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Leaside Residents Association:

Early June update

1. C of A resumption

The Committee of Adjustment ("C of A") is resuming hearings this month. The first hearing for North York District, encompassing Leaside, will be virtual on June 11. It will consider 20 applications, including two in Leaside: 27 Divadale Dr and 77 Southvale Dr. Plans and related materials are available at www.toronto.ca/aic.

The LRA considers each C of A application on its merits and in general intervenes on height variances (particularly if accompanied by a flat roof, a "bonnet on a box", or a "jumped up" design), out-of-scale development (particularly if affecting neighbours' light, view, or privacy), and applications where immediate and nearby neighbours voice significant opposition.

2. Bellwood grounds closure

Bellwood Health Services operates an addiction treatment rehab facility at the north end of Brentcliffe Dr. Since re-opening in 2016, the facility has welcomed everyone to use its grounds for walking, dog-walking, and so on.

Bellwood recently informed us about several problems that it is experiencing with people entering its site:

  • Being verbally abusive to staff and patients, e.g. "you are all going to get COVID-19 and die";
  • Bringing and consuming alcohol on the property, and refusing to leave when confronted by staff;
  • Bringing pets into contact with patients;
  • Not observing physical distancing rules;
  • One person walking around the site with a baseball bat in hand;
  • Taking photographs of patients;
  • Not cleaning up after pets.

Accordingly, Bellwood has placed signs to restrict grounds access to patients, staff, and scheduled deliveries. Bellwood has indicated that, post COVID-19, it hopes to agree on some basic rules and re-open the grounds to local residents. The LRA will work with Bellwood on this matter.

3. Holland Bloorview expansion

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is planning a two-storey expansion on the north side of the facility.

The aim of the expansion is to "continue to advance its discoveries that will change the lives of children and youth living with disabilities and their families. Once the expansion is completed, the hospital will have the highest concentration of childhood disability research anywhere in the world."

Holland Bloorview has reached out to the LRA to share news about a virtual town hall for the Leaside community regarding this expansion. The town hall will be held in the evening of Tuesday, June 23.

If you'd like to attend, please check the following website closer to the date for the time and access details: https://hollandbloorview.ca/stories-news-events/events/holland-bloorview-research-expansion-virtual-town-hall.

You can also submit questions in advance to the panel by emailing growhbresearch@hollandbloorview.ca. More information is available on its website (www.GrowHBResearch.ca) and social media pages (Twitter @HBKidsHospital, Facebook.com/HBKRH).

The application for the expansion is expected to go to the Committee of Adjustment in the summer. If approved, construction would start in fall 2020.

rendering of Holland Bloorview expansion

4. ActiveTO

The LRA has sent a letter of support for improvements to Toronto's cycling network that would help connect Leaside to the areas south of Bloor St.

In the LRA's view, active forms of transportation (e.g. walking, cycling) must be encouraged, particularly if public transit use remains low in the aftermath of COVID-19, but people will use active forms of transportation only if they are - and feel - safe doing so.

On this note, please find below an excerpt from a recent submission by Cycle Don Valley Midtown to Councillor Jaye Robinson's office:

"More space for walking and biking on Bayview south of Moore to Pottery Road:

We also ask that ... the City consider installing separated space on this dangerous section of Bayview for pedestrians and people on bikes. Many people want to access the trails off of Bayview at Crother’s Woods, the Lower Don Trail at Pottery Road, Evergreen Brickworks and the two-way multi-use path that runs on the east side of Bayview to Rosedale Valley Road. Downtown cycling commuters use this route to get to the Sherbourne Bike Lanes via Nesbitt Drive and others use it to access the quiet streets in Rosedale, Chorley Park and Mud Creek. Now that Bayview is closed to traffic below Rosedale Valley Road for recreation on weekends, we can expect more people will want to take advantage of this open space for walking, biking and wheeling. But getting to any of these destinations on Bayview is unsafe and there is little space for physical distancing. A temporary separated space will bridge the gap until the study can be completed and we know what needs to be done permanently to ensure the safety of all users."

5. Vanderhoof sidewalk

As part of the Missing Sidewalk Installation Program, City Council adopted a resolution to install a sidewalk on the south side of Vanderhoof Ave between Brentcliffe Rd (just south of the plaza) to Brian Peck Cres.

The LRA wrote a letter of support, while noting that, as a general principle, sidewalk construction and widening should take away from roadway width rather than from road allowances/boulevards, given that roadway widths generally exceed standards which may encourage speeding.

6. Membership matters

Annual memberships

Thank you to everyone who renewed or purchased an annual membership for 2020! If you haven't, please consider supporting your residents' association: go to our website and click "Join the LRA" on the right-hand side. Or you can complete a paper form and mail it to us with a cheque. Annual membership is $30 (+$1 for online payment). If you're unsure about your membership status, please respond to this email and we'll let you know.

Email subscription

If you've been forwarded this email, please click here to subscribe. It's free. We usually send one email per month or two.

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