March 2017

22 March 20177:00-9:00 PM

Staff Lounge, University Settlement House

In attendance: Ralph Daley (chair), Julie Lam, Geoff King, Karen King, Willie Chen, Justin (St. Patrick Mkt Sq), Max Allen, Nicholas Rouleau

  1. Welcome and call to order at 7:05pm.
  2. Planning & Develoment
    1.  8-20 and 30 Widmer:
      • Adjacent properties south of Adelaide between John & Peter – SW corner of Widmer/Adelaide
      • Plaza owns 30 – north property – a parking lot now
      • Claireville owns 8-20 – row of heritage houses and property behind
      • Plaza’s proposal is tower w/60% hotel, 40% residential, commercial/retail ground
      • Claireville’s proposal is condo tower partly cantilevered over the retained heritage rowhouses at street level
      • Plaza & Claireville registered as parties in each other’s development applications – until last week
      • Claireville had asked OMB to consolidate the applications
        • OMB declined, kept them separate
      • Plaza hearing was scheduled for March 20, delayed to March 23
        • On March 18, Claireville dropped their objections to Plaza based on an agreement w/City
        • Now deferred another week
      • Claireville hearing is in May
      • What is this agreement?
      • Development is outside Grange area, but GCA is acting to preserve Grange / general City interests in bike lanes, and treatment of street/sidewalk development
        • Comparable issues arising at 46 Charlotte & 452 Richmond – small lots with no/poor ability for deliveries or moving vehicles
    2. Spadina Study Working Group
      • NOTE: Julie was not invited to the second meeting, Ralph & Max will ensure she is invited from this point forward
      • Meeting was run by Greg Uens, who is leaving and Joanna Kinmont is taking over as the planner. Also consulting for Planning was urban designer/architect Pourya Nazemi
      • Proposal is to divide Spadina from Queen to Bloor into 4 character areas with sufficient architectural similarity to be treated together in a planning model
      • Meeting reviewed all pending building/development sites
      • Interesting observation of Kensington Market as ‘built form anarchy’
      • Long discussion how to define a character area – possibly by maximum floor plate
      • Ensure 750m2 MFP for new towers; 28m height limit (and/or width of the Right of Way, which may be 36m in some areas of Spadina)
      • MFP ensures small retail on ground floor, not consolidation for large chains
      • Summary is due from meeting, walkabout is planned
      • Seems positive
      • The Grange area of east side Spadina from Queen to College is relatively homogeneous, with mixed use backing directly onto residential
    3. 15 D’Arcy (between Spadina and Huron)
      • Committee of Adjustment hearing March 8 is considered a success for GCA
      • CoA was only dealing with previously deferred proposals, said up front no further deferrals, and first request from submitter was to defer again(!) – deferral was declined, but applicant chose not to withdraw
      • Architect didn’t change the submitted proposal and the variances didn’t match
        • Still argued proposal was within bounds and had agreement from Planning
      • Max & Willie shared pictures of the impact of the proposal – back of houses, windows on side, height vs. neighbours & snow fallover.  We argued the addition was major, not minor.
      • CoA declined applicant as plan didn’t match to variances, nor did it pass the 4 tests of s.34:
      • Owner has 20 days to appeal to OMB (from March 8)
        • Seemingly doesn’t want to spend $ to revise his plans
      • We have a neighbourhood precedent at 87 Huron which was refused by the CoA; applicant appealed to the OMB and, with the City’s help, we won there as well.
    4.  170 Spadina (west side, just north of Queen)
      • OMB declined Plaza’s proposal after a 9 day hearing
      • Unusual decision – Jason Chee-Hing said ‘do these 4 or 5 things and I will reconsider’, e.g. building no higher than ROW, consider the ambient light on building to north, etc. mostly subjective criteria except height condition.
      • Plaza did not decide right away what to do – they had 10 days to decide if they would modify, and 6 months to come up with an alternate plan
      • They chose in the 10 day period to attempt a new design.
    5.  40-60 McCaul (west side, from Stephanie to Grange)
      • Developer asked City to sever the property between the 2 proposed buildings – the condo at the south end of the property and the museum at the north end (current Brinks building)
        • Agreement with City is that museum lot is to be an open public space until the building is constructed – what impact would severance have on this?
        • Max asked Raymond to check – agreement stays in place even with severed ownership
      • How will all this be built with reduced footprint from severance?
        • Max will ask for clarification from Deltera Construction (subsequent information: all construction activity, vehicles, etc. will be done within the property footprint; no trucks etc will block a street lane)
    6.  300 Queen (Mountain Equipment Co-op)
      • Construction has started, with trailers on site where vendors used to set up
      • Agreement is in place for vendors to be able to still sell from the sidewalk
      • Still confusion about the Queen/Soho/Peter intersection and how this may be remedied for cyclists
    7.  New item: College St south side west of Spadina land assembly?
      • surveying being done
      • from the Carbon Computing building at the corner to the new City Market (Loblaws) – large parking lot in behind the retail storefronts
      • Max asked Julie to email Sue from Harbord Village RA for updates
    8.  U of T Research Initiative
      • Effort to find opportunities for research re: communities, especially those near the University – in anticipation of Provincial government linking $ to community contributions
      • Chaired by Jennifer Esme of the ‘Centre for Community Relationships’ – could be intermediary between University and communities
      • Attended by Community/Resident Associations and University professors
        • Identify the needs/challenges on the CA side
        • Provide resources/capacity on the Univ. side
        • E.g. an entomologist/forester to assist with Grange Green Plan
      • Ralph will share more when minutes published
      • Most CAs are focused on development impacts
        • Could request better research on wind/climate effects of buildings – current developer model is not great
        • University can contribute to strategy for student housing to protect adjacent neighbourhoods
    9.  New item: U of T Secondary Plan March 4
      • Note: there is still no secondary plan
      • Urban Strategy rep hired for the plan has parameters/guidelines, e.g. maintain open spaces, preserve heritage bldgs.
      • Nothing new in the meeting, same as what is online
      • Still to be worked on by Planning
      • GCA impression is that the secondary plan is not restrictive enough – ‘too loose’ in what’s allowed
    10.  New item: House on D’Arcy next to Church at Huron was demolished (March 22)
      • Demolition order was approved, but no development plan in place
      • Notably though 2 construction trailers are now on the lot
      • Max asked Willie to email Raymond about it
    11.  U of T Engineering Projects
      • Nicholas & Ralph – Green Wall project
        • Have had 2 meetings, 3rd on Sunday
      • David & Ralph – hoarding
        • Next meeting TBD
      • Karen & Geoff – Dog Run
        • 2 Meetings, impressive work so far
        • 3rd meeting next week
    12.  New items:
      • Ceta confirmed with U of T that they did not (yet) buy Silverstein’s bakery (east side of McCaul at Baldwin) ) (update: the site has been bought by Brad Lamb)
      • A group of cyclists led by Brian Iler and Alan Heisey are opposing the increased pedestrianization of John St. (they want bike lanes added) despite the bike lanes on parallel routes (Simcoe & Peter). More TBD.
  3. Grange Green Plan
    1. Grange Park Management (post completion)
      • GPAC sub-group meeting 2 weeks ago, Mike & Ceta co-chaired
      • Park will open early – probably mid-June
      • Enhanced maintenance program will be provided by Parks w/full-time employee on site
        • Mike & Ceta both opposed use of same employee for St Patrick Mkt Sq maintenance
      • Grange Park will be included in the capital renewal plan for future maintenance
      • An operating budget of $180K-$200K will be shared by Parks (City) funding and the AGO endowment fund
      • Several interim issues for GPAC until the new mgmt. system is in place, e.g. filming, events, cycling & DOLA rules, etc.
      • Still no agreement on the future mgmt. structure, composition, and role of community
      • To be discussed in workshop on Friday, March 24:
        • Will final decision-maker be a board with community membership, or someone from Parks (with non-binding input from community)?
        • How is budget distributed?
        • What is the role of volunteers?
        • How are community communications managed?
      • One consideration is to migrate GPAC to become an Operating/Maintenance Board
        • Advisory role for AGO as AGO Board of Directors accountable for their $ contributions
        • May not be a legal entity with authority
        • Community role may just be advisory
        • Parks Dept has final say
      • Other jurisdictions have established “Friends Of” park mgmt. with local community responsibility – outside option
      • For the July 8th Grand Opening Community event, Joe Cressy wants the new mgmt. entity in place and defining the agenda – may not be possible, could be GPAC
      • Motion: for GPAC to continue to make Grange Park decisions on behalf of the community, pending formation of any new management committee
        • Moved: Max Allen
        • Seconded: Julie Lam
        • Motion carried
      • Dog Off Leash Area (DOLA) Rules:
        • Who will provide community input on the DOLA? A GCA subgroup, the Grange Dog Owners Group (Grange DOG), or the GPAC successor?
        • To be decided after GPAC decision on mgmt. group
        • Let Parks Dept assign standard rules as per Nadia and post signs (e.g. no commercial dog walkers, no pit bulls, etc.)
        • Max proposes to incorporate the DOA
        • Max will attend Friday’s GPAC mgmt. meeting
        • Max will draft a constitution/protocols for DOLA operating relationship with Parks
    2.  July 8 Opening event:
      • Submit ideas to Ralph or Bev
        • Arts, music, face painting, school performances, etc.
        • Indigenous Tree Thanking ceremony?
        • No commercial vendors/tables/booths
      • Expecting 1000-2000 people to attend
      • Complimentary beverages, GPAC as hosting members
      • No formal presentation, just a community ribbon cutting ceremony
      • Need DOLA activity ideas:
        • dog photographer
    3.  Four Worlds Festival in Grange Park
      • Festival was bumped from planned venue Lee Lifeson Park in North York, 4 consecutive weekends of world folk music
      • Conditionally sounds like a good idea, but excluding July 8th and not until 10pm as proposed
      • Still need to determine if amplified music will be allowed in Grange Park?
        • Was previously decided no, with exceptions for AGO, OCAD, Univ. Settlement, St. George church
      • Optionally consider festival holding different weekends in different downtown parks to spread among the community and also minimize grass damage in any one park. E.g.
        • Grange Park, Berczy Park, Bellevue Park, Allen Gardens
    4.  Green Neighbours 20
      • Workshop soon with update from Ralph
    5.  Glasgow Parks:
      • 245 College building will have to exit through the townhouse/duplexes to get to Glasgow
        • No plans for green space at the back, is City property and will probably be paved. Could put planters.
      • Glasgow St. Parkette – no updates. Julie will email followup
  1. Institutional
    • $1000 in bank after $600 for OMB expenses; possible $200 for Grange DOG incorporationNext meeting confirmed April 26, 7pm, University Settlement Staff RoomMeeting adjourned 9:24pm