Renovations are almost complete at Trace Manes, so our Wednesday, December 4 meeting will be back at our regular location. Please join us once again at Trace Manes Community Centre at 7:30 p.m.
The Leaside Property Owners’ Association annual general meeting was held on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m. in the William Lea Room at Leaside Memorial Gardens. Special guest Toronto Star columnist Royson James spoke about “The Mayor We Want; The Mayor We Need”. The meeting was well-attended (despite the inhospitable weather) and we’d like to thank Royson James for a very thought-provoking and enjoyable speech!
1. Encourage mid-rise buildings through as-of-right zoning
- We appreciate that mid-rise may be appropriate for certain parts of Eglinton. However we have two caveats.
- First, while the current zoning situation has been pejoratively described as “shrink wrap zoning”; however the reality is that developers invariably “push the envelope” so that much larger and taller buildings than allowed by zoning result, invariably permitted on appeal to the OMB. So in the current situation, lifting the zoning should be carefully considered as to whether the controls are in place to prevent a massive over-building to result.
- Second, we are concerned that implementation “…through as of right zoning” will result in an “unearned” economic benefit to affected landowners and a financial loss to the city (because section 37 benefits will be reduced or eliminated). We recommend that the city ensure that the benefit directly resulting from public investment and regulation benefits the public purse (through development charges or taxes)
2. Implement Eglinton specific built form pattern
- Bullet 4 indicates “some segments which are designated Neighbourhoods will remain low rise”. However a careful examination of the megamap displayed at the October Open Houses reveals that re-zoning to permit four storey residential development such as townhouses in the Donlea (east of Bayview) to Sutherland stretch of Eglinton is being considered .
- While this zoning would be permitted under the Neighbourhoods OP designation our concern is that this change would potentially destabilize the area that will serve as a disincentive for home owners along Eglinton to maintain their homes, and indeed may result in pressure for mid-rise development rather than the town house development envisaged. [click to continue…]
Please note that our October 2 meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Leaside Presbyterian Church at 670 Eglinton Ave East. We will meet in the Quilting Room. Our regular meeting space at Trace Manes is unavailable due to the renovation work being done on the building. Our November and December meetings will be at Leaside Presbyterian as well, and we will update our meeting location for future meetings as the renovations progress at Trace Manes.
July 17 2013
Tenants of Talbot Apartments on Bayview are fighting eviction notices for the end of August issued by their landlord. Some of the tenants are at the Landlord and Tenant Board as early as next Wednesday July 24. The tenants of the three apartment buildings have been pressured, indeed harassed, by the landlord to sign the notices and many have done so.
“Don’t believe the landlord, believe the law,” Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants Association, told the tenants at a meeting called to discuss the eviction notices. Tenants “can make the landlord go to the Landlord and Tenant Board, which is a provincial court, and prove why they have to evict you,” Dent said.
The landlord, ADMNS Kelvingrove Investment Corp., plans to renovate and update the apartments which have been designated as heritage. It was only four years ago that the same owner tried to get permission to demolish the heritage buildings but was refused by the Ontario Municipal Board. The current plans would reduce the amount of low-rental apartments in the city.
Tenants were promised they would be relocated within the complex during renovations but that promise has been broken.
Most of the tenants are long term having lived there for decades. Many of those who are left are the most severe and vulnerable and are in no position to move. They have no choice but to try and fight the eviction order.
Jade Jenkins & David Lorimer
Phone 647 907 9926 / 647 774 9926
To: Garden Court Tenants’ Association
1477 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4G 3B2
Re: Proposal by the owners of to convert Garden Court from rental housing into condominiums
25 June, 2013
Garden Court, built in 1941, is a magnificent specimen of Art Deco architecture and a provincially designated heritage building. This status will not change if Garden Court is converted from rental housing into condominiums.
According to City representatives, at the public meeting held on 20th June, 2013 regarding the future of Garden Court, the application to convert it into condominiums faces many obstacles, given the need to maintain the City’s existing stock of rental housing. There are also heritage concerns:
1) While parts of Garden Court are in need of repair (its garages, especially) there is cause to be concerned about the possible impact of the substantial alterations that will be required if Garden Court is to be converted from rental units to condominiums. These include alterations to heating and plumbing.
2) If Garden Court is transferred from a partnership to the condominium ownership of its 104 units and its common features, there might be a greater risk of piecemeal deterioration that could result in “demolition by neglect”. The current owners of Garden Court admit to problems with regard to repairs when the less wealthy members of their partnership cannot afford them. This situation could worsen, if Garden Court becomes a complex of separately-owned condominiums, unless Garden Court’s needs are secured by well-administered and possibly costly, maintenance fees.
(Because of its division into ten buildings with a large combined roof area, its elaborate landscaping and complex drainage, Garden Court seems to be more vulnerable to water-damage than a typical tower-block condominium with a relatively small roof area or a townhouse condominium, where damage to one unit may not mean damage to many.)
Ownership or part-ownership of a heritage building is a privilege that comes with obligations with regard to maintenance. These are burdens that have to be understood and afforded by the owners of Garden Court, whoever they are.
The city department responsible for built heritage, Heritage Preservation Services, has a duty to intervene if the condition of Garden Court, a designated building, becomes threatened by lack of maintenance and serious decay. This duty provides some guarantee of care for Garden Court but only if HPS is prepared to require it when necessary, and maybe not even then, if all or some owners insist they cannot afford it.
3) The Garden Court community of renters is, in spite of constant, gradual turnover, as integral to the heritage character of Garden Court as its Art Deco architecture. However, with regard to its rent-controlled units, especially, it is unlikely that all of these owners will be able to afford to purchase their homes when they become condominiums.
A hard-nosed “solution” to this problem might be Garden Court remaining a company-owned rental property, where rent control is lifted when controlled apartments become vacant – or sooner, if rent increases above the provincial guideline are applied for and allowed. However, that would alter the character of its community considerably. If that is not acceptable to either the tenants or the owners of Garden Court, some other solution will be needed, where conservation of this complex of heritage buildings is required by law.
Representatives of the City and tenants who spoke at the meeting made a strong case for maintaining the rental status of Garden Court, while representatives of the owners made their own case for their desire to relinquish ownership of Garden Court. Integral to the owners’ case is the cost of maintenance compared with rental income; hence the owners’ wish to convert Garden Court into condominiums. They did not appear to be willing to make a case to the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal for an above guideline increase nor, it seems, have they applied for Ontario Heritage Property Tax Relief (or the Toronto Heritage Grant Program?), which would defray their maintenance costs.
The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario hopes that means to overcome this impasse will be found, means that will serve best to conserve the Art Deco gem that is Garden Court and, as far as possible, its community, well into the future.
With regards and best wishes to all parties,
Richard Longley, President
Architectural Conservancy of Ontario
Community Consultation Meeting on Rental Housing Condo Conversion and Demolition Application
For Garden Court Apartments located at 1477 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
Thursday June 20, 2013 – 7 p.m.
St. Cuthbert’s Church
1399 Bayview Avenue
We Need Your Support – Please Join Us!!!
Help tenants keep their homes by preserving affordable rental housing in Leaside!
Garden Court Tenants Association
June 10, 2013
Dear Leaside Neighbour,
The Garden Court Tenants’ Association (GCTA) located at 1477 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario needs your help to keep the Tenant’s of Garden Court Apartments in their homes by preserving affordable rental housing in Leaside!
Please see the Public Consultation Notice from the City of Toronto listing information about the owner’s Application for Rental Housing Condo Conversion and Demolition.
The Garden Court Apartment housing development is one of the best examples in Toronto of skillful integration of Art Deco architecture and landscape architecture. The project, built between 1939 and 1941, was the result of the close collaboration of architects Forsey Page and Steele with Dunington-Grubb and Stensson, the city’s best-known landscape architectural firm of the period. The property covers a 5.5 acre site located in Leaside.
Please join us and attend the Public Consultation Meeting at St. Cuthbert’s Church, 1399 Bayview Avenue, Toronto on June 20th, 2013 at 7 pm.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!!
Garden Court Tenants’ Association
Visit Web-site & Please Sign Petition: www.gardencourtadvocate.ca
Thorncliffe Community Meeting
Wednesday 19 June
7pm – 9pm
Jenner Jean Marie Centre
48 Thorncliffe Park Drive Councillor John Parker together with representatives from Costco will attend to discuss possible redevelopment of the Coca-Cola site at 42 Overlea Blvd. in Thorncliffe.
Concerned about increased aviation noise over our neighborhood?
The Toronto Aviation Noise Group (TANG) has a petition online. If you haven’t signed at the door, please sign the petition online asking NAV CANADA to engage in effective dialogue with our federally elected representatives to resolve noise issues in our neighbourhoods due to NAV CANADA airspace re-design (February 2012):
Eglinton Connects is about planning for the future Eglinton Avenue, and how to best leverage investment in rapid transit for the benefit of our communities and our city. See the Eglinton Connects website for information on how you can participate in the planning process.
The second survey was available from February 19 to March 14. Hundreds of you participated, and we thank you for your input! Results of the survey were included in a public consultation summary for the February 2013 round of consultations. View the summary under ‘March 2013′ by clicking the Materials tab.
The first survey was available November 14 to December 12. Initial results of the first survey are posted here.