Parts of our village are immersed in school traffic (kids, parents and cars) ten months of the year. This update suggests that coming 2019, pilot programs will begin towards increasing the safety of surrounding streets.
Since the first Pre-hearing Conference at the OMB last September, two revised “without prejudice” proposals have been presented to the Parties by the developer. The BWVRA Board of Directors was particularly encouraged by the latest version provided in March, in which there were very significant reductions in the building height and massing. As is the case with all “without prejudice” proposals in a negotiation, the substance of these proposals remains confidential between the Parties. However, the developer, apparently assuming that it is close to arriving at a scheme that the various Parties (including the BWVRA) will find acceptable, has recently submitted an application for Site Plan Approval to the City. As a quick reference, the two architect’s perspectives below have been extracted from this submission:
Why is this significant? The Site Plan application drawings, which very closely resemble the most recent “without prejudice” proposal, are now on the public record, and by reviewing these drawings you should have a good understanding of how the negotiations have progressed to this point.
From the perspective of the BWVRA Board, the most important improvements in the current proposal, as compared to the initial submission to City Planning that also remains under appeal at the OMB, are:
- The average overall height of the building has been reduced from approximately 47 m. to 35 m., or the equivalent of 4 residential floors (this is just marginally higher than the 32 m. height approved back in 2008 for the original Humber Theatre proposal)
- The gross floor area has been reduced from 31, 645 sq. m. to 28, 596 sq. m.
- There are approximately 44 fewer condo units.
- There are 87 fewer underground parking spaces.
While these revisions represent the very substantial progress that has been made toward a potential settlement, the following issues remain to be resolved:
- Minimizing potential traffic impacts on the neighbourhood
- Neighbourhood concerns about pedestrian safety and excessive wind impacts at the corner of Riverview Gardens
In the mean time, your feedback continues to be very important, and we welcome any thoughts you may have on the current proposal as reflected on the Site Plan drawings.
City Planning has posted DTAH’s Final Report on the Bloor West Village Avenue Study on the City’s Web page. Please see the link below. City Planning Report which provides an overview of DTAH’s report and next steps is anticipated to go to the June 6, 2018 Etobicoke York Community Council meeting.
A local resident gave us a heads up that the Coffee Tree Roastery is celebrating its 30th birthday on Bloor Street West next month. We agree that it has added much to the ambiance and special character of the village over those years thanks to its owner Susan, who’s worked hard to support the village and given it a special place in the hearts and minds of not only residents, but also many well-known personalities of Toronto (see below.) Make sure to drop by and say hello on May 12.
Neighbourhood Character Guidelines for Bloor West Village
First of all, a big thank you (again), to everyone who responded to our survey last October. The exceptionally high response rate of nearly 50 % of the households that were contacted, indicates how much we care about the look and feel of our neighbourhoods. As importantly, the feedback received helped to inform the recommendations of the concurrent study which is now complete and posted here for your information.
For those who are not familiar with this initiative, the Bloor West Village Neighbourhood Character Guidelines project was carried out as the first step to assist the City in implementing guidelines that will help ensure that future large home renovations and re-builds respect and reinforce the existing character of our neighbourhoods. The study area which coincided with the BWVRA catchment area, was bordered by Bloor Street to the south, Quebec Avenue to the east, Annette Street and Humberview Road to the north, and the Humber River to the west.
Generally speaking, our neighbourhood is a walkers’ paradise. But surprisingly, a publicly available scoring system can add nuance from one street to the next; even from one house number to the next. You can read the Globe and Mail article here and see how many steps you have to go.
You may not have come across this well designed listing, but this is a great link to all that Bloor West has to offer.
Where’s the movie theatre going as part of the Humber Theatre development?
In the current plans, the curtain will fall on the Humber movie theatre once development starts on the project. We don’t have a specific date as of now, but we do know it will be closing permanently (as well, the current owner of the theatre business is not interested in continuing.) Like you, we’re guessing, we’ve also enjoyed having a movie theatre in the village; a venue you can walk to, to take in the latest films. If retaining a local movie theatre is important to you, or perhaps seeing a new cultural or recreational spot incorporated in the design plans, we’d encourage you to write our local Councillor, Sarah Doucette and share your views.
The Laneway Project has complied a list of “no-brainers” based on the issues and opportunities that have come up in all of the laneways that they’ve worked in. We share their hope that it inspires action and change in the way that we plan, design and manage the laneways in communities like Bloor West Village. Read it here.
The Bloor West Village Residents Association is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous donation of $2,500 from the Sidorova Inwood Team. You may have noticed we were also featured in their current realtor ad on page 17 of the January Home News. We’re grateful and thankful to have leaders such as them in our Bloor West business community supporting our campaign.
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
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.