November 2016

24 November 2016, 7:00-9:00 PM

Staff Lounge, University Settlement House

In attendance: Karen King (chair), Geoff King, Dennis McIntosh, Angelo Ambrico,
Danielle W.,  Beverly Lawton, Nicolas Rouleau, Max Allen, Julie Lam, Ceta Ramkhalawansingh

  1. Welcome. 7:05pm
  • November agenda approval with addition of Laneway Naming
  • October minutes approval 
  1. Planning & Development
    1. U of T Engineering
  • Submissions have been made by GCA members
  • No responses yet
  • Submissions open until December
  • First meeting with students to be scheduled in January,

GCA position on City of Toronto withdrawal from the OMB:

  • Geoff: Cllrs Cressy & Layton are supporting MPP Cheri DiNovo’s private member’s bill to remove the City of Toronto from OMB jurisdiction – should GCA have a position?
  • Ceta: Government MPP Peter Milczyn has an amendment to the Act that would prevent OMB from starting from scratch when the planning process has been followed – OMB would strictly be an appeals body.
  • Max: Government of Ontario is currently soliciting input regarding OMB process – website has excellent questionnaire with 26 questions.
  • Alternative to OMB would be a Local Appeal Board to address items from Committee of Adjustment; rezoning and site plan approval appeals would not go to LAB
  • Last 6 OMB Appeals that Max attended had no Planning response by deadline – no decision possible by Council
  • OMB is an ‘inquisitorial body’ – could do its own investigations (but doesn’t) – listens only submissions brought before it
  • OMB hears cases de novo – as though no prior decisions made
  • Estimated ½ of OMB cases are “little” appeals (porches in the backyard) that could/should be better served at a local/lower appeal level
  • Decision: GCA does not take a position removing Toronto from all OMB jurisdiction
  1. Development status
  • 35 McCaul (Max/Ceta): at OMB the City got $15,000 from the developer for public benefit use in the immediate neighbourhood
  • 115 McCaul (Max): Committee of Adjustment (COA) turned down the OCAD’s request for the ‘scrim’ on the outside of the building (the other variances were internal to the building, we supported them and they were approved; OCAD redrew the plans and modified the corner of the building to keep the pedestrian thoroughfare and visibility at the Dundas/McCaul corner)
    • can re-submit with a new plan (e.g. with engineering study)
    • GCA will maintain good relations with OCAD
  • Italian Consulate (Ceta): Cllr Cressy’s office indicated Consulate wanted to meet the GCA re: development, but meeting has been deferred at Consulate’s request
    • ACTION: Ceta will ask Raymond to set up a meeting between GCA and Consulate before planning reaches a design stage
  • College Street Study (Julie/Max)
    • 2 meetings in October revisiting the College St secondary plan proposal initiated by Cllr Vaughan many years ago
    • consultation on 6 character areas – south side from Bathurst to McCaul, north side from Bathurst to Spadina (U of T secondary plan covers their campus)
    • sample regulations are for a height cap of 4 storeys for street podium and 9 storeys at setback
    • secondary plan will prevent developer assembly of lots for large-scale construction
    • Cllr Cressy will continue to support height limits especially on the the south side from Spadina to McCaul
    • Report is going to City Council in January
    • Objective is to be able to have a governing secondary plan that regulates development and avoids OMB variances
    • 245 College height and mass as built has borne out community concerns about overdevelopment
    • What is U of T doing with the Salvation Army building? Reportedly ‘no plans’. (SW College/McCaul – not governed by U of T secondary plan since off-campus)
  • 203 College (Julie/Beverly)
    • Settlement may be finalized ~December 5th with 4 or 6 affordable units in the building to be managed by Cawthra.
    • Qs for Cawthra to determine:
      • Higher or lower storey? Consider accessibility/elevator needs.
      • Clustered together or dispersed through the building?
      • Ensure they are not just the units hard for the developer to sell, e.g. next to garbage chutes
  • 480 University (Dennis) – has started on the condo levels above the office building
  • ‘Old Victory’ building – NE corner of Spadina/Dundas
    • RBC has already left, other tenants are out at end of December – is it being redeveloped?
    • Is it a Heritage building? (probably was not supported by BIA due to burlesque past)
    • ACTION: Julie will ask Raymond if development is planned
  1. Laneway Naming (Ceta)
  • City has requested proof of local community support for proposed names (i.e. signatures).
  • ACTION: Ceta will send email asking for assistance in obtaining signatures.
    • John St. – Queen to Stephanie – as ‘Harriet Boulton Walkway’ honourary (not official renaming; similar to ‘Ed Mirvish Way’ for Duncan/King St.) – submit to the city archivist
    • North of/parallel to Queen from John to Beverley – as ‘Underground Railway Lane’
    • North of/parallel to Queen from Beverley to Soho – as ‘Philip Judah Lane’
    • North of/parallel to Phoebe from Sullivan to east – as ‘Draft Dodgers’ Lane’
    • North of/parallel to Baldwin from Henry to McCaul – as ‘Silverstein Lane’ (City objection will be dropped with closure of the bakery)
    • West of/parallel to Beverley from Sullivan south 
  1. Grange Park:
    1. Concerns:
  • AGO endowment fund, which GPAC expected to be established with the initial park seed funding, has been raising $2.5M by selling naming rights to park areas (e.g. DOLA name has been sold for $350K)
    • Ceta asked if City naming regulations should apply to public lands (e.g. DOLA is on City not AGO property, former Grange Road)
    • GPAC public members requested draft naming policy from AGO a week before the next GPAC meeting (was due yesterday)
    • ACTION: Ceta will ask Bev Carret for an update.
    • GPAC public members submitted their draft naming protocol to AGO on Monday
  • New northwest water feature is a sculpture replacing the originally planned water tumbling over rocks
  • Addressed: City WILL be clearing the paths through the winter
  • Addressed: LED light fixtures are being re-oriented
  • Approved: the 14 paver inscriptions
  • ACTION: Karen to email Mike about the uneven pavers, especially in the John St. corridor. Has only been a few months, will get worse through winter. Will it be addressed when the inscriptions are installed? 
  • Bikes in the park:
    • Dismount signs haven’t worked
    • Designating a ‘lane’ may work along John St. corridor for the bikes but not for other users, e.g. children. Not enough space to designate a bike lane in east-west corridor from Beverley to McCaul.
    • Riding a bike is permitted on park pathways (can’t be ticketed/fined for it).
    • May self-correct next spring as park gets busier with pedestrians, especially around the playground.
    • GCA can do a ‘please dismount out of courtesy’ blitz with cyclists next summer if it’s a problem.
  1. Community Standards
    1. Yonge Street Mission:
  • Dennis reported on aontentious meeting between advocates and opponents of new YSM location on Spadina south of Cecil (moving from current location on Yonge)
  • YSM is only open noon to 5pm or 6pm, leading to ‘loitering’ of its patrons on sidewalks before/after.
  • Concerns with intimidation of shoppers/passersby, increased crime/drugs. However, there are existing unaddressed issues in the area, e.g. LCBO Spadina/Baldwin SE corner, burned building Spadina/Baldwin SW corner, etc. YSM should not be singled out.
  • YSM is mitigating by having a rooftop smoking area.
  1. Municipal Governance:
    1. New Ward Boundaries
  • No longer a concern as Grange would not be divided at Dundas according to the latest proposal with 47 Wards.
  • New ‘Ward 24’ has boundaries of Queen to Dupont, University to Bathurst – removes Entertainment District/King-Spadina and part of west Annex from current Ward 20
  1. City of Toronto Long-Term Financial Plan
  • Soliciting feedback on funding options
  • ACTION: Karen will send the link to Max, who will post it on the GCA site

Meeting adjourned at 8:58pm