The third and final round of public consultation took place from September 2, 2020, to October 6, 2020, with a virtual public meeting held on September 16, 2020.
Questions and Answers received during the virtual meeting and the Round #3 Consultation Report are now available at toronto.ca/yongeTOmorrow.
A range of feedback has been received from different stakeholders:
To learn more about what people said about the pedestrian and cycling experience, vehicle access, space for patios and street retail as well as space to festivals and events, visit the Past Consultation section on the project web page.
A local heritage advocate's private sleuthing has led to the discovery that a 150-year-old house on Church Street, slated for demolition, was the home of one of Toronto's leading educators and social reformers.
Frances Esther (Hester) How, who died in 1915, pioneered a number of children's educational and social services, including day cares, school meals, English as a second language classes and even juvenile courts.
The beloved teacher and social reformer lived many years at 506 Church St., which is now occupied by Boutique Bar. Graywood Developments proposes tearing down the 19th-century house to make way for a mixed-use, 15-storey redevelopment.
Adam Wynne, the local history hobbyist who discovered How's long-time occupancy of the house, believes it should be preserved instead of torn down. "It has a very important connection to a very important person," he says.
In late October KingSett Capital submitted an application for a 59-storey tower between 510 and 528 Yonge Street (the West side of Yonge, south of Breadalbane), including 500 condominium units and retail at street level.
The site falls within the boundaries of the Historic Yonge Street Heritage Conservation District Plan (a plan which developers are appealing at the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal). Under the proposal, three of the five existing historic buildings on Yonge Street, which are listed on the Toronto Heritage Register, will have their facades restored and integrated into the new podium, while the other two would be demolished and replaced.
There is no parkland dedicated on the site; Kingsett proposes instead to replace its building at 431 Yonge Street with parkland, which will enlarge the existing parkette located at the west end of Granby Street.
The application is at a very early stage. The City has yet to issue a Preliminary Report.
In late July 2020, Graywood Developments submitted a proposal to the City for 506 to 516 Church Street (now Crews & Tangos, Boutique Bar and a Target Park surface lot). The proposal is for a 15 storey mid-rise stepped backed from Church Street, preserving the Crews & Tango heritage building.
On Sept. 21, City staff released a Preliminary Report which identified the following issues:
• The height, massing, and scale of the proposal in relation to the existing and planned context;
• Transition in height and massing to adjacent lands designated as Apartment Neighbourhoods;
• Potential shadowing impacts on the adjacent open spaces, public realm and neighbouring properties;
• Interface of the proposed built form with the adjacent public realm;
• Potential wind impacts on adjacent properties and public realm, with particular focus on existing patios within the Church Street Village Character Area;
• Appropriateness of the proposed mix of unit sizes and configurations;
• Appropriateness of the areas and distribution of amenity spaces within the building
The Report also refers to the need to protect LGBTQS+ small businesses and cultural space, which follows a January 29 City Council decision, moved by Councillor Wong-Tam.
As well, the Report found that the Heritage Impact Assessment included with the proposal was incomplete "due to insufficient historical research and analysis and insufficient public consultation, which are necessary for determining the cultural heritage value of the subject site and, in particular, its significance to the LGBTQ2S+ community."
On October 15, the Toronto and East York Community Council carried a motion, put forward by Councillor Wong-Tam, to amend the Preliminary Report, adding a key new recommendation mandating the creation of a Working Group "including the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association, Church-Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area, other local LGBTQ2S+ community stakeholders and the Ward Councillor as part of the Development Application review process to preserve culturally significant commercial and community space." The motion will be considered by Toronto City Council at its November 26-27 meeting.
The lease of Crews & Tangos has been extended and Graywood has committed to working with the owners of Crews & Tangos with regards to the future development. See more background in our previous post.
A community consultation will be scheduled for later this year.
The developer's website for the project includes all of the development application documents and a timeline of the development process so far: www.506churchstreet.com
The City has started the final series of consultations for the revitalization of George Hislop and Norman Jewison Parks and Alexander Street Parkette. The first (online) public consultation was on Thursday, Nov. 5. A second online public consultation will take place in February.
A master plan for the three connected parks parallel to Yonge Street (George Hislop, Norman Jewison and James Canning Gardens) was completed in 2017 and James Canning Gardens is now being renovated in line with that plan.
Alexander Street Parkette, which was not included in the 2017 master plan, has been added to the scope of the project.
According to the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, the consultation process will "refresh and build on engagement completed to date for the linear parks, and provide opportunities for additional input during the design process. While the master plan identifies a conceptual design framework for the park with activity areas, planting, seating, lighting, and paths etc., finalizing the park concept plans to meet current community needs will be part of the exercise. George Hislop Park will also have an integrated public art/design element that celebrates LGBTQ2S+ history, leadership, excellence and resilience - a new feature that was not identified in the master plan."
The consultations, held between September 2020 and February 2022, include:
George Hislop Park is currently closed and will be the first of the three parks to be rebuilt. Parks & Foresty's most optimistic estimate for George Hislop is a start date of mid-2021 with completion in late 2021 or summer 2022. The other parks will follow.
Ongoing updates are being posted on the City's web page, Yonge Street Linear Park Improvements.
Are you looking for a unique opportunity to make an impact in the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood? Well, look no further! The Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association (CWNA) is looking for leaders like you to join our board of directors. We are a non-profit, volunteer run organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of everyone who lives, works, and plays in our neighbourhood, bounded by Yonge Street east to Jarvis Street and Charles Street south to Carlton Street.
The work of the CWNA is focused in the areas of:
• Housing and Development
• Placemaking (Parks and Public Realm)
• Heritage Conservation
• Community Safety (including the Community Crisis Response Network)
• Membership and Communications
Our board maintains active relations and meets regularly with elected officials, partner organizations (BIA, The 519, Progress Place, and other local service agencies), the Community Crisis Response Network, and various city departments.
The CWNA is currently accepting applications for open positions on the CWNA Board. All candidates for the CWNA Board of Directors must live in our catchment area and be members in good standing. We encourage members of equity-seeking groups to apply so that our board may reflect the diversity of our neighbourhood and our community’s unique needs.
As the Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be virtual, the election for open positions will take place immediately following the November 18, 2020 AGM. All members in good standing that are present at the AGM will be entitled to vote and will receive an online ballot via email following the AGM. Results will be announced on November 19, 2020 at 7 pm.
There are 6 positions that will be open for candidates at the AGM.
The CWNA Board normally meets once a month. In addition to the monthly board meeting, board members will be required to complete additional tasks between meetings, approximately 5-10 hours per month.
Returning to the board to complete their terms are:
NOTE: deadline for submission of nominations is NOVEMBER 16
Download the nomination form here and return to firstname.lastname@example.org
The CWNA's Annual General Meeting has been set for Wednesday, November 18 at 7 pm. It will be a virtual meeting, via Zoom Webinar. The AGM is open to everyone in the community, but only CWNA members may vote. Register here.
The City has postponed the resurfacing of Church Street from Gloucester Street to Park Road to Spring of 2021. The goal of the project is to bring the road, curb and sidewalk to a state of good repair. Crews will also remove old streetcar tracks under the road surface. The work is part of the Council-approved Capital Works Program to renew aging city roads and sidewalks.
Work was scheduled to Start Sept. 21 and take at least three months; however the start has been delayed until next spring.
The YongeTOmorrow study is progressing, with the next public consultation scheduled for Wednesday, Sept 16. This phase of the study focusses on the redesign of Yonge from Queen Street to College / Carlton, and will influence future plans for Yonge north of College/Carlton. The recommended plan for Yonge Street will:
- prioritize pedestrians
- provide more protection for cyclists
- maintain access for transit, deliveries, ride hailing and parking garages.
The City of Toronto webpage for YongeTOmorrow has information on how to participate in the next public consultation and includes the recommended design concept details and renderings.
By Peter Small
Luke Plourde has lived in the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood for 40 years and has lost 87 friends to the AIDS epidemic.
He has seen a once vibrant gay community increasingly taken over by condos, with sparse green space set aside. This summer, he decided to do something about it.
He noticed a largely uncultivated patch of land behind a chain link fence at the northeast corner of Alexander and Church Sts., across from City Park Co-op where he lives. It seemed a perfect place to plant a garden to honour his fallen comrades.
“There's so little left of the village that there was during the ‘80s in the ‘90s and the 2000s that I wanted something to remain that I could look at and think of my friends,” he says.
After several unsuccessful attempts to locate the owner of the property, he came across Ahmad Zamany, manager of Salon One next door, doing some gardening on the property.
Plourde proposed creating a garden at his own expense. Zamany liked the idea. He checked with Salon One’s owner, Philip Nazaruk, who has use of the land through his business lease. He too was enthusiastic.
“We were really excited about it,” Nazaruk says. “We said, ‘Help yourself and do what you want to do.’”
So, starting June 8, Plourde spent a straight two weeks pulling weeds and replacing the soil, which was almost entirely sand and clay. All summer he has worked at least four hours a day, every day, weeding, digging, planting, tending and watering to bring the patch to life.
He lay a stone pathway with rocks he dredged from a river in Fenelon Falls. He purchased a statue of cupid at a market in Aberfoyle. His mother gave him a birdbath.
In fewer than two months, he created an English-style garden made up almost entirely of perennials, some suited to the sun, others to shade, with different flowers constantly coming into bloom.
“Gardens are living things that are always changing,” he says.
The community’s reaction shocked and surprised him.
“So many people of all ages have come by and said to me how it touches them,” he says. Some just stop and stare. Others take photographs. Children bring him rocks for the garden. Parents bring their kids to teach them the names of the flowers. Even landscapers come by and pay him compliments.
“The whole neighbourhood seems to have fallen in love with the garden,” he says. “It’s made it all worthwhile.”
Plourde has come to an agreement with the salon's operators that he will not officially call the garden an AIDs memorial, because they do not own the land.
But for him, every plant brings departed friends closer, and this has touched older members of the gay community.
“They love it,” Plourde says. “As soon as I mention that I’ve done it for my friends, some of them, they cry. Because everybody from that time lost a lot of people.”
Among the plants, purchased at his own expense, are hostas, hydrangeas, astilbe, begonias, sedum, clematis, wisteria, black-eyed Susans, roses, irises, Cardinal flowers, Japanese windflowers, crocosmia, flox, lilies, coneflowers, echinacea, foxgloves, delphiniums, chrysanthemums, flowering cabbages, peones, anemones, Japanese grass, goat’s beard, false sunflowers, bee balm, lavender, trumpet flowers, a limelight tree and a Japanese snowball shrub.
The 63-year-old information technology specialist for the Ontario government estimates he has spent more than $2,000 of his own funds so far, which is what he would have paid for a vacation had COVID not intervened.
“I’ll add more things next year. I just ran out of money,” he says.
For him, the garden is his bit of sanity after a stressful day at work.
“It's amazing what happens when you put your hands in the earth. It calms you down,” he says.
Plourde comes by his love of gardening honestly. As a child in Brampton, he helped his parents, who were avid horticulturists. He says he is grateful to the people behind Salon One for their unwavering support, allowing him to do what he likes with the garden and, at least in his mind, dedicate it to friends past.
“I wanted something to remain of that time, of that era when I was younger,” he says. “And so I wanted to build this garden as a symbol of that, as a memorial. For to me each of these flowers is one of my friends. That's how I look at it in my mind.”
"Greening the Village" is an occasional series recognizing individuals and groups who volunteer their time to beautifying our neighbourhood.