All posts in Roncesvalles Village Streetscape Strategy

Rainbow Songs on Roncy


Rainbow Songs Inc. offers exciting interactive music programs for children from birth to 5 years old. Our methodology focuses on the musical development of your child. Our 40 minute classes are taught in a fun, non-competitive and inclusive environment that encourages the participation of children and adults alike. Founded in 2003, our programs have quickly grown to be the most popular of their kind in Toronto. Currently, we have 20 locations throughout the Toronto area.

The Rainbow Songs approach to teaching and learning comes from the belief that there is interconnectedness between music, movement and language that support each other through the learning process. I’ve often conceptualized the relationship of three elements as the three points of a triangle. The triangle, with its inherent support and structural integrity, is an apt metaphor for this method as it can support learning in the same way triangles support structures from the pyramids to modern day buildings. Let’s briefly define the three points on the triangle:

Music – The structured organization of sound made up of melody, rhythm, and harmony.
Movement – All types of purposeful motion from small hand gestures to jumping and leaping including: actions, signs, dancing, crawling, running etc.
Language – The organization of and use of words through speech: Lyrics, poems, names, verbs, nouns etc.
These three systems define the points of the triangle. In between each pair of points there are sides that are created. Each one of these sides is a combination of the points:

The three sides of the triangle become:
The side between movement and music gives us dance.
The side between music and language gives us song.
The side between language and movement gives us sign language.

Rainbow Songs Inc.
277 Roncesvalles Ave.
Toronto ON M6R 2M3

Phone: 416 535 5247
Fax: 416 535 9132

Toronto’s core losing jobs to condos, catches up with the Junction terms of commercial loss?


This is a rather interesting article, although it focuses  on the issue as related to office space and not the loss  light engineering, food processing and manufacturing that has devastated the the Junction for 3 decades. The loss of the manuservise corein teh Junction decimated the retail strip of Dundas St. west from which it has not recovered as of yet. Yes its interesting and local now the strip but its not the crowded bustling strip it was from the turn of the century to the late 70’s.

Interesting though the loss of the manuservise core really did little to affect the residential societal styles and modes of home ownership, still cannot figure that out.

 (Toronto Star article)

Toronto’s core losing jobs to condos


When Iain Dobson sees another condo or condo-hotel springing up on prime downtown land just steps from the subway, he becomes more convinced than ever that Toronto is risking its own future by trading off jobs for people.

Toronto is reaching a tipping point — a shortage of development-ready land for new office towers at the same time thousands of new financial services jobs are projected for downtown and more companies are looking to return to the city core from the suburbs, says Dobson.

The former commercial brokerage executive and co-author of a report for the Canadian Urban Institute warns that Toronto has allowed construction of so many condo towers on what were meant to be office building sites, there is only enough development-ready land for about 4 million square feet of new office space left in the downtown.

Even the old converted “brick-and-beam” buildings to the west and east of the core, now home to some 18 million square feet of commercial development, are close to being full, says Dobson.

“The area within 500 metres of the subway is prime get yourself to work and back again space and when it gets eaten up by a lot of residential development, you have to wonder where will the new offices go?,” says Dobson.

He points to buildings like the 70-storey Trump Tower and 65-storey Shangri-La Hotel, both hotel and condo developments on land once slated for offices. They are among twelve new highrise condos, with 5,707 new units, under construction in the downtown core right now.

One-third of all jobs in the GTA are office jobs, notes the report, The New Geography of Office Location and the Consequences of Business as Usual in the GTA.

Thirty years ago, 63 per cent of office space was located in the downtown financial district or directly along subway lines. But so many businesses have flocked to the suburbs, as of 2010, 54 per cent of office space was located in the road-dependent 905 regions.

That dramatic shift, thanks to plentiful land and cheap taxes, not only clogged major roads, it turned the core into a one-horse town dominated by the financial services sector.

“The 416 region has become the bedroom community for the 905 regions,” says Dobson.

There is some evidence that’s starting to shift as environmentally conscious companies such as Coke and Telus consolidate suburban operations in the core to ease long commutes and be close to where employees live.

But governments need to do more to ease commercial taxes, integrate transit to growth areas and review land use policies for any developable land within a five-minute walk of subways with a focus on office rather than more condo development.

Commercial realtors say they are managing to find sufficient office space for companies that are looking. Colliers International says, in fact, a number of financial district tenants are moving into new offices on the Railways Lands, which is freeing up hundreds of thousands of feet of prime space in the financial district.

Realtor Cushman & Wakefield notes that almost 4 million square feet of office space has come on stream downtown since 2009 and 5.2 million more is planned. It estimates that’s enough, given current demand, for about nine more years of growth.



Roncesvalles Av. concrete laydown for tracks

PRA’s May 1st Parkdale Village Walk

from the Parkdale Residents Association…

Parkdale Village Walk: A Sense of History and Community

The Parkdale Residents Association invites you to join us in an exploration
of Parkdale on Saturday, May 1st, starting at 2 pm. The walk will begin
outside of the Parkdale Library at 1303 Queen St W.

This walk will be as diverse as the neighbourhood of Parkdale. Walkers will
be given a brief history of the Village of Parkdale as we begin in the Village
Square. From there, we will walk a small section of this “unique village
within a metropolis,” looking at and exploring the history, architecture,
green spaces, spiritual places, cultures and people that make this a true
melting pot. The walk ends back at the Village Square with light
refreshments in what was the Fire Hall and is now the Masaryk-Cowan
Community Recreation Centre.

A Parkdale Village Walk is one of the international Jane’s Walks, named in
honour of the late urban planner, Jane Jacobs.

The walk will last approximately 1 and 1/2 hours. The rain date is Sunday,
May 2nd, at 2 pm.

You may email or call 416-533-0044 for more

Interesting book about the locale


Suburb Slum Urban Village
Transformations in Toronto’s Parkdale Neighbourhood, 1875-2002

From the publishers site…

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations

1 A Good Place to Live? Perceptions and Realities of Suburbs, Slums, and Urban Villages
2 The Flowery Suburb: Parkdale’s Development, 1875-1912
3 “Becoming a Serious Slum”: Decline in Parkdale, 1913-1966
4 From Bowery to Bohemia: The Urban Village, 1967-2002
5 Why Does Parkdale Matter?

Suburb, Slum, Urban Village examines the relationship between image and reality for one city neighbourhood — Toronto’s Parkdale. Carolyn Whitzman tracks Parkdale’s story across three eras: its early decades as a politically independent suburb of the industrial city; its half-century of ostensible decline toward becoming a slum; and a post-industrial period of transformation into a revitalized urban village. This book also shows how Parkdale’s image influenced planning policy for the neighbourhood, even when the prevailing image of Parkdale had little to do with the actual social conditions there.

Whitzman demonstrates that this misunderstanding of social conditions had discriminatory effects. For example, even while Parkdale’s reputation as a gentrified area grew in the post-sixties era, the overall health and income of the neighbourhood’s residents was in fact decreasing, and the area attracted media coverage as a “dumping ground” for psychiatric outpatients. Parkdale’s changing image thus stood in stark contrast to its real social conditions. Nevertheless, this image became a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it contributed to increasingly skewed planning practices for Parkdale in the late twentieth century.

This rich and detailed history of a neighbourhood’s actual conditions, imaginary connotations, and planning policies will appeal to scholars and students in urban studies, planning, and geography, as well as to general readers interested in Toronto and Parkdale’s urban history

At the Parkdale Residents Association meeting on
Thursday, March 11th, at the May Robinson Auditorium, 20 West
Lodge Avenue, from 7 to 9 PM, this book will be reviewed.

Note: Chapters online indicates the paperback is not yet released the blog will post updates when it is.


– Not Yet Released March 05 2010 checked

Currently zoned industrial land owner seeks change to retail use

30 weston rd meeting AM

DATE: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
TIME: 7:30 pm
PLACE: Etobicoke Civic Centre, Council Chamber
399 The West Mall, Toronto M9C 2Y2

Read the offical notice over at the


Dundas Street West and High Park Avenue traffic lights will be turned on Oct 8th at 10am

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The traffic control signals at the intersection of Dundas Street West and High Park Avenue (PX2207) are scheduled to be activated next Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 10:00 am.

A community startup ceremony will be held a few days later and the date will be posted here in few days.

West End Food Co-op’s final public map-making, Wednesday September 23rd

West End Food Co-op’s final public map-making

This wrap-up workshop will be taking place Wednesday September 23rd
from 5:30-8:00pm at the Japanese Paper Place, 77 Brock Street (just south of
the train tracks).

We have held more than 10 community food mapping workshops and sessions in
Parkdale this summer and are excited and inspired by everyone’s interest in
improving our community food system. To see reports and maps from all of these
events, please visit:

This final workshop will be a fun and important opportunity to look at all of
the maps created this summer, talk about next steps, and create a shared
picture of food in Parkdale.

Whether you have attended past mapping events or not, your voice and ideas are
important for building a better food community! I have attached a flyer for
this event, and hope you can share it with others who might be interested or
whose voice should be heard.

The amazing new Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area Capital Design Strategy

The 97 page report about the Parkdale Village Business Improvement comprehensive streetscape audit and strategy is an interesting read for people concerned with a strategy for community development.

The Junction also requires such a study, getting one started which has been spoken about for a lot of people needs to happen if the community is to have input into the “development” of the community.

from the report…

In 2008, the BIA Board of Management agreed to undertake a comprehensive streetscape audit and strategy in order to develop a framework for consistent treatment to the public realm within their boundary. A Steering Committee of the Board oversaw the development of the strategy that included input from the BIA general membership and other local stakeholders. The BIA Board subsequently adopted the Parkdale BIA Capital Design Strategy, as prepared by Urban Strategies and Victor Ford and Associates, at its February 2, 2009, meeting.

DECBEMBER 2008 report – opens PDF in new window

Staff report opens PDF in new window Railway Lands Pedestrian Bridge Design Charette designs up

a must see!


Designer Nathaniel Addison and Khalid Al Nasser green-north2.jpg

Designer Alex Soloviev

Designer Alex Soloviev

Railway Lands Pedestrian Bridge Design Charette at the urban forum site

The Railway Lands Pedestrian Bridge Design Charette designs are now all posted on the forum. They received 16 submissions . Now its time they want  you to join in on the process by voting on the submissions. Voting closes on Friday June 12th at 6PM.

It’s an exciting bunch of great rendered drawings , definitely worth looking at and thinking about

Link to forum site where the entires are posted [opens in new window]

If you have never visited the site – it’s great and registering to vote on the designs is safe. Please do the city needs more of this type of effort and the the organizers are to be encouraged

…from the  bridgingthedesigngap site…

If you are already a registered member of, you can click the link above to view all submissions, comment and vote for each design via the poll provided.

Special Note: You need to be a registered member to post comments and vote for submissions. Please take a moment to register first via this link: REGISTER AT URBANTORONTO.CA

The registration process is simple – just enter a username, choose and confirm a password and enter and confirm your email address. Once you have registered, you can proceed to the PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE DESIGN CHARETTE section to review the submissions, comment and vote!