By West Annex News | Here’s what’s been happening this week in and around the neighbourhood.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Honest Ed’s site sold to developer Ian Gillespie
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.
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.
Trinity-St. Paul Centre unveils renovation
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.
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. ____________________________________________________________________________________________
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?
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.
All images are Louise Morin for West Annex News unless otherwise noted.