Recent comments

  • 2009 Blackout Followup Meeting #2   9 years 10 weeks ago

    Wow Tony Ruprecht found alive!

  • Issues with Winter Parking   9 years 11 weeks ago

    If parking rates for those with garages were the same as for those without there would be less lane clearing as people would just park on the street until the snow thaws. THis would be a drag for those that do not have lane access at all.

    I wonder how the thousands of other people access their lanes as I know they do.

  • Issues with Winter Parking   9 years 11 weeks ago

    This is to comment on the above post. I am facing the same problem as you are, and I suspect many others are as well. Last night, I hoped to avoid getting stuck in the laneway so I parked overnight on the street knowing that I would risk getting a ticket. I did in fact get a $30 ticket for parking without a permit which I plan to fight. My point is, in addition to those points made in the previous post, I pay property taxes which are based on the fact that I have a garage. If I cannot use my garage consistently for a couple of months out of every year, than I should be given the same rate to buy the street parking permit as someone without a garage, or else I am being taxed twice, effectively... I would also be eager to hear from anyone who has come up against this problem and what their solution has been. I suppose residents who have garages can get together and hire a snow removal contractor.

  • Favourite things in our neighbourhood   9 years 11 weeks ago

    Replying to my own post from almost a year ago.... :)

    Yasi's Place is still one of my favourite features of the neighbourhood. Today they received a great review on BlogTO:

  • Issues with Winter Parking   9 years 11 weeks ago

    I also live in the SJT area with laneway access and a garage, and love the fact that I can use it – most of the time. The issue, however, is that with a certain amount of fresh snow or simply snow build up, I can’t get back there! Unlike for those who normally utilize street parking, the laneways are not ploughed like the streets are – and if it stays cold, it just accumulates. So my issue is – even if I shovel my back area – if my neighbour doesn’t do it fully, I can’t swing my car into a parallel parking position because my tires get stuck in the ruts. I guess I could get snow tires – but the best price I could find is $800 installed, and frankly, I don’t have the extra money for it. So, what are my options – if I can’t CONSISTENTLY get my car back there and have it parked properly (and believe me, I’m not a bad driver or “parker” – I’ve tried numerous times)?

    Well, I have to park on the street – and face the parking police. Rather than getting tickets, I would get the parking permit to park out front, but if you have a garage – you can’t pay the regular rate for street parking. Instead, the rate for a resident that has a garage is FOUR times the amount – irrespective of your ability to access said garage. So, my point is this: if I cannot get to my laneway / garage parking because the city is unable to clear that laneway, then the parking permit for parking out front should be the same price – not the highway (read: laneway) robbery tax-grab rate of 400% more. Please – point out if I am wrong in thinking this, or if anyone has better ideas as to solutions – thanks.

  • Open House: GO Transit Georgetown and Airport Rail Link   9 years 11 weeks ago


    I probably can't answer all of your questions, but might be able to clarify a few things:

    1) The airport rail link is not a "done deal" yet, although it seems to be pretty likely. The requirements for environmental assessments have been reduced recently to help push public transit projects through. So I'm pretty sure this *will* happen, but there's still time to make changes.

    2) The airport rail link is NOT a GO Transit project. It's being run by a private company. The Georgetown GO service is a separate service, though it uses some of the same tracks / infrastructure.

    More details about all of this are on the Metrolinx site link to above (here again: ). The FAQ document and the map provide the most useful info. Probably a good idea to read up on that before the open house.

    Here are a couple of other links with more information and analysis/discussion from other individuals:
    I haven't read much of this yet, but I hope to get through it all before next week.


  • Open House: GO Transit Georgetown and Airport Rail Link   9 years 11 weeks ago

    I'm assuming that the Open House is a public relations exercises and the airport rail link is a done deal? Is there anyway we can actually effect change to the plans, or is this series of meetings simply window dressing?

    I would agree with Scott that the least the Go Transit people can do to is to ensure that the communities rail path to the lake is continued. The path would potentially be used by more people in a year than the link to the airport over the course of ten years.

    Are there details on this proposal -- in specific the Pearson airport link -- anywhere?

    I can't believe this rail link is even remotely necessary. After all, there's no rail link to JFK in New York and that town seems to be a viable business centre. I go the airport 3 or 4 times a year and the current subway/bus route is just fine.

    Jane Jacobs where are you?

  • Open House: GO Transit Georgetown and Airport Rail Link   9 years 12 weeks ago

    It is very important that everyone who can at least use the online function to express the need for the link to leave room for the West End Railpath (we are talking a very small amount of space) to continue south to the lake. The opportunity to finish this path and create a very unique linear park will not happen again and is compatible with using the rail corridor for increased traffic. They both can exist. Your support would be appreciated.

  • 2009 Blackout Stories   9 years 12 weeks ago

    My blackout story didn't happen. Although I live at Bloor & Ruttan, for some strange reason my condo building and the townhomes behind us had power throughout. I heard of another condo building at Lansdowne & Dupont that had power throughout too. I did not have cable or internet service - no big deal considering what people were going through who didn't have power.

  • 2009 Blackout Followup Meeting   9 years 12 weeks ago

    Councillor Gord Perks posted notes from the meeting on his website today:

  • 2009 Blackout Followup Meeting   9 years 12 weeks ago

    Here is an email from Adam Giambrone, sent via the Dufferin Grove and Bloor-Lansdowne mailing lists. Note that Giambrone is trying to get another meeting together with Tony Ruprecht, possibly next week.

    Subject: Update on the January 16th Blackout
    Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 18:37:03 -0500
    From: Councillor Giambrone

    Dear Residents,

    I wanted to take the opportunity to provide you with a detailed update
    about what happened during last Friday's power failure in the west
    end, what aspects of Toronto's emergency response went well and where
    there is room for improvement.

    Before I get to that, it has been brought to my attention that some
    residents have asked for a public meeting to discuss what actions
    Hydro One will be taking to solve the problems at the Dufferin
    Transformer Station so as to reduce the risk of this sort of thing
    happening again. I have contacted our MPP Tony Ruprecht to ask that he
    call such a meeting for our neighbourhood. Unfortunately I was
    informed by his staff that Mr. Ruprecht was unavailable until some
    time next week. I will continue to raise this issue with him and
    encourage him to organize this meeting. Should he do so, I would like
    to attend and bring City staff to speak to you about the City's
    Emergency Plan.

    In the meantime, the MPP for Parkdale, Cheri DiNovo, has organized a
    meeting on Thursday January 22nd at 7:00 pm at the Parkdale Library,
    303 Queen Street West. Councillor Perks and representatives from both
    Hydro One and Toronto Hydro will also be attending. Any interested
    residents from our neighbourhood are welcome to attend to get more

    As many of you now know, last week's power outage was caused by a
    faulty sprinkler system in Hydro One's Dufferin Transformer Station.
    Hydro One is the provincial electricity utility owned by the Province
    of Ontario. The water from the sprinklers significantly damaged
    equipment, resulting in a loss of power to an area roughly bounded by
    Jane St. and Spadina Ave, and by St. Clair and Queen Street.
    Approximately 75 per cent of residents had power restored about 18
    hours later, and power was restored to the remaining 25 per cent
    nearly twenty-four hours after the lights went out.

    During this crisis, the City of Toronto immediately implemented our
    Emergency Plan. Toronto Hydro crews worked around the clock alongside
    their Hydro One counterparts to restore power to the affected area and
    City Staff from all other divisions worked to do their part. I
    personally was up most of the night mobilizing City and TTC staff to
    get emergency resources into place as quickly as possible to help
    those in need. Examples of actions taken by the City include: opening
    warming centres around the City where people with no where else to go
    could stay warm; assigning police to keep traffic moving at
    intersections where the traffic lights were out; the TTC mobilized all
    available buses into the area for people who rely on transit; a phone
    line was set up for seniors and the disabled who needed rides out of
    the area; and City public health staff, and others, went door to door
    to check on vulnerable residents in houses and apartments to make sure
    they were okay. Every effort was made to communicate this information
    to effected residents through phones, the internet and local media
    outlets. Many residents also took the initiative to check on their
    neighbours themselves and help them through this difficult situation.

    Now that the emergency has passed, the City is in the process of
    analysing what aspects of the Toronto Emergency Plan worked well and
    what areas need improvement. By and large, I am incredibly proud of
    the hard work and dedication of both city staff and ordinary citizens
    who rose to the occasion to help make sure everyone got through the
    crisis safely. That being said, there is always room for improvement
    and one area in particular that many residents have brought to my
    attention is that they had trouble getting information about what
    resources were in place to help them. The City will be taking a close
    look at how communication can be improved in future emergencies.

    Some residents have also asked if there are any resources in place to
    help them if their homes were damaged during the blackout, such as
    from a burst pipe. I have contacted Hydro One on their behalf and have
    been informed that their position is that residents should contact
    their insurance providers for assistance. Should their position
    change, or should any other programs be created to help residents
    experiencing this sort of issue, I will get that information out to
    the community.

    An emergency like this one also reminds each of us that it's important
    for all of us to plan ahead and be prepared. An important action that
    you and your family can take is to put together an emergency kit. Your
    kit should include such items as enough water and non-perishable food
    to last each member of your household up to 72 hours, a flashlight, a
    battery-powered radio, an extra one-week supply of medication, candles
    with matches, and a first-aid kit. For more detailed information on
    what you can do to be prepared, please visit

    Yours truly,
    Adam Giambrone
    Toronto City Councillor
    Ward 18 Davenport

  • 2009 Blackout Stories   9 years 12 weeks ago

    Hi Ran,

    Thanks for sharing that.

    Comparatively, we had it really easy. We're on Symington, first block north of Bloor, west side. Our thermostat would have been at about 67F (19C) when the power went off in the evening. We normally have the thermostat drop to 60F (15C) overnight, but when we got up at 6:30 in the morning it was down to 54F (12C).

    I decided to stay home from work to babysit the house and make sure I could take care of any pipe freezing issues. I trickled some water, but didn't end up having to shut of the main and drain the pipes.

    Our furnace and water heater are gas, but they require the electric fans to operate. At least we have a gas stove that can be lit with a match, so I enjoyed a hot cup of tea in the morning!

    I walked my wife to the GO station for the 8:00 train, then went for a walk around the neighbourhood. The crowds waiting for the Bloor shuttle buses weren't as bad as I expected, but it was still quite busy. The GO train platform had a few more people than normal, using it to get downtown instead of the subway. The ticket vending machines were out of service though.

    By time time I got from my walk, shortly before 9:00am, I noticed that my power was back on when I stepped into the house. Judging by our reset clocks, I think the power came back at around 8:30am. It took several hours of constant heating to get back up to the regular temperature though.

    In any case, I'm really glad we added attic/ceiling insulation in shortly after moving in, and all of the caulking and air sealing we did this past Fall. Probably made a difference with how long we retained heat overnight with all that cold wind.

    I have some photos (with commentary) from my morning walk posted here:


  • South Perth Bloor U-Haul Property Development and Bluee22 Line   9 years 12 weeks ago

    I am all for it. As it makes the neighborhood a central hub, however, I am not a huge fan of the noise pollution and the ground/house shaking when trains go by.

    In my honest opinion they should bury the tracks, but I doubt that will happen - I use the TTC subway expansion as a evidence that this will never happen (too costly).

    They should look into new trains which have new technologies to reduce the stress on the surrounding communities.

  • Issues with Winter Parking   9 years 12 weeks ago

    The snow removal bylaw does not prohibit people from putting snow from sidewalks onto the street. There are some people in our area who build giant hills that basically take up a parking space. One other issue is people with garages who also get street parking passes so they don't have to shovel out from the back. One small house across the street from me has 5 (possibly 6) cars with passes associated with it. I have no pad or alley at all so I must park on the street. In the winter I self centeredly feel that people like me should have some kind of guaranteed parking near or in front of my house (which I end of clearing anyway) and that those with garages should be forced to use them.

    "§ 719-5. Moving snow onto streets.
    No property owner, occupant or other person shall move or permit to be moved snow or
    ice from private property onto a highway, sidewalk or lane way."

  • Community Meeting - Bloor Dundas 'Avenue' Study   9 years 12 weeks ago

    Corwin Cambray from the City of Toronto emailed to say:

    Information boards for the upcoming Community Meeting on Monday, January 26 are posted under the What's New section on the Study's web page -

    Information boards will also be on display during the open house starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, January 26 providing an opportunity to further review the boards, ask questions and provide feedback. A presentation will follow at 7:15 p.m.

  • Solways Metals: The Saga Continues   9 years 12 weeks ago

    This situation has been documented and reported and also has been reported by the Railpath contractor to Parks and Rec. THere is another issue underlying it which is that Solways sits on public land that is intended for Railpath. Solways has received letters from the City regarding this issue and at this time the fence has not been fixed to its proper location. I would imagine that the contractor will refuse to work when the snow clears until this is sorted out. There is no gray area on these issues and given that the public will be using this path Solways will be compelled to do something soon.

  • Solways Metals: The Saga Continues   9 years 12 weeks ago

    The City report regarding Solways has been sent back to have further information added to it that gives a broader picture of the situation. This action was led by Adam Giambrone and is also connected to a general realignment of MLS and an increased interest by MLS in enforcement. Overall this is a good thing although it may seem like a delay at this time. Many locals have been less than impressed with MLS over the years (talk to Simone Taylor on Perth who has been on this for over 25 years) especially since amalgamation created the consolidation of all the inspectors in a generic category with no specialization. Thankfully this is being reversed and from first hand experience Adam is making sure that these changes have an effect locally.

  • Campbell Park Skating - Season Opening   9 years 13 weeks ago

    Michael took this excellent photo of shinny players at Campbell rink with a GO train going past in the background:

  • Dupont St. Underpass Murals   9 years 13 weeks ago

    I love murals and wall art under railway tracks. It makes the walk much more scenic, and helps beautify the area. I've often wondered if there's a way to grow ivy or other greenery on those ugly concrete walls... I have yet to see any, though. Keep up the good work!

  • Solways Metals: The Saga Continues   9 years 14 weeks ago

    I've been noticing that scrap metal, often in very large/heavy chunks, is spilling over from Solways into the soon-to-be Railpath park. A few days ago the fence was practically bursting open, unable to keep the mountains of metal back.

    This doesn't look too safe.... I hope this can be corrected ASAP, as the path is already well-used, and will be very busy once it opens up officially later this year.

    Here's a photo from January 1st:

  • West Toronto RailPath   9 years 17 weeks ago

    As cyclist, runner and new resident on Edwin Avenue, I am pretty excited to learn all about this - I cannot wait. I would love to hear how I could be a part of helping with this project in the future!

  • Bloor/Symington/Sterling Developments   9 years 18 weeks ago

    The underlying fact is that two separate former rivals are now partners; that says a lot about the overall health of the business. Technically the studio pie has has gotten smaller.

    What now? That land is under the fuzzy "employment lands" designation which should keep ugly stacked townhouses away for a while but not forever.

  • Bloor/Symington/Sterling Developments   9 years 18 weeks ago

    The possibility of our local Pinewood studio happening has dropped some more:

    Pinewood in fact had bid in 2004 to build what is now the Filmport studio, but lost out to a competing bid. Pinewood and Castlepoint Group then bought a site at Bloor St. W. and Lansdowne Ave. to build their own studio.

    Alfredo Romano, a principal at Castlepoint, would not comment yesterday.

    However, if the deal goes through, the west end Toronto studio that was supposed to be slated for Pinewood would likely not proceed, says a source.

    Complete article in today's Star:

  • West Toronto RailPath   9 years 20 weeks ago

    There was a Railpath volunteers meeting today which was more of a catchup and refocusing exercise but there will be lots of news in the spring to get excited about and obviously eyes are now turning southward to get the next stage done regardless of other activities in the rail corridor.

    I wanted to remind readers that the Dufferin Jog (at Queen) DOES have space allocated for Railpath south to go through and that building Railpath south is not exclusive to intensification of the corridor. Railpath and increased rail activity can exist together; both being part of a healthy environment.

    So stay tuned next year folks as Railpath kicks off with a bang and looks south for stage 2.

  • Bloor Dundas Condo - Giraffe Living (Tas Design)   9 years 20 weeks ago

    I was wondering if anyone had any news about the development. I dont see much bodies going through there, except the occasional RE agent.

    I wonder if the economy has slowed down their aspirations to build the Giraffe....

    Please post if you have any news on this development.