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.
July 1, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on 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.
Tuesday July 2, 2018
Archives Building, 255 Spadina Road
The TMMP recommendations that will be presented on Tuesday for your consideration are:
Liberty Entertainment Group related
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).
Modify parking payment method (pay and display, pay at exit, mobile payment).
Repaint paving markings in parking lot to reduce driver confusion.
Improve efficiency of current parking area to increase supply.
Improve lighting in parking areas.
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.
Formalize PUDO (Pick up Drop off) in the coach parking lot with permanent and improved signage
Provide PUDO information to rideshare companies and taxi drivers through outreach program.
Improve signage/wayfinding for transit users and pedestrians
Offer formal bicycle parking
Improve wayfinding to George Brown College Bridgman parking lots
Enhance advertisement of alternative parking at George Brown Bridgman parking lots.
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.
June 24, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on 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.
June 12, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on 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.
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.
June 7, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on 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.
May 14, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on 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
One of the helicopter fly overs. This spraying took place at 7:00 am on Thursday June 6th
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
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
Welcome to Spring. Soon bulbs will be blooming and leaves will appear on our beautiful tree canopy.
Your CLRA Executive has been diligently monitoring the Casa Loma Heritage Conservation District Study as it moves to Plan stage and the Traffic Management and Mitigation Plan (TMMP) which when implemented will alleviate the traffic congestion on our streets near Casa Loma.
We have been expecting noticeable progress on both in the first months of the year. Unfortunately both are running behind time.
The start of the HCD Plan phase has been postponed to late summer/early fall, dependent upon City Planning staff resources.
The City and its consultants continue to work on the second phase of the study for the TMMP but have not yet updated their timetable for the report and community presentation. The CLRA Executive will be meeting next week with a representative of Josh Matlow’s office and the Liberty Entertainment Group to explore what improvements can be made to the traffic and parking congestion around Casa Loma in the interim before the start of the busy summer season.
The CLRA has a few events planned this spring to bring neighbours out to meet each other and enjoy our special neighbourhood.
Information on the following meeting and events is available through the links in the paragraphs below.
[April 11th 6:00 to 8:30 PM at the Forest Hill Jewish Centre, 360 Spadina Road]
Later on April 27th we will be participating in the Clean Toronto Together initiative which annually brings out over 200,000 people for a good spring cleaning of public spaces. Together we can make this morning a good family event and make a difference to Wells Hill Park, the Nordheimer Ravine and the Casa Loma Parkette.
[April 27th 9:30 to 11:30 AM starting at Wells Hill Park and Casa Loma Parkette]
[May 4th 2:00 to 3:30 PM starting at Wells Hill Park]
On Saturday June 1st the 12thAnnual Yard Sale will take place. Each year 25-35 homes use this opportunity for a personal spring cleaning. The event which is broadly publicized and organized with maps to participating homes.
[June 1st 10 AM to 2:00 PM various locations]
If you are interested in any of the above, . Let’s get together as a neighbourhood. Volunteers are always needed and are most welcome.
JOIN the Casa Loma Residents Association. The CLRA has earned the respect and attention of city officials. Together we can accomplish more to protect our neighbourhood and improve services than we can as individuals. Annual membership for 2019 is $20. If you have already paid this year’s membership fee, thank you.
April 2, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on St. Clair West & Bathurst/Vaughan Street Plan Community Meeting
The City of Toronto Planning Department will be hosting a Community Consultation Meeting on the future development of the St. Clair West/ Bathurst/Vaughan Road area. We are expecting high rise plans for the former Petro Canada gas station lot and the Loblaws properties on St. Clair. We have seen the Preliminary Report on the Application to develop the Petro Canada property. The study area will also include the area north of the Bathurst and Vaughan intersection to Claxton Blvd.
The Purpose of the Study is to establish a new planning framework that will establish a vision for the study area and guide new development.
The Study also seeks to identify public realm improvements and opportunities that will enhance the pedestrian experience in the area.
The City is holding an Open House and Presentation to introduce the Study and and receive input from the community.
The 12th Annual Casa Loma Yard Sale is once again being organized by Cheryl Millett. This year’s date is Saturday, June 1st from 10 am to 2 pm. The more participants the merrier. In past years 25-35 homes have participated.
Fee is $5 to participate for advertising in the Toronto Star, Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook etc. and printed materials (posters and signs, maps listing participating homes). By working together we will have more fun, bring in more traffic and sell more!
Volunteers are also welcome to help in organizing this year’s event.
Cheryl Millett if you are interested by Wednesday May 1, 2019.
You may drop off your fee to Cheryl at 5 Nina Street.
February 21, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on Local group wants improvements to proposed Dogs Off-Leash Area (DOLA)
On February 15th the City released its Proposed Changes to Sir Winston Churchill Park Dogs Off-Leash Area and Tennis Courts. A local group of dog owners led by Hilton Avenue resident, Laura William, is campaigning for improvements to the proposed dogs off-leash area. The new area will replace the one in Sir Winston Churchill Park that was closed in 2016 to allow for the rehabilitation of the St. Clair water reservoir beneath the park. The City is proposing a relocation of the DOLA approximately 125m below the reservoir to the south west.
The new dog park will be less than half the size of the old one. It’s worth noting that the pre-existing dog park was an extremely busy one, frequently operating at or near capacity. Further, its surface will be pea gravel which is not the best surface for dogs’ paws, is a problem for people who may have stability issues and has been the subject of complaints at other DOLAs in the city.
The dog owners group is looking to have the city increase the size of the off-leash area by extending it under the Spadina bridge and up the slope to the street entrance from Spadina Road, mid-way up the reservoir to make the park fully accessible. Further, they want the city to employ a different surface such as wood chips used at Cedarvale Park’s off-leash area.
A Formal Complaint has been registered with Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation and Toronto Water and a request has been made for effective community consultation before a final decision is made.
A meeting was held in Councillor Josh Matlow’s office on Feb. 20th to apprise him of their concerns. A subsequent meeting is scheduled for February 28th. The dog park is scheduled to open before the end of this year.
Residents may express their support by contacting Laura William at .
The City has issued an Update Report on the changes proposed for the Dogs Off-Leash Area and the Tennis Courts at Sir Winston Churchill Park. This update follows the drop-in event held in December to get community input. City staff are continuing to review feedback and will be making final recommendations on the proposed changes. We will keep you posted.
February 13, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on Committee of Adjustment Defers Application for Day-Nursery at 105 Wells Hill Ave.
The Committee of Adjustment this afternoon deferred the application for a day-care facility at 105 Wells Hill Avenue.
The CLRA has been working closely with our residents and Councillor Josh Matlow and his team to obtain a deferral to allow for further study of safety and traffic congestion issues related to the location of the proposed day-nursery on a narrow and blind curve.
Twenty residents filed objections with the Committee of Adjustment for reasons of safety and traffic congestion. The CLRA has not seen this level of opposition before.
Our reason for the deferral was to ensure a big mistake wasn’t made where we would end up with a dangerous situation and extreme frustration for the whole community.
We congratulate Nick Saint-Martin and Robert Levy for their tenacious and effective leadership here and Councillor Josh Matlow and his team who embraced the concerns raised by the CLRA that more study was needed given the potential impact on the safety of our community.
The Committee of Adjustment is scheduled to meet tomorrow at 2:30 pm to decide on the application for a day-care facility at 105 Wells Hill Avenue.
The CLRA has been working closely with our residents and Councillor Josh Matlow and his team to obtain a deferral of this meeting until further study and impact can be done.
A Transportation Opinion letter prepared by TMIG | The Municipal Infrastructure Group Ltd commissioned by resident Nick Saint-Martin contradicts several assertions in the transportation study prepared for the party bringing the day-care application to the Committee of Adjustment. It demonstrates the need for further study before any decision can be taken.
More than a dozen residents have filed objections with the Committee of Adjustment for reasons of safety and traffic congestion. The CLRA has not seen this level of opposition before.
We want to ensure we don’t make a big mistake and end up with a dangerous situation and extreme frustration for the whole community. A deferral to allow for further study is the best option at this time.
February 7, 2019 / CLRA / Comments Off on CLRA Submission to Committee of Adjustment re: 105 Wells Hill Ave.
The Casa Loma Residents Association supports a review by Transportation Services, City of Toronto to evaluate the risk to public safety and traffic congestion that may result from the operation of a proposed day-care facility at 105 Wells Hill Avenue.
This property is the first house on Wells Hill Ave. south of St. Clair Ave. on the blind curve between Melgund Rd. and St. Clair Ave. adjacent to Wells Hill Park. This section of Wells Hill Ave. is also scheduled to be narrowed by 1.5 meters by the installation of a sidewalk on the east side which was not discussed or communicated to our community. The day-care facility is intended to serve 37 toddlers and operate with a support staff of 9.
Transportation Services has communicated the following to the Committee of Adjustment:
The current documentation on file with your Committee does not provide adequate information with respect to the traffic generating characteristics and peak parking demands associated with the proposed day nursery as it relates to staff parking and the forecasted vehicle drop-off/pick-up activity during either the morning or afternoon peak arrival periods.
Many residents of the Casa Loma neighbourhood have expressed concern for the safety of children being dropped off at the proposed daycare and the congestion that will result from cars backing out of the driveway at 105 Wells Hill Ave. or stopping on this curve leading either from or towards St. Clair Ave. This leads to increased risk of accidents between vehicles and pedestrians.
The CLRA is a supporter of more day care facilities to service our neighbourhood but believes it is completely premature to approve the location at 105 Wells Hill. The CLRA also believes a study by the City of Toronto Transportation Department is necessary to address the many concerns presented to the Committee of Adjustment by neighbourhood residents.
Accordingly we request that the Committee oppose the application or, in the alternative, defer consideration of the application until the City’s Transportation Services department has had the opportunity to properly study the impacts and potential hazards of this proposed conversion.
Annabel Weinstein has been staying in touch with Josh McMeekin, Inspector, Forest Health Care for the City of Toronto. We have now been informed that, subject to City Council approval, Urban Forestry is planning on conducting an area wide aerial spray over the Casa Loma neighbourhood with a helicopter in the spring of 2019 in order to control the rising population of gypsy moth in our area. The City will hold a community meeting about the 2019 Gypsy moth control program in the Casa Loma neighbourhood, most likely in late February-March.
In order to try and make the best use of time in this presentation, Urban Forestry would like a list of questions, concerns and/or topics that people would like to be covered during this session. This will help Urban Forestry prepare, and organize a presentation to better cover the topics of interest/concern.
Please with your questions, concerns and topics you would like covered in this meeting before the end of January.
As soon as we know the meeting date, we will post it on our website and email our members.
Work on the northwest section of the park has been completed one year ahead of schedule. Due to the early completion of this work, the northwest part of the park will re-open in December 2018 (please refer to map below). The remaining areas of the park remain closed and are scheduled to re-open in the fall of 2019 as per the original project timeline.
Drop-In this Tuesday Dec 11th at Timothy Eaton Church between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm to hear about plans for the tennis club and dog park and give your input to park officials.
The City of Toronto has engaged WSP Global Inc. to advise on improvements to the traffic and parking problems related to events at Casa Loma. A public Drop-In event for the Casa Loma Transportation Management and Mitigation Plan (TMMP) was held November 6th at the Toronto Archives Building on Spadina Avenue. The City plans on a follow-up meeting early in the new year after more feedback from the community and further study and evaluation of various alternatives to solve the traffic and parking problems. The City is maintaining a website to keep us posted.
The CLRA is taking input from our neighbourhood residents on both concerns and solutions. Please us with your comments and suggestions. We will be adding them to this posting and passing them along to the TMMP team so that our residents will have a voice in the process. The CLRA will also be organizing a meeting and making a formal submission as part of the TMMP review. This will be communicated by email to our residents and by posting on our website.
Traffic chaos in front of the Castle
Cars, taxis and Ubers who stop to let off passengers block traffic as vehicles cannot pass when volume of traffic is heavy
Vehicles waiting to enter the parking lot from the west side back up on to the street and vehicles from the east making a left turn block traffic behind them
Residents who live on Walmer and Castleview are experiencing serious traffic congestion as cars look for parking spaces on those streets; many times there is double parking as cars wait for Casa Loma visitors to be picked up.
Visitors to Casa Loma are precluding residents and their guests from parking on Walmer and Castleview.
Residents with overnight parking permits on Walmer and Castleview cannot find parking until after events are over.
Drivers searching for parking spaces on Walmer and Castleview are distracted and pose a risk to neighbourhood children.
Residents who live on Walmer, Castleview and Russell Hill Drive just north of the Castle, on Ardwold Gate or in Forest Hill above St. Clair experience delays in getting home
Unwanted noise from cars honking their horns
Pedestrians crossing Austin Terrace to reach the castle from the sidewalk at the corner of Austin Terrace and Walmer Road are put at risk maneuvering between traffic exiting the parking lot, exiting Walmer Road and proceeding both ways on Austin Terrace (at times at high speed), particularly because of the sharp and largely blind turn on Austin Terrace immediately west of the Castle.
Visitors exiting the Castle on to Walmer through the Stables or who are waiting for a pick-up at the corner may be boisterous at times (there was a serious personal injury fight in October) and are not reminded by signage that they are in a residential neighbourhood.
Some bus tour visitors and others occupy the front lawns and patios of residences on Austin Terrace while waiting for their buses, asking for water, use of washroom etc. as if they were still on public property.
There is not enough enforcement of parking regulations, in no parking, restricted parking , and in front of hydrants and driveways, particularly on Walmer Road, Castleview, Austin Terrace west of Spadina, Lyndhurst Court and Ardwold Gate
Any expanded use of the Stables and Pellatt Lodge either by Casa Loma or other tenants will only exacerbate the congestion and noise issues and should be addressed by the City in the upcoming lease renewal.
(These suggestions are those made by area residents for review and discussion; they may be mutually exclusive and not every resident may be in agreement. The CLRA is in the process of getting input from its members as we engage in discussions with our councillor Josh Matlow, City officials, its consultants and the Liberty Entertainment Group).
Improve the use of the two existing parking lots at Casa Loma
Better pavement markings to identify parking spaces
Better coordination between the use of the two lots
Eliminate the taking of a parking fee on entry and instead take payment on exit or use automated payment machines such as those at Green P lots.
Move valet parking away from the main entrance to the parking lot
Use part of the east lot for drop-off and pick-up “DOPU”use by vehicles (Ubers, Taxis, other)
Have clear signage to the DOPU area
Advise Uber, Lyft, taxi companies of the DOPU area
Require tour buses to wait at the Bridgman parking lots to free up space in the east lot
More use of traffic officers rather than off-duty police officers
Place lighted signage, electronically controlled by the attendant at Casa Loma, advising when the lot is full and directing traffic to alternate lots at George Brown and Bridgman so that traffic heading to Casa Loma from the south does not enter Austin Terrace and from the north proceeds past the Castle without stopping.
Suggested locations would be on Spadina just south of St. Clair; Davenport at Macpherson, Spadina at Dupont and Davenport east of Bathurst
Improve the pavement, markings and lighting for the Bridgman parking lots so visitors will accept them as alternative lots
Have Casa Loma operate a shuttle service during major events to the DOPU area from the corner of Spadina and Macpherson (can pick up pedestrian traffic from the Dupont Subway Station) and the corner of Macpherson and Bridgman for the parking lots
Have Casa Loma operate a shuttle service from the St. Clair West subway station during major events to the DOPU area.
Re-design the home page of the Casa Loma website to advise of (1) public transit alternatives (St. Clair West Subway, Dupont Subway, and 127 bus, including walk times) and (2) parking alternatives so that this information is prominent, including on mobile devices.
Casa Loma should provide to the CLRA for posting on its website an advance shedule of events, quarterly or monthly as needed.
The TTC should evaluate a new bus service running from St. Clair West down Spadina to Dupont such as extending the Forest Hill 33 Bus route down to Dupont station
Widen Austin Terrace in front of the castle by moving the south sidewalk so that it is adjacent to the Casa Loma wall and construct a minimal amount of new road space on the north side to accommodate the 2 lanes of through traffic and a Drop-off/Pick-up lane in front of the Castle.
For pedestrian safety, construct a sidewalk on the north side of Austin Terrace and a Crosswalk in front of the Castle
Consider taking some of the space at the north end of the Baldwin Steps park for a DOPU area.
Put signage at exits to the castle and stables reminding people they are in a residential area and asking them to respect private property and keep noise and litter to a minimum.
Bus drivers should remind passengers on arrival that they are in a residential area and to respect the privacy of residents
Provide seating in the DOPU area for passengers to wait for their buses and cars
Change the exit from the stables from the east side to the south side.
Employee parking should not be allowed at the Stables as the driveway is entered from Walmer Rd., a residential street. Employee parking should be limited to the Casa Loma parking lots or the lots at George Brown and Bridgman.
Limit the number of days for the Legend of Horrors event; every day is too excessive.
Parking permits should be made available to residents of Walmer Rd. and Castleview Ave. on a 24 hours/7 days basis and include 3-5 visitor permits which could be used by their guests on a temporary basis.
Install rectractable automatic bollards on Castleview at Spadina to prevent traffic from entering Castleview and Walmer during major events; residents would use an electronic mechanism to obtain access for themselves, guests and trades/delivery people.
The City should ensure parking enforcement officers on on duty at the times of Casa Loma events.
Install Bike Share in a suitable location and other bike parking at Casa Loma.
Open the South Gates for all major events to encourage use of the Dupont Subway Station
Rename the Dupont Subway Station to Dupont Casa Loma Subway Station to bring more attention to this transportation option
The CLRA keeps a record of the names, street address, email addresses and phone numbers of residents who live within the boundaries of the CLRA and who have been identified to us through membership registrations, community events and referrals. We do not share this information with any other party, including other individuals or organizations in our community. Everyone for whom we have information receives email communications from us. If you wish to stop receiving emails, please reply back to any email received and all your personal information will be removed from our database. Our database is maintained on a private server independent of the server that provides our web hosting.
We do not receive your credit card number, expiry date or security code when you pay for your membership on line. That information is received by our credit card processing provider. We have chosen Stripe Inc. as our processing provider, one of the largest companies in the business. The CLRA has secured an SSL certificate so that all information is encrypted in your credit card processing.