City requires Kiwanis to agree to conditions by July 31
At risk is Kiwanis’s management contract for city-owned castle
(Written for Town Crier July 29. Aug 4 UPDATE.)
Kiwanis and city are doing battle over the current Casa Loma management contract.
With a city-imposed deadline fast approaching, Kiwanis and the city don’t appear to be any closer to a deal regarding the future management of Casa Loma.
The mayor, some councillors, and city staff expressed frustration at last month’s council, saying the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma has not made more progress on its contract obligations to fix up the landmark castle’s interior.
City council voted July 7 to give Kiwanis until the end of the month to agree in writing to four key issues: establish a staff working group, have the castle’s board meet monthly, develop an updated financial plan (to fulfill contract agreements) and remove the current board chair Richard Wozenilek. Continue reading
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged 31, board, Casa, chair, city, Club, contract, deadline, dispute, July, Kiwanis, Kris Scheuer, Loma, Richard, Town Crier, Wozenilek
Debate in high needs needs ‘hood draws tough questions
Five Toronto mayoral candidates face off on their city vision
(Written July 26 for Town Crier newspaper.)
L-R: Candidates Thomson, Ford, Smitherman, Pantalone, Achampong and debate moderator David Mitchell. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
His opposition to plans to redevelop of Lawrence Heights put mayoral candidate Rob Ford in the hot seat at a recent debate held in the neighbourhood.
At the July 23 debate, one resident accused Ford of carrying a virtual axe to “kill things” as his campaign symbol.
Ford was one of only three councillors who voted against the Lawrence Heights plan July 6 at city council.
Ford responded by saying he didn’t support the plan to replace 1,208 rent-geared-to income units to the area and add around 5,000 private homes because he’d heard opposition from among the 4,000 people who he said signed a petition against the project. But he did support helping residents with access to affordable housing.
“When I drove along Lawrence, every single private apartment that I drove by said bachelor, one bedroom, two bedroom for rent,” said Ford. “We can subsidize your income or rent and put you into private buildings.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged community, David, debate, George Smitherman, Heights, housing, Joe Pantalone, Kris Scheuer, Lawrence, mayoral, Mitchell, Rob Ford, Rocco Achampong, Sarah Thomson, Toronto, Town Crier
Healthcare, safety top priorities for council hopeful
She also wants greater transit accessibility and improved social housing
(Written July 23 for Town Crier.)
Photo courtesy of ward 13 candidate Jackelyn Van Altenberg.
Safety is a matter close to the heart of ward 13 candidate Jackelyn Van Altenberg.
She’s been a paramedic with the city for nine years and stresses the need for improvements in everything from Toronto’s roads, housing to nursing homes.
“I would have a strong focus on the city’s health services and emergency services. As a paramedic, that is where I could be most effective,” she wrote in an email. “My goals would be to create opportunity for and preservation of healthy lifestyle and safe living in our neighborhoods.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged 13, city, Councillor Bill Saundercook, Jackelyn, Kris Scheuer, paramedic, Toronto, Town Crier, TTC, Van Altenberg, ward
Former car dealership lot at 1860 Bayview could become retail complex
City’s Committee of Adjustment rejected plan, developer to appeal to OMB
(Written for Town Crier July 21.)
Residents (L-R) Burt Rairamo, Gordon Deeks, Linda Deeks and Jesper Thoft among those opposed to current retail development plans at 1860 Bayview. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.
Community celebration over the rejection of an application to build a two-storey retail complex at Bayview and Broadway has been short-lived.
The developer, MJB Corporation, is now set to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board after the city’s committee of adjustment refused an application to redevelop the former Brennan’s Pontiac site at 1860 Bayview Ave.
On July 6, the committee ruled the proposal was not desirable for the area and didn’t meet the city’s official plan or zoning bylaws.
“We are disappointed with their decision (to appeal). The city and community’s concerns have been clearly articulated, and the committee of adjustment agrees that the development is not minor in nature,” wrote Wayne Sliberman in an email. Sliberman, a local resident, is part of a working group dealing with the proposal.
MJB Corp applied to build a two-floor retail store covering almost 90 percent of the site, along with 220 parking spaces. Currently the site is zoned to allow a structure that would cover one third of the spot and have a minimum of 242 parking spaces.
The developer’s lawyer Robert Kligerman said now that he’s received the committee’s refusal in writing, he can proceed with an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. Continue reading
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged 1860, Adjustment, Bayview, Brennan’s, Broadway, committee, grocery, Kligerman, Kris Scheuer, lawyer, OMB, Ontario Municipal Board, Pontiac, retail, Robert, Sliberman, store, Town Crier, Wayne
Transit board approves options for Greenwood and Donlands 2nd exits
(Written July 15 for Town Crier.)
TTC now looking to buy 9 Linnsmore or another property nextdoor as a spot to build second exit for Greenwood subway station. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
The TTC has agreed to adopt a community’s proposal for a new exit planned for Greenwood subway station.
But there’s one caveat: It could still involve home expropriation.
The neighbourhood near Greenwood and Donlands station got up in arms in July after the TTC announced plans to build new exits for both subway stations involved expropriation.
The transit commission’s original plan was to buy or expropriate a pair of homes on Strathmore Boulevard including 247, which is owned by Danny and Grace Calia. They have lived there for 51 years, and don’t want to move.
After outcry from the family and neighbours, the community presented a new option at a July 12 public meeting. The TTC has now adopted the option as the go-ahead plan: expropriating property on Linnsmore Crescent instead.
The emergency exit would be located on Linnsmore across from Greenwood station’s current exit/entrance.
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged Amabile, Bruna, Calia, Danny, Dymond, emergency, exit, expropriation, Grace, Greenwood, Gus, Kris Scheuer, Linnsmore, Lisa, second, Soula, station, Strathmore, subway, Town Crier, TTC, Vagenas
Fixer wants to repair city hall
Reno businessman Albert Castells running in Beaches-East York
(Written for Town Crier July 15.)
Photo courtesy of Albert Castells.
Albert Castells wants to apply his fix-it skills to city hall.
Castells has been a mortgage broker, runs a home renovation business now and wants to be the next councillor for Ward 32.
He said Toronto hasn’t been operating the way it should be.
“Customer service is number one,” said Castells, adding if elected, he’d treat his constituents as he does his clients.
“I will serve all my clients equally,” he said. “Everyone should get the same service whether they live on Beech or Rose avenue.”
He accuses the current councillor Sandra Bussin of focusing too much on the Beach community and not on other parts of the eastern ward.
“Ward 32 is the Beach and Danforth and Gerrard. I want to be a voice of everyone. One thing I’ve heard constantly is that people on
Gerrard and Queen and Woodbine feel they are being (ignored),” he said. Continue reading
Kiwanis has run city-owned Casa Loma for over 70 years
City not pleased with Kiwanis lately, may seek new agency to take over
(Written July 8 for Town Crier. UPDATE HERE.)
The city's done millions in external renos, but Kiwanis behind on some of the internal repairs agreed to in current contract. File photo/Town Crier.
Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma has until July 31 to fix its relationship with the city or lose its contract to run Toronto’s famous castle.
Kiwanis has operated the city-owned castle since 1937, but disputes over the current 20-year management agreement have put that partnership at risk.
On July 7, the city voted to give Kiwanis until the end of the month to agree in writing to a series of actions, including developing a financial plan on how the group plans to fulfill its contract obligations to fix up the castle’s interior.
The city contends Kiwanis is woefully behind on a commitment to spend $1.6 million fixing the hunting lodge, visitors centre, dining facilities, and flooring.
Posted in Toronto
Tagged Casa Loma, contract, Councillor Joe Mihevc, David, Kiwanis, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, Miller, Richard, Town Crier, Wozenilek
Low-income business hopefuls look to prosper from loan initiative
(Town Crier column written July 9.)
Fatima Ali got laid off from her job as a personal chef, but don’t think it’s getting her down — she’s applying for a loan to start up her own catering business.
The 23-year-old is one of several youth hoping to qualify for a one-year pilot project geared to helping would-be entrepreneurs start their own business venture.
The initiative was spearheaded by financial institution Alterna Savings, who has partnered with the Toronto Community Foundation and the City of Toronto.
It is geared to unemployed, out of school 18-24 year olds living in low income, west end neighbourhoods, including Bathurst-Finch, and Lawrence Heights.
“I was a private chef catering clientele meetings,” the bubbly Ali tells me at the July 8 launch of the micro loan initiative.
“When I’m cooking or baking, I’m in a positive vibe.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged Ali, Alterna Savings, catering, community, David, Fatima, Faustin, Foundation, Kris Scheuer, loans, Lozandieu, Mayor, micro, Miller, RAW, Robert, Toronto, Town Crier, Xamuel, youth
TTC now open to new sites for emergency subway exits
Strathmore Blvd families hopeful their homes won’t be expropriated
(Written for Town Crier July 13. July 15 update.)
Grace and Danny Calia with grandson Louie, daughter Bruna Amabile at their Strathmore home. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
Danny and Grace Calia hope to get a good night’s rest tonight at their home on 247 Strathmore Boulevard where they’ve lived for 51 years.
At a community meeting July 12, the TTC agreed to pursue an alternative location for a new second exit for Greenwood station that wouldn’t involve expropriating their property and the one next door at 245 Strathmore.
“We’ve been here 50 years. I raised kids here, grandkids here,” said Danny Calia from his home July 13. “I hope they come up with a good idea to make us happy. The mind is relaxed now.”
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged Adam Giambrone, Bruna Amabile, Danny, Donlands, emergency, exits, Grace Calia, Greenwood, Kris Scheuer, Linnsmore Crescent, Lisa Dymond, second, stations, Strathmore Boulevard, Town Crier, TTC
Toronto’s Victoria Village school needs your vote
Sloane PS could win $25,000 upgrade if it makes top ten
Voting online July 13 and 14 only
(July 14 update: Port Dover won over Sloane PS.)
As I reported July 8, the east end public school could get a $25,000 sports facility upgrade if enough people vote to put it in the top ten.
All ten finalist (out of 20 remaining) in the Kraft Celebration Tour contest will each win a $25,000 upgrade.
Today from noon until tomorrow July 14 at 11:59 am Sloane PS faces off online against Port Dover Sports Complex. The top ten winners are also all part of a 10-day TSN sports broadcast tour of their communities.
Vote for Victoria Village’s Sloane PS now by clicking here.