DPRG Spring 2017 Newsletter

The Presidents Corner…  by John Plumadore
Deer Park Residents Group (DPRG) wants to be a more progressive and inclusive association for all residents within our community boundaries. It is for this reason the DPRG is on a focused path to raise our awareness level and promote membership. It is also why we include, home owners, renters and condo owners.

The population of Deer Park has a median age of 40 years, and the number of citizens grew by 8.8% as of 2006.  DPRG is made up of 709 houses/townhouses, 88 duplex units, 30 triplex units, 12 four plex units, 1,958 condo units and 76 apartment buildings. 59.6% of our residents live in multi-residential units.   51% of the population are one person households. We are young, vibrant, and highly educated in Ward 22. The population, according to the Ward Profile 2011 Census, City of Toronto, is small at 65,515. As you can see, we are diverse when it comes to housing types with very interesting demographics.

Our Communications Committee is launching some new initiatives that will improve our communications with our members and help recruit new members.  Deer Park is about to grow with new high rise condos and rental buildings scheduled to be built over the next five years (although we oppose some of the developments). With new growth comes the revitalization of the Yonge and St. Clair commercial area.  An extensive rebuild to the roof cover of the Rosehill Reservoir with neighborhood input, hopefully will result in a new park for the area.

Finally, we are working with the City to have the DPRG area’s street signs and replacement tree and flower planters on Yonge St. identified as the Deer Park Neighbourhood. Residents of Toronto will be learning more about our Deer Park area as we grow and become more dynamic and visible.

Communications Report by Stephen CameronSmith, Chair Communications
The Communications Committee is actively working on a new logo and slogan for the DPRG. This will allow better branding and awareness as we move forward. We are also developing a totally new website with lots of diverse resource information for single and family households. We are looking at ideas to engage the retailers with our community neighbourhood.
BTTA Launches Election Campaign by John Plumadore, President
Brentwood Towers Tenant Association (BTTA) has launched an election campaign from now until June the 18th, 2017, on Above Guideline (Rent) Increases, re capital expenditures, over and beyond Ontario
Rent Guideline set in June of each year.

Tenants are expected to pay for capital expenditures when in fact they are capital investments that should be made by landlords. The “campaign” will include news releases, flyer distribution and a “town hall” meeting, closer to the election date.

Toronto Council passed a motion calling for the province to eliminate capital expenditures and have landlords set aside 10% of revenues for capital, similar to condos.

Update on Development in Deer Park by Martin Myers, Chair Development Committee
We previously reported, the City had refused an application for a 42 storey condominium to replace the buildings south of the corner Scotiabank running from 1429 to 1417 Yonge St..  The developer has appealed to the OMB and a hearing is scheduled for June 2017. A revised application was submitted for a 46 storey building, adding 4 floors of office space. Planning Staff have issued  a staff report. The report not supporting the development was presented at the Feb 22nd Community Council meeting and accepted.  The matter will now go to the OMB.

Slate Asset Management LP, a real estate REIT, now owns the office buildings at the four corners of Yonge and St. Clair, and four additional properties along St. Clair East and West. Slate is currently improving the St. Clair Centre at the north east corner of the intersection. They are also working on developing a Business Improvement Area Association for the Yonge and St. Clair businesses, which could help improve the attractiveness of our sidewalks. (We expect the City’s replacement of the crumbling concrete planters shortly.) Slate is currently working on a significant development of a combined commercial/residential building at the south-west corner of Delisle and Yonge.  We are awaiting further information.

There are no further updates for the construction of a third rental building at the Bretton Place site (Rosehill Ave.), the Chiropractor College proposal for a seven storey office building on Pleasant Blvd. or a new design on the Wittington Properties (parking lots) on Alvin Ave. This property was previously approved for two buildings, of which one is 35 storeys.

Yellow Creek (The Vale of Avoca) and the Rosehill Reservoir by Joan York, Treasurer
Last fall the DPRG joined forces with Moore Park Residents’ Associations and the Summerhill Residents ‘ Association (SRA) on the “call to action” to repair the badly neglected and degraded Yellow Creek and David Balfour Park.

Last September, Parks and Environment, Toronto Water, and other departments, undertook to report back in February 2017 on work towards a master plan for the remediation of Yellow Creek and the establishment of a working group to provide community input. This has now been moved forward to April 6th. The reason is to allow for several reports on ravine issues, to be addressed at the same time including the implementation of the City’s overall ravine strategy.

The delay does not affect work on the ravine. The first step, Toronto Water’s Geomorphic Hydrological Study will start this spring and is expected to be finished in the early spring of 2018.

The Master Plan for the ravine, including both the major construction to handle storm water surges, and related parks improvements, including repair to paths and bridges, will depend on the results of the Geomorphic Study.

The very graphic photos and Ravine Report by members of the Summerhill, Moore Park, North Rosedale and South Rosedale Associations is on the website at Summerhill Resident’s Association (SRA), http://summerhilltoronto.ca/ravine-appeal.php and can be downloaded by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking on “Ravine call to action” under the heading attachments.

Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation Project
The project’s construction start date is currently set for the fall of 2018.

At a packed meeting on November 23rd at 44 Jackes Avenue, a group of senior architects, landscape architects, planners and designers from the community presented A Vision for the Rosehill Reservoir Park. The team has been expanded to include senior team members from Parks, Forestry and Recreation which enables it to address outstanding issues around Rosehill Gardens, Little Park and other concerns outside the construction site of the reservoir.

A Public Consultation Meeting will be held on May 18th. The Rosehill Vision Committee and the City are currently working together to prepare an optional park plan which they will present at the meeting. Additional information is available on the Summerhill Resident’s Association (SRA) website http://summerhilltoronto.ca/rosehill-reservoir-rehabilitation-project.php and from Kate Nelischer, Sr. Public Consultant, knelischer@toronto.ca

For a respectful density in Deer Park and the preservation of historical homes
by Chris Keating, Chair Historical Preservation Committee
Homes, built in the 19th century, provide a neighbourhood with character. It’s a controversial subject as City Hall shows little interest in correcting the long and complicated process of registering the few remaining heritage homes on our streets as “designated” before the fast moving developer gets a demolition permit.

The next few years will be critical in dealing with the increasing development pressure in Deer Park. Instead of protecting heritage homes from destruction, it’s financially more attractive to Councillors, encouraged by their planning staff, to grant site approval and award the developer by rezoning the site to a much higher density, for more tax revenue- in the public interest.

Fortunately this is not the case with our Councillor. The DPRG met with the Heritage Preservation Services (HPS) in Josh Matlow’s office to promote the idea that the lovely, 19th century homes in our neighbourhood are worth saving and should be preserved from demolition by developers with the force of law. As it stands now, this is not the case.

Toronto has a shameful record when it comes to protecting its architectural heritage. Recently, the beautiful, 110 year old Bank of Montreal building at Yonge and Roselawn Avenue was brazenly demolished even though City staff had identified the building “to be of heritage interest with heritage value.”  Linda McCarthy, Director, Lytton Park Residents’ Organization was quoted as saying “Developers have been running amok destroying our city’s precious history with no regard to the communities that live here and future generations,

Although the job of Heritage Preservation Services is to protect heritage buildings, this City of Toronto Department is overwhelmed with requests, and the process has become moribund.

Michael Vaughan, owner of a “designated” home in Toronto saidI do not know of anything meaningful the City does to help owners preserve heritage properties, quite the reverse. That is why I, regretfully advise anyone who asks, that they should oppose designation or listing.”

In the past few months DPRG passed two motions;

(1)“To save the character of our neighbourhood by preserving as many contextual, historical and architecturally significant houses as possible, we move that the DPRG meet with Heritage Preservation Services with the purpose of establishing financial support to “designated” historical homes in Deer Park, such as reinstating the previous tax reduction for “designated” homes, so that the owners will be able to defray the expense of restoration, required by the Heritage Preservation Services.”

(2)“To save the character of our neighbourhood by preserving as many contextual, historical and architecturally significant houses as possible, the Deer Park Residents’ Group requests that Heritage Preservation Services, City of Toronto, establish Oriole Gardens from Oriole Road to Lawton Blvd. as a Heritage Conservation District.”

If you are interested in preserving the heritage of the Deer Park area, send your thoughts to
councillor_matlow@toronto.ca and copy info@deerparkresidents.ca

DPRG Annual General Meeting
The DPRG annual general meeting will be held on Tuesday June the 6th at the Calvin Presbyterian Church, 26 Delisle Avenue. The membership desk will open at 6:30 pm with the meeting starting at 7:00 pm sharp. Our area Councillor Josh Matlow will bring us up to speed with what has transpired in the last year and matters for the future.