News & Opinion

Rob Ford’s big crack up, Honest Ed’s sale, Trinity-St. Paul Centre reno, and more this week in the neighbourhood | November 1, 2013

In Coming events, This week in the neighbourhood on November 1, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Rob Ford had a very bad day on October 31, 2013 as police release evidence of multiple suspicious rendezvous with drug dealer Sandro Lisi, and Police Chief Bill Blair confirms police have the Ford crack video | Image: Rob Ford press scrum 2011

Rob Ford had a very bad day on October 31, 2013 as Police Chief Bill Blair confirmed police have the Ford crack video in their possession | Image: West Annex News

By West Annex News | Here’s what’s been happening this week in and around the neighbourhood.

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Our top story . . . what else but Mayor Ford’s very, very, bad day on October 31st. With pundits across North America weighing in, we thought we’d offer you links to various source material, so you can take a direct look at the evidence yourself:

Rob Ford pushes the press off his property October 31, 2013 | Image: cbc.ca video screen grab

Rob Ford pushes the press off his property October 31, 2013 | Image: cbc.ca video screen grab

We are proud to see the New York Times recognize that even our crack addicts say “Thank you” when having hysterical melt-downs in their driveway.

Rob_Ford_pees_on_tree_while_under_police_surveillance_2013

Police surveillance photos of Mayor Ford peeing on a tree | Toronto Police handout/QMI Agency

Talk about gravy, the 474 pages of police documents and photographs released yesterday show that during office hours, our $173,869 per year mayor spends vast chunks of his time rendezvousing with an accused drug dealer and taking delivery of small packages at gas stations and convenience stores, and drinking vodka and pissing on trees in public.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair announces police have the Ford crack video | Image: CP24 video screen grab

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair announces police have the Ford crack video | Image: CP24 video screen grab

Then there was Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair’s press conference in which he acknowledged that the police have the famous Ford crack video in their possession, recovered from a computer hard drive seized during the Project Traveller raids in June, 2013.

Doug_Ford_watches_Bill_Blair_press_conference_Oct_31_2013

Doug Ford watches Bill Blair press conference October 31, 2013 | CP24 video screen grab

You know the ship is really sinking when the rats start to disembark. Former Ford enablers CP24 posted a video of Councillor Doug Ford watching Chief Blair’s presser on TV in Ford’s City Hall office. DoFo was uncharacteristically silent after the day’s stunning revelations.

The Toronto Sun put out a special afternoon edition of the paper recapping the day’s events, and in which the Sun called for Mayor Ford to stand down.

Finally, it’s fun to take a fresh look at Ford fishin’ buddy Stephen Harper’s visit to Fordfest in 2011. Tip to the PM: when you choose your friends not by their character but by how rabid their partisanship, expect things to blow up in your face now and again.

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Honest Ed’s site sold to developer Ian Gillespie

Honest_Ed's_on_Bloor_Street_West_Toronto

The shoe finally dropped. The much-rumoured sale of the 1.8 hectacre Honest Ed site including Mirvish Village to Vancouver mega-developer Ian Gillespie’s Westbank Properties was finally announced on October 27, 2013.

Although vendor David Mirvish blithely claimed Gillespie has a “wonderful track record” and “want to make a contribution to our community” and will “respect the Annex”, Mirvish did not obtain any contractual commitments from Gillespie to that effect.

Shangri-la_Vancouver_by_Kyle_Pearce

Ian Gillespie’s 61 storey Shangi-La towers over the 48 storey Wall Centre, Vancouver’s second tallest building | Image by Kyle Pearce

Gillespie is known for his love of the super-tall and super-luxe. He complained that the Vancouver skyline was “boring” as justification for building his 61-storey Shangri-La hotel/condominium at a time Vancouver’s tallest building was 48 storeys tall.

Gillespie and Westbank are being sued by disgruntled Shangri-la condo buyers for false promises about cost-sharing with the hotel, and are accused of insensitively exacerbating the housing crisis for the poor with their efforts to gentrify Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.

Mirvish says that Gillespie has agreed to lease back Ed’s to him for two or three years, while the new development proposal works its way through the Toronto planning process.

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Trinity-St. Paul Centre unveils renovation

The Trinity-St. Paul's Centre has reopened after an extensive renovation to the performance and worship space

The Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre has reopened after an extensive renovation to the performance and worship space

The Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre at opened its doors on Saturday, October 26, 2013 to show off the results of its $3 million renovation spearheaded by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

The space now boasts a permanent stage and new flooring. Individual upholstered theatre-style seats have replaced the pews.

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The heritage view of Queen' Park has been protected by an Official Plan Amendment

The heritage view of Queen’ Park has been protected by an Official Plan Amendment

Heritage preservationists and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam have scored a victory protecting the heritage view of the Ontario Legislature. Wong-Tam conducted a two-year battle to convince City Planning to support an Official Plan Amendment to protect the views of Queen’s Park and to convince developers to drop all appeals to the OMB. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Upcoming:

Friday November 1, 5PM to 8PM, Vermont Square: There will be free cider and hot chocolate for the Seaton Village Community’s Pumpkin Patch in Vermont Square. All are invited to bring their pumpkins to the south-west end of the park any time after 4PM.  The City will dispose of the pumpkins after the event. [Seaton Village Residents’ Association]

Monday, November 4 at 5:00PM in the See House, 120 Howland Avenue: Royal St. George’s College Neighbourhood Liaison Meeting. Once a year, RSGC is obliged to hold a neighbourhood liaison meeting to discuss traffic and other issues of concern to the neighbourhood. Councillor Adam Vaughan and his constituency assistant Areej Hasso are expected to be in attendance.

As for us, we’d like to know:

1. When is the Hydro transformer leaving that was installed on the lawn of St. Alban the Martyr Cathedral without the consent of Toronto Heritage Preservation Services?

2. Hey, what happened to this tree that the OMB and bylaws ordered RSGC to preserve?

2. Hey, what happened to this tree that the OMB and bylaws ordered RSGC to preserve?

3.   How did the low fence promised by RSGC on the Albany Avenue side of the campus morph into a penitentiary-style barrier that’s even higher than the Toronto fence bylaw permits?

4. Heritage signage: RSGC promised new signage for all the designated buildings on campus. Instead, all heritage signage was torn down by RSGC in the fall of 2012.

RSGC PROMISE: heritage signage for all designated buildings. DELIVERED: all heritage signage torn down.

RSGC PROMISE: heritage signage for all designated buildings.
DELIVERED: all heritage signage torn down.

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All images are Louise Morin for West Annex News unless otherwise noted. 

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Related:

Last week in the neighbourhood: In which we learn Honest Ed’s sign is younger than Michael Jackson’s thriller, and other news.

The Cathedral of St. Alban the Martyr: truly a national treasure

Visit Kyle Pearce’ photostream on flickr

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