environmental behaviour and potential for spread of contaminants in their neighbourhoods and associated remediation and risk management efforts will assuredly spark a positive note for collaboration and engagement.


The Bathurst/ St Clair gas station, with an added carwash and auto repair, was onsite for decades and leaked gasoline and other contaminants in the late 90’s into areas to the south, east and west of the site, potentially including Wells Hill Park.  In 2001, “Petro-Canada/Suncor and the City of Toronto entered into an enforceable License Agreement where Petro-Canada/Suncor would undertake remediation” and ongoing monitoring to respond to the contaminants from 1467 Bathurst Street and indemnify the City against any third-party claims as a result of the contamination spread.

Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and the City have repeatedly pointed to public sites and Freedom of Information requests for the Community and the Environmental Group to gain information and clarity– about 3500 pages of documents.  The publicly available documents include highly technical monitoring reports and conceptual models which make it difficult to get an easily accessible answer on exactly where the gasoline leak is currently, the extent of soil and groundwater contamination, and how far the gasoline plume had spread.  Presently, the site owners do not have a building permit.

Thanks to Councillor Matlow’s Office, a meeting called for by Chernin of the Environmental Group (EG) occurred with the City on June 17th.   Concerned community members attending along with EG were Casa Loma Residents Association (CLRA) represented by counsel Richard Macklin and interested citizens Dr. Dianne Saxe and Dr. Elizabeth Haack.  Hosted by Councillor Matlow and Jade Leung-Administrative Assistant to Councillor Matlow; City attendees were Scott Pasternack (City Legal), Rick Gibson (Manager Soil & Groundwater Quality), Natasha Zappulla (Toronto Building) and Stephen Li (Environmental Coordinator substituting for Transportation City).


  • In June of 2020, community concerns led to Councillor Matlow passing Motion Decision 2020.TE15.1 (Item 9), through Community Council, which directed “Engineering and Construction Services, in consultation with Legal Services, to undertake a Review of the 2001 Council-approved remediation and the status of implementation, including, but not limited to the recovery wells along the south side of St. Clair Avenue Ave. West between Bathurst Street and Hilton Avenue.
  • In January of 2021, the ‘Review’ of the Council-approved remediation and status of implementation was received by Councillor Matlow’s Office in the form of a Memorandum prepared by City Staff Scott Pasternack (City Legal) and Rick Gibson (Manager Soil & Groundwater Quality). EG’s Chernin responded with a summary of questions including observations by Environmental Consultant Dr. Elizabeth Haack.  In their reply, she was once again directed to file a Freedom of Information Request not only from the City but on June 8th by the MECP whom she queried as well.   Citing inconsistencies in their reporting with respect to the nature and extent of contamination, Chernin advised more transparency and clarity was needed with respect to remediation efforts by Suncor.

Meeting Summary June 17th 2021

  • Councillor Matlow guided the proceedings keeping them balanced and informative.  His questions relating to Risk Assessment of properties to determine the connection between the completion of remediation—how a final Record of Site (RSC) figured into the building permit process and specifically when construction could start were crucial.  ‘A Record of Site condition summarizes the environmental condition of a property, based on the completion of environmental site assessments.
  • CLRA counsel Richard Macklin stated in response to the City Memorandum “Our main goal, in attending the Meeting, is to help build a path towards ultimately obtaining an objective, straightforward and scientifically supported answer, prior to the issuance of building permits, regarding the actual environmental risk posed by the proposed development at the Site”.  (1467 Bathurst Street).  Mr. Macklin queried the inconsistencies in the memo asking for an establishment of clear communication regarding the risk assessment process.
  • Through Mr. Macklin’s probing with the Toronto Building Representative, it became known that a conditional building permit can be granted by the City and that soil excavation for remediation can be done alongside construction development before an RSC is granted.
  • A desire for a public communication of the remediation status by Community attendees led to a proposed action where Councillor Matlow, with specific wording, could legally go directly to Suncor, the Developers and MECP to demand they provide monitoring reports and all material related to the remediation of 1467 Bathurst Street.
  • Dr. Dianne Saxe attended as an interested neighbour with questions of her own.  Dr. Saxe, an internationally recognized Canadian lawyer, was the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario from 2015-2019 and is current Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Ontario. Dr. Saxe was particularly concerned ‘that the City was not demanding more of Suncor and MECP with respect to the remediation and its progress” pushing for clearness on this issue.  She said, “In my view, neither the city nor the residents are safe in assuming these areas are clean unless proper data is disclosed”.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Haack, has been providing environmental consulting on contaminates sites for more than 15 years. She consistently supported efforts of EG by providing review of available documents and an impartial understanding of the technical aspects of those documents, pertaining to contamination associated with historical activities at 1467 Bathurst Street and adjacent sites.  During the meeting, Dr. Elizabeth Haack queried the City about groundwater wells located in the park, including some that have been relatively recently installed (2019) – suggesting ongoing investigation into contamination conditions in that area – and if results for those wells could be shared with the public to support the assertions from the MECP that there was no plume reaching the Park.
  • The one-hour meeting concluded with a better understanding of the City approach to privacy and release of information when there is third party involvement.  It laid the groundwork for Councillor Matlow, the CLRA and The Environmental Group to move forward with their actions:
  • Action June 21st Richard Macklin, acting as counsel for CLRA Casa Loma Residents Association, sent a letter to the owners of the site, Kingsett Capital and Canderel.   Suncor, still in charge of remediation for the northeast corner and adjacent properties, was also notified in the letter that the CLRA is engaged in a public consultation process with the City of Toronto and Councillor Matlow’s Office.  The letter stated “Our members are concerned about the potential for remaining contamination on public lands downgradient of 1467 Bathurst (the “Lands”), including roads, parkland and the ravine, and the potential for health and ecological risks.  Please provide us with copies of your current environmental data (including Risk Assessments and Monitoring Reports) pertaining to the Lands”.  Suncor and the site owners have not responded to the request as of this posting. 
  • Action June 24th Councillor Matlow took the initiative and passed a motion through Community Council on the 1467 Bathurst Street site requesting, “all relevant information relating to the contamination and remediation efforts to be made public.  I am also asking for the Chief Building Officer not to issue any building-related permits until the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has confirmed the safety on-site via the Record of Site Condition”.

The Environmental Group (EG) goals still remain:

    • To understand if the gasoline plume has been delineated and how far it has spread.  If necessary, insist an independent company be engaged to provide technical support to this understanding, with consent from the MECP engage with us and the public to find answers. Again, delineation activities can be undertaken by an independent company completed through the collection of environmental samples (soil, groundwater, soil vapour).
    • To employ more non-invasive strategies for remediation in place of excavation, which can often represent one of the less expensive options, but can have detrimental impact on soil and surrounding lands.  Other in-situ alternatives including soil vapour extraction and bioremediation techniques should be considered for breaking down environmental pollutants and ridding the area of contaminants. Giving the Community a firm idea of how long this will take, and any associated environmental risk, should be mandatory.
    • To have public consultation be part of the Risk Assessment process for the Developers with the support of the Ministry, such that any further movement towards an (RSC) Record of Site Condition is made with public consultation, awareness and understanding of the plans to remediate remaining contamination and mitigate risks to humans and the environment.

The Environmental Group applauds both actions taken by Councillor Matlow and the Casa Loma Residents Association. The input and opinions of Dr. Dianne Saxe and Dr. Elizabeth Haack not only provided knowledge but also motivation for EG to continue.  Perhaps, the work done here by the Community and Councillor Matlow’s office will set a precedent for increased engagement and transparency for communities to find out how they may be affected by the environmental cleanup of gas stations and other polluted sites.


Garden Suites Proposal Going to Committee June 28

A Proposals Report, including draft Garden Suite regulations, is going to the June 28, 2021 Planning and Housing Committee meeting. The draft regulations contained in the Proposals Report will form the basis for ongoing consultation. A Final Report with recommended rules and regulations is expected to be brought to the Planning and Housing Committee in the fall of 2021.

The Proposals Report is available HERE.  It is 52 pages long so here are some of the highlights:

  • Short-term rentals will only be permitted in Garden Suites if the Garden Suite is exclusively and separately occupied as a principal residence. (Toronto By-law)
  • Garden Suites will only be single units. Multi-unit Garden Suites are not contemplated at this time.
  • The location of a Garden Suite will be limited to the rear yard, behind the rear main wall of the principal residential building, to avoid the appearance of two dwellings located side-by-side on a single lot.
  • Maximum coverage is 40% of the rear yard for the Garden Suite, up to a maximum of 60 square meters.
  • The total area of all ancillary buildings and structures on the lot, including the Garden Suite, is proposed to not exceed 25% of the lot.
  • A maximum height of 4 meters where the Garden Suite is at least 5 meters from the main house, and up to 6 meters height, where the Garden Suite is at least 7.5 meters from the main house
  • The regulations recognize that not all lots may be able to support a Garden Suite and acknowledge that where larger lots may accommodate a larger suite, setbacks and step backs should increase proportionately to adequately limit impacts on adjacent properties.
  • On lots with a depth greater than 45 meters the minimum rear yard setback is the greater of half the height of the Garden Suite and 1.5 meters.
  • The minimum required side yard setback is the greater of either 0.6 meters or 10% of the lot frontage, up to a maximum of 3.0 meters. Where openings such as windows or doors are proposed, the minimum side yard setback is 1.5 meters. On a side lot line that abuts a street, the minimum setback is the same as the minimum required side yard setback for the existing house.
  • A minimum of 50% of a rear yard area, including the area covered by a Garden Suite, must be soft landscaping. Lots with a frontage of less than 6.0 meters will require a minimum of 25% soft landscaping.
  • Regulations require no vehicle parking space for a Garden Suite and maintain the required parking rates for the main house on the lot.

The M5R postal code which includes Casa Loma, the Annex and west of Yonge below the railway tracks to Bloor had one of the highest participation rates for the City’s Survey in March. Contact us if you would like to bring anything to the attention of the CLRA .  If you would like to communicate directly with the City, please contact:

David Driedger, Senior Planner, Community Planning
Tel. No. 416-392-7613



Committee Decision

The Planning and Housing Committee:

1. Requested the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning use the draft Garden Suite regulations presented within this report as the basis for further community and stakeholder consultation and technical review.

2. Requested the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning bring forward a final report detailing Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments to permit detached accessory dwelling units for residential properties not on a public lane (Garden Suites) to the Planning and Housing Committee Meeting in the fourth quarter of 2021.


Gypsy Moths and Boxwood Tree Moths


The Gypsy Moth is evident again this year in our neighbourhood.  The CLRA brought this to the attention of the City and learned there are no plans for spraying our neighbourhood this year.  The last spraying took place in June 2019.  Private arrangements with arborists are the only way to go this year.

Joel Harrison, a Forest Health Care Inspector with the City went through the Casa Loma area this week and saw some remnants of the Gypsy Moth population from 2019, but  he considered it still relatively low when compared to what is going on in some other parts of the city and the province.

We can’t ever eliminate Gypsy Moth, we can only hope to try to keep numbers low enough to reduce the damage that can happen to sensitive trees like oak.  There is no aerial spraying planned for this year but it isn’t too late to hire private tree companies to spray private trees if you feel it necessary.  For that you’d have until about mid-June.

Attached is a PDF guide with some other techniques that residents can do yearly to help reduce gypsy moth.

If you go to the City’s website:  then you can also drop points as to where you are seeing caterpillars and/or potential problems through this online reporting tool.  The City will use this data to delineate its surveys for Gypsy Moth eggs in the fall. This helps the City determine if populations are rising and if intervention is required.


The Box Tree Moth was detected in Toronto in August 2018.  In November 2018, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of box tree moth in an urban neighbourhood in Toronto. This is the first confirmed report of this pest in North America.  Damage to boxwood plants is caused by the larvae (caterpillars) feeding primarily on leaves and sometimes on the bark.  Infested plants are disfigured by the loss of leaves and by the webbing spun by the larvae.  Younger larvae feed by eating the lower surfaces of the leaves only, leaving the upper epidermis intact.  Older larvae feed inside the webbing and skeletonize the leaves, leaving only the midribs, and occasionally the outer margin intact.  Neighbours have had success treating these caterpillars with BTK.  Larvae are most susceptible to BTK when they are in the early developmental stages.  BTK has no known toxic effects on humans, other mammals, plants, birds, fish, or honeybees or other beneficial insects.  It is available at places like Home Hardware and Sheridan Nurseries.

St. Clair & Bathurst Development Update

The development at St. Clair & Bathurst (1467 Bathurst St. to be known going forward as 490 St. Clair Ave. West) has changed ownership to Canderel , a large condominium developer, and will be converted from rental units to condominium units.  KingSett Capital who previously had an ownership interest will now fulfill a lending role.  The project is about to move into the Planning Stage and the new owner is hoping to begin selling early in 2022.

The CLRA will continue to monitor the development to ensure none of the original concessions are lost and all environmental and traffic congestion issues will be addressed in the Planning Stage.


Reported by – The Real Estate News Exchange

Canderel buys $102M stake in 3-tower St. Clair condo project

Canderel is in, BentallGreenOak is out, and KingSett Capital has transitioned to a lending partner for a three-building condominium project in midtown Toronto.

KingSett and BentallGreenOak had plans for a three-tower development on a 1.91-acre site at the northeast corner of St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street, beside St. Michael’s College School, but Canderel recently paid $102.43 million for a 50 per cent stake in the property.  The deal took BentallGreenOak out of the picture and left KingSett remaining involved as a lender for the project, Canderel vice-president and chief operating officer Ben Rogowski told RENX in an exclusive interview.

“Our experience with KingSett and our reputation of following through on the commitments we make gave them comfort in trusting us, that we would get to the finish line,” said Rogowski.  “It certainly was a complicated process because of the nature of the property and the opportunity. It took some good teamwork on everyone’s behalf to get here.”

Montreal-headquartered Canderel acquires, develops and manages office, retail, industrial, residential and mixed-use real estate.  It was attracted to the St. Clair and Bathurst site because of its close proximity to three modes of public transit, a large grocery store, parks, restaurants and other amenities.

Plans for the St. Clair and Bathurst site

Canderel also likes what the site itself has to offer, with its 361 feet of frontage on St. Clair and 212 feet of frontage on Bathurst.

Zoning is already in place and there were plans for a 35-storey tower, two more of approximately 30 storeys and approximately 10,000 square feet of retail at grade spread across the three buildings.  There will be one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units in the BDP Quadrangle-designed buildings, with an opportunity for some much larger suites in one of them.

“There will be a range of units that will cater to the full spectrum of buyers out there,” said Rogowski.  “The beauty of a project like this is that you’ve got the opportunity to cater to everyone.”

There will also be a daycare centre and a seniors centre on the site as part of a Section 37 agreement with the City of Toronto, bringing the buildings’ total square footage to around 900,000, Rogowski added.

A park will be located on the southwest corner of the property and a privately owned, publicly accessible space will extend north from the park to the driveway between the property and St. Michael’s, which was the original owner of the site and had leased a portion of it to a gas station before selling in the previous decade.

“There will be some modest changes that you typically see in moving from a zoning approval to a site plan approval,” said Rogowski.  “But, we’re not proposing to change any of the material items.”

A site plan application will be submitted within a month and it’s anticipated sales will start in the first quarter of 2022.  Canderel would prefer to start construction as soon as possible after that, but it will depend on the project’s sales success.

“Ideally it’s one build-out, but we’ve got the ability to build it out in two phases if that’s what the market tells us,” said Rogowski.

The saga of 136 Lyndhurst Ave.

Report from the CLRA

The demolition and new build at 136 Lyndhurst Ave is an example of manipulating the City of Toronto’s heritage and planning process where an owner deceives to get exactly what they want, thus helping to destroy a unique heritage neighbourhood.

This is a continuation of the problematic development process that has occurred with this property.  The first chapter has been detailed on the CLRA web site.  In a nutshell, the owner of 136 Lyndhurst purchased a home that had been identified as a heritage home of interest within the Casa Loma Heritage Conservation District study along with a number of adjoining homes including a remarkable home at 134 Lyndhurst designed by Eden Smith, the famous Arts & Crafts architect active in Toronto at the turn of the last century.  This grouping of heritage homes formed the entrance to Lyndhurst Avenue adjacent to Lyndhurst Lodge on the way to Casa Loma itself.   However because the HCD study was not completed it left this home vulnerable to demolition.   The owner was aware of the significance of this home when he purchased the home and during meetings hosted by Councillor Matlow that included the owner, his architect and the President of the CLRA, they made it very clear they were aware of the inclusion within the HCD study but had absolutely no interest in preserving the home or even the front façade even though we shared with them an assessment by heritage architect Joan Burt  identifying the unique heritage aspects of the home including its special brick design over the windows.   136 Lyndhurst had an appropriate connection to the neighbouring properties to the south and north and all maintained similar setbacks and also protected privacy with respect to each other.

During the meetings with Councillor Matlow the owner asserted that they had come up with a planned modest contemporary home that would fit into the context of the street and neighbourhood and that further absolutely NO variances were being sought for the planned new home.   Accordingly upon presentation of their building permit plans seeking no variances they were granted a demolition permit on March 16, 2020.   The home was subsequently demolished and then the owner quickly submitted new building plans to modify the original plans that had been submitted in order to get the demolition permit.

On July 14, 2020 Jamie Atkinson, Zoning examiner for the City of Toronto issued a letter outlining 3 major deficiencies from the new plans that would require variance permission under the Committee of Adjustment.

The owner’s architect submitted plans in October 2020 to support the request for these three variances while building of the new home continued during this time without ANY notices to the community that variances were being requested so that the owner could obtain what he wanted and planned all along

For some reason, ONLY on April 30th was notice of the Committee of Adjustment meeting sent out to the neighbours for a COA hearing on May 11 – a full 10 months after the initial deficiency notice issued by the City’s zoning examiner!   The CLRA felt that the variances that were being sought would set a terrible precedent not only for the neighbours but the whole neighbourhood and also felt that this non transparent building process needed to be exposed – especially as the owner continued to build his building where he did not have the proper permissions.

The CLRA retained Alex Lusty from Davies Howe to act on our behalf and evaluate what principles should be presented to the COA and what processes were apparently being circumvented.   The CLRA submitted a letter to the Committee of Adjustment on May 4th, 2021 and together with our counsel tried to fully understand why it had taken 10 months for this to get to the Committee of Adjustment and exactly what were the nature of the variances being sought.

Only upon exhaustive investigations with numerous building officials were we told that a modified building permit had been recently granted on March 15th to permit the increase in the wall heights to the south and north thus permitting the high flat roof and floor to ceiling windows peering down on the adjoining property to the south and dramatically changing the character of this home in contrast to the neighbourhood.   After a full year and half of this project even the neighbours weren’t aware of what the owner was planning!

Eventually we found out just before the COA hearing that there was an obscure election zoning by law exemption available to the owner – either get the height of the side walls increased or the rear walls – but NOT both – it’s an election. The owner elected to have the exemption apply to the side walls and then went to the COA to get the exemption for the rear walls – thus asking for both when this was clearly not the intention of the bylaw.

During the COA hearing the architect for the owner only talked to the rear variance and the additional variance to build an underground storage room for which the CLRA had no issues.   He did not even address the third variance that was officially part of the COA notice and stemmed from the July 14th 2020 zoning deficiency notice and simply said that both of these variances identified on the notice applied to the rear walls – which was completely false and inaccurate.   Our counsel tried to point out that the process was unfair and should require rejection of the application since there was a clear inconsistency between what the applicant was asking for and submitting and what the official notice described.   Unfortunately the COA simply ignored any of the points submitted by our counsel and also by Kerry Wood, a resident across the street who pointed out that this home was being constructed against the zoning processes and policies established that others have diligently followed.

This whole file is problematic on so many levels and sets a terrible precedent that heritage and zoning by laws don’t matter if you have enough money and can hire professionals who will simply figure out how to circumvent the process.

Accordingly it’s really important that the CLRA step in to supervise these kinds of applications that threaten to destroy the unique character of our neighbourhood and also allow neighbours to seriously infringe on the property rights and enjoyment of their properties.

Everyone should know and be aware that the CLRA will vigorously protect the heritage of the Casa Loma area, one of the City’s very few acknowledged heritage districts as well as the spirit and letter of the zoning by laws designed to create a level playing field that balance owners’ rights with the rights of neighbours and the whole community.

The CLRA has filed an appeal of the COA decision to TLAB.


July 14th 2020 letter from City of Toronto zoning examiner

May 4, 2021 – CLRA letter submission to the Committee of Adjustment


Backyard Garden Suites – City of Toronto Survey

The City of Toronto has initiated a process to develop policies and zoning rules to permit “Garden Suites” to be built city wide in the backyards of homes on lots that are not next to a public lane, subject to a range of criteria to be decided.

A “Garden Suite” is a second, generally smaller, house built in the backyard of a detached, semi-detached, or townhouse property.

The City hopes these new homes will provide affordable rentals and homes for grown children and aging parents. Note that this project is distinct from Laneway Suites of up to two storeys that have been allowed, subject to permit, since 2019 in the backyards of homes on lots that are next to a public lane.

The City has just released a survey to explore your opinions and concerns about new backyard houses in the Casa Loma neighbourhood and other neighbourhoods in the city. The srvey should be submitted by April 30th.

A link to the survey is below.

BEFORE YOU RESPOND TO THE SURVEY, the City has asked us to consider:

  • Would you like to build a small home in your back yard for family or to rent out?
  • Would you like your neighbours to build a small home in their backyard?
  • How high and how large will Garden Suites be?
  • How would a one or two storey building on, or adjacent to, your backyard affect: your garden, your sunshine, your privacy, light intrusion at night or noise from AC and residents?
  • Should short term rentals (such as Airbnb) be allowed?
  • What obligation should there be for a person building a Garden Suite to consult with adjacent neighbours before they build?
  • Where would the residents in Garden Suites park their cars?
  • How will the construction of these new homes affect the tree cover, green space, and water drainage in your neighbourhood?
  • Will emergency access to these new Garden Suites and existing homes be adequate?
  • Will Garden Suites trigger re-evaluations and property tax changes impacting affordability in the long term for property owners who are not interested in constructing a Garden Suite?
  • How many additional units are possible across the City and what effects might these have on the City’s infrastructure such as police and fire services, sewer, water, parks, schools, etc.?


The Garden Suites Survey is the first step in the City collecting information from the public about the opportunities and limitations of Garden Suites in neighbourhoods across the City. By responding to the Survey you can help define the rules and regulations for Garden Suites. We ask all our residents to complete the survey.


Please do so when you can allocate about 20 minutes to complete the survey.

If you would like to be send comments and/or be kept informed by David Driedger, the City’s Lead Planner for the Garden Suites Project, you can be placed on the City’s email distribution list     

UPDATE April 22, 2021

The City is hosting a series of virtual community consultation meetings where you can learn more, ask questions, and share your comments about Garden Suites.

Date: Tuesday May 11, 2021 – Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Date: Wednesday May 12, 2021 – Time: 1 pm – 3 pm

Date: Thursday May 13, 2021 – Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

You can register for the meetings HERE

Proposed Self-Storage Building

The CLRA has prepared a critique of the proposed 9 storey self-storage building proposed for the lands centered where the coin wash is located on Bathurst St. just north of Dupont (1109 Bathurst St.). We are concerned that it will discourage, if not sterilize, the whole front part of Dupont in that area and the streets surrounding it from future residential intensification. This will be Canada’s tallest self-storage building upon completion. Raising 9 storeys and encompassing 160,000 sq. ft.

Some points raised in our critique:

  • The 20 meter north portion of the property (Part 2) is zoned IC industrial and allows for a self-storage building but only to a maximum height of 14 meters (45.9 feet). This would be similar in size to the self-storage building at 1120 Dupont St. which is within the industrial section of Dupont St.
  • This property is not included within the Dupont Street Regeneration study and does not merit receiving any of the accommodations that were provided to the sites along Dupont.
  • Any building that is built along the rail line can be expected to have significant impact on reflected rail noise to the long-established residential communities to the north.
  • The extra height and controls that were negotiated for properties fronting on Dupont were intended to create mixed use including residential and new types of employment critical to Toronto

The CLRA has been engaged with residents on Austin Crescent and Lyndhurst Court as well as the Tarragon Residents Association and the Annex Residents Association to take our concerns to Councillors Matlow and Layton before the Application is submitted to the Toronto & East York Council. The CLRA critique can be obtained HERE. Documents filed with the City related to the application can be accessed HERE.


Excerpted from the Draft Position Statement of The Annex Residents Association (‘ARA’)

April 19, 2021

This first Project Position Statement – prepared after the Project Review Meeting on 9 March, 2021, will be updated as the City processes the development application. This Statement, and the views expressed in it, are presented by ARA ‘without prejudice’ to any legal actions arising in the course of the City’s review and possible appeals.

Brief Description of Project

The development application by Talus is for a nine-storey self storage facility on the northern part of the block between Dupont and the CPR line, and Bathurst and Albany. The application is for a Zoning Bylaw Amendment and Site Plan Approval. An Official Plan Amendment (OPA) is not necessary as it conforms to the OPA arising from the Dupont Visioning Study in which ARA was heavily involved.

Since the Dupont study and resulting OPA and Zoning Bylaws did not anticipate any free-standing facilities in the General Employment Area stretching 20 m south of the railway corridor, the applicant is asking to amend the zoning to: 1) extend the General Employment Area designation 10.5 m south into the Mixed Use zone abutting Dupont (their site stretches ~30 m south from the corridor boundary); and 2) extend the height limit of the southern Mixed Use zone to the rail corridor boundary to allow for a 9-storey (~35 m) building. The proposed building will have an entrance off Bathurst Street and an exit onto Albany Street.

Planning Context:

The project site is immediately to the west of the nine-storey Bianca condominium under construction and immediately south of the CP Rail Corridor.

The site is subject to the 2016 mediated Ontario Municipal Board settlement on Official Plan Amendment (OPA) through a Site and Area Specific Policy (SASP) for the north side of Dupont between Kendall and Ossington, resulting from the Dupont Visioning Study that ARA spearheaded in 2011. This Planning Context has a major bearing on ARA’s positions on projects along Dupont as it supported the mediated settlement.

1109 Bathurst St.


Architect’s Rendering Looking North East

ARA’s Issues, including Possible Impacts:

  • Massing + Form: Community members and nearby residents have expressed concern with the height and size of the building.
    • height(s): Nine-storeys (32.3 meters).
    • form: There are multiple concerns re: form, including height, massiveness, lack of step backs, lack of floor level expression, arbitrary alignment of exterior decorative panels, location of interior staircase, lack of staircase glazing, and lack of a pleasing proportional relationship between the top two stories and the rest of the building.
    • views: There is a negative impact on views from the north, including the planned Green Line.
    • materiality: Material choices need further consideration. All four sides need to be treated consistently.
  • Streetscape + Public Realm
    • Setbacks: The lack of a setback on the south is a major issue.
    • Facades: All four facades need to be reconsidered in terms of their articulation. See comments under Massing + Form.
  • Environment + Resilience
  • shadows and shade: There is concern about shadow to the north and south.
  • noise avoidance and mitigation: The impact of noise/ vibration from trains (CP Rail) is being investigated.
  • tree cover/shade: There is a concern about loss of trees and/ or tree cover.
  • Movement
  • vehicular circulation: There is concern about the exit of vehicles onto Albany Street.
  • Community Benefits:
    • these have not yet been discussed publicly and likely will not be until the re-submission in response to written comments from Planning that have already been provided. ARA will then raise the following possible benefits with the Councillor and community members:
  • affordable housing
  • facilities for
    • children
    • teenagers
    • seniors
    • families
    • vulnerable persons
    • newcomers
      • parks and open spaces
      • environmental and resilience improvements



The proposed building will curtail the future development of the southern part of the block since the developer is allowed to build up to the southern lot line with no setback requirement.

The proposed building will have a negative impact on views from residential areas to the north as it will present as a massive form with minimal surface articulation. The proposed building will also have a negative impact on those using the planned Green Line as it will cast shadows on the linear park and could be experienced as a menacing blank wall.

Also, there is concern about reflected noise to the north.

As part of our environmental commitment, the ARA would like to support alternative modes of transportation, particularly for short trips. We would like the new Self Storage facility to prioritize bike, e-bikes, and bike trailers as preferred transportation vehicles for customers and act as an anchor to provide the community with e-bikes for community renting or borrowing.

ARA recommends that (1) the building be reduced to six storeys (including mechanical) and (2) the south elevation step back above the first floor.

In written comments, Planning (Jason Tsang) has suggested that the building height be reduced to eight storeys – or more – and that there be step backs on the north and south elevations. Although these are positive suggestions, height remains an issue and the need for a step back above the first floor on the south elevation remains to be addressed.

Site Plan Control has not yet been formally addressed, although some suggestions have been made. SPC will proceed after the rezoning is decided at TEYCC; P+D has asked that the community be consulted in the Site Plan review process.

To comment on this interim Project Position Statement, please email David Sisam, Member of ARA’s Planning and Development Committee, at: .

Clearing of Leaves by Road Operations

The City’s Road Operations Department began clearing our streets of leaves on Saturday as arranged with the CLRA. They removed leaves from Lyndhurst Ave., Lyndhurst Court, Austin Terrace, Austin Crescent and part of Wells Hill. On Monday they will finish Wells Hill and remove leaves from Hilton, Melgund, Nina, Walmer and Castleview.

Bagged leaves will be picked up separately on Tuesday November 17th under the 2020 waste collection schedule.

Where possible, please do not park on streets to be cleared on Monday so that the removal will be as complete as possible.

We do not know if there will be another removal of leaves from the streets this year. Please use yard waste bags from this point on. There is one additional scheduled pickup of bagged leaves on Tuesday December 1st.

Leaves, Snow and a Community Forum


The CLRA has asked the City to clear our streets of leaves which have now been accumulating for some time. The City therefore will be sending in a crew to remove leaves from our streets early morning this SATUDAY NOVEMBER 14th. To facilitate the leaf removal, and where possible, residents are asked to remove their vehicles from the streets.

Please pass this information along to your neighbours.


One of our residents on Walmer Rd. brought to our attention the petition organized by Councillor Josh Matlow to assist him in getting City Council approval to improve the snow clearing of sidewalks in downtown neighbourhoods like ours where the sidewalks are not being cleared to the same standards as other neighbourhoods in Toronto. You can assist him in getting this addressed by signing his petition at


Councillor Matlow will also be hosting an online community safety forum to provide an opportunity for residents to ask important questions to the Toronto Police Service and City of Toronto staff from Fire Services, Social, Development, Finance and Administration, Shelter Support and Housing Administration, the Community Crisis Response Team, Municipal Licensing and Standards and Transportation Services.

DATE: Tuesday, November 24th 2020

TIME: 6:30pm-8:30pm

The link to this forum will be posted on at 6pm on November 24th, i.e. 30 minutes before the start time.

The format will not show any of the attendees, only your voice will be recorded if you wish to ask a question or make a comment.


Please pass on to us () any matters you would like us to address or any ideas we can bring to our neighbours. We can help each other and accomplish more together.

Red Light Camera at Bathurst & Nina

We have been informed by Josh Matlow’s office that a RED LIGHT CAMERA will be installed at Bathurst and Nina before the end of November.

A red light camera is a type of traffic enforcement camera that captures an image of a vehicle which has entered an intersection in spite of the traffic signal indicating red (during the red phase).

Generally, the camera is triggered when a vehicle enters the intersection (passes the stop-bar) after the traffic signal has turned red.

The set fine for running a red light detected by a camera system is $260, plus a $60 victim surcharge and a $5 court cost. The total payable is $325.

The RED LIGHT CAMERA at Bathurst and Nina has been a project of the CLRA for a few years. It will be the third camera in our area. The others are located at St. Clair and Spadina and Bathurst and Davenport.

We have also been informed that the traffic signals at Bathurst and Melgund will become active this Friday, November 6th.

Don Alfonso 1890 at Casa Loma

Liberty Entertainment Group (LEG) recently re-opened Don Alfonso 1890 as a “POP-UP” restaurant in the Conservatory of Casa Loma.  The high-end restaurant, which opened in the Financial District in 2018, closed following government pandemic mandates on March 19.   In mid-August, LEG announced they would close for good as its location in the Consumers Gas Building on Toronto St. was bought by a foreign company that plans on turning it into a condo.

The new temporary home inside Casa Loma seats 60 guests, arranged to meet the government’s social distance requirements.   The Conservatory has traditionally been used as a wedding venue, accommodating 90 guests for a seated dinner or 150 for a standing reception.

Activity at the castle is down considerably because of Covid.  The POP-UP restaurant will bring back some employment and shouldn’t make a noticeable difference to the traffic, noise  and congestion that has  been the case at Casa Loma in the past.

The CLRA is concerned about the possibility of this POP-UP restaurant becoming a permanent fixture in the Stables building at some point in the future when life after Covid returns to normal.  We have brought this concern to our Councillor Josh Matlow.  At this point, LEG has raised with the city (Economic Development and Culture) the notion of a restaurant on the “north campus” but discussions have not yet begun as the City has indicated several initial research steps need to be taken first such as compliance with zoning, building envelope capacity and heritage.  The City has assured us that we will be fully consulted before any decisions are made or even any significant action is taken, and then if the idea is advanced any further than a general idea, there would be further consultations on specific matters such as design, traffic, etc.

Our Councillor’s office is following up on the lease review process for the Stables that has been stalled due to the pandemic. Once they have any news on that (and/or the restaurant), a meeting will be held with the CLRA.

The CLRA strongly feels that no restaurant or other type of permanent establishment should be installed on this property given that the Stables and other structures north of Austin Terrace are wholly within an established residential area and that this area is already disrupted by traffic exiting onto Walmer Rd. from the stables.   We have asked our Councillor to have the City incorporate our position into any discussions they will have with  LEG or other party related to the lease and use of the Stables and other properties north of Austin Terrace.

We will be following developments closely and keep you informed.


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