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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:


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


The wrap for June 9, 2012 | Goodbye People’s Foods, hello Famoso Pizzeria and Barton Snacks . . .

In Arrivals & Departures, Coming events, Eating & Drinking, The West Annex, This week in the neighbourhood on June 9, 2012 at 9:05 AM

The charming Barton Snacks at the south east corner of Bathurst and Barton, one block north of Bloor. Finally, somewhere to get indie coffee after 6PM in the Annex.

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

New additions to the deadpool: After 50 years, Annex diner People’s Food is folding due to a rent increase [blogTO], while Kromer Radio is closing after 55 years in business. While Kromer told The Grid they’re closing just because they’re tired, an application for a height and usage variance by the new land-owners RioCan suggests that development pressures were the real culprit. Openfile reports that RioCan’s application was turned down by the Committee of Adjustments, but the developer is expected to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Green sprouts: The tiny but charming Barton Snacks  is cheering up the south-east corner of Bathurst and Barton with espresso-based coffee drinks and premium products like ice cream from Maypole Dairy and healthy(-ish) potato chips prepared with avocado oil and reduced sodium. Manager Chris Sherwood tells us that he’ll also be serving hotdogs. The Snack is open 8AM to 10PM Monday to Friday, and 11AM to 10PM Saturday and Sunday. Finally, a place to get indie coffee after 6PM in the Annex.

And genuine Neapolitan pizza is coming to the Bloor-West Annex strip, albeit in the form of an Edmonton-based chain Famoso Pizzeria. The owners expect to have the 386 Bloor Street location open by June 21, 2012. The previous tenant was the James Joyce Irish Pub.

Busy weekend: We hope the rain holds off for the Portugal Day Parade and Picnic today. The parade starts at 11AM on Landsdowne at Bloor and then heads down to Dundas Street West for the live music and picnic in Trinity-Bellwoods Park.

If it rains, the wonderful Ring Around the City reminds us that the Raw/Vegan Festival is going on all weekend indoors at 918 Bathurst Street, just north of Barton.

918 Bathurst Street, where the Raw/Vegan Food Festival is being held this weekend

The inaugural Junction Flea market is this Sunday June 10, starting at 9AM, on Dundas Street West, one block east of Keele. If this preview of  The Vintage Cabin’s wares is in any way typical of the quality and prices of the offerings, this is a not-to-be missed event.

Then from 11AM to 6PM Sunday it’s the Annex Festival on Bloor. We’re sad this festival seems less Annex, more the same old travelling road show of vendors that you see over and over again at every Toronto street festivals. But we love the chance to walk on a car-free Bloor Street between Spadina and Bathurst once a year and enjoy the live music.

Then at 3:30PM Sunday, don’t forget to head over to the Jean Sibelius Square Park official re-opening.

The renewed Jean Sibelius Square Park, 50 Kendal Avenue in the Annex.

Good reads: YongeStreet proposes how Toronto can further densify without more condos in Right up your alley: Can laneway housing provide an antidote to our high-rise growth spurt

Toronto Life has a story about that 83 story condo, the tallest in Canada, that could be coming to the Holt Renfrew Centre on Bloor. Closer to home, the massive condo development including a 40-storey glass condominium planned by the United Church for the Bloor Street United Church at Huron and Bloor has local residents and Councillor Vaughan concerned [The Varsity].

The Dupont Street cycle lanes are probably safe for now despite the plotting of  Ward 17 Councilor and Rob Ford ally Cesar Palacio to get rid of them [openfile].

Ring Around the City is passing on a warning from 14 Division about a hot water scam in the neighbourhood. Two men already face charges.

And the always interesting Atlantic Cities’ website has two recent  articles we enjoyed: Why We Pay More for Walkable Neighbourhoods  and The Evolution of Bike Lanes (cycle tracks anyone?)

Neapolitan pizza in the Annex via Edmonton: Famoso Pizzeria’s big pizza oven has already arrived, readying for the opening at 386 Bloor Street West June 21, 2012