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Archive for the ‘Coming events’ Category

Na na na na hey hey hey Rob Ford, Barrio Coreano and Harvest Kitchen openings, and more this week in the neighbourhood | November 22, 2013

In Arrivals & Departures, Coming events, Heritage & History, This week in the neighbourhood, Toronto politics on November 21, 2013 at 12:45 AM
All is calm at Toronto City Hall following the neutering of Mayor Rob Ford

All is calm at Toronto City Hall following the political neutering of  Mayor Rob Ford

By West Annex News | So the deed is done. Our municipal boil has been lanced. Peace, order and good government reign. You know the details. But here are a few fun items you might have missed:

Doug_Ford_and_hidden_vodka_on_CNN

Doug Ford on CNN with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka stashed under his desk | CNN screen capture via Daily Buzz

Self-avowed teetotaler Doug Ford was interviewed in his office by CNN with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka clearly visible stashed under his desk. [Daily Buzz]

Chris Farley stars in Rob Ford the Movie

Chris Farley stars in Rob Ford the Movie | Image credit: Youtube screen capture

The whole incredible story of Rob Ford’s rise and fall is brought to life in this brilliant short film made entirely out of clips from the movies of the late Chris Farley.

Bill Weir’s take down of both Ford brothers on CNN was a joy to behold, but nothing was more delicious than Rob’s squeals of indignation as former Ford BFF John Oakley roasted the mayor when he called in for an impromptu interview on November 18, the day he was stripped of his powers.

Speaking of Council, here’s the final tally of who voted for what in the various motions that transferred power to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. [Matt Elliott/Metro Canada]

The Rob Ford show overshadowed some of the great work council did this month: funding for the environmental assessment for bike lanes on Bloor and Dupont was approved; councillors moved unanimously to rescue and expand the BIXI bike sharing program;  and new funding was devoted to the backlog of repairs to TCHC properties. [thestar.com, toronto.ca]

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Old City Hall, one of only two building worthy of preservation according the Frank Gehry

Old City Hall, one of only two building worthy of preservation in Toronto–according Frank Gehry

Toronto only has two heritage buildings worth saving, Old City Hall and Osgoode Hall, according to architect Frank Gehry. Suitably dazzled, Toronto and East York Community Council chose to give David Mirvish’s proposal to build trio of 80-storey plus condo towers on King West an express route to Toronto City Council. Council ignored City planning staff’s objections and that of heritage preservationists that the project will wipe away four heritage warehouses and the Princess of Wales Theatre, and further stress overburdened public transit on King Street West. [National Post/The Globe and Mail]

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The abandoned Shaw Street School has been transformed into Artscape’s latest affordable living and working space for artists and non-profits including the Luminato Festival and the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. [torontoist]

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Food and restaurant news:

Bistro_Tati

Harvest Kitchen will soon open at 124 Harbord Street, once the home of Kensington Kitchen and Bistro Tati | Image credit: Google Street view

The beautiful space at 124 Harbord Street once occupied by Kensington Kitchen and later Bistro Tati has been taken over by Harvest Kitchen, which describes itself as “an everyday diner where vegetarians bring their meat-eating friends”. The restaurant plans to preserve Ontario produce onsite starting with the 2014 harvest.  The opening is planned for “any day now” according to the website. [blogTO]

Rakia Bar on 960 Euclid Avenue, just north of Bloor West has opened in the space once occupied by Hrvati Bar. The menu features vegetarian, seafood, Balkan specialties, and suckling pig with advance notice. 

Barrio Coreano, the latest incarnation in the Playa Cabana franchise is scheduled to open this weekend at 642 Bloor Street West. Rajput’s Bistro was the last tenant in this space, just west of Euclid. [blogTO]

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Coming up

The 2014 Hot Docs tickets are on sale now

The 2014 Hot Docs tickets are on sale now

Tickets for the March 2014 hotDOCS festival are now on sale on the hotDOCS website

Wednesday November 27 at 6:30PM, Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West: Toronto Public Health, TCAT, and Cycle Toronto are hosting “Walk Cycle Move: the Annex”, a workshop to examine public opinion on proposed project to:

  • reduce speed limits to 30KPH on seven streets in the neighbourhood including Albany, Howland, and Brunswick,
  • explore alterations to Bloor Street to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists,
  • discus the revival of the Environmental Assessment for bike lanes on Bloor.

If you can’t make it to the meeting you can still share your views in a survey here.

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Related posts:

Homer_Simpson_Mayor_vows_to_lie_less

Last week in the neighbourhood: Rob Ford’s end days, Indian Rice Factory closing, another megacondo and more.

 

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

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Rob Ford’s end days, goodbye to the Indian Rice Factory, another mega-condo for the Bloor-Annex strip, Yorkville tree slaughter, and more this week in the neighbourhood | November 8, 2013

In Arrivals & Departures, Coming events, Heritage & History, This week in the neighbourhood, Toronto politics on November 8, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Homer_Simpson_Mayor_vows_to_lie_less

Image credit: The Simpsons screen capture by Phil Tobin /@RPBRooney on Twitter 12:50PM – 5 Nov 13

By West Annex News | Another busy week in and around the neighbourhood.

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This week in Fordlandia

Rob Ford hands out his business cards in happier days

Rob Ford hands out his business cards in happier days

The city is almost numb from this week’s blizzard of increasingly sordid and bizarre rumours and revelations in the Rob Ford saga. Somewhere between the release of yet another video of the mayor staggering and ranting in a drunken stupor, CP24’s interview with his awful mother and the fifth estate’s exposé about organized crime’s attempts to get their hands on the Ford crack video, we all stopped reveling in the salacious details and started wanting it to stop.

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, City Council meets for the first time since the crack scandal reignited. We have high expectations for City Council: no partisanship, no grandstanding by councillors with their own mayoral aspirations (Hello Karen Stintz and Denzil Minnan-Wong). Quickly, without malice, just strip the mayor of all his powers and staff, and get on with the business of the city.

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The Indian Rice Factory, an Annex institution for 43 years, closed its doors on November 3, 2013

The Indian Rice Factory closed its doors on November 3, 2013. The restaurant at 414 Dupont at Howland had been in decline since the death of founder, owner and chef Amar Patel three years ago. Patel was a visionary chef who introduced haute Indian cuisine to Toronto in the 1970s, and was a pioneer on the then-mostly industrial Annex-Dupont strip.

While the addition of the lovely Chai Bar in 2011 created hope that the restaurant could be revived, the lengthy reconstruction of the Howland Avenue/CPR underpass dealt a death blow to that enterprise. [blogTO] [jameschatto.com]

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Planning and development news

DTAH design consultants reported their findings from the Bathurst Street Built Form Study to the community on October 22, 2013. They found that the Official Plan and the zoning already in place are appropriate, and that public consultations “underscored the need for more park space along Bathurst and for the preservation of Mirvish Village.” [Inside Toronto]

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80_Bloor_West_rendering_by_architects_Alliance

Architects’ rendering of new 66-storey condominium proposed for 80 Bloor Street West | Image:  archtectsAlliance

Krugarand Corporation has made an application to the City of Toronto to tear down the 18-storey 80 Bloor Street West retail and office tower, and replace it with a 66-storey residential mixed use tower. The building, sandwiched between Harry Rosen and Capezio, currently houses a Gap, Banana Republic, Extreme Fitness and 204,000 square feet of office space. Public consultations are coming. [UrbanToronto.ca]

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Tree slaughter in the Village of Yorkville Park

Tree slaughter in the Village of Yorkville Park

Just when the spruce trees at the east end of the Village of Yorkville Park on Cumberland Street were getting to a nice size, the City chopped them down. Catherine Naismith heard from Kristan Wong-Tam that the trees were removed due to their deteriorating soil beds, caused by a parking garage underneath. New trees will be planted in the spring of 2014. [Built Heritage News]

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Early in the new year, Councillor Mike Layton will be hosting public meetings regarding the future of development on Dupont Street. The north side of the street is now zoned as an employment area in the Official Plan. It is facing increasing pressures from developers to to convert the land to residential uses, specifically condominium towers. Layton says “These meetings will be held to help develop a better understanding of how the community would like to see Dupont grow and to receive feedback on specific applications.” [MikeLayton.ca]

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U of T's proposed Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Image credit: Montgomery Sisam Architects/Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

U of T’s proposed Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Image credit: Montgomery Sisam Architects/Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The University of Toronto revealed plans for a new $50 million Centre for Engineering and Innovation Entrepreneurship. U of T will build the Centre on the site of the parking lot between St. George Street and Simcoe Hall. [Yonge Street]

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The City of Toronto has launched a new blog all about Heritage Conservation District studies and plans throughout the city. “The new blog is intended as a resource to learn about milestones, events and ways to participate in the heritage conservation district studies and plans currently underway in the city,” said Councillor Peter Milczyn, Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee, as quoted by Catherine Naismith. The blog also contains a gallery of photos of historic Toronto. [Built Heritage News]

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What’s coming up this week:

Remembrance Day services at University of Toronto Soldiers' Tower

Remembrance Day services at University of Toronto Soldiers’ Tower

Monday, November 11, 2013, Remembrance Day services. Local services will be held at the University of Toronto Soldiers’ Tower at the western end of Hart House, 10:20 to 11AM, followed by a reception at the Great Hall, 7 Hart House Circle.  

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 7:00PM at St. Lawrence Hall, 157 King Street East, Evergreen’s Executive Director Geoff Cape will be moderating a free Natural History Symposium to discuss Toronto’ natural heritage including “trees as natural heritage resources, what the average citizens can do to conserve natural heritage in the context of our natural ecosystems, the City of Toronto’s Natural Heritage Study and the management of natural heritage resources related to water.” 

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November 12 to 14, 9:30AM each day, the Supreme Court of Canada considers questions about Senate reform. The hearings will be broadcast on CPAC including the CPAC Internet live stream.

The Supreme Court of Canada's hearing on Senate Reform start November 12, 2013 at 9:30AM

The Supreme Court of Canada’s hearings on Senate reform start November 12, 2013 at 9:30AM

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Related posts:

Last week in the neighbourhood: Rob Ford’s very, very bad day, Honest Ed’s sale, Trinity-St. Paul’s reno, and more

 

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

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

In which we learn the Honest Ed’s sign is younger than Michael Jackson’s Thriller, bike lanes on Bloor ain’t dead yet, spooky stuff for Halloween and more this week in the neighbourhood | October 25, 2013

In Coming events, This week in the neighbourhood on October 25, 2013 at 12:05 AM
The Honest Ed's sign has had its day and has to go according to Ed' GM Russell Lazar

The Honest Ed’s sign has had its day and has to go according to Ed’s GM Russell Lazar

By West Annex News | Another week of happenings in and around the neighbourhood.

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The archivists have already spent six months in Ed Mirvish's office | Image: Sun Media screen grab

The archivists have already spent six months in Ed Mirvish’s office | Image: Sun Media screen grab

Before you crazy heritage preservationists get any big ideas, Honest Ed’s always loyal general manager Russell Lazar claims that the famous 23,000 bulb, wrap-around sign at Bathurst and Bloor is younger than Michael Jackon’s Thriller, is brittle, has had its day, and has to go. [thestar.com]

In anticipation of the swing of the wrecking ball, a team of archivist have already spent six months combing through more than 55,000 artifacts left by Ed Mirvish in his old office in the depths of Honest Ed’s. Lazar calls them “relics of a remarkable rags-to-riches life.” [The Sun]

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Separated_bike_lanes_Montreal_October_2013

The prospect of bike lanes on Bloor has made a remarkable comeback in the past week. On October 21, 2013, the city Public Works Committee voted 5-1 in favour of reinstating an environmental study of the impact of bike lanes on Bloor. The study was scrapped in 2011 when Mayor Ford ripped out the Jarvis Street bike lanes. The Annex Residents’ Association and the Bloor-Annex BIA both supported the reopening of the study. ARA director Albert Koehl told the committee that studies show ninety percent of people arriving on Bloor-Annex strip come on foot, by bike, or on transit, and that bike lanes on Bloor have strong public support. Ford ally Denzil Minnan-Wong was the only committee member to oppose the re-opening of the study. Councillor Adam Vaughan said “The world has changed, it is time for Councillor Minnan-Wong to wake up and smell the coffee.” [thestar.com, InsideToronto.com, & @reporterdonpeat/Don Peat on Twitter].

Speaking of Councillor Vaughan, his fall update is now out and includes a letter from Adam about the need to abolish Ontario Municipal Board.

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1000-1002 Bathurst Street, formerly Spector's Hardware and Plumbing Supply

1000-1002 Bathurst Street, formerly Spector’s Hardware and Plumbing Supply

The Seaton Village Residents’ Association website has more information about the fire at 1000-1002 Bathurst Street, including a link to a 2004 Globe and Mail article about Spector’s Hardware and Plumbing Supply, already dusty and falling down nine years ago.

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What’s up this coming week:

Image credit | Yvonne Eijkenduijn

Image credit Yvonne Eijkenduijn

October 25 to 31, 2013: Halloweek at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Along with the traditional showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Bloor will be screening a number of scary movies from October 25, 2013 to October 31, 2013. The screening schedule can be found here.

Saturday October 26, 5PM to 7PM:  Halloween skating party at Bill Bolton Arena, 40 Rossmore Road in Vermont Square park. Admission is free and prizes will be given away. See Ring Around the City for other Halloween activities at the St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club, including a October 25 showing of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie.   

Saturday, October 26, 10AM to 5PM: Jane’s Walk is partnering with Riverside BIA to present nine new and free walks in the Riverside neighbourhood lead by local personalities. Walks include a fitness/dog walk, a culinary walk, and a medicinal plant and herb walk. Heard of Riverdale but not Riverside? It’s the Queen Street neighbourhood east from the Don Valley Parkway to Degrassi Street, right between Corktown and Leslieville.

October 25 and 26: You should have stayed at home, a G20 drama finishes its run at the Aki Theatre, 585 Dundas Street East on October 26, 2013. While trying to return home from his first-ever protest as a law-abiding citizen at the “free speech” zone at Queen’s Park, Tommy Taylor was swept up in a mass arrest. This much-lauded drama tells his story of his arbitrary arrest, mistreatment by the police, and ultimate release without charges.

October 24 to November 3: The International Festival of Authors at the Harbourfront Centre. The tribute to Alice Munro is on Sunday, November 2nd at 8PM. A day-by-day guide to the festival can be found here. [Torontoist].

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Related:

Last week in the neighbourhood: Report from Fordlandia, and other news

Honest Ed’s: Come in and get lost

Yvonne Eijkenduijn’s photostream on flickr

A new map of Toronto, how Adam Vaughan almost snuck on Mayor Ford’s executive committee, Crazy Town: Robyn Doolittle’s upcoming book on Ford, Bathurst built form report, Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Bloor, and more this week in the neighbourhood | October 18, 2013

In Coming events, The West Annex, This week in the neighbourhood, Toronto politics on October 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM


Map of Toronto by stereotype

By West Annex News | Another jam-packed week with lots of things happening in and around the West Annex.

BlogTO wrote this week about URBANE, a US hipster-map manufacturer’s new map of Toronto neighbourhoods by stereotype. Burn: nothing north of Bloor was included on the map, so Harbord Village–“Professors in bay and gable housing”–has to stand in for the Annex.

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Adam Vaughan almost joined Rob Ford's executive committee when Council's left wing called a snap vote after five Ford allies had left for the weekend.

Adam Vaughan almost joined Rob Ford’s executive committee when Council’s left wing called a snap vote after five Ford allies had left for the Thanksgiving weekend.

This week in Fordlandia

#TOpoli aficionados are salivating at the news broken by Marc Weisblott at Canada.com that The Star’s Robyn Doolittle will publish a book about Rob Ford and family called Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story. Quill & Quire reports that Doolittle’s publisher promises the book will contain “shocking new revelations” about Ford. The book will be released March 2014, in the midst of the nomination period for the 2014 Toronto municipal election. Amazon.ca is taking advance orders for Doolittle’s book.

Complaints to the Ontario Press Council about The Star’s series of articles about the Rob Ford crack video scandal and the Globe and Mail’s revelations about Doug Ford’s drug dealing past were both dismissed this week. [cbc.ca]

Let sleeping Ford's lie.

Let sleeping Fords lie.

Not long after he called for the firing of an apparently napping city employee, a photograph of a sleeping Mayor Ford began circulating on the Internet.

Council’s left wing almost snuck Councillor Adam Vaughan on Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee Friday evening, October 11 when five of Ford’s allies left Council’s October meeting early for the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Vaughan allies moved a snap vote to break the shut out of the old City of Toronto from the powerful executive committee. Although the motion failed on a 16-16 tie, Vaughan told The Star’s Daniel Dale “I certainly saw the panic in Ford’s face, and every time I see that, I love it.”

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Condominium towers at Dupont and Shaw

Two eleven-storey residential condo towers are proposed for the Sobey's site at Dupont and Shaw

Two eleven-storey residential condo towers are proposed for the Sobey’s site at Dupont and Shaw

The Grid reports this week on the battle to build two 11-storey condominium towers at Dupont and Shaw where Sobey’s grocery store now stands. The lands are zoned for employment and if the developer wins an exception from the city or the OMB, all of the employment lands on the north side of Dupont Street will be up for grabs for residential development.

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Brooklyn graffiti artists subcontract mural job on Bathurst Street

Brooklyn street artists subcontracted this mural on Bathurst north of Davenport

Brooklyn street artists subcontracted this mural on Bathurst north of Davenport

The National Post revealed that Brooklyn, NY graffiti artist collective Faile, paid $23,000 for a mural commission on Bathurst Street just north of Davenport Road, did not show up to paint the mural themselves but subcontracted the work to others.

If you support bikes lanes on Bloor-Danforth, Cycle Toronto is asking you to write to members of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee by 4:30PM today, October 18, to support the Bloor-Dupont environmental assessment, and to ask the committee to expand the assessment to include Danforth. Email addresses for the members of the committee are on the Cycle Toronto website.

A $1.3 million semi at 314 Robert Street just south of Bloor is Toronto Life‘s House of the week. With a skylit kitchen, massive living room fireplace, coffered ceilings and wainscoting throughout, the before and after transformation of this recent reno is truly stunning.

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Bicycle Fall Blowout sale logoComing events:

Bicycle Fall Blowout Sale, Saturday, October 19, 10AM to 5PM: The 14th annual Bicycle Fall Blowout Sale is this Saturday, 10AM to 5PM at the Direct Energy Centre, East Annex, Hall F in Exhibition Place. This annual seven-hour sales blitz is well worth your time if you’re looking to buy a new bike, bike accessories, clothing or footwear, as manufacturers and local retailers clear out 2013 stock at deeply discounted prices. It pays to be well-prepared for the sale. Stock moves incredibly fast. Do your research, study the floor plan and be ready to pounce when you see a deal you want.

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Toronto Waterfront Marathon Sunday, October 20th

Bathurst and Bloor will be closed Sunday, October 20, 2013 for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon | Image credit Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Bathurst and Bloor will be closed Sunday, October 20, 2013 for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon | Image credit Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon | click to enlarge

Get your cowbells ready, the 25,000 runners of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will be passing through the neighbourhood the morning of Sunday, October 20, 2013. This is a chance to see world-class marathoners up close, as last year’s winners Sahle Warga Betona and Mary Davis try to repeat their wins and break the course record of  2:07:58.

The race starts at 8AM at University and Queen Street. Runners head up University, then along Bloor and down Bathurst. Running at just over 3 minutes per kilometer, the leaders should be on Bloor between Spadina and Bathurt by about 8:08AM. The Bloor Annex BIA is sponsoring a window decoration contest, asking Bloor Street businesses to decorate their windows with banners and signs to cheer on the runners.

Road closures for the event: Bloor will be closed between Bay and Bathurst from 8AM to 10:15AM. Bathurst will be closed from Bloor to Lakeshore from 8AM to 10:45AM. Details of all street closures in Toronto are here.

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Bathurst Street Built Form study Tuesday, October 22, 6:00 to 9:30PM

Bathurst_Street_built_form_composite

Councillors Mike Layton and Adam Vaughan are once again hosting a community meeting at Central Technical School, this time to discuss the draft proposed recommendations of the Bathurst Street built form and land use study team. More details at Ring Around the City.

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Related posts:

Last week in the neighbourhood: Report from the Four Corners of Bathurst and Bloor community charette

Report from the Bathurst and Bloor charette, Tedx Toronto video, Bathurst Street fire, destroying the OMB and more this week in the neighbourhood | October 11, 2013

In Coming events, The West Annex, This week in the neighbourhood on October 11, 2013 at 12:05 AM

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

Have you seen the terrific Tedx Toronto 2013 conference opening video? A great history of Toronto from age 0 to 220 — in just 2 minutes and 32 seconds. Honest Ed’s and Lee’s Palace both make brief appearances.

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Report from the Four Corner of Bathurst and Bloor community charette

Sketching out dreams for the Bathurst and Bloor intersection in the Four Corners community charette October 5, 2013

Ken Greenberg and friends sketching out dreams for the Bathurst and Bloor intersection in the Four Corners community charette October 5, 2013

Councilors Mike Layton and Adam Vaughan hosted a large gathering of community members from the Annex, Harbord Village, Seaton Village and Mirvish Village on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at Central Technical School to dream about the future of the four corners of Bathurst and Bloor.  With the demolition of Honest Ed’s sadly a foregone conclusion, lots of exciting ideas emerged from the exercise: a piazza at the south-west corner of Bathurst and Bloor for cultural events like the Fringe and farmer’s market, a pedestrianized Markham Street Heritage Conservation District,  and greened laneways to become the new transportation corridors for pedestrians and cyclists.

The buoyant mood of the meeting ended when Councillor Vaughan reminded the crowd that their dreams could come to naught, courtesy of the Ontario Municipal Board. “Their decisions are already destroying parts of the city and it’s wrong” said Vaughan. He urged the crowd to question any candidate in the next provincial election who knocks on their door. “If they don’t agree to destroy the OMB, I want you to chase them off your porch, down the street, and out of your neighbourhood.”

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Heritage signs

With the demolition of Honest Ed's inevitable, the fate of the famous sign is unknown

With the demolition of Honest Ed’s now seen as inevitable, the fate of the famous sign is unknown

While the fate of Honest Ed’s sign is up in the air, another heritage sign may live to blink again. BlogTO reports that Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy says the Sam the Record Man’s sign could still return to Yonge and Gould. City Council rejected staff’s recommendation that Ryerson University be granted its request to be released from its agreement to preserve and re-hang the sign. Council referred the matter back to city staff for reconsideration.

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Fire at 1002 Bathurst Street

An early morning fire at 1002 Bathurst October 7, 2013

An early morning fire at 1002 Bathurst October 7, 2013 I Image: CTV News screen grab

A two-alarm blaze tore through a derelict building at 1002 Bathurst Street just north of Olive on Monday, October 7, 2013, temporarily shutting down the Bathurst and St. Clair streetcars and other vehicular traffic. After dozens of firefighters responded and put the blaze out, a body was found on the second floor.

The identity of the deceased, the cause of death and cause of the blaze have not yet been determined. The CBC reports that police are treating the fire as a suspicious event.

1002 Bathurst Street before and after October 7, 2013 fire

1002 Bathurst Street before and after the October 7, 2013 fire

CTV has video of the fire here.

The buildings at 1000 and 1002 Bathurst Street had been the subject of a legal battle between a developer and the city.

After their plan to develop a five-story apartment building on the site was rejected by the city, developer 2031430 Ontario Ltd. appealed to the OMB and in August of 2013 won a settlement with the city to build four meters taller than local zoning allowed, with exceptions also granted in setback, gross floor area coverage, and window set-backs.

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David Mirvish is heading to the OMB in January 2014 to overturn the City’s rejection of his Gehry-designed megaproject for King Street West. Mirvish’s proposal would see the Princess of Wales Theatre and  four designated heritage warehouse buildings demolished in favour of three 80-storey plus highrise towers built on a six storey podium. Planning staff says the King West area cannot sustain the project’s 2,700 plus new condominium units. [thestar.com]

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While average retail rents on Bloor Street hit a new high of $309US per square foot according to Colliers International’s 2013 retail report, this was only a 1.9% increase over 2012. Vancouver’s Robson Street saw a 33% increase to $200US per square foot. The Vancouver Sun reports that the influx of U.S. chains and luxury brands contributed to the dramatic lease rate increases across Western Canada.

Bloor Street still leads Canada in retail rents, but does not make the world’s top ten. New York’s Fifth Avenue leads the world at $3,052 US per square foot.

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Condo financing crunch hits cooling Toronto market. The Star reports that condo buyer are scrambling to get financing to close the record number of condo units coming online. Many bought before financing rules were tightened up by Finance Minister Flaherty and now find at closing they no longer qualify. With some buyers forced to walk away from their deposits, a rapid cooling of the entire market is possible when a record 20,000 to 40,000 units are ready to close next year.

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What’s coming up:

The International Festival of Authors had already scheduled a tribute to Alice Munro on November 2nd when news broke yesterday that she was this year’s Nobel prize winner in literature. If you haven’t bought tickets yet, there still may be some available here.

Après Nuit To October 14, 2013: If you missed Nuit Blanche last weekend or just want to have an encore visit, six Nuit Blanche projects are  extending their run to October 14th including Ai Wei Wei’s Forever Bicycles at Nathan Phillips Square, and Tadashi Kawamata’s Garden Tower at Metropolitan United Church,  two of only a few genuine hits from this year’s annual festival of visual art.

The Toronto 2013 Chocolate Festival starts October 12 and runs to November 3 in venues all around the city. Visit the website for coupons redeemable during the festival at participating chocolatiers, pastry shops and restaurants, and for tickets to the Chocolate Ball, Chocolate Dinner, and Chocolate High Tea and the King Edward Hotel.

Heritage Toronto Awards Tuesday October 15, 2013 at Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music. The awards recognize individuals, community organizations, industry professionals and associations for exceptional contributions in heritage conservation.

Tadashi Kawamata's Garden Tower in Toronto, 2013, at Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East to October 14, 2013

Tadashi Kawamata’s Garden Tower in Toronto, 2013, at Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East to October 14, 2013

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Related posts:

Last week in the neighbourhood

Honest Ed’s: Come in and get lost

Jane Jacobs and the hazards of popularity on commercial streets

Nuit Blanche 2013, Bathurst and Bloor charette, Eden Smith’s own house, the Bathurst bendy bus, and more this week in the neighbourhood | October 4, 2013

In Arrivals & Departures, Coming events, Eating & Drinking, Heritage & History, The West Annex, This week in the neighbourhood on October 4, 2013 at 12:05 AM
The Four Corners of Bathurst and Bloor charette will be hosted by Councillors Layton and Vaughan on October 5th

The Four Corners of Bathurst and Bloor community charette, hosted by Councillors Layton and Vaughan, October 5, 2013, 1 to 4PM at Central Technical School. | Image credit bottom left photo: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, item 1043, April 3, 1911; all others West Annex News.

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

The Four Corner of Bathurst and Bloor Community Charette, Saturday, October 5, 2013, 1PM, Central Technical School, 725 Bathurst Street. From the public notice:Now that the future of Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village are up for debate, it is even more important to set out a vision for the four corners of Bathurst and Bloor. There are many sites at this corner that may become development sites in the next decade and we need to be prepared as a community to define how we want our neighbourhoods to grow.”

Prepare for the charette by reading Putting the CON in Consultation“. This indispensable guide tells you the tricks and techniques developers and city planners use when they want to mute your voice in working groups, visioning studies and other so-called community consultations. [Dooney’s Cafe]

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2011

Nuit Blanche Toronto starts Saturday, October 5 at 6:51PM

Nuit Blanche 2013, from sunset (6:51PM) Saturday, October 5 to sunrise the next morning. It’s the big one: Nuit Blanche 2013, Toronto’s annual free, city-wide sunset-to-sunrise celebration of contemporary art. All the major city blogs–[blogTO] [Now] [The Grid] [Torontoist]–have good guides to the most highly touted events. But here are some local events that deserve some love:

  • Convergence North at Spadina House, 285 Spadina Road. An array of interactive light sculpture installations along a path created through the five-acre grounds of the Spadina Museum.
  • Nothing is Better at the Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor Street West. Synchronized multi-screen video, music, sound, live performance. A thought-provoking and amusing science musical documentary and allegorical journey from the city’s outskirts to its heart of darkness.
  • Art meets Chess at Wychwood Barns, Chess pieces created by artist Blandford Gates out of recycled metal will be re used to recreate the Game of the Century, game 5 in the match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972.  See video below to learn more.

The Pottery and Glass Show at Artscape Wychwood BarnsSaturday and Sunday, October 5 & 6, 2013, 8AM to 5PM: This juried show and sale showcases the best of Ontario’s glass and clay artists. Admission is free.

Eden Smith's home at 267 Indian Road | Image credit Google Street View

Eden Smith’s home at 267 Indian Road | Image credit Google Street View

For the architourist, Eden Smith’s own house is for sale for $1,169,000. The Century 21 listing says the c. 1896 home at 267 Indian Road home was the prototype for Smith’s Art & Crafts/English Cottage style. [Built Heritage News].

Harbord Village is being lauded for its laneway-naming project which has reminded the community of its history. [YongeStreet]

The TTC’s new Bombardier bendy bus was in Bathurst station today for a test run from the TTC’s Hillcrest complex. While the buses are generally receiving favourable reviews, the routes they serve will see a cut in the frequency of bus service to offset the new bus’ increased rider capacity. [Torontoist]

Kops Records’ Annex location opened last weekend at 592 Bloor West  (formerly Markus Fashion). This continues a trend: interesting new shops are bypassing the West Annex stretch of Bloor east of Bathurst in favour of Koreatown. [BlogTO]

"Before the last supper . . . they at brunch" says Big Crow's Anthony Rose | Image credit Rose and Sons Big Crow

“Before the last supper . . . they ate brunch” says Big Crow’s Anthony Rose | Image credit Rose and Sons Big Crow

Anthony Rose’s Big Crow (in the back of 176 Dupont Street, the former People’s Foods) is opening for brunch on weekends starting October 5th. Brunch hours are 11AM to 3PM, Saturday and Sunday. The brunch menu is here.

Theh west field of Sibelius Square is closed yet again for soil decompacting and re-sodding.

The west field of Sibelius Square is closed yet again for soil de-compacting and re-sodding.

The playing field at Sibelius Square is out of commission. Again. The $1 million plus park renovation in 2012 made the field’s drainage problem worse, not better. Councillor Vaughan’s constituency assistant Areej Hasso reports that city staff is blaming soil compaction, not a design flaw. Staff says they de-compacted the soil before laying new sod on October 3rd. No word on when play can resume on the field.

And oh yeah, there was that rat article. They’re on the rise in the Annex. Your green lifestyle may be partly to blame. [thestar.com]

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Related posts:

Last week in the neighbourhood

Nuit Blanche 2012: West Annex News presents Fortifications for Small Worlds

Jean Sibelius Square Park official re-opening

This week in the neighbourhood | September 27, 2013

In Coming events, Heritage & History, This week in the neighbourhood, Toronto politics on September 27, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Heritage tree tour of Queen's Park Sunday, September 29th. See detail below | Photo credit: Alden Cundanin/Toronto Before

Heritage tree tour of Queen’s Park Sunday, September 29th. See detail below | Image credit: Alden Cundanin/torontobefore.ca

By West Annex News | There’s so much great stuff going on this coming weekend we’re going straight to it.

What’s up this weekend:

Sunday, September 29th 11AM Heritage Tree Tour of Queen’s ParkPresented by LEAF with arborist Philip van Wassenar, the tour will explore rare, old and other significant trees in Queen’s Park and Philosopher’s Walk, some of which are promised to have as much heritage value as the historic buildings around them

Sunday, September 29th 11AM: Park Crawl. Join the David Suzuki Foundation crawling by foot, bike and canoe between four parks along Toronto’s former Garrison Creek corridor.  Each of the four parks will host food booths by Pizzeria Libretto, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, the Country General, Ursa and 13 others, and local musical acts including Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Choir!Choir!Choir! and Local 164. The crawl starts at Christie Pits at 11AM, moves to Bickford Park at 1:00PM, to Fred Hamilton Park at 2:00, and to Trinity Bellwoods at 3:00PM.

Soupalicious this Sunday from 11AM to 4PM at Wychwood Barns | Photo credit Heidi Swanson/100 Cookbooks

Soupalicious this Sunday from 11AM to 4PM at Wychwood Barns | Photo credit Heidi Swanson/101 Cookbooks

Sunday September 29th noon to 4PM: Soupalicious at Artscape Wychwood Barns. Enjoy 10 free soup tasting with the cost of admission. Advance tickets $12, $20 at the door. From the website: “we highly recommended that you arrive no later than 2:30 pm to enjoy the full array of soups.”

Friday to Sunday, September 27th to 29th: U of T Toronto Science FestivalThe University of Toronto is launching a public celebration of science. The festival will include keynote talks, panel discussions, film screenings, live music and dance, microscope and telescope sessions. You can even send a message into space.

Saturday and Sunday, September 28th & 29th: Culturedays. The local and totally free events in this country-wide festival are:

Ai Wei Wei's Forever Bicycles under construction in Nathan Phillips Square for 2013 Nuit Blanche

Ai Wei Wei’s Forever Bicycles under construction in Nathan Phillips Square for 2013 Nuit Blanche

And don’t forget to mark October 5th, 6:51PM in your diary for the big one – Nuit Blanche 2013. You can preview Ai Wei Wei’s Forever Bicycles under construction now in Nathan Phillips Square. More on Nuit Blanche next week.

This week in and around the neighbourhood

Hot Docs has completed their first economic impact study.  It shows the festival contributes $29.9 million to Ontario’s GDP. [Broadcaster]

Anne Mirvish, wife of the late Honest Ed Mirvish, died at age 94 on September 20, 2013. [National Post]

Kensington Market | Credit:  Friends of Kensington Market

Kensington Market | Credit: Friends of Kensington Market

Keep Walmart out of the Kensington neighbourhood. Friends of Kensington Market are crowd-sourcing for funds to pay for traffic and market impact studies and for a lawyer to represent them at the Ontario Municipal Board.  If you care about the market, donate here, and sign the petition at change.org.  “We are seeking to have Torontonians build Toronto, and not the OMB or Walmart” says Councillor Adam Vaughan.

The 2014 mayoral race see-saw. First The Star reported that Olivia Chow received assurances over the summer that councillors Adam Vaughan and Shelley Carroll will not enter the 2014 mayoral race, thus eliminating any rivals from the left. The latest Forum Research poll showed Chow would defeat Rob Ford in a head-to-head race 57 per cent to 33 per cent. Then the mayor scored $660 million in funding from the feds for the Scarborough subway and got a bump up in his approval rating to 49%.

Meanwhile, Michael Bouck AKA @VainHostile told us on Twitter this week about the ABCDEF movement – Anybody but Chow or Dat Eedjit Ford.

Speaking of the mayor, Ford Fest West was held in Centennial Park in Etobicoke on the evening of September 20, 2013. Here’s what you missed:

FordFest_food_line_September_20_2013

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Related post:

Last week in the neighbourhood

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Image credits:

The before and after image of a Queen’s Park tree was used with the kind permission of Alden Cundanin. Visit his Toronto Before blog for more of his enchanting juxtapositions of historic and contemporary Toronto images, and follow him on Twitter.

This week in the neighbourhood | September 20, 2013

In Coming events, This week in the neighbourhood on September 20, 2013 at 8:00 AM
A rendering of what separated, bi-directional bike lanes would look like at Bloor and Howland/Borden.

A rendering of what separated, bi-directional bike lanes would look like at Bloor and Howland/Borden. | Image credit Cycle Toronto

By West Annex News | Here’s what’s  been happening lately in and around the neighbourhood:

Bike lanes on Bloor might make a come-back. BlogTO and others are reporting that emails from residents and advocacy groups prompted a group of six city councillors to ask city staff to reopen a study into bike lanes on Bloor. Cycle Toronto has a petition with almost 1000 signatures, urging city council to support the initiative. Mayor Ford ended the study in 2011, at the same time he lead council to remove the Jarvis Street bike lanes.

The interim control bylaw on Bathurst Street, meant to give both Kensington Market and Mirvish Village some breathing space from development pressures, is being challenged at the Ontario Municipal Board. RioCan’s application to put a Walmart in the former Kromer Radio site was turned down by the Committee of Adjustments in May. The bylaw was put in place in June.

Meanwhile, Adam Vaughan’s vowed to destroy the OMB after Harbord Village residents were given permission to keep their illegal two-storey addition at the back of their 36 Brunswick Avenue home after an epic seven-year legal battle. Owner Shih Tseng, a former realtor, argued that he didn’t realize a permit was necessary. The battle cost Tseng about $300,000, the city $500,000.

The Galle family’s annual peperonata-making party in the laneway between Montrose Avenue and Bickford Park was commemorated by the City by the naming of laneway on Saturday, September 14th. After the ceremony about 150 neighbours and friends sat down in the lane to roast, peel, and eat the traditional Sicilian pepper and potato dish.

Peperonata Lane naming ceremony on September 14, 2013

Peperonata Lane naming ceremony on September 14, 2013

The thieves drove a white BMW in a daring robbery at the Prada Store at 131 Bloor Street West in the early morning of September 18, 2013.  The store’s plate glass windows were smashed and purses and wallets taken.

The Grid features an article this week about how apples from an Annex resident’s front yard ended up on the menu at Richmond Station restaurant with the help of Not Far From the Tree.

What’s up this coming week:

sharrows_don't_work_by_West_Annex_News

Why sharrows don’t work

Saturday, September 21 at 1PM: Bagels for bike lanes: Love-in at the Harbord Bakery, 115 Harbord Street. Cycle Toronto has organized this friendly mass bagel-buy to show our good neighbour at the Harbord Bakery–long-time bike-lane opponents–that cyclists are an important part of their customer base. While you’re at it, don’t forget to sign Cycle Toronto’s petition supporting separated bike lanes on Harbord and Hoskins.

Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22: Queen West Art Crawl featuring an outdoor art show and sale in Trinity-Bellwoods Park from 11AM to 6PM, a Parkdale Night Crawl, and guided art walks and talks.

Thursday, September 26, 7PM to midnight: Vintage Crawl. More than 35 vendors between College and Queen, Spadina to Roncesvalles will offer vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture and home decor items.

Map of vendors participating in Vintage Crawl Toronto Thursday September 26th from 7PM to midnight.

Map of vendors participating in Vintage Crawl Toronto Thursday September 26th from 7PM to midnight. | Image credit Vintage Crawl

Fortification for Small Worlds at Nuit Blanche Toronto | Saturday, September 29, 2012

In Coming events on September 27, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Visual artist Emma Ravindran with Fortification for Small Worlds, which will be in St. Patrick Square Market Park  behind 238 Queen Street West for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto 2012. Nuit Blanche runs from sunset on Saturday, September 29, 2012 until sunrise the next morning.

By West Annex News | This year West Annex News is proud to sponsor visual artist Emma Ravindran’s Fortification for Small Worlds for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto 2012. Nuit Blanche is Toronto’s free city-wide sunset-to-sunrise celebration of contemporary art, which begins this Saturday, September 29, 2012.

Ravindran, who resides near College and Ossington, is a graduate of the Etobicoke School of the Arts and studied fine arts at Concordia University. She describes her installation:

“Trees in this park are wrapped in recreations of ecosystems (from the interiors of caves with their glittering rock formations and mineral deposits, to the dense spots in forests with damp moss and mushrooms), with small creatures scattered throughout.

You may participate by leaving something of yours behind in exchange for an object in the installation. The only condition is that you must leave something if you want to take something, and you must not take anything from the tree itself.

It’s kind of a way of keeping score (what are you willing to give up in exchange for something small?) and kind of a way to share (let’s add to each other’s collections), and kind of a futile attempt to protect some things I hold dear (if I covered you in small sculptures and told people they could take them, as long as they did not touch you, would it work?)”

Fortification for Small Worlds will be in the park is behind St. Patrick’s Market at 238 Queen Street West, between John and McCaul. The park is accessible using the alleyways on either side of the Market. | Image credit Google Street View

Fortification for Small Worlds will be on display at St. Patrick’s Market Square Park, located behind the historic St. Patrick’s Market, 238 Queen Street West.