Thursday, July 31, 2008

things you need to know when buying an older house in the junction

Possible Reno Nightmare

Thinking of buying an older house in the Junction?  Ok, well the vast majority of the houses are just old, with only a few new townhouses around ...new being the past 20 years ;-).  Buying the house comes with one item you cannot avoid - prior renos.  Think 'onion', except it's very hard to peel, and you may find that someone else has already been inside and replaced a layer with whatever loose cinder blocks, brick and pieces of wood they may have had lying around.

So, before you snatch up that old Victorian steal, stop;  and ask neighbours, the agent, the seller, and yourself some of these important questions:

How many owners has the house had? (ie. how many layers are there?)

What's that white, paper insulation around the pipes? (asbestos)

Why is that piece of plywood nailed to the basement wall? (hiding a hole?)

Were the past owners nice? (tells volumes about what you may find)

Should that sparking wire be sticking out of the floor?

Many people try to do renos themselves, and the older the house the more people that have probably done something wrong.  Always get a house inspection- if even only to have someone to curse when you find the toilet doesn't flush.  And, always go in with your eyes open and make sure you love the house enough to put up with some lengthy retro-repairs.  Oh, and try to think of what the house was and what it should be when making any changes.  Finally, remember that one of the main selling points of any house in the Junction is that it's in the Junction.

Posted by Louis

Arts Junction Blog series on arts in the Junction

Art of the Junction is a series of posts on creative happenings in the junction currently being posted by the  Arts Junction Blog. Their method of a series of interrupted posts really provides a continuum, where everyone can truly get a feel of the ebb and flow of the arts energy in the community.

Freed's quiet condo demo





Freed Development's Six50 (650) King West - 214 Unit Residential Condominium project has begun demolition -    quietly it seems, questioned a office worker- a  project manager - type located in the building 1 or 2 doors down, was not aware of the  demo that was creating the huge pipe of debris outside the back of the building where he worked.  Visible from Spadina Ave just north of King St currently the demo provides a bit momentary visual excitement.  Sitting in wait is a larger piece of equipment surely bought in to completely make people working in the buildings around the development aware that they have begun, and reinforce to those who have purchased condos in the new building that their new home has had it's curtain raising.

Past Freed Development posts

Freed Developments sovereign rights declared

hemmed in







The Gardiner Expressway is raised well above ground level but one can barely see the lake from this spot just west of High Park where a new Lakeshore Rd. West condo is going up in the air space between two others. This new condo addition will create a wall of condos, barring any views  - air flow? to the areas just west of High Park. Further socially the wall of condos with their private property rights will block the the free flow of all people to the greatly expanded waterfront park system. Robert Moses would have been proud of the city planner who ok'd this.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Interesting house of the day 4 -189 Franklin Ave



This house even without all of the selling agents buildup is a home, at least it's looks  like it is from the outside. The home offers a veranda with flower boxes and chairs to sit on. The veranda is roofed which is great for standing on in rainstorms and feeling the mist, and bringing in the kids and food without getting soaked as you search for the key. The second floor has a small but usable bay window.  Looking at the picture you can just see the current owners made the house a home, which probably indicates it was maintained well and retros were done with care.

from the listing... link to listing

Basic Details

  • 3+1 bedroom(s)  1 kitchen(s)   Approx. lot size is 18.00 x 106.00 Feet

  • Estimated annual taxes is $2609.70

  • Additional Details



  • Central Air Conditioning  2-Storey style living  Detached style living  Brick Exterior

  • Detached garage with 2 parking space(s)  2 parking spaces total

  • Sewers system <-- (don't know what this is anyone know?)

Why does a Pickering publisher think they are needed here?





Today a paper arrived, it's new?  What is it for?  Why do the publishers of this paper think the Junction community needs a paper from an American company with a branch publishing arm in Canada?  Simply this is a commercial enterprise seeking to profit from the held belief the Junction is demographically an upcoming community. A little research has shown this company likes real estate ads to feed on.  If this effort was a commercial company formed by a group of West Toronto citizens intent on publishing a real community paper, people who walk the streets each day and catch the thoughts in the air - great. Is this paper really necessary or is it simply a problem?

Troubling as the the idea of this drop in paper is, further most if not all the editorial content seems to be off the shelf, with no local authors.

This papers appearance may remind some people of the Port Hope newspaper The Crier a protest newspaper 1st published in 1999 by some Port hope citizens troubled with Conrad Black's ownership of the local newspaper, the Evening Guide. Author Farley Mowat was one of the backers of this great paper that lasted but 15 months -  it ended later after Black put all of his papers up for sale.

Maybe the community protest here should be to the advertisers who support this effort? As long as they buy ads these guys will stick around- no ads and they are gone.

Comments are important for this post... please

The publishers web site click here

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vine Parkette is Flush with cash- Will they spend it without your input?





In August of 2006 the community had a meeting in Vine Ave Parkette with the local councilor and the park manager -  the outcome was... the money wasn't there to replace the equipment, and this sort of thing took a long time. Well someone in the parks department has does a great job and by using development charges levied on developers has put together $40000.00 which is just short of $7000.00 of the $47000.00  the parks manager stated would be the ballpark price to replace the playground equipment.

A long time has passed...the community has been quietly and trustfully waiting...

Well isn't it time we all contacted the parks department and asked them to accept the communities input?

Parks general email: parks@toronto.ca     Telephone:416-392-1111

Note: Thanks to the reader who drew attention to the current and  immediate need to get the message regarding this issue out... thanks.    Here is a PDF File about the issue at the City site, from which the above images came.

Kipling Ave Toronto, Glass Container Plant closing



Glass vessels entering a Lehr

Picture Credit - junctioneer

Owens-Illinois, Inc is closing it's Kipling Ave Plant in West Toronto totally on Sept 30 '08. This is a huge loss of manufacturing jobs in West Toronto.  Yet it is even more of a complete loss of a type of manufacturing that will NOT return to West Toronto - with all it's mid and highly skilled jobs. Glass container manufacturing is an expensive business to set up a plant for production, and a costly price sensitive business to run. Once this glass plant is dismantled it will not likely ever be rebuilt especially in West Toronto. This plant which used to be the Consumers Glass plant before Owens-Illinois, Inc purchased it, is one of the last plants in West Toronto that required a highly trained and carefully skilled large workforce. The tumble down effect on suppliers such as automation and mechanical services companies will be great, as this manufacturing type requires a lot of maintenance.

This is an old plant and the company must have had a difficult time maintaining it, although it would be much better for West Toronto to retain this plant, the company will still operate a new facility in Brampton.

Now that land is gone, there will be probably be one or two years of decommissioning and land use studies.  Following that, will be a probable sale, perhaps for condos, light industrial, or townhouse tract housing.

Posted by Robert

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mimico Waterfront: Phase 1 opens - press scrum coverage





Its a perfect day in the neighbourhood!

A variety of Mimico residents, politicians and local activists are celebrating the opening of Phase 1 of Mimico's new waterfront park until 5pm today. Several acres of park (recent landfill) and boardwalk are now officially open after two years of construction.

Although no money is yet earmarked for Phase 2 of the waterfront project, apparently the primary obstacle is not, money to do the construction but rather, two property owners who are unwilling to sell or otherwise allow the city to connect the paths and park land that Phase 2 requires.  Hopefully these owners will seek to ingratiate themselves with Torontonians rather than force them to raise some exorbitant fee to expropriate these lands.

Posted By David

Development Watch - old Keele Street Canadian Tire Store

The junction devoid of condo product - a sure hit for all - thoughts on junction condo development


Deconstruction of the old Keele Street Canadian Tire Store is slowly moving along, rather slowly actually, with many days of seemingly nothing happening, hopefully they will keep to their build schedule as this affordable condo project will greatly change the character - for the better of the Keele St. and Dundas St. corner for the better.

In terms of anticipated success though, it surely is a win situation, even for a for-profit builder to have taken on.  The current project is being developed by a not-for-profit developer (Options for Homes).  The location of the former Canadian Tire Store and further back in time an A&P grocery store is selectivity brilliant, not only for its junction address, but for the views afforded by it's location south to High Park and East to the core of the city. Also the site is a sloped, a wonderful design feature in terms of walking to, out and around the building. Hopefully they make great use of this feature with their landscaping.  Another reason the project is welcomed to the neighborhood is because it replaces an empty building of no real importance to the history of the community, a building which sat vacant for years. The building's units in terms of size are favorable with other condo projects of the same size and are reasonably affordable at a time when gigantic and expensive condos are in unprecedented demand in many parts of the west of Toronto.

So why not build even more aggressively, in Toronto's hot condo market, where there are teenage and budding condo developers peeking around most corners, huddled in corner Starbucks uttering phrases such as -  we could do that a lot better, just look at that, they should have..., maybe the not for profit should try a different model, one of self contracting the construction of the building, A well executed and thought out process to do a self managed construction process  would lower the prices of the condos in their development.  Self contracting worked for O&Y and  Tridel developments at their beginnings. Using a builder adds cost, of course the builder for The Village by High Park - Deltera is a good builder - a for profit builder, who then subcontracts out most of the work to other contractors. Part of the Tridel Group of Companies, Deltera is a prime residential builder with cutting edge building technology and a history of building innovations which any developer - especially a not for profit should fully mine, to archive the best possible building for their value conscious customers. Rather than simply hire Deltera for it's concrete and plumbing etc management skills hire them to push the limits - carefully - for affordable housing, wouldn't Deltera - deep down  be happier along with the future residents.

Posted by Robert

Junction Residents Assoc. Next agenda meeting for August 6th



Picture Credit - Metrix X Flickr

August 6th is the next meeting of the new Junction Residents Association meeting, at The Troubadour Bar – 3071 Dundas St. West.  A member is researching a regular place to hold future meetings - maybe in a local church, and hopes to have this organized by the time of the August 6th 7:00pm meeting.  A regular meeting location where the group will not interfere with the operating of the Troubadour Bar when displays are needed and the group gets many more people attending is probably a well placed effort right now.

Minutes recorded by Chris Piche link below.

Junction residents association July 2nd 2008 minintes in PDF File format click to open.

Agenda highlights for the August 6th meeting...

Organizational stuff


Mission statement

Organizing of Chairs

Sub committees?

1st issues


Vine parkette funding park and  benches

bike hoops

Junction Artsfest booth have one?, staffing?

Creation of crime and safety subcommittee to organize participation in these issues

Guests


Invited police guest talk.

Open forum

Link to PDF copy of the agenda

Friday, July 25, 2008

Retained orig door in Hospital house conversion planned or design change





St Joesph Health Centre in the past year or so converted this house at Parkdale Rd and Glendale Ave too a design means more suitable for the the hospitals needs, they converted the interior of  the existing house and added a large wing onto the back.  ...And the reason for this post - the retained original door in  house. During the conversion was it planned simply because the door is an special part of the original building character or a later design change planned & done quickly? What is questioning is can it really be a quick change with the air unit placed where it is - such an placement is usually planned early on in the design process.

Posted by Robert

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bloor Dundas 'Avenue' Study organic? with community?



Between Keele Street and Dundas Street West and for Dundas Street West between Glenlake Ave. the City of Toronto is conducting a study will identify a vision for the future development of the area, as well as develop an implementation program to achieve this vision.

The guiding principles outlined below from the city web site for the study are truly, enlightening in thought but very weak in meaningful purpose and achievable reality, in fact this whole site could simply have the name replaced with any community in the city. Inviting the community to a kick off meeting with a few good input questionnaires - yes the VISUAL PREFERENCE SURVEY (link) was good. Yet why not place with the people of the community the truth of the situation. - Why does the city believe an ave study is needed in the 1st place? Probably everyone agrees the area is undergoing a change from it's current uses to a greater resident density with developments such as that at Indian Road and Bloor (1638 Bloor Street West) and Dundas and Bloor (1540 Bloor Street West) and with that the area will greatly change probably for the better - if it's developed organically by the community more so than the consultants.

From the July 7 th kick off meeting site...








The seven guiding principles developed through City Planning’s recent Bloor Street Visioning Initiative will inform the study’s work and help shape a vision for the area.

The seven guiding principles are:

Bloor Dundas Area



  1. Encourage community vitality through a mix of uses that includes retail/commercial at-grade;

  2. Enhance the pedestrian and cyclist experience along Bloor Street West;

  3. Encourage opportunities to green the public and private realms;

  4. Improve and integrate transit services and facilities;

  5. Encourage development at an appropriate scale and density that is compatible with the existing built form, street width and neighbourhood context;

  6. Encourage high quality architecture that builds upon the positive attributes of the area; and

  7. Protect existing neighbourhoods from negative impacts.


Link to the city's study site lots there


a bigger stick - Mimico Garbage issues





For many years the city has been encouraging apartment and condo dwellers and the owners of these buildings to engage with the city's wider waster diversion (recycling) programs.  Building owners were weaned off incineration over 20 years ago and were then encouraged to step up recycle efforts. Nevertheless, many residents have never taken up the torch of recycling and treat as a birth-right, the ability to drop it down the shoot and forget about it.

This disengagement is now very evident in mixed residential communities where buildings and their residents who have not taken recycling seriously now have that problem compounded by having their garbage collection reduced from two days a week, to one, depending on the number of units, or even to bi-weekly if under 9 units. The mess this causes at street level can then create a toxic relationship among the single family home dwellers, the landlords of these buildings and the city for not dealing with this and instead throwing away the carrot in favor of pay-for-use, a bigger stick.

Posted By David

Mimico Waterfront Park Phase 1 BBQ and fish demonstration



Picture Credit - Gary J. wood Flickr

Mimico will celebrate partial rejuvenation of its waterfront Monday, July 28 from 2:00 - 5:00pm at 2445 Lakeshore Blvd. West, behind Storefront Humber.


Advertised in the July 23rd Etobicoke Gaurdian, 'Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation invite you to join us in celebrating the opening of Mimico Waterfront Park - Phase 1.'

For more info contact:
Connie Pinto
416-661-6600 ext. 5387
email: cpinto@trca.on.ca
www.trca.on.ca/events/calendar

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thoughtful Appropriateness



Either the owner of this building at Clendenen Ave and Dundas St or the retail tenant has planted grass and erected a fence along the rear yard of the building. This yard also flanks Clendenen Ave. With this thoughtful and simple reworking of their property they have transformed a small bit of the junction to a more relaxed and  pleasant space.  The low fence is protective of their space yet not pushing the community out as would a higher fence. All in all this small yard will proably have a very postive effect on the community.

Posted by Robert

Proposed Etobicoke - Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT)



The city of Toronto is holding public consultations on the proposed new LRT line which would replace bus service along Finch from Yonge St to H27. According to this add placed in the Etobicoke Gaurdian, this LRT is one of 'a proposed network of seven new light rail lines that would provide comfortable, efficient rapid transit throughout Toronto.' Three 'open houses' are available for input: July 29, August 6, and August 7, 2008 630-9pm at various community gathering places.

www.toronto.ca/involved

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Potholes in need of filling



Picture credit - Robbie1 Flickr

Ah......... potholes seem to be the bane of our communities existence!  The pot hole ridden roads are reminiscent of lesser developed countries.  Our cars are suffering and bikers are wiping out while swerving to avoid the craters.  It seems the city has made some recent efforts to repair some of the local roads.  Vine Avenue has recently been asphalted to smooth out the notoriously bumpy road, but it seems that the City is only going to repair half of the length of the street, which leaves a very uneven transition.

Industry best practices dictate that potholes have a greater volume filled below the surface with unshrinkable fill which is a low strength concrete and then capped by asphalt to provide optimal repairs.   It seems the city is not doing this, but a quick fix with asphalt alone.

"Chasm in an Asphalt Patch" Toronto Star

Posted by Robert

21 Primrose Ave., Mimico: Where do the low incomers go?



A casual passerby might be surprised to find out that this house with good street presence on a quiet tree lined street was a rooming house. Listed for $525 000 and recently sold to a contractor for $485 000 this house will likely be gutted and converted back to a single family dwelling.

This is part of the ongoing transformation of Mimico and neighbourhoods like it, where quasi-illegal, multi unit, low income housing is converted back to single family use, In this real estate market it is actually worth it to a small contractor/developer to buy a house for 485k, gutted it, and reno the entire interior to sell for profit.

The family with money that moves in will suit the neighbours but where do the previous low income renters go?

Posted by David

Monday, July 21, 2008

CP Rail tree cutting methods in junction



Canadian Pacific Railroad has been cutting the branches of any trees that overhang it's property, for example along park fences and streets that dead end on their tracks. The cutting end of the machine pictured above seems to be able to -  and they do cut off 3 inch thick branches, This type of pruning must be injurious to the tree. In addition wood chips the size of a large thumb are thrown out of the cutter head on the street hitting cars and possibly people.

Posted by Robert

Eating out in Mimico





Cafe du Lac, a new restaurant on 2350 Lake Shore Blvd. W. has, in little over a month, become a popular spot. Despite Corey Mintz's (http://www.thestar.com/living/article/460817) review which seemed dedicated to the novelty and folly of eating the Quebec bistro inspired poutine, one might instead appreciate a very well prepared Steak and Frites or Grilled Salmon as was recently enjoyed from the Saturday night prix fix menu. Even if you don't live in the area, you don't have to "schlep" out to south Etobicoke, decompress on the GO train and  enjoy a 15 minute walk from Mimico Station to the restaurant through Old Mimico.

The opening of an interesting new restaurant in Mimico is exciting but there are several existing local spots that have been providing consistently good and affordable meals that are popular among locals. It would be rare to find more than one or two other couples in Thai Delight but that's only because they are much more popular for take-out/delivery. At 170 The Queensway, Thai Delight is directly across the street from the Food Terminal, has a comfortable dining area, a varied menu with several very good Thai style curries and appetizers.

Posted by David

Friday, July 18, 2008

Co-Ownership on High Park Ave?





Lying between direct land and building, home ownership and condominium shared space and maintenance fees sits Co-Ownership. And  sit it does -  hardly used in the Toronto area, but found in a great number of other cities in many countries.   Co-Ownership has the unusual social aspect of really bringing people in a shared home ownership and living situation. It can be beautiful and it can be fraught with danger, if one of the co owners is unreasonable.

These converted duplexes on High Park have an opportunity to succeed if the developers are careful in selecting the buyers and educating them about Co-Ownership, which is an area of home ownership that many people are not familiar with. The developer has started out well with a designed web site which provides info on Co-Ownership and the units themselves.

Co-Ownership on High Park link to site

Posted by Robert

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interesting West Toronto buildings



Picture credit - Grant MacDonald


The BAPS Swaminarayan Complex on 61 Claireville Drive, in Rexdale -Toronto encompasses: the Stone Mandir, the Wooden Haveli and the Educational Museum. Open to visitors from 9am – 8pm daily throughout the year.

BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Toronto, all hand crafted and imported from India. There is no nails, metal or concrete in this structure, it is all interlocking cut stone. (from the photographer)

Link to site and visiting Information & Guidelines

(scroll down about 2/3 on the page for visiting info.)

...something like the suburbs in WTO



On the north side  of Trethewey Drive just west of the Black Creek Business District is something a little like the suburbs. Although the lots and houses are not as wide, as you would find in places such as Mississauga - the streets are very wide , clean and smooth to brke and drive on. The only thing this new pocket neighbourhood of homes lacks is the deep growth of trees in the yards and along the streets, that older WTO areas have, but that will come as the area passes into it's teenage years.

This is one the pocket communities carved out of and IN old industrial areas of WTO, the homes have close proximity of areas of commercial and industrial activity, creating a real community.

Posted by Robert

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

King West Condominiums Preview Evening - better run there

Is there so little selection in condos available in Toronto's west end that all these warnings are needed? Toronto is currently in a condo building boom where there is a lot of selection.  Just look at any condo development web site offering suites for sale now and all the things they are throwing at possible buyers to entice them.

as soon as possible

a limited capacity

If you haven’t done so already

in effect for a strictly limited time



On July 23rd from 5 pm to 8 pm, guests will be able to tour  furnished model suites, King West Condominiums in Liberty Village - preview floorplans, and choose their preferred suite at initial preview prices that are in effect for a strictly limited time.

Posted by Robert

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Toronto city council’s convoluted bid process for city work

How the city bids out


your neighbourhood work


The Daily Commerical News is reporting today in a story about the City of Toronto's convoluted and demanding bid process (for city infrastructure, road, and other works), that the city process for contracting city work out is in need of repair and the city agrees it  is a mess.  Many group are saying it has just become even more problematic with the new lobbyist rules. Under the new rules for example the Ontario General Contractors Association which is attempting to iron out some of the problems is the system with the city has to register as lobbyists. Whenever they attempt to meet with city staff and help them work out a more streamlined bidding process constitutes lobbying and requires registration — something the OGCA says isn’t worth the time.

His frustration is echoed by John Mollenhauer, president of the Toronto Construction Association.


Karen Renkema, director of government relations at the Ontario Road Builders’ Association, meanwhile, still maintains the Toronto registry is another diversion of funds away from crumbling infrastructure but says it’s not a major issue.


The complete  story can be read here at the Daily Commerical News, this industry newspaper provides a look into how city tax dollars are spent in a very informative manner sometimes not provided by the daily papers

20 years of conversion changes fills a small semi detached





20 years of conversion of one single house to a number of apartments over and over again can load a lot of material in the interior finishes of a 16 foot wide 2 story Junction house. Pictured above a responsible and well thinking property manager for the homeowner clears out the years of accumulated and now unneeded layers of material.

Posted by Robert

Monday, July 14, 2008

South beach condos and lofts at Parklawn and Lakeshore





Huge is only part of the story regarding this new condo development, situated on land where once sat a cold cream plant  which was converted to industrial rental units and at one time -- ten years ago a haven for a few small designer workshops this is a huge change and one of the last big sites for a project as big as this one.

South beach condos and lofts

...is a mix of residential and retail uses uncommon to a development in this area - most of the condos to the east on the old motel lands do not have retail other than a small tuck shop.  Presently their site lacks floor plans and other details such as the project team. Although they have converted the old fruit distrubutor to the sales showroom.  Floor plans would seem something that should be up right away, otherwise what can you picture you are getting for the asking price?

Posted by Robert

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hirons St and Keele St reno of rough building





Someone is doing an extensive renovation of this building Hirons St  at Keele St, from 1st looks it appears to be a conversion to residential. This area of Keele St just below West Toronto St has long been neglected- it's good to see some good work being done there.

Posted by Robert

Thursday, July 10, 2008

An effort to ensure Toronto’s fruit doesn’t go to waste



Here's a great and interesting project that deserves more attention, and it's headquartered in West Toronto.  This group harvests fruit from owners trees when the property has more than they can use and distributes it to those who most need it, truly wonderful.

from their site..

not far from the tree ensures that Toronto’s fruit doesn’t go to waste. When fruit tree owners can’t harvest their bounty, we dispatch teams of volunteers to harvest it for them. One third goes to the fruit tree owners, another third goes to the volunteers for their labour, and the final third is distributed (by bicycle or cart) to community organizations in the neighbourhood who can make good use of the fresh fruit.

2008 is our first full season of fruit harvesting, beginning in the neighbourhood of Ward 21/St. Clair West.

This Toronto star story has more about Toronto, backyard fruits.

Posted by Robert

South Kingsway and The Queensway Interchange



The city of Toronto proposed  interchange changes to this area really are needed, in fact they were needed long before the recent development in the area. Constructed in 1956 -  many people used the access to the Queensway this provided to attend jobs at the Stelco bolt and nut plant, Christies bakery and the recently brought down old Noxema plant at 123 Parklawn Rd. Now it would seem many people from the new residential areas would use  the interchange to go up to Bloor West Village. Just recently the community fought to save the interchange from complete removal. Now there is a determined need for this renew' why now and not when they wanted to take out the interchange?


from the report

The changes can be made without significantly compromising the integrity and level of service of the ramp connections. Generally, they involve relocating the transit platforms to a more amenable and accessible location, the installation of pedestrian activated traffic control signals, the realignment, augmentation and enhancement of the local sidewalk network, the provision of enhanced street and
pedestrian scale lighting and the provision of inclusion of urban design and landscaping features, heritage elements and new trees
















Background Information
Links to June 16, 2008 reports


(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2008/ey/bgrd/backgroundfile-14077.pdf)
(text)
Attachment
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2008/ey/bgrd/backgroundfile-14078.pdf) (greater area map)


Posted by Robert

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday unusual



Parkside Drive at Lakeshore Rd closed due to combine sewage and strormdrain overflow - reported on the Toronto Star website 11am today.

Posted by Robert

50 % Houses appearing more & more in WTO





Want a new big house in a west Toronto community with well developed shopping and parks, along with the ability to walk to most of your destinations?  Throw in that the big box stores are a short drive or middling bike trip away.  Oh and you have the guts to deal with an architect or CET and maybe some builders.

Many people want all of these goodies yet do not want the suburban drive or long soulless streets. So if any of this appeals to you, you can have it all and save money by using the maybe not so well known 50% rule... buy a small house in your neighborhood of choice, 1st checking for clean lane ways and respectful yet community involved neighbors, then come up with your dream house with the architect or CET, then tear down half the house, be sure to incorporate the 50 percent of the old house left in your new design, have your builder build the house and move in, to a house in a place you like with fully mature trees and old parks.

Where the savings kick in is the fact the house is not deemed to be a new house (you only removed 50 percent)- so no new house tax.

While it may fine with respect to your neighbors property and sight lines (views) to do this. performing this conversion on a  historically important house in terms of archtecture or history is a no no, although  surely the neighbours will point this last part out to you if you choose the wrong house.

Posted by Robert

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

another laneway that isn't just a laneway

This lane way



..near Brumell Ave - in the Annette St. and Jane St area on the Baby Point side is beautiful to walk down.  people who live with houses abutting the lane have taken some special care to make the lane way a little oasis.

Posted by Robert

wikipedia on High Park North,Runnymede-Bloor West,Swansea

Toronto has 140


Neighbourhoods (still working out which do /are  part of Toronto West)


Neighbourhoods  descriptions of Toronto's west end  written up on Wikipedia can be interesting, for example this 1st one  High Park North which seems to exit just below the junction, no doubt if you live there you probably know the name. Yet isn't this city split into too many neighbourhoods, it would seem that on a lot of issues all of the communities listed below would have common interests. It comes to mind that with so many neighbourhoods we may be losing the true sense and defining population characterizations of what is needed to produce a knit community with imaginary area dividing lines.

from widipedia...


High Park North is an officially-defined neighbourhood of the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is bounded on the south by Bloor Street, on the west by Runnymede Road, on the north by Annette Street, Quebec Avenue and Humberside Avenue, and on the east by the CNR/CPR railway tracks. It is located in the Parkdale-High Park provincial and federal ridings. High Park North is mainly residential, containing many semi-detached homes built in the early 20th century. North of High Park, the neighbourhood has several high-rise apartment buildings, built after the construction of the Bloor-Danforth subway.

Runnymede-Bloor West Village is a neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada located north of Bloor Street West between Jane Street and Runnymede Road north to Dundas Street West. It is located directly north of the Swansea and west of the High Park North neighbourhoods. Located along Bloor Street is Canada's first 'business improvement area' (BIA), "Bloor West Village." Homes in this neighbourhood are generally two story brick houses, however renovations are becoming popular and many of the traditional homes are being torn down to create larger, more modern homes

Swansea is a neighbourhood in the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, bounded on the west by the Humber River, on the north by Bloor Street, on the east by High Park and on the south by Lake Ontario. The neighbourhood was originally a separate municipality, the Village of Swansea, which was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1967 Swansea is primarily residential in nature

Monday, July 7, 2008

17 possible days of Paving of Vine Ave



This notice placed on the car windshields on Vine Ave indicates the grinding and resurfacing of the street between July 07 and 25. This has been needed for sometime as when you drive down Vine Ave or Mc Murray  Ave you have trouble avoiding the potholes. Too bad they are not  reconstructing the roads, they did this grind and resurface stuff about 10 years ago but with all the water pipe replacements the subroad must need replacing as this process does not fix the subroad issues.

Queen West Market and the trend for craft maker run spaces



From their site

Queen West Market is intended to provide an opportunity for Vendors to showcase their
products to the general public. Whether it be art, fashion designs, collectibles or food creations.


about...For the west side of Toronto this space where makers/designers can rent space and sell their works is great especially for people who wish to have something of greater connection to the area where they live as many craft people tend to place a lot of community into their work. The works available in such a setting our going to be out of the normal fare of the large retail store or even most small chains, or independents with all the goodness that creates.

But one of the most interesting items concerning this space is that it appears to be operated by a craft person Karen Kawarsky and a person who runs a vintage clothing retail space Kealan Sullivan.  This is exceptionally great as it somewhat brings back the West Toronto craft tradition to the craft side of town. Although Toronto never had a craft movement as strong as the Roycrofters (wikipedia) in Upstate New York it did have a strong grouping of people in the High Park and Junction area, who worked out of small shops and many from their homes.

Friday, July 4, 2008

New real estate transaction rules



New regulations that come into effect today, require realtors to collect personal information from property buyers & sellers , such as their name, address, date of birth and occupation, backed up by identification and confidentially retain such information for 5 years. They will be required to provide the information to  the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada if asked.

Backgrounder on Bill C-25

PDF of above link download junctioneer -  Backgrounder on Bill C-25

Transcribing City Council Discussions for greater Accessibility and Transparency

City Hall Hansard: Transcribing City Council Discussions for greater Accessibility and Transparency - by Councillor Brad Bradford, seconded...