On September 23, 2021 the CLRA met with Councillor Josh Matlow and his Planning and Policy Advisor Slavisa Mijatovic. The meeting was held on Webex. Although city employees are gradually returning to the office, meetings with the public are still restricted to online.
Several issues were discussed:
- Business at Casa Loma
Neighbours have noticed what looks like bathroom and kitchen work taking place at the Casa Loma stables that may be related to plans for a new restaurant there; work that is without permission or permits.
This activity took Matlow by surprise. He will ensure that a freeze is put on any such activity until there is a genuine opportunity for community input on the reasonableness of any plans and their impact on the neighbourhood. He will meet with Economic Development who has stewardship of Casa Loma and Nick Di Donato of Liberty Entertainment Group.
- Casa Loma Transportation & Traffic Mitigation Study
Implementation of recommendations in the Study which took place through 2018 and 2019 in which we all had significant input, is now in limbo. Many of the staff in Transportation services have been seconded to the City’s Covid response through programs like CafeTO, ActiveTO, etc..
- Parking Restrictions on Neighbourhood Streets
Residents have been questioning the myriad of parking restrictions in our neighbourhood. Matlow explained that parking restrictions throughout the City have developed on an ad hoc basis over the years based on requests. There is no overall rationale for the differences from street to street including streets designated for overnight parking permits. Historically, the City has responded to petitions from residents which starts with a petition signed by 25% of residents on a street followed by a formal polling by the City.
- Front Yard Parking
We reviewed the subject of Front Yard parking as residents have brought concerns to our attention. A Front yard parking pad can negatively affect the root structure of trees and cause water runoff problems in addition to potentially making the streetscape less attractive. For these reasons the City requires a permit for a Front Yard Parking pad. This permit is not transferrable to a new owner and has to be re-applied for by the new owner. We have created a section on Front Yard and Street Parking Permits on our website. It includes an overview, streets in our neighbourhood designated for Street Permit parking and links to permit Applications and a list of homes in Toronto that have Front Yard parking permits. Please follow this LINK.
- Scheduling of Collection and Removal of Leaves
Matlow will enquire what public facing maintenance schedules the City has and get back to us. He also asked us to put forward our recommended schedule for the collection and removal of the leaves in our area including temporary suspension of street parking to allow for proper and efficient collection.
- Implementation of the Casa Loma Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Report
The City’s Planning Department is challenged city wide. They are currently in the process of preparing a report on their capabilities for 2022. Until this report is received, reviewed and acted on by City Council, it is unlikely that there will be any movement on the HCD designation. A related matter is our ongoing effort to have the property at 5 Austin Terrace, the E.J. Lennox house and gardens, upgraded from Listed (1973) to designated under Part IV of the Heritage Act in the City of Toronto Heritage Register.
- Heritage Marker and Plaque for our Neighbourhood
We explored the construction of a heritage marker and plaque to be placed at an entry point for our neighbourhood, perhaps on the area created in 2019 by the reconfiguration of the intersection of Wells Hill, Melgund and Lyndhurst. We will be gathering ideas from residents over the next few months and Transportation staff will help us with the placement to ensure it conforms with traffic site line requirements.
- Gypsy Moths
Monitoring the Gypsy Moth infestation in our area has been an annual focus of the CLRA. The last neighbourhood spraying took place in June 2019. We were not able to have our neighbourhood sprayed in 2021 as the City had other neighbourhoods in priority. Matlow’s office will assist us in getting Forestry to evaluate our needs in the spring of 2022.
- Garden Homes
Garden Homes will be encouraged by the City much like Laneway Homes have been for the past few years and for that reason public consultation has taken place and guidelines issued prior to a final report later this year. There is a link on our website HERE. Matlow will ensure that the CLRA will have the opportunity for further input.
Garden Homes like Laneway homes are being supported by the City to increase density, reduce the cost of housing and at the same time increase the property tax base. Matlow’s preference is to increase density along major streets which are now populated largely by 2 to 3 story buildings encompassing retail and residential by permitting heights similar to those along Paris streets.
Although our neighbourhood may not be a prime location for Garden Homes, we will represent our residents in the current evaluation stage to ensure any development is appropriate.
- Proposed Self Storage building at Bathurst and Dupont
Although not in our neighbourhood, the proposed building will have implications for views from our escarpment and noise reverberating from railway tracks adjacent to the building. We are working with neighbouring residents associations and Matlow will bring our concerns to Mike Layton, Councillor for the area.
- Development at former Petro Canada property at St. Clair & Bathurst
There was no new information on this project which has significant implications for traffic congestion around us, capacity limits at our schools and environmental concerns and unanswered questions from its former usage for many years as a gas station. We will likely be getting more information in the weeks ahead following its sale last June to a new developer and conversion from a proposed apartment complex to a condominium complex.
Residents with comments, questions and suggestions are encouraged to contact the CLRA at . We are in continuous contact with our Councillor’s office in addition to the formal Quarterly Meetings with our Councillor. Through his office we are connected to the relevant City staff responsible for attending to the matter.