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Letters – July 2014

The following is an exchange of letters about seeking heritage designation for South Leaside:

I am pleased that steps have been taken to protect South Leaside as a heritage designation district but I am very concerned that no equal steps have been taken to protect North Leaside.

Our original homes are essentially the same as those in South Leaside, but we are even more at risk because our lots are bigger and can hold a more gigantic mini chateau.

Why was North Leaside not included?

Alison Baxter,
Tanager Ave.

The choice was made by the Leaside Property Owners’ Association and accordingly you might want to direct your enquiry to them.

Speaking strictly for myself, having lived in Leaside both north of Eglinton and south of Eglinton, I can admit to having a strong personal attachment to both areas.

As for my role in the present application, I was happy to endorse it without amendment largely because:

  1. I believe the application filed by the LPOA has merit, and I hope to see it succeed.
  2. No applicant has brought forward an application on behalf of the area north of Eglinton.
  3. Having endorsed the existing application, I am reluctant to file an application of my own that would give the appearance of competing with it.
  4. Choosing too large an area is a guarantee of failure.

I have been in regular contact with Heritage Services staff, and it has become clear to me that even just one of the two segments of Leaside is ambitious enough, given the resources available.

The customary HCD (Heritage Conservation District) application involves just a few blocks or one stretch of a streetscape.

We can expect the target area to be whittled back in the review process, if the application is chosen for consideration at all. Amending the LPOA application to take in a larger area would not likely be helpful.

John Parker,
Ward 26 Councillor

We appreciate your support for the Leaside HCD. Councillor Parker has correctly described the situation regarding area.

From an LPOA perspective we would have been pleased to include North Leaside, but we have been encouraged to reduce the area. However the area nominated is already larger than many other HCD nominations.

It is anticipated that a public meeting will be arranged (we do not have a date) and there will be an opportunity to raise this and other issues.

At that meeting we will be looking for good solid community support to proceed with an HCD study.

Geoff Kettel
LPOA co-president

I do understand that it is necessary to pick our battles and I have nothing against new houses being built. Some of them are an improvement.

Unfortunately on our very short street of Tanager Ave. we have a brand new castle that seems to have been designed by the Medici, one old house that is now an open pit and another one that has a date with the wrecking ball, so we are all feeling a bit antsy about the future appearance of our neighbourhood on this side of Eglinton as well.

Good luck with the application. You certainly have our support.

Alison Baxter

Yes, this is appreciated.  The LPOA continues to oppose so called “minor variances” that are excessive.

We recently (in March) opposed one on Tanager  (I am not sure of the result but likely it was approved). It is clear that we need a new strategy.

One of the issues right now is the “integrated garage dominated house” where the whole house sits over the garage. We have expressed our concerns with the zoning and building folks.

Thanks for your comments. The LPOA meets on the first Wednesday of the month at Trace Manes and you are welcome to attend and express your comments there.

Geoff Kettel

A Leaside clean-up day?

Thank you for featuring the story last month of our young Leasiders Sarah and Graham, taking it upon themselves to pick up the garbage while watching a local baseball game.

Hopefully others in the neighbourhood are inspired to get involved and pick up the litter on our streets and in our parks. If everyone picked up a few pieces of garbage on a regular basis, we would be sure to keep our neighbourhood beautiful and litter free.

Maybe each spring we should have a Clean-Up Leaside Day and get more people involved in picking up garbage in our local parks and streets!

Lise Quirin,
Airdrie Rd.