Friday, October 31, 2008

Junction Residents Association daycare plans for the upcoming meeting

Two responsible teenage girls and Cherina and Davina  will be supervising the childcare for the meeting.

They are both 16 and have been babysitting for several families in the neighborhood for the last 2 years and also each hold an emergency first aid certificate (references are available upon request).

Also, Linda Clements, a JRA co -chair who is a First Aid Instructor will be present throughout the meeting.

We've arranged for a few "mothers helpers" to be present as well and there are a few other high school students willing to help if need be.

The church has a separate daycare room that they are letting us use.

**It would be appreciated if children could bring their own toys or activities.

There is no fee.

If you or any other parents have any questions please feel free to contact me Linda Clement at junctionRA@gmail.com

Next Meeting: Thursday Nov 6 @ 7pm - West Toronto Baptist Church, 3049 Dundas St. W

Sony Centre for the Performing Arts amendment to create a public plaza





above:Wall treatments proposed

The Sony Centre Redevelopment – will result in the creation of a public plaza in the strata land originally intended either for the City Centre cultural project or for a commercial development.

from the city report, take note of the coloured text

The original Umbrella Agreement with Castlepoint Realty Partners Ltd. (Castlepoint) incorporated a fallback scenario in which a commercial development would be constructed in the strata land below the proposed condominium tower in lieu of the City

Centre. However, at its meeting in July, 2008, Council approved amendments to the Umbrella Agreement that provided staff and the developer, Castlepoint Realty Partners Ltd., with the opportunity to examine a further alternative for this strata land. Under this alternative, the strata land would be used for additional residential development and a public plaza instead of a commercial development. Staff have determined that this new alternative will result in significant public benefits and that it will aid in the operations of the existing theatre.

Anywhere - other than this site, a developer could be seen to be using the planning system to his own advantage, yet here the developer will probably make less money off the additional residential placed on the site than the other option of a commercial development.

Link to the city's staff report [opens in new window]

Posted by robert

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are condo developers taking over park development in West Toronto?



The artist rendering plan of the West Toronto condo development above is only an example of the park like setting most west end condo developers are placing in the their multiplex  building projects.

Look at all the park like features included for the use of their customers, in the above example they even include a putting green and a water fall, and a “community” BBQ area.  All of these are great recreational park features, present in many public parks.

Developer efforts made in this manner are great for those who purchase the condos in their development. They will have many of the amenities present in public parks right there at the foot of their building  to use. Greater access and ease of use than using the same conveniences in a public park, which is the worrying part – will private developer parks contribute to the breakdown in ground level community support to public parks.

Why put effort into a community park if the one outside your door is there for me, many people will ask. Of course there are many reasons, such as community cohesion, but thoughts such as these require contemplation and effort which many people do not have the time for in a city that people have come to expect good city parks.

Developer parks something coming upon the west end fast without much realization.

Posted by Robert

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vine Ave. front facade reno in their own way


47 Vine Ave has grown a very usual front side protuberance; albeit, one without much curb appeal. Still wondering if this is a simple addition to add another apartment.


Whatever it is - it blocks the front door.

The Village by High Park, really busy past few days at site


The site has been particularly busy, with a lot of work going on about the area of the retaining wall with vertical ibeams being driven into the ground and a whole lot of grey rock being placed in the area about 1o meters from the track side of the lot.

City of Toronto Council items of note: Dasher board system at High Park Ice Rink



Picture credit - Grant Macdonald Flickr

Construction during November 2008 and be finished  in December 2008 to replace dasher board system at High Park Artificial Ice Rink. New dasher boards will be purchased and installed using a donation of $150,000.00 from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment on Wikipedia [opens in new window]

Parks, Forestry and Recreation will contribute $45,000 towards the joint project to repair the surrounding fencing at the same facility.

The cities acceptance of this donation was moved by: Councillor Saundercook and seconded by: Councillor Grimes. This type of basic, down-to-needs effort from elected members is just what they should be doing.

Posted by Robert

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A reno keeps the of character house, maybe?



If this renovation, taking place now on Grafton Ave. which is near Queen and Roncesvalles Ave retains the exterior ornamental eve and covered entry roof over the front door, it will be great news for the area. Grafton Ave. a small street running east off Roncesvalles Ave has for many years been abused by people coming in and performing very rough and quick renovations, and in some cases outright demolition. Lots on the street have been used to construct large intense infill houses. With all of this happening many of the houses have lost their character, which this house has been able to retain, hope that holds true for its future.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Exhibition Place: Ghostly Secrets Revealed Wednesday, October 29th at 7:00 p.m

from Heritage Toronto site



Exhibition Place: Ghostly Secrets Revealed




_Cabin.jpg

On Wednesday October 29th at 7:00 p.m., please join Steve Collie for a very special ghost tour of the Exhibition Grounds, with all proceeds benefiting the United Way.

Exhibition Place is known for its bright lights and entertaining shows, but lurking below the surface are a few well-kept secrets that, until this walking tour, were primarily known only to staff who work the late shift. That the grounds should harbour otherworldly visitors is not much of a surprise: the Horticulture Building was once used as a temporary morgue; the current site of the CNE midway was a bloody battlefield during the War of 1812; and the grounds were once home to two military forts. Not to mention the CNE's own long history, going back to 1879 - plenty of time and plenty of reasons for an accumulation of "things that go bump in the night."

Date: Wednesday, October 29th
Time:
7:00 p.m.
Leader:
Steve Collie
Start Point: General Services Building, 2 Manitoba Drive at Strachan Ave. (north of the Princes' Gate entrance to the Exhibition Grounds)
Finish Point: Scadding Cabin
Length: Approximately 2-3 hrs.
Difficulty: Long walk on level ground; some stairs
Cost: $5.00 charge per person with all money raised going to United Way

Recent posts on the Junction Parents Blog

Recents posts at the Junction Parents Blog


Free Stroller Fit Classes in High Park begin Monday, November 3rd at 9:00 am and will run all year round


"Copy Quebec's $7-a-day child care system"- Toronto Star article


Pumpkinfest photos


click here to open a new window for the Junction Parents Blog

click here to open the  Junction Parents Blog in this window

Friday, October 24, 2008

CPR Canadian Holiday Train Visits Junction



The train which is traveling across the country will to raise food, money and awareness for local food banks. Bring your cash and food donations and support your local food bank.



Just remember these are very short stops being 30 minutes only

Tuesday, December 2 





  • Junction stop Toronto – 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. – 87 Ethel Avenue, adjacent to RONA


    and if you cannot make that the closest next stop is 
    Vaughan – 9:00 to 9:30 p.m. – Northwest corner of CP Vaughan Intermodal Yard andNashville Road, near grain elevator.


    Posted by Robert

3 West Toronto Finalists for the Heritage Toronto Awards

Heritage Toronto has announced the short-listed finalists for the 34th Annual Heritage Toronto Awards, 3 of which are in West Toronto. In addition, one the of the other nominees is in West Toronto.

The awards celebrate outstanding contributions by individuals and community organizations.

At the Hertitage Toronto Site are a lot of great images and background [opens in new window] on the buildings.  The addresses and a image of each is from the Heritage Toronto site.

Regal Road School Portico, 95 Regal Road




map it via google maps link
[opens in new window]


another finalist

Wesley Building, 299 Queen Street West old CHUM/City building



and last, but not least, a nominee:




Kingsway-Lambton United Church, 85 The Kingsway

Thursday, October 23, 2008

James Court dirt to foundation update


Watching another project in close prox to The Village by High Park provides an insight to the where the current process at the Village by High Park is heading. James Court – a condo project off Royal York Rd in The Humbertown area north of Dundas ST. has placed in the shoring and appears to be moving to pouring foundation concrete.



Posted by Robert

The Village by High Park


The project moves on with the further inserting of piles into the ground and the removal of the last sections of the foundation. As the work is watched, an interesting question is, will they dig the lot out to a normal foundation level right to Keele St. and to the tracks, which may necessitate the complete removal of the old subway wall.





Village by High Park demo contractor truck dirt and concrete from the site up Black Creek Blvd.

Posted by Robert

Gafton Community garden





Grafton community garden is a wonderful little park North West on Roncesvalles near the intersection of Roncesvalles, Queen and King Streets. On Oct 25 they are having a garlic and bulb planting day. This community really does have a lot of support from the neighborhood – not just support - but timely support by the looks of the scarecrow – which is just right for the season.

In many areas people speak a lot about supporting their park and making the park a real part of the community.  Well the people involved and the communities around this park have done it. Many other parks groups in WTO should take note.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

St Clair Ave west Wal-Mart hosts RVs



Wal-Mart is one of the few big businesses to allow camper vans and trailers to spend the night free of charge. Many RV campers are taking advantage of  Wal-Mart parking lots along the way. And they  have found this a  great savings during their travels.  These campers can be seen in many communities at Wal-Mart, but are not often seen at inner city Wal-Marts.



Yet Wednesday afternoon there were three RV's in the Walmart lot at St Clair Ave. west. and Runnymede Ave.

Posted by Robert

500 St Clair Ave West pulling Forest Hill a little further west

500 St Clair Ave West  a 21 storey project.,  at the northwest corner of Bathurst and St Clair West. is phase one of a two phase project with the second phase to begin construction soon at 530 St Clair Ave. West.



September 3

Picture Credit - David

Named The Forest Hill yet not located in what most people delineate as Forest Hill, its a bit like calling the Junction,  upper High Park; its close enough that I don’t think anyone will complain about it but not so close that people who really want to be known for living in Forest Hill would buy a unit there. If they do, they might be a little disappointed. Nevertheless, a great location with an entrance to St Clair West subway station a block away, streetcars, buses, walkable routes and all shopping and eating services at the door.



October 14

Picture Credit - David

Visit their “media” page for construction updates and releases

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

105-107 Quebec Avenue - The High Park Executive old venture anew



Someone has converted a house in the south Quebec Ave. area into long-term term rentals for business trips, temporary housing, or corporate transfers. Although many people may find this a new occurrence in the area, it is not. For a long time the original developer of the apartment block complex on High Park Ave. used the 2 story town houses just north of Bloor St. for this purpose.

As a business venture it’s hoped it will succeed for the people involved. Nevertheless, the building just does not have the visual stance it should have, but rather, retains the flavour of a 60 or 70’s duplex.
From their email...

The High Park Executive Residence is ideal for:
Business clients
Long-term business trips Temporary housing for corporate transfers
For those who prefer the feel of home as appose to a feel of a hotel room

We are located in the heart of High Park a beautiful matured community street. Ideally located between Pearson International Airport and the downtown core.


We have the following rooms available
1-bedroom suites 1000 sqft.
2-bedroom suites 1000 sqft.
3-bedroom suites 1250 sqft.


Link to their site

Posted by Robert

Monday, October 20, 2008

Village by High Park crushed water pipe Friday still running Tuesday 1 am







It appears the city has located the correct pipe to cap after the Village by High Park shoring contractor hit a water pipe Friday. It must be really difficult to map the old water pipes in the Junction, even the city took three days to find the right one. No doubt the contractor was surprized to have hit a pipe.

Too much unintended thought in WTO renos?



This house is one reason why the influx of architects opening shops in WTO is needed.
This house on Windermere Avenue is undergoing an upgrade of some sort, and leaving it to people living on the street to make a final decision as to its value, there is still much to be considered about the exterior treatments being used.
1st, they are painting the normal type of brick used in Toronto-  a material made to be applied to building as a veneer or in greater thickness to create a self supporting wall.  Painted brick will peel, letting someone tell you it won’t is fooling yourself.
It also appears they are keeping the veranda closed in, which is a shame as verandas are wonderful places to sit and experience the urban outdoors. In Toronto, unheated and enclosed outside verandas quickly take on a smell of mildew and a feeling of damp.

Posted by Robert

Friday, October 17, 2008

Village by High Park hits a water pipe Friday



The Village by High Park hit a watermain early Friday afternoon, creating a pool at the north west side of the lot.

Update:

Water still running Saturday ay 3pm.

Benjamin Moore DOES move office out of Junction



Friday Oct 17th arrives with none of the usual workers cars outside of the Benjamin Moore head office on Mulock Ave, confirming yesterdays post. See yesterday's post below or by clicking here.

Benjamin Moore moves head office out of the Junction?

old address

Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited , 139 Mulock Ave, Toronto, ON, M6N 1G9

new address (October 17,  08 change on their web site)

Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited, 7070 Mississauga Road, Suite 100, Mississauga, ON L5N 5M8.

Village by High Park questions about retaining wall



Options for Homes, The Village by High Park project continues work on their site drilling holes and generally moving some dirt around. The drilling of the holes is the most interesting work on the site now. What they do in this area will determine the structural interaction of the railway and the new building. This is of prime importance to those buying units in the building because many homes in the area feel the passing train vibrations as trains go by; hopefully the buyers of units in this project will not feel them as strongly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Benjamin Moore moves head office out of the Junction?



It appears - and this blog has been told that Benjamin Moore which has had a industrial presence in the Junction since January 14, 1907 is closing it's offices here.  A couple of years ago it moved its manufacturing plant to Burlington, Ontario.

From the companies history page

On September 7, 1906 the Canadian company was incorporated. Benjamin Moore was elected president at the first shareholders meeting held on September 11, 1906. In 1911 Fred Moore, Benjamin’s half brother, became Treasurer and managing director of the Canadian subsidiary. The plant on Lloyd Avenue was purchased on January 14, 1907. [some text redacted]

Manufacturing in the Toronto plant also was discontinued after 94 years. The Burlington, Ontario manufacturing facility (formerly Technical Coatings Co. Limited) was expanded to centralize all solvent-based production and the Montreal facility also expanded and became an all-latex facility.

For the company having a head office in this location on Mulock Ave. probably made no business sense, now that the original plant had stopped operating.

Benjamin Moore is an astute company in product development and its paint products hold a high value opinion with the general paint buying public mind. This company would have been a great firm to keep in the community.

Junction BIA puts on Halloween in the Junction



The Rue Morgue part should be great, even for adults.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Speculation about the lot next to the Wal-Mart at St. Clair Ave. W. at Jane St.

Back in August in a post it was mentioned that a car dealership is seeking approval to open next to the Wal-Mart on the south side of St Clair Ave just before Jane St. Well after watching tidbits of information gleaned here and there, it is a strong possibility that the car dealership will be Old Mill Pontiac Buick Cadillac Limited. This GM dealership has long been operating at 2500 Bloor St West but they have sold their current site to a developer.

From the city's backgrounder

Proposal

The applicant, KLM Planning Partners Inc., has submitted an application to permit the
development of the 3.6 hectare site with 6 commercial retail buildings, including
restaurants, and a car dealership with a motor vehicle repair shop. The portion of the site
located west of Jane Street, is proposed to be used as a parking and storage area for the
car dealership’s vehicle stock. The site is to be developed in Phases, with Phase I being
the dealership, Phase II - the three building on the east portion of the site and Phase III -
the middle portion of the site. All three phases will be connected by and have access to
the internal driveways. Canadian Pacific Railway has indicated that Phase III will likely
not occur for approximately five years as the environmental remediation for the middle
portion of the site will take that long to complete. The Application Data Sheet
(Attachment 6) provides all the relevant project information.
Site and Surrounding Area
The proposed development will be located on a portion of the CPR lands on the south
side of St. Clair Avenue West at Jane Street.


CP Railway Lands – St. Clair Avenue West and Jane
Street – Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning
Applications – Final Report


Full report [opens in new window]

Options/ The Village by High Park removes more old wall



Options/ The Village by High Park continued work on the east side of Keele St. today removing more of the old subway wall and a lot of 2 foot drilling.



In other areas on the site they are doing earth moving and removal of foundation, they have not touched the railway basin wall as of yet.

 

posted by Robert

Vine parkette drop test passes with flying colours



Monday Morning (Oct 14/08) a team of three parks employees conducted a drop test in the new playground area to ensure they area was surface safe for children playing on the playground equipment. Alphe Savoie a playground practitioner with the parks department made the test with two of his park department associates.

The test was made with the  Triax 2000 triaxial accelerometer which measures impact in three dimensions using a hemispheric shaped head from. The head from is dropped from a tripod from a distance -  in this case of approx 8 feet. The Gs, HIC, and impact velocity are measured. the velocity, time, and date of each drop are reported. The city then archives this data for compliance reporting.



The results of   this mornings test are as follows. The numbers listed below are representative of all the drops done at the testing time, all of which  I watched.

Peak of 55 ( Gs)  where the upper limit  number is 200


Peak of 158 (HIC) where the upper limit  number is 1000




You can see by the numbers the surfcae passed with flying colours.

Posted by Robert

Monday, October 13, 2008

Upcoming events at the West Toronto Junction Historical Society



Local Option Arts Awards Celebration Thurs.
Oct.23
you can read all about this at The Arts Junction Blog.

and  this great big gem


Thurs.  Nov. 1

7:30 pm Business meeting.
8:15 pm . Richard Spiegelman,

...who writes articles about automobiles

and is an expert on the history of their manufacture and retailing, will inform us of cars built in Toronto.

Link to his site

Friday, October 10, 2008

Victoria Royce Presbyterian Church stained glass coming down



The Victoria Royce Presbyterian Church stained glass windows are coming down this week and are destined for another church, we are told by the company removing the glass. The Junction loses a real important artifact that helped set the grammar of ornament on Annette St. Yet at least it's going into another church.

A tip came in from blog reader Hamish so we scooted right over there. Here are some images of the removal.



Picture Credit - Robert



An update will be posted, once we can get more info.

City of Toronto meeting that affects the WTO Junction today



Public Works and Infrastructure Committee - Meeting 19 - October 10, 2008

A city advisory committee wants to recruit "3Rs Ambassadors" to help Toronto reach its target of diverting 70 per cent of garbage from the dump by 2010. The proposal goes to the works committee today.

This plan is to address condo unit and apartments which usually only recycle 15% of their waste.

Posted By Robert

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

another gut reno in the Junction



Viewed from the turn at Gilmour Ave this house appears set or is in the process of really big changes,  right now the back windows have been removed and the decorative ornamental mouldings

This is another large - strip the house reno in the junction, and there is another one going on on Mc Murray Avenue at the same time.  Renovations of this type as they become more and more frequent are really likely to change the historic and cultural milieu of the Junction area. The area needs some work for sure, and people who put the money into that amount of renovation should be here to stay, with the concomitant interest in the community, yet without building & planning controls to ensure building and zoning character the community will lose.

Posted by Robert

Formation of the West-Toronto Crime Task Force Wards 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17



Reading all this stuff indicates that the Formation of the West-Toronto Crime Task Force has happened. Hopefully this effort will lead to some lasting changes and new structural rules to help with the current situation. [see city summary at end of post]

EY20.17 - West Toronto Crime Task Force (Wards 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17)


Background Information
communication
EY20.17a - Formation of the West Toronto Crime Task Force
Background Information
Extract
(Deferred from September 9, 2008 - 2008.EY19.39)
EY20.17b - West Toronto Crime Task Force: Clerk’s Impact
Background Information
September 25, 2008 report
Extract

Motion

That the first meeting of the Task Force be held at the York Civic Centre, 2700
Etobicoke York Community Council Meeting No. 19, Item No. EY19.39
 as soon as possible, and that the West-Toronto Task Force
invite:
- Police Chief
- President, Toronto Parking Authority
- Chief Executive Officer, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
- Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards
- Chief Building Official/Executive Director
- Medical Officer of Health
- Fire Chief
- General Manager, Transportation Services

- Representatives of local community groups; and


- Representatives of Business Improvement Areas (BIAs)


Summary from city
Recently, a number of high profile incidents of crime including shootings and stabbings have raised concerns over community safety and violence in the former Cities of York and Toronto. This raises the need for a complete, community-driven approach in dealing with crime and crime prevention initiatives. Problem addresses and establishments, including public places, have become a pervasive problem that require complete co-operation of all City departments, government agencies and stakeholders to resolve. Through out the 1990s and early 2000s Councillor Palacio led a small group of City Officials known as the “Ward 17 Crime Task Force”. A similar Task Force was also set up by Councillor Frances Nunziata in her Ward. Constituents would report problem locations to the Councillor’s office and monthly meetings would be convened with all relevant City departments including the Police, Municipal Licensing and Standards, Toronto Fire, Public Health, the Alcohol and
Gaming Commission, among others. This proved to be an effective means of identifying problematic locations and ensuring that prompt action was taken in a co-ordinated way...

Annette Bike Lanes issue complete info at world 19 blog



Over at the world 19 blog they have an complete update backed by all the background info with liks to city docs. In fact everything you would want or need to know.

from their site;

Bike Lanes


In this newsletter, we provide a brief background (again) on this issue, a recap of the public meeting held Sep. 15, results of public input, staff recommendations, and information on its next stage: presentation to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on Oct. 10, and information on how to provide your input.

The issue goes to Committee, Friday Oct. 10.

  • Public response overwhelmingly supports full bike lanes

  • City Staff supports full bike lanes

  • world19 supports full bike lanes

  • Councillor Saundercook opposes full bike lanes

  • Your voice needs to be heard.

  • Read on…


Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Attention all Annette bike lane advocates! The final round of the great Annette Bike Lanes Debacle is upon us. It’s time to gear up one last time and let your wishes be known to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee before they convene this coming Friday, October 10th to determine just what will be done about the missing stretch of bike lanes between Runnymede and Jane.

World 19 site

[opens in new window]

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vine Parkette swing going in today



The parks dept is installing the new swings today at Vine Ave Park.

Village by High Park interests CPR Rail alot



Village by High Park condo development the biggest the junction has seen to this date attracts a lot of interest from the neighbourhood. Well almost everyday it has one neighbourhood member, taking a very close look from their property line.



Also there is some angled drilling taking place today.

Posted by Robert

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