Category Archives: Community outreach

*MVTG comments regarding design of new park

To: Mike Layton, Graig Uens, Jonah Letovsky (Westbank)

From: Mirvish Village Task Group

Re: Design for Mirvish Village Park ​​​​​

Date: June 26, 2018.

In anticipation of the public meeting on July 9, members of the Mirvish Village Task Group met to discuss our vision for the Mirvish Village Park. We offer these comments to the park designers and city planners as part of the public input. We are very grateful to have this dedicated park space in the Mirvish Village. It is a wonderful opportunity for creating something special on the site. We also recognize that the space presents many design challenges.

We have come to the view that the space can best be conceived as a small, green sanctuary from the busyness of the Mirvish Village market and retail, from the comings and goings within the site, and from the activity of Bloor St in general. Given this busyness and activity, we expect the site will be enjoyed and valued by many different people, at most times of the day and evening, and by all ages.

We researched online and found one New York Park of about the same dimension that had many attributes we found delightful. Greenacres is a similar size to the main space of the Mirvish site park, with dimensions of 120 x 60 feet approximately. It has some of the sanctuary feel that we think the site could profit from. An oasis, it could be a place for people to sit and eat the food or drink from the market, or the cafes that could flank the space. Paley Park, again in New York, is another ‘pocket park’ with attractive elements that could be learned from. We note that both these parks have waterfalls, and we highly recommend trying to incorporate something similar into our project. (For more information and photographs of these two parks see: https://greenacrepark.org/ and https://www.pps.org/places/paley-park

The site could be conceived as two main rooms: Markham to the lane, 100 x 60 framed by buildings north and south; the second, a child friendly area 40 x 50 running south along Palmerston Lane.

 

Elements that would be desirable could include:

1. Paved permeable surface (granite sets?) with plantings and large trees—little leaf lindens, perhaps a copse of trees including a specimen tree—a beech or copper beech.

This promotes the contemplative feeling, sheltered from the sun. Dappled shade.

2. Water fall along the south wall, creates visual interest in winter and dampens street sounds in summer, again promoting sanctuary.
3. Seating areas, well designed tables and chairs. Not rustic.Tailored, distinctive and comfortable.
4. Stone seating around trees, if desirable. Near the water fall.
5. West wall along Palmerston Lane – a decorative, designed, metal screening with plantings. Perhaps poplars along the screening? Several points of entry and exit in the screen.
6. No provision for amplified sound or concerts. This is a lovely sanctuary where folks will want to sit, talk or just be quiet.
7. North wall framed by cafes.

 

We expect that the outdoor area of the daycare will be available for public use by younger children when the daycare is not in operation. Therefore we would not wish to have typical playground equipment as part of the park; however, we would welcome provision of a child friendly installation in the south ‘room’ laneway spur – a unique architectural feature that invitesexploration and play. The materials could emphasize wood to connect with the surrounding trees, and the structure could have an improvisational character. The area would need woodchipsfor safety. Perhaps include large stones to sit or crawl on.

The park area would be easy to keep clean. Maintenance would be reasonable.

There are other issues to consider such as the relation to the streetscape of Markham and an inviting access through Palmerston Lane so that there are no dead or unsafe spaces.

 

We hope these suggestions are helpful, and we look forward to the future discussions on the design of this important park in the Mirvish Village site.

Yours sincerely,

Paul MacLean (on behalf of the Mirvish Village Task Group)

 

 

*Build a Better Bloor!

Further to the west along Bloor Street another residents’ group is hoping to shape another large, mixed-use development…

“Building a Better Bloordale is an independent community network invested in making the Bloor-Dufferin Development the best possible for Bloordale, Bloorcourt and Toronto.  

We are a group of volunteers—residents, businesses, parents—who care about and are vocal in the planning and design process and decisions regarding the new development of a condo and rental development, a redeveloped school site and a cultural and social community hub, as well as other amenities on a 9-acre site on the south-west corner of Bloor and Dufferin Streets.”

What’s all the fuss about? The Toronto District School Board has sold the 7.3 acre parcel of land at Bloor & Dufferin where Bloor Collegiate and the former Kent school now stands. There is a provision in the sale agreement for the provision of a 30,000 Sq. ft. space for a Community Hub.

Key issues are: What will happen to the school?  How will the money be used by the TDSB? Will the amount of greenspace decrease? What will the Community Hub look like (physically and figuratively)? Who will run it? How will it be funded?

Here’s the link to the Building a Better Bloordale websitehttp://www.buildbloordufferin.ca/

Here’s a link to a Globe and Mail article (April 6, 2018) about the proposed development at Bloor and Dufferin http://globe2go.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx?noredirect=true

And a link to a Toronto Star article, April 19, 2018, about the developments along Bloor https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/04/19/major-developments-are-coming-to-the-west-end-is-bloor-st-west-the-new-yonge-st.html

*Is Toronto growing in the right places?

 

From the Toronto Star

Cherise Burda, executive director of Ryerson University’s City Building Institute, believes the city, developers, and neighbourhood associations all have a role to play in coming to the table at the front end of development applications to negotiate and brainstorm what’s best for proposed developments.
“That’s how you end up with a planned complete community like Mirvish Village, instead of “piecemeal” planning by the OMB (or the threat of it).”

to see the full article click here:  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/03/02/the-gtas-population-is-booming-but-not-necessarily-in-the-right-places.html

 

*NIMBY or NOT?

residents of Palmerston Blvd win a ruling at OMB to restrict restaurants on the west side of Markham
 The attached video is an editorial  from TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin.  Is there NIMBYism in Residents’ Associations or is there merit to citizens’ concerns? The Agenda speaks to Toronto’s outgoing chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, who is a champion of densification, about the opposition to development. The development in question is an 8 storey building in the Annex but the discussion also references the Mirvish Village Task Group.
click here to view :

http://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/condo-conundrum-in-the-annex

 

*Vacant Honest Ed’s Store Vandalized

 

Links to News reports about fire and vandalism in empty Honest Ed’s store and Mirvish Village:

Global News: http://globalnews.ca/news/3303075/torontos-iconic-honest-eds-building-vandalized/

City TV News: http://www.citynews.ca/2017/03/21/crews-investigate-minor-blaze-at-honest-eds/

Matt Galloway, Metro Morning, CBC Radio: https://twitter.com/mattgallowaycbc/status/844304839123308545

BlogTO : http://www.blogto.com/city/2017/03/honest-eds-now-covered-graffiti/

To report vandalism in Mirvish Village or Honest Ed’s, please call 311. In case of fire or other urgent matters call 911. 

To contact Westbank directly, Felicia Morrison at felicia@westbankcorp.com or Jonah Letovsky at jonah@westbankcorp.com 

* U of T study – Palmerston Laneway

PARA and the Mirvish Village Task Group (MVTG) commissioned four (4) engineering studies at the University of Toronto to study four specific aspects of the Westbank proposal.   Each study is focused on a transition point to the adjoining neighbourhood.   The project process involved problem definition, stakeholder analysis and setting of evaluation criteria,  multiple conceptual designs which where evaluated against the evaluation criteria and a final detailed design.   The final deliverables included a Design Specification Document and a final presentation.    The final presentations were attended by members of the MVTG, Councellor Layton, Westbank, and several of Westbank’s consultants.

The Palmerston Laneway Project focused on developing ideas to make the Palmerston Laneway less about moving a lot of cars and delivery trucks and more as a pedestrian and bicycle entrance to the Mirvish western property, as an access point to the proposed greenspace, and as an effective transitional space to the neighbourhood.

Part 1:
Part 2:

* U of T study – Lennox Street Project

PARA and the Mirvish Village Task Group (MVTG) commissioned four (4) engineering studies at the University of Toronto to study four specific aspects of the Westbank proposal.   Each study is focused on a transition point to the adjoining neighbourhood.   The project process involved problem definition, stakeholder analysis and setting of evaluation criteria,  multiple conceptual designs which where evaluated against the evaluation criteria and a final detailed design.   The final deliverables included a Design Specification Document and a final presentation.    The final presentations were attended by members of the MVTG, Councellor Layton, Westbank, and several of Westbank’s consultants.

The Lennox Street Project focused on developing ideas to address Westbank’s proposed entrance / exit for passenger and delivery vehicles on Lennox Street.   Our primary concerns were to promote safety,  reduce congestion, and to limit vehicle traffic spilling into the adjoining neighbourhoods.

MVTG_Lennox Street Project_Final Design Specification