Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park Meeting — This Thursday, March 7 at 7pm

Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park squirrel logoJoin FoTBP this Thursday March 7 at 7pm at the Trinity Community Recreation Centre.

Come and meet your neighbors and get involved! Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park is a volunteer group that works together to improve the green space, cultural and recreational activities of Trinity Bellwoods Park.

 

Help save the Norway Maple west of the John Gibson House in Trinity Bellwoods Park

John Gibson House

John Gibson House

The Maple tree just west of the John Gibson House is slated for removal. The developers have requested destruction of the tree to allow for construction of a ramp as part of the 3-story addition to be constructed at the back of the building. The tree in question is a 25 year old Norway maple that is 58 cm in diameter.

The application is particularly upsetting since an information package released from the developers (LOFT) in 2009 stated that no trees would be destroyed as part of the construction.

Microsoft Word - Handout Community Meeting 790 Queen St W 5-26-0

Image showing the proposed redevelopment of the John Gibson House from LOFT developers (a private company operating on City land) in May 2009. Note that the proposed addition is visible and no trees have been removed.

Link to the original LOFT proposal (see highlighted text on pg 12)

Please make your voice heard: send your comments and concerns to Gary LeBlanc at gleblanc@toronto.ca or 416-392-0494 by Thursday February 14, 2013 (tomorrow). Copy any emails to Councillor Mike Layton at councillor_layton@toronto.ca.

To Learn more, see the Feb 7, 2013 posting on the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods website.

News from the ‘hood – November

Hello hoodies

A November update ensues!

1) West Queen west BIA

Congratulations goes out to West Queen West. Online New York Magazine, Complex Style, chose 50 of the World’s most Stylish Neighbourhoods…WQW came 18th!!

http://www.complex.com/style/2012/10/the-50-most-stylish-neighborhoods-in-the-world/west-queen-west

2) Dundas BIA

Plans for Do Design 2013 (January 26-January 29) continue. Do Design is a unique, street wide event occurring during design week as part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. The works of contemporary designers (furniture, objects, architectural or graphic) are showcased in a diverse variety of storefronts/cafe’s/walkups/windows of participating business venues in the Trinity Bellwoods Business Improvement Area ( Dundas St West between Bathurst and Grace streets).

3) The Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park

The Friends  Adopt A Tree program recently wrapped up its sixth watering season.  Thanks and hurrahs to the 73 neighborhood volunteers who each kept one or more of the 92 saplings watered through the 2012 summer of (mostly) drought.  Four new cherry trees were recently planted in the north end of the park and will be seeking adopters in the spring.

Check the FoTBP website for latest on Adopt a Tree Program, fabulous photos of various activities and more Friends/park info. http://www.trinitybellwoods.ca/about-us/about-ftbp/past-meetings.html

In conclusion with congratulations:

The Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park received the ’2011 Volunteer Group of the Year’ award from Parks, Forestry & Recreation. The event was held on Nov. 3rd.

4). Friends of Roxton Road Parks

The First Annual Night of the Living Fred was wonderful in spite of the rain. The BBQ was a great hit as were the pumpkins and loot bags for the kids. Thanks to all the members of the Events committee for the planning and hard work — Tim, Rhea, Roumen, Zac, Naomi, and Bob. A special thanks goes to Metro and Starbucks for donating pumpkins and tea.

The November 7th meeting was quite fruitful. Fred Hamilton, his wife Joan and their daughter Marnie were in attendance. They are the immediate descendants of Fred Hamilton, for whom FORRP’s largest park is named. Hearing about the elder Hamilton directly from his son and other family members gave the community a much greater sense of this former athlete turned alderman and then city controller (similar to today’s deputy mayor).Final plans for new ramps at Fred Hamilton north and south playgrounds were shown at the meeting and can be seen on the FORRP website. Construction is underway.

Also at the meeting U of T Conservation students and FORRP agreed to collaborate on developing an Urban Forest management Plan for the neighbourhood.

5) Ossington Visioning Working Group/ Ossington Avenue Area Study/ 109 OZ Development Application

Ossington Ave signIn July, Councillor Mike Layton invited 17 members of the community to join him in developing a vision for future development on the Ossington Avenue strip. This unofficial process was meant to inform to official processes, both underway; the Ossington Avenue Area Study & the 109 OZ development proposal. TBCA Chair Chris Walker is a member of the Working Group.

With the 3 processes working in parallel, there has been much overlap and some fast-tracking. A set of proscriptive principles was developed by the Working Group, but only in response to the 109 OZ development proposal; an over-arching set of principles for the whole street was not developed to the same level of nuanced proscriptive language that can be seen in the principles developed for 109 OZ below:

Ward 19 Working Group recommendations for 109 Ossington

The principles for 109 OZ were presented to the applicant and the applicant then returned a redesign to the Working Group. Some of the principles were addressed, most weren’t. The major issue of how to transition from stable residential neighbourhoods to midrise development without negatively impacting the surrounding residents remains. Shadows, traffic, parking, loading, garbage, big box retail, and unit mix/size appear to be universal concerns among residents with midrise development.

Chris Walker has been urging the City to simply adopt a harder line in defending our good growth management plan (The Official Plan) and its design guidelines, namely the Midrise and Avenues Design Guidelines.

The Ossington Avenue Area Study continues, and the 109 OZ proposal is still under consideration by the City. We’ll be sure to keep the Community updated on these exciting developments.

6) Studio Bar

At the end of October, TBCA members Chris Walker, Anne Keary & Ben Pakuts, along with several members of the community met with Councillor Mike Layton and the applicants for Studio Bar, a newly proposed establishment on Dundas Street West. The applicants presented their proposal for a new restaurant. The Community expressed our concern over the differences in the use of the space between the Committee of Adjustment application and the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario application; the former appearing to be a gallery and restaurant and the latter a concert hall and event space. The property is unique in that it is deep and abuts residential backyards on all sides without a laneway.

The Community asked the applicant to provide a few clarifications which they did; hours of operation (5 – 2), maximum number of occupants (300), and a seating plan.

After the meeting, the applicants invited the group to walk around inside the space, which we did. Construction work was underway. The City has informed us that the work so far is only considered decorating and that a Building Permit is forthcoming. That application will make 4 differing floor plans! TBCA Chair Chris Walker & local resident Craig Daniels are urging the City and the AGCO better align their application processes.

At the October TBCA monthly meeting, the City presented a set of draft conditions to the Community which were then discussed. We await the final set of conditions from the City. In the meantime, of their own accord, the City has successfully requested the AGCO suspend the liquor licence application until the matters of concern are resolved.

7) Origami Lofts

At the October TBCA monthly meeting, local residents along Wolseley Street raised concern over a new midrise development along Bathurst Street; Origami Lofts. Unique concerns include sewer back-flow, wind & tree loss, as well as height, set-backs, transition, appearance, parking and shadow.

The condominium will have as many units as there are houses on the street; 23. The concern over the sewers is that the new development will be protected from sewer back-flow while being the major contributor of storm water on the street where the other homes are not protected from sewer back-flow.

The Public Consultation meeting was held on November 21 and I look forward to hearing how it went and what the next steps are. See the 202bathurstimprove.tumblr.com blog for more details.

8) 765 Dundas Street West

TBCA chair Chris Walker & local resident Craig Daniels met the owner of 765 Dundas Street West, Dustin Keating, to discuss his plans for a new cocktail lounge & restaurant at that address. Having previously been on the other side of the bar-resident opposition, Dustin wanted to be pro-active in gaining Community support for his concept at the beginning stage of the approvals process. The proposal was welcomed as an improvement to the block and we hope to see Dustin’s dream come true.

Currently the establishment does not have a name and is being referred to as “765”. Dustin has agreed to keep the Community informed of his applications through the approvals process.

9) Trinity Bellwoods Urban Forest Management Plan

This is an exciting new positive initiative for the Community with far-reaching benefits. The Trinity-Bellwoods Community has been chosen by 5 Masters of Forest Conservation students at the University of Toronto to implement a 20 year Urban Forest Management Plan with the goals of improving urban forest diversity, canopy cover, community stewardship and adaptation.

TBCA chair Chris Walker met with students Jennifer Gagne and Natasha to discuss the plan in more detail and understand the TBCA’s potential involvement. The students have already discussed their plans with the Councillor, Parks and Recreation, Friends of Trinity Bellwoods, Friends of Roxton Road Parks and LEAF. All have been supportive. The students would like to see the TBCA be the main point of contact in consulting with the various groups and/or set up a steering committee to guide the process along.

Volunteers will be needed. Contact the TBCA to see how you can show your support for this great project.

The students will be presenting their proposal to the rest of the TBCA executive at the upcoming November monthly meeting.

TBCA Urban Forest Management Plan

 

News from the ‘hood – October

TBCA executive member Lois Schklar was kind enough to round up the following items that may be of interest to our community (thanks Lois!).

Did you know that a casino might be built in the city. Plans are underway to find suitable sites. Do you want a casino in our area. What will this mean to you?

The CBC reports that “the full city council will receive a report from city staff in early November outlining the pros and cons of the idea. Provincial officials have said they won’t build a casino where it isn’t wanted.” (CBC – Proposed Toronto casino focus of town hall). The American media, MSNBC reported on October 3rd that “Sands
billionaire eyes Toronto”. The Toronto Star reported on October 15 on the casino plan
unveiled by Oxford Property Group. There is also a concerned citizens group here called No Casino Toronto.

_____________________

The following info is from a letter circulated by Juan Pablo de Dovitiis, Executive Assistant to Rosario Marchese, MPP for Trinity-Spadina

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and the Ministry agreed to participate in a new meeting with the Trinity-Spadina neighbourhood associations on November 13. Tom Mungham, CEO of the AGCO, and Sabrina Grando, Chief of Staff to the Attorney General, will be present at the meeting.

This is a great opportunity for our local community groups (like the TBCA who will attend) to address the concerns of your community to the government and push for changes. A working group comprised of two representatives from each neighbourhood association would meet to prepare for the AGCO meeting.

_________________

News from Community organizations and BIA’s in the Hood

1.The Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park

The Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park are happy to report the new stairs on the north side of the bowl are completed and the gates on Queen Street have been refurbished and freshly painted.

Tuesday October 30th is your last chance of the season to visit the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market in the north west corner of the park., from 3 – 7 PM.

If you’re interested in getting involved with and/or accessing growing space in the community greenhouse in the park this coming winter — or have ideas about how to utilize this space in non-growing seasons, please contact Anna at greenhouse@trinitybellwoods.ca

The website is best resource for up to date info on the FOTBP. Please check regularly for
postings.  We have recently posted the minutes to our annual Fall Meeting.

2. Friends of Roxton Road Parks

This Friday October 26th, the Friends of Roxton Road Parks is holding their first annual NIGHT OF THE LIVING FRED!!! Neighbours are invited to get into the Halloween spirit by joining the Friends in Fred Hamilton Park for a costume contest, pumpkin design contest, apple cider, loot bags, and movies when it gets dark! More information on their website here. Sounds like a lot of fun!

 

3. Dundas BIA

The Dundas BIA is pleased to announce their participation in Contact 2013. The venue will
extend from Bathurst to Grace (same as Do Design in January).


Do Design is a unique, street wide event occurring during design week in Toronto. The works of contemporary designers (furniture, objects, architectural or graphic) are showcased in a diverse variety of storefronts/cafe’s/walkups/windows of participating business venues in the Trinity Bellwoods Business Improvement Area ( Dundas St West between Bathurst and Grace streets).

Do Design highlights contemporary design culture in a vibrant neighbourhood during Design week as part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. We invite your participation in this exciting program.

If you are interested in participating in Do Design you can contact: Julie or Shaun at MADE T: 416 607 6384 or email the Do Design co’ordinator at dodesign@dowest.ca

4) West Queen west BIA (westqueenwest.ca)

West Queen West BIA members will be having their annual trick or treat this year on Oct 27th & 28th, with treats for the kids and special Halloween offers for the parents!

The gates of Trinity Bellwoods Park – Refurb Redux.

As many community members may have noticed, the gates of Trinity Bellwoods park at Strachan and Queen St W. are currently getting some TLC. But wait, you say, weren’t these gates just refurbished at great expense back in 2006. Yes, they were, so we contacted Jo Ann Pynn, Supervisor, Cultural Assets, City of Toronto to get the 311 on why this is happening. Jo Ann informed me that the work being done is to accomodate the building of planters that were put in place in front of the gates back in 2006.

An unanticipated consequence was that the runoff from the driveway was channelled directly south, bringing with it organic debris.  If you entered the park through the gates, you might have noticed that organic material covering the cobblestones, which then supported weed growth.  We are installing a trench drain between the planters to solve this problem.
At the same time, a couple of chunks of “art” stone fell or were knocked off the structure, so we will restore that.  Finally, the gates have been “graffiti-ed” numerous times, and while we painted the damage out with each incident, we’ll take this opportunity to re-finish the entire assembly to a uniform colour again.
Jo Ann informs me that the work is being paid for out of Culture’s capital budget, and is expected to be completed by mid-September.

 

Additionally, you may have noticed that the ruts that were forming on the edges of the paths in the park have recently been filled in with limestone screening. Park Supervisor Brian Green informs me that this screening should compact down into a solid shortly. No doubt this will assist in making the edges of the paths less dangerous, and less likely to fill in with rainwater. Supervisor Green also tells me that soon his department will be installing the long awaited speed limit signs in the park, advising cyclists to slow down in key areas.

 

Finally, two of Toronto’s community blogs (Now & BlogTO) have recently written posts about the park, both with some interesting commentary