Recent comments

  • South Perth Bloor U-Haul Property Development and Bluee22 Line   9 years 21 weeks ago


    I have moved the messages about the Brownstone developments to their own message threads:
    Brownstones on Wallace
    Brownstones on Bloor

    Please use those message forums for discussing the Brownstones. You can keep using this forum for the U-Haul and Blue22 discussions.

  • NOW Magazine covers the Glidden Paint cleanup   9 years 22 weeks ago

    scottd - I could not agree more!

  • West Toronto RailPath   9 years 22 weeks ago

    From Giambrone’s Current newsletter, note the mention of Railpath. Obviously there are many issues about getting the south part done but at least we can see that the City is keeping Railpath in mind and that is a great victory.

    Construction of Dufferin Jog Elimination Project Begins Next Week

    After years of planning and preparation, construction of the Dufferin Jog Elimination project is finally set to begin. Contracts have been finalized, the contractor has begun staging on site and they are expected to begin construction next week.

    This $32 million dollar project will finally see Dufferin Street be connected straight through at Queen Street by building a new tunnel under the railway tracks. The design for this project was finalized after extensive consultation with residents in the Queen and Dufferin area. The project will include trees and green space, modern lighting, public art, and provisions for future pedestrian and cyclist connections to phase 2 of the West Toronto Railpath Park, which will run along the north side of the tracks. Once completed, the project is expected to significantly improve traffic flow in the Queen and Dufferin area as well as improve service on the TTC's Dufferin bus and Queen streetcar routes. It is estimated that construction will be completed by the end of 2009.

  • NOW Magazine covers the Glidden Paint cleanup   9 years 22 weeks ago

    Enzo's story has a few inaccuracies in it and for the record some people like myself, who live one block away actually had a Bio Genie rep come to my house 2 years ago when I had questions and provided me with reams of info from MOE and Glidden. I was able to contact Glidden directly with concerns. I cant say what happened to every house but Bio Genie sent info out 2 years ago, I have the documents. So Bev's version of events may not reflect everybody's version of events.

    For years toxic waste has been sitting in the ground. Now that waste will be cleaned up (or what is left of it) in a responsible green fashion and that is a good thing. I totally agree that people need to be notified and aware of any concerns during the remediation process but lets not lets not loose sight of the positive in this story.

  • West Toronto RailPath   9 years 24 weeks ago

    From Dave Nosella at Parks, an update on Railpath construction .....

    "If you're in touch with the rest of the group, you can let them know to expect to see the following work completed by Christmas:

    - The steps north and south side of Bloor,
    - Cleaning and painting of Dupont Street bridge, Bloor bridge is probably next year,
    - Light poles and fixtures between Dupont and Dundas installed,
    - The inside concrete wall and the ramp fine graded up to Dundas Street,
    - Two of the metal sculptures installed for sure, the other two will be installed by March, and
    - hoping for the base course of asphalt south of Bloor (Not for certain yet)

    Also, I have seen the bollards and signs sitting in the metal shop ready to go for next spring. They look great."

    I would add that Solways metals still cant seem to understand that the public owns the land at the end of Ernest Avenue not them but Dave has assured me that the contractor will put the rocks that have been stopping Solways trucks from driving over Railpath land back in place.

    THere will be a spring meeting with Friends of WestEnd Railpath, parks, and other interested citizens regarding setting up a community stewardship group for WERP.

  • 158 Sterling Rd.   9 years 26 weeks ago

    Thank you for the wonderful pictures and update.

    Are there any future plans available for that building or the site?

    I would think first highest building in Toronto would have some historical society interest.

  • West Toronto RailPath   9 years 28 weeks ago

    This morning I noticed that the staircase up to the Railpath from Dupont St. has been cut out, and there were workers milling about working on it.

    I think the same will happen soon at Bloor St., where they had driven those re-enforcing piles into the ground.

  • South Perth Bloor U-Haul Property Development and Bluee22 Line   9 years 28 weeks ago

    This Property is owned by Tom Falus Group, they are the builders of the Standard condos at Lansdowne and Dupont, and the soon (really!!) soon to be built Bloor Street Brownstones.

  • 158 Sterling Rd.   9 years 28 weeks ago

    I was reading a message thread about the Pinewood Studios developments over on the Urban Toronto Forums ( and found a link to some great photos from someone who has explored the tower:

  • South Perth Bloor U-Haul Property Development and Bluee22 Line   9 years 30 weeks ago

    Yes, it's all been flattened out. I took some snap shots of it, I will forward it to you this weekend. Now comes the interesting part: the building at north east corner (Perth/Bloor) was the last building which was part of the original coal factory (circa 1920's). The building can be found in one of the archive photo's (from 1920's) which is labelled shot of Perth and Bloor (looking West). I have that image as well, so I will forward it along with the new snaps - to show I guess a short of now and then shot.

    Glad to see they are clearing it out, now I can see bloor street, and the landscape looks like nicer from where i stand. Hopefully, the property is developed into something useful.


  • South Perth Bloor U-Haul Property Development and Bluee22 Line   9 years 30 weeks ago

    All of the buildings on the U-Haul site are now demolished.

    I actually kind of liked that little brick U-Haul building, but it's nice to see that something will probably be done with that property sometime in the next couple of years. A development application will probably come through soon.

  • Solways Metals: The Saga Continues   9 years 30 weeks ago

    If you wish to have complaints against Solways logged by Municipal Licensing and Standards you can email the area manager Elizabeth Glibbery

    Be sure to include your address and the Solways address, 26 Ernest Avenue.

    Elizabeth is not the investigator but frankly this has gone on for over 20 years so I feel residents should just go to the top. Feel free to include Giambrone's office in the email, Chris Gallop , it helps.

    I would add that many have already logged complaints but it never hurts to have more as Solways effects the entire community.

  • Federal Election - All Candidates Debate - Davenport   9 years 30 weeks ago

    I hope we have a good turnout and a lot of questions are asked.

    I personally want to know more about the Carbon Taxes, The Gun Registry and the Economy and were it is all headed. Also, the infrastructure and education and what are they doing to correct the funding formula for these areas - as they are clearly not working.

    Another concern I have is - why did the Gov't call an Election? That $340Million could have been used on something more pressing then an election.

    Its grilling time, I hope these candidates are ready!


  • Bloor Dundas Condo - Giraffe Living (Tas Design)   9 years 31 weeks ago

    I mostly agree with Scott on this issue as well, though I wouldn't go so far as to say that the area is "dead".

    Bloor and Dundas is definitely one of the most sensible places in Toronto to increase density, both commercial and residential. The TTC service, GO Transit (which may be increased to every 15 minutes service if Metrolinx has their way!), many amenities closeby, etc. I say, bring it on! More people will make the local businesses more viable.

    I have also spoken up to the City about my concerns with CAR access to the Giraffe building. The idea of having that driveway cross Dundas St. right next to the Subway station is NOT a good one. Not sure what the good alternatives are though. I hope they can work something out.

    The really unfortunate thing about pretty much any public consultation I have ever been to is that every issue always seems to boil down to CARS and not people. Everyone seems to want to drive everywhere, and people able to park their cars near their destinations (preferably for free!). But at the same time, they don't want more car traffic in their own neighbourhoods and nobody taking up their own parking spaces. Nobody wants more cars, pollution, congestion, and noise from cars, but want to drive everywhere.

    I hope that we can more people in the Dundas and Bloor area, but maybe with a better car-free or car-light focus than what most developments have been targetting.

  • Bloor Dundas Condo - Giraffe Living (Tas Design)   9 years 31 weeks ago

    Thank you Scott for your view points. It's refreshing to read a "trueful" analysis of this exciting new development. I couldn't have said it better myself! BTW - where were you during the community meetings?...could have used your input in the mostly one-sided (against development) discussions.



  • Bloor Dundas Condo - Giraffe Living (Tas Design)   9 years 32 weeks ago

    The Globe & Mail has an article about this project today:

  • Bloor Dundas Condo - Giraffe Living (Tas Design)   9 years 32 weeks ago

    The Giraffe building received 2 good reviews in the Globe today.

    This again bolsters the argument that the Giraffe, with its cutting edge design, will make Dundas and Bloor a destination instead of a "drab urban corner" and lead the way from cookie cutter glass box design.

  • South Perth Bloor U-Haul Property Development and Bluee22 Line   9 years 33 weeks ago

    I noticed yesterday that the building on the south side of the U-Haul lot has been demolished. Haven't checked today if the cute little U-Haul building at Bloor and Perth is gone yet.

    It will be interesting to see what they plan to do with this property.

  • Sterling studio loft residents face eviction   9 years 33 weeks ago

    Well no surprise here, it was a matter of time before this happened and I hope that the City will back up the residents for a change.

    Its worth noting that less than 20 years ago the City evicted artists from lofts.

    It is also worth noting the current catchphrase of "Employment lands" which covers a lot of the remaining rail corridor space does not seem to include provisions for live/work studios. How strong the City commitment is to artists remains to be seen in my opinion. I would love to see live/work spaces take of some the remediated land on the North side of Wallace for example.

  • Bloor Dundas Condo - Giraffe Living (Tas Design)   9 years 34 weeks ago

    I was at the meeting so guess I am one these "Dreamers" you are referring to. I've grownup in this area and decided to buy a house and stay in the area for another generation.

    I do like the idea of the condo, but not at its current size. Its like the developer is trying to cram in as many units as they can fit onto Joe Merc's corner. Does the building really need to be that tall? Can we not have what you visualize in your write-up with a smaller building?

    As for the developer I am not sure how much they are keeping the community in the loop, this was a major concern in the meeting. Also, the traffic was a concern among pedestrians and the TTC streetcars and Buses due to their driveway being connected to Dundas West.

    They have back pedaled twice now as to their driveway off of Dundas: They proposed time restrictions when it can be accessed. Also, during these restrictions they will have cars exiting (one way only) out the back alley way. Other busniess'es along Bloor need to access the Alleyway for deliveries as well, how will this work? with Giraffe residents needing access as well. Also, the no left turn restrictions in the intersection will make it difficult for Giraffe residents and will redirect traffic through residential streets to access the building. Im hoping most people will not have cars since its on the subway, but that is usually not the case - condo owners do own cars and the designated 12 spots for visitors and business customers are not enough. It only encourages condo buyers with cars.

    The biggest problem which I have is that they refused to even discuss access to the TTC through their building. This would benefit both the public and their building, especially retail. Can you imagine if the crossways was connected to the subway? The business vendors in there would flourish. Also, this would take pedestrians off the street making it easier for residences to access the street using the driveway which intersects the sidewalk.

    I like the design, but its way to grand in size and scope. Good Luck getting these guys to plant trees on Edna, they showed their true colours at the Town Hall Meeting back in spring and thats maximizing profit - simple math: more units = more money.


  • Bloor Dundas Condo - Giraffe Living (Tas Design)   9 years 34 weeks ago

    Most of the development process happens out of public view and always has. The City and developers like to limit public involvement as it speeds up the process and getting everybody to agree on something is often not possible. The public legally has little standing in the development process due to the proxy of zoning. We all know in our hearts that people don't like change and if there is total public involvement nothing would get built. In the case of the St.Clair ROW, it is almost built, but there are a minority of people who just cannot accept it and continue to fight on. The public often fails to realize that they are not the centre of the process but just a part.

    It really comes down to how much the City wants to pressure the developer to make changes or give something back. The TTC connection is something I suspect that the developer is holding back as a chip to trade with the City in trade for other zoning concessions. In terms of trees on Edna that kind of deal is done all the time and people would be foolish to not try to make that happen.

    By Toronto standards the building is not that high and would sit in exactly the spot people are supposed to build tall things. Thats just where the future is.

    I agree with you whole heartedly about driveway access issues and have written the City a lengthy letter about my concerns and a connection through the building would make many of these concerns go away. I should also add that since the Harris years and Amalgamation the City Planning dept. has been understaffed and asleep. The problem is that people only get interested when it affects them and what really is needed is improvements in the overall operation of the dept. including the a faster and more detailed process of making documents available to residents online. And less feel good charettes and visioning sessions that don't have any legal baring.

  • Solways Metals: The Saga Continues   9 years 34 weeks ago

    Here is a brief update relating to Solways and MLS.

    1. I got a call from the Manager of MLS and he informed me that the MLS Staff report was completed last week and sent to legal for review. That process should take days and then Richard was sure that the report would then trigger an actual date in front of a Tribunal for the MLS to make a case against Solway's latest infractions. I was assured that the most recent news, that Solways has lost it's turn around land and was therefore in violation of a licensing condition had been included in this report. When a Tribunal date is picked the MLS report will be made public.

    The Tribunal is an arms length body that attempts to be impartial in these sorts of issues. It is not part of MLS, as MLS is a plaintiff in this process. Generally speaking the Tribunal is loath to close a business; in our case the point is trying to get Solways to operate within the existing laws (of which it could not stay open) such as doing their business on their property. Tribunals can vary depending on who is on them. The last Tribunal was pro business and tone deaf to the community.

    2. I had a fruitful talk with the new MLS Executive director Jim Hart and he promised to take a personal interest in this situation, one that has dragged on for over 20 years. I have heard first hand that he has been asking to be updated on the Solways situation which is a big improvement.

    3. There will be a few community Witnesses for the hearing probably including myself and Michael M. but that will not be revealed until the report is public. In the past Solways has always said that there were no complaints on file which was more of a symptom of MLS and the local councillors (pre-Giambrone) than anything else from what I can see as there is lots of evidence that people have been complaining for years.

    THere may be a petition going around shortly to augment the support for the case against Solways. As soon as I can I will post a primer on what the problems with Solways are. In a nutshell it revolves around them using public roads and space to conduct their business, illegal and dangerous driving of their own trucks, illegal parking of their own trucks, blocking of fire lanes, failure to comply with existing conditions they agreed to, and general impact on the larger community.

  • Bloor/Symington/Sterling Developments   9 years 34 weeks ago

    Again, I do want to see Pinewood happen, I just dont believe it will.

  • Bloor Dundas Condo - Giraffe Living (Tas Design)   9 years 34 weeks ago

    I think this building will be the best thing to happen in the area for a long time. I have some concerns about traffic and have voiced them but if there ever was a corner in need of help this is it. It was evident to me at the meetings that most of the opponents live in a dream world until something effected them they had never bothered to look much further than then end of their yard in terms of being involved. I of course exclude Hillary Bell and her feisty group from that generalization.

    The so-called City Planning Department can have all the meetings in the world and Avenue studies galore which makes residents feel better but doesn't really change much in the development process. Acting after a submission is presented for development is generally too late. Astute residents will note how the City gets vague about changes to this development because the City has very little power to force changes and has almost no money to pay for an OMB challenge (which the City looses pretty much most of the time). So instead the City has planning meetings where residents from every part of the city ask for essentially the same thing. And the reality is that ALL residents want the same lovely things for THEIR area but expect density, arterial roads, and box stores (that they all use) to be in backyard of SOMEBODY ELSE. In a way I say to residents who are upset about the Giraffe development "Welcome to the reality of downtown living in 2008".

    Here are a few areas that I think need a reality check.

    Density and intensification. Everybody in the world agrees that we need to do this to keep cities healthy and reduce the amount of cars on the road. Could there be a better location than this on a subway line ? Near grocery stores and activities that are a short walk away? This corner is the poster child for what modern downtown living will become. Anybody who thinks that they can live 3 blocks from a main transit hub in a city and that nobody will put a tall building on the corner has seemingly failed to notice about 1000 other corners in the same city. This is how cities build and this is where tall building go.

    The Giraffe doesn't "fit in" with the area character. First off, has anybody looked at the other 3 crappy corners featuring 3 of the ugliest buildings in the city? If anything the Giraffe will actually be an improvement. Its about time that the corner had a world class building on it to make the corner a destination. And when people talk about fitting in they seem to forget that into the 1970's that corner had industry and a gas station among other things and a bit further back stretches of Bloor were just long billboards. Areas change and "fitting in" is often more of an attempt to thwart the new under the guise of protecting the old; an "old" that exists often more in myth than reality. See below.

    The Giraffe will hurt parking and business and somehow hurt Bloor Street. HELLO ...Bloor Street IS dead already. Maybe if more locals used it instead of driving to Bloor West Village it might have stayed alive. I bet I shop along that stretch more than most and it needs a revitalized anchor and an increase of residents to kick start it back and make it a destination instead of a few wonderful survivors and a slew of ever changing others. Crossways killed street life east of Dundas but Giraffe has the ability to create vibrant street level activity and the traffic that can support businesses. This strip needs help. Screw parking, walk.

    Access to TTC and GO. THis was a never a problem before but for some mysterious reason it now is. This IS one area that probably the City and residents can get some kind of control over and tying it in with the Giraffe will only make that corner more vibrant. This is a bargaining chip and both sides know it and talk about it.

    Sunlight. This is not as big of a problem as people make it out to be. If residents on Edna were smart they would try to get the developer to pay for trees and landscaping on Edna to block the TTC and the horrid nighttime lighting (that they have put up with for decades) in exchange for the brief period of time they may be in the shade due to the Giraffe. Thats who planning actually works and I think that TAz would go for it.

    So in conclusion the reality is that change is going to happen and people have to get over it. Considering how many crappy things get built in the city I feel excited that a modern original building with green credentials and an artsy vibe is being built in my hood right where it should be built. This project reflects what smart design and planning is now and I hope they can make some improvements on the design and traffic flow so it is even better. In 30 years when I want to downsize Giraffe would be exactly the kind of place I will look to buy. Right in the thick of things.

  • Railpath construction underway   9 years 34 weeks ago

    Solways has to clean the road as a MLS TRibunal condition that was imposed after residents complained.