Bloor West Village is a special place but remains within a big city.  The Canadian Urban Institute is a non-profit applied research organization dedicated to achieving healthy urban development.  We’ve added a link to their web site, on the right.  Check it out to see interesting stories and media about the broader urban community we’re part of.

The High Park Community Alliance (HPCA) has been informed that the Ontario Municipal Board has scheduled pre-hearing conferences with:

  • GWL: Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 10:00AM
  • Minto: Thursday, February 8th, 2018 at 10:00AM

They will take place at the:

Ontario Municipal Board
655 Bay Street, 16th Floor
Toronto, ON

HPCA has contacted legal counsel to represent our organization at these important pre-hearing conferences which deal with preliminary and procedural matters, including:

  • Identification of parties
  • Identification of participants
  • Identification of issues
  • Possibility of settlement of any or all the issues
  • Start date of the hearing
  • Duration of the hearing
  • Directions for pre-filing of witness lists, expert witness statements and written evidence.
  • The hearing of motions
  • Such matters as the Board considers appropriate

For more information, read the OMB Pre-hearing Conference Info Sheet.  It is important to note that the OMB’s notices state: “If you do not attend the pre-hearing conference, the Ontario Municipal Board may proceed in your absence and you will not be entitled to any further notice of these proceedings.”  As noted above, HPCA will be participating in these important pre-hearings.

Individuals are also welcome to attend and will have the opportunity to register as either “parties or participants” at the actual hearings.  For more information, read the OMB “Parties and Participants” Info Sheet

We will be discussing strategy/planning for the pre-hearings at the:

HPCA Annual General Meeting
Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:00PM
Grenadier Retirement Residence
2100 Bloor Street West

We hope you will be able to attend.

A big “THANK YOU” to those of you who included a donation to the Save Our Village fundraising campaign on your To-Do List last month!  In December, we raised just over $4,300 which has helped take us closer to our $20,000 goal.  We still have a ways to go, so please help us with your donation by clicking here, and also let us know if you’d like a lawn sign to show your support.

The first Pre-hearing Conference was held on September 28, 017, during which a number of Parties and Participants were identified and registered by the OMB.  As importantly Plazacorp, the developer, asked for Mediation but did not request an alternative date for a Contested Hearing, should Mediation fail.  BWVRA has interpreted this as positive sign, that the applicant would like to expedite a negotiated settlement; however, with an unusually large number of five Parties being involved, and with many divergent interests to address, this is not expected to be easy.

In the mean time, through consultations with our Members and with the advice of our Lawyer and Planner, we have been preparing to be able to clearly articulate the community’s interests when further negotiations, and possibly formal OMB Mediation, take place.  Negotiated settlements are usually dependent on all of the Parties narrowing down their focus to two or three key issues that matter to them most. From the perspective of BWVRA, these are as follows:

  • The proposed building is much too high, bulky and out-of-scale for the location,
  • Predicted shadow impacts on the adjacent neighbourhood are unacceptable
  • Wind tunnelling is already a concern at street-level, and the additional impacts of the proposed building need to be understood and properly addressed.

Our next date with the OMB is the second Pre-hearing Conference scheduled for February 7, 018.  Watch for further updates, before and immediately after that date, on the progress of informal negotiations that may take place, along with the scheduled date for Mediation, should this step be needed.

This holiday season, the entire Bloor West Village Residents Association would like to thank you for all the confidence you have shown in us throughout the year.  We are especially thankful  for the donations we have received towards the Humber Theatre redevelopment.  We are getting closer to our goal of $20,000.00 by December 31, 2017, but we’re not quite there!

We realize that this is a very busy time, you’re engaged in holiday planning and many organizations are reaching out to you for donations. A contribution to the Save Our Village fund is an investment in your neighbourhood and a future that includes sustainable, integrated and community supported development that will complement the Bloor West Village community. Your $200 donation will help us to pay for the time required by our legal and planning professionals.

Please donate today!

With all our best wishes,

Jamie Isbister, Chair BWVRA

 

Coyotes.  And that’s OK, providing they’re left alone and not fed.  There have been calls received by Sarah Doucette’s office about coyote sightings around the Rennie Park area as well as near the Humbercrest Blvd. and Dundas St. West areas. Residents and coyotes can (and have) lived together but if you do see one, you can report it to 311 so Animal Services can investigate, and the City can track their location.  More information about coyotes in the city can be found here.

A big victory for residents of Bloor West Village yesterday when Toronto City council voted unanimously to oppose Plaza Corp’s proposed development at the site of the Humber Theatre!  Thank you Sarah Doucette (@DoucetteWard13) for your leadership!  We’re now two months away from mediation with the OMB and residents support will be crucial to a successful outcome: follow our page to stay informed as to how you can help.

On November 18, many residents picked up their new (and free!) trees and shrubs at the Tree for Me event at the Annette Street Public Library.  Native trees and shrubs were provided by the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation.  Residents learned how to plant and take care of their new woody friends and received free mulch to help get them off to a good start.  Over 150 trees and shrubs were distributed. The goal is to increase Toronto’s tree canopy to 40% coverage.  More trees in yards are a big part of that and every tree counts.

Check out the photos at snapd Bloor West.

Thanks to Green 13 and the Annette Street Public Library for hosting the event and, of course, the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation.  And keep an eye out for the Spring 2018 Tree for Me event – not long from now at all!

The Bloor West Village Residents’ Association is a group of resident volunteers committed to fostering a well-balanced and liveable community, both now and into the future. Our neighbourhood is currently facing an urgent challenge with a proposed development on the site of the Humber Theatre.

The Theatre sits on a landmark site with most of the stores now empty and windows papered over, awaiting development. Renewal of this block is urgently needed and the BWVRA supports responsible re-development that respects the existing scale and character of the immediate neighbourhood.

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At the Community Council Meeting on Tuesday, November 14th, Sarah Doucette, along with representatives from the BWVRA and the community, rallied her fellow Councillors in support of a motion to have City Planning and City Legal oppose, at the OMB, the development that’s been proposed for the Humber Theatre site.  The next step will be to have this Motion passed by City Council at their Meeting on December 6th.  Then it’s on to a second Pre-Hearing at the OMB, scheduled for February 7th, that hopefully will lead to a Mediation session rather than a full Hearing.

If you’d like a lawn sign showing your support of our involvement, please send an email to info@bwvra.ca

Proposed Humber Theatre Re-development

On September 28th, the first Pre-hearing Conference at the Ontario Municipal Board offices in Toronto was held regarding the proposed Humber Theatre re-development. During this meeting, all of the Parties and Participants, who have an interest in the proceedings, were identified and the next steps were proposed and agreed upon. The Bloor West Village Residents Association was very capably represented by our legal counsel Paul DeMelo, a highly regarded lawyer at OMB proceedings. We have also retained David Butler, a noted Professional Planner in Toronto, who also brings many years of experience to our team.

It now seems to be common practice at Pre-Hearing Conferences for the OMB to encourage the Parties to explore the potential for “Mediation” as an alternative to a much more involved and costly “Contested Hearing”. Very often the Parties will agree but the Developer will usually also ask for a Hearing Date, should Mediation fail. However, in this case, it was very encouraging that Plazacorp did not make such a request. Instead, it was agreed there will be a second Pre-Hearing Conference on February 7th, 2018, with the understanding that this will lead to Mediation in the Spring, 2018.

In the mean time, our expectation is that the Developer will make a sincere effort to reach out to and consult with all of the Parties and other concerned representatives of the community. Our Association is mobilizing quickly to be a constructive voice for the community when these consultations begin.

But we need YOUR input ….on the kind of re-development the BWVRA should be advocating for on this site!
So please save the date October 30th, 7:00 pm, for a Community Meeting at the Humbercrest United Church Hall on Baby Point Road, just north of the development site.