New traffic rules at Bayview & Soudan

In the past few years many area residents have voiced concerns about the safety of the intersection at Bayview and Soudan Aves., particularly for seniors, students and families with young children crossing at the crosswalk.  A traffic study conducted by City of Toronto Transportation Services in 2016 confirmed the need for changes in traffic flow. As a result, both Soudan Ave. and Parkhurst Bld. side streets have new signs allowing only right turns onto Bayview Ave. The new traffic rules apply on weekdays between 7 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m.

An article from The SOUTH BAYVIEW BULLDOG highlights the action one South Bayview resident took to help make this a safer intersection. To view the article click here

Picture Courtesy of Charles Iscove

The picture above shows new traffic signs for the intersection at Bayview & Soudan Aves.

The new traffic rules allow motorists to make right turns only from Monday – Friday between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. These new rules do not apply to weekends. The same restrictions apply for motorists travelling westbound from Parkhurst Blvd. approaching Bayview Ave.

Picture Courtesy of Charles Iscove

The picture above shows the new traffic sign allowing right turns only during specified times on weekdays for motorists approaching Bayview Ave. from Parkhurst Blvd.

January 2017 Update: New School planned for students at Davisville and Spectrum Alternative schools

Our students at Davisville School and Spectrum Alternative School will have a much needed brand new school and playing field to enjoy, thanks to the hard work and the excellent collaborative efforts of several groups, including the Toronto District School Board and the City of Toronto. In addition to a new school, our community will also benefit from having a new Community Hub and Aquatics Centre which will be built on the south west side of the existing school site. Congratulations to all the individuals and teams who have worked so hard to make this happen for our community!

To help gather input on the school design and facilitate the process, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has created the NEW School Review Team (NSRT) which includes parent groups, school staff and community groups. SERRA has been invited to participate and provide feedback on the design of the new school from a community perspective. We would like to thank TDSB Trustee Shelley Laskin and TDSB Superintendent Ian Allison for inviting SERRA to participate in this very important initiative. At this time the NSRT is only reviewing the school design. A separate process will be initiated by the City of Toronto for the future Community Hub project.

To view the presentation from the NSRT meeting click here: presentation deck
The December 14th, 2016 meeting minutes can be found here: minutes
The picture below is from NSRT presentation of December 2016.
As a member of the New School Review Team, we have the following update to share with you:

The new building will be constructed at the south end of the property beginning in the fall of 2017

The scheduled completion date for the new school is sometime in 2019

The new design will have space to accommodate the projected enrollment of 731 students, will have a residential kitchen (for the snack program), a new artificial turf playing field and new underground parking

SERRA is to review the larger impact to the community, and as such our particular interests are in:

1) preserving a public right of way through the property, linking Davisville Avenue and Millwood Road, and in

2) liaising with the developer on a regular basis in order to inform the community of construction progress.

Other groups such as a parent committee covered off specific school and community hub interests.

The Toronto District School Board is seeking approval of the building design from parents and community members so that it can be approved by the city early this year.

The existing school will continue to operate during the construction period which is expected to start in 2017. Once the new school is fully operational, the old building will be torn down and the artificial turf playing field and playground areas will be constructed on the north side of the school site facing Millwood Road.

In the future, the City of Toronto will start a separate construction project and design process to build a Community Hub and aquatics centre on the southwest corner of the school site. The community will benefit by having access to the new community hub as well as the school gym and potentially the artificial turf playing field during non-school operating hours.

Background information: 

First meeting in mid-December to consider the feedback which had been collected by the TDSB from community members in September, and the feedback’s influence on the school design.

Snyder Architects presented their revised design for the new school to the Team and questions were taken by the architects, by staff of the TDSB and Davisville schools, and by Shelley Laskin, Trustee, Ward 11, St. Paul’s TDSB.

The key goal of the TDSB at this point is to get approval from the NSRT for the design, “the envelope of the building”, in order to submit it for Site Plan Approval from the City of Toronto in the Spring of 2017.

Highlights of the discussion points raised at the NSRT meeting:

Rationale for building new school close to Davisville Avenue
Underground parking access
Site circulation
Future community centre location and access
Location of classrooms and offices in new building
Absence of play space for children in grades 1-5 during construction
Availability of childcare spaces
Safety of students during construction
Possibility that all students at Davisville School might have to move to a new location during construction if the current school becomes unsafe

SERRA has two main objectives to consider regarding the school site re-design:

1) To ensure that public right of way paths will remain linking Davisville Avenue and Millwood Road. We were assured that the revised design includes public right of way paths at the west and east sides of the property; however, only the west path will be available during construction.

2) To request that SERRA and the developer meet bi-monthly during the three years of this project so that questions and concerns of local residents can be addressed in a timely manner, and so that SERRA members can be informed of the progress of this complex undertaking on a regular basis. Trustee Laskin assured SERRA that its request for the bi-monthly meeting with the developer will be considered.

Conclusion and Next Steps:

By the end of the meeting the NSRT generally voiced support for the revised design.

Some parent and community reps wished to meet with their constituents once more before giving final approval.

The TDSB may hold a second meeting in the New Year.

Trustee Laskin announced that another community meeting will be held on this subject early in 2017.


Other School News:

Our Trustee Shelley Laskin has worked tirelessly to ensure parents and community members stay informed about TDSB news and local school matters. Below are some of the highlights about Hodgson from her most recent newsletter of January 9th 2017. This is an exciting and unprecedented time of change for our schools. We would like to take the time to express our thanks to Trustee Laskin for the commitment and support she continues to provide for our community and the schools in our SERRA neighbourhoods.

Hodgson Senior Public School Changes

In the next school year starting in September 2017-18, Hodgson will become a Grade 6 to 8 middle school for both English & Extended French.

To accommodate the grade 6 students Hodgson will need to have renovations and an addition. The school will also be renamed as a “Middle School” .

With this grade change for Hodgson, the following junior elementary schools will become Kindergarten to grade 5 schools:

Davisville (English stream only)

Eglinton (English and extended French streams)

Maurice Cody

Oriole Park

More information can be found here.

If you would like to stay informed about TDSB school news, please go to the TDSB website at:




Keeping Our Neighbourhood GREEN

SERRA has actively participated in 4 meetings and workshops this fall which will give direction to the preservation and formation of parks and green space in Davisville Village, an area of the city under great development stress.

Parks and Public Realm Update

In November Paul Farish, a Senior Planner of Strategic Initiatives Policy and Analysis with the City of Toronto, organized a well-attended workshop on green infrastructure. Mr. Farish leads Toronto’s Midtown in Focus Plan, which aims to improve parks and public spaces. The Yonge-Davisville neighbourhood is the latest to be singled out, and through Mr. Farish the City of Toronto is seeking public input into the future of the area’s parks and public spaces. 
In planning for this event SERRA had mapped out a potential route on side streets and lanes which would allow pedestrians and cyclists to move from the Yonge-Eglinton area to the beltline and Mt. Pleasant Cemetery without having to use major roadways. We would like to see the city respond to and develop this route, which would offer a quiet oasis and passageway in Davisville. With the planned arrival of 35,000 new residents in our area over the next 15 years, green spaces and parks will become ever more precious.

Two New Parks Coming to the SERRA Area:

Councillor Josh Matlow held a meeting in December to get local feedback on two new parks on Manor Road. These parks are close together and fairly small. About 40 people attended this meeting, including City staff. There was a quickly achieved consensus that one park should attract children, though perhaps not with the conventional play equipment, while the second park should offer a more contemplative, peaceful focus to attract adults and seniors. City staff will consult with experts on park planning and return to the community with suggestions. 

LEAF Initiatives

SERRA members have also attended two workshops held by a non-profit group called LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests).The first addressed the City Forestry Department’s plan to protect and increase the city’s tree canopy over the next decades. Local citizens’ ability to respond to the illegal removal of large trees from their neighbourhoods and ways in which they can shield and care for newly planted city trees were discussed.
The second workshop demonstrated LEAF’s achievements in two areas of the city where cutting edge planting of street trees has occurred. Through grates in the sidewalk, rainwater will reach roots protected in a special planting enclosure. As well, tall surrounding metal fences will prevent new trees from being scarred by bicycles attached to them.
Happily, this method of ensuring the healthy growth of city trees is being adopted by some local BIAs as they plan their street refurbishments. SERRA members are encouraged to work with local businesses to make sure new street trees are adequately watered during dry months.
SERRA is committed to the green infrastructure of Davisville so that we, our children and grandchildren will continue to live in ‘the city in a garden’.  

Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) Anticipated in Early 2017

The City of Toronto is continuing with its plan to establish an independent Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) to rule on appeals of decisions of the Committee of Adjustment and provide quick and efficient hearings.

The Local Appeal Body for Toronto will replace the function of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to hear Toronto-based appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions about minor variance and consent applications (relates to appeals for almost all residential homes). The Ontario Municipal Board remains responsible to hear appeals related to Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments, site plan applications and decisions related to subdivisions (covers appeals for Tall and Mid-Rise buildings).

Here is a link to the full text on the city’s website:

The city’s website also identifies new chair of the TLAB along with six members of the tribunal body.

SERRA is hoping that our residents and members will receive fair and open hearings under the new tribunal structure.

Proposed Development at 18 Brownlow

One particularly troublesome development application is at 18 Brownlow Ave (now appealed by the developer to the OMB, scheduled for early Aug, 2017).

The developer has proposed 2 massive towers of 20 and 25 storeys on a complete city block fronting Soudan (between Redpath and Brownlow Avenues), but on a very shallow property of (mostly) only 100’ deep … 463 units will replace the current 16 residences.

We need your help to fight this development!

18 Brownlow with its 25 storey tower at a height of ~ 290 feet (87 metres) will dwarf the adjacent 2 storey homes.  All of the immediate neighbourhood, including the condo tower/townhouses to the north is opposed, and with SERRA coordination has registered at the OMB in opposition to this development. Our councillor Josh Matlow and the City are also strongly opposing this development. Effective opposition at the OMB involves hiring a municipal lawyer and urban planner at a significant cost. SERRA has been actively working to raise $25,000 and any financial support you can provide will be much appreciated.

If you can, PLEASE HELP WITH A DONATION for the 18 BROWNLOW DEFENSE FUND, click on this tab:  Donate Here

Activity is also occurring at the Davisville and Yonge intersection with the imminent construction of the Davis House condominium on Yonge between Belsize and Millwood and discussions for a development at the NE corner of Davisville and Yonge (old LCBO site) next to the Davisville School. In the Davisville Apartment Neighbourhood there is a proposal for a 38 storey tower at the current site of the Sobeys’ store on Balliol.

Lastly, after lengthy negotiations with the developer the originally proposed 9+ storey development on Bayview Ave (between Soudan Ave and Hillsdale Ave) is now lower at 7 storeys with fewer units, less parking and a much more pleasing design, but still will be at the OMB in early March.