April 2017

Grange Community Association Open Board Meeting Minutes

26 April 20177:00-9:00 PM

Staff Lounge, University Settlement House

1.     Welcome:

In attendance: Ralph, Max, Julie, Karen, Geoff, Willie, Nicholas, Justin, David, Bev.   Approval of last minutes, tonight’s agenda: Approved

2.     Planning & Development:    

170 Spadina:  Max reports on 170 Spadina and the resubmission principles set out in the OMB decision. He prepared a response from the GCA Board (attached). Additional changes to plan have been agreed to by the developer including an improved resident entrance. Also, city has requested setbacks on Cameron and sidewalk clearway widened, and no overhanging balconies on Cameron. Bike parking is at grade. Regarding underground parking, GCA requested auto parking be further reduced; developer removed 5 floors from the  building, thus automatically reducing the required parking spaces. Ralph asks for vote on Max’s response, all agreed.

203 College:  Max reports on 203 College St. He prepared a response from the GCA Board, attached. City requested 25 metres between the new building and what might someday be another tower across the laneway to the east, that is 12.5m on each side to the centre line of the laneway.  Developer (Parallax) agreed and reduced the width of the tower by about one-third. OMB said that party/gym amenities should face College St, away from residents south of the tower; developer did this. To improve the transition between the tower and the low-rise neighbourhood, the developer has shrunk the building’s north-south dimension, creating a passageway between the development and the house to the south; GCA requested that the passageway be gated at both ends (to prevent nefarious activity) and developer agreed. Also, GCA requested 11 pm noise cessation be written into the condo documents, except for north facing amenities on College, and denying on-street parking, fully supported by residents on Beverley. Any retail offering food service should be unlicensed. Max reports that City does not like the OMB-approved 29 storey height; however this application predates the College Street Study which is meant to control heights on any subsequent buildings. Max’s proposed response, approving the redesign according to the OMB’s instructions and other GCA requests, was supported by the GCA executive.

Yonge Street Mission on Spadina:  Dennis reported on a short Yonge Street Mission Liaison Committee meeting that was held 12 Apr 2017.  YSM reported the demolition was almost complete and they would be starting with the building renovations, but are a little late on the fall 2017 target.  They also reviewed what companies and services would be inside the building.

The YSM on Yonge street had a  “not healthy relationship” with the police, but for the last five years they worked hard at improving that relationship and now police are regularly on site communicating and serving food, etc.  The rep from the Chinatown BIA asked again for a number that he could call if any of the young people were causing problems.  Councillor Cressy and others said it was not their job to police the area and that the police should be called.  Dennis reminded the meeting that business people find the response time of the police is not good except for hold-ups, etc.  The Cecil Street Community Centre is increasing their services for youth, which should help as YSM closes at 6:00 PM.

U of T Engineering Projects:  Tabled for next meeting after the various groups we are all working with make their final reports, scheduled to be completed by end of this week.

U of T research initiative:  Ralph reports on this new initiative by U of T to engage with community associations. Ralph attended a workshop where community collaboration was discussed, and Ralph and Max attended a meeting to move this forward. Ralph suggests that the initiative is currently of limited relevance, operating at undergraduate course level and seemingly overly bureaucratic. Ralph made a concrete proposal regarding GCA green plan as a possible community engagement; however the organizers did not respond. This possible collaboration was left for U of T to consider and follow up.


115 D’Arcy St:  Willie reports that as of 2 weeks ago, the OMB requested info from city, which was sent to OMB and a file opened, but no OMB meeting would be set up before July or August.  Documentation has been collected but no further details forthcoming. The eventual hearing would require developer to present their case and opponents to speak to the proposal as well. At this point, there is little to do but wait. This wait may be exacerbated by forthcoming changes to OMB responsibilities and transfer of hearings about smaller scale projects to the new Local Appeal Body.

40-60 McCaul: Temporary Music Gallery displacement from St. George the Martyr Church:Justin reports that due to construction at 40-60 McCaul and its impact on church, the Music Gallery has been displaced.  This may continue till year end.  Ralph is attempting to contact St George’s directly for clarification (Ralph subsequently learned that the main reason for this was deterioration of the foundation of the church, likely to be exacerbated by the adjacent construction.  Ralph also learned that the rumours that the diocese was considering demolishing the church and selling the land were incorrect. Furthermore, the developer and the church are coordinating their construction/repair efforts, in a non-adversarial manner) 

30 Phoebe St:  Ralph reports that this building is for sale, listed with 8 bedrooms and a single basement kitchen. Given this layout, the site should be regulated as a rooming house, at least for safety reasons.  Also, this street is designated residential, but it is unclear whether rooming houses like this are permitted in Neighbourhoods.  Ralph will follow up with the City.

3.      Grange Green Plan:

Grange Park Advisory Committee (GPAC) Management Model:  Ralph reports that Max and Ceta have been working on the process of community management of the Park through a proposed Grange Park Community Council (GPCC). The GPAC management document (attached) outlines the legal liabilities of Parks and the AGO, and the advisory role of the Community.  Ralph noted that the current draft from GPAC is relatively close to the final product.  One concern expressed was that the Grange Park Dog Owners Association is not accounted for in any advisory or management capacity in the proposal.  This is a serious oversight, which may be why design flaws persist for the dog park, including inadequate lighting and poorly designed water fountain (subsequent information: these problems are being fixed). More broadly, there was concern that the GCA is not recognized as having an organizational role in the creation of the GPCC.  After extended discussion the meeting proposed that GCA coordinate the selection of the four community members for GPCC; 1 from the Grange DOA, 1 from TCHC, and 2 from the community at large.  GCA would adhere to the diversity suggestions in the current draft.

Input for GPAC meeting, May 8:  The following concerns were identified: inadequate lighting in DOLA; no cement pad for dog fountain; narrowness of paths outside settlement house; injured and killed sod; poor grading of John street corridor; pooling water in promenade and main field. Further input from members requested quickly.

Park Updates:  DOLA donor unknown (subsequent information: La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso), Ralph will ask for name from AGO;  donor recognition – Ralph reports that the sign sizing and font, etc. have been approved in principle by GPAC; July 8 Grand Opening, Ralph will distribute latest plans; Bikes in park – Ralph reports it is possible that by-laws prohibiting bike-riding in signed parks may exist, confirmation from Parks underway; dead tree removal near St George church – Ralph to determine legal responsibility for removal – Parks or St George’s.

Green Neighbours 20:  Tabled to next meeting after Ralph attends meeting with this group.

Short term room rentals (i.e. Airbnb) – GCA position: Raised by David, who, with Karen and  Geoff, will follow up and report at next meeting.

4.     Institutional:

Finances: unchanged.

Next Meeting: May 24, 2017, same time, same place