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Welcome to Cabbagetown South Residents' Association

If you live or work in downtown Toronto, Canada, between Parliament and Sherbourne, Carlton and Shuter Streets, then we are your neighbourhood residents' association.  For info on the next meetings click the events section on the sideboard. 

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Purpose of Cabbagetown South

  • To promote measures which enhance the beauty, safety, and environmental and economic viability of the Cabbagetown South area.
  • To promote the general quality of residential and economic life in and around the Cabbagetown South area.
  • To promote a sense of community within the Cabbagetown South area that respects the diversity of people in the Cabbagetown South area.
  • To undertake or support projects requiring or benefiting from community support which are intended to advance the above objectives.
  • To oppose measures which diminish the above.
 

Green Bin Survey

Thanks to everyone that took the time to answer our survey questions.  It is clear that many people are dedicated to reducing the amount of garbage going to landfill and want to do the right thing regarding sorting out green waste and recycling.  Many residents go to great lengths to store their bins out of sight or use the smallest bin available.  Neighbours have built custom storage units for their present sized bins and some will find the larger green bin does not fit.  Other neighbours store their present bin out of sight and bring it through the house on the morning of pick up.Others actually haul their bins via the laneway from the back of their property to the curb fronting their house.

 A heavier and bigger bin will be problematic for many.  To read more please click here.

    


Crimes to Report?

Whenever a crime or a suspicious incident occurs, report it.  If it is an emergency call 911 if ongoing issues such as noise complaints, street level prostitution or drug dealing call non emergency response at 416 808 2222.  And get the incident number.  Follow up with Community Police Officers.

Police Constable Dave Hinchcliffe Rice phone 647 921 6395 email david.hinchcliffe@torontopolice.on.ca

Police Constable Scott Hodgson phone 647 921 6395 email scott.hodgson@torontopolice.on.ca

Police Sergeant Daniel Vega phone 416 808 5100 daniel.vega@torontopolice.on.ca

For issues at Toronto Community Housing properties such as noise, drug dealing, etc.follow up with 

Community Safety Advisor Michael Bezoff phone 416 899 8454 email michael.bezoff@torontohousing.ca

Officers from 51 Division point out that the more calls they receive from a particular neighbourhood, the more patrols that neighbourhood receives.  If problems are persistent it is also recommended you contact

Staff Sergeant Peter Troup directly at 416 808 5152 to follow up. His email is Peter.Troup@torontopolice.on.ca

Emailing a general complaint form is also a great idea as it helps determine the number of officers assigned to particular divisions. Click here.

Rise in House Break ins in the last month

We have heard several reports of break ins in the neighbouhood in the last couple of weeks.  We remind area residents to be vigilant in keeping doors and windows locked.  We also ask that if you see anyone suspicious hanging around near your property on the street or laneways to call police and report it.  If you see someone checking out a neighbours gate, fence, windows or doors and sense something is not right call 911 and explain what is going on.  The dispatcher will send someone as soon as they can.   You can also call our community police response team listed above. 

Public Consultation Meetings Regarding Multi Tenant Residences (Rooming Houses)

The City of Toronto is holding a series of public consultation meetings on proposed regulations for multi-tenant houses – commonly referred to as rooming houses.

Two different sets of meetings will be held. The first set of meetings will be held in five "pilot" areas where multi-tenant houses currently are not permitted, while the second set will take place in areas of the city where multi-tenant houses are permitted.  To read more click here.


 

Development in the area continues to skyrocket.

The number of proposals and development in the area continues at an unprecedented rate with many dizzying heights. For more information please have a look at this recent Urban Toronto compilation.  Both the Oben Flats proposal at 307 Sherbourne and the Beer Store at 227 Gerrard proposal are highlighted. Click here.


What we are working on for 2017 

Response to Development Application filed with city for Beer Store redevelopment

  

There was a large turn out to the recent planning meeting regarding the Beer Store proposal. Area resident Jordan Allison has compiled a detailed response regarding the design and the plan. To read it please click here

For detailed information about the current plan please click here.  


It is interesting to note that there is a similar plan for the Beer Store at Logan and Gerrard which is only six storeys high. To look at that plan click here


A similar plan is also in the works for a Beer Store at Avenue Road and Lawrence. To see that plan click here


Both of those plans include more family sized 2 bedroom units while the proposal for our area is for more 1 bedroom units.  For more information please click here.     


Toronto District School Board considering Elementary School for the Arts

In 2016 area residents approached our School Trustee Chris Moise and the Toronto District School Board about the feasibility of establishing an arts focused middle school (Grades 6-8) within Toronto Centre-Rosedale. We have been advised that the School Board's planning department is actively working on a plan for an Elementary Arts Programs in the downtown core to likely open in September, 2019. They will first conduct a study in the 2017-2018 school year.  Should you have any interest or concerns about the proposal the contact person at TDSB is Administrative Liaison Joselyn Nalli email Joselyn.Nalli@tdsb.on.ca. Please cc us at info@cabbagetownsouth.ca. You can also have a look at their website regarding program proposals. Click here.  To read more click here.






How to find out about development plans in our area.

If you want to check out the status of development applications in our area you can do so by clicking the link below.  If it is a large project hit the button titled Community Planning if a small project hit the button tilted Committee of Adjustment.  Fill in the city district (Toronto & East York) and the street address, Ward # (28) and then hit the search button.  A blue thumbtack will appear on the map.  Click the thumbtack and a box will pop up.  Click the learn more link and another screen will appear with the Development Application and a link to supporting documents.  You will then have access to drawings, plans, and other documentation regarding the plan.  To do this please click Here.



Moss Park 519 Church Community Center


The Moss Park Team has submitted their final recommendations regarding the proposed new John Innis Community Center. Despite vocal objections to the relocation of the building onto the playing fields and tennis courts the 519 Design Team has submitted a plan for a new building to the city. To view the plan please click here.

The Garden District is very concerned about the plan to put up a much larger building on the west side of the park. To look at their position paper please click here. The 519 Moss Park Team have come back with a slightly modified plan very similar to their original proposal for a brand new and very large building rather than a revamp of the old community center and rink. 

 

Safe Laneway Committee

Minutes of Meeting #1 - Cabbagetown Safe Laneways Policing and Social Issues + Lighting (Sub – Committee Meeting#1) Date of Meeting: Wednesday May 3rd, 2017 at 6:00pm – 7:00pm. Attendance: Nadeem, Helen, Cindy, Don, Kirk 

Quick Wins (2017) – agreed by sub-committee 

Install LED motion sensors security lights  House numbers on the back of houses adjacent to laneways 

Trim large bushes and trees 

Clean Graffiti quickly o Security Cameras  

Empower residents to report issues o Inform residents about securing cars and yard areas o Residents to have a positive and visible presence in the laneways 

Implementation of Quick Wins – 

Strategies & Deadlines 

Arrange Police walkabout, after dark, to identify Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. Arrange for end of May 2017. 

Survey residents to have numbers on back of their property on laneway side.  

Arrange for security consultant to speak at General Meeting. 

Provide residents with options and costing for LED lighting and cameras.

Consider installation of fake cameras to deter negative behavior. 

Encourage residents to report issues more frequently. o Contact city to clean laneways more frequently.

Safe Laneway Survey (under construction) 

Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer our survey.  Here is a recap of your responses.

How often do you use the laneways in Cabbagetown South?

70% Everyday   19% A Couple of times a week  16% A Few Times a Month  5% Never 

Comments included Not Safe,  Take Shortcut but feel uncomfortable.  Laneway surface is unevenand a tripping hazard.

To Read More Click Here.

Our association recently met with a group called The Laneway Project to discuss solutions around problems with laneways in our area.   The idea is to see if there are ways we can change the design and function of our laneways to help deter unwanted behaviour.   Laneways are often being used as toilets, Illegal dumping, street level prostitution and drug dealing and drug use.  We need to take back our laneways by creating spaces that are attractive and safe for area residents to walk, ride bicycles, park their vehicles, play with their kids, exercise their dogs etc..

Several area residents have made great strides in taking on laneway gardening projects and engaging their neighbours in keeping the laneways green and litter free.  One big challenge that we need to raise funds for is the watering of these laneway gardens during hot dry spells in the summer.  We are working on getting information about who offers such services and what the cost would be to cover watering when the weather does not cooperate.   

We have created a small working group that will look at all our laneways to determine what laneways are in good condition and relatively problem free and those which need a lot of work.  We then hope to create a master plan for laneway revitalizaton that will look at improving laneway hardscape, lighting, solutions for graffiti and making the laneways safe and inviting.

PAVEMENT STRATEGY:

INTRODUCTION and SURVEY QUESTIONS:

Some paving surfaces in the laneways are in dire need of a proper repaving and have been poorly patched over the years posing a hazard for cars and cyclists. For those people who have walked through the lanes of Regent Park, you will notice a completely different, family-friendly environment with a mix of paving types/surfaces that define sections of the lanes. This gives the lane character by breaking it up in relation to adjacent buildings, lots or changes in direction or lane type. What you may not realize is the pavement itself performs a vital role in managing stormwater run-off into Lake Ontario. The porous concrete paving bricks allow water to regenerate the water table while greatly reducing run off that over burdens the storm sewer system and pollutes the Lake.

As a connection between Regent Park and the Garden District, Cabbagetown South holds an opportunity to define our neighbourhood as a genuinely unique district while being part of a greater plan. However, if we don’t champion a vision, we will be left with patchwork of quick-fix solutions that further perpetuate the conditions we find today.


 To read more click here.

Problematic Properties in Cabbagetown South

Area residents recently met Councillor Pam McConnell, executive assistant Kelly Sather and  city by-law staff, health department staff, representatives from police and fire departments to tackle the ongoing issue of problematic properties in Cabbagetown South.  It was our hope that meeting with a large contingent of city staff from various departments that a consolidated effort to address ongoing problems around housing conditions, safety, and in some cases criminal activity could leverage a positive outcome to improve the conditions of poorly maintained/managed properties.  To read more click here.

Our Board Members for 2017.

President Jeff Lookong, and Vice President Don Purvis welcome Karen Marrin, Bryan Jones, Tanya English, Nadeem Ahmed, Louis- Philippe Rochon,  Diana Flynn, Mike Laidlaw and Michael Portnoy to our 2017Board.  

We were also pleased that several area residents have volunteered to help with Community Police Liaison Committee, marketing and social events for the coming year.  Thanks to everyone who turned out for our AGM on a cold and snowy February night.  Our plan to delay our first meeting of the year until the spring in hopes of better weather did not work out so well.  We need a few weeks to meet as a board and come up with our spring schedule and some interesting guest speakers.  Watch for our emails and e newsletter update in the weeks to come. 


We always need volunteers to take on special projects for 2017


Again we ask for volunteers willing to help out a couple of hours per month on various projects.  We need help with our gardening projects, social events, membership and communication.  Please take the time to look at our stated Purpose of Cabbagetown South above.   If you have some spare time,please introduce yourself to one of our board members at our meetings or contact us at info@cabbagetownsouth.ca 

For the latest updates, click here.


         

Revamped Sherbourne/Gerrard redevelopment proposal slated to go to Ontario Municipal Board                                             

The Developer for Oben Flats recently advised that they intend to move the proposal to the Ontario Municipal Board.  It had been our hope that a compromise regarding the height and design of the building could be brokered with the help of city planners.  We asked Oben Flats why they have proceeded to the OMB rather than deal with city planners but did not get a response.  We assume that they felt that city planners were not dealing with their proposal in a expedient manner.  When we hear when the OMB hearing is we will advise so area residents with concerns or who support the plan can make written depositions or speak at the hearing.  If the proposal goes to East York Council we will advise as well.  At this time area residents will be given the opportunity to speak or write about their concerns about the plan.  Will advise when we hear when this meeting is to take place. To learn more click here.  


To have a look at the entire revised plan/documents please go to the 
City of Toronto  Application Site, click Application Information Center (AIC) and fill in the boxes.  Address is 307 Sherbourne Street.  Here is a photo of the original rendering for comparison to the rendering available in the City Application Site. We will advise when the meeting at Community Council is announced.  Area residents with concerns about the proposal or in support of the proposal will be given an opportunity to speak at that community council meeting.


Since the initial application submission, proposal has been modified as follows:

  • Height of podium has been reduced by one storey; 
  • Height of tower has increased by one storey; 
  • Reduction in GFA by approx. 220 square metres (reducing number of units from 94 to 93);
  • Removal of landscape strip at rear property line;
  • Removal of the private patios located at-grade along Sherbourne Street

Heritage Preservation Services 

  • The elevations were modified to address the comments pertaining to the outboard balconies on the north façade of the proposed development as received from City Planning and Heritage Preservation Services during the June 30, 2016 meeting. The balconies have been removed from the sixth floor only, while the seventh floor balconies have been retained to align with the underside of the soffit at the southwest corner and outboard balconies on the seventh floor, south facade.

 Development Engineering 

  • The parking supply has been provided on site as requested (0.38 residential spaces and 0.05 visitor spaces per unit).
  • A site plan has been modified to include the collection vehicle's movement.
  • Solid Waste Management Services: the drawings have been revised to show the ability of the collection to enter and exit the site in a forward motion with no more than a three-point turn. 
  • Drawings include a Type G loading space. 
  • The drawings have been revised to include a 5.0 metre corner rounding required at Sherbourne Street and Gerrard Street East. 
  • The Functional Servicing and Stormwater Management Report has been modified.

Tree Protection & Plan Review

  • Tree protection (including hoarding location and distances) has been included on the plan.
For information about how Community Council Meetings work here is an interesting website.

                                           

The plan for a 13 story market rate apartment building at Sherbourne and Gerrard was the topic for discussion at a recent community planning meeting in January.  Oben Flats development team gave a brief outline of the proposal to interested neighbours.  To see the plan please click here.  The city planner, heritage planner and Councillor McConnell then gave area residents an opportunity to voice their concerns, support and offer up suggestions about the proposal.  City planner Jennifer Renaud advised that the plan is in its early stages and has not been approved.  We were advised however that the site has been previously identified as a high building site by city planners.  For information about tall building sites and the rationale in identifying such sites please click here.   Heritage planner Paul Maka advised that the proposed building is subject to some heritage planning regulations due to its location across for Heritage Designated Allan Gardens and the heritage designated building on the south west corner adjacent to the vacant lot.  

Immediate neighbours voiced concerns about the size and the architectural style of the building. The concern about potential shading of Gerrard Street and Allan Gardens was also raised.    The developer provided a shading study which did seem to indicate the shading of Allan Gardens is  not an issue.    

Some neighbours indicated they liked the idea of market rate apartments,and liked the architectural design of the building and the need to redevelop the long vacant lot.  

Concerns were raised about the height and the look of the building and how the proposed building would impact on the heritage character of the neighbourhood.  Area architects suggested that the podium height is inappropriate and needs to be reduced to a three storey podium to better connect with the surrounding buildings.  Many area residents voiced the need for some commercial/retail space on the ground floor to help anchor retail mix along Gerrard Strreet.     Other neighbours felt that although our area has not yet designated, the neighbourhood is slated under study as a Heritage Conservation District and any new development should be subject to height and design in keeping with the surrounding streetscape.  

There were also concerns about the lack of street parking in the area and that tenants and guests will further tax the availability of street parking in the area.  Oben Flats representatives countered that parking reviews in the area indicated that most area buildings have an excess of parking spots and that most tenants will opt not to own a vehicle due to the walkabilty of the neighbourhood and proximity to the downtown core employment areas.  

Some area residents felt the increased density with new tenants able to pay market rent would help increase the economic development of retail and commercial buildings on Gerrard Street.  Others felt the height of the building is in keeping with Sherbourne Streetscape and were relieved that a much taller building was not being proposed.

The next steps will be for the City Planner to review the comments of the community and responding to the applicant. ObenFlats can either then revise their plans, or go to the OMB with the plans now on file.  We will keep you abreast with any new developments regarding this proposal.  

Further reading that might be of interest is a paper published by the Confederaton of Resident and Ratepayer Associations in Toronto (CORRA).  They are reviewing a proposed Development Permit System which would be a fundamental shift in Toronto's planning process to a "vision based neighbourhood scale" planning process.  For more information please click here.





 



 

 

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