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Please note that our December board meeting has been changed to THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, because of the conflict with the Community Consultation Meeting on Wednesday, December 2. We will be meeting at our regular time and place: 7:30 p.m. at Trace Manes Community Centre. As always, members of the public are welcome to attend.

Jennifer Keesmaat Town Hall

The Bayview Bulldog has published a good summary of Jennifer Keesmaat’s presentation at the November 23 Town Hall organized by Councillor Jon Burnside.

KEESMAAT: Planning for Leaside after the Crosstown LRT


City of Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat spoke to a large gathering in the William Lea Room Monday night on matters affecting Leaside. In a quite wide-ranging overview of municipal planning, she noted the decision to permit and encourage “intensification”

Read more…

William Lea Room, Leaside Memorial Gardens
1073 Millwood Rd.

This application proposes to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law to permit an 8 storey residential building containing 98 dwelling units and 97 parking spaces in two levels of underground parking at 3 and 5 Southvale Drive. (Adjacent to the Leaside Memorial Arena)

The Leaside Property Owners’ Association has some serious concerns with respect to the height of the proposed building in relation to the surrounding neighbourbood, density, traffic and access. The site is designated “Neighbourhood” on the Official Plan, which means detached and semi-detached residences, duplexes, triplexes, townhouses and walk-up apartments up to 4 stories in height. This proposal is for an 8 storey condominium and seeks to have the site re-designated “Apartment Neighbourhood.” In addition, the developer is in a legal battle with the City over rights to the access road to the Arena.

Please view the background report here: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ny/bgrd/backgroundfile-82898.pdf

Following a review of the Association’s By-laws and Constitution, the Board has passed the following amendments, which require approval and confirmation by the membership at the Annual General meeting:

By-law I was amended to provide for annual fees, which are now charged, rather than life membership fees. Existing life members continue as such.

By-law II was updated to change the reference from “East York Council”, which no longer exists, to “City Council”, and to remove the requirement for an Education Committee, since the Board does not now involve itself in education matters.

By-law III was changed to provide for meetings in every month, rather than having a break in July and August, when special meetings had to be called if it became necessary [click to continue…]

City Council will shortly be considering major changes to ward boundaries throughout the city, in an effort to equalize ward sizes by population.  These changes would have major implications for the future of Leaside as one community.

LEASIDE COULD BE SPLIT APART: four of the five options would divide Leaside into two parts, separating North from South Leaside along Eglinton Avenue. One of the options also splits the Leaside commercial/industrial area from residential Leaside at Laird Dr.

If Leaside is divided into two separate wards, with separate councillors, it would be much more difficult to protect Leaside from over-development and excessive flow-through traffic. The boundary review could even place each part of Leaside under different community councils.

Let the boundary review consultants know that Leaside shouldn’t be split apart. Go to the http://www.drawthelines.ca web site and register your opinion.

To check out the proposed change options, download a pdf of the boundary proposals from the site; within you will find the five maps of the ward boundary proposals. Zoom in and you will recognize our local streets and see how how the proposals carve up Leaside.

You can register your opinion on the Draw the Lines site through the survey, the options evaluation worksheet and email at: info@drawthelines.ca.

The public consultation process is open until November 15th.

The LPOA has written to Councillor Burnside with our concerns.  Here’s our letter:

15 September 2015

Dear Councillor Burnside:

I write with reference to the Toronto Ward Boundary Review, and the ward redesigns provided in its report.

The Leaside Property Owners’ Association, Inc. (LPOA) is concerned about the five options provided. Four of the five divide our community in half, with each half reporting to a different Community Council. The fifth option shifts Leaside into a much larger ward quite unlike us in policies and priorities.

This is not “effective representation”, nor does it acknowledge and respect historical geographic and social connections.

“Voter parity” is not the only important consideration, and frankly it is less important than preserving neighbourhood identity. Moreover, dividing a cohesive community between two separate Community Councils creates less good representation, certainly requiring more complicated, work-intensive efforts to retain neighbourhood patterns and identity.

We feel very strongly that Council should choose from a larger number of options than the five in this report, with much greater (per ward?) public notification and consultation.

And while Council considers ward size/population, and other potential proposed designs, it might be worth also considering whether returning to the (post-amalgamation) six Community Councils, one per previous municipality, might reduce the above problems.

We would appreciate your letting your council colleagues at City Hall know of our strongly negative response to the Options Report. I would be surprised if there weren’t other communities who also face division according to the limited choices prescribed in the report.

Thank you for your consideration,

Carol Burtin Fripp
Co-President with Geoff Kettel,


Toronto City Council approved the Zoning By-law Amendment for a Costco Warehouse on Overlea Blvd. on November 4, 2015.

The proposal has been modified so that the gas bar for this location has not been approved at this time, and will require further traffic studies AFTER the warehouse is built and has been in operation for at least 6 months. The City will select the firm to do the traffic study. More news to follow.

The application for a Zoning By-law Amendment for a Costco Warehouse on Overlea Blvd. will be coming to City Council for consideration on November 3, with no recommendation from North York Community Council, where the vote on the issue was tied. The Committee for Thorncliffe Park – comprised of residents and business owners from across Ward 26 – has prepared the following document for city councillors.

What is the Issue?

An application for a ZBA to permit a 165,000 sq.ft. Costco Membership Warehouse Club in addition to an 18 pump gas station and 625 surface parking spaces at 42-46 Overlea Boulevard in Thorncliffe Park.

Staff report comes to City Council on Nov. 3rd without recommendation from North York Community Council.

Why should Council refuse the Costco Application?

Overlea Boulevard in Thorncliffe Park Neighbourhood is an inappropriate place for a Costco warehouse store and gas bar.

Transportation Impact

  • Overlea is a connector between Don Mills Road and Millwood Road with T-junctions at each end. The east end is a narrow four-lane bridge.
  • Overlea is one of the heaviest bus routes in the city with 7 routes using or crossing it.
  • Costco would add 2,463,000 trips to Overlea — 34% over 2012. Costco studies under-estimate traffic by as much as 26%.
  • Costco stores constantly increase the number of customers they serve – 9% increase over the last 18 months in Canada.
  • Access to Costco from the east will be from an HOV lane. Costco week-day peak traffic hours conflict with afternoon HOV hours.
  • Toronto’s Official Plan states this type of store must locate most parking underground or in a parking garage. This Costco is 100% surface parking.

Retail/Commercial Impact

  • Peer reviewer John Winter Assoc. warns “major magnet” Costco will lead to retail contagion on Overlea. Tax revenue is low (0.7%)
  • The viability of established local businesses — including those serving ethnic markets, community services, and regular gas stations throughout the area — is interfered with or threatened.
  • The adjacent industrial Business Park opposes the application—studies fail to account for (1) the rail-line crossing on Wicksteed (2) Costco-generated traffic interference with essential truck movement inside the business park.

Employment Impact

  • Costco has implied preferential hiring for Thorncliffe residents – against the principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • Most Costco positions pay between $12 and $15 an hour.
  • Only half of Costco positions (125) will be full-time with benefits.
  • How many local jobs will be lost because of Costco competition?
  • Small businesses are the job creators. This disadvantaged community does not need a big-box store which is a job killer.

Health, Safety, Social and Environmental Impacts

  • Costco does not fit in a stressed tower community of 30,000 residents.
  • The average Costco member earns about $100,000 a year (per CNBC). Overwhelmingly, customers will drive in from outside neighbourhoods.
  • Thorncliffe Park is highly pedestrian and has the largest proportion of children under 9 in the city. Children under 9 are at risk in traffic.
  • Costco traffic will make air quality worse — notably lead and particles.
  • Overlea is a planned boulevard and distinctive thoroughfare. It is Thorncliffe’s main street. Big-box invasion will destroy this civic asset.

Conclusion: Vulnerable Toronto neighbourhoods cannot sustain such poorly supported and damaging applications. Please vote to refuse this Costco application.

The Committee for Thorncliffe Park

939 Eglinton Ave. EThe City is holding a Community Consultation meeting where you can learn more about this application, ask
questions and share your comments.

The LPOA is very concerned about this proposal and we urge you to read our letter to the City and to attend the community consultation meeting.

Details are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
Place: Leaside Memorial Community Gardens – The William Lea Room
1073 Millwood Road


On April 16, 2015 an application was submitted to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a mixed-use development with residential, office, and commercial uses. This rezoning application was filed in conjunction with an application previously submitted on January 16, 2013 to amend the City of Toronto Official Plan Employment Areas designation.

The development proposes 1,500 residential units, 2,950 m2 of retail space, 9,690 m2 of office space, 1,639 parking spaces in 4 levels of underground parking, a 0.22 ha public park and a new 16.5 metre wide public road. The proposal is comprised of two development parcels separated by the new public road. The north parcel is proposed to be developed with two residential towers with heights of 19 and 24 storeys connected by an 8 storey mixed-use midrise building along the Eglinton Avenue East frontage. The south end of the north parcel is proposed to be developed with two residential towers with heights of 31 and 34 storeys connected by an 8 storey midrise building along the north side of the proposed new public road. The south parcel is proposed to be developed with a 6 storey office building at the northwest corner of Brentcliffe Road and Vanderhoof Avenue and a new public park to the west.

To speak to the planner directly, contact John Andreevski, at 416-395-7097 or via email. You may mail your comments to the planner at North York District, 5100 Yonge Street, Toronto Ontario, M2N 5V7.

You may also contact Councillor Jon Burnside, Ward 26, at 416-392-0215 or via the contact form on this website.

Notice to correspondents: Information will be collected in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.

Our public meeting locations are wheelchair/mobility device accessible. Other reasonable accommodation or assistive services for persons with disabilities may be provided with adequate notice. Please contact John Andreevski, at 416-395-7097, or via email with your request. The City of Toronto is committed to taking the necessary steps to insure compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

More information, including architectural drawings and City staff preliminary reports are available on the City of Toronto website.

LPOA co-president Geoff Kettel is featured in the October 8, 2015 article: Two towering figures in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
7:30 p.m.
William Lea Room
Leaside Memorial Gardens


  • John Carmichael – Conservative Party of Canada
  • Rob Oliphant – Liberal Party of Canada
  • Syeda Riaz – New Democratic Party