Hollywood comes to SERRA!

Film crews were set up on Bayview Avenue near Belsize on Tuesday, November 29th, to film a new movie called “Molly’s Game”.

Residents were excited to try and catch glimpses of Aaron Sorkin, Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner and Michael Cera…sadly, to no avail.


“Molly’s Game” is the true story of Molly Bloom (Chastain), a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally is her criminal defence lawyer (Elba), who learns that there’s much more to Molly than the tabloids lead us to believe.
Crews will be back on Friday, January 13th for more filming. Check our website for more exciting neighbourhood news.

Parks & Public Realm Workshop attracts big group – despite the rain!

davisville2 davisville
City of Toronto’s Davisville Parks and Open Spaces Workshop – Saturday, Nov. 19

The workshop proved to be quite a popular and fun event, despite the blustery weather. We all went out exploring in the neighbourhood, led by City Planning staff, who offered up their Saturday afternoon. Councillor Josh Matlow and School Trustee Shelley Laskin also participated.

At the workshop it became clear that adding significant new park space in a mature neighbourhood such as Davisville is near impossible. Occasionally, a small parcel of property becomes available after changes to a local institution or church, such as lands from the now defunct Glebe Manor Bowling Club and the Manor Rd. United Church. We appreciate the permission of the Church of the Transfiguration for the recreational use of their property (at Manor Rd. East and Redpath Ave). Perhaps in the future, we might see a large, “green” square at the Y-E intersection and a park at the TTC lands at Yonge and Davisville?

In addition to identifying possible new green sites, the focus of the workshop also was on maintaining and enhancing our current park space including the Belsize and other parkettes, June Rowlands and Oriole parks and the school grounds. We know that Councillor Matlow with our Parks department are focusing a lot of attention on revitalizing those areas.


So what new ideas remain?

There is still unused potential in our low-rise residential area with some (still) quiet streets, mid-block pathways and mature tree canopy, and just to the south of us, the world-class Mt. Pleasant Cemetery arboretum and the restored Belt Line leading to the Brickworks and beyond to the Don Valley ravine system. However, the long, uninterrupted east-west street layout of our neighbourhood makes north-south travel by bike or foot inside the neighbourhood a real challenge (avoiding busy streets such as Yonge,Mt. Pleasantadn Bayview).

During the workshop, a number of potential north-south routes were identified. By utilizing existing and proposed mid-block pathways, and combining them with quiet neighbourhood streets to create an extensive pedestrian and (recreational) cycling network; we could have a more walkable neigbourhood that allows residents easier access to parks and green spaces.

The proposed north-south routes would enable travel inside the neighbourhood from Eglinton Ave. to the Belt Line, the cemetery,  Davisville School and new Community Hub, and June Rowlands and Oriole parks.

To give you a better sense of these possible north-south pathways, SERRA created a hand-drawn map: davisville-n-s-pathways001

For a summary of SERRAs’ proposal, which describes the conditions for these “pathways”, click davisville-park-workshop-serra-proposal:

The city is looking for additional feedback on the public realm in the area. Anyone with comments or suggestions is asked to contact Farish at by Dec. 2, 2016

With all the suggestions and comments the City planners received at the workshop, we now look forward to what the City planning efforts will yield and expect to see a first draft early in the new year.

Here’s to a greener future!


IMPORTANT WORKSHOP! Come out on November 19, 2016 to the Davisville Parks and Public Realm Workshop

We want your ideas!

This is your chance to help plan for a safer, better connected, more inviting and beautiful public realm.
The City of Toronto Planning Department is asking residents to participate in this workshop and to provide feedback about the developing parks and public spaces for the Yonge-Davisville area.

Councillor Josh Matlow has been advocating to secure extra green space and park lands to our Davisville Village and South Eglinton neighbourhoods. He is to be congratulated with the addition of two parks, both located just east of Mount Pleasant Rd. at Manor Rd United Church and the now defunct Manor Rd. Lawn Bowling Club, It’s a much welcomed park addition for this part of the neighbourhood.

SERRA sees the Davisville Parks and Public Realm Workshop as a significant opportunity to help shape the city’s plans for the green infrastructure of our area. Protecting and enhancing this infrastructure will ensure a vibrant, livable, healthy and safe neighbourhood for current South Eglinton and Davisville residents and those who choose to reside here in the future. We encourage resident participation and hope you will attend.

We propose that these four actions be encouraged by participants during discussion groups on November 19th:

Connecting Gateway: Develop a pedestrian/cyclist friendly route from Eglinton to the Beltline/Mt. Pleasant Cemetery/Oriole Park. This ‘gateway” would connect existing and new green spaces and mid-block walkways in Davisville and allow a more peaceable route for pedestrians and cyclists than streets like Yonge, Mt Pleasant, and Davisville which are increasingly busy.

Unique Designation: With the loss of green space in the Soudan and Davisville apartment neighbourhoods, designate the residential neighbourhood between those two areas as a ‘park’ providing all the ‘park’ amenities that other parks receive from the city.

New Park Opportunities: Encourage the city to exercise vigilance so that institutions whose properties could become parks/green spaces be slated for purchase and development as parks (e.g. property of The Church of the Transfiguration).  We are curious to see what park opportunities await within the Davisville TTC lands.

Tree Canopy: Protection and development of the tree canopy throughout the area.

Date and Location of Workshop: 

Saturday November 19, 2016 from 1:00 – 5:00 PM

Greenwood College School, 443 Mount Pleasant Rd (The Lodge)

RSVP by Nov 15, 2016 to Paul Farish at 416-392-3529 or

This event will include walking tours and group activities.  Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable footwear.

Continue reading “IMPORTANT WORKSHOP! Come out on November 19, 2016 to the Davisville Parks and Public Realm Workshop” »

The SERRA Party – 18 Brownlow has swung into action!

SERRA has officially formed a Party at the OMB to oppose the proposed development at 18 Brownlow Ave.

by Andy Gort

Photos by Larry Nicols

Our goal is to try to achieve a development of at most a modest mid-rise in height and density, the implementation of a 10-metre green strip along Soudan Ave. and the preservation of a low-rise transition to the south from the 75-81 Redpath townhouses.

Some 10 engaged residents made an appearance at the OMB on Oct. 17 to voice their objections to the “huge” (as Donald Trump would say) proposed development. We were also there to support the City, which has already ruled against this monster proposal.

The intent of a pre-hearing is to organize how the appeal will be conducted with the registration of groups and individuals who want to appear, the establishment of hearing length and dates, the exchange/consolidation of issues lists, and decision regarding the possibility of an attempt to mediate the dispute.

Four “Parties” registered – the developer, the City, the TSCC 2120 Condo Corporation (on behalf of 83 and 75-81 Redpath), and the SERRA-led neighbourhood group. No individual “Participants” registered. SERRA and the TSCC 2120 condo group have been closely working together, but the condo group has some unique “shared infrastructure” issues (shared garage, ramp, etc.) to resolve. All but SERRA were represented by legal counsel (but that didn’t prevent spokesperson, SERRA president Andy Gort, from representing our positions at the pre-hearing).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither the City nor the developer appeared even remotely interested in mediating the conflict (probably because the developer realizes how far apart we are), so the appeal will move first to another pre-hearing on February 9, 2017 (lasting up to two days) and then to a full hearing, starting on July 31 for up to nine business days.

SERRA also raised the issue to the OMB chair that the 10-metre Soudan green strip for this property has already been appealed to the OMB by the developer as part of a larger suit by some 25 developers, all of whom are fighting the new regulation of green strips in the Yonge-Eglinton area (OMB case PL150678).

We argued there was little sense in proceeding with this OMB case till that matter is cleared up. The chair seemed to agree, and if I understand correctly, the City lawyer (Stephen Bradley) and the developer’s lawyer (Patrick Devine), will look for a way to consolidate this issue with the 18 Brownlow development appeal, so it is not part of two appeals. We asked to receive all documents related to legal communications between the lawyers.

We will exchange issues lists and consolidate all issues at the next pre-hearing. We have already exchanged SERRA’s issues list (18-brownlow-omb-oct-17-2016-serra-issues-list-final) with all the Parties, but do now have an opportunity to make changes or additions before the next pre-hearing date.

We are working with a professional planner, who reviewed and gave his blessing to our issues list, which Andy Gort, Terry Mills (himself a professional planner) and Jane Auster had worked on.

Now that we understand how the appeal will be conducted, it is clear that our next priority is to retain a lawyer, knowledgeable with planning and development issues (municipal law) and experienced at navigating OMB hearings. The next pre-hearing will involve wrangling over what issues will be entered at the hearing, and having our own legal representation will be necessary.

We should now be able to prepare a more realistic estimate of our total costs and assess how to secure our funding.


On behalf of the “SERRA Part – 18 Brownlow” group

Andy Gort, president, SERRA





We need your help!

SERRA has officially formed a Party at the OMB to oppose the proposed development at 18 Brownlow Ave.

SERRA is heading to the OMB, and we need your support.

To help us with the funds to hire a lawyer for this OMB hearing, please fill out the pledge form found here: 18-brownlow-pledge-formfinal: