New York City used to be called “the city that never sleeps.” That description increasingly describes Toronto, at least in the policy sense. Even in the hazy heat of summer there are always deadlines to meet, new or continuing issues to attend to, something going on.
Construction and reconstruction of roads and intersections are either underway or about to be. Local traffic issues continue throughout Leaside with the LPOA’s Traffic Committee preparing to hold more public consultation in the autumn regarding traffic calming.
Suffice to say, the summer of 2017 has not been free of official meetings, reports to analyze or write, or hearings to prepare for!
As autumn approaches, unfinished issues return to City Council for debate and (dare we hope?) resolution. Here are two of them:
On September 7th, there is a public meeting to receive input on regulations regarding short-term rentals. These include large companies like Airbnb, as well as individuals with a room or rooms or whole house to rent out. Should these rentals be limited to an individual’s principal residence? What kinds of controls should be enforced to prevent the kind of “bnb creep” I described in last month’s Leaside Life?
What do YOU think? You can attend the September 7th meeting (9-11 a.m., Committee Room C, on the second floor at Toronto City Hall). You can also contact the LPOA and Councillor Burnside with your suggestions. This is not just an issue for downtown. It’s an issue for neighbourhoods across the city. If the City gets its policy wrong, neighbourhoods like Leaside could be affected, and not for the better.
Meanwhile, aircraft noise continues to be a hot issue in Leaside. Did you know that noise complaints (especially in the afternoon and overnight) have increased significantly in the last year? Changes in flight routes and altitudes have resulted in more flight paths turning over Leaside. The repetitive frequency of these low-flying aircraft interrupts outdoor conversations and disrupts sleep during the night and early morning hours.
The Toronto Aviation Noise Group (T.A.N.G.) has been actively working on this matter for about four years. Originally coordinating with previous Member of Parliament for Don Valley West John Carmichael, and now with our current MP, Robert Oliphant, T.A.N.G has taken these actions: met with Transport Canada; hired an expert consultant; and identified how our noise problems from aircraft can be reduced. Specific flight path changes (e.g., airplanes approaching or turning at higher altitudes) have been discussed by the stakeholders.
The Leaside Property Owners’ Association is represented on T.A.N.G. by our past-president Brian Athey, who reports that there will be an important meeting on September 18th at which a final report – the Helios Toronto Airspace Review – will be presented (7-9 p.m. at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites, 5875 Airport Road, Mississauga, see page 34 for details).
He comments that the key solution for Leaside is a relocation of the south downwind approach leg for aircraft landing on one specific runway, 24L at Pearson Airport. These jets currently descend over Leaside heading eastbound, then make a 180 degree (and noisy) turn in order to line up for their subsequent westbound approach to 24L. So the key problem has been identified.
Our next LPOA Board meeting is on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Noble Room at Trace Manes. These meetings are always open to the public, and take place on the first Wednesday of each month. We invite you to attend, whether for help or advice on local matters, or just to hear more about what is happening in our community.