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Carol Burtin Fripp

Keesmaat: She left many feeling let down

Do Leasiders complain too much about traffic, or local mega-proposals for huge condominiums, or the impact of ever-expanding retail complexes?  As residents in the centre of a major city, should we be expected to just take these pressures on our community in stride and hope for the best?  No. We all chose Leaside as our [...]

We’ve lost the fight, get ready for Costco

We had all the accurate facts. We asked all the right questions. We challenged incorrect assumptions from the developer’s consultants, pointed out their reports’ flaws and many omissions to the city’s planners. We raised danger flags about traffic impacts – gridlock, greater air pollution, and dangers to pedestrians, including thousands of school children – if [...]

Why it’s hard to protect Leaside

Is our city working?  More to the point, is it working in the public interest?  Using Leaside as the test area, it’s a fair question to ask. Toronto’s Official Plan is targeted by developers who read mid-rise and propose high-rise.  Arterial streets like Bayview, Eglinton and Laird attract the most attention, with applications for giant [...]

There are Leaside questions for the feds

Do you feel as if the federal election campaign has been going on forever? By the time this issue of Leaside Life arrives at your home, the politicking will have been going on for almost two months. But here we are, with only three weeks to go until Election Day. Before you vote, I urge [...]

TTC: a problem and some good news

Another summer draws to a close, but your LPOA directors didn’t have much chance to lie back and enjoy the “lazy, hazy days,” as the old song goes. The articles in this issue of Leaside Life are proof that too much has been going on in and around Leaside. My column this month focuses on [...]

Why we work with the Business Park

The LPOA has a long history of working with the businesses and industries in the Leaside Business Park. My LPOA co-president Geoff Kettel and I have attended some recent meetings of their association, and the LPOA board is interested in the thoughts of our industrial neighbours. Our interests are mutual. Our futures are connected. Here’s [...]

A development we like, one we don’t

Everywhere we look in Leaside, we are never far from a building site. We live in the midst of a construction boom. Given the rapid pace of proposed building applications for our part of the city, it’s hard not to wonder how much of what we think of as “Leaside” can survive so much development [...]

Here comes Shane Baghai

You may have noticed that right next to the driveway into the Leaside Gardens is a sign saying Coming soon – Shane Baghai. Developer Baghai has acquired the first two properties on Southvale Dr. (the former auction house and the former caterer), west of the Gardens. He proposes to build a condominium on that site. [...]

Anger at big plans for Laird

In last month’s column I reported on The Brown Group’s application to build a block-long nine-storey condominium-plus-mixed-use building on the west side of Bayview between Soudan and Hillsdale. Now I have two more development applications to report, one along the west side of Laird south of McRae, and the other at Bayview and Eglinton to [...]

Current bylaws should not be jumping off point

At LPOA’s January public board meeting, The Brown Group presented a new proposal for a block-long, nine-storey condominium- plus-mixed-use building on Bayview Ave., from Hillsdale to Soudan. The current zoning for that block is designated as Neighbourhood, which limits building heights to four storeys, primarily detached and semi-detached houses, with townhouses and walk-up apartments. An [...]

Are we facing the start of retail contagion?

A good-size crowd attended the LPOA’s Annual General Meeting on Nov. 25, and it was a lively and informative event featuring our new city councillor, Jon Burnside, as speaker. We also awarded Leasider Roger Cattell, the man behind the Drive Slowly signs campaign, a certificate as the 2014 Honorary LPOA Member. He spoke about the [...]

When Leasiders were locked out

On Oct. 7 the LPOA held an important public meeting. Meant to be a debate among the three leading candidates for mayor, we sent out flyers throughout Leaside, announcing the event. Needless to say, we expected a lot of attendees. The campaign had been eventful, and interest was high. The event was primarily intended to [...]

The tennis conundrum

The Toronto District School Board has recently posted an open bid to the public to refurbish the tennis courts of certain schools, among them Rolph Road Public School. Did you know? A private company, Wilmington Tennis, is putting in a bid to create a tennis club there, on the east side of the schoolyard. It [...]

What you should ask candidates at Oct. 21 meeting

Are you ready for election day, Oct. 27? Do you know where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to you? The Leaside Property Owners’ Assciation’s constitution does not allow us to endorse specific candidates. However, the LPOA is offering an election page on our website this year, in an effort to assist candidates [...]

We need more data about our traffic

Leaside is caught in a perfect traffic storm: LRT construction and Eglinton Ave. lane closures, the lure of big box retail along Laird, road repairs everywhere. And now the tragic death of a child, which shocked our community and reminded us all of the fragility of life. It also reminded us that our streets, busy [...]

We just missed being relegated as lobbyists

This could have been very bad news:  on reading the agenda for the June 10 City Council meeting, my LPOA co-president Geoff Kettel noted an important motion which would have significantly affected how groups like the LPOA interact with our elected municipal representatives. The motion, Requirement to Register with the Lobbyist Registrar’s Office, was proposed [...]

What good are bylaws we can’t enforce?

Finally it’s spring and when you open your windows for fresh air you hear birdsong. Chances are, though, you also hear the sounds of construction. On practically every street homeowners are adding additions, having renovations done, or increasingly, completely tearing down sturdy, well-built Leaside houses and replacing them with new and bigger homes. We all [...]

The parking improvements that weren’t

Skill-testing question:  How do you guarantee that 100 or more Leasiders will show up at a meeting? Answer: You offer to “improve” on-street parking all along their street by eliminating it. This is more or less what happened in late March, when Councillor John Parker invited Glenvale Blvd. residents to a meeting to present proposed [...]

Do we want a 48-foot LED sign?

Driving east on Eglinton Ave., you pass Brentcliffe Rd., and as you proceed down the hill toward Leslie St. you suddenly notice a large electronic advertising sign located ahead, on the south side of Eglinton just before the CPR railway overpass. Or, you’re driving south down the hill that is Leslie St. toward Eglinton, and [...]

45 percent of Eglinton traffic is ‘extraneous’

Short term pain for long term gain. That’s what we face as construction for the Eglinton LRT reaches Leaside.  While some of the pain will last only for brief periods, there will still be lengthy disruptions.  For the next few years LRT tunnel-boring and station construction will be a constant presence. We will all be [...]

Costco traffic implications ‘horrendous’

Attention shoppers!  You may have heard about a major development application to build a Costco store, conveniently located on Overlea Blvd. just around the corner from your Leaside homes, on the site of the heritage-listed Coca-Cola headquarters and plant. No need to travel to Scarborough or Mississauga to shop at Costco! Unfortunately, while Costco may [...]

Not always ‘against’ nor cheerleaders

As I write this column, near the end of 2013, I look back at the matters that the Leaside Property Owners’ Association has worked on during the past year. Traffic (too much of it) and development (not always of the right sort or size, or in the right place) have dominated the calendar. It is [...]

‘As of right’ zoning does not protect us

As construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT heads in Leaside’s direction, the city and Metrolinx have each held public meetings to discuss planning, development and traffic issues, and several LPOA directors have attended.  Many of the city’s proposals are very positive, but in this column I will concentrate on the proposals which we do not [...]

Leaside needs to study Section 37 funds

Section 37 has been in the news quite a lot recently, including here in Leaside, where $500,000 in Section 37 funds from the SmartCentre North’s developer is scheduled to go to the Leaside Arena’s new rink. Not all Leasiders have been delighted at this, feeling that perhaps there are different local needs which should have [...]

We are not doomed to traffic chaos

In my September column, I promised to say more this month about the LPOA’s upcoming Leaside traffic study. As readers will recall, $50,000 of our settlement from SmartCentre North is earmarked for this, and the funds should be forthcoming shortly. I’d like to make three particularly important points: First, this study will look at all [...]