Casa Loma Residents Association

Heritage Neighbourhood • Vibrant and Strong Community

Bathurst / St. Clair Development – Community Consultation Meeting Dec 4th

KingSett Capital, the developer of the former Petro Canada gas station land at 1467 Bathurst St. (Bathurst & St. Clair ; also referred to as the St. Mike’s land)  has prepared a revised proposal for this property consisting of two 30 storey towers on top of a 5 to 8 storey base building and a 35 storey stand-alone building.  Proposed are 866 residential units, 1,561 square meters of retail space and 898 vehicular and 879 bicycle parking spaces in a 5 level underground garage. Also included in the proposal is a 772 square meter park at the southwest corner of the site, a 575 square meter privately owned publicly-accessible space, a 650 square meter daycare facility, widened public sidewalks, mid-block pedestrian connections and retail along both street frontages.

In its Revised Plans the Developer is said to have considered the feedback heard from those who attended the public consultation and working group meetings over the past couple of years. One missing piece will be the Traffic Management and Mitigation Plan approved by City Council on October 29th.

Our Councilor Josh Matlow  recognizes that this is a transformational project for the community and therefore it’s important that your feedback and vision guides him and the City Planning staff before any decisions are made on this development. That is why he is holding a public meeting on:

Date:    Wednesday,  December 4, 2019

Time:

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Open House

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Presentations

7:30 – 8:30 pm – Roundtable Discussions

Place:    Forest Hill Jewish Centre, 360 Spadina Rd.

At this meeting you can learn more about this application, ask questions and share your comments.

Relevant Documents

Architectural Plans Nov 26, 2019

Draft Zoning Bylaw Amendment

Hydrogeological Report

Landscape and Lighting Plans

Portal to Development Application (City of Toronto Folder)

Traffic Management and Mitigation Plan (TMMP) requested for St. Clair & Bathurst development and intensification

Led by resident and CLRA member, Barbara Chernin and supported by the CLRA, the Toronto and East York Council unanimously passed a motion by Councillor Josh Matlow on October 10th to request a comprehensive Traffic Management and Mitigation Plan for the St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street Planning Framework Area.  Now that it has been passed by the Community Council, it will be considered by City Council on October 29, 2019.

This initiative is timely as the developer of the old gas station property at Bathurst & St. Clair is expected to present his application for 3 rental apartment towers and a seven storey podium this fall.

Josh Matlow’s Motion to Toronto and East York Council Meeting

Re: Developing a Traffic Management & Mitigation Plan for the St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street Planning Framework Area

Dear Chair and Members,

The area of the St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street Planning Framework has seen an increase in development applications in past years.  We are anticipating further intensification in this area, which has spurred concern from local residents about the cumulative impact this will have on the community.  Residents have raised concerns over traffic management, noise controls, air quality, truck traffic and overall road safety, which is why I am requesting the development of a comprehensive Traffic Management & Mitigation Plan for the area.

I believe it is imperative to take a proactive approach in minimizing disruption and promoting safety in the community.  This necessitates a coordinated effort by several City divisions to assess current conditions and make informed recommendations as to a focused and productive approach to these concerns.

RECOMMENDATIONS

It is recommended that:

  1. City Council request the Director, Transportation Services, Toronto and East York District, in co-operation with other relevant City divisions, to develop a Traffic Management & Mitigation Plan for the area of the St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street’s Planning Framework, including but not limited to: a. Traffic management in light of increasing density in the area; b. Construction staging coordination and management that would not impact the public right-of-way for development construction purposes; c. Construction and related noise monitoring and enforcement to be coordinated by Transportation Services and Municipal Licensing & Standards divisions;
  2. Ensure coordination between development construction sites to minimize impacts of truck traffic in the area and ensure compliance with the truck prohibitions on local streets in the area; e. Coordinate with relevant stakeholders, divisions and agencies, to do air quality studies and ensure mitigation of any additional construction-related pollution to the area.

Sincerely,

Councillor Josh Matlow Ward 12, Toronto – St. Paul’s


UPDATE

City Council approved the Traffic Management & Mitigation Plan for the area of the St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street’s Planning Framework on October 29th, 2019

Wells Hill Ave. road re-construction nears completion

The road, sidewalk, and sewer re-construction of Wells Hill Ave. between Lyndhurst Ave. and St. Clair Ave. West is nearing completion. The sewers, roadbed and reconfiguration of the intersection where Wells Hill Ave., Melgund Road and Lyndhurst Ave. meet has been completed. The rebuilt sidewalk on the west side and the new sidewalk on the east side should be completed this week. Asphalt is scheduled to be laid the week of October 21st, weather permitting.

This section of the road, which is the main entrance to our neighbourhood and which accommodates traffic heading to Bathurst St. southbound, has always been of concern to area residents because of the blind curve.  It will likely be more hazardous going forward as the road has been narrowed to 20 feet at the curve to accommodate the new sidewalk on the east side.

Wells Hill northbound approaching curve

Wells Hill northbound at curve

Wells Hill southbound

Any traffic that stops on the curve will risk a rear end collision and possibly there will be a head-on collision if a car attempting to pass collides with a car coming from the opposite direction.

Winter snow clearing will be a challenge as snow will either be pushed to the side, making passing impossible or on to the sidewalk making it risky for pedestrian traffic.

Last February the CLRA opposed the location of a daycare at the curve pending a traffic and safety review. There were also 20 written submissions from area residents in opposition,  Our position will be the same if the application is re-submitted to the Committee of Adjustment following this narrowing of the road.

September Meeting with Casa Loma Management

The CLRA organized a meeting with Casa Loma Management (Pat Di Donato and George Briggs) on Friday September 20th to review this summer’s activities at the castle and for an update on the forthcoming Legends of Horror month.  Slavisa Mijatovic from Councillor Matlow’s office and officers from the City’s By-law Enforcement Department attended as well.  We were informed that Chris Papadopoulos who was our regular contact at the castle recently left for a new opportunity in Montreal.

It was noted that there were fewer complaints about noise from the castle this summer from our residents.  Management reported that attendance seems to have leveled out between 800-1000 and there were no nights like last year where the castle reached capacity.  Events in the Pavillion will stop at the end of September.  There was also an improvement in traffic flow as Uber and taxi drivers are getting more used to the designated pick-up/drop-off area in the east parking lot, including this designation now in the Uber app.  Use of the south entrance at the corner of Davenport and Walmer was explored but it was decided that the pathway from that entrance has safety issues.  There was no progress on the reconfiguration of the visitor’s parking lot as it is still being used in part as a staging area for equipment and materials being used for the reconstruction of the Stable wall.  This work is expected to be finished by this fall.  We were told that the design of the parking lot would not allow for collection of fees on exit and that the option of self-serving parking payment machines was still under study.   Removing the traffic bottleneck caused by collecting payment on entry remains one of our priorities and has been supported by the TMMP study.  [Note we are still waiting on the next TMMP report which we expect before year-end].  There has also been no progress in bringing public transit options to the front page of the Casa Loma website.  Pat Di Donato took note of this.  Note was also made by the by-law enforcement officers of the ice cream truck with its loud generator which parks well beyond the one hour parking limit on Walmer Rd.

The Legends of Horror event will take place between September 27th and October 31st this year except for September 30, October 1, October 7 & October 8.  Like in previous years the last timed entry will be at 11 PM with exit after Midnight.

Exit sign on Walmer Rd.

A security guard has been hired to move people along as they exit the stables to Walmer Rd.  We have asked that the last timed entry be no later than 10 PM next year. Casa Loma has a number of security people on sight and are working to improve their training on crowd and traffic management.  There has been a problem in relying on Paid Duty police officers as they do not always respond to job postings and sometimes commit and do not show up.  We again asked our Councillor’s office to secure regular police presence, like other major public facilities that attract large crowds, especially where alcohol is involved.  We expect a follow-up on this matter but as the police department does not report to City Council, it may take some time.

There was no update on the Stables lease negotiations. Both Casa Loma and our Councillor’s Office know of the CLRA’s interest in being kept informed.  We want to have input into any expansion of the Stables use.

The CLRA welcomes comments and suggestions from area residents affected by noise, traffic and parking issues related to Casa Loma.  We are currently working with residents on Walmer Rd. to determine what changes residents may want to the On-Street Permit Parking times.  [Walmer Rd. Survey.]

Please direct your comments and suggestions to

On-Street Parking – Castleview Ave. and Walmer Rd.

Castleview Ave.

On October 10th Toronto and East York Community Council will be approving changes to On-Street Parking on Castleview Ave. as petitioned by residents of the street.

On-Street Permit Parking will now apply to the hours of 12:01 AM to 10 AM and 6 PM to 8 PM, 7 days a week.  In addition, a one hour parking maximum will be effective all other times.

Walmer Rd.

A Survey of residents on Walmer Rd. is also underway, led by resident Dale Joffe, to determine what residents of that street want in the way of changes to the existing On-Street Parking Permit regime.  On-Street Parking Permit hours have historically been slightly different than those on Castleview Ave.  Residents of Walmer Rd. have chosen 3 options for consideration:

  1. On-Street Parking Permits required 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  2. On-Street Parking Permits required between the hours of 2:00 AM and 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.
  3. Retain current hours of 2:00 AM to 10:00 AM, 7 days a week.

The CLRA is supporting local residents in these initiatives.  On-Street Parking Permits and one hour parking restrictions are tools to restrict Casa Loma visitors from parking on these streets and assist Traffic Control, Police Services in managing a tag and tow parking violation policy.

City releases plans for new Green Line

City Parks has released a blueprint for a five km-long connected park and open space to be called the Green Line.

By connecting existing parks, parcels that are available to become parkland and pathways, the Green Line will open up an attractive walking corridor between our neighbourhood and the Corso Italia neighbourhood on St. Clair just west of Earlscourt Park.

One of the connections is the stretch along the hydro corridor between Bathurst and Spadina Rd. which is currently used as parking lots for George Brown College and visitors to Casa Loma. The plan shows an attractive upgrading of the sidewalk in front of the parking lots.

 

This is a 10 year project that is expected to begin next year.

FULL REPORT

TLAB Overturns COA decision on 369 Walmer Rd.

On Feb 13th the Committee of Adjustment denied a developer’s application to build a four plex (2 semi-detached duplexes on 2 lots) in place of the existing single lot at 369 Walmer Rd.    Several neighbours, the Casa Loma Residents Association and Councillor Josh Matlow opposed this proposed development which is inconsistent with the character of Walmer Rd.   The stretch of Walmer Rd. north of Castleview Ave. consists of 33 single detached buildings, 4 semi-detached buildings, 2 single detached that have been repurposed as 3 unit apartments in the interior with no change to the exterior and 3 buildings purpose built decades ago as multiple unit.   These latter 3 buildings are consistent with the streetscape; two are accessed by one front door and the third is accessed only by side doors. (Click here to review data prepared by the CLRA).

Over three days of hearings in July, the Toronto Local Appeal Board heard the arguments by legal counsel representing the developer, its Planner and arborist.   On the fourth day of hearings , before the CLRA and neighbourhood parties opposing the development had an opportunity to present their arguments, the TLAB Member directed the parties to enter into a settlement agreement.   He had made up his mind that the development would proceed; all that was left was to agree on some modifications to make the development more palatable to the community.

The four plex destined for 369 Walmer Rd. is out of character with the street and establishes a very dangerous precedent for our neighbourhood.   The four residential units of about 2500 sq. ft. each to be built on this lot, and likely to be registered as 4 condominiums with 12 bedrooms, needed 12 variances to the relevant bylaw dealing with among others the width of the front lot, size, depth and height of building.   The development required a severance of the lot into two lots.   The front width of one of the 2 lots will be only 6.99 meters. (369 Walmer and the lots adjacent to the north and south have frontages of 15.24 meters).   The depth of the building, as proposed and measured from the front lot line, would exceed that permitted under the bylaw by 50%. (20.92 meters compared to the permitted 14 meters).

These variances were deemed by the Member to not be material.   He favoured the developer’s proposal as being consistent with the objective of more densification in the city which is a goal of the Provincial Policy Statement and the Toronto Official Plan.   He rejected the overwhelming evidence that it is not consistent with the Walmer Rd. streetscape.

The settlement agreement secured some changes to the building.   The front of the building will have only 2 doors (a double door) instead of 4 and will be of an architectural style more compatible with the street.

369 Walmer – Original Proposed Frontage

 

Architectural design for revised frontage.

Other changes include moving the structure 3 meters forward from the rear to reduce the impact on the neighbour’s back yard to the south. The front porch will be narrowed by 1.3 meters and the building length by 0.4 meters resulting in a net move forward of the front wall by 1.3 meters. The net result is the building depth will now be only 18.32 meters or 30% greater than that allowed. The width of the rear balconies on the second and third floors will be reduced by 1.1 meters.   A fence and driveway curb will be built to separate the driveway for the four plex from the adjacent driveway on the south and landscaping will hide the above ground basement windows in the front of the house.

Our takeaway is that we need a strengthening of the bylaws applicable to our neighbourhood to protect us in the future from small frontages being created and from intensification that will ultimately destroy the character of our streets. We believe that this is also understood by Councillor Matlow who has proposed a meeting with us to review, address, obtain feedback and ultimately implement bylaw changes required to protect the integrity of our neighbourhood from inappropriate development. We look forward to this engagement with our elected representative and the City Planning department. The TLAB decision for 369 Walmer Rd. is our wake-up call.

 

 

 

 

 

Speed Reader Request for Spadina Rd.

Image of a mobile watch your speed display sign

The CLRA has requested the installation of a Speed Reader on Spadina Rd. on the stretch of road south of St. Clair Ave. W. and Castleview Ave. where residents have noticed frequent speeding above the posted 40 KPH limit.   A permanent Speed Reader is only available within a school zone under the City’s Watch Your Speed Program (WYSP).   Therefore we have applied for the alternative of a Mobile Speed Reader which like a permanent one is installed on a hydro or light pole but only for 2 to 3 weeks at a time. We can reapply more than once a year.

_______________________________

Follow-up

The first Speed Reader was installed on September 16th. We hope the first of many.

 

Casa Loma Golf Classic scheduled for Saturday Sept 21

The annual Casa Loma Golf Classic will be held this year at the Tangle Creek Golf and Country Club on Saturday Sept 21st.  Further information and sign up is on our website under EVENTS.

Effort to improve landscape maintenance at Art Installation

You might have been wondering about the sorry state of upkeep for the public art installation designed by Dan Young and Christian Giroux at Bathurst and Vaughan.

Original plan for “Three Points Where Two Lines Meet” 2018

We have learned that a neighbouring residents association, the Connaught Lonsmount Area Ratepayers Association, led by Jon Soules, Ann Percival and Howard Katz, has been doing some weeding and upkeep and has been following up with city officials to address this situation permanently. They have reported to the City the following:

Weed infested landscaping Summer 2019

The entire area is choked with weeds and the north end is infested with bindweed, which is really unfortunate as it is very hard to get rid of once its roots have taken hold. It’s only a matter of time before the whole triangle is strangled, including the structure. The remaining grasses (possibly 60% of the original planting) are in rough shape – they are meant to be in a dry environment, and not kept damp by the vigorous weeds that are crowding around them.  This is a case of deferred minor maintenance resulting in much more serious maintenance needs.  It is not a cost effective approach.

 In addition, a hydro box was located in the triangle after the art installation. They have asked that art work be applied to it and also messaging about the  art sculpture  and its artists, not unlike other hydro boxes in the city.

The response from the City has been extremely slow but the City’s Public Art Officer, Catherine Dean, has promised to follow-up on the maintenance issues so we are hopeful that the area will be cleaned up in the near term and a permanent landscaping maintenance plan put in place.

The Connaught Lonsmount Area Ratepayers Association took leadership here. If you are interested in helping with the maintenance of public spaces within the CLRA boundaries, beyond but including the Clean Toronto Together initiative each spring, please let us know at our general meeting this fall.

Wells Hill closed at St. Clair Ave for Construction

Wells Hill Ave. between Melgund Rd. and St. Clair Ave will be closed to through traffic for 2 ½ months for sidewalk, road and sewer repair and  the construction of a sidewalk on the east side of the street. There will be no entry from St. Clair Ave or exit to St. Clair Ave starting this morning.

The intersection of Wells Hill Ave., Lyndhurst Ave. and Melgund Rd. will also be reconfigured as shown on the map below.

_____________________________________________________

UPDATE: October 10, 2019

Work is nearly finished. The cement foundation and curbs for the road should be finished by October 11th.  Sidewalks on both sides and the “island” at Melgund/Wells Hill/Lyndhurst are scheduled to be completed next week.  Paving will take place the week of October 21st., weather permitting

 

Red Light Camera will improve safety On Bathurst Street at Nina

Last year the CLRA was instrumental in getting a 4 way red light at Bathurst  St. and Nina to give pedestrians a head start in crossing a very busy stretch of Bathurst Street.  This was especially important as this is the main crossing point for students on the west side of Bathurst St. to get to Hillcrest School and Community Centre.  Councillor Josh Matlow is now working for us to have a red light camera installed on Bathurst St. at this intersection. His expectation is that the legal and technical process will be completed and red light camera installed by next year.  In all cases, pedestrians are advised to cross Bathurst Street from the south side of Nina; Bathurst St. narrows at Nina Street, leaving pedestrians waiting on the north/east corner vulnerable to a fast moving car not adjusting in time to the narrowing of Bathurst St. at this intersection.

Casa Loma Traffic Management Drop-in Event July 2

A drop-in event is being held by the City and its consultants WSP Global to present their recommendations for improving traffic management around Casa Loma. This study (the Casa Loma Transportation Management and Mitigation Plan “TMMP”) was initiated in August 2018. Their recommendations have considered input from the public consultation process of November 2018, including input from members of the Casa Loma Residents Association.

DROP-IN EVENT

Tuesday July 2, 2018

6-8 pm

Archives Building, 255 Spadina Road

 

The TMMP recommendations that will be presented on Tuesday for your consideration are:

Liberty Entertainment Group related

 

  1. Improve the Casa Loma website and tourist information materials to highlight public transportation, parking and walking options. (Evergreen Brickworks website referenced as a good example).
  2. Modify parking payment method (pay and display, pay at exit, mobile payment).
  3. Repaint paving markings in parking lot to reduce driver confusion.
  4. Improve efficiency of current parking area to increase supply.
  5. Improve lighting in parking areas.
  6. Formalize visitor parking in the coach bus lot (east parking lot) in the evening period when coach parking is not required and improve direction signage.
  7. Formalize PUDO (Pick up Drop off) in the coach parking lot with permanent and improved signage
  8. Provide PUDO information to rideshare companies and taxi drivers through outreach program.

City related

 

  1. Improve signage/wayfinding for transit users and pedestrians
  2. Offer formal bicycle parking
  3. Improve wayfinding to George Brown College Bridgman parking lots
  4. Enhance advertisement of alternative parking at George Brown Bridgman parking lots.
  5. Construct sidewalk on north side of Austin Terrace and establish visitor crossing signage (but not a formal Crosswalk)

The CLRA appreciates the first steps already taken by Liberty Entertainment Group which has improved traffic flow this year, including temporary PUDO signage and the contracting for private traffic control officers at both parking entrances for major events. The CLRA will also be helping organize in July a local residents group on Walmer Rd. and Castleview to address specifically Permit and No Parking options for those streets.

We encourage you to attend the public drop-in event to meet with City and WSP personnel. Please give us your feedback and ideas by email so that together we can work with the City and Liberty Entertainment Group to ensure improvements are made to the traffic and parking situation around Casa Loma.

St. Clair West & Bathurst/Vaughan Planning Framework Report

The Toronto Planning Department released its Planning Framework for the Bathurst / St. Clair area on June 21st. This report followed public consultations on April 11, May 4 and May 13. The Framework envisages the area as a “Village” that includes new public spaces and walk/bike ways , retail shops with narrow store frontages along St. Clair and Vaughan Rd.,  more greenery (trees and plants) and open spaces. The Framework includes extensive use of POPS (Privately-Owned Publicly-Accessible Spaces), meaning private developers will have to make public access part of their development applications. The Framework also means a significant increase in density compared to that allowed under current by-laws. The tallest towers (condo/apartment/office) would be concentrated on the north side of St. Clair from the east side of the Loblaws property to Bathurst Street. Underneath these properties as well as those contemplated for the south west corner of Bathurst and St. Clair will a PATH to include shops and facilitate pedestrian traffic to the Subway. Lower rise apartments, townhouses and similar would be developed on the west side of Bathurst , along Vaughan Rd., as part of the Tower proposals for the north side of St. Clair and as part of the intensification of properties qwned by the Tower Hill Apartments (Walmer and St, Clair), Holy Rosary Church and St. Mike’s. This “village” approach combined with intensification around a major transportation hub is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (2014) and the Provincial Growth Plan (2019).

 

Map showing Framework area and General Features

The Framework Map shows new green POPS pathways on both the west and east side of the current Loblaws store connecting St. Clair to the Cedarvale Ravine and new Green POPS spaces around Loblaws and on space currently owned by the Tower Hill Apartments and Holy Rosary Church. These new Green POPS spaces are expected as part of new Tower developments from Loblaws and mid-rise infill apartment buildings on part of the Tower Hill, Holy Rosary and St. Mike’s properties. The Map also shows a widening of the sidewalk on St. Clair so that the current width in front of Loblaws will be extended to Bathurst Street.

Sketch showing Green Pathway to the west of Lowlaws, new Towers and infill apartments.

The Framework also emphasizes the redevelopment of Vaughan Rd. (outlined in blue on map) as a Community Street of small shops and with a character that will also be true to its indigenous heritage. The Triangle where Vaughn Rd. meets Bathurst is perceived as a community space.

The Framework also incorporates a new walk/bike path connecting Raglan Ave. to the Cedarvale ravine and rejuvinated laneways (purple on map) running east west both north and south of St. Clair.

 

Sketch showing new public space in the Vaughan/Bathurst Triangle

The Framework, if approved, will be be used to evaluate current and future development applications for the area. It does not address the increase in traffic congestion from Loblaws to Bathurst Street. It addresses the new public spaces and services such as daycare to be incorporated into development proposals. It does not address the increased load on the public and separate schools in the area.  It will be presented to the Toronto and East York Community Council on June 25th.

FULL REPORT

Dog Off Leash Group Wins Support for Further Review

The local group headed by Laura William has secured the support from Councillor Josh Matlow for further study by City staff of the improvements they want for the relocated dog off leash area  (DOLA) at Sir. Winston Churchill Park.

This group has been working diligently to address the shortcomings in the proposed plan for the dog park announced by the city in February.   At a meeting on June 7th, Councillor Matlow asked staff to respond to a list of written questions submitted by the group.

Specifically

  • Enlarge the park by extending it under the Spadina Bridge and up the slope to Spadina Rd. instead of the proposed size of about 44% of the original DOLA.  (2,022 sq. meters compared to the original 4,585 sq. meters). The original DOLA was often at capacity and with the population of dog owners in the area growing and with the anticipated new density from the new apartment towers at Bathurst and St. Clair, a much smaller area would be dangerous and would lead to spill-out outside the park

CONCEPT DESIGNED BY ERIC CODE  (TORONTO DOG PARK COMMUNITY) AND ENDORSED BY DOG OWNERS GROUP

  • By extending the park up the slope to Spadina Rd., the DOLA will become accessible to owners with mobility issues. As proposed by city staff, the park will not meet Provincial requirements for accessibility. Accessibility is being actively supported and encouraged by the City.
  • Further,  extending the park up the slope to Spadina Rd., will also address another problem with  accessibility. The only access to the park as proposed by the city staff will be through the Nordheimer ravine, from the pathway that runs from St. Clair near the subway to Bolton Drive in the east or down the steps from the corner of Russell Hill Drive and Spadina Rd.  Neither the steps nor the pathway are maintained by the city during the winter. Further, the pathway has minimal lighting making it a safety issue for after dark usage.
  • Plant trees, use wood chips on the surface and add additional amenities to make the park more attractive to users.
  • The proposal to extend the DOLA under the Spadina Bridge and up the slope to Spadina Rd. would not encroach on the environmentally sensitive Nordheimer Ravine.

In its efforts the group has been supported by Eric Code, founder of the Toronto Dog Park Community.

For further information, contact Laura William through Dogs of Sir Winston Churchill Park.

Sidewalk Construction and Reconfiguration of Wells Hill Avenue

The tendering process is complete and the contract will soon be awarded for the construction of a sidewalk on the east side of Wells Hill Avenue between Melgund Rd. and St. Clair Avenue West.

This will mean that this already narrow roadway on a blind curve will be narrowed by 1.5 meters as the space for the sidewalk will be taken from the current road.

In addition, the current intersection between Melgund Rd., Wells Hill Ave. and Lyndhurst Ave. will be reconfigured as shown on the plan. Instead of Lyndhurst Ave., Wells Hill Ave. and Melgund Road joining together in the current configuration, Wells Hill Ave. and Melgund Rd. will have separate intersections with Lyndhurst/Wells Hill.

Please see the complete set of drawings for more information.

Protecting our Trees and the Gypsy Moth Spraying

On Wednesday, May 8th, Annabel Weinstein of the CLRA met with Josh Mckeekin and Joel Harrison-Off from the Toronto Forestry Department to discuss the upcoming gypsy moth spray program that will be undertaken over the next few weeks (May 16 – June 15), as well as some issues related to the health of the trees in our neighbourhood.

Both Josh and Joel were very generous with their information. They spoke to the challenges of replanting close to old stumps and changing frontages as old homes are renovated or rebuilt. We discussed how to engage the residents in understanding the importance of trees, not just as decoration but as being a part of our overall health. Forestry seems genuinely interested in working with us to help keep our neighbourhood healthy and beautiful. Their website is www.toronto.ca/trees

Gypsy moth is a major issue here. This pest has infiltrated our entire neighbourhood. Without the spray program to be undertaken, our trees will die. As it is, the trees are under severe stress because of overbuilding, of hard surfaces, such as driveways and patios, and from various climate events that have created a significant threat to just about every mature tree in the neighbourhood.

Because we live in a part of Toronto where most of the tree population is old and of one major species, the likelihood of an infestation of gypsy moth was inevitable. In addition, because of this lack of diversity and a similar age range of all of the trees, the effects of a gypsy moth infestation is greatly intensified.

The information about the spray being used by the city describes it as organic and non-toxic, except to gypsy moths. Some surfaces may feel a bit sticky right after but will not cause any damage to surfaces. The actual spraying procedure will take place on a morning, likely before 7:30 am, that offers good flight and spraying conditions. There will not be any harm caused to plants, gardens, pets or humans. The only casualties will be gypsy moths.

What is critical to note is that this spray campaign will not eradicate the gypsy moth problem forever. It will simply keep this pest at bay for 3-5 years. Individual home owners, who have mature oaks on their properties, should be following best practice procedures in the autumn of each year. Information for keeping gypsy moths at bay can be found in a Previous CLRA posting last June and on the City of Toronto website at www.toronto.ca/gypsymoth.

A key issue to keep in mind is that the large oaks in our neighbourhood are stressed. We must all do our parts to try to maintain our forest, which is one of the key attractions of our community, in as good a condition as possible. Please try to minimize the use of new hard surfaces that damage root systems and increase the chance of flooding. Review the procedures on the City of Toronto web site for advice on taking care of our trees and, when planting new trees on your property, consider diverse species that make it harder for pests to gang up on a single species.

Finally, the spray program will help. It will not harm you, your family, your pets or your gardens. You will likely not even be aware that the program has been undertaken.

Please, let’s protect one of our greatest assets. The big oaks have been here for hundreds of years. They have a story to tell and they help define our community by providing shade, oxygen and beauty.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know

UPDATE

One of the helicopter fly overs. This spraying took place at 7:00 am on Thursday June 6th

 

CLRA Opposes Proposal for 369 Walmer Rd.

369 Walmer – Proposed

369 Walmer TODAY

On Feb 13, 2019 the Committee of Adjustment (COA) refused an application to demolish an existing single family home at 369 Walmer Road and build in its place a new three-storey semi-detached duplex. The COA refused the application for the following reasons:

The general intent and purpose of the Official Plan is not maintained
The general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law is not maintained

The variance(s) is not considered desirable for the appropriate development of the land

In the opinion of the Committee, the variance(s) is not minor.

The applicants have appealed this decision to the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB). The appeal of the Committee of Adjustment Refusal is scheduled for July 9th and 10th, 2019 at 40 Orchard View Boulevard 2nd Floor, Suite 253, TLAB Hearing Room 3; time 9:30 am.

All documentation, which is updated periodically, can be viewed HERE.

The Casa Loma Residents Association supports the original decision of the COA and therefore is opposing the appeal filed with TLAB.  A copy of the CLRA Letter of Objection which states 12 reasons for objecting to this development can be accessed HERE. Some of the reasons for the CLRA objection are:

  • Frontage of the severed lots would be 6.99m and 8.25m, significantly less than the frontage of the adjacent lots of 15.24m.
  • The proposed four-plex is situated in a cohesive neighbourhood of single-family and semi-detached residential homes.
  • The proposed design will not conform with the look of the neighbouring homes
  • Ten bylaws are exceeded, with one – building depth- being exceeded by over 50%
  • More density would adversely affect the flow of surface water and negatively impact the ravine trees.

If you wish to participate with the CLRA at the hearing, please email

 

 

Report on April 10 Meeting at Casa Loma

The CLRA Executive, the Head of the Ardwold Gate Association, Slavisa Mijatovic of Councillor Matlow’s office and Chris Papadopoulos, COO of Casa Loma met at Casa Loma on April 10th for an update on progress to improve the traffic, parking, noise and other issues being experienced by residents in the proximity of Casa Loma.

Considerable progress has been made and the foundation has been laid for further progress. We believe the makings of a good relationship between the CLRA and the management of Casa Loma are in place.

We are pleased to report that the Italian National Day event has been scaled down by Casa Loma compared to previous years. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday June 2nd. Our concerns are being brought to the attention of the event’s co-organizers from the Toronto Italian community.

Casa Loma has already put in place a drop off/ pickup area (east parking lot) for Uber, Lyft, Taxis and others. A-Frame signage is being used to direct this traffic during popular events. Permanent signage will require Heritage approval. Residents across from the castle are encouraged to use this location for drop-off and pick-up when using these services

Management has engaged a Toronto based global leader in parking management to study the parking configuration of the 235 spaces at the castle and identify appropriate solutions and technology to address the congestion at the parking lot entrance. The first meeting took place April 11th. Management will also review the process used by its valet parker to remove any congestion its process may cause. This is not likely a major cause of congestion as according to Chris his experience has been that at most 12 cars use the service on a Saturday night and far fewer during the week.

Casa Loma has a Parking Manager and Security in front for all popular events. Paid duty police are also employed but occasionally the contracted officer may cancel at the last minute. New, more visible and authoritative jackets are being considered for the Casa Loma attendants. Casa Loma has started to track data to identify peak periods to assist in staff planning and positioning.

BlueBlood restaurant will be opening a patio lounge this summer. The location is on the south west side of the castle. Chris advised that this is not a party lounge but instead a high-end cocktail lounge. The expected ambient music should not pose an inconvenience to any of our residents.

The CLRA, Casa Loma and Councillor Matlow’s office have not received any update from the TMMP Study Group. However, the TMMP have sent Casa Loma a questionnaire so they are working on the study. They have been consistent in telling us that we will receive notice when they are ready.

Slavisa Mijatovic will be sending us information on the process required and resident approval needed to change parking restrictions on streets in the vicinity of Casa Loma, including setting earlier hours for overnight parking permits and obtaining temporary parking permits. As soon as we have the information, we will communicate with residents on those streets and ask for an area captain to organize the process. We were told it takes about 2 months for the signs to be changed once an application is submitted. Slavisa will also look into regulating where taxis can park.

Casa Loma has recently refreshed its website. We have asked Casa Loma to put public transportation options more prominently on the home page of its website. The new site has public transportation four levels (navigation clicks) below the home page and secondary to driving instructions. One idea discussed to bring public transportation to the forefront is for the TTC to attach Casa Loma to the Dupont station name.

Casa Loma lists upcoming events on its website http://casaloma.ca/events. We were informed that the After Dark Summer Series this year will run Monday to Wednesday evenings beginning with Soul in the City June 3rd and ending with Just for Laughs on August 28th. Like in previous years if weather is favourable the series may be extended. Other events scheduled are the Kerry Stratton Maestro Gala Benefit April 30th indoors, Mother’s Day Brunch a sold out event on May 12th and the above mentioned Italian National Day on June 2nd. Private weddings and corporate events will also take place through the summer.

Chris Papadopoulos offered to initiate a hot line to site security that can be used by residents to report urgent situations that should be brought to management’s attention. We will let residents in the vicinity of the castle know what the hotline number is when operational. Respectfully, some requests received by Casa Loma this past winter for snow removal on neighbourhood properties and free use of Casa Loma facilities for neighbourhood events were not well received by management.

We were told by Chris that there are no concrete discussions underway with the City regarding the Stables lease which we understand is renewable in 2020. Chris mentioned that the City as property owner is evaluating paving the staff parking lot behind the stables and erecting a new fence along the back perimeter of the property. Slavisa Mijatovic will check with Museum and Heritage Services to see what info he can get about the city’s plans for the Stables lease.

Management is sensitive to the issue of noise at the castle and last year implemented an agreement with the City. As a result of efforts by the CLRA and others, this past fall all the loud screaming sounds were moved indoors for the Legends of Horrors month. Neighbours reported a significant improvement this past October and expressed appreciation for Casa Loma efforts. We have requested signage on exits from the castle notifying patrons that they are exiting into a residential neighbourhood and a request to minimize noise and respect private property. Signage has been used by Casa Loma at the exit from the stables but we would like to see this made permanent and extended to other exit points from the property and perhaps used in some literature. Casa Loma management will bring this up with Heritage who have to approve all permanent signage.

We also addressed attendance management for Casa Loma events and were assured that Casa Loma manages capacity within its licensed capacity as stipulated by the fire department.

Slavisa Mijatovic will be following up with city departments (i) to get more information on the noise by-law, the definition of outdoors and confirm the 10pm limit on outdoor noise, (ii) check with Signs and Markings about having some Quiet Zone/ Residential Area signage near Casa Loma, and contact Fire Services on how the outdoor capacity was determined. He will also contact the TTC about the suggestion to change the name of Dupont Station to Dupont-Casa Loma and the possible re-routing of buses to pick-up/drop-off people at large events.

The CLRA will meet regularly with Chris Papadopoulos and his team on a regular basis to maintain a good relationship. The meeting on April 10th was friendly, cooperative and professional and bodes well for a productive dialogue between the CLRA and Casa Loma on behalf of our residents. We will keep you posted.

We will also let you know as soon as we hear from the TMMP Study Group.

Comments, questions and suggestions can always be directed to

 

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