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September 2011

140,000 readers from Liberty to Riverside-Leslieville, Toronto Islands to Bloor

Cityplace group wants safer roads sooner

Change and taxes loom for Yonge St. shops, residents

By Steve Kee

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ith the rapid growth of new condominium developments joining the City Place community, issues of traffic flow, driving patterns and pedestrian safety are among key considerations of area residents. City Place Residents Association (CRA) president Dean Maher is concerned. “We are seeing issues around parking, traffic and there is a simmering of frustration amongst our residents.” He went on to say, “We live here, we know the area and we want to be part of the solutions.” Expert input on those solutions could come from right within the ranks of the CRA’s membership. Member Chris Pereira is a graduate of Ryerson’s school of urban and regional planning. He has put his education to good use by working with Adam Vaughan’s office to find ways to improve the appearance and safety of laneways in Ward 20. He’s also providing valuable insight and ideas as CRA’s vice president of neighbourhood planning. “I’d like to see a great emphasis on traffic calming along Fort York and Bremner boulevards, ” Pereira notes. “This is an area of concern due to the high amount of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic using the street, especially at Spadina. One of the options we are studying is raised intersections, which act like speed bumps and provide greater visicontinued page 6

Vol. XIV No. 9

By Kimberly Spice

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Gerrard St. E. resident and Canadian Opera Company ensemble member Simone Osborne is on stage this month playing Gilda, the doomed daughter of the title character in Rigoletto. Hear the soprano as she debuts the role on stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts from Sept. 29 to Oct. 22. Visit www.coc.ca for details.

owntown residents and business owners are referring to development companies as “the Klondike Boys” as their machines tear up the neighbourhood to make way for profitrearing condominiums. Approximately 40 residents from the north end of the Downtown Yonge St. neighbourhood attended a city-organized community meeting at St. Basil’s Church on Aug. 24 to discuss the changes in their area. Residents are not opposed to people moving into the neighbourhood—but they are concerned about developers, along with the city, ignoring their pleas for community upgrades and the possible extinction of the small businesses that make the street unique. To offset the surge in condo construction, people living in the YongeWellesley-Church corridor and adjacent areas want improvements to a neighbourhood that has remained mostly dormant for more than a decade. Their wish list includes more parks, green space, wider sidewalks, bike lanes and children’s play areas. “There are maybe 30,000 people moving in,” stated one area resident. “We want recreational facilities, cultural space, parks and community services continued page 7

Developer retracts Church-Gloucester condo plans By Michael Schwartz

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igns outside one of Toronto’s most controversial developments have been taken down now that developer Church 18 Holdings has withdrawn the plans it submitted for the redevelopment of the corner of Church and

Gloucester. The city’s community planners received notification of the withdrawal in mid-August via a letter from Goodmans LLP, the law firm representing Church 18 Holdings. Controversy surrounded this development from its inception.

Control of Don Lands at stake By Anthony Marcusa

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hat appears to some to be a plan by the mayor to take control of the Port Lands emerged in a city staff report released on Aug. 26. Cindy Wilkey, chair of the West Don Lands Committee, offered, “We’ve known since April that Mayor Ford expressed his interest in the area, talking about a ‘wow’ factor, which to him means a mall, a ferris wheel, and a football stadium.” The Toronto Port Lands Company (TPLC), formerly Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO), would take control of the east harbourfront area away from Waterfront Toronto, a group that works in tandem with the municipal, provincial, and federal governments. Waterfront Toronto has spent $19 million for an environmental assessment of the area and years studying the area and implementing a long-term plan for redevelopment, the future of which is now uncertain. “They’ve quietly taken steps to slow down the approval of the assessment and hand over 100 acres of land to a company that does leasing,” added Wilkey. “It’s crude—to think that they are going to do a better job than hundreds of experts working through Waterfront Toronto over the years.” The report outlines that TPLC has $550,000 to plan for the waterfront, a subs tantially lesser amount that that invested by Waterfront Toronto. No exact vision of the Port Lands was outlined, and continued page 2

The proposal would have necessitated demolition of two listed and one unlisted heritage properties (596 Church, 69 Gloucester, and 584 Church, respectively), and partial retention (“facadism”) of two more listed heritage properties (592 Church and 67 Gloucester). A 25-storey mixed-use building

hosting retail premises and 193 residential units would have replaced the historical buildings, one of which dates back to 1873. It would also have topped 75 metres in a zone with a 12metre maximum height. The decision by Church 18 Holdings cannot be considered a hasty one—it wrote to the des-

ignated town planner Willie Macrae back in February this year, stating that it was “in the process of considering the future direction for these applications.” The “back to the drawing board” mentality was reconfirmed in the Aug. 19 letter, where Goodmans LLP detailed continued page 6

Wong-Tam proposes revival and preservation By Dennis Hanagan

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he newest Downtown councillor has a plan to save Yonge St.’s heritage buildings and at the same time spur landlords to upgrade their properties to improve the street’s appearance and boost its vigour. Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam consulted local business, community and institutional leaders after she was disheartened at the loss by fire of the historic Empress Hotel at 335 Yonge St. in January. “I knew that it was time for this significant street … to once again become a city priority,” she wrote in a report called Yonge St. Planning—authored by KPMG Architects and Greenberg Consultants—that came out of the consultations. Part of the plan to revitalize the street calls for the preservation of its heritage buildings. The Bulletin interviewed Wong-Tam about the report. “The heritage built form in Toronto is very important. [Historic buildings] are the cultural aspects and the historical footprints of a civilization. If we don’t step up to protect what we have then we could potentially lose them,” she said. The report says seven heritage structures from 340 to 395 Yonge St. are simply “listed” for preservation but don’t have the full legal protection of “designated” status that saves them from demolition. continued page 8 Those structures


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September 2011

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Public input possible on Sept. 6 from page 1

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n Aug. 9 Shadowland Theatre began a six-day run of Hansel and Gretel—A Case Study in the unique background setting of Toronto Island. The spectacle combined the Grimm fairytale, the music of Brecht & Weill’s Threepenny Opera and the insights of Sigmund Freud in this darkly humorous journey into the deep woods, complete with masked characters, shadow puppetry, music, song and 15 stilt-dancing children.—D.H.

the report concedes that until a business plan exists, the funding requirements are unknown. It is anticipated that TPLC would seek private retailers to invest in space and help create a vast waterfront mall. Wilkey is urging those concerned to vocalize their opposition at the city’s executive committee meeting on Sept. 6 while the report is being considered. Citizens can also call the mayor directly, send an email to the executive committee, and write to council as well. “This is not Doug Ford’s waterfront, ” said Wilkey of the Etobicoke councilor who has been outspoken in both his criticism of Waterfront

Toronto and his desire to build in NFL stadium on the lakeshore. “We are talking about a vision for building in the biggest city in Canada.” “It’s the public’s waterfront, and I think people are gearing up for a campaign to try to convince the council that this is simply a very bad idea.”

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School blues

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tarting on the first day of class, all elementary schools in the Toronto Catholic District school board will implement an “appropriate dress code” of any combination of navy blue and white. Visit www.tcdsb.org/csac/dres scode.htm for more information.

Matthew MacDonald played Hansel, Parkdale actress Angela Loft played raven, and Lilly Flawn of Toronto Island played Gretel.

From the left are Avik Mukherjee of Parkdale, Merle Harley of Toronto Island, Arber Makri of Harbord Village, and Genady Gavleshov of Church and Wellesley. Seated is David Rutherford of Toronto Island.

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From the left are Toronto Island residents Anne Barber, Brad Harley (who played Sigmund Freud), and Willa Bourne. Barber and designer Harley are co-artistic directors of Shadowland Theatre.

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n Aug. 19 reservists from Moss Park Armoury and HMCS York were on hand at the CNE's Canadian Forces Exhibit to talk to visitors about the work soldiers and sailors do. Children had a chance to climb into military vehicles, try on a 25pound radio communications backpack, and test their agility on an obstacle course.—D.H.

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Pte. Saif Ghanim, Cpl. Suzie Halasz, 2nd Lt. Scott Newlands, Capt. Ben Lee, Master Seaman Osman Rizui, and Act Sub-Lt. Katie Walaszczyk.

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n Aug. 17, Market Lane children got their own sneak peek of entertainers at this year’s Scotiabank Buskerfest along with free hotdogs and drinks. The fourday Buskerfest on Front St. in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood raises awareness and funds for epilepsy and is the largest festival of its kind in North America.—D.H.

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Corrina Perkovich and Penelope. They’re daughter and granddaughter of the St. Lawrence’s BIA’s Bob Kemp.

New web site for CPLC

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1 Division’s Community Police Liaison Committee has launched its first web site at cplc-51division.blogspot.com. The site was designed by CPLC member Henry Hong. To suggest content or to learn more about the committee, attend its monthly meeting on Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at 51 Division headquarters at 51 Parliament St.

Trees wanted: pickers

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ot Far From The Tree is a local non-for profit fruit picking organization that gleans edible fruit from privately-owned trees throughout the city. The harvest is split between the tree owner, the picker volunteers, and food banks. Fruit tree owners can still register for a fall 2011 harvest by visiting www.notfarfromthetree.org and click on “get involved.” The group is hosting a fall festival called City Cider on Sept. 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Sp adina Museum. $5 admission includes museum entry.

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September 2011

Our Market is historic but timely

SLNA meeting scheduled

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he September meeting of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association (SLNA) will be held on Sept. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the OWN Building, 115 The Esplanade. Delegates’ meetings are open to all interested local residents. The agenda will be posted at www.slna.ca a few days before the meeting.

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The Esplanade Invitational 3 on 3 basketball tournament was held on Aug. 27. 116 players, 18 youth teams and 12 “open” division teams competed in the event. Ridge Kazumba (above, age 14) destroyed the field in the 3 point contest.—Matt Raizenne

Artists blend at library

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ocal artists Catherine Tammaro, Inge Vanderneulen and Clayton Langstaff have combined forces for a show at the Parliament branch of the Toronto Public Library at 269 Gerrard St. in September. The opening reception will be on Sept. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Pot luck for planters

Construction of the South Market showing the former city hall.

scapes and, at the centre of this new lobby, a stunning oak spiral staircase. The staircase led up to the second floor where, facing Front St. , the mayor had his office. At the rear overlooking the harbour was the new council chamber. A third floor held the public gallery where women were permitted to sit looking down over the proceedings. In the basement were a police station, courtroom and jail where in the days before prison reform men were chained to the massive stone wall that’s still evident today. During a storm, water making its way down to Lake Ontario would flood the jail and the helpless men shackled to the wall would drown, or at the very least, hang knee deep in all the contaminated debris that was washing in. By 1890 Toronto was booming and with its population at almost 300,000 it was time once again to build yet another city hall. It’s known today as Old City Hall with its iconic clock tower dominating the corner of Queen and Bay Streets. The construction of the new city hall by architect E. J. Lennox took 10 years and was for a time

the largest municipal building in the world. The question then was: What to do with the old one on Front Street? In 1899 John Siddal, the architect chosen to build the new St. Lawrence Market on the site of the former city hall rather than completely demolish it, decided to keep its centre block but do away with the east and west wings. He removed the clock tower and gutted its onceopulent lobby right down to the bare brick, making it a more practical entryway into what was then a very modern market. Siddall then built a colossal shed to house the new market with enormous iron trusses to hold up a massive new roof that completely engulfed the remains of the old city hall. He then raised the former council chamber floor to allow more height over the new main entrance. When the new St. Lawrence Market was finally finished in 1902 it took up almost three acres of floor space, hosted two gigantic buildings with an enormous glass and steel canopy (which lasted until 1954) spanning Front Street connecting the new North and South Markets, making it one of the largest building projects in Canada at that time. Siddall’s North Market was demolished in 1967 and replaced with the one we have today, a.k.a. the Farmers Market, itself to

be replaced soon. Beginning in 1977 the present South St. Lawrence Market was vastly improved with new roof sheathing (though its gigantic iron trusses are still original), a poured concrete floor replacing an earlier wooden one, air conditioning and a larger lobby. It was also during this time that the remains of the old city hall abandoned decades earlier and sitting empty as a ghostly whitewashed empty shell overlooking the interior of the market was cleaned and restored and is now home to the Market Gallery. I’m a fan of St. Lawrence Market’s modern new entrance because like the Market itself (founded in 1803 on the northwest corner of Front and Jarvis) has once again adapted with the times. Hence it is still with us in one form or another when so much of our history has been wiped completely and utterly off the map. * * * Join me for my annual Thanksgiving Day Fall Colours bus tour with buffet dinner at the Old Mill & my Christmas Light & Bus tour Dec. 10. Also my weekend jaunts to New York April 20, 2012 and Chicago May 18, 2012. Visit The Bulletin’s website www.thebulletin.ca for ordering details on my new books compiling the last 12 years of my Bulletin history columns. For details the above at www.brucebelltours.ca or call me at 647-393-8687.

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he first meeting of the Riverdale Horticultural Society will be held on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at 816 Logan Ave. Members and guests are welcome for this awards night with potluck supper. Also, Frank Kershaw will show some of his favourite slidesof gardens around the world..

MPP contenders to spar

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he Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association and the York Quay Neighbourhood Association are sponsoring an all candidates’ meeting on Sept. 21st from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Harbourfront Community Centre, 267 Queens Quay West. Moderator Alice Norton will lead the MPP candidates in discussion of local issues.

corporal igor r. korpan, department of national defence

the market gallery

ven with its ultramodern appearance I really like the new entrance to St. Lawrence Market, with its convenient automatic doors, its spanking-new tile floors, its low contemporary wooden ceiling- and new elevator; plus, as a nod to the past, a fantastic historic photo display. The new entrance that opened this past July is actually the fifth reworking of one of the oldest buildings in the city: the formal onetime lobby of Toronto’s Second City Hall (Toronto’s First City Hall was nothing more than a few cramped rooms above the Market on King Street where St. Lawrence Hall now stands). Back in 1844, on the then-edge of Lake Ontario before the old harbour was filled in, architect Henry Bowyer Joseph Lane began work on a new and desperately needed city hall that was to house a dramat i c-y et -p ract i cal new council chamber, municipal offices, a clock tower, police station and jail. There was also to be an opulent gas-lit walnutpaneled foyer lined with portraits of municipal leaders and city land-

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Army reservist and Downtown resident Jamieson Murray pauses to listen for the enemy during a week-long exercise at the Canadian Manoeuvre Warfare Training Centre at Wainwright, Alberta. A sergeant and Battle School instructor in Toronto’s Queen’s Own Rifles, Murray has just returned from his second tour in Afghanistan. Wainwright's training centre uses laser munitions to simulate all aspects of combat, preparing soldiers for the challenges they are likely to encounter in operations overseas.

Next supper talk by Hume

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he Toronto Dollar Supper Club will meet on Sept 19. at 5:30 p.m. for dinner and a speech by architecture critic and urban issues columnist Christopher Hume. Reserve seats for the dinner by e-mailing supperclub@torontodollar.com or by calling (416) 361-0466. The club meets at the Hot House Cafe at the corner of Church and Front streets. The cost is $30 Toronto Dollars and includes taxes and gratuities. Toronto Dollars are available at the event.

King-Spadina topic of meeting

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wo proposed developments in the KingSpadina neighbourhood top the agenda of a meeting organized by Adam Vaughan on Sept. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Metro Hall, 55 John St., Room 309. The proposals for 353 Adelaide St. W. (at the southwest corner of Adelaide and Charlotte streets) and 122-124 Peter St. (west side, south of Richmond St. W.) will be discussed. Plans for 15-33 Mercer St. and 24 Mercer St. will be discussed on Sept. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the same meeting room.

Clubhouse preservation talk

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he Riverdale Historical Society will present a talk on the preservation, restoration and renovation of the St. Matthew’s lawn bowling club clubhouse on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Riverdale Public Library, 370 Broadview Ave. at Gerrard. Architects Ian McGillivray and Allan Killin will participate in the discussion. Admission is $5 for nonmembers. Annual memberships are $10 and are available at the event. Visit www.riverdalehistoricalsociety.com for more information.

Cabbagetown festival dates

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his year’s Cabbagetown Festival will take place from Sept. 8 to 11. Events include the parade, pub crawl, fall harvest festival, garage sales, and walking tours. For a full event schedule, visit www.cabbagetownfestival.org.

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September 2011

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Editorial

Don’t dishonour history to honour current heroes

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t has been a terrible year for losses of great Toronto citizens. First there was Paul Oberman (left), the revered Toronto developer and restorer of historic sites who perished in a plane crash March 7. Then we lost Jack Layton who so influenced the public dialogue that he was given a state funeral and publicly mourned by most of the country. So now, rightly, the city will seek to memorialize these fallen benefactors. Usually that is done by naming some public places in their honour. Sometimes it involves renaming an existing place. a replacer of it. The last thing he would likely There is a move afoot to rename Market want to happen to Market Street is for it to be Street Paul Oberman Way. Until his death he renamed. was actively redeveloping the decaying, hisAs a developer, Paul restored the glory to toric west side of that street with his usual some of Toronto’s most outstanding historic sensitivity to our heritage. structures. He was the antithesis of the grabPaul was a preserver of his city’s history, not bucks developer. His redevelopments of her-

itage sites combined the insightful touch of a historian with a warm builder’s pragmatism that ensured their continuance. It is usually fine to rename something with no historic significance. But it dishonours our history to abandon historic names. Market Street is where Paul Oberman sought to preserve or restore as much as possible in what was, sadly, the last project of his life. Surely that includes its name. Jack would certainly feel the same about abandoning an historic name. There is a move by Brad Meneses of the York Quay Neighbourhood Assn. to remember Jack by naming for him the park beneath the soon-tobe demolished York off-ramp of the Gardiner. There may also be other suitable new places in Toronto. It makes sense to name new projects after newly lost civic heroes.

Act now to save our waterfront from the Fords

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o we really want a large shopping mall and the world’s largest Ferris wheel on our unique and valuable waterfront? This is what we will get if we follow the intentions of our Mayor Rob Ford, and his mouth, his older brother and suburban city councillor Doug Ford. They want to sell cityowned land south of the present Keating Channel of the Don River as it empties into the harbour. Out the window will be thrown existing, wellstudied and forward-looking Waterfront Toronto plans for the Port Lands, carefully crafted with public input through a maze of governmental approvals at a cost of millions. (See these plans on the website www. waterfrontoronto. ca/explore_projects2/lower_don_lands) This type of unwarranted political interference in a complex, on-going public process involving three levels of government, is not new. In 2004, the then federal

Letter

Dog days on Cherry Beach

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ell a large part of Cherry Beach is now a fenced-off paradise for dogs and their owners! Now how about giving some attention to the swimming area for humans?Luckily, the water quality is excellent, there are plenty of lifeguards and the vista is a sight for sore eyes. But there are some obstacles discouraging anyone trying to enter the water for a cool swim. The sand needs regular grooming and the shoreline is often strewn with debris. And if you try to walk in for a dip, you encounter rocks and bricks that make walking painful. A couple of suggestions: 1. Crush those bricks with a steamroller and add soil and sand to the shore to provide at least one good entry point. 2. Extend a wooden dock or boardwalk five metres into the water for public use (the lifeguards have their own dock). Cherry Beach is a gem that jus t needs a little polishing Jim Dalziel

Liberal MP of TorontoDanforth, Dennis Mills, suggested a casino and other unwelcome facilities on the Port Lands. He had suddenly been appointed advisor to then Prime Minister Paul Martin shortly before an election to counteract the popularity of his opponent, Jack Layton. Mills failed both with his plans and his election. In the case today of Rob and Doug Ford, however, we are not so fortunate. They will remain in power for another three years. The Ford brothers want their closed administration, not the public-minded, innovative Waterfront Toronto organization, to be in charge of city-owned land development. They want this to be done through an existing city agency, the Toronto Port Lands Company (TPLC). To that end, they want to fully reorganize and expand the powers of the TPLC so it will do their bidding. Their blatant aim is to privatize city property. The Ford administration claims private interests can develop land more efficiently and quickly than public authorities. But what type of development and how quickly? Let us remember that the mighty Ontario Municipal Board some

years ago, after a drawnout hearing, decided against a proposed Home Depot superstore on waterfront land. Also more time-consuming and expensive environmental assessments of the Ford plans will delay action. Waterfront Toronto’s existing plans for the mouth of the Don River is a renaturalized, divided estuary providing parkland and cleansing of the water of the Don. The wide dispersal of the river waters provides the necessary flood protection for the entire Port Lands. The Ford brothers’ plan, however, must keep a single, narrow, polluted channel in order to consolidate a large plot of land for their shopping mall with parking and other features of their suburban vision. Their plan requires expensive flood protection measures. Like their ill-conceived and so far unsuccessful proposal to build a new city subway with private money, they want private developers to pay the high costs of flood protection and infrastructure. In return, the developers will of course want the valuable city land virtually for free. The Ford brothers revealed their intentions in a just-released city hall memo on Aug. 26. They are now rushing their

ideas to their powerful Executive Committee for full council debate less than three weeks later. No public input is provided. The exercise is a raw attempt to push through a plan to derail all previous and valuable work of Waterfront Toronto for city land on the Port Lands. Today’s actions on the waterfront will be with us for at least a centu-

ry. Let us get it right. You can contact the mayor and all city councillors automatically in one go on this issue by emailing your comments to clerk@toronto.ca and ask your message be forwarded to all of them. And you can make a deputation to the Executive

Stig Harvor Committee Sept. 6 by following instructions on the city website www.toronto.ca.

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September 2011

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Is Rob Ford riding down Miller’s road to disgrace?

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here are strong reasons the old city council got bushwhacked by voters who elected a new bunch led by a guy many consider a Philistine at best and at worst a crook who’d sell off many of the city’s assets to his business buddies and bring ruin to us all. Miller, though he’d been a councillor for years, once he was mayor he didn’t really seem to know how things worked at city hall. Busy with his hair, perhaps, he was led by his belt by senior city staff. And with outright pro-unionists comprising a cabal of Downtown councillors backing Miller, staff had a lock on city hall. That’s not good for unions because when their political employers become their lackeys, deals are struck that outrage taxpayers and turn them against unions that mainly comprise what’s left of our middle class. I’ve mentioned before how I got called on the carpet (not one that Miller’s pre-election broom swept beneath) by a councillor for writing about an outrageous deal that lets city workers try out a job with another

government for up to a year with the right of return should things not work out. That can create a yearlong hole in the staffing of the agency the union worker abandoned. Totally against the public interest. Even worse for the public interest is the wrongful practice of lobbying. That’s where corporate interests seduce councillors and staff into buying what they’re selling. The opportunities for graft and corruption are rife. Yet Miller legitimized the shameful business and spent $1 million to install a registry rather than outright prohibiting lobbyists stalking and pitching city government operatives. A registry does nothing to prevent abuses by lobbyists. There’s now some growing buyers’ remorse from voters who thought Rob Ford would end the gravy train instead of creating new ones for corporations. There are perhaps plenty of ancillary operations at city hall that don’t require a city department to perform and can be done cheaper—maybe even better—using outside contractors. They are equivalent, say, to city hall having it’s own cater-

ing department to feed celebrity visitors, staff and councillors. Not that it does. Miller’s downfall was not only his ignorance of how city hall worked and dependence on staff and others, but also his selfish dream to create a grand David Miller Legacy (DML) at the expense of the core responsibilities of governing. Abetted by his cabal of council followers he launched an oft-denied war against automobiles to advance the DML. Traffic gridlock, unrepaired roads and suicidal bicycle lanes on clogged streets set the mood. Key to the strategy was to overwhelm public transit so the DML cornerstone, Transit City, would have everyone riding billions of dollars worth of new rails. And thus the Blond Broom Bearer would have his legacy riding far into history. To that end the city, once known for its groomed parks and impeccably clean streets, became overgrown and t r a s h - r i d d e n . Infrastructure, a fundamental obligation of government, was ignored for the glitter of DML and various “green” schemes.

True, much blame goes to the swineherd of Ontario Tories, led by the abominable Mike Harris who amalgamated the city in an obvious effort to destroy it. Nonetheless, Miller could have reversed much of that harm, despite the torturous downloading a second neo-con premier, Dalton McGuinty, continued to inflict. Miller could have divided the conglomerated city into its former municipalities, let those portions of council return to their former municipal buildings, and taken much of the sting from amalgamation. Instead he acted to make Downtown look like Scarborough with his wrong-headed contracting of unified-look “street furniture” everywhere. And he sought to unify municipal regulations rather than taking the much cheaper step of letting the former municipalities retain them. It was perhaps another bit of hubris that contributed to his continuing to treat this ungovernable conglomeration of suburbs with Downtown as one unified city. He might be seen as less a mayor and more like the old situation where a civil ser-

vant (Paul Godfrey) served as Metro Toronto chairman, elected by the municipal mayors. Many car-haters on city council travel all over by car (taxis). In approving the water display at Sherbourne and Queens Quay, the city and local Millerite Councillor Pam McConnell allowed for south-bound traffic only on the portion of Sherbourne south of Lake Shore Blvd. That annoyance has directly hurt local businesses in St. Lawrence and beyond, including the Corktown Esso Station on the corner of Sherbourne and Front where tourists and locals driving on Queens Quay once drove up and gassed up. Ford certainly wouldn’t have countenanced that if he were in power when the plans were drawn. And he would have listened to the station’s owners and tried to help, which is more than McConnell has done, according to an owner. As an Etobicoke councillor, Robbie used to be accessible to everyone: A decent, sensitive guy. He would take day and night

calls on his cellphone and do his damnedest to help citizens no matter what wards they lived in. He now, however, is inaccessible to nearly everyone. He wrongly shuts out Toronto Star reporters, which just adds to the sense of despair many now feel, including many supporters. He ought to quit doing that right away. He mustn’t succumb to the DML curse which he initiated with his benighted subway scheme. And he’s got to quit thinking the city should run as a business. It’s not a business. It can’t run like one. Businesses aren’t charities or government services. They must charge what the market will bear, not what’s fair or just. Businesses are made possible by the commons taxpayers provide: streets, electricity, fire departments, etc. They have no business running any part of the commons for their additional profit.

Harper takes a racist stance with law ‘n order Act

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ack Layton’s powerful deathbed appeal to Canadians, “Love is better than anger, hope is better than fear, optimism is better than despair, so let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic” may not be enough to convince Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to think again about the Omnibus Crime Bill which it promises to introduce and pass through Parliament this Fall. Parts of this bill were considered briefly in the past year (but never approved) so there’s general knowledge of what the bill will do. It promises to put more young offenders in jail, particu-

larly for minor drug crimes including possession of marijuana; end house arrest and other ways in which courts can divert people from jails; and impose mandatory minimum sentences including for many drug offences. The evidence is overwhelming that if fully implemented, this legislation will substantially increase the costs to the public of incarceration, and it will also increase— rather than decrease—the amount of crime that occurs in Canada. It will also cause wreckage in many young lives. Why would a group of elected representatives ever pro-

pose legislation that has these undesirable consequences? Conservative Party spokesmen have never offered convincing reasons. But the answers come from experience in the United States. In the early 1980s President Ronald Reagan introduced legislation under the rubric War on Drugs. It addressed the issues of crime, drugs and welfare in a way that told so-called “hard-working people” they would no longer have to deal with those people who were getting a “free ride” from the criminal justice system or the welfare system, people who deserved

The new economy of fun

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t the end of summer I look back at a series of local street festivals. These events showcase Toronto—one of the world’s most multicultural cities. They also demonstrate the strength of our neighbourhoods that contribute to our enviable ranking as one of the top five most livable cities in the world. Sincere thanks goes out to all those who make the festivals happen. Caribbean Carnival, Taste of the Danforth and Buskerfest brought out almost 3 million people. These activities are widely supported and create many jobs. Best of all they are good times and life affirming to the consumer. What a great way to stimulate the economy. The economy is scaring everyone; the monetary system seems to be bipolar. The older generation can’t find a safe place to put their life savings. Seniors and money managers trying to generate an income from investments must now take greater risks to find a meaningful return. So people who should feel financially secure, don’t. Unemployment numbers are the real indicator of a healthy or sick nation. We all need to be meaningfully involved in something. Working fulfils a psychological need, but just fearing job loss can undermine it. Is gold a

new currency? Should we force the government to ban short selling on bank stocks or rein in the exchange-traded funds momentary buying and selling? The financial industry looks like a whack-amole carnival game. Those on the inside say it is more like casino games. Many of the games are new investment vehicles with complex rules known only to the casino. They call them derivatives. The casino never loses money on any game. In our Great Recession the government bailed out the banks that never lose. Bankers who backed a Ponzi scheme didn’t go to jail. Powerful people at the top of the economic pyramid run the casino economy and they stick together. I have been resisting this assessment as it falls into the dreary realm of conspiracy theorists. Still, I worry about people having jobs. Throughout history the number one employer was agriculture. You could be a subsistent farmer or be a landlord with serfs. Agriculture was replaced as the number one employer by manufacturing in the industrial revolution. Manufacturing is being automated and shipped offshore by multinational corporations. The second place is

now called “services” rather than “servants” and is a growing sector. We prefer having jobs done for us by people who are highly specialized. What if one third of us became employed in entertaining the other two thirds? This seems fitting as we move from the industrial revolution to the age of communications. Dining in a restaurant is as much for entertainment value as for the food. Is my TV cable installer not in the entertainment business? Our neighbourhood street festivals are entertainment and community building as well. Entertainment products are not just tunes, TV and movies. Your pursuit of happiness, amusement or a hobby is generating an economy. We must fight the guilty pleasure of this new age and enjoy being entertained.

nothing from society. The message and the legislation was a subtle way of referring to race as the dividing line since the criminals and welfare abusers were unspokenly those with dark skins. It was a racially coded message combined with a relentless emphasis on the increase in crime—an increase that was not reflected in the data produced by law enforcement officials—and inflammatory language about crack cocaine and welfare queens. Presidents George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton followed the same legislative paths. The result for all three politicians was electoral success, as well as a substantial increase in the rate of imprisonment of black men in the U.S., even though all data shows that on a per-capita basis, rates of criminal acts (particularly those involving drugs) are higher in the white community than in the black. The leaders of the Conservative Party know

from American experience the implicit message in the legislation and that it will attract political JoHn Sewell support from a select group of lower-income voters. even though studies conThose most directly sistently show that memimpacted will be young bers of the black commublack men and young nity are more law abiding Aboriginals—the very than members of white people police now target. communities. It is insidious to think In Toronto you are three times as likely to be our political leaders would deliberately stopped by police if you ever are black rather than imprison people of cerwhite; three times as like- tain races in order to ly, having been stopped, attract votes. No wonder there is no to be arrested if you are black; and three times as government leader who likely to be held on strict can offer a reasonable bail terms if you are explanation for this legislation: they know that black. Data from other cities to discuss the bill’s real show that young racial purpose would be Aboriginals are six times inflammatory. In Jack’s memory, this as likely to suffer these consequences. The legislation needs to be Omnibus Crime Bill confronted with love, implies that police are hope and optimism – and correct in such racial prej- then it needs to be repudiudice and the legislation ated. John Sewell is a former will lead them to do even more racial profiling— Mayor of Toronto.


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September 2011

www.thebulletin.ca

Cyclists use paths for safety, bike union counters Dennis Hanagan

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ueen West resident Ellen Rengers cycles to work on the controversial Trinity Bellwoods Park bike path because she feels unsafe riding on the main streets with cars. Last month, The Bulletin reported Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park wanted commuter cyclists out of the park because of the high volume of pedestrians who use the green space. But Rengers, a visiting nurse who cycles to her Downtown patients, says she doesn’t feel safe cycling on Dundas and Queen. “It’s not safe for

me. There’s so much traffic.” She’d like to see bike lanes on Dundas and Queen that have a physical barrier to separate bikes and cars. She’s familiar with barriers like this as they are used in her native Holland. “You’ll notice how much safer it (a barrier) is. A line on the road is not going to give me safety. If there was good cycling infrastructure on Dundas or Queen I wouldn’t have to take this route through the park,” says Rengers. Cyclist and ward 19 bike union co-leader Herb Van den Dool sees irony in the lack of bike lanes

on Dundas, Queen, King, College and Bloor. He says the section south of Bloor between Bathurst and Lansdowne “has one of the highest shares of bike commuters” in the entire city. He says 10 to 20 per cent of commuters in this section are cyclists. “It’s ironic there’s hardly any bike lanes on any of the streets, especially the east-west streets, ” says Van den Dool. He’s suggested making pathways for cyclists to travel both ways on streets that are designated one-way for cars, like along Argyle and Robinson. They would be

called contra-lanes. But ward 19 city councilor Mike Layton has told The Bulletin that cyclists come under the Highway Traffic Act and therefore must travel in the same direction as cars on one-way streets. To that, Rengers responds that the city must get with the times. She points out that on some one-way streets in Holland cyclists are allowed to travel both ways. She says laws and bylaws must change over time “as society changes.” In the meantime both Rengers and Van den Dool want cyclists to be

First-hand inspiration sets scene in Tamil-Canadian tale By Anthony Marcusa

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ocal author Koom Kankesan has written what may be the first full-length work of fiction about Tamil immigrants living in Canada. The 35-year-old writer, teacher, and 3-year Downtown resident is the author of The Panic Button, a novella about a fractured Sri Lankan family that make their way to Ontario to build a new life. “Many people have asked, but it’s not really based on my life,” says Kankesan from his apartment at Richmond and Victoria. “In the story, the father stays in Sri Lanka for 25 years after his family leaves.” Kankesan, a Tamil who came with his family as a youngster to settle in Scarborough in the late ‘80s, was often inspired by other writers, but rarely found any Tamil literature. After studying at Concordia in Montreal, he decided to fill the void. “I’ve always written about my culture, it’s a part of my life,” says Kankesan. “Certainly there are more Tamils and more writing now, but growing up I couldn’t find much.” “I have strong feelings, and so I felt compelled to write about my culture,” Kankesan continues, adding that he was was both surprised and saddened when he learned that his book was the first to tackle the TamilCanadian immigrant experience. Inspired by the works of famed Indian author R.K. Narayan, as well as noted comic book writer Alan Moore (who gives a stirring recommendation on The Panic Button), Kankesan attempts to write in a very frank and honest way.

Cityplace traffic problems from page 1

bility for pedestrians crossing at intersections.” Pedestrian safety is a major concern of the CRA. Raised intersections put an emphasis on pedestrians, which would fit with City Place, where close to 80% of residents do not commute by car to and from work. Fort York Blvd. will also soon be opened up to Bathurst St. , bringing

OPEN

SUNDAYS

even more traffic into the neighbourhood. With two schools, a community centre, daycare, and a public library being built along Fort York Blvd. , managing both pedestrian and vehicular traffic now is important and—the CRA believes—the time is right to do it while the roads are still being built. Given the location of the City Place community, residents also face a growing problem of street

respectful of pedestrians as they bike through Trinity Bellwoods Park. “Cyclists would like to facilitate cycling through the park in a polite and courteous manner,” says

Van den Dool. Rengers realizes she shares the park with pedestrians. “I really slow down when I go through the park which I don’t mind at all.”

$1000 awarded by local charity Seph, a Parkdale resident and grade 8 student attending Holy Family Catholic School, was recently recognized at the end of year celebration of the Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation for being one of the top achieving students on the program this year. He was selected from more than 200 students to receive a $1,000 RESP scholarship, that was generously provided by G. Scott Paterson, vice chairman, JumpTV (also located on King and Spadina). The charity based in downtown Toronto (King and Spadina) that provides financially disadvantaged kids with brand-new computers, computer training as well as Toronto Police Service mentorship.

Cancelled development from page 1

Kankesan hopes to write a sequel to his first novella.

“Narayan changed my life,” says Kankesan. “I recognized what he was writing, I saw myself and my family in his works—and the best part, he was able to be funny.” Upon returning to Sri Lanka for a trip in 2001, Kankesan had hoped to meet with Narayan. As fate would have it, Narayan died the day Kankesan’s plane landed. The Panic Button in its current form was shortened from an earlier, unpublished piece—but there may be more to come. “I hope it does well, I am thinking about a sequel,” Kankesan concludes. “Something bigger, longer, and more grand.”

Church 18 Holdings’ intentions: “Our client is withdrawing these applications, without prejudice to its ability to submit new applications in the future.” While further proposals from Church 18 Holdings, controversial or not, cannot be ruled out, it is clear that this scale of development will be unlikely on the Church/Gloucester site. One key player in opposing the development is the ChurchWellesley Neighbourhood Association. Macrae advised the group of the withdrawal of the plans in

writing on Aug. 19. He thanked the association for “your patience, hard work and dedication to the neighbourhood.” He was also somewhat enthusiastic in his own announcement of the withdrawal. For him, it was “good news for a Friday afternoon.”

Local dancers at fall festival

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yerson’s Vietnamese Student Association dance group will perform on Sept. 17 as part of Harbourfront Centre’s Tet Trung Thu: MidAutumn Festival. The day-long festival is co-produced by the Vietnamese Women’s Association of Toronto. Visit www.vwat.org for more information.

parking. Residents of Grand Trunk Cresc. have complained to the CRA, saying visitors to the Air Canada Centre make the street a congestive nightmare on event nights. Visitors will just park on the street illegally and accept the fine because the price of parking around the arena for game events is so steep. “Making Grand Trunk Cresc. a tow-away zone will be enough of a deterrent to keep the peace in the neighbourhood,” said

Maher. Parking issues have also plagued residents of 15 Fort York Blvd., where a new Fox and Fiddle restaurant—coupled with the removal of no-parking signs—has made the street a virtual free-for-all for those looking for free parking. According to Maher, “we can expect there will be some free parking in the community. But it is vital there is parking enforcement so residents and guests to the community are not taking advantage of the situation.”

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September 2011

www.thebulletin.ca

School building campaign a success for local group Jennifer Atkinson

Downtown resident and actor Derek Kwan will be appearing in the upcoming world premiere of the play A Fool’s Life by Japanese-Canadian theatre company Ahuri Theatre, at the Theatre Centre at 1087 Queen St. W. from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8. For information, visit www.ahuritheatre.com.

GWNA marks decade with sale, BBQ

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he Gooderham and Worts neighbourhood association is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year with a street sale on Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. 2:30 pm at Trinity and Mill streets. Shoppers can enjoy a barbecue from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sale tables will include new and old treasures. Email gwna@rocketmail.com to rent space.

Unique run on Island By Jordan Hill

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ept. 18 will mark the 13th anniversary of the Toronto Island Terry Fox Run. This run is held in memory of Island resident and long-time Terry Fox Run volunteer Terry Metcalfe. Metcalfe was an avid “Terry Foxer� and established a Terry Fox run at the local Island Public School. Sadly, she passed away in March 1998 due to lung cancer at the age of 44. Inspired by her dedication, Metalfe’s sisters Marie and Jennifer created the Island run in her memory. The run is a unique run compared to many other run sites, as there are no cars to interrupt the peaceful 2K and 5K to 10K routes along which participants are free to run, walk, blade, bike—the run route takes the participants from one end of the Island to the other, starting at Wards, reaching down to Hanlan’s and looping back to Ward’s. The run starts at 10 a.m. at Ward’s Island A s s o c i a t i o n Clubhouse, with registration opening up at 8:45 a.m. E-mail wardsislandtfr@gmail. com for more information.

P the four-room schoolhouse and will now be working to build a second school in partnership with Canadian grassroots charity SchoolBOX. Many of the Torontobased group made the trip to Monte Olivo in northwest Nicaragua to work side-by-side with the community carrying bricks, mixing cement, and hand-twisting the rebar to build the structurally sound school. Co-operation between the ministry of education and community leaders ensures a sustainable project. Continued support from SchoolBOX is provided so the children have the school supplies to regularly attend classes, something many fami-

lies can’t afford to provide. Work on the second Shirley Case School is scheduled to begin early in 2012. For more information on how to get involved, please visit www.schoolbox.ca/shirleycase.

r o d u c e r , Harbourfront resident and novice lawyer Harry Cherniak is treading the TIFF red carpet this year as he debuts his short film Pathways at the festival. This is the second TIFF short film submission for Cherniak’s production company Inflo Films, which he operates along with writer-director Dusty Mancinelli. The team’s first film Soap aired on CBC’s Canadian Reflections and was recently licensed to a station covering Russia and the Baltic States. At its core, Pathways explores the question of whether violence beget violence: the story is real and raw, with striking visuals. As the producer, Cherniak was involved in everything from working with Mancinelli to develop the script, to

Yonge St. residents from page 1 and I want to see a plan for all of that. I’ve only lived in this community for five years and I haven’t seen one more blade of grass in the whole area. Why don’t you fix what we’ve got before you keep building?� Business owners look forward to more customers as people move into the condominiums—if they can stay in business. They fear that developments

Concerned residents and business owners from Yonge St. packed the room on Aug. 24.

moving into the area are seen as an improvement and this will force commercial assessments—and taxes—to rise. John Anderson of Morningstar Furniture, a

long-time Yonge St. business owner, pointed out that his taxes have risen 9% each year over the past six years—going from $32,000 per year up to $60,000. He fears another

St. LAWRENCE MARKET

increase will force many independents to close their doors permanently. “Any of those who have had experience with MVA (market value assessment) means that we just quadrupled or five times improved the values of all the surrounding stores, which means that all of us merchants and owners on Yonge St., are looking at a 400 to 500% increase in our taxes. Maybe the developers are aware of it because it will kill the street, � Anderson calculates. “This is what I see

getting the funding organized, to scouting and securing the locations, hiring the crew and casting the actors. One challenge was finding railway track where a cargo train would likely come by within each hour. Since the rail companies don’t release their schedules to the public, finding out cargo train schedules was not easy. Surprisingly, Cherniak found that there are many people who spend their time online sharing information about cargo trains and armed with inside information, Mancinelli and Cherniak spent a whole day location scouting and train watching. Pathways will be playing as part of Short Cuts Canada Program #6 at the Bell Lightbox #2 on Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m. and Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. Check out www.inflofilms.com or “like� www. facebook.com/inflofilms. happening.� Area residents and business owners are passionate that they are not ignored while developers move in and change the landscape of the area and they are united in preserving what makes Yonge St., one of a kind. “What are unique are the small shops,� one gentleman stated. “We have to do what we can to preserve the small shops, otherwise people like [Anderson] and the people he was talking about are all going to be gone and what ever is left that is unique about Yonge St., is going to be gone and the developers don’t care about that.� Information about developments in the north Yonge St. area can be found through the Church Wellesley Nei g h b o urh o o d Association web site at www. cwna. ca or at www.kristynwongtam.ca.

Event calendar for September! Cooking Classes We have a full line up of cooking programs in September. To see all classes being offered visit stlawrencemarket.com Sept 10 Knife Skills 101 Interactive demo Sept 28 Paella Hands-on Sept 30 Tapas party and shopping tour Hands-on

1 – 3 p.m. 6 – 8 p.m. 6 – 9 p.m.

$50/person $50/person $85/person

To register, call us at 416.860.0727 or email kitchen@stlawrencemarket.com

'PPE)JTUPSZ4IPX Every Saturday we enjoy a talk from local historian Bruce Bell, and cook up delicious new recipes in the kitchen.

When? Every Saturday 9 - 10 a.m Where? The Miele Gallery at The Market Kitchen (west mezzanine of the South Market).

Attendance is free! TUMBXSFODFNBSLFUDPNr'BDFCPPLDPNTUMBXSFODFNBSLFU

Open house for seniors’ theatre prog. Act II Studio is holding its autumn information day on Sept. 9 from 10:30 a.m. until noon at POD 250, Jorgenson Hall, 2nd floor, 380 Victoria St. the nearest subway stop for this location is College St. The studio is a creative drama centre and theatre program for older adults (50 plus) run by Ryerson’s continuing education school. Founded in 1988, the studio is known internationally as a leader in older adult creative education. For information, call (416) 979-5000 ext. 6297 or e-mail act2@ryerson.ca.

‘Raw’ short debuts at TIFF By John Bessai

A

fter a year of fundraising and several trips to Nicaragua, Front and Church street resident Jessica Chaikowsky cut the ribbon on the school to honour the life and sacrifice of fallen Canadian aid worker Shirley Case. As reported in the December 2010 edition of The Bulletin, Shirley Case was shot down by the Taliban in Kabul in August 2008 after a life serving others. With projects in Indonesia, Chad, and here in Canada, “Shirley did more in her 30 years than most of us can even contemplate, � Chaikowsky says. “We wanted to do something to celebrate her life and continue her legacy of helping others. The experience for all of us was life-changing.� The Toronto team of Shirley’s Superninjas— along with Shirley’s family—successfully raised enough funds to complete

7

DANCE NextSteps 2011/12 Harbourfront Centre’s globally inspired dance series NextSteps launches its 6th season on Sept. 22. The line-up includes the best companies from Toronto and across Canada including ProArteDanza, Toronto Dance Theatre, Ballet Creole and others. Buy a Flex Pass and save up to 50%! harbourfontcentre.com/nextsteps

FOOD/FAMILY Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by Sept. 2–5 | FREE The summer’s premier food festival is back and bigger than ever! Four savoury days packed with a full menu of culinary arts, music, film, demos and dance. harbourfrontcentre.com/summer

MUSIC Summer Music in the Garden Through Sept. 18 | Toronto Music Garden (475 Queens Quay West) | FREE Enjoy free concerts of classical and traditional music from around the world. Most Thursdays at 7pm and Sundays at 4pm.

235 Queens Quay W. Toronto, ON Government Site Partners

Government Programming Partners

Info: 416-973-4000 Lead Summer Partner

harbourfrontcentre.com Corporate Site Partners

LARGE SELECTION CLEARANCE SALE!


8

September 2011

www.thebulletin.ca

Homegrown hoops star has high hopes Dennis Hanagan

Tech student gets the final okay at camp he’ll join the Mill Rats basketball team in St. John, New Brunswick when regular season starts in October. He’ll have competition from two other players at camp, but Brown isn’t worried. “I still have to pass training camp, but that shouldn’t be a problem,” says Brown.

S

ome people groan at the approach of September and the thought summer has come to an end. But not Jerome Brown of St. Jamestown. He can’t wait for it to get here. That’s because the 21-year-old standing at 6’ 4” has been drafted by the National Basketball League of Canada and training camp starts Sept. 15. If the former Central

Brown likes to work out in the gym at his nearby We l l e s l e y C o m m un i t y Centre where he doesn’t mind helping other players develop their skills. “They ask me to help them, so I help them.” He’s been playing since age 10 but his interest in basketball didn’t really start until he attended Eastern Commerce after

Report calls for streetscape improvements from page 1 are Thornton-Smith Building, Richard S. Williams Block, Horatio Boultbee Shop, John Wanless Building, Alfred Walton Shops, John McBean Building, and the Gerrard Building. Wong-Tam wants them given “designated” status. “We are going to move toward giving full designation to those properties so that way we can protect them.” Part of the solution to preserve heritage buildings lies in giving Yonge St. landlords an incentive to invest in their properties and keep them properly maintained and in good condition. But Wong-Tam says landlords have lacked such an incentive because for the past 10 years the city has offered them no vision for their street’s future. That creates uncer-

Wong-Tam is asking planners to balance the needs of business against the benefits of heritage preservation along the Yonge St. corridor, above, along with the local BIA.

tainty for landlords so they hesitate to invest— not just in heritage buildings but in properties of all types and ages. “What property owners are saying to me is if they don’t feel comfortable and secure that their street and their investment have a future then they’re a lot less likely to invest in the upkeep of their buildings,” says Wong-Tam. “So we want to give them a plan, a certainty and the confidence to invest. ” That way says

Wong-Tam “they’re going to become good stewards of the street.” Wong-Tam wants to get Yonge’s revitalization started by focusing on the stretch between Dundas and Gerrard, possibly with a pilot project next summer that would use bollards or street furniture to widen the sidewalks on weekends. The councillor has wide support for her plan within city hall and from the community. Ryerson University, for one, she

he switched to that school from Central. “I started getting really serious when I got to Eastern, ” says Brown. But pressed for further explanation he gives credit to his parents. “It’s in my genes. My mom played. My dad played. I just started loving the game.” The point guard and shooting guard was drafted in mid-August after showing his skills in tryouts at Seneca College. “I’m quick, strong, athletic, a good handler with the ball. I can shoot mid-

range and I’m good on defense,” says Brown as he thoughtfully lists his strengths. But even though he knew what he was capable of it still took prodding from his friends to get him to attend the tryouts. “They just kept pushing me, pushing me a lot. A friend told me ‘go for it. It’s a great opportunity for you and your family.’” Brown’s mom Janice is glad for her son’s accomplishments and hopes to watch him play when his team faces those in Ottawa and Oshawa. “I’m

proud of him. He’s moving forward in his life and his future. I always support Jerome in what he wants to do.” His sister Cherika feels the same way. “He’s living his life. He’s doing what he wants. I’m happy for him.” Brown hopes to eventually join the National Basketball Association. Looking even further down the road he ponders the idea of becoming a basketball coach. But that’s still a long way off. “Right now I’m looking forward to the season,” he says.

says plays “an absolutely crucial” part in the plan because of its size and the proliferation of its students that traverse Yonge. Another important member on board is the Downtown Yonge BIA. Executive director James Robinson sees the overall community as having “come together with a vision.” He says the plan “makes heritage an important part of the future development of the street. It provides a vision for keeping that heritage aspect but also allowing for height and density to be done in a very respectful way.” Another person showing interest in the plan is Rob Ford, says WongTam. She gave him an hourlong briefing in which he suggested the plan had pros and cons but in the end “he said anything that’s pro business he would be in support of. I got some green lights to go ahead.” The report makes sever-

al recommendations: first, levels higher than heritage buildings must be setback. Also, a second entrance and exit at the Dundas subway station should be built. Street lighting unique to Yonge should be developed, and large retailers should be kept above or below grade. In addition, restaurants should encourage outdoor

seating. The report also proposes that the district attract quality high-tech retailers, which is a first step in making Downtown Yonge more available to innovative and green businesses. Live performance venues should be restored as well, while increasing the frequency of street events such as night markets and farmer’s markets.

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The Bulletin September 2011  

Toronto's Downtown Newspaper

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