We’re overhauling and updating the LPOA website right now, and things will be in a state of flux for a few days/weeks as we add new content and tweak all the components. We aim to bring you all the news relevant to Leaside property owners – so that you can get out and become active in your community and help determine its future as an informed citizen. If you have comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let us know via our contact form.
Eglinton Connects needs you! These are exciting times, and we have an opportunity to guide the future development of Eglinton with rapid transit. It’s your Avenue and your city. We invite you to get involved and be engaged! Join the email list to receive notices from the City of Toronto with news, updates and upcoming public consultations.
Upcoming Public Workshops:
Monday, May 27th
Ontario Science Centre
770 Don Mills Road
(near Don Mills and Eglinton)
Tuesday, May 28th
Forest Hill Collegiate Institute
730 Eglinton Avenue West
(near Chaplin and Eglinton)
Tuesday, June 4th
York Memorial Collegiate Institute
2690 Eglinton Avenue West
(near Keele and Eglinton)
6:00 pm Display Panels and Q&A with the Study Team
6:30 pm Overview Presentation
7:00 – 9:00 pm Breakout Sessions/Workshops
You may drop in at any time.
At each of the workshops, the display panels and presentation will be largely the same. However, the Breakout Sessions/Workshops will include a discussion of areas where more intense development may be appropriate. These Focus Areas will be discussed as follows:
East Workshop: Laird, Don Mills, Golden Mile
Central Workshop: Dufferin, Bayview, and Laird
West Workshop: Caledonia, Dufferin
Over the past year and a half, Leasiders have stated – very clearly – your concerns about the proposed SmartCentre North development. You were worried about increased traffic and congested roads, about the potential loss of employment lands, about more “big box” retail development along Laird, and you were generally unhappy about the harmful effects of excesssive retail development on Leaside’s character.
We heard you, and over the following months, LPOA and LU (which became part of LPOA) raised funds and hired legal, traffic, and retail experts to advise us on whether we had grounds to oppose the SmartCentre North development, and if not, what we could do to better protect the neighbourhood.
We held numerous discussions with our consultants, and we did a lot of research. We combed through the reports of the developer’s consultants, raising questions and getting answers, not all of which were satisfactory. We had two meetings with City Staff and Councillor Parker.
In the end, it became clear that we had two basic options: either oppose the development and go to the Ontario Municipal Board (“OMB”), or settle with SmartCentres and try to get as many concessions as possible. Both options are discussed in further detail below.
In terms of the first option, our consultants advised us that we would likely not succeed before the OMB because (i) the City’s Official Plan supported this kind of retail development, (ii) the City Staff had issued a report in favour of the development without any reduction in density, (iii) we would not have any legal or financial support from the City; and (iv) the cost of mounting a meaningful challenge before the OMB would be at least $125,000 (for legal fees and disbursements, including conducting our own traffic study).
We were also told that success before the OMB would mean that the square footage for the main anchor tenant might be decreased to as low as 60,000 square feet, from the proposed 80,000 square feet. In other words, there was effectively no chance of precluding a “big box” retailer from locating in the development.
Finally, to have any chance of obtaining even a decrease to 60,000 square feet, we would require the support of Councillor Parker. During two meetings with him, he refused to agree to vote against the current proposal. As recently as April 4, 2013, Councillor Parker sent an email to LPOA and LU in which he would not commit to support a decrease to 60,000 square feet, also stating that “Leaning on me to demand a 60,000 sq ft anchor tenant does not seem likely to sway the other members of community council”. We subsequently discovered that Councillor Parker had “blind copied” his email to the other members of the North York Community Council.
Faced with all these difficulties, there was in our view no reasonable option other than try to settle with SmartCentres. While SmartCentres were always polite and respectful in our discussions, it was apparent from the start that SmartCentre was not prepared to agree to any decrease in the size of the anchor tenant. Nor would SmartCentres agree to exclude any specific tenant.
Accordingly, our focus shifted to trying to reach a settlement that provided for funding measures which would answer at least some of Leasiders’ concerns, and which would help protect the residential neighbourhood from the negative impact of the many large retail outlets on Laird.
The settlement reached on April 9, 2013 will allow LPOA to embark on measures that will benefit both the areas closest to the proposed development and the community as a whole. In particular, it provides LPOA with $110,000 in funding, which should be sufficient to:
- hire our own experts to address flow-through traffic problems with a proper traffic study
- initiate heritage conservation efforts
- assist the Bayview shopping district through a new and much needed BIA., and
- pay some of the consultant fees incurred to date (approximately $10,000)
This funding is to be spent in LPOA’s discretion.
The settlement also notes the community’s safety concerns regarding underground parking, and everyone’s desire for good landscaping and increased bicycle use. SmartCentre has agreed to involve LPOA in the planning and site design.
LPOA and LU believe that a reasonable settlement was achieved, having regard to the difficulties posed by the Official Plan, and the unwillingness of Councillor Parker to offer more support.
We look forward to working with Leasiders in implementing these improvements within our neighbourhood.
Email from MP John Carmichael, Don Valley West
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2013 12:06:20 PM
Subject: Update on the Pearson Airport arrivals flight path issue
I am sending this email to those North Leaside residents and others who have contacted me with concerns about aircraft noise from arrival flights preparing to land at Pearson Airport.
Attached is a letter dated 17 January 2013 from Michelle Bishop, Director of Government and Public Affairs at Nav Canada, following up on the issues raised and suggestions made at the meeting I convened on October 9th bringing together concerned residents of North Leaside with the officials from Nav Canada.
I am disappointed but I cannot say I am surprised that there is nothing in the attached letter that might point towards any potential relief for those residents who are most troubled by noise from the flights passing directly over their homes in North Leaside and other nearby neighbourhoods. At the meeting in October officials made it clear that, while there may be a very small degree of latitude within which to adjust the specific flight path that is of concern to North Leaside residents, they were not prepared simply to move the line a few hundred metres to the south and thereby transfer the issue to a different set of neighbourhoods.
As you know, arrival and departure flight paths at international airports like Pearson are determined by Nav Canada in accordance with safety and efficiency standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a body of the United Nations. While Transport Canada is the safety regulator for aviation in Canada, the department does not approve changes to individual routings (i.e. flight paths) other than to confirm that the design meets the appropriate standards.
I understand that some people will not be satisfied with this response. I am however at least somewhat encouraged by the indication in the final paragraph that Nav Canada will aim to improve its communication before changes are made to flight paths in the future.
John Carmichael, MP
NAV CANADA Letter
January 17. 2013
Mr. John Carmichael, M.P.
(Don Valley West)
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A OA6
RE: Standard Terminal Arrival Route changes at CYYZ
Follow up to meeting on October 9, 2012
I am writing to follow up on the meeting that took place in your constituency office on October 9, 2012. At that meeting you asked that NAV CANADA examine whether a viable alternative exists to the current runway 23/24 arrival downwind that transits over areas of Don Valley West. That flight path is primarily used by aircraft arriving to Toronto-Pearson airport from trans-border airports to the south as well a portion of arrivals from airports to the west.
As we explained at the meeting, the downwind portion of the arrival path was relocated in February 2012 in order to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) current design standards. These design standards govern such things as descent profiles, turn radiuses and minimum leg length for instrument approaches in order to ensure that they are safely navigable by all aircraft types.
All instrument procedures must be reviewed every tour years and at that time, procedures must be updated to meet current design standards. Procedures at Toronto-Pearson International Airport were due to be reviewed in the fall of 2011. Given that NAV CANADA was undertaking a project to examine potential opportunities to improve efficiency of air operations in the Toronto-Montreal corridor, the decision was made to combine the changes for implementation at the same time in February 2012.
Instrument approach design standards rule out moving the downwind leg back to its previous location, or anywhere north of its current location, as that would reduce the base leg of the approach to below the new minimum required.
It is also not possible to relocate the downwind leg of the approach south of the city over Lake Ontario. East and southbound departures already utilize the airspace over the lake where they climb to their en route altitude. Additionally, traffic arriving and departing Toronto City Centre airport is accommodated at lower altitudes. There are no appropriate altitudes available for the arrival stream to safely intermix with existing operations over Lake Ontario.
For traffic management reasons, the downwind leg of the approach must follow a path parallel to the runway itself (southwest to northeast). We have examined the flight paths as they relate to population density maps of the city and have concluded that there is not a viable industrial or transportation corridor in this area that would be navigable while enabling reduced noise exposure for residents of Toronto. If the current flight path were to be relocated slightly southward, it would simply transit over new communities from Etobicoke through Don Valley.
I regret that we are unable to offer a more satisfying solution to resident’s complaints regarding air traffic in their neighbourhoods. I would remind you that air traffic has always flown over Don Valley West and that volumes have not changed, although we recognize that different residents may be experiencing higher levels of air traffic as a result of the arrival flight path being in a slightly different location, approximately 1.8 km south of where it was previously.
I also understand that some residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of communication that occurred before the change. We will examine our methods of notification to see if improvements can be made. However, none of this changes the overriding fact that NAV CANADA must ensure that flight paths meet international design standards and the standard required the previous flight path to be relocated.
Director, Government and Public Affairs
c.c. Councillor John Parker (Ward 26)
Kathleen Wynne, MPP (Don Valley West)
Lorrie McKee. GTAA
Slide show – Layers of Leaside
Presented at the Annual General Meeting, November 29, 2012, by LPOA Vice President, Geoff Kettel
There are two upcoming meetings regarding the Metrolinx LRT and it appears that there are to be major changes in the plans from the previously plans with respect to the Brentcliffe to Leslie section.
Environmental Assessment Update: Change to East Tunnel Alignment
Metrolinx invites you to attend a public information meeting to get a project update, learn more and share your input on a change of the east tunnel portal location from east of Laird Station (near Brentcliffe Road) to just east of Don Mills Station. This change will allow uninterrupted tunnelling from Don Mills to Yonge Station with significant improvements to construction staging, schedule and impacts.
Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Ontario Science Centre, Telus Conference Room
770 Don Mills Road
Environmental Assessment and Mobility Hub Update: Mount Dennis Area
Metrolinx invites you to attend a public information meeting to learn more about:
- a change to the west light rail transit alignment that will enable an underground station at Weston Road and Mount Dennis, and
- the preliminary planning for a new vehicle maintenance and storage facility at Eglinton and Black Creek.
Metrolinx also invites you to provide input through a Mobility Hub Workshop that will help identify community opportunities to shape the future vision for the area.
Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: York Memorial Collegiate Institute, Cafeteria
2690 Eglinton Avenue West
Monday September 24, 7 p.m.
1 MacNaughton Rd.
Basement meeting room
This application proposes a 7-storey, 98-unit residential building with 116 parking spaces at 2 Laird Drive. The proposed building would have a gross floor area of approximetaly 7,975m2 resulting in a density of 3.71 FSI.
NOTICE OF COMMUNITY MEETING
Monday, June 11, 2012 – 7:00 p.m.
William Lea Room, Leaside Memorial Gardens
1073 Millwood Rd.
PROPOSED RETAIL DEVELOPMENT
70, 80 Wicksteed Avenue, 99 Vanderhoof at Laird
Smart Centres Inc. has recently proposed the development of the above (mostly vacant) land on Wicksteed Ave. Their proposal calls for approximately 147,000 square feet of retail space, including a “big box” anchor store large enough to accommodate a Wal-Mart. The proposal would require amendments to the Zoning Bylaw.
Leaside Unite and the LPOA are hosting this meeting to provide information and a forum for the benefit of the broader Leaside community. There will be several guest speakers and a full opportunity for questions and comments. The meeting will:
- Provide a full description of the proposed development
- Describe the required process for city approvals, including the Zoning Bylaw Amendment
- Highlight our specific concerns regarding traffic, economic impact on surrounding businesses, density, and design
- Give local perspective on Leaside character and heritage
- Provide an opportunity for all present to ask questions and provide comments
Leaside is a closely-knit neighbourhood community with a wonderful history and a
unique character. We are concerned that the current proposal will threaten the livability and safety of our community. The process is moving quickly – please come out to hear and be heard!
For more information, see www.leasideunite.com and join our mailing list.
31 May 2012
To all friends of the Leaside Arena Expansion Project,
We are pleased to report that the City of Toronto yesterday approved the award of the contract for the Leaside Arena Expansion Project to Aquicon Construction Company Ltd. This was one of the final steps before construction can begin which we expect will be in July.
In the meantime we invite you to join us on Saturday, June 16th at 11 a.m. for the Official Ground Breaking Ceremony and Community Barbecue. The ceremony and barbecue will take place on the former Film Review Board property near the Curling Club and this area can be accessed either on foot from the arena parking lot or directly from Millwood Road — when driving towards the Leaside Bridge, enter at the driveway just before the railway underpass where some parking will be available.
We look on this day as a community celebration and everyone interested in the second rink at Leaside Gardens is invited to attend. We especially encourage you to bring your kids — the current and future members of the LHA, LSC and TLGHA who will benefit most directly from the new rink in the years to come. Hockey players are encouraged to wear a Leaside jersey.
For more information visit www.leasidearena.com or call 416-421-4944.
We hope to see you on Saturday, June 16th at 11 a.m.
Arena Board Chair, and
Arena Expansion Committee Chair.