Thursday, July 30, 2009


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Photo credit: Lisa Pasold"]Credit: Lisa Pasold[/caption]

From the artricle by  Lisa Pasold

...a hard-working intersection of industry and train traffic that defined this Junction border zone. The two enormous brick warehouses still stretch along the west side of the street, topped with glass monitors that once illuminated the workspace inside.

These warehouses are part of the original 60-acre foundry site, which includes the derelict but impressive former powerhouse, and a well-maintained office building, along with a smoke stack that once competed as one of the tallest structures in Canada.

full article link

Old Mill dealership construction St Clair Ave West

[caption id="attachment_4763" align="aligncenter" width="481" caption="Looking west from the new retail section of the old CPR trucking site, a 180 degree turn would leave you viewing the Walmart in the distance"]july-292009-old-mill-dealership-under-construction[/caption]

On St Clair Ave West the construction of the replacement Old Mill Car dealership is continuing at a good pace. The dealership has sold - well related and owned companies have sold their current site at Jane St and Bloor St. for a condo development.

This one move into the area is probably going to change the corner of Jane St and St Clair West more than any other build - other than the subway (train bridge) reconstruction in the 70's. When Danier leather moved to the North side of St Clair Ave. is the late 90's the change started but  their move did not start to change the use of the surrounding blocks from second tier car repair and small manufacturing uses to general retail.

Infill retail - probably of the chain type - if you read the developers sales material will be built between the new dealership and the existing "Walmart Mall"

In all of this - what will happen with the north side of St Clair Ave West as this new current development retail comes into operation remains to be seen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Parking now on west side of Quebec Ave, north of Dundas


You can now park on Quebec Avenue on thewest side -  north of Dundas.  This must be wonderful for Crema Coffee and Iron Core customers, which in itself is a good thing.  It seems the parking places cars in favour and against people walking and removes the street vistas - this is not good.

With the additional parking of a similar nature available now on Pacific Ave  towards Vine Ave, haven't we given enough of our streets over for cars to sit and sleep?

Only Three More Days to Raise Your Concerns About Diesel Trains

This post was taken from Cheri DiNovo  Newsletter of July 27, 2009

Only Three More Days to Raise Your Concerns About Diesel Trains!

The deadline to submit your concerns to Metrolinx about their West Toronto Diamond Rail Project and its Dirty Diesel plan is July 30th. Please submit all your concerns to, and don't forget to send a copy to Premier Dalton McGuinty! More information on the Dirty Diesel project and its consequences can be found at .

Monday, July 27, 2009

Grime in the Junction

[caption id="attachment_4740" align="aligncenter" width="473" caption="The back of The Sweet Potato store on July 27 2009"]july-27-2009-070[/caption]

There is an established link between grime and crime, which is reported in a lot of studies. The Junction currently has an a lot of this - grime spreading crime. Looking at the intersection of Keele St and Dundas St. West, and west to Mavity Ave, which is an area of higher crime and grime in the Junction the opinion proves itself . july-27-2009-071

Which is why it would seem reasonable that everyone should keep their area clean - free of garbage and grime.  Yes the blog knows there is a garbage strike on, yet most of the other businesses and residents in the Junction managed to keep their properties clean - why not the people who own the store pictured above on Dundas St West . Insert update,  And this is not to say the  Sweet Potato store is directly contributing to crime, but adding to the grime iis not good for the community.

The local BIA hired even a dumpster for it's members - which they are one.

UPDATE: This post has stired a few people, other that the state of their garbage The Sweet Potato store is fine place, and  extrapolating anything else about the establishment is just not right, this is simply a post about their garbage issue (not good).

Bloor West Village BIA uses Solar power


Lighting the tree lights and other festival electrical needs in the Bloor West Village BIA area is covered by the Sun, the big yellow thing in the sky, how wonderful. Enough said eh!

30 Weston Rd. demo countines, alas

30-weston-rdfd-july-27-2009-066Demolition continues at 30 Weston Rd - the site of a new large scale mall. Currently the oldest buildings on the site are coming down. A last glimpse can be seen toady and tomorrow after which they will be a pile of rubble.

Rear view of the work being done at old Stereo King store


The work on 2989 Dundas St West, - the old Stero KinfG Store continues on affecting the building all the way to the lot line at the rear.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Audio program about social space making

This should be a great program social space making, don't fret if you cannot listen in live we, will post a link to the podcast after the live session.

RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)) Thursday - The Renewal of St Martin-in-the-Fields: a case study in social space making

30th Jul 2009; 13:00 (UK time)   July 30th 09 at 8 am Toronto Time


Renowned architect and Royal Academician Eric Parry visits the RSA to discuss the recently completed redevelopment of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The project has created a sequence of interconnected public spaces both above and below ground as well as a wide range of amenities for a diverse range of users, including the homeless, St Martin's core congregation, the local Chinese community and state of the art facilities for professional musicians.

This highly complex scheme creates a synergy between the baroque church and the contemporary additions, facilitates the flow of access to and from Trafalgar Square and exemplifies the practice's considered approach to place-making within a culturally and historically sensitive context.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Junction Tree Tour hosted by the Junction Residents Association

Tree Tour Saturday July 25th

Junction Tree Tour hosted by the Junction Residents Association and Green 13. From 2pm to 4pm, join LEAF arborist Todd Irvine as he explores the neighbourhood to uncover both historic and newly planted native trees.

Meet at: Southwest corner of Dundas St. W and Keele St.

Suggested donation: 5$

Thursday, July 23, 2009

6 Days For Your Voice To Be Heard for Clean Trains!


Blog reader Scott sent in this link

Link to the South Junction Triangle Residents Association post on the issue.

Information can also be had at more information

While visiting the tempory garbage drop off..

[caption id="attachment_4723" align="aligncenter" width="441" caption="Photo credit kev_walsh's photostream Flicker (click image to visit site)"]Photo credit kev_walsh's photostream Flicker (click iamge to vist site)[/caption]

While visiting the temporary garbage drop off, near the George Bell arena, take a look at one the last meat packing plant spurs coming off the CP railroad. The tracks have been removed and the site sold. for a small house probably.

Toronto Life Square has gone into receivership

The Toronto Star is reporting that the Toronto Life Square -  has gone into receivership.

from The Star..

In case you're wondering, Toronto Life Square shouldn't be confused with Yonge-Dundas Square across the road. The latter really is a square, the former a building.

Constructed on land expropriated by the pre-amalgamation City of Toronto in the late 1990s, the massive entertainment complex was developed by a subsidiary of PenEquity Realty Corp. From the start, however, the project was nothing but trouble for the firm. Work on the building began five years behind schedule, and only after a series of setbacks. At one point, Disney, a prospective tenant, simply walked away from the table, leaving PenEquity in a state of open-mouthed shock.

Of course, Toronto Life Square – the building – isn't much to look at. Big, grey and hopelessly plain, it had almost nothing going for it other than its location, but what a location.

Link to full story

Junction Arts Festival Founder has show opening


[caption id="attachment_4719" align="aligncenter" width="473" caption="Detail from showing post card (digital camera copy)"]Detail from showing post card (digital camera copy)[/caption]

Piera Pugliese one the founders of the Junction Arts festival has a showuing of her painting coming up from July 23 to Aug 2nd, at the AWOL Gallery at 78 Ossington Avenue [map flyout].

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green P 400 keele St Sign in place Now


Although the sign is in place, is it operable now?

Looking at the sign it is difficult to understand it's profitability as it is only visible from a small skewed angle - well at least until the condo  owners are in across the street.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Concourse Restaurant / Galaxy Donuts buildings (2853 Dundas Street West)


A few readers have commented and emailed in that a lot of scaffolding is around the Concourse Restuarant / Galaxy Donuts builings (2853 Dundas Street West) which are on the City of Toronto's Inventory of Heritage Properties...

Part of A.C. Thompson Block at 2845-2853 Dundas St. West; c.1889 -adopted by City Council on October 1, 1979 DESIGNATION BY-LAW PASSED BY CITY COUNCIL on November 17, 1986 (designation plaque - 1987)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Work begins on the Stereo King

This 3 storey building at 2989 Dundas (co Pacific) has begun a major transformation.  According to the building application the 2nd and 3rd floors will be rebuilt with a new raised roof.  The existing 4 apartments will be converted into one large living space.

As the Junction is redeveloped numerous buildings will be transformed through major renovations like this one.  Changes are inevitable but I hope more developers make the effort and financial commitment to maintain the original facade and character of our high street.

It appears this developer will be keeping the face of the building but the next one might not be so accommodating.

In an effort to preserve the Junction the JRA will be kicking off a Junction Preservation Committee to review our options for historic preservation.  The JRA will have more details at our next meeting on September 17 2009.

City Cleanup!


On Sunday a small team of city managers was in the Junction cleaning along Dundas Street.  The mess is starting to build so their efforts are appreciated.

I also appreciated the friendliness of the city works at our temporary garbage dump, George Bell Arena parking lot.  I’ve made two drops in the past 5 weeks and both times I was greeted with a pleasant demeanour and good service despite the difficult working conditions these works have been put in.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Clay & Paper Theatre in Dufferin Grove Park,


Clay & Paper Theatre's mandate is to create, develop and perform multi-disciplinary, community-driven theatrical works using narrative theatre and large-scale puppetry in public spaces for large and diverse audiences.


Green 13 invites you to a free screening of Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home"


When: Saturday, July 25 at 6:00 pm

Where:  Margret

2952 Dundas St. W. (just E of Pacific)

"Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home"

This film is a feature documentary that describes how an average North American family impacts the environment through their production of garbage.

After his son's birth, Andrew Nisker (writer and director) felt compelled to examine the average urban family's relationship with waste. The film documents the McDonald family's experience after they agree to keep every scrap of garbage that they create for three months. Nisker then takes them (and us) to find out where it all goes and what it's doing to the world.

From the website: "Everyday life under a microscope has never been so revealing. By the end of this trashy odyssey, you are truly inspired to revolutionize your lifestyle for the sake of future generations."

This timely 75 minute film will be followed by lively discussion. Refreshments are available for purchase.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ravina Gardens Park and tripping


Always wondering why Toronto Parks places these swing gates latch piles, right in the middle of paths, creating a trip hazard.

Inside the Viceroy Factory - now Planet Storage 1655 Dupont Street

[caption id="attachment_4687" align="aligncenter" width="473" caption="An area as it now, with much of the buildings structural fabric "]An area as it now, with much of the buildings structural fabric visable[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4688" align="aligncenter" width="473" caption="Old and new, an original wall to the right and newly completed storage lockers to the left"]An area being converted into self serve storage units for Plant Storage which occuipes part of the building (the write metal strips are part of the frame for the storage units

An area being converted into self serve storage units for Plant Storage which occupies part of the building (the write metal strips are part of the frame for the storage units


Viceroy Factory, c.1929  adopted by City Council on Aprl 25-27, 2006 as a Historical Contextual building, for many years was a rubber processor and manufacturer at this location, The company which still operates as Allied Viceroy Group with offices at 707 Arrow Rd was a long, large  and sable employee for the community

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Toronto parking Auth.,new sign at 400 Keele St. going in today


The old sign was removed some time ago and the footigs installed and they are finally placing the new sign today  at the Green P at 400 Keele  St.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Energy Marketers again and again at Junction doors

This personal report sent in by reader SP about energy marketers visting homes in the Junction is very insightful.


I thought this might interest the blog.  These high pressure sales guys
are currently working in the Junction:

Tonight I had 2 visits to my door from a company called Summitt Energy.
The first one came around 5:30pm.  Luckily for me my friend answered the
door and dismissed the sales agent who was trying to get me to sign up for
a "Green Energy Program".

2 hours later another knock and another agent.  He tells me that he
"works" with Toronto Hydro and is going door to door to make sure that our
new smart meter (the digital hydro meter) is giving us the best rate.  He
starts to flash Toronto Hydro bills, some graphs and even an ID badge.  He
tells me that Toronto Hydro sent out notices that companies like his were
going to visit and that we should trust them, "What, you don't trust me?".
He repeatedly tells me to go get my Hydro bill so that he can make sure
I'm getting the best locked in rate.

His so-called deal works like this.  Toronto Hydro sells power at
different rates throughout the day. For example (and this is not
accurate)from 12AM-8AM it's 4.1, from 8AM-3PM is 7.2 and from 3PM-12AM is
9.1.  Summitt Energy sells you a flat rate of 7.4 all day.  They also
promise not to raise their rate if you lock in today for FIVE YEARS (if
you don't they threaten to raise their offer next time they visit your
area). So that sounds good if you use most of your energy during peak
hours.  What happens when Toronto Hydro lowers their rate (which they do)?
Does Summitt lower theirs?  They say "Should Summitt Energy's five year
fixed price fall, Summitt will at your request, blend in the new price
with your existing price and term, creating a new price for the revised
term of your agreement." In essence, you the customer must notice that
Toronto Hydro lowered their rate and then you have to contact Summitt.
Summitt will then average your new rate based on the old one and the new
Toronto Hydro one and you'll have to sign up for more years.  Not only
that but they charge hidden administration fees that they can legally
change at any time.

It's not a scam but it's pretty darn close.  They sell hard and say things
like "its easier to just get this done now" and "next time the offer will
be much more.  Toronto Hydro will raise rates in the following weeks".  If
you are weak in the least they will have you signing documents before you
even know what's going on.  Doing a google search on "Summitt Energy" will
show you pages and pages of people stuck with $500-$800 monthly hydro
bills and people warning others to stay away.  As for the first Summitt
visit I'm guessing that their Green Energy Program is also designed to
trap you into endless bills.  Tell your friends and family because they
will take advantage of you very easily.

Check this CBC video story out about companies like these and how they
operate using pressure tactics:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Toronto Star Article on SPIN Farming in the west end & related links

SPIN – small plot intensive farming

...from the article published July 14th 2009

Nixon is part of the new wave of farming, called SPIN – small plot intensive farming – which is growing in cities across North America. Riding on the crest of the local food wave, SPIN is cashing in on a new eager market.

There are some surprising benefits to growing crops in the city, says the movement's leader, Wally Satzewich.

You can't turn a tractor in a tiny backyard, so there are fewer expensive start-up investments, for one. Then, there's the city's asphalt, which absorbs the sun's heat and makes us all sweat more on hot summer nights. But, for farmers, it means a longer growing season in the spring and fall. And there is the garden hose.

Eco-farmer blossoms as urban planter full article link

The Handyman Shop sold


The Handyman Shop is sold!

This great looking building located on the corner of Dundas and Quebec is a favourite for many people in the Junction.  Finally after a long development fight and sale hopefully we’ll see it restored, conscientiously renovated and reopened.

No word yet on the developer’s plans but the OMB approved a handful of minor variances to the property in late 2006.

Excerpt from the OBM document:

The applicants propose to renovate the existing building to include two commercial uses and two parking spaces on the ground floor and four two-storey apartments on the second and third floors, with third floor recessed balconies along Quebec

If this plan is still the plan I think the addition of a second retail outlet will fit nicely with Wise Daughters Craft Market and Crema.  The apartments will add a third floor which will presumably look similar to the Medland Lofts.

Annette St & Keele St NW corner redevelopment of TTC loop


Work has been completed on the conversion for a while now, yet the design of space and probably more it's location causes the new and quite nice space to infrequency used.

The wonderful lawn in the bottom image below  is great, though it could use some seating?

At the last Junction Residents Association meeting the space was bought up as great meeting space for community tours and walks, what else if could be used for requires some thinking.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Process tanks now visible at 30 Weston Rd demo



The building pictured above is the second in from St Clair Ave West, (the one that fronted the Avenue is now gone),  many of the buildings bays have massive tanks within. Although the lower floors are void of tanks indicating they must have used a gravity feed to process the materials.



In the ruling which is outlined below one of the key facts in the decision seems to be  that the project is not Owned, controlled, leased or operated by a person operating a federal railway

from their site

The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that the proposed construction and operation of a passenger rail service between Toronto's Union Station and Lester B. Pearson International Airport does not fall under federal jurisdiction. As a result, the project's proponent, Union-Pearson AirLink Group (UPAG), will not be required to obtain an Agency-issued certificate of fitness, nor will it have to seek federal approvals under the Canada Transportation Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act for the proposed railway line.

In making its decision, the Agency found that the new passenger rail service would not be functionally integrated with the operations of the federally-regulated Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson airport. It also noted that the proposed facilities would not be an essential or integral part of the GTAA's activities.

The Agency's decision of the jurisdictional status of UPAG's project is based on evidence provided by the applicant, and could be revisited should the project not be developed as presented.

link to full report

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's getting scary this facade reno


It appears the contractor with the ok of the building owner is infilling the missing brick segments in the arch area of 3034 Dundas St West. with "stucco". Not nice at all - replacing the bricks would have been a more welcomed choice.

But at least this method will allow for the remediation of this effort in the future.


Salsa on ST. Clair Street Festival 2009 (Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12, 2009)


Salsa on St. Clair, a street party celebrating Toronto's Latin flavour, will close down St. Clair Ave. W. from Christie St. to Winona Dr. both Saturday and Sunday.

Dance Types

African | Bachata | Ballet | Ballroom | Belly Dance | Bollywood | Brazilian | Break Dance | Burlesque | Capoeira | Contemporary | Contra | Exotic | Flamenco | Folk |Hip Hop | Improv | Jazz | Kathak | Kids | Line Dance | Odissi | Oriental | Pilates |Reggaeton | Salsa | Scottish | Swing | Tango | Tap | Yoga | Zumba | Miscellaneous

[map link]

Salsa on St. Clair, a street party celebrating Toronto's Latin flavour, will close down St. Clair Ave. W. from Christie St. to Winona Dr. both Saturday and Sunday.

Maple Lodge special event truck at the Metro lot


The Maple Lodge special event truck is setting up in the metro surpermarket lot on St Clair just west of  Keele St. It sure has a lot of food distribution parts.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

fuzzyboundaries neighbourhood group partnering with Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club


[caption id="attachment_4654" align="alignright" width="108" caption="click image to visit site"]click image to visit site[/caption]

A group of residents in Ward 18/Davenport who consider there area a nameless neighbourhood in West Toronto have been conducting a  naming project to give their area a name.  They have now setup a partnering project with the  Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, which during   their summer camp program explore the idea and the naming possibilities.

Over at the their are some interesting comments

Below is there media advisory.

Summer Camp Includes Nameless Neighbourhood Project

Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club Adds West Toronto Naming Process to Curriculum

Who: Sixty summer campers between 7-16 years old at the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club are participating in the Fuzzy Boundaries neighbourhood naming project for their West Toronto neighbourhood north of Roncesvalles and east of The Junction.

What: Following a short presentation about the community improvement project, the children will make suggestions, discuss the ideas and vote for their favourite name.

Where: Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club (Perth Outreach location)  120 Perth Avenue, Toronto (Bloor & Dundas West) When: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:30 a.m.

Why: By giving the children an opportunity to bring their fresh perspective to the process that will shape the future identity of their neighbourhood they will develop a stronger sense of community identity and a positive association with the area.

Contact: Kevin Putnam Fuzzy Boundaries (
416-537-1128 or

Safety crash cushion as part of the Humber bridge rehabilitation?

During the Dundas Street West bridge rehabilitation over the Humber River, road improvements and streetscape enhancements are being done, in the   current design option,   transportation services does not include a safety crash cushion when travelling westbound on Dundas St West. and are about to enter  onto the bridge.

The blog looked up the specs for the device the transportation departments report states is not included, it looks like it would be a welcome addition. See this post for more info on this part of the project including plantings.


Performance criteria

A. For head-on impacts into the nose, a QuadGuard® System shall be specified which is capable of meeting the occupant risk criteria as recommended in NCHRP 350. For vehicles weighing between 820 and 2000 kg [1,810 and 4,410 lbs], the theoretical impact velocity of a hypothetical front seat passenger against the vehicle's interior (calculated from vehicle acceleration and 600mm [24"] forward displacement) shall be less than 12m/s [39.4 ft/sec], and the vehicle's highest 10 millisecond average acceleration subsequent to the instant of the hypothetical passenger impact shall be less than 20 G's.

B. The QuadGuard System shall be capable of redirecting 2000 kg [4,410 lbs] vehicles which impact the sides of the System at speeds up to 100 km/h [62 mph] at angles of 20° (angles measured from System's longitudinal centerline). The QuadGuard System shall be capable of redirecting 820 kg [1,810 lbs] vehicles, which impact the sides of the System at speeds up to 100 km/h [62 mph] at angles of 15°. (See Test Criteria below.)

C. The QuadGuard System shall be designed and constructed so there is no solid debris from the System which can create a hazard on the roadway after either head-on or side angle design impacts.

Houghton Canada Inc continues to dismantle plant


Houghton Canada Inc at 100 Symes Rd, is seemingly continuing to dismantle their plant plant, around February of this year their plant site and building was listed for sale, and remains so.  Large dumpsters appear to be continually loaded with dismantled processing equipment and old oil tanks.

Houghton Canada Inc  is one of the last old industrial plants to closeout in the Junction sign...

From their site: Houghton Canada Inc. first began in 1921, as British American Fuels & Metals Ltd. in Toronto. The purpose of the company, as stated in its incorporation papers, was to ” produce, procure, sell, manufacture, and manage coal, coke, peat, wood, mines, mining, and tramways.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cleantrain Queens park event - July 20th 2009 10am

strollerposter_color_jun30Cleantrain is organizing this event, over at their site you can download posters and dropcards. [link]

61, 63 and 67 Vine Ave - tight/tall townhouses?

[caption id="attachment_4633" align="aligncenter" width="473" caption="This tight and tall townhouse building, which is on Jane St, could be the type put up by the new owner of the Vine Ave lots"]july-7st-2009-002[/caption]

61, 63 and 67 Vine were sold recently, and as all three houses on the lots are in what many people would consider terrible condition, it can be speculated the new owner will be redeveloping the lots.  It also has occurred to the blog the lots may have been purchased by the owner of the building and large lot that is 51 Vine Ave. (As the city offices are currently closed it is not possible to check the records as to the new owner as of yet)

Yet what type of houses would be most wanted by a small lot infill developer? Probably their 1st concern would be to maximize the number of house on the combined lots. Attached townhouses have been built in the area to gain maximum unit counts, such as the one pictured above.

Using the most height allowed would be another choice they would probably make as the new house would have to compete with other new townhouse developments in the area where the houses are built with a fully usable 3rd floor.

Whatever happens with the current houses and the lots, let’s hope they have not been purchased as a holding investment.

Monday, July 6, 2009

IKEA Commercial shot in the Junction this past weekend


On Saturday July 4th Ikea was in the Junction filming a commercial.  They setup at 7am on Laws Street with about 8 trucks and a few dozen crew members.  Around noon they moved the set to a nearby store on Dundas.  The Canadian police drama Flashpoint was also filming near the corner of Keele and Dundas a couple of weeks ago.  I’m not in the movie industry but watching the action is always fun and I hope to see more production coming to the area.

Submitted by Martin L. of the Junction Residents Association

New life for 2955 Dundas St. West


The anticipated vegetarian restaurant The Foundation was set to start serving in the Junction last year but its doors never opened.  Due to an unexpected family addition the owners had to put this project on hold and earlier this year they were seeking a temporary tenant.

The storefront has found new life in what appears to be a clothing store for kids called Little Bird Fly.  The sign in the window describes the merchandise as “Gently used and handcrafted new children’s clothing and gear”.

I hope The Foundation still opens but in the mean time a new store will be a great addition.

Submitted ny Martin L. site is sat here right now while changes are made to the normal host This was done on May 28th 2019 This update post will...