Category Archives: Editorial

*Can construction noise affect your health?

“An Ipsos Reid polled commissioned by Municipal Licensing and Standards suggests residents are most concerned about noise caused by construction and/or heavy equipment due to residential and commercial building construction.”

Link to CBC podcast of White coat, Black Art : How loud noises can affect your heart https://www.cbc.ca/radio/whitecoat/how-loud-noises-can-affect-your-heart-1.4911172

The World Health Organization’s report indicates that the louder the noise the quicker it adversely affects health:http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/383921/noise-guidelines-eng.pdf

Revamping Toronto’s Noise Bylaws, CBC News, Jan 28, 2019 : https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-wants-public-to-weigh-in-on-revamping-noise-bylaw-1.4992136

Link to City of Toronto study https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-104524.pdf

*U of T profile of Jonah Letovsky, Westbank

 

“I think change absolutely should be more integrated,” says Letovsky, “and it absolutely makes change more palatable when you bring in the local community. You incorporate those voices for how they’d like to see it done and you hear the ways that people live and work in the neighbourhood.”

to to read the full article click here:

https://www.utoronto.ca/news/toronto-s-future-city-builders-jonah-letovsky

*Globe and Mail profile of Ian Gillespie, Westbank

 

…“Still, for all his focus on beauty, Mr. Gillespie has taken on projects that don’t rely only on aesthetics to make bold statements. In Toronto, he jumped at the chance to redevelop the prominent Honest Ed’s site, for which Westbank paid $72-million in 2013. (For Honest Ed’s, as well as both Shangri-Las, Westbank again partnered with Peterson Group.) The project – which includes a planned community of buildings with 800 rental apartments – doesn’t necessarily break the mould in terms of design like Mr. Gillespie’s other ventures, but it’s sure to leave a mark on the city because of its historic location on Bloor and Bathurst Streets…”

to read the full Globe and Mail article click here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-ian-gillespie-a-builder-on-a-mission-to-stretch-the-boundaries-of/

 

“Web developer and civic activist Melody Ma created a parody website, skewering Westbank for raising housing prices upmarket and pushing out local residents. Dubbed “the Real Fight for Beauty,” the project cites local artists who say it’s in fact the luxury condos built by Westbank that have created a city with “no room for artists.” More than a hundred local artists signed an open letter of protest against the developer, saying he “treats housing as an elite commodity.”

to read The Real Fight for Beauty website, referenced in the Globe article, click here: http://www.therealfightforbeauty.ca/

 

*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

 

* Traffic ? – MVTG letter to Councillors Layton and Cressy regarding community concerns

Update: April 4, 2018. Request submitted by councillors to TEYCC directing city staff for a traffic and public realm study in and around Mirvish Village : http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2018.TE31.105

 

 

25 February 2018

Mike Layton, City Councillor, Ward 19,

Joe Cressy, City Councillor, Ward 20,

Dear Mike and Joe

Subject:  Urban Design and Transportation Study for integration of New Mirvish Village Development with the Neighbourhoods

 Context:

This letter is to follow-up with you after MVTG’s meeting with City Planning, Transportation Services, Westbank, and your Executive Assistants on January 30th, 2018.  This meeting was the third time that MVTG had met with City Planning and Transportation Planning or Services to discuss our concerns and provide community input on transportation-related issues around the Mirvish Village Project. The first meeting occurred as part of Graig Uens’ Discussion Group at CSI, which both of you attended. The second meeting took place at City Hall with a smaller group which included Mike. Prior to the January 30th meeting, MVTG reasserted our Guiding Principles and Focus Areas in a one page document (attached for your quick reference).  To date we feel it has been largely ignored.

Our view continues to be that community concerns are not being addressed by city staff. We have repeatedly stressed the importance of understanding how the traffic created by the new development will fit into the existing neighbourhoods. Despite our efforts, city staff appear to have limited their scope of work narrowly on Mirvish Village, specifically Markham between Lennox and Bloor, the Bloor and Lennox intersections, and Lennox from Markham to Bathurst. There is no plan – or even a “plan to get to a plan” – to address how the larger geographic area will be affected. The functional design issues of managing the increased traffic created by the new development in order to minimize the impact on the neighbourhoods remain unexplored and undiscussed. We find this unacceptable.

However, we were very pleased when Stephanie Nakitsas and Lia Brewer agreed during the January 30th meeting that the City undertake an Urban Design / Transportation Study of the area.

The following are our initial suggestions on the scope of the study.

Geographic Scope:

  • The area bounded by and including Bloor Street West to Harbord Street and Manning Avenue to Borden Street, including all streets and alleys within that area
  • Bathurst Street from London Street to Ulster Avenue

Project Scope and Objectives:

  • Lay out all possible vehicle routes into and out of Mirvish Village Parking Garage
  • Lay out PUDO along Markham Street including the daycare, the new east-west laneway between Markham and Bathurst, Honest Ed’s laneway, and along Lennox Street including the Randolph Academy
  • Develop a framework to evaluate which routes are expected to carry the most incremental volume through the neighbourhoods
  • Develop options to address the most problematic routes with the goal of protecting the neighbourhoods from excess traffic penetration and disruption, and identifying pros and cons of each option.
  • Develop an integrated plan to extend the functional design and public realm across Lennox Street, as part of the south end of Mirvish Village
  • Facilitate choices which balance the needs of both new and existing neighbourhoods

This study would ensure a smooth transition and sympathetic fit between the new and existing neighbourhoods so that impacts created by the new development will not overwhelm or degrade the existing historic neighbourhood.

Community Consultation:

  • MVTG will fully engage with this study; options for broader community input could be considered

We look forward to meeting with you as soon as possible to further define the scope, objectives and timeline for the study.  We would like to see a motion brought to Council as soon as possible so that significant progress can be made before the summer with a working plan in place by September 2018.

The Mirvish Village Task Group believe this to be an absolutely urgent undertaking to address growing community concern. The community engagement process during planning of the Mirvish Village redevelopment has been seen as a model of progressive and imaginative city-building. We believe the credibility of this process is now at risk.  More broadly, as Toronto proceeds with redevelopment along Bloor Street and other major corridors, we believe that creating a successful, co-operative example of integrating a new, large development within an existing neighbourhood could provide a model process that would be to everyone’s benefit.

Sincerely,

Mirvish Village Task Group

***

 

Attachment

Mirvish Village Task Group – Transportation Work Stream

4 November 2017

Document Purpose:

Section 37 of the OPA secured a consultation process with the four Resident’s Associations during the Site Plan process and prior to Site Plan approval.

This document outlines MVTG’s guiding principles for ongoing consultation of Westbank and City Transportation’s integrated transportation plan.   MVTG also identifies a number of discussion focus areas for the consultation process.

Guiding Principles for evaluating Transportation related proposal(s):

  • Traffic impact from Mirvish Village on the surrounding stable neighbourhoods’ streets should be minimal
  • Vehicle access going to and from the Mirvish Village Parking Garage is to be exclusively via the Bathurst and Lennox intersection
  • Internal vehicle circulation within the site should facilitate access to Mirvish Village businesses and services. PUDO design should consider the needs of small children, the elderly, and the disabled
  • Safety of pedestrians and bicyclists in and around Mirvish Village is a priority; potential zones of vehicle conflict should be addressed proactively

Discussion Focus Areas during the consultation process:

  • Optimizing performance of the Bathurst and Lennox Intersection
  • Plans to physically isolate Lennox Street west of the Parking Garage and the Markham Street Laneway from Parking Garage traffic
  • Mirvish Village Parking Garage design as it enables efficient vehicle flow, efficient entry and exit from entrance on Lennox, and options for technology enablement
  • Delivery vehicle allowed routes and times
  • Treatment of the Palmerston Laneway
  • Integration of Transportation related plans with other Site Plan work streams such as Landscape, Public Realm, etc.

***

 

To view the supporting documentation about traffic and transportation click hereviewSupportingDoc (30)

To view U of T Engineering students’ study click here: http://www.mirvishvillagetg.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/MVTG_Lennox-Street-Project_Final-Design-Specification.pdf

* Visual records of the demolition of Honest Ed’s

Honest Ed’s is gone.

“It’s like you’re looking through something, as if there’s a ghost hovering just above the bare ground…”

 

The following were recorded as the last bits of Honest’s Ed and Mirvish Village were being demolished: 

Bird’s eye-view of the demolition : https://vimeo.com/251258385

The demolition viewed from street level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoBl6Mfhx3U

Demolition of the sign at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor: : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbesLgxj-yI

Rick Salutin in the Toronto Star, an “opinion piece” about the demolition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JkU4P-ZZA0

Some Instagram links and photos in BlogTO : https://www.blogto.com/city/2018/01/honest-eds-demolition-progress-toronto/

Overview of demolition and anticipated schedule of construction: http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2018/01/last-sections-honest-eds-coming-down-mirvish-village

*Alternative Thinking : the last surviving store in Mirvish Village

Since the closing of Honest Ed’s, the only shop open for business on the block  south of Bathurst and Bloor is …

Alternative Thinking. 

“You can’t BYE tomorrow”
This sign appeared on the former Honest Ed’s store on Jan 3, 2018. By the following day, the wall had been demolished.

 

For more photos and to read the full article from the Toronto Star, click here :https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/01/11/as-stores-around-honest-eds-sell-and-shut-their-doors-alternative-thinking-is-holding-their-ground.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