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December 2020 newsletter

The LRA wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
Photo courtesy of Leaside resident (and LRA director) Alex Pino


Leaside's residential character

The LRA has written to Councillor Jaye Robinson to request a multi-pronged strategy to protect Leaside's residential character. Please read our letter.

Bigger on Bayview?

Last month, we reported on a new 9-storey development planned for 1718-1734 Bayview. The developer has since acquired additional properties on Bayview, including the other half of a pair of semi-detached houses (1736) and four additional properties to the south (1710-1716, to the church). These additional properties make this development a very large mid-rise project with a frontage of 95m, up from 65m, and 10m longer than the current construction at 1674-1684 Bayview between Soudan and Hillsdale.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and to depute as appropriate. The LRA continues to favour a comprehensive whole-block strategy, given the prominence of this block and its proximity to the future Leaside station, rather than piecemeal developments.

Consultation for Laird mid-rises

A date and time have been set—January 19, 2021, 6:30-8.30pm—for the City's community consultation meeting for two new mid-rise developments proposed for 126-132 Laird Dr and 134 Laird Dr. The City's website has more information, including instructions for registering to attend by Webex.


The LRA is concerned about the drastically increased use of Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZOs). MZOs allow the provincial government to re-zone land without the need to consult the public (or even the municipality concerned!). Over 35 MZOs have been issued since 2018, in contrast to 2 MZOs for all of 2016 and 2017.

To date, no MZOs have been issued for Leaside. However, they have been used elsewhere in Toronto, including in the Distillery District and on the west bank of the Don near the Eastern Ave overpass.

The LRA opposes the use of MZOs in all but extraordinary circumstances, such as those with province-wide implications. The LRA supports reforming and optimizing local planning processes, rather than circumventing them.

Proposed routing of northern segment of Ontario Line, via Metrolinx
Proposed route of northern segment of Ontario Line, Metrolinx


Ontario Line rail facility

The LRA and the Leaside Business Park Association have written to Metrolinx about the proposed location of the Ontario Line's Maintenance Service Facility.

The latest proposal sees the Ontario Line run through the southeast of the Leaside Business Park (i.e. southeast of the CP rail line) from Overlea Blvd to Flemingdon Park, rather than following Overlea Blvd as originally planned. That means the facility could be located in the Leaside Business Park.

The LRA supports the Ontario Line for environmental and congestion relief reasons. The LRA also supports, in principle, locating the facility in the Leaside Business Park in order to safeguard these lands for their long-time planning purpose—an employment zone close to the centre of Toronto—rather than risk re-zoning for more residential density.

Transportation Innovation Zone

The LRA and the Leaside Business Park Association have written to the City about putting Leaside forward as a Transportation Innovation Zone trial. You can read our letter here.

Green metallic sweat bee (Agapostemon virescens), Toronto's official bee, image from Mayor John Tory's Twitter feed



The City has grants up to $5,000 for creating or expanding pollinator gardens on public or private lands, including "multiple front-yard gardens on the same street". See the PollinateTO website for eligibility requirements, which include having an eligible trustee. Deadline is January 8, 2021.

Trace Manes ice skating

In response to our query, the City has told the LRA that a group of neighbours has submitted an application to build a natural ice rink in Trace Manes Park this winter. Big thanks go to all who will be volunteering their time and energy for such a worthwhile project, particularly this winter!

Holland Bloorview playground

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital recently launched a new accessible playground. Visit their website for more information and photos.

Naming of laneway

On January 13, 2021, North York Community Council will consider a motion to name the lane between Donlea Dr, Laird Dr, Eglinton Ave E, and Sutherland Dr as "Barbers Lane" to honour the barbers who have served Leaside over the years.

New LBPA President

The LRA welcomes the incoming President of the Leaside Business Park Association, Leslie Kellen, Director of Operations and Partner with XYZ Storage (formerly All-Canadian Self Storage). We hope to cooperate and work closely with them on some of the many issues that we have in common like development and transportation.

Burke Brook trail

The LRA has informed 311 about repairs needed to Burke Brook trail, which runs south of Sunnybrook Hospital. See a recent photo showing a trail hazard.

Leaside Walks

Looking for some physically-distanced community activities during lockdown? Consider a self-guided walk in our neighbourhood, as originally published in Leaside Life earlier this year:

Membership matters

Annual Meeting

Due to COVID-19, the LRA's 2020 Annual Meeting will be held virtually. The proposed date is January 27, 2021. Additional details will be available shortly.

Annual memberships for 2021

Thank you to everyone who has purchased an annual membership for 2021. If you haven't, please support the LRA by purchasing a membership online. If you prefer, a paper form is also available. Annual membership is $30 (+$1 for online payment).

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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