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April 2021 newsletter

Metrolinx map of proposed Ontario Line maintenance and service facility


Ontario Line facility

Metrolinx has selected a 43-acre site in Thorncliffe Park (and part of the Leaside Business Park) to build the maintenance and service facility for the Ontario Line, which will run between the Science Centre and Ontario Place.

The LRA, while supportive of the Ontario Line, is deeply concerned about the impact of this construction on Thorncliffe Park, particularly the forced displacement of many family businesses that have struggled to become established.

Please join Metrolinx on Thursday, April 15, at 6:30pm for a presentation and Q&A. Learn more, pre-register, and submit questions in advance.

Cycling on sidewalks

The LRA recently received a letter from a reader about cycling on sidewalks. As a gentle reminder, Chapter 950 of the Toronto Municipal Code permits cycling on sidewalks by people 13 years of age or younger, but otherwise prohibits it.

The LRA urges all people 14 years of age or older not to cycle on sidewalks. That said, the LRA recognizes the general inadequacy of Toronto's infrastructure to give people sufficiently safe cycling options on roads, and encourages people who support safer cycling options to contact our City Councillor and/or to get involved in local advocacy groups like CycleTO.

The LRA supports an expansion of cycling infrastructure wherever it makes sense to do so, combined with greater motorist attentiveness to cyclists. (Take Transport for London's 1-minute online awareness test if you haven't done so!) 

Our reader concludes with four "harm reduction" suggestions:

  • "Approach pedestrians slowly - older people don’t react as fast as you think and need time to move to one side
  • Ring your bell early and often - keep in mind that many seniors don’t hear that well and need to know you are coming
  • Always pass on the left side - this way people know where to move when they hear your bell
  • If the sidewalk is crowded, walk your bike until it is clear to ride again."

As always, you are always encouraged to contact us and let us know your thoughts about any issues in and around Leaside.

City of Toronto rendering of Garden Suites


Garden Suites

The City is conducting a survey seeking your opinions about Garden Suites: second houses built in the rear yards of detached, semi-detached, or townhouse properties, generally smaller than, and detached from, the principal residence. The deadline is April 30. 

The issue arises as part of the City's plan to increase density in Toronto's established neighbourhoods in response to Provincial requirements. The City hopes that these new homes will provide affordable rentals and homes for, among others, grown children and aging parents.

The study follows a decision two years ago to permit Laneway Suites as of right in certain lots that are next to public lanes. Garden Suites would be permitted as of right in lots that are not next to public lanes, subject to policies and zoning rules that are yet to be decided.

If you have any opinions on this matter, please complete the City's survey by April 30.

Bayview/Eglinton high-rise - no news yet

In February we shared our concern about a potential high-rise on the southeast corner of Bayview and Eglinton, possibly through the use of a provincial Minister's Zoning Order to circumvent municipal planning processes. Despite a letter and engagement with City Planning, we have received no additional information yet. The LRA continues to monitor the situation and strongly opposes the construction of high-rises on Bayview.

Bigger mid-rise on Bayview

The proposal for the midrise at 1710-1736 Bayview will be considered by North York Community Council on April 20. The LRA expresses its concern about the increased density (75% more units than in their earlier application), the height (9 storeys), the removal of all ground-level retail, projections overhanging the sidewalks, and multiple setback variances.

Burke Brook

The City is studying stormwater and sanitation risks from erosion in Burke Brook - the stream south of Sunnybrook Hospital - between Bayview Avenue and the West Don River. If you'd like to participate in its study and get updates by email, read more and subscribe here.

Lake Leaside

... will be drained and replaced in the near future. Thank you to all who have advocated tirelessly over the years for this site to be remedied.


COVID vaccinations

Thank you to all eligible Leasiders who have been vaccinated so far. Many of us are fortunate to have good internet access and the ability to navigate websites and make online bookings, but others may find it more challenging through no fault of their own. Please consider taking the initiative to help others - family members, friends, caregivers, and more - to get vaccinated too.

Leaside Life

You look forward to getting your copy in your mailbox every month, but did you know that Leaside Life is also online? You can check out their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods

Are you interested in provincial planning issues more generally -- such as the proposed Highway 413 or the Greenbelt? If so, check out the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods.

Membership matters

Annual memberships for 2021

As a reminder, all annual memberships expire on December 31 of every year. If you haven't yet renewed your membership, please support the LRA by purchasing a 2021 membership. It costs $30 (+$1 for online payments). We've just added e-transfers as an option, in addition to credit card, Paypal, and cheque.

Email subscription

If you were forwarded this email, you can join our mailing list. It's free, we send about one email per month, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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