Solways had a documented history of licensing problems and was forced by the city to change its operations many times. In fact a licensing tribunal clearly stated "The Tribunal is cognizant of, and concerned about, the impact felt by the neighbourhood from the operations of the scrap yard". On file at City are hundreds of complaints going back to 1983 when M&S took over the site.
Also on file are the complaints from residents who had their bikes, BBQs and other metal stolen from their property by scrap hunters. If there was no thieving going on then how come it was the number one area complaint to Councillor Giambrone? And why did Solways agree to stop accepting BBQ's as scrap? Knock on some doors on Perth and see what they have to say about stolen property. As metal prices went up the theft of metal made the news worldwide so why would it be different here?
If the community actually had any power to close Solways it would have happened in the 1990's when Francis Labelle organized the community or in 2003 when residents again appealed to the City for relief. 2003 was the year there were 3 fires in one week at Solways.
But the reality is that because of a grandfathered zoning clause, which the City came to regret, the only way for Solways to close was if the owner Howard Bettel decided to. And he did. He alone is responsible.
While it is sad that many people, including locals, lost their jobs, most people were happy to see it go. Your last line is a sad cheap shot that reflects the "screw the community" attitude that Solways and its customers sometimes exhibited. If Solways had actually tried to work with the community proactively maybe things would have worked out differently. If you think a community caring about itself is a bad thing then we are guilty as charged.
This place has been getting some good writeups...
1. Employees - we all lost our jobs
2. Drivers - they all lost their jobs
3. Thieves - or so you think
4. Owner to harrass - now you can move on and harrass someone else.
Only memories left. Thank-you to the neighborhood for not caring about anyone but yourselves!!!
FYI: The variance to allow the parking stacker / rooftop parking was approved at the July 23 meeting. Thanks to Sara for the update.
Toronto Life has already written an introduction to Sterling Social:
"Her sandwiches are stuffed with slow-cooked meats, like braised barbecue chicken piled high on a crispy Kaiser, or Dr. Pepper–glazed beef brisket on buttery brioche. Almost everything is made in-house, including a thick Greek yogurt, which is served with granola, and chewy double-chocolate cookies, which can be ordered plain or as part of an ice-cream sandwich."
Yeah, it's definitely not as bad as having some kind of towering robotic parking stacker. It's really just an elevator-accessed rooftop parking lot.
In some ways, I'd rather have no wall blocking the view of the roof. Anything that adds more walls up around the Railpath just ends up closing it in more. Keep in mind we're also getting some tall noise walls on the other side of the path...
Someone mentioned snow clearing (I think on Facebook). Looks they they have a designated space on the roof for a snow melter and Bobcat.
It has also been mentioned that visitors may not be inclined to go through the trouble of taking the parking elevator up to the roof, and therefore some of that parking may just hit the surrounding public spaces. That may be a concern...
I wonder what the big reason is for not doing the original underground plan. The cover letter mentions "geotechnical considerations"...but are they just looking for a cheaper solution that excavating and building an underground parking lot?
I agree that in this modern age of computermachines and Internets, this kind of thing should have been communicated better with information readily available on the City's website.
I've taken a look at the plans that Vic posted. Thanks Vic. I'm less up in arms about this now. I was livid, but I'm much calmer now. Take a look at the 362 Wallace Ave Plans.pdf above. If I've read the drawing correctly the elevator is slightly higher than the rest of the building but it will be enclosed. The entrance to the elevator is located at the end of Ruskin just before the path. The parking looks to be only ONE level of 41 spots and NOT STACKED. There's also a wall for that roof parking that will hide most if not all of the visible car parts from the path if it is indeed just a single unstacked layer of cars.
They could have communicated this way better and saved us all the grief. Can someone else take a look at the plans and tell me if this looks less intrusive than we all thought?
The real people to suffer will be the people who bought the upper units that will now look down onto car roofs. If I was them I'd be upset.
Thanks for sending the docs, Sara. I have posted them all (linked above).
Further to Scott's post, I also spoke with Kyle Strik. He advised he had not yet had anyone ask for a deferral of the decision. He did not have any drawings of the proposed amendments. He did provide a few additional documents (some maps (including revised map), architecture firm cover letter, and a copy of the Notice). If anyone would like a copy just let me know. I'm not sure how to attach documents here.
Application Technician, Committee of Adjustment
City Planning Division
City of Toronto, 1st Floor, West Tower
100 Queen St. W, Toronto ON M5H 2N2
Kyle called me too. Nice guy.
First off not having documents online is an embarrassment in 2014.
2 questions that I have are I ssupect that many will not want to be bothered doing the elevator and will park on the street so how can we stop that. And I had hoped that the roof could be a green one to offset the increase of pavement in this development. Is this rooftop going to be a big holder of heat or is there some kind of surface that can be used to reduce heat.
I am sure there are other questions out there that people have. Did people get notices ?
I spoke to Kyle Strik, and what I understood is that the rooftop parking will be an open parking lot on the roof (which will be very ugly), and that the all detailed plans could be reviewed at the Committee of Adjustment Office.
Thats just it. There ARE plans but the public has not seen them. I called the C of A and Ana Bailao's office to ask how can we know about something nobody has seen. A 4o car rooftop is in my mind more than a "minor variance". I suggest you make some calls.
How the Committee of Adjustment can make a decision without the architectural 3D concept renderings of proposed changes and the detailed plans?
Is it going to be enclosed with the walls and roof or not. What is the exact location of parking stacker or stackers?
Is a new community center double smaller than in original plan? Shouldn’t community center’s rooftop belong to the community and be used as a green roof/garden/gathering community space?
I called Kyle Strik and left a message. Should we call Ana Bailao too?
The person to talk to is Kyle Strik 416-397-771 at the Committee of Adjustment. A citizen can ask for a deferral which the Committee deals with at the meeting itself so there is no way to know what will happen.
If people want to do that I would suggest that the lack of notice, lack of drawings easily available, and the fact that the project Planner is away would be good items to mention.
It seems odd that we are finding this out a week before the meeting. They must have known weeks ago. The planner, Sarah Phipps is away until August and Planning said somebody would call me back today. I am surprised that there is almost no information on this. Maybe it will look great but at this point we are in the dark.
Is there a contact name/number for the city for this zoning variance request? It seems ludicrous that so little information is being shared with the area.
Presumably a variation on
I believe they discovered a storm drain running down the middle of the property. It was probably the famous drain where chemicals were accidentally dumped in the late 70's. I would imagine that they did find the drain during remediation; they dug deep enough.
Interesting. If that's the case, it makes me wonder how well the on-site soil remediation was if they didn't even find some buried pipes. Also, I guess it depends on whether those pipes are still in use. If not, just dig 'em up?
I had heard that after digging they had discovered that there were pipes they did not know about. This may be the cause.
This is going to be ugly.
The walls - rail noise wall and taller building abutting the path - will make the existing open space feel like a canyon.
In an industrial area or downtown (like in NYC) no problem but, I think it's a bad idea in a residential setting. I think we have enough with ugliness with Diesel Trains and unpleasant Noise Walls.
The people who bought townhouses will still be parking underground. This new request to change is just for the commercial building(s) along the west side that aren't constructed yet. I'm not sure if anything has been pre-sold along there yet.
I wish there was more detail available online on how this would work, how it would look, etc.
If I had purchased there I would be really upset about this. The idea of having an underground spot is far different than expecting to have to park your care in a stacked type parking facility. I am sure this would be a deal breaker for some.