Archive for May, 2008

Dundas West Arts Building Collective open house

The Dundas West Arts Building Collective open house is running Sat. May 24th and Sunday May 25th. Seeing an artists space is great, but look harder at the details – the work in progress – the unworkable defeats – the triumphs. Many times you can get something far greater than at a gallery at an open house, you just have to talk to the artist – discovering the meaning of whats all around you. Then choose. Its important to remember when buying art you are not only purchasing a object but contributing to the continued effort of the artist to make a contribution to the community at large. You may find something that transcends you.


The Dundas West Arts Building Open Studios

Since 2001, each spring, various artists living and working in the historic Dundas West Arts Building open their personal studios to share their work with the public. This rare and exciting opportunity brings a casual atmosphere, which fosters a relationship between patrons and artists.The event features talented visual artists, musicians, and crafts persons, who showcase and sell their work, invite the audience to join in collaborations and provide free mini classes. Bring your friends and family, meet fellow artists, see great work and learn something new. We thank our generous sponsors who have contributed prizes for our draw.

Dates and Location

  1. The Dundas West Arts Building
  2. 2466 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario

  1. Friday May 23rd 6pm-10pm
  2. Saturday May 24th 12pm-7pm
  3. Sunday May 25th 12pm-5pm

Cost: Pay-What-You-Can

Trees are extra special yet isn't the right tree needed

Trees are needed much more all over the city especially beside the boulevard roads – which all seem to have so few (see Lakeshore West). Looking at the above picture – yes… there are houses behind there. Should the city not take into account the best type and size of tree?  As these trees become so big they block the view of street from the house and of the front of the home making it hard for walk by and chat.

What happens when the tree becomes so big the homeowners just can’t live with it – say it breaks the foundation or destructs water and waste lines, a city crew comes along digs a hole and chops the roots?  The tree does all the suffering. Picking the right tree at planting, will give all of these front yards trees a happier and longer life?

Did you know…
Planting trees and other vegetation helps clean the air allowing City residents to breathe easier? Vegetation “cools” local air temperatures when water evaporates from leaves makingsummers more comfortable for residents? Planting deciduous shade trees on the west and south sides of buildings can reduce your airconditioning cooling costs by up to 40%? Plting evergreen trees on the north side of buildings can reduce winter heating costs by upto 10%? Planting trees and other vegetation expands the urban forest, creates wildlife habitat andimproves stormwater management making communities more pleasant to live in?

City of Toronto tree planning at clean air partnership.

Demolition Watch: Lloyd Ave Houses Gone


These houses which were demolished last week were a great example of common construction in the wards west of Bathurst in west Toronto. They have a brick veneer front and everything behind the front is of wood construction with asphalt bricking along the sides and on the back. These houses being built right up against a factory had little in way of ornamentation.

You can still see houses like them right across the street, and it’s a great time to view a new view and a short view as the development continues where these houses stood.

See this past post for more details

Thursday Links

Phyllis and Luke

Picture credit –  2008 reclaimedhome

The Globe and Mail has an intersting article on home renovation using CMHC data. some of the interesting points.

– Forty per cent of Canadian homeowners say they intend to spend $1,000 or more on renovations this year.

– 37 per cent of Canadians spent money on home improvements, down from 39 per cent in 2006

– there could be a number of Canadians who decide that renovating their current home is a cheaper alternative to buying a new home this year

Honey, I’m planning to renovate the house  (Globe and Mail)

Oh my all the West Toronto neighbourhoods

Picture credit – aa440

Looking at the city’s list of West Toronto neighborhoods is amazing there are so many. It would make a great popup book showcasing all the different neighborhood personalities. West End neighbourhoods

Freed Developments sovereign rights declared

Another piece of the puzzle? , oh it isn’t a puzzle, but could it be that somewhere – somehow Freed Developments was given and maybe taken through some others dereliction of duty, sovereign rights over the design and development of a grand area of downtown West Toronto.

500wellingtonwest 17 Penthouse Lofts(2500-6000sqft) Contemporary Design —- 20 Stewart 59 modern lofts —- 66 Portland nine stunning stories, with 85 stylish lofts —- 550 Wellington West this 102-room designer hotel and 336-unit condominium —- Six50 (650) King West 214 Unit Residential Condominium —- 455 Adelaide west 93 modern lofts and 10 glass townhomes —- 75 Portland

All theirs. Maybe he just dropped into city hall, asked for permission, and all the elected ignored him, and did he then say to himself well if they won’t fit out the town, maybe I should. It appears that way. Peter Freed wants to create extraordinary places for people to live he states, and well his buildings can be real good and pretty to look at. Especially all that glass which his team uses to great effect and purpose. But shouldn’t someone be following him around keeping a watchful eye?

Freed developments The music at their 75 Portland site is great

big on bloor


At this street fair they come right out and say it, they want to build community, provide resident interaction and celebrate their diverse population and groups, and they are right up front about “at risk problems” Well, with openness like this – combined with the well thought out action – this neighborhood is doing well.

a bit from there site…

On June 21st from Christie to Lansdowne along historic Bloor Street, The BIG Festival celebrates local business, community, arts and culture with a unique street fair featuring hundreds of events, activities and exhibitions.
Go to The BIG Festival page

More accurate than a google map – Friends of Dundas and Bloor


There are a number of concerned community groups in West Toronto. All of them have a number of challenges (funds, volunteers, you can fill in the rest) and demands on their efforts. Their success can probably be best measured by how many people they are able to get involved in their efforts and the more people from the community that are able to get the community what it wants and needs. the better.

All of these groups have to communicate the need – the process- the current happenings and the results to all of their community. The Friends of Dundas and Bloor have set strong, well-thought-out priorities and have communicated them in a site that is completely complete.

A bit from their site..

To ensure that Toronto does not sqaunder this exceptional opportunity to ehance the life of the city and its neighbourhoods, the Friends of Dundas and Bloor Steering Committee insists on:

A new pedestrian entranceway to Dundas West Station on the east side of Dundas….A new entranceway to Dundas West Station on the 1540 site at the pedestrian corner of Dundas and Bloor…A set of vigorous and multi-faceted studies, under full leadership and direction of the City’s Planning Department and City Council, including:…An Avenue Study on Dundas Street from Howard Park / Roncesvalles intersection through Annette Dupont…Investment by the City, possibly in partnership with the developer, in redesigning Dundas West Station

more at the site…

Friends of Dundas and Bloor found via West Bend Community Association

main event at the confluence of Bathurst/King West/Wellington

The main event at  the confluence of  Bathurst – King West – Wellington this year is building. The building up of condos and the removal of small buildings that once housed the small manufacturers who gave great support to this city. The small firms have been long  supplanted by offices for media and designers and other such persons. This is happening fast and if you want to see a WTO (West Toronto) area  move from one period of history to another, you could do no better then a 1/2 hour walk in there.

Maybe just maybe enough of the old tales of the small manufacturers will stay to provide all the new condo residents, with some history to rub shoulders with. This area greatly needs this dense development as it cleans out in the evenings once the area workers have visited the pub or had a meal after work.

People dancing in Christie Pits Park (Bloor and Christie)

Christie Pits park was simply full on action and people Thursday night.