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