Danforth Gems

Many thanks to Ciara for these short and sweet Danforth Gems…

Dr. David Jeong (Family Dentist) has moved to 2107 Danforth Road on the south side of Danforth (416-696-1800). The team led by Adele at reception is very welcoming. The decorated office is warm, inviting with wonderful tones of mauve and soft green. Both my children and I have been going to Dr. Jeong for the past year and are thrilled our dentist has stayed in our neighbourhood.

Pavilion Pastries (Main Street just north of Danforth beside Main subway station) is a delight. There is a spectacular interior and exposed brick (which I envy) and a very pleasant environment.  There are homemade soups, great coffee and lukamattis (honey balls) just to name a few of the delicious offerings. The welcome from the staff is superb and the menu is excellent value.

Official Big Hole Community Consultation

A community consultation meeting will be held regarding the development application proposal for 2055-2057 Danforth Avenue (formerly Woodbine Building Supplies).  The meeting will provide an opportunity for the community to have input on this project, view the plans and ask questions.  If you cannot attend the meeting, you can still make your views known by sending a fax (416) 392-1330 or by writing to Raymond David, Toronto and East York District Planning Division, 100 Queen Street West, Floor 18E Toronto Ontario, M5H 2N2.

Attending the meeting will be: Councillor Bussin, representatives for the developer and City of Toronto Planner, Tine Major, lmajor@toronto.ca.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 – 7 – 9 p.m.

Terry Fox Community Centre, 2 Gledhill Ave.

For more information, contact Councillor Sandra Bussin’s office at 416-392-1376 or councillor_bussin@toronto.ca

Bus Barns and Canada Post

First – Thanks to Leo for pointing us to this story from the Toronto Star about the possibility of a transit museum/interpretive centre at the TTC barns at Coxwell and Danforth.

Second – MP, Jack Layton’s office is holding a community meeting to discuss local Canada Post services this Sunday (Feb 21st) from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Woodgreen Community Centre at 1491 Danforth (Classrooms 1 &2).  Representatives from Canada Post will be on hand to hear from residents.

DECA Meeting

The February DECA executive meeting is this Tuesday , February 16th (tomorrow).  If you want to come, drop me a note and I’ll give you the details.

Our Reporter In Haiti

Many of you know that DECA’s vice-chair, Catherine Porter, is a columnist at the Toronto Star.  Last week she returned from Haiti where she spent twelve hours a day talking to those who are left behind after the earthquake.  She wrote about some of those stories for the paper, but there are only so many column inches and many stories were left untold.

Catherine has agreed to share some of her experiences on the ground in Haiti with the rest of us.  I spent some time with her this weekend and  believe me, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear her talk about what is happening there right now and what it’s like to cover this story.

When: Wednesday, February 10, 8 p.m.

Where: Danforth Mennonite Church – 2174 Danforth Ave.

Admission: Free (Donations welcome to the Team Canada Healing Hands)

RSVP: Mary Margaret McMahon – spargy@rogers.com

Big Hole Summary

It was lively.  And there was a range of opinions – to say the least – which is going to make writing this particular entry a bit tricky but I’m going to put on my old reporter’s hat and try to represent it best I can.

The first thing to know is that this was not part of the formal consultation process. I understand that there are two tentative dates for future meetings.  The first is Feb. 17th for the immediate neighbours including the developer, Councillor Bussin and a representative from the City.  The second (once again tentative) date is March 3rd for a formal public consultation meeting with the same folks.  Watch your physical mailbox if you are an immediate neighbour or this space for information about those meetings.

Thank you to Councillors Bussin and Davis for coming out, the fifty or so people who braved the snowy night and to Kimbourne Park United Church for hosting.

The current status of the project, according to Councillor Bussin, is that the City’s planning department is encouraged by the sophisticated design of the building that takes into consideration Toronto’s Official Plan for increasing density along main thoroughfares and transit lines, is stepped down on the Danforth as it backs into the residential part of the property and a developer who seems willing to accommodate local requests for things like types of fencing and green space.  The only way to lower the tower would be to extend the building further back into the more residential part of the property, says Bussin, because if you lose too many units in the building it quickly becomes not worth the cost of developing it.  (The current application is for 141 condo units, 107 one bedroom and 34 two bedroom.)

Some of the immediate neighbours said they disliked the idea of twelve stories primarily because it wouldn’t fit in with other buildings on the street, and they definitely would not want the building to come back any further into the neighbourhood. In addition, there was a lot of discussion about what the impact would be on parking around the building as parking can already be a challenge on the side streets.  Parking for condos is worked out by a formula and in this case the building proposes 120 parking spaces, including 14 visitor spaces.  There was also some discussion about how much shadow the building would cast.  (A shadow study is being done, apparently.)

On the other hand, there was plenty of support for the building and the height.  Many thought the building was aesthetically pleasing, close to transit, adding density that is much-needed to support our struggling commercial strip and a good option for single people and seniors who may want to stay in the neighbourhood but have few options.  One person even suggested that the view from many of the units is going to be spectacular and that this building could be a real catalyst for the kind of Danforth that we are all hoping for.

Putting aside the issue of height and looking at the first ten feet of the building there were a number of interesting suggestions including:

  • building the main floor retail with tall, fourteen foot ceilings and big windows so they would appeal to a higher-end tenant
  • parking for customers of the main floor retail
  • a green, eco-friendly building that meets the City’s Green Standards with plenty of native trees and vegetation at the front, back and top of the building, bike friendly and possibly a bioswale.
  • a well-designed, well-maintained building that is welcoming and adds beauty to the street.

We also talked a little bit about Section 37 community benefit funding, which developers sometimes provide for projects that will benefit the community, essentially in exchange for increasing the zoning density.

Read here for more comments from others who attended.