Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Today the demo company at the Options for Homes - Village by the Park removed part of the subway wall at the front Keele St. side of their project. This wall which was much higher may have served as part of the wall of the piano manufacturing plant that was on the site before the CanTire store.
More of the Junction gone, hopefully the new building ssection here will out value this section of wall. The Green Pro demo workers doing the work seemed to be doing it carefully though, which is swell.
Just look at about any street or avenue in the city and you can quickly spot the absent landlord rented building, the garbage out front, the 4 doorbells the constant move in move out cylces.
For many years the city had let absent landlords really mess up some streets, and getting the city to enforce the more basic bylaws is just impossible.
Hopefully the new bylaw will pass.
This condo project has views, you must say between Grenadier Pond, Sunnyside and High Park. It has a tower and townhouses. The developer calls the tower a soaring and contemporary. Which they must be basing on all the glass, ok the can have the soaring bit and even the contemporary, yet is that enough for what they had to start with - a great location with 3 wonderful views, some noise from the major road, and room for quite a few townhouses.
When such a good site as this becomes a good design rather than an excellent design encompassing all the possibilities of the area encoded into the design and matched to the wishes and not just the standard needs of prospective buyers, some wondering should occur.
Is it the lack of thought and action on the developer or is it the weakness of the condo buying public, who may be unwilling to purchase a unit in a building that is greater in whole if there is some risk attached to the design.
The town homes in this project do not suffer from the problems described above of the tower they appear from the artist rendering to be well thought out and will be useful and fun to live in. Useful top floor decks will provide and the in ease of living the stacked design of the units.
One of their construction images JUL 08 Windermere by The Lake
Monday, September 29, 2008
Options for Homes - Village by the Park development sits at the bottom of a land basin just south of the CPR main line running east west across Toronto, and there is a large concrete wall held back with tiebacks which support the Railroads tracks above. This wall may have been shown to be unsound at some period during the demo. A number of new steel beams have been driven into the ground at the top end of the site by the railroad tracks. The old CanTire store stood on the site for at least 40 years so some remedial action was probably needed just in the normal course of wear and stress that building foundations would have suffered from the train movement.
The pictures above are of the new pile driven steel beams, right now it's difficult to get images of the original tiebacks used in the current retaining wall. Info on Tiebacks from wikipedia [opens in new window}
Friday, September 26, 2008
The opening of the 1st part of Vine parkette's renovation happened today with community members, Lowes employees who section 37 development funds contributed to the reno. A good size count of residents, Lowe's employees and parks people were on hand to help.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
What you see at the end of Keele St, well at the end in the middle of Keele St
Keele St is a major arterial road in The junction and Mount Dennis areas and has the usual aspect of having a dead end right in the middle of it. And it is this dead end which has a mile of Keele St below it to the south and a number of miles of roadway above it to the north. The Keele street dead end right in the middle of all this road is so much a fun and interesting characteristic of the community.
At this end-middle there is a plot of land with a number of buildings on it belong to a company called Terrazzo Mosaic & Tile Co Ltd one of those most interesting companies that help build community such as The junction and Mount Dennis which thrive on a mix of residential and industry.
Posted by Robert
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Picture Credit - www.britinbrooklyn.com
Village by the Park CanTire Demo complete to ground level
So it’s ready -- to start another condo build in south west Toronto, as Village by the Park – Options for Homes site gets cleared of the debris of the old building on the site. The old CanTire store at Dundas St. and Keele St was completely leveled to the ground yesterday. At the same time The James Club condominium at 1135 Royal York Road, is progressing with what looks like part of building foundations beginning to rise out of the ground.
While these two projects are entirely different in the type of housing they are building, there still is a common issue of bringing people to live on land which has sat for the past decade in each of their areas. In addition the sites which are unusual local for residential us use. In the case of The James Club condominiums, you could locations for the placement of the building as in an off ramp. The Village by the Park butts the CPR Tracks. Yet these condos will build neighborhood just because of their placement by putting people feet in disused areas of the community.
A large D class truck full of wood chips with an internal pusher to get the chips out of the truck has dropped off two loads by 12.30 pm Wednesday.
Toronto parks which is having Lowes stores employee volunteers and the community assist in the spreading of these chips, better have quite a number of shovels.
Posted by Robert
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Wednesday September 24, 2008
Humbercrest United Church
16 Baby Point Road
In the sanctuary
For more information
Driving west on the Gardiner Expressway you can four condo cranes south of the roadway, Councillors in WTO really need to look fast and hard at the issue of the quick rise in numbers of the condos, as it will greatly affect all residents. Condominiums will be greater in number in housing units as compared to standalone homes. Yet right now the city is orientated to single standalone homes followed by apartment blocks. Is the WTO going to be ready with services for the change?
Backgrounder info: click links below
A few days ago the Globe published story - For the first time in generations, developers are now building as much housing inside city limits as they are in outlying suburbs, also it states the age of urban sprwal in Toronto may be over.
This article [opens in new window] from the magazine Canadian Architect speaks to the issue of what's being built doesn't challenge any precepts of basic housing. yet the City of Toronto is changing at a rapid rate.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Village by The Park a Options for Homes affordable condo development in the Junction is moving along fast with the demo of the old Canadian Tire store. This must be a welcome relief to the many purchasers of the units who have seen the date when they will be able to move in be pushed back.
Condo developers have to take their responsibility to purchasers very seriously and act with concern for their welfare all thought the process of selling them a unit and the later building of the building itself. Pushing back an occupancy date causes purchases to have to rework their housing arrangements so they have a place to live until their unit is ready. This can be very difficult for some people.
These pictures taken from the vantage point of the north side of the development probably provide a view that won’t be there when the building is complete.
From the The Toronto Star click the above link to visit The Junction Parents Blog for a link to the complete story and a link to the clinics site
A renowned Toronto clinic that has helped thousands of mothers successfully breastfeed their infants is pleading for financial help to keep its doors open.
The Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institute, which sees about 2,400 mothers a year and is a popular resource for educators and health-care professionals, has been financed privately by a family foundation since 2005.
On Sept. 30 that arrangement will end, clinic founder and pediatrician Dr. Jack Newman said yesterday. The clinic will only be able to operate for a couple of months without more money. Newman is prepared to use his own savings, but only for a little while.
Posted by Robert
Friday, September 19, 2008
The firm Road savers (Rexdale) is at Vine Parkette today placing forms around the perimeter of playground (old one) to form some sort of concrete curve around the area. About 7 men and few pickups are there at 1:34 pm.
Still most of the public around the Park just has questions and more questions, yes it swell the parks invite the community too a wood spreading event, but we have not been told the timeline of production schedule.
It is quite strange when the contractors doing the work, are the only ones explaining to public what’s happening in their own community park.
Posted by Robert
Village by the Park demo moves fast Friday Sept 19th with a 3 larger backhoes working against the building. One backhoe has a clasp grapple, while another has a metal shear and a third has concrete demo/crusher attachment.
Most interesting is that they have removed the hoarding from the Keele St. side of the lot, which great views at the present time.
Call for Junction Urban Development ideas
On October 9 the Junction Residents Association committee will be conducting a strategy session and we are looking to the community for urban development projects.
All ideas are welcome from the simple (more bike posts) to the over the top (permanent town square). Please also think beyond the physical side of urban development and submit ideas on job creation, enhancement of the arts and heritage preservation.
Please remember the JRA agenda is to strengthen the existing community and promote positive urban development.
Please submit your ideas before September 30 at the email address below;
Requested Post By Martin
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Today we start a new experiment on this blog,
…with all the happenings at various parks in the Junction area, much of it happening without the knowledge, let alone the input of the people who use the parks and consider them an important part of their lives. It was thought, the time to watch the parks a lot more closely is now.
To do this we gave 5 people who live across or near some parks in the Junction, and are home most days, - some who work from a home office and others who are stay at home parents disposable cameras (all cameras paid for my a Junction industrial business. Thanks) and asked them to take pictures of work being done to their park.
We will collect the images and their reports and post them on the blog, and see what comes of it.
If you want to include a few of your park pics just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org (we like pics of big parks department trucks)
Posted by Robert
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
the man says "Toronto continues to grow taller and denser in and around its core" well he's right, maybe some people here will take notice now
from his blog
Toronto continues to grow taller and denser in and around its core. With 99 new high-rise buildings under construction (second only to New York’s 179 among North American cities) and more than 11,000 new housing unit starts this year, real estate developers are now building as much housing in the center-city as in the suburbs, leading my Globe colleague, John Barber, to pronounce the “age of sprawl has passed.”
On a per capita basis, however, there is currently twice as much high-rise construction in Toronto as there is in New York. On an absolute basis, no other U.S. city is comparable. Chicago has 54 high-rises under construction, Boston has 14 and Atlanta 19.
Toronto is already No. 10 in the ranking of world cities with the most skyscrapers, according to Emporis. Among world cities with more than two million people, it ranks third - behind Hong Kong and Singapore - in most skyscrapers per capita.
Mr Flordia who has succeed in the last five in having the last word in certain areas of creative development may have choosen the right place to move too.
More about Mr Florida
From wikipedia click here to go his wikipedia page
Research and theories
He is best known for his work in developing his concept of the creative class, and its ramifications in urban regeneration. This research was expressed in Florida's bestselling book The Rise of the Creative Class, Cities and the Creative Class, and The Flight of the Creative Class. A new book, focusing on the issues surrounding urban renewal and talent migration, titled Who's Your City?, was recently published.
Prof. Florida's theory asserts that metropolitan regions with high concentrations of high-tech workers, artists, musicians, lesbians and gay men, and a group he describes as "high bohemians", correlate with a higher level of economic development. Florida posits the theory that the creative class fosters an open, dynamic, personal and professional environment. This environment, in turn, attracts more creative people, as well as businesses and capital. He suggests that attracting and retaining high-quality talent, versus a singular focus on infrastructure projects such as sports stadiums, iconic buildings, and shopping centers, would be a better primary use of a city's regeneration resources for long-term prosperity.
He has devised his own ranking systems that rate cities by a "Bohemian index," a "Gay index," a "diversity index" and similar criteria.
This picture shows the second tree in less than a month on Mc Murray Ave to have a large branch of over 30 cm fall from it. Although the city quickly comes to remove the fallen branch they fail to attend to the tree, i.e. prune and care for the remaining part of the limb. Can this not only harm the tree further.
Posted by Robert
Draw a sqaure kilometer around the intersection of Dundas West and Islington Ave, and you will not find a street where a major house expansion or complete tear-down and rebuild isn't taking place. The entire community is under an intensive build big, built new boom. The example house pictured above is built on a lot that had a house half this size on it a few weeks ago. While people see a need for more interior space and societal norms are changing to bigger houses and smaller yards in WTO, this area will change in character very much over the next few months.
Posted by Robert
Village by the Park the Options for Homes development on an old industrial and then retail site in the Junction began major demo on the retail Canadian Tire and A&P stores. (The A&P occupied the top level of the building before CanTire took over the whole building.)
As you can see by the pictures is an easy take down compared with some of the industrial demo that has taken place in the Junction?
This development should prove interesting to watch as it is built, the 1st reason being, how the developers handle the side abutting the CPR tracks, As this is the second development built near the tracks that has the developer responsible for noise abatement, rather than a government body. And while most people who live in the Junction quickly learn they must live with the train noise the noise abatement protection will be most welcome by the purchases of the condos at this site.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Get your opinion in on probably the largest
influx of public space cash coming into
the junction for the next few years.
Option for Homes is now consulting with the Junction Business improvement area (BIA) and the West Bend Residents Association about the use of the Section 37 funds the developer must contribute to the community. Hopefully the new Junction Residents Assoc. will quickly get it's foot in the door.
Section 37 of the Provincial planning act authorizes a municipality with appropriate Official Plan provisions to pass zoning by-laws involving increases in the height or density otherwise permitted by the Zoning By-law, in return for the provision by the owner of community benefits. The community benefits must be set out in the zoning by-law. The community benefits maybe secured in an agreement which may be registered on title.
Link to the cities section 37 info.
Protocol for Negotiating Section 37 Community Benefits (City of Toronto)
In another issue related to the Options for Homes project, their seems to be a lot of Junction bashing on a purchasers discussion board. Scroll down after the reprint of the Toronto Star article for their comments, maybe these are just a few opinions, and the rest of the buyers are happy to move into the Junction. Lets remember the the Junction is a residential and industrial community, if you move here you must accept that.
Nevertheless, the opportunity has been presented in the form of three meetings this month (as advertised by the city in the Etobicoke Guardian) and it is certain that businesses who may be affected by any change in regulations will make their voices heard.
The legal and illegal proliferation, size and appearance of signs around the city has an enormous impact on the way Toronto's inhabitants and visitors experience the city and its specific neighbourhoods. The city was amalgamated ten years ago, why wait so long for a city wide sign by-law? The people of the city could be forgiven for wondering how many out-moded and self-serving by-laws still survive from the former municipalities and what was the point of amalgamation if not to bring some efficiency and cohesion to the giant horseshoe.
...The new Sign By-Law will update the standards for signs on private property, address current sign issues, and reflect the diverse character found in Toronto communities. The Sign By-Law project will also explore ways that signage will support the City's efforts in energy conservation, as well as the development of a billboard tax specifically for the purposes of raising revenue for sign by-law enforcement, city beautification, and arts and cultural initiatives.
A series of public consultation meetings are being held at this initial stage of the study to give residents and businesses an opportunity to provide their comments and ideas on signs in Toronto. This information will be used to develop appropriate measures in the new Sign By-Law to effectively regulate signs in Toronto. At a later stage of the project, a second series of public consultation meetings will be scheduled to receive comments on proposals for the new Sign By-Law. Another advertisement will be published at that time providing notice of the meetings.
The current series of consultation meetings will be held as follows:
Thursday, September 18, 2008
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St, 1st Floor
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Scarborough Civic Centre
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, 2nd Floor
Committee Room #2
for more information:
Sign By-Law Team
web site: www.toronto.ca/signbylawproject/
Posted By David
Monday, September 15, 2008
Very little information is accessible (couldn't find any) about this major refurbishment of the Dundas St West bridge crossing the Humber between Scarlett Rd. and Royal York Rd. Unlike the Millwood Rd. bridge over the Don Valley which was primarily a resurfacing (and still took a couple years) this seems like a virtual rebuilding of the bridge. The cost must be staggering.
Posted By David
Sunday, September 14, 2008
On Dundas St West between Royal York Rd. and Islington Ave., various infil projects have been transforming this stretch of prime residential real estate over the past few years.
Perhaps when many of these 50's and 60's (?) homes were built on the cheaper main-street land of an older area they were the homes of middle class people in the first wave of those moving out of the busy part of growing city to what was then, the burbs. These properties now have taxes unaffordable for people in similar jobs or on fixed incomes.
First it appears that two neighbours with wide, ranch bungalo style lots got together and each sold enough of their adjacent yards to one buyer. That buyer then had enough room to build a deep, two storey ~4 bedroom home. This sporadic infil is normal for any in-demand area but now this short tree-lined stretch is the site of several more infil projects. Perhaps those original sellers didn't know how different it would feel in their much smaller back yard after a deeper and taller structure loomed beside them.
-last three pics of opposite (south) side of Dundas
Posted by David
Friday, September 12, 2008
PUBLIC MEETING ON ANNETTE BIKE LANES
really needs community input
& a Public Forum: "Bikes as a Public Good"
Monday, Sep. 15, 7pm
James Culnan Catholic School
605 Willard Ave. (between Annette & St. Johns Rd)
Those who followed this issue in the spring will recall the controversy over proposed bike lanes along the stretch of Annette St. between Runnymede and Jane. The reason the issue wasn't resolved initially was the lack of any meaningful community consultation, beginning with the almost-unpublicized public meeting in April.
A final decision will be made in October about continuing the already-approved Dupont/Annette lanes west of Runnymede, or diverting the route to St. Johns Rd, an alternative which we oppose, but one supported by Councillor Saundercook.
We encourage those interested in the issue to come to the above meeting, or if you can't, to contact Councillor Saundercook with your views.
We are concerned about how well this new meeting is being publicized, and ask that anyone who has received notice of this meeting at their home to let us know by email: email@example.com.
Please see our newsletter item on this issue: http://www.world19.com/newsletters/?p=40, which includes background, issues, links, and contact information for Councillor Saundercook. As with all the items on our new blog, we invite comments.
The newsletter also contains information on an upcoming Public Forum on the topic of "Bikes as a Public Good" on Sep. 18, sponsored by the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT):
Sep. 18, 7:30pm
Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave
(At St. George St., just south of Bloor)
City news is reporting that Ukrainian Festival (Bloor West Village Festival) will have 350000 visitors
The biggest and the longest starts at 9am Friday and lasts right through Sunday. A swath of Bloor St. West from Jane to Runnymede will be closed for the annual Ukrainian Festival. The event features lots of dancing, lots of singing and of course, lots of food.
There will also be a parade led by, of all people, Canadian music icon Randy Bachman. That procession begins at 11am Saturday. Click here to find out more.
If you're driving in that direction, you should try and find an alternate route. The Festival is expected to attract some 350,000 people to Bloor West Village and getting around it won't be easy.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The playground equipment has been removed form Vine Ave Parkette today, many will remember the promise of Mr Bill Saundercook and parks employee Helen Sousa to keep the community involved, The RA will meet tonight to put together a plan to find out whats happening.
They have a completed plan that was made without community input and they plan to start constructing it soon, people are saying.
The demo guys taking down the equipment were great.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Now get ready for this... the lot has been in this condition from the late 60's when the then operating glass bottle factory burnt down. Why really that is an answer to find out.
Posted by Robert
Junction Residents Assoc. meeting held Tuesday evening, elected 3 chairs who will decide among themselves how to divide the responsibly of running the assoc.
The names being, Louis Morrone, Linda Clements, Viola Varga
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Solway’s metals is a metal recycler and medium size provider of steel products to industry and artists on Ernest Ave. If you are not an artist or crafts person or metal scavenger you probably have not been there. If you are an artist you probably know of their importance to the arts community.
It appears Solways is having a hard time with it’s neighbours, some of which is probably their fault, they do end up having some of their business take place on the public street, usually parked loading purchases of small amounts of metal, and small metal scavengers and collectors waiting their turn in line to set their load to the company. This is evidenced by the dirty condition of the street. Yet businesses such as Solway’s are important to the Junction communities providing not only needed recycling and sourcing services but in maintaining the character and industrial jobs in the community. Hopefully the gentlemen who run Solway’s and the community can come to some agreeable understanding. And a note to the gentleman at Solway’s the last time I visited Ontario Iron and Metal they were very interested in how your metal sales business was going.
Update: 12:52 pm Wednesday - 1st thanks to Scott for his comment - bumped into post below update follows
scott d on September 10th, 2008 12:15 pm
Update: 12:52 pm Wednesday: I was not clear enough about the trucks and Scott was right, there are many trailer type trucks using the site, but it seems there is also a lot of small metal collector trucks and small purchases of metal loading occurring too.
Solways uses the street when setting down trailers as it’s trailer loading docks do have the length to set a trailer down completely on there own property and this is a problem. This problem occurs in a few places in the Junction communities, one example being the Air Heat Supply company located at 13 Mc Murray Ave, they only have a small right of way to access their warehouse situated in a lane. Sometimes trucks delivering too them block the Ave completely.
Yet Solways is a messy business by nature and probably a growing one with the increased value of metals. Other businesses such as NRI on Junction Rd and Ontario Iron and Metal on Dundas St all use the road too. Once again the community has the right for a clean, safe environment in all aspects such as, noise, pollutants and safety. Which should come 1st, yet reasonably. Yet Solways is a service you will find in the core of every major city that’s working. The community has a right to be up in arms and Solways has the right to stay if they maintain and accrue to their licence and move with the times implementing better and more careful controls and maybe some changed loading structures to run their business , such as The CPR has done in many Junction situations. Maybe it’s time for a really forward looking solution that benefits all, the city understanding the special needs of urban industry better and Solway’s understanding it may need to change its practices
Posted by Robert
Monday, September 8, 2008
Parc Novo is a condo development in Etobicoke across from the Kipling Subway Station. Located in a park like setting [designed by the developer] with about 6 other buildings, it is a nice building – completely planned to be built green. A good lot of comforts and services are built in, which will be needed as the surrounding streetscape is weak in comfort once you leave the condos property. Yet quite possibly this condo could bring change to that same streetscape as others rebuild in fill around the development.
The chart above from the developers site details the fees on top and any purchase price and mortgage costs. These costs can serve to illustrate some of the plot build house and condo home ownership differences in cost and responsibility. Condo ownership provides a clean one off monthly fee to maintain the building – in effect the all the nasty repairs are handled by someone else, with a watching board to ensure it’s done right. But in a standalone house taxes – (approx 2400.00 in an average Junction house and more in the Parc Novo area) and the repair costs and the choice/worry of how to do them are all left to the homeowner. We looked for the maintenance costs for Triumphal Developments Inc Victoria Lofts on Annette Street, but could not find them on the developers site.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Picture credit - R English 2008
The Victoria-Royce Presbyterian Church Lofts on Annette Street in the Junction will soon become 35 residential lofts, hopefully with as much of the church left as the developer can leave without annoying his buyers, with just too much history. It must be a struggle for the developer who probably wants to use the character of the building to sell the units but also provide the prospective buyers with spacious public areas. A 70% sold sign is outside the building now so maybe they are nearing the that magic number where the funding providers and the developer feel safe enough to start.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
emerald park condos marketing image
Realnet (Real estate research firm) is reporting today that Bazis International Inc topped the list of most sales of condo units, 400 unit for July among their current projects. The numbers were helped by the launch of their Emerald Park Condos located south of Sheppard Avenue West and west of Yonge Street.
Of course there are disadvantages to Condo living but not hearing a litany of street noise is one advantage.
The new contraption attached to garbage trucks so they need only employ one operator per truck has increased the amount of noise garbage pickup creates. Now, when the truck is coming, the street sounds like the loading dock of a commercial building.
Posted By David
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Enwave continues to enlarge it's WTO deep lake water energy source, with continued work tunneling pipework. Their website home page has a great video explaining whats happening with the deep lake water [link] they use to air-condition many large buildings in the downtown core
from their site
Enwave distributes steam and chilled water to over 140 buildings via a 40km underground pipe network that covers most of the city's downtown core. The company's innovative Deep Lake Water Cooling (DLWC) business has been recognized world wide and has cemented Enwave's leadership role in the renewable energy sector.
Monday, September 1, 2008
MURRAY RD, NY Cross street SPALDING RD / PLEWES RD, F08097323 Area 145
Truck numbers in green are water carrying pump trucks
P413, CMD10, R112, P211, A131, P433, P325, A324, P145, HZ145, A142, C14, LA114, P135, P234, LA114, DE145, P333, P445, P113, P233, P342, R411, P145, P143, A222, P433, C14, HZ145, P145, HZ145, C11, A324, LA114, R112, R411, P415, P142, P114, P113, P232, R321, A222, C10, C14, LA114, HZ145, P145, DE145, P341CR, P345CR, P345CR, HZ332, P143, A133, A142, P226, P233, HZ145, C14, P313, A411, P142, P315, P135CA, P131, P423CR, P145, DE145, HZ145, P145, HZ332, R235, A133, C21, P242, P215, T333, LA114, A213, P212, P244, P132, LA114, R112, C14, P211, P324, P433, P123, P233, P345CR, A324, C14, P142, HZ332, HZ145, P145, P135CA, P135CA, LA114, P135, P146
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