Archive for April, 2009

High Park – the native plant sale

Native Plant Sale – Sunday May 3rd
11am to 2pm in front of Greenhouse

photo Credit HPCAC

About the native plant sale
The borders of High Park and the Oak Savannah are expanded when area residents grow native plants in their own yards

$5.00 for all wildflowers and grasses. $10.00 for trees.

List of available plants click here to download PDF file

….all text this post from HPCAC…

High Park Native Plant Nursery
The City of Toronto Parks & Recreation Division, High Park Native Plant Nursery was established in order to address the need of propagating plants for the restoration and preservation of the High Park Black Oak Savannah and other natural areas in the Park. In addition, the nursery supports the native plant propagation program that supplies plants for use in natural areas, ornamental beds, schoolyards and community gardens throughout Toronto. The efforts of the many volunteers involved in the High Park Stewardship Program have significantly contributed to the plant collection in this nursery. Volunteer activities or inquiry line: 416-392-1748 This site has developed over many years, transformed by both human design and natural processes to become a dynamic and vibrant habitat.

Advantages of Native Plants

They are uniquely suited to their natural habitat and can therefore survive with less maintenance than do ornamental cultivars.
They provide similar aesthetic qualities to perennial beds and ground covers while having an extended blooming period. Native plants are non-uniform in blooming time as an inherent survival mechanism. Plant breeders bred this out as undesirable, hence cultivars are more uniform.
Beds of native plants become sources of seed and division for propagation and use in other displays. Cultivars, in general, require greater technical care for propagation.
Native plant displays are a link to our natural heritage. Their value as symbols of ecological restoration and environmental protection is significant.
Native beds tend to evolve and develop. As such, they are invaluable as educational devices for the study of biology and ecology. Ornamental displays tend to emphasize growing cycles and cultural requirements. Native beds go beyond this to the very processes of nature itself.
Native plants tend to attract more wildlife (butterflies, etc.) than do ornamental beds. This adds an additional dimension to the display along with the obvious educational advantage. For example, the native Lupine is the exclusive host plant for the Karner Blue Butterfly (extirpated in Canada).
$5.00 for all wildflowers and grasses. $10.00 for trees.

Jane's Walk Weston – Saturday May 2nd


Vibratory Pile Driving Equipment being tested for use West Toronto Diamond project site today

The Toronto Star is reporting…

Today, contractors begin testing a computer-controlled piledriver, brought from France, which will work the steel walls partway into the ground using vibrations.

The hammer piledriver will still be needed to pound the wall the rest of the way in.

Under the agency’s new rules, the community could apply to have the work stopped.

The concessions are a huge departure for GO, which has continued work on the Junction-area rail expansion despite complaints about the diesel-fed piledrivers, which have been hammering pieces of a steel interlocking wall into the ground since January.

Full article from Toronto Star (opens in new window)

Noise complaints finally bring concessions at Junction rail site
Toronto Star April 30, 2009

PDF File info manual of the best practice when using vibration pile drivers, it’s written 1992 but provides a good introduction.

Symes Rd Demarcation Wall almost finished



Symes Rd is now closed to traffic about at its mid point, effectively separating the industrial apart of the area from the new residential homes. Closing this road to vehicular traffic at the rail crossing north of Viella Street and constructing a sound reducing wall, may service the new residents – but the separation it creates between the homes and the industrial district destroys the cultural and employment relationship the Junction has always had between industry and residents.

The area north of the closure in core industrial land has deemed by the city, and provided good and lasting jobs. This new closure removes the factories, their people from the community. If you seek core industrial employment in a community why dismantle their relationship from the community.

The closure is intended to address the concerns of area residents related to heavy truck traffic accessing the industrial area to the north of  St. Clair Avenue West, which needed to be addressed but could it not have been addressed by way of traffic control methods, which left the street open?


City working map for the project

Come out on the street Junction food retailers?


Bloor West Village Independent Food Retailer

There is a difference in the street presence of the Junction food, fruit and vegetable retailers and similar stores in The Bloor West Village and the area around Jane St.  and Annette St.   Junction retailers stay off the street while the food retailers in the other areas come onto the street.
Where fruits and vegetables on offer are on the street the atmosphere and experience of choosing and purchasing such items is greatly enhanced.
Dundas St West in the Junction. would blossom with colour and have a greater activity level if these retailers made use of the streets, why they don’t is a wonder..

Dundas west independent food retailer

Dundas west independent food retailer

Bermingham has two roles in the West Toronto Diamond project


Bermingham Construction Ltd.  is not only one of the contractors installing the piles at the West Toronto Diamond project,  Bermingham Construction Ltd is closely related company to Berminghammer Foundation Equipment which  manufactures the pile drivers being used on the project.

Bermingham created the manufacturing line of their business in the mid-1960s, to manufacture pile drivers to its own specifications, uses and sales to other foundation contractors.

…from the manufacturing side of company site…

Berminghammer Foundation Equipment is closely associated with Bermingham Construction Limited, a Canadian company with over ninety-five years of pile driving experience. Years of extensive research, development, and job performance testing with Berminghammer’s own pile driving crews have gone into the production of the only diesel pile hammer designed expressly for piling contractors.

Mark V Series Diesel Pile Hammers  company page link

Location and photographer informaton Contact in the Junction


WTHS Amalgamation Celebaration


St Clair Ave West TTC extension under subway at Keele St


The St Clair Ave West TTC work continues moving along quickly – here a contractor is changing utility services

Local development apps before council this week

City community council will attend to two development applications this week (Wed), both of which are not getting much attention at the present time.

1) DUNBAR DEVELOPMENTS. 4187 Dundas Street West development plan and the issue between the developer and the city over the numbers of tress to be removed.

from the staff report…

Etobicoke York Community Council – March 26, 2009 Decision Document General Manager advised that of the remaining 7 trees, 5 could be removed subject to conditions but the General Manager refused to issue a permit to destroy Tree Nos. 4192 and 4193, being a red oak and a horse-chestnut, as: inspection of the trees by staff revealed that both are in good condition and, for the reasons set out below, the General Manager cannot support the removal of these trees.

The applicant has appealed this decision to refuse to issue permits to destroy these two trees to Etobicoke York Community Council. The applicant had requested the removal of all 9 trees (including the 2 on the abutting property) to permit the construction of a proposed residential building that was the subject of a zoning and site plan appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (the “OMB”).

The OMB has issued a decision allowing the proposed building; and, in appealing the General Managers refusal, the owner stated that: the above noted decision . . . contradicts decision PL070056 of the Ontario Municipal Board. The decision of the General Manager would not permit the construction of the 7 storey condominium development on site as approved by the Ontario Municipal Board. I believe that the decision of the General Manager cannot ignore and also contradict the decision of the Board ….

Full report PDF


2) Etobicoke York Community Council to recommend that City Council amend the Zoning By-law No. 1-83 in favor of  3385 Dundas Street West Zoning By-law Amendment Application –


The applicant wishes to amend Comprehensive Zoning By-law No. 1-83 for the former City of York to permit the construction of a 6-storey, mixed use building at 3385 Dundas Street West, containing 118 residential units and ground floor retail. The development is intended to be a rental building for individuals 65 years of age and over. No government funding or ownership is proposed. It would be operated as a private, for profit enterprise.

The building is to be designed as an apartment building, in that all of the residential units will have full kitchens. No common dining facilities or nursing care are proposed. It is to be an apartment building oriented to senior citizens as opposed to being a “supported living environment” which one might usually associate with senior citizens.

On the basis that the building is to be occupied by people 65 years of age or older, Technical Services accepted a parking ratio which is less than the normal parking ratio for an apartment building under Comprehensive Zoning By-law 1-83 for the former City of York.

The concern is whether the City, through the tools available to it under this application,can guarantee that the building will only be occupied by people 65 years of age or older, thereby justifying the lower parking ratio. The draft zoning by-law amendment attached to the Final Report does not contain any definition of senior citizen’s dwelling unit.


Full report PDF