Sites on Toronto heritage backlog list waiting for reports
(Written March 22 for Town Crier.)
Lawrence Park resident Alex Genzebach wants area homes preserved as heritage sites. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.
A hundred years ago Lawrence Park was a garden suburb built on farmland.
Toronto’s population at the time: 376,538.
The fifth home to be built here back in 1910 was a dark red brick house at 110 Dawlish Avenue. On Jan. 11, 1911 Edith Spohn moved in to this home with her husband Julian Sale, whose family ran a leather goods store on King Street West. They had a gas stove but no electricity or paved roads.
Spohn and Sale’s home is one worth preserving, area residents say.
There’s currently a push to add this home, plus five others in Lawrence Park, to the city’s heritage property list.
Problem is, there are about 100 properties waiting for reports from an already-taxed Heritage Preservation staff and the historic Lawrence Park homes are only six among them.
City heritage staffer Bruce Hawkins says it’s hard to know exactly how long it’ll take for heritage reports on the six nominated Lawrence Park homes as there could be other properties higher in the queue.
City cancels waiting list for free service
Everyone will have to pay for their own service
(Written March 3 for Town Crier.)
This home on Euclid Ave has a disconnected downspout already. The city's making it mandatory for everyone to do the same. Photo by Kris Scheuer.
The city has reneged on a promise to provide free downspout disconnections for almost 900 homeowners in North York.
In a budget-cutting move on Feb. 23, the city voted to end this free service as of March 1.
About 7,000 Toronto households on the waiting list will now have to pay out of their own pocket. What’s more, anyone who doesn’t disconnect their downspout by the mandated time may face court-imposed fines.
The city requires downspout disconnection to avoid sewer back-ups during heavy storms. This forces water run-off from a roof eavestrough to pour into a front yard rather than filter into a road sewer. The lawn absorption also takes strain off water treatment processing plants.
Back in 2007, the city voted to move from a voluntary program where the city offered the service for free to those who requested it to a mandatory one where residents pay.
In response, 37,600 people signed up before the cut-off date and since then, staff has been working their way through the applications.
It got whittled down to under 7,000 as of Jan. 28, but those on the list waited in vain.
Cancelling the free service now will save Toronto $673,000 in operating costs annually and $7.8 million total in capital costs over three years. On average it costs the city $1,000 per resident to provide this service including paying a contractor, contract procurement costs, inspection and administrative costs.