Volume 5, Issue 6, Fall 2016 

It is hard to believe that November is upon us and our Christmas Party is just around the corner. We have a new location at the Stout Irish Pub on Carlton between Berkeley and Parliament Street. There will be lots of food offered up, prizes and a cash bar! Come out and join us and meet some of your neighbours.

Christmas Party December 7, 2016 6:30 to 9:00 pm.

 We have a new location for our upcoming Christmas Party.  This year's venue is The Irish Stout Pub at 221 Carlton Street. Come on out and join us!  There will be lots of prizes, lots of food and great company.  Early Bird tickets only $17.50 if purchased by November 30, 2016. 

Join us and help celebrate the season with our great neighbours!  Cash Bar.

                                                 For details click here.

If you live or work in downtown Toronto, Canada, between Parliament and Sherbourne, Carlton and Shuter Streets, then we are your neighbourhood residents' association. Join us!  If you have a neighbour who might be interested in our newsletter or learning about us, or might join us, please pass the invite on. 

Cabbagetown South Laneway Project

We are looking at making our laneways one of our priorities for 2017.  With Canada's 150th Birthday we are looking to tap into funding that might help create some art projects for our laneways. Property owners might consider commissioning a mural similar to this one on Verner Lane. This garage door in the past had problems with graffiti and the mural is an excellent solution. We are looking for your help and suggestions about how to make our laneways more functional, inviting and safe.  We are developing a model for our laneway rejuvenation by looking at lighting, laneway surfaces, vertical gardening and art installations that will draw area residents to the laneways as a positive space. We will start with some easy fixes and map out potential long range objectives to help bring our laneways forward. We are working on a survey in the coming weeks and will ask for your comments, ideas and help.

An organization called Lanescape is also looking at laneways as a means to build sustainable laneway housing. Unlike Vancouver and Ottawa, the City of Toronto currently does not allow new laneway housing. Lanescape, Evergreen, Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York) and Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18, Davenport)  have organized a city wide Laneway Suites Consultation Meeting for December 5, 2016, 7 pm at Evergreen Brickworks. Lanescape is conducting a survey on the issue which interested residents can fill out by clicking the link below.

Would infill housing, live/work space, studio and craft space facing our laneways be something that our neighbourhood should embrace? It could bring more eyes to the laneways and less unwanted behaviour. On the other hand many area residents see their backyards and patios as an urban oasis and relish peace and quiet and would be concerned about any changes that bring potential noise and traffic to the area. Should your neighbour decide to do away with their parking pad on the lane and build a coach house for a family member or as an income property, area residents could lose their sense of privacy and peace and quiet.  Can laneways support infill housing, cars, pedestrians and cyclists safely yet maintain a quiet residential vibe? These are questions we need to consider.

To learn more about Lanescape  and to answer their survey click here. To learn more about the Consultation Meeting click here


Proposed NEW Green Bins to be rolled out Spring 2017

A pilot project for the new and larger green bin is being conducted on a section of Ontario Street to determine how the new bins will work for both city staff and area residents. We have raised issues about the size of the new green bin. Many houses in the area have extremely small frontages already crowded with recycling/garbage and the current green bins. There are options to go with bags and tags for recycling and garbage and area residents need to consider alternatives to three bins lining their narrow front gardens and front porches.   

We had an onsite meeting with staff from Solid Waste Management and have asked that they look into a smaller green bin option for the downtown neighbourhoods. They advised that they will meet with any neighbours who have any issues with the larger green bins and will try to offer up solutions to any storage issues. 

Homeowners can arrange to have someone from Solid Waste Management come to your home to access your storage situation and offer up solutions. They will consider allowing owners to keep their present green bin if there are no alternatives. To arrange for an assessment please email 311@toronto.ca or call 311 access Toronto to arrange for an appointment. 

For information about the bin program please click here.


Ongoing Issues, Projects and Concerns                                        

Oben Flats. The Oben Flats proposal for Gerrard and Sherbourne Street appears to be moving through a planning review process in preparation for an upcoming Community Council Meeting.

We will advise when the meeting at Toronto and East York Community Council is announced. Area residents with concerns about the proposal or in support of the proposal will be given an opportunity to speak or comment in writing at the community council meeting.  

For information about how  Community Council Meetings work here is an interesting website.


The Beer Store. The Gerrard and Seaton Beer Store has apparently been sold to a developerplanning to build a condo building with commercial/retail space on the Gerrard street frontage. The plan may include a new Beer Boutique Store and other commercial and retail outlets facing Gerrard Street.  We have asked the Beer Store and their architect to attend one of our meetings but to date they have not responded to our invitations.

For an illustration of a similar project on Avenue Road please click here. The new Beer Boutique Stores generally do not have bottle return facilities so this is something that would have to be resolved. To read more click here.

More Moss ParkMore Moss Park looks like less Moss Park. The proposal to revamp Moss Park seems to be more about a new shiny building than redeveloping the playing fields and grounds.  The park is supposed to be an active park which means running tracks, playing fields, basketball and tennis courts.  Yes the hockey arena needs to be rebuilt and the John Innis Community Center needs to be refurbished. Moss Park is part of the upcoming Garden District Heritage Conservation Designation process and the complete demolition of the existing community center seems to run counter to that plan. The Garden District has many concerns about the new proposal. To learn more please click here

New Ward and Boundaries. The city is in the process of creating three new wards to balance out population levels between wards. Various models had split our neighbourhood in half, but the most recent map indicates that our area will remain in the same ward as Cabbagetown. The Garden District will also be included in the new ward 23. Click here to see the new ward map.    

Large proposal for 46 - 54 Power Street and 113-135 Parliament Street opposed by Community Council

The City of Toronto and East York Community Council recently opposed an application to create a large redevelopment project covering the entire block.  Though not as tall as many of the redevelopment projects in the area the concern was about a number of properties with rental units slated for demolition. The developer will likely go to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The City Community Council's position is that any redevelopment of the lands must also include the full replacement of the 15 existing rental dwelling units and a Tenant Relocation and Assistance Plan, including the right of tenants to return to the new rental units in accordance with the Official Plan, to the satisfaction of the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning.

The City Council deferred making a decision to demolish the 15 existing residential rental dwelling units at 125 Parliament Street and 50 Power Street until such time as a decision is made on the Zoning By-law Amendment application and a Tenant Consultation meeting has been held.

In the event the Ontario Municipal Board allows the appeal in whole or in part, the city has also asked for on-site parkland at no cost to the City.

Community Gardeners bring life to Berkeley Street and laneways

A group of dedicated neighbours and gardeners have been working diligently at creating community laneway gardens in various laneways throughout the area. It has been a challenging summer with hot and dry weather and some destructive behaviour by a few individuals.  The police have been helpful in traveling the laneways and discouraging bad behaviour. The corner of Berkeley and Callaghan Lane at the southwest corner of Lord Dufferin School had been a favoured location for illegal dumping and the efforts of the Berkeley Street residents has made a great change on the street. No longer a dumping ground but a pleasant legacy garden with many many varieties of plants shared by area gardeners has taken shape. 

We would like to thank all the neighbourhood gardeners who continue to create attractive gardens along our many alleys. Volunteers have also helped by cleaning up litter throughout the seasons and organized many laneway cleanups.

Funds from the Beer Store Donation window also helped with some seed money for plants. Please remember to donate your wine and beer bottles through the donation window to help fund community improvement projects like this one. Thanks to all the gardeners that work so hard at keeping our area looking good. 

Neighbourhood Policing Contact Information

We remind area residents that taking the time to call the police when you witness any criminal behaviour, including sexual activity, public alcohol and drug consumption and any other nuisance or unwanted behaviour.  Call 416-808-2222 or click onto the complaint form at the bottom of this article.  The number of officers assigned to 51 Division is based on the number of calls and complaints received. 

Police Constable Julie Rice phone 647-921-6395 email julie.rice@torontopolice.on.ca

Police Constable Scott Hodgson phone 647-921-6395 email scott.hodgson@torontopolice.on.ca

Officers from 51 Division point out that the more calls they receive from a particular neighbourhood, the more patrols that neighbourhood receives. If problems are persistent it is also recommended you contact

Staff Sergeant Henry Dyck call directly at 416-808-5152 to follow up. His email is henry.dyck@torontopolice.on.ca

Toronto Community Housing Issues contact Community Safety Advisor Michael Bezoff phone 416-899-8454 email michael.bezoff@torontohousing.ca

Emailing a general complaint form is also a great idea as it helps determine the number of officers assigned to particular divisions. Click here.

A vintage watercolour of Dundas St. E. Police/Fire Station


From the collection of the Cabbagetown Museum an early 20th century view of Dundas Street facing west at Regent Street,  St Bartholomew's  Church on the left and in the middle distance the old hotel (now pizza place) at the corner of Dundas and Parliament Street.

Hope to see you in December!  

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