Friday, May 30, 2008

View of condo skyline from Lakeshore Rd West

This view from the site on a new condo just west of Bathurst St off Lakeshore Rd. West on the north side provide a clear view of Toronto's new skyline.

67 Vine Ave fire

Today, the house in yesterday's post about an unkempt house on Vine Ave, was gutted by a fire.  Some of the fire department personel commented to neighbours that the house will have to be torn down. No one was hurt in the fire, and hopefully they found a place to go to.

Architecturally, this is a lovely house; the only one in the Junction, it seems, with a very old slate roof. It is also one of few houses with a facade, pretty much as when the house was first built. This is rare in the Junction, so you may want to take a look now. 71 Vine ave, just west of Keele St.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Three blocks with energy

Walk, ride, or drive up Runnymede Road from St Johns Street to St Clair Avenue and the you can just feel happy energy. Laughing construction workers building the new hospital. People eating at the 7-eleven and Mr Pita. Move on past Jumbo Burgers, always happy service there for so many years and you come into a new hive of activity. Situated around the development of the old CP Rail Torcan trucking site with Walmart,  two new banks and a game store. Phew what a good feeling try it!

Does WTO need Residential Permit Parking forums?

no parking

We all know the house, illegally divided into 4 apartments, where the city allows two, and this isn't such a problem as long as the property owner (landlord) provides services to the building to take up the added stress this intense use causes to the direct neighbors and the community. Any good landlord ensures the building is clean the garage and recycling are taken out and the containers taken back in after collection.

The issue is the parking, many of these houses have 3 to 5 cars permitted and parked on the adjacent streets. Many people see themselves parking on different streets than they live on simply because of the cities willing ness to issue what seems to be unreasonable numbers of permits to an individual house. the complicity between the landlord and the city strains the community for both the the people owning and renting.  Well thought out rules enforced contribute to a healthy neighborhood.

- Dereliction of Duty - On Vine Ave.

Vine ave dereliction

Buildings such as this one on Vine Avenue are in the worst cases becoming a fire hazards, unsafe for those living in them, or a haven for drug dealers, and in general reducing property values. Abandoned and unkept buildings can be a problem that greatly impacts all of the people living near them. It appears no work is done on maintaining this house other than standing in front of the house, waiting for prospective renters, who obviously would live somewhere else if they could afford it. Shouldn't they be provided with a basic standard?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

City of Toronto sells off west end lane

The city of Toronto directed the City Solicitor to enact a draft bylaw to permanently close the public lane at the rear of 76 Davenport Road. The Toronto and East York Community Council held a statutory public meeting on May 6,2008 and notice was given in accordance with the City of Toronto Act, 2006, and no one (attended to) address the Community Council.

That is no one cared enough about losing this public space to do anything about it, theres more - they sold the lane to these guys - Seventy-Six Davenport GP Ltd. and 964496 Ontario Limited who plan to build - guess - part of their proposed condo on the lane.

The idea of the condos at 76 Davenport Road is probably good for the area, it's a very drive by section of the Davenport, which will change with all the condo owners going out for pleasant walks up and down the streets and laneways.

But did we have to lose the lane.

Terms and Conditions of Agreement of Purchase and Sale of the lane (PDF file)

The Bylaw to close the lane

Smallest, Coolest Apartment (we can them condos in TO)


Every year, interior design blog Apartment Therapy holds its Smallest, Coolest Apartment contest, receiving entries from creative apartment dwellers from everywhere. Want design ideas for your condo space or smaller Victoriam house take a look!

Scroll down on the apartment therapy site to see the winners under the heading - All Entries

Quebec Av N of Dundas St W to have more parking


Etobicoke York Community Council approved the enactment of the proposed parking regulations on both sides of Quebec Avenue. Parking regulations now allow parking on both sides of Quebec Avenue, north of Dundas St. West (May 06 2008)

Note that the rescinded no parking anytime from the lane south to Dundas St. W will mean cars will now be able to be parked right up to Dundas St. W

Monday, May 26, 2008

What a West Toronto development site costs - an example

207 New Toronto St

Realnet - a real estate Information Service used by just about very commercial property investor and developer is reporting 207 New Toronto St. Etobicoke, has sold for $8,620,000 in a 100% ownership transfer or

The land is part of old ICI companies land and a few years ago Toronto Redi-Mix wanted to operate a concrete batch operation at the site. With this sale, has that been completely pushed off the table?

New Toronto Good Neighbours Association opposed this plant strongly, although they did support a package delivery company proposal on the Former Ivaco site bounded by 8th St., 13th St., New Toronto St. and Birmingham St.

Toronto Redi-Mix is a well regarded company in the construction industry as indicated in the industrial media, it just seems they cannot work it out which understandable as each has it's own goals. Interestedly the New Toronto Good Neighbours Association site fails to update on the outcome of their effort. Would it be helpful to other groups if they provide a brief summary of the outcome...?

More buyers opting for condos in Toronto


Picture credit - St-Even's

More people are buying condos in Toronto rather than single-detached homes states article in today's National Post (which can be said to include the 2 to 5 unit build houses that comprise much of the old city of Toronto's housing stock?)

Highlight points..

The former City of Toronto, representing 50% of the GTA's condo development activity, states a story in todays National Post.

Resale unit pricing was up 8.3% from last year

Construction began on 4,546 new condo units in the greater Toronto area in the first quarter of 2008

Survey: 56 more condos so far in '08 (National Post)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dundas West Arts Building Collective open house

The Dundas West Arts Building Collective open house is running Sat. May 24th and Sunday May 25th. Seeing an artists space is great, but look harder at the details - the work in progress - the unworkable defeats - the triumphs. Many times you can get something far greater than at a gallery at an open house, you just have to talk to the artist - discovering the meaning of whats all around you. Then choose. Its important to remember when buying art you are not only purchasing a object but contributing to the continued effort of the artist to make a contribution to the community at large. You may find something that transcends you.



The Dundas West Arts Building Open Studios

Since 2001, each spring, various artists living and working in the historic Dundas West Arts Building open their personal studios to share their work with the public. This rare and exciting opportunity brings a casual atmosphere, which fosters a relationship between patrons and artists.The event features talented visual artists, musicians, and crafts persons, who showcase and sell their work, invite the audience to join in collaborations and provide free mini classes. Bring your friends and family, meet fellow artists, see great work and learn something new. We thank our generous sponsors who have contributed prizes for our draw.

Dates and Location

  1. The Dundas West Arts Building

  2. 2466 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario

  1. Friday May 23rd 6pm-10pm

  2. Saturday May 24th 12pm-7pm

  3. Sunday May 25th 12pm-5pm

Cost: Pay-What-You-Can

Trees are extra special yet isn't the right tree needed

Trees are needed much more all over the city especially beside the boulevard roads - which all seem to have so few (see Lakeshore West). Looking at the above picture - yes... there are houses behind there. Should the city not take into account the best type and size of tree?  As these trees become so big they block the view of street from the house and of the front of the home making it hard for walk by and chat.

What happens when the tree becomes so big the homeowners just can't live with it - say it breaks the foundation or destructs water and waste lines, a city crew comes along digs a hole and chops the roots?  The tree does all the suffering. Picking the right tree at planting, will give all of these front yards trees a happier and longer life?

Did you know…
Planting trees and other vegetation helps clean the air allowing City residents to breathe easier? Vegetation “cools” local air temperatures when water evaporates from leaves makingsummers more comfortable for residents? Planting deciduous shade trees on the west and south sides of buildings can reduce your airconditioning cooling costs by up to 40%? Plting evergreen trees on the north side of buildings can reduce winter heating costs by upto 10%? Planting trees and other vegetation expands the urban forest, creates wildlife habitat andimproves stormwater management making communities more pleasant to live in?

City of Toronto tree planning at clean air partnership.

Demolition Watch: Lloyd Ave Houses Gone


These houses which were demolished last week were a great example of common construction in the wards west of Bathurst in west Toronto. They have a brick veneer front and everything behind the front is of wood construction with asphalt bricking along the sides and on the back. These houses being built right up against a factory had little in way of ornamentation.

You can still see houses like them right across the street, and it's a great time to view a new view and a short view as the development continues where these houses stood.

See this past post for more details

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Links

Phyllis and Luke

Picture credit -  2008 reclaimedhome

The Globe and Mail has an intersting article on home renovation using CMHC data. some of the interesting points.

- Forty per cent of Canadian homeowners say they intend to spend $1,000 or more on renovations this year.

- 37 per cent of Canadians spent money on home improvements, down from 39 per cent in 2006

- there could be a number of Canadians who decide that renovating their current home is a cheaper alternative to buying a new home this year

Honey, I'm planning to renovate the house  (Globe and Mail)

Oh my all the West Toronto neighbourhoods

Picture credit - aa440

Looking at the city's list of West Toronto neighborhoods is amazing there are so many. It would make a great popup book showcasing all the different neighborhood personalities. West End neighbourhoods

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Freed Developments sovereign rights declared

Another piece of the puzzle? , oh it isn't a puzzle, but could it be that somewhere - somehow Freed Developments was given and maybe taken through some others dereliction of duty, sovereign rights over the design and development of a grand area of downtown West Toronto.

500wellingtonwest 17 Penthouse Lofts(2500-6000sqft) Contemporary Design ---- 20 Stewart 59 modern lofts ---- 66 Portland nine stunning stories, with 85 stylish lofts ---- 550 Wellington West this 102-room designer hotel and 336-unit condominium ---- Six50 (650) King West 214 Unit Residential Condominium ---- 455 Adelaide west 93 modern lofts and 10 glass townhomes ---- 75 Portland

All theirs. Maybe he just dropped into city hall, asked for permission, and all the elected ignored him, and did he then say to himself well if they won't fit out the town, maybe I should. It appears that way. Peter Freed wants to create extraordinary places for people to live he states, and well his buildings can be real good and pretty to look at. Especially all that glass which his team uses to great effect and purpose. But shouldn't someone be following him around keeping a watchful eye?

Freed developments The music at their 75 Portland site is great

Monday, May 19, 2008

big on bloor


At this street fair they come right out and say it, they want to build community, provide resident interaction and celebrate their diverse population and groups, and they are right up front about "at risk problems" Well, with openness like this - combined with the well thought out action - this neighborhood is doing well.

a bit from there site...

On June 21st from Christie to Lansdowne along historic Bloor Street, The BIG Festival celebrates local business, community, arts and culture with a unique street fair featuring hundreds of events, activities and exhibitions.
Go to The BIG Festival page

Sunday, May 18, 2008

More accurate than a google map - Friends of Dundas and Bloor


There are a number of concerned community groups in West Toronto. All of them have a number of challenges (funds, volunteers, you can fill in the rest) and demands on their efforts. Their success can probably be best measured by how many people they are able to get involved in their efforts and the more people from the community that are able to get the community what it wants and needs. the better.

All of these groups have to communicate the need - the process- the current happenings and the results to all of their community. The Friends of Dundas and Bloor have set strong, well-thought-out priorities and have communicated them in a site that is completely complete.

A bit from their site..
To ensure that Toronto does not sqaunder this exceptional opportunity to ehance the life of the city and its neighbourhoods, the Friends of Dundas and Bloor Steering Committee insists on:

A new pedestrian entranceway to Dundas West Station on the east side of Dundas....A new entranceway to Dundas West Station on the 1540 site at the pedestrian corner of Dundas and Bloor...A set of vigorous and multi-faceted studies, under full leadership and direction of the City’s Planning Department and City Council, including:...An Avenue Study on Dundas Street from Howard Park / Roncesvalles intersection through Annette Dupont...Investment by the City, possibly in partnership with the developer, in redesigning Dundas West Station

more at the site...

Friends of Dundas and Bloor found via West Bend Community Association

Friday, May 16, 2008

main event at the confluence of Bathurst/King West/Wellington

The main event at  the confluence of  Bathurst - King West - Wellington this year is building. The building up of condos and the removal of small buildings that once housed the small manufacturers who gave great support to this city. The small firms have been long  supplanted by offices for media and designers and other such persons. This is happening fast and if you want to see a WTO (West Toronto) area  move from one period of history to another, you could do no better then a 1/2 hour walk in there.

Maybe just maybe enough of the old tales of the small manufacturers will stay to provide all the new condo residents, with some history to rub shoulders with. This area greatly needs this dense development as it cleans out in the evenings once the area workers have visited the pub or had a meal after work.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

People dancing in Christie Pits Park (Bloor and Christie)


Christie Pits park was simply full on action and people Thursday night.

Dundas West - Retail Reno Watch

Retail Reno watchDundas West 3093

3093 Dundas St. West (south side between Quebec Ave. and Clendenan Ave.)

Although we’re seeing a lot of new businesses popping up on Dundas West in the junction, but there’s not a great deal of construction going on, upgrading the fronts of the buildings (there is much interior renovation, of course). We’re definitely looking forward to seeing how this building takes shape (in and out) and how much care and interest (with respect to the streetscape) the owner and the builder put into the front.

Will they replace the bay window at the second floor in character?  Please.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

1st Sorauren Farmers Market season

Picture credit - web site 2008

There is a new farmers market coming to the west end. The Sorauren Farmers Market will take place in Sorauren Park on MONDAYS 3-7pm, MAY 26th till OCTOBER 27th, rain or shine.

The Market is a project of the West End Food Coop and wants to speak to food issues as well as provide viably sourced food. They intend to offer a full selection of local, organic, and sustainable vegetables, fruits, natural meats, artisan cheeses, and flour/grain products with 15-20 vendors, more than half of which from the Greenbelt and GTA foodshed.

Also they have a call out for volunteers  - who will be crucial in running the Markets every week.

For more info visit the West End Food Coop

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vine Ave. parkette Shed cartoons

Vine Parkette Cartoons may 13th 2008

Picture credit - R English 2008

A reader today emailed us photos of the Vine Ave parkette being painted with cartoons. Is this one of a lot installations like this? Both the painter and the boy in the foreground like it!

Jane/Wollner garden Plots


This past Saturday the Jane/Wollner garden Plots were a bee hive of activity with 10 people working at making there plots ready. A couple of guys with a big bright red tiller were doing the rounds tilling people plots.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hydro Pole removal on Pacfic Ave


Hydro pole removal on Pacific Ave continues southward towards Bloor St W., as it's looks now they will be blocking Pacific south of Humberside Av. Tuesday the 13th.

Notice one person has the job of axing out the remains after pole removal it must be fun

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Neighbours hosing down the sidewalk

Over at TZERO you can find a great post - funny and light - fully symbolic, about people hosing down their front sidewalks.

Link to Post

Great picture too.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

old/new gas station at St Clair and Runnymede

Gas station at St Clair and Runnymede

The long Time taxi repair station/gas station on the north/west corner of St Clair and Runnymede Rd has been undergoing extensive reconstruction over the past few months. The service bay building has been striped to the concrete block. New underground gas tanks have been installed.  Our question is the site now going to be a convenience store/gas station or revert to a taxi repair station/gas station.

Friday, May 9, 2008

What new retail?

shoe repair west Keele north Dundas

While the Junction area of Dundas St West has filled with great food establishments, it needs more of what it is missing... stores maybe run by craftspeople, furniture maker/designers, a sustainable jewelery store and more clothing stores . These type of retailers would help round out the retail offerings and probably generate more traffic for the food establishments. But does it need more galleries? Yes, its accepted that galleries bring people from out of the community which in turn (hopefully) shop and eat in the Junction. Galleries also provide interest for locals, but a street with more than enough galleries removes valuable retail space for some of the other retailers mentioned above. This can reduce the possibility of the strip having a complete and varied retail sector that can fulfill the needs of the community.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

High Park swans


Submitted by Lado and Adriana

These swans are in Grenadier Pond is located at its western edge of the park. The High Park Citizens Advisory Committee has a great amount of just about everything you want to know about the park on their website.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hmmm..... what type of restaurants do we need now?

It is incredible to see the influx of new shops, stores and restaurants in the Junction of West Toronto.  The growth has been tremendously positive, even though parking seems to be at a premium on Friday nights on the local streets.

Now the question is, what type of restaurants do we still need in the area so one never needs to leave again for dinner out?  A Japanese restaurant that serves great veggie maki would round out the Asian style offerings and a Greek restaurant serving garlicky souvlaki would be my picks. 

Posted by Denise

What price for Junction Retail? 3 buildings on offer


Looking at the listings for these buildings, it's hard to understand why the big difference in the prices of 3069 and 3063.   Anyone have any thoughts on the price difference?

3087 has one great facade, but the storefront needs to be restored to harmonize it with the upper floors.   
3069 Dundas St W (listing W1360683)

3087 Dundas St W (listing W1365765)

3063 Dundas St W (listing W1341847)

To view a listing visit  and enter listing number (with the W) above into the listing search box

Cool Hand of a Girl restaurant - reopens

Cool hand of a grirl reopens

It's great to see that someone thought it was a good idea to reopen this restaurant - a lot of local people like it. Maybe Cool Hand of a Girl will have longer opening hours now and extend beyond the weekend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Smart Meters

meter back face on-010-web-may-6-2008

Picture credit - junctioneer 2008

Today a member of Toronto Hydro who was removing the old electrical meters and installing the new smart meters let us photograph the procedure, and explained why the new meters are a big step forward in helping with electricity conservation and in simply helping people reduce their electrical bills.

He informed us that smart meter records how much energy is used and when it's used. This allows for different electricity rates for different times of the day, and will allow people to choose when to use electricity to take advantage of lower rates.


Link - Meter manufacturers fact sheet about the new meter. (Elster metering)

Link - Toronto Hydro Smart meters

(Toronto Hydro)

Monday, May 5, 2008

“It’s all about you.” 550 Wellington West Condomium Dev.


Can this work? A condominium development at 550 Wellington West, is marketing itself as filling Toronto's supposed gap "between style and service". Attaching a condominium to a hotel is probably a reasonable idea if you intend to sell the condos to people who enjoy residential hotel services. Yet reading the development’s web site, one gets the idea that much of this "live a sophisticated life" marketing is just that - marketing. With starting prices of $179,900 and up for 500 square feet, can the people at buying at that level afford the cost of all the service listed on the web site? I cannot but wonder if this development will finally settle in to an existence similar to that which 1 King West has.

We'll come back to this one

Toronto Life's take on the project. 3rd review down

550 Wellington West - development site

Large trellis at Massy Harris Park

MassyHarris park May 05 08

The large trellis designed by Brown and Storey Architects James McLeod at Massy Harris Park, and located on the site of the former Massey-Harris-Ferguson Ltd at 945 King St. W. (west of Strachan Ave.) provides a wonderful making of place. It gives the feeling of being in a park for those directly under the trellis. It's so easy to lose sight of a park like atmosphere when living in an urban setting, so objects such as this trellis really help people feel that experience.

The general design of the park was by Brown + Storey Architects.

Yet can the trellis be considered art?

Well the update below answers the question the large trellis is some type of plinth for the suspended artwork, .. going to take another look at before finishing this update see blow comment that resulted in the update [Update Oct 7th, 2008]

Update Oct 7th, 2008

A comment was posted by someone at Brown and Storey Architects.

From the comment below;

The trellis was in fact primarily designed by Brown and Storey Architects with input from James McLeod. The stainless steel braided cable artwork that is suspended from the trellis was exclusively designed, produced and installed by James McLeod.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mimico Station Grand Trunk Railway relocation


Picture credit - David 2008

I never saw the station in its original location but it is obvious that it had long since fallen into disrepair. It seems the station was on the verge of demolition when a group of local activists took up its cause and won approval from the city for a plan of removal to a new location and restoration, which, according to their site is imminent now that it is consolidated to its final home on its new foundation. The movement from its original location two years ago was quite an operation as can be seen in this video:

minico from GO Station

In the picture above, taken from the entrance to the contemporary GO station, you can see the chain link fenced area where the old station sat for two years waiting for its permanent home. To the right you can see the station in its new permanent home where it was moved last November in Coronation Park at the corner of Judson and Royal York Rd.

Posted by David

Just above and out sight


Picture credit - junctioneer 2008

Just above St Clair St. west and just west of Keele, are two streets that have a long history with West Toronto's Meat packing and processing industry - Gunns Rd (named after one of the original packers in the area) and Glen Scarlett Rd. Both of these roads are not visited much by the nearby residental community simply because of their deep industrial character. A walk there today exhibits an geniuely wonderful mixture of enterprising firms who have been there a long time and have worked for  continued success and new use refurbishment of other buildings. Also there is a great meat shoppe, set up just like one in a meat packing area should be.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Outdoor screening of “The Junction: Yesterday to Today”

Sheppards Men and Boys Wear

Picture Credit - Robert Johnston 1991

The junctioncity community events site has a great event this Saturday evening -- from the site...
an outdoor screening of “The Junction: Yesterday to Today” running from 9:00pm to 10:00pm, at the “Junction City” Square, 3 blocks west of Keele at Pacific and Dundas Street West. This screening, presented in association with the West Toronto Junction Historical Society, will feature local Junction photographers from the past 100 years showcasing the changes in the community and the arts.

New Sidewalks on Dundas St West near Runnymede


Yesterday and today workers have been installing new sidewalks at a crossing near Dundas St. West and Runnymede. site is sat here right now while changes are made to the normal host This was done on May 28th 2019 This update post will...