Monthly Archives: July 2010

Kiwanis and city’s Casa Loma dispute

City requires Kiwanis to agree to conditions by July 31
At risk is Kiwanis’s management contract for city-owned castle
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier J
uly 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

Lawrence Heights mayoral debate

Debate in high needs needs ‘hood draws tough questions
Five Toronto mayoral candidates face off on their city vision
Kris Scheuer
(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

Jackelyn Van Altenberg ward 13 candidate

Healthcare, safety top priorities for council hopeful
She also wants greater transit accessibility and improved social housing
Kris Scheuer
(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

Bayview Broadway site headed to OMB

Former car dealership lot at 1860 Bayview could become retail complex
City’s Committee of Adjustment rejected plan, developer to appeal to OMB
Kris Scheuer
(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

TTC adopts Greenwood second exit

Transit board approves options for Greenwood and Donlands 2nd exits
Kris Scheuer
(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.

Continue reading

Albert Castells ward 32 candidate

Fixer wants to repair city hall
Reno businessman Albert Castells running in Beaches-East York
Kris Scheuer
(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

City and Kiwanis battle over castle

Kiwanis has run city-owned Casa Loma for over 70 years
City not pleased with Kiwanis lately, may seek new agency to take over
Kris Scheuer
(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.

Continue reading