Fall 2018 Newsletter

The Presidents Corner

In June, the Board of Directors elected your executive officers:

President: John Plumadore
Vice President:  Stephen CameronSmith
Secretary:  Cynthia Crysler
Treasurer:  Cathie Macdonald
Election of Standing Committee’s
Development: Cathie Macdonald
Communications:  Stephen CameronSmith
Heritage:  Chris Keating
Street Safety:  John Taranu

Members at Large
Andrew Boddington
Peter Boyd
Joan York
Diana Midwinter
Korrine Collins

The executive and the board of directors will carry out the duties of Deer Park Residents Group between annual general meetings.  Through our quarterly newsletters, we will keep you abreast of the affairs of the DPRG and report back to you at the AGM in June 2019.

DPRG Expands

The DPRG board welcomes Farnham Ave., Woodlawn Ave. W., Woodlawn Ave. and Balmoral Ave. to the DPRG residents group. The four streets were voted in at the AGM in June. This expansion, and the voices of its residents, will be a strong addition to the DPRG as we continue serving the best interests of our community.

Sidewalk clearing of snow and ice is an Election Issue for the DPRG
The surrounding core wards already have sidewalk clearing as does Playter Estates and most of Forest Hill and the northern wards. The downtown wards do not get their sidewalks cleared.

The DPRG is leading a web initiative on this matter.

We urge everyone to spend a few minutes click on https://cleardeerpark.com/and voice your opinion.

Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation
The rehabilitation is well underway with trucks moving in and out of the park everyday removing the top surface of the reservoir, resulting in the closure of the path round the park. This has been a source of frustration and disappointment to those who hoped to have continued access to the garden and The Little Parkfor the first part of the operation. Several meetings have taken place with the contractor, local residents and City Councillors. After due consideration, the path was deemed unsafe, and  work had to proceed on the reservoir.

City Council approved $400,000 from the South District Parkland Development Reserve funds to the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation project, related to the repair of the concrete reservoir structure in David Balfour Park. These funds are to be used toward additional design work and enhanced improvements in 2018. The Rosehill Vision Committee continues to refine plans for the park when construction is complete.

The next meeting of the Construction Liaison Committee has yet to be scheduled. For an update or questions contact:
Kate Kusiak at 416-392-1932 or  kate.kusiak@toronto.ca

Yellow Creek/Vale of Avoca (Ravine beside Avoca Ave.)
The privately funded project Vale of Avoca Pilot Projectwith the U of T Faculty of Forestry let three Master Students start work mapping old forest growth trees and invasive species this summer. Their work focused on what can be done now to contribute to the major ravine remediation following the Toronto Water Geomorphic Study and streambed repair. This has now ended. Further funding will allow this project to continue.

We have not heard when the Geomorphic Study of the Creek will begin. Representatives from five residents’ groups abutting the Vale of Avoca continue to monitor its condition. In  conjunction with City crews, two community events were held to cut back a large patch of invasive Japanese Knotweed and to organize a walk through the Vale of Avoca led by Jason Ramsay Brown.

In the meantime, money donated to the U of T and a grant from the Helen McRae Peacock Foundation, enabled us to begin a Pilot Project “Seeds to Seedlings” program with three local schools in September. This involves collecting old forest growth seeds, planting them in seed boxes ready to transplant in the ravine and nearby areas at a later date, raising awareness by providing hands on education for students thus enabling them becoming future stewards of the ravines.

Yonge St. Clair BIA (Business Improvement Area)

BIA Streetscape Master Plan
Over the next few years, the BIA will be investing significant funds in the improvement of the public realm. That’s the sidewalks, benches, lighting, greenery, and other outdoor streetscape elements that make Yonge + St. Clair a pleasant place to walk and linger.

The first step in this process is the development of a Streetscape Master Plan – a strategic design document that lays out the long-term vision for the public realm, and provides short, medium, and long-term projects to achieve it.

In the coming months, a landscape architecture consultant will be inviting the community to participate in a kickoff event. This event will allow the community to provide input into the plan, identify challenges and opportunities in the neighbourhood, and have your say in what investments the BIA should me making into the streetscape.

You can keep up to date on this process by registering directly for the Yonge St. Clair BIA newsletter at yongestclair.ca

BIA-led Flower Program
As you may have noticed over the past few weeks, the BIA has installed new planters and flowering grasses in the City-owned tree planters along Yonge Street. With most tree planters left ignored and uncared for in the past, it is exciting to see that there will now be annual care of the planters offering a pop of greenery and colour along the street.

Flowering grasses were selected due to their hardiness, so they can be maintained well into fall. In early December a winter display will be installed to keep the planters lively and animated during the cold months.

The reason for surface mounted planters is to not disturb the soil around the tree bases. The BIA went through a multi-month process with the Urban Forestry Department that maintains the planters to ensure the trees are not harmed. This resulted in an approval of floating planters that sit above the ground and that do not disrupt or damage tree roots.

Power Poles
The upgrade to the power supply is almost complete. A few duplicate poles remain because of third party equipment.

Restoration to removed poles is temporary while the fill settles. Final restoration is scheduled to be completed by the end of October and will include removing the top layer of screenings and replacing it with topsoil and seen or sod depending on the size of the area.

Should you pole not be restored correctly, please contact Fabian Cappelli fcappelli@torontohydro.comand provide your street address.

Yonge St. Clair Planning Study

Yonge St. Clair Secondary Plan Updates
Given all the applications in our area, we certainly need a review of current planning policies to ensure a great new Yonge and St. Clair, the centre of our neighbourhood. Councillor Matlow requested such a study in 2017 when City Council approved the OMB mediated settlement for 1417-31 Yonge south of St. Clair. (The settlement resulted in a much-improved building for its location, with Great Gulf now the developer.)

At its last meeting in July, City Council approved the planning study (https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-118144.pdf) for properties on Yonge and St. Clair near the intersection. The study is developing a framework for considering applications in the area and will focus on the public realm (open space, sidewalks, etc.) and where high buildings should be permitted as well as relevant City policies.

Area residents, the Yonge St. Clair BIA, and representatives of the current development projects will be asked to participate in this study.

Development

33 Rosehill Ave/44 Jackes Ave
Area tenants, condo owners, and the Linden School, as well as representatives of the Deer Park Residents Group and the Summerhill Residents Association met a number of times with Quadreal, the developer, and resolved many issues but ran out of time before the last City Council meeting in June. The remaining concerns are based around the size of the townhouse street podium. City Council did not approve the application as recommended in the Planning report. The next step is a prehearing on December 11, at the Local Appeal Planning Tribunal (which replaced the OMB) where a mediation process may take place.

1 Delisle (SW Corner Yonge & Delisle Ave.)
A 48-storey condo with a highly articulated exterior by International recognized architectural firm  Gang Studioswas presented in June at a public information meeting. The project will widen the Yonge St. sidewalk, return the art deco façade to the retail store front, widen the Delisle Ave. sidewalk and double the size of the adjacent public park on Delisle Ave. No date has been set for a public meeting.

Wittington Properties
The entire block bounded by Yonge Street, Heath St. E., Alvin Ave. and St. Clair Ave. E. less the Yonge St. Clair Centre has been now been assembled. A new development project will replace the 2008 approved project. No application has been made to the City. Once this is done a public meeting consultation date will be established.

Sunrise Retirement Residence – 1365-75 Yonge
The proposal for a 17-storey building was submitted in May. It is to be located on Yonge extending north from Rosehill. There is to be retail at grade and wide sidewalks. Watch for notice of a public meeting.

Building Improvements

Yonge St. Clair Centre
The skylight replacement has been completed. We are following up on the coloured glass component which was to be installed this summer. Replacement of the main floor flooring is just about finished.

A new restaurant by the Chase group called Arthursis scheduled to open in the winter of 2018. It will have a rooftop patio.

The newly renovated and much expanded Loblaw was supposed to open in August and is now tentatively reopening in early November.

NW Corner (Black Hoarding)
The two-floor clear cube should be open in the early winter this year. Bucais keeping their new food concept a secret for now.

SE Corner (Scotia Bank)
Planning is behind schedule and no revised date has been given showing the planned improvements to the lower parts of the building. There will be an enhanced TTC entrance and a friendlier streetscape.

40 St. Clair Ave. W.
The walkway on the east side of 40 St. Clair Ave. W. is now open to the park on Delisle Ave. A design competition is being drafted for enhancement of the walkway and parking ramp area.

Business News
A new Mexican restaurant Playa Cabanais scheduled to open this winter at 21 St. Clair Ave. E. (1stbuilding to the east of the subway entrance)

Baskitshave been in the gift baskets and boxes business for over 30 years. They are opening a new location in the St. Clair Centre in front of the escalators after the Thanksgiving long week end.  Baskits make up corporate and personal gifting on a national basis.  They specialize in customer service and offer gifting solutions for all occasions, including weddings, birthdays, holidays and more, while carrying over 100 brands that cover wellness & beauty, style, men’s grooming, baby & kids, as well as gourmet food and snacks.

Note on Membership
The DPRG will be going back to an annual membership payment plan. This will allow more funding of projects for the community and enable the DPRG to keep in better touch with the members. The annual fee will be $20.