There is lots going on in our neighbourhood!
After much drama and concerns whether the City Clerk would be ready to organize an election on October 22, the election did finally take place without incident.
Congratulations to Josh Matlow for being re-elected as councillor in Ward 12, Toronto-St. Paul’s, and Jaye Robinson as councillor in Ward 15, Don Valley West. We also thank incumbent councillors Jon Burnside and Joe Mihevc for their past services and for running excellent campaigns.
SERRA’s boundaries have not changed. The new 25 ward structure for City Council has resulted in our having Josh Matlow (Ward 12) represent the SERRA area west of Mt. Pleasant, and Jaye Robinson (Ward 15) represent the SERRA area east of Mt. Pleasant. We are looking forward to working with both councillors.
We also congratulate Shelley Laskin for her re-election as school trustee in Ward 8, Eglinton-Lawrence and St Paul’s (SERRA area west of Mt. Pleasant Rd) and newly elected school trustee Rachel Chernos Lin in Ward 11, Don Valley West (SERRA area east of Mt Pleasant Rd).
During the election we met with each of the four incumbent councillor candidates to introduce SERRA board members and to review with them our priorities for our midtown area: overdevelopment, the lack of school and transit capacity, deficiencies in park and open space, neighbourhood traffic congestion, construction safety and noise issues and the need to protect our Davisville Village heritage.
All candidates were quite aware of the stress midtown is under and showed a keen interest in helping to bring improvements to our area.
The revised city ward boundaries will only take effect in early December, when the new City Council meets for the first time. We are expecting a major rethink of how council will conduct business, since there won’t be sufficient council members to staff the various sub-councils. These sub-councils have tended to be quite efficient at conducting business (development applications, parking and traffic regulations, construction and demolition matters, etc.). Another issue will be how councillors will manage constituent issues with each of the revised wards now representing 100,000-plus people.
With all the issues facing our city and our busy neighbourhood, we look forward to working with our newly elected officials.
In this newsletter
ACTIONS we need from City Council/Staff for the SERRA area
Developments – Under Seige – Davisville Apartment Neighbourhood
Infill/Tall Homes Update
Green/Environment – Enhancing our tree canopy
TDSB Schools Update
Public consultations/Have your say!
City Council/Staff ACTIONS for the SERRA area
All of us are watching the massive development underway in the Yonge-Eglinton and Davisville areas with increasing concern.
Since the 2016 census, 28 big developments have been built, approved or applied for in the SERRA area. When completed, our area will have added 8,500 new condo and rental units, housing approximately 15,000 new residents. A complete listing of SERRA area developments can be found here.
If you add the development taking place in the other three corners of the Yonge-Eglinton intersection, the total Y-E and Davisville area will see 21,000 new units added with some 35,000 new residents. We estimate that 7,900 new riders will be using transit to work downtown during the peak morning and afternoon rush hours!
Only four (or 15%) of the SERRA area developments are now occupied, so most of the new residents have yet to arrive. We estimate that at least 60% of the developments will be complete by 2023 and 100% by 2026-2028.
In addition, the new Eglinton Crosstown LRT and a possible extension of the Yonge line north beyond Finch will bring additional transit riders to Line 1.
Some of the current construction mayhem at the Y-E intersection and along the Eglinton corridor might not be felt at the far corners of our low-rise neighbourhoods, but all of us are feeling the indirect impact of development with increased neighbourhood congestion, an overcrowded Yonge subway line, the lack of school capacity (and now school busing), waiting lists for community services like daycare, concerns about adequacy of physical infrastructure, a lack of affordable housing and development pressures on our remaining heritage.
Our area councillors and city staff are busy responding to development issues in the area. Among them:
1) Put a cap on further development
City Council has approved a new Y-E planning blueprint (“Midtown in Focus”), which sets out limits for development for each Y-E city block. This plan has now been submitted for review to the province (as with municipal elections, the province has complete jurisdiction over municipal planning).
2) Fix our north-south transit capacity
– the current TTC position is that the Yonge line capacity is sufficient till 2031, when in fact it is already at capacity and beyond! City Council has requested that City Transportation Planning/TTC review the Yonge corridor transit capacity in light of the amount of development in the works. It is far from certain that the much-debated relief subway line will provide “relief” for Y-E or will even arrive in time to mitigate the current situation. City Council has also requested a study of surface transit priority routes (including dedicated cycling facilities).
3) Fix our lack of school capacity
Find and fund a location for a new primary school and expand existing area schools. This is in addition to a new and expanded Davisville School. Ultimately this is the responsibility of the TDSB (Toronto District School Board), but City Council has asked city staff to assist the TDSB.
Click for a complete list of all requested ACTIONS here for the MIF Final Report – City Council requested implementation actions, including affordable and market rental housing (City Council Decision – Agenda item PG31.7 of July 23, 2018).
Under Siege – Davisville Apartment Neighbourhood
Davisville is currently enjoying a lull in development (only the J. Davis House condo is under construction at 1955 Yonge St).
However, a storm is brewing with no fewer than seven new developments at various stages in the review process. When completed, they will add 2,000 units with 2,700 residents and contribute even more pressure on a very crowded Davisville subway station. It also means the loss of the only grocery store in this busy neighbourhood (for at least three-four years). At least a new and larger Davisville School and a community centre are under development.
Four of the new apartment/condo applications have now been appealed to the provincial Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and managed to squeeze in under the old Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) rules, which tend to favour developers:
- 22 Balliol – current Sobey’s Urban Fresh location (38 storeys – 429 units)
- 141 Davisville – 2nd tower at existing tower location (16 storeys – 146 units)
- 265 Balliol – 2nd tower at existing tower location (29 storeys – 264 units)
- 1951 Yonge – SE corner of Yonge/Davisville (25/34 storeys – 450 units)
In addition, there are three applications awaiting City Planning review:
- 30 Merton – parking garage behind Ethan Allen (37 storeys – 315 units)
- 276-290 Merton – mid-block Pailton & Mt. Pleasant (16 storeys – 100 units)
- 96-131 Balliol – currently mid-block townhouses (24 storeys – 268 units)
SERRA has registered its opposition to these applications in their current form.
If you also oppose these developments, please contact us at email@example.com and especially if you reside in the Davisville Apartment neighbourhood.
Infill / Tall Homes Update
TLAB review process
The city introduced the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) tribunal about one year ago to replace the OMB tribunal that reviewed applications for minor variances and consents (lot severances). There have been several cases in the SERRA area that have been appealed to the TLAB, and SERRA has assisted residents to oppose these applications.
We had hoped that the change from the OMB to the TLAB would yield positive results for our residents, however this does not seem to be the case. SERRA has made deputations to the TLAB along with the Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations (FoNTRA) to suggest a number of changes to improve the practices and procedures.
Resources for our members
SERRA has developed tutorials and collected resource materials for members who are planning to attend a Committee of Adjustment or a TLAB hearing. Please reach out to us if you would like a copy of this material.
If you are planning to attend a tribunal, it is important to begin your research and planning as soon as possible. We can provide guidance on t how to get organized to attend these tribunals.
We are here to help
Here is our contact email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Send us a note if you have questions or need any help.
Walk through local history
On September 30, 2018 SERRA hosted another successful historic walk through Davisville Village in the area east of Mount Pleasant Road. This was a joint activity with members of the North Toronto Historical Society. The society’s president, Lynda Moon, and other members contributed stories along the walk about the history of Davisville Village. For key highlights of the walk, please see this link to a blog by SERRA member Mary Turcotte.
Did you know?
Where is Wizz-Bang Corner?
Did you know that during the First World War, the Davisville neighbourhood was home to a military orthopaedic hospital? The corner of Yonge and Davisville became a place for soldiers who were patients of the hospital to spend time people-watching and socializing with colleagues and locals, as depicted in Stanley Francis Turner’s ‘A War Record’. The soldiers even nicknamed the intersection ‘Wizz-Bang Corner’ as a nod to their time at war.
Here is a link to Mary Turcotte’s Blog:
Green Initiatives / Environment
During the second annual Tree For Me event, held on October 13, 2018, we gave away 43 trees in total and three saplings for planting on balconies. The trees SERRA gave away this fall will (at maturity) represent a $4,381 yearly value. This includes 76,398 gallons of storm water capture and 16,043 lbs. of carbon capture yearly.
A big thank you to residents for participating and for committing to enhancing and increasing our tree canopy in Davisville Village. A 40% canopy cover has been set as a goal for Toronto by the Urban Forestry Department. We are encouraged to know that Tree For Me has an 87% survival rate for trees taken over the 2-1/2 years of the program’s existence.
TDSB School Update
Hodgson Middle School
Please click here to read a detailed update from Trustee Shelley Laskin’s September 24, 2018 newsletter.
The notes from a meeting in July 2018 have been posted on the TDSB website. Click here to read the questions and answers from that meeting.
Davisville Junior Public School and Spectrum Alternative School
This update on the Davisville School Demolition has been provided by Trustee Shelley Laskin.
- The asbestos removal within the current Davisville building will be completed in few days. The next phase is disconnecting the gas and electricity.
- The contractor estimates that Hydro and Enbridge will take between 2 to 3 weeks to complete the disconnect.
- Now that the contractor has obtained dates from Hydro and Enbridge regarding the utility disconnect, the contractor is planning to start the demolition weather permitting on November 26, 2018.
Click here to sign up for Trustee Laskin’s weekly updates.
Public Consultations/Have your say!
Provincial Education Reform Consultation
The deadline to submit comments is December 15, 2018. For more information about the consultation click here.
Telephone Town Halls – Please click here to register
November 24: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
December 5: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
From November 15-26, Toronto City Planning will be holding public consultations to engage residents about the City’s proposed zoning framework to modify the rules around secondary suites. Click here for details.
Public Realm and Built Form Policies
City Planning staff are undertaking city-wide public consultations on draft public realm and built form policies. From November 21 – December 11, there will be public consultation meetings to consult with residents about the Official Plan Review: Public Realm and Built Form policies. Attend one of the meetings to learn more and have your say. For more information and to get involved, click here.
Toronto Hydro rate changes
THE ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Toronto Hydro has applied to change its electricity distribution rates.
Attend one of six OEB community meetings being held for Toronto Hydro customers. Learn more about their application, how to get involved in the OEB’s rate review process, and provide your comments to the OEB about Toronto Hydro’s rate application. For more information click here.