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Posts Tagged ‘David Mirvish’

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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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.

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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.

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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

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