Junction Triangle: Site Walk

As part of the Planning Charrette for the Junction Triangle, there will be a Site Walk through the neighbourhood on Wednesday November 3rd. More details about the charrette are posted here.

From the organizers:

The Site Walk will take place on Wednesday November 3rd at 10AM. We will meet with the York U students at the south entrance to the West Toronto Rail Path at Dundas Street West and Sterling Road. Residents are welcome to join us to give a commentary on the history and their hopes for the neighbourhood. The site walk should last about 2 or 3 hours.

Hope to see you there.

Tower Automotive Chimney demolition (Wednesday)

Tower Automotive ChimneyTower Automotive Chimney

Philip from the South Perth and Sterling Rd. Residents Association just informed me that the Tower Automotive chimney stack at the corner of Perth Ave. and Sterling Rd. will be coming down tomorrow, Wednesday September 22. The exact time hasn't been determined yet, but it will probably be at around 10:00am.

This is your last chance to check it out. Besides the actual tower, this is the last major piece of the Tower Automotive site still standing. Not sure if I will be able to witness this myself, so I hope that many people can bring cameras to record photos and video of the chimney's final demise.

The demolition of the chimney stack tops off the other major changes we've seen along Perth Ave. and Sterling Road this summer: The demolition of the Toronto Hydro building, and the demolition of Tower Automotive's low-rise buildings and facades.

It's sad to see some of these changes, especially since many people considered these buildings to be beautiful and of industrial heritage value, but the good thing is that it now makes remediation of the contaminated soil possible. And hopefully some great re-developments too.

Ontario Redi-Mix has closed down

Ontario Redi-Mix: As seen from Erwin Krickhahn Park.Ontario Redi-Mix: As seen from Erwin Krickhahn Park.

The Ontario Redi-Mix plant at 57 Wade Ave. has closed down. I don't know the exact date of the plant's closure, but it has now been inactive for several weeks.

Ontario Redi-Mix is the concrete manufacturing and distribution factory that is visible over the railway tracks at Erwin Krickhahn Park. What seemed like a constant parade of cement trucks around the Bloor-Lansdowne area is a direct result of this plant. I know that there were many complaints about Ontario Redi-Mix from residents in the Lansdowne / Wade / Jenet / Paton area stemming from the truck traffic, noise, dust, dirty streets, idling trucks, cracked sidewalks, and much more. I bet the residents of that area are happy to see this place closed down.

Perhaps it will make life better for Junction Triangle residents on Rankin Cres., and users of Erwin Krickhahn Park too? I'm not sure, as I can't say I've ever been bothered by this facility while in the park, but maybe people who live close-by had different experiences (please post if you have!).

Demolished: Toronto Hydro building on Sterling Rd.

Sterling Rd.: Toronto Hydro Building #200: Photo by Vic Gedris, 2007-12-01.Sterling Rd.: Toronto Hydro Building #200: Photo by Vic Gedris, 2007-12-01.

I noticed this week that the old Toronto Hydro Electric System building no. 200 on Sterling Rd. has been demolished. I haven't heard any explanation of why they tore it down, or what the future plans for the site are. I don't even know the history of the building, its construction date, or what it was actually used for. I'd love to hear any details, if you have them.

However, I do think it was a beautiful old structure that helped give this short east-west stretch of Sterling Rd. its character. With the wonderful windows of Tower Automotive's facade on Sterling, the Tower Automotive chimney, Moloney Electric, and the Hydro building, this was such a well-preserved "canyon" of industry in our neighbourhood. I'm all for progress, but I hope this section of street retains its look and feel.

With the Moloney Electric building up for lease, the Tower Automotive lands up for redevelopment, and lots of new residential development in the area, Sterling Road will continue to evolve into a very different place.

Wallace Bridge: Looking into the Junction Triangle

Wallace Ave. Bridge: Photo by Vic Gedris, 2010-04-16Wallace Ave. Bridge: Photo by Vic Gedris, 2010-04-16

They say "a picture is worth a thousand words".

I was walking home from the Dundas West subway station on Friday evening and decided to take this photo from the Dundas St. side of the Wallace Ave. pedestrian bridge. I always enjoy the view from here, especially since it contains two of our neighbourhood's most iconic sights: The bridge itself, and the old G.E. Water Tower near Lansdowne Ave.

When I came home and took a closer look at the photo, it struck me that there are many things going on within the frame of this picture. Little bits of history, neighbourhood icons, and changes that are happening rapidly. Here's what I spotted. Maybe there are some things I missed?

Meeting: Sterling Studio Lofts demolition + towers?

Lisa posted this meeting notice on the Sterling Studio Lofts discussion forum:

I live in the town homes on Merchant Lane and just received something in my mailbox last night. It was a flyer that read as follows:

"Proposal to demolish the sterling lofts and build two, twenty story structures on the site!
If you wish to oppose these plans please attend the meeting at:
The Ukrainian Cultural Centre
1604 Bloor Street West
Date: February 17th, 2010
Time: 7:00pm"

Seems like awfully short notice for this meeting. Anyone else get this flyer? Going to the meeting?

You can discuss this meeting and development proposal on the Sterling Studio Lofts discussion forum.

UPDATE (12:30pm):

I asked Councillor Giambrone's office about this meeting, and was sent the original meeting notice that was distributed to the residents of 221-227 Sterling Rd. Staff also explained some of the background behind this meeting. Read on below.

Exploring the Tower Automotive building on Sterling Rd.

Ground floorGround floor

On December 7th 2009 I had the opportunity to do something I've wanted to do since moving in to this neighbourhood: I explored the Tower Automotive building Sterling Rd. Four of us from the TLR Club photography group spent the snowy Monday afternoon wandering through the building, admiring the architecture and views, and of course taking many photos.

The Tower Automotive building on Sterling Road is a fascinating place. Because of its height and location (no other tall buildings nearby) it's one of the most easily recognizable features of this neighbourhood, from miles around. I won't go into too much detail about the property or development plans, which you can read about here, so I'll just move on to the photo tour.

These first two photos were taken on the ground floor of the building. I'm not sure why, but the main level had a hardwood floor instead of concrete like everywhere else.

Perth/Sterling & Tower Automotive: Jan 2010 Meeting Notes

Castlepoint's PropertiesCastlepoint's Properties

Here are my notes from the January 18 2010 meeting about the ongoing developments at the former Tower Automotive properties. Hosted by Castlepoint Realty Partners (the property owners / developers) and the South Perth and Sterling Rd. Residents Association at the Church of the First Born, the meeting was certainly informative and interesting. It attracted about 40 people from all around this community (guessing, I didn't count).

My notes are just quick points that I jotted down at the meeting. If you have any of your own comments or corrections, please feel free to reply below.

Note: You can view the huge versions of the images by clicking on them. The fine details may still be hard to read.

Perth/Sterling/Tower meeting: Tower Automotive Demolition

Perth/Sterling/Tower meeting: Tower Automotive Demolition

Graphic by Castlepoint Realty Partners, photo by Vic Gedris, 2010-01-18.

Perth/Sterling/Tower meeting: Castlepoint's Properties

Perth/Sterling/Tower meeting: Castlepoint's Properties

Graphic by Castlepoint Realty Partners, photo by Vic Gedris, 2010-01-18.

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