Archive for November, 2008

Fly condos – Front St West and Blue Jays way

Creative Commons License photo credit: thesix

Fly condos development  on the north side of Front Street West, mid-block between Spadina Avenue to the west and Blue Jays Way to the east, also right in the entertainment the city of Toronto with possible competitive pricing and a distinctive if not daring building.

Developed by Empire Communities’ at 352 Front Street West. 24-storey’s and using a emboldened glass and metal panels exterior fit and finish that owes much of its ornamentation history to Frank Gehry building of 15 years ago. Not to say this is bad, in fact the developer seems to have provided some of Gehry’s character without the cost to the prospective buyers

Located at Blue Jays Way and Spadina in downtown Toronto – the entertainment area in the city of Toronto. With balconies on its western façade. Designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects has a community scale in sync with this neighborhood.

Current developments from city staff  Rezoning Application – Preliminary Report 352 Front St W dated Oct 21nd 2008,

Already there have been four pre-application consultation meetings and one community open
house meeting. Issues raised at these meetings include:
1)- proposed building height and massing and the resulting shadows cast on Clarence
Square Park;

2)- the opportunity to establish a linear connection that will serve as a future link
from Clarence Square to Front Street West; and,

3)- separation distance to the existing building to the east located at 340 Front Street

Development details from city report

The proposed redevelopment of the site consist of a 24 storey building (building height of
81.5m, including mechanical penthouse) with 396 residential dwelling units (240 one
bedroom unit; 127 two bedroom units; and 29 three bedroom units). The proposal is for
32,892 square metres (354,058 square feet) of gross floor area, including 415 square
metres (4,460 square feet) of retail commercial uses to be located at grade along Front
Street West. A total of 290 parking spaces are proposed to serve the expected parking
demand associated with this development, including visitor parking spaces.
The proposed building is setback 15m from the west and 6m from the north property
lines to facilitate a mid-block connection to Clarence Square from Front Street West.

Posted by Robert

Dundas Street West and High Park Avenue– Traffic Control Signals

Etobicoke York Community Council has recommended that City Council approve the installation of traffic control signals (traffic lights) at the intersection of Dundas Street West and High Park Avenue.

This seems to be how the process works – Community Council approves the effort and requests the City Council to stamp it. The background file lists a price of $130,000.00 to intsall the lights.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have not objected.

Background Information

October 24, 2008 report


Attachment map


posted by Robert

CPR Holiday Train comes to the Junction

From what we have gathered this is the ONLY City of Toronto Stop.

In addition it’s an all Junction event, just think… stand next to a train.. what else is the Junction lore about?

Posted by Robert

Picture credit junctionartsfest blogspot and

with informaton provided by Councillor Bill Saundercook’s office

CPR Canadian Holiday Train Visits Junction

The train which is traveling across the country will to raise food, money and awareness for local food banks. Bring your cash and food donations and support your local food bank.

Just remember these are very short stops being 30 minutes only
Tuesday, December 2

  • Junction stop Toronto – 6:30 to 7:00 p.m 6:15pm to 7:15pm

    . – 87 Ethel Avenue, adjacent to RONA

  • UPDATE N0V. 24/2008 afternoon
  • WTO Toronto Councillors

    Invite your family, friends and neighbours

    to a Community Holiday Celebration

    as we welcome CPR’s

    10th Anniversary

    Holiday Train to the Junction
    Your browser may not support display of this image.
    Tuesday, December 2nd @ 6:15pm to 7:15pm
    CP Rail Yard, 87 Ethel Avenue
    (east of George Bell Arena)
    Free Admission     •   Live Entertainment
    This event will help raise food, money and awareness for local food banks.  So bring your cash and food donations and support your local food bank.

  • Event arranged by Councillor Frances Nunziata Councillor Bill Saundercook Chair, Junction Forum Arts and Culture
  • & Councillor Cesar Palacio

    and if you cannot make that the closest next stop is

    Vaughan 9:00 to 9:30 p.m. – Northwest corner of CP Vaughan Intermodal Yard andNashville Road, near grain elevator.

    Posted by Robert

What is a Business Improvement Area?

Bloor West Flower Shop
Creative Commons License photo credit: srossi

Helping things to bloom in Bloor West Village

The BIA concept began in Toronto. The first BIA – and still one of the most successful – was Bloor West Village, established in 1970. Toronto now has Toronto has 64 BIAs.  Most BIA’s are composed of strip high street retailers providing a great basket of services, retailers who have little in common with chain stores.  Looking at the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas web site, …the association of Toronto BIA’s. maybe their union? …you can see the vast array of events and efforts they put forth. All this effort is in aid of business success –  in sales, but most often their efforts contribute towards a community. Yet many residents in a lot of Toronto communities neither know little, nor care about their local BIA. While researching this post, it interestingly became apparent that the Bloor West Village BIA (the 1st one and one of the most successful) seemed to have a high connection to the residence community.

More info about BIA’s in Toronto and what everyone wants to know, where does their money come from…

City text…

Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are geographic zones that are established to
promote designated areas as business or shopping locales. BIAs may undertake projects
to improve, beautify and maintain City-owned land or structures within the boundaries of
the BIA, and thus provide benefits to the member property owners and businesses, as
well as adjacent residential neighbourhoods. BIAs are governed by a Board of
Management and established by by-law. The operations of a BIA are funded through an
annual levy, which is billed and collected in a similar manner to property taxes, on all
commercial and industrial property owners (i.e. business properties) within the BIA.

What is the average annual levy of a Toronto BIA member?

Every business member is charged a share of the annual budget, based on that member’s share of the BIA’s total commercial realty assessment.

For example: If a business’s commercial realty assessment is 6,000, the total commercial realty assessment of all businesses in the BIA is 2,000,000, and the BIA’s annual budget is $100,000, then that business’s BIA levy is:

6,000 X $100,000

= $300 average amount a business pays as a BIA levy


Data TABIA (see link below)

Assessment Appeal Provision for Business
Improvement Areas staff action report [opens in new window]

TABIA Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas web site [opens in new window]

Links to other interesting WTO blog posts

The Junction Parents Blog has a must see picture about the High Park Stroller Fitness


The ArtsJunction Blog has a post

AFTERNOON TEA in the Junction

When: Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
Time: 3 – 6 pm
Where: Latitude 44 Gallery
Address: 2900 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6P 1Y8

Victoria Royce Presbyterian Church city staff report

A reader of the blog Hamish was Kind enough to post the cities link to the Victoria Royce Church …Approval of Alterations to a Heritage Property ( which is great because it’s really difficult to troll thought the cities web site looking for information – thanks)

152 Annette Street (Victoria Royce Church) – Approval of Alterations to a Heritage Property and Intention to Designate, Part IV, Section 29, Ontario Heritage Act

The report recommends that City Council approve the alterations to the heritage property considering it a well considered example of adaptive reuse and incorporation of a heritage building as the focal point of a development project. Moreover city Staff view the project as preserving significant architectural elements of the church with minor modifications that are necessary for its new functional use.

City staff report details about what is happening to the building.

The project converts the existing historic church and the attached school structure to
residential use. The project would also sever the portion of the lot containing the manse
structure from the project site for private sale. The adaptive reuse project would add 34
residential units with 22 below grade parking spaces. The new uses would be fully
contained within the existing building footprint. The project would add only an
approximately 270 square metre one story rooftop penthouse atop the school structure
(with appropriate setback) and a sub-grade parking level below the church.
The project would conserve significant architectural elements of the church and ancillary
school structure. The conservation objectives for the church are herein stated as:
1) Minimal intervention in the masonry of the church building as only eight small
new openings are proposed at the tower.
2) Minimal intervention in the massing of the church building as the project does not
change the building envelope of the church structure
3)Minimal intervention at the roof as disturbance of the roof plane is minimized by
the use of discrete reverse roof dormer elements.
4)Restoration of Masonry
5) Preservation of smaller leaded windows, large arched openings and exterior light
6)Retention of tower entry features adapted to the new residential use
8) Revisions to flashing and rain ware to reduce future deterioration of the masonry
due to identified sources of water flow and infiltration.
9)Although the Interior is not part of the reasons for designation, the project would also:
10)Retain the existing interior hammer beam structure.
Preserve and re-use offsite the stained glass windows, organ and other elements
such as pews, grates, etc.
11)At the ancillary school structure, the project would:
12)Restore the masonry and retain and repair existing stone elements
13)Carefully dismantle and then rebuild the Arts and Crafts entrance vestibule
according to documentation.
14)Approximate retention of existing window openings with minor changes due to
changed type of use occupancy.

Reading through all this this it can be summed up Revitalization both programmatically and physically of the heritage structure is a primary objective of the proposal.

For the community it can be read as a Church being coverted into homes, each person in the community needs to think about that personally as to their view concerning this type of building reuse as it remove the church road feeling in this of Annette St. Yet the Junction does receive additional density in people and homes from this development which is something it greatly needs.

posted bt Robert

Roundhouse Rail Heritage, a lot to work on…

Creative Commons License photo credit: wyliepoon

The John Street Roundhouse was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (“CPR”) in 1929
to service the steam locomotives that hauled CPR passenger trains into the new Union
Station. When steam engines were finally retired in 1959-60, the Roundhouse was
converted to servicing diesel locomotives and it remained in service until 1986.

This report details progress on the implementation of the Rail Heritage Museum initial phase of Rail Heritage Museum involves three bays of the Roundhouse and re-establishing a modest portion of the rail
heritage landscape to help interpret the site. This will be accomplished by placing radial
display track from the turntable into the park to showcase the rail artifact collection
consisting of locomotives and other rolling stock, and opening a series of restored railway
structures to the public, including the original Don Station which is being moved from
Todmorden Mills.

It also impact that a new hydro transformer station (Hydro One) might have on this National Historic Site.

Other interesting sections of the report

Roundhouse Rail Heritage
The Toronto Railway Historical Association is a registered Canadian charitable
organization, established in 2001, to promote the development of the museum at the
Roundhouse. The vision of TRHA for the Rail Heritage Museum is to link three
component sites: the Roundhouse, Roundhouse Park and Union Station. While the
TRHA has undertaken various actions such as participation in the annual Doors Open
event to promote interest in the Rail Heritage Museum as well as organizing regular
public tours of Union Station, it has not been possible for them to prepare a detailed
operational plan due to the remaining uncertainties with the Roundhouse restoration and
other issues.
The TRHA working with the Tenant, City staff and other appropriate
stakeholders have been able to resolve the following:
1. Resolution of rail cars ownership issues
2. Finalization of plans for the integration of the Rail Heritage Museum within
Roundhouse Park
3. Finalization of condition assessments for the restoration of various rail heritage
elements such as the Coal and Sanding Tower, Don Station and Cabin D
4. Development of a cost plan for the capital needs of the Museum and
establishment of an operating direction (with help from the Museum of Science
and Technology)
5. Formulation, in consultation with Parks, Forestry and Recreation; Preservation
Services; and Planning, for the Restoration of the Coal/Sanding Tower, a park
lighting scheme, landscape improvements and interim construction access

John Street Roundhouse –  city changes Full report [opens in new window]

The Village by High Park, …not to bore anyone

But this another post about shoring and tiebacks…

Old Cantire store shoring that they are keeping?

But this is really exciting –  Deltera, really their subcontractor, is still working on the railway line shoring wall. This wall which will and has to be designed and built to hold back the railway tracks is so Junction. It abuts the original railway subway, it holds the railway together much as the old Cantire Store foundation did and still does in parts, and will be an important part of the new condo building.

If you click in the cloud tag on The Village by High Park text you can view posts with images following the process they used to… 1st remove and level the soil hill mass that was against the wall and the old building in areas, then strengthen the ground with new temporary rock fill…then drill  & place in the steel ibeam shoring, then remove the soil mass until they had a shear wall.

Completely new! shoring closer to Keele St

This guy is on the tracks without a CPR escort, he’s is trouble

Posted by Robert

Dufferin Street Jog Removal

$24,832,664.54 is being spent on the Dufferin Street Jog Elimination project and the construction of the Dufferin Street/CN/GO Transit Underpass at Queen Street. The Dufferin Construction Company (St. Lawrence Cement Inc. C.O.B.) is the prime contractor and if you look at the material making up the the bulk of the volume of the structure, they are the main material supplier too.

Looking at the method and construction engineering to be used, it appears the  underpass will mix well with other nearby underpasses such as the one on King street in Liberty Village. It is the grammar of ornament used to display art in the structure that is of considerable issue in this design. In a tunnel underpass that is probably going to be wind swept at times, and with the usual short width of sidewalks used in Toronto it is going to be difficult for passers by to stand and have some contemplative time viewing the photographs.

…tending to agree with this quote from Adam Vaughan, in this Toronto Life article by Philip Preville.

Though it’s not in his district, Adam Vaughan, for what it’s worth, is not a fan of the idea. “Congestion is good,” he told me not long ago, meaning the more difficult it is for cars to navigate the grid, the more people will consider alternatives like walking or transit. It’s also true that oddities like the Dufferin Jog act as natural traffic-calming devices, and they provide incentive for drivers to disperse throughout the grid in search of alternative routes. But there’s also the fact that irregularities in the grid are what give any city its character.



Picture credits  St. Lawrence
Cement Inc. C.O.B. as Dufferin Construction Company
[opens in new window]

City of Toronto Contract Award – Contract No. 08FS-22S [opens in new window]

Dufferin Street history on Wikipedia [opens in new window]

Project Name: Dufferin Street Jog Elimination
Project Value: $24,832,664.54
Scheduled: 2008-2009
Owner: City of Toronto
Contract No: 08FS-22S
Location: Dufferin Street at Queen Street
Market: Municipal Construction – Central
Delivery Method: Traditional Public Tender