HIGH PARK ZOO CELEBRATES HOLIDAY SEASON WITH FESTIVE TREE-LINED SNOWFLAKE WALK
After a long closure through the Covid-19 pandemic, the High Park Zoo is once again open to the public and, from December 5 to January 8, 2022, decorated holiday trees will stand on parade lining the road through the zoo for festive cheer.
The trees, which are all sponsored and decorated by local businesses, will be a prominent feature of High Park’s Snowflake Walk – a ticketed event taking place December 12 and 19th from 5-6 pm. This is a night time walk through the zoo to enjoy the sparkling trees.
The event, which is organized by the Friends of High Park Zoo, is pay what you can, with a suggested donation of $10 per family. People can also vote for their favourite tree at highparkzoo.ca
After the event, the trees are recycled as enrichment toys for the enjoyment of some of the zoo animals who love to play with them.
The High Park Zoo’s 11 paddocks are home to a variety of animal species from around the world including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, wallabies, emus and sheep. The Zoo, which was established in 1893, is free to the public and attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year.
PUBLIC SURVEY OPEN FOR WABASH COMMUNITY RECREATION CENTRE
On November 3, the City of Toronto design team presented and collected community feedback on a draft design for the new community centre planned for the Wabash Community Recreation Centre at Sorauren Park.
It was a fourth virtual public meeting about the project, and City design consultants, Diamond Schmitt Architects and PMA Landscape Architects, released the draft designs for the exterior, interior and landscaping for the new centre, to be built on the site of the former Canada Linseed Oil Mills.
Through consultation with community members, Indigenous representatives, and the City’s operational staff, the Angler option was selected as the site design that will be further developed.
The latest online survey gives community members an opportunity to share feedback on the draft design. Concepts for net-zero energy usage are also included.
The survey is open till November 17 and all responses are anonymous. For more information, visit toronto.ca/WabashCRC.
A recording of the Nov. 3 meeting will also be posted to YouTube with automatic closed captions in many languages.
THE JUNCTION COMES ALIVE WITH WINTER WONDERLAND OUTDOOR ART EXHIBITION
Returning to The Junction neighbourhood this year is the 2nd Annual Window Wonderland, transforming businesses along Dundas Street West into an outdoor gallery that is interactive, engaging, and magical.
The exhibition, which takes place November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022, incorporates the work of 40 local and international artists and Augmented Reality (AR) to create an impressive public art display.
Window Wonderland is a safe and family-friendly outdoor public art experience that everyone can enjoy, allowing for social distancing by following Ontario’s health and safety guidelines.
In partnership with international tech company ARTivive, 20 interactive painted windows and a mural can be accessed through their AR app. Visitors can download the free ARTivive APP, activate the AR camera and watch our windows come alive!
A fourth round of public consultation for the new Wabash Community Recreation Centre planned for the site of the former Canada Linseed Oil factory at Sorauren Park is scheduled for Wednesday November 3, 2021.
The virtual public meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8:30pm and the City of Toronto will present the draft design, which was developed based on previous rounds of community consultation, reflecting the project vision, design principles and big moves.
Construction for the project is anticipated to take place from Spring 2023 to Spring 2026.
The meeting will be recorded and posted to YouTube, for those who cannot attend. Community members can also review and provide feedback on the draft design in an online survey between November 3-17, 2021.
For the link to the survey and further information about the new community centre, visit toronto.ca/WabashCRC
For additional information, or if you require accessibility accommodations to participate, contact: Ashley Wilson, Senior Project Coordinator: 416-392-4289; email@example.com
LOCAL GROUPS ASK COMMUNITY TO BAN SINGLE USE PLASTICS
This October, Waste Reduction Week (Oct. 18-24) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Canada, and local community group Roncy Reduces is hosting a pop-up event at Wright & Roncesvalles on October 20th from 3:30 – 5:30pm to remind residents and businesses that it is ok to say “No Thank You” to single-use plastics.
Stop by to chat, get info, sign up for news and check out their unique reusable Market Bags made from upcycled upholstery fabric that was destined for landfill. A limited number will be for sale to support future Roncy Reduces projects.
On the same day, another Reduces Group in Toronto, Green Wave West, has a similar event happening in the Bloordale area. You can learn more by visiting their website or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both initiatives are part of the Green Neighbours Network, a group fostering collaboration among diverse, action-oriented organizations working in Toronto to prevent climate breakdown, strengthen climate resilience, and advance climate justice.
For more information on efforts to protect and sustain our shared environment through evolution and innovation in waste reduction, visit the Waste Reduction Week website.
“THE ANGLER” DESIGN CHOSEN FOR WABASH COMMUNITY CENTRE
An important milestone in the construction of the new community centre planned for Sorauren Park was reached this week when the City of Toronto announced it had chosen a site design.
Earlier this year the City, in collaboration with Diamond Schmitt Architects, conducted consultations with members of the community, Indigenous groups and the City’s operational staff, where five proposed site design options were discussed.
Of the five designs, “The Angler” was chosen and will be further refined with additional consultation to take place later this fall.
The Angler design was the preferred choice for the Friends of Sorauren Park, who have long advocated for the renovation of the former Canada Linseed Oil Mill on Wabash Avenue into a community centre for all. Some of the key features include:
The design preserves the Town Square and Fieldhouse, in which the City and community have invested more than $1-million
The only design that preserves the full grassy slope facing the Town Square and creates an integrated hardscape/softscape community event space, enhancing the way the park is used for outdoor movies and performances
Preserves the tree grove including the serviceberries near Wabash Avenue, and many other trees cared for by Adopt-a-Tree volunteers in 2014 and 2015
speaks to the reality of the rail corridor that cuts the park on an angle, and to the angled Robert Watson condo building north of the park
the fourth building block tucks neatly into the landscape of the park along the railway creating a “wedge” that becomes a clear focal point on the park side, and an entrance space on the rail corridor side, with the potential for a “great lobby” that invites community interaction
accommodates all the City-mandated community centre program plans
creates interesting roof space options
maintains the circular flow of the park and provides easy access to a planned future footbridge crossing the tracks and connecting the park to the West Toronto Railpath
retains and integrates the industrial heritage features of the linseed building
aligns with the preferred design principles already outlined by Friends of Sorauren Park and confirmed through FOSP-led community consultations and survey (1,200 responses)
For more information on the planned community centre, which will serve the neighbourhoods surrounding Roncesvalles, Parkdale and High Park, visit the City of Toronto’s project page.
DineTOgether INITIATIVE AIMS TO SUPPORT LOCAL RESTAURANTS
Restaurants in the city of Toronto are slowly recovering after months of lockdown, and to support the beleaguered industry, the City of Toronto has launched a DineTOgether program with special prix-fixe feature menus.
Between Sept. 17 and Oct. 3, diners can explore Toronto’s diverse culinary scene with special two-item menus ranging from $15 to $50 per person at more than 270 restaurants.
In the Roncesvalles Village area, these restaurants are taking part:
Musoshin (9 Boustead Ave)
This new ramen shop in Roncesvalles Village has options for chicken karaage, pork ramen with house noodles and white miso vegan ramen on lunch and dinner menus for $20-$25.
Bar Bacan (369 Roncesvalles Ave)
A $20 dinner menu at this Argentinean / Latin American restaurant includes arepa with yucca fries and a dessert.
Inter Steer Tavern (357 Roncesvalles Ave)
Enjoy a 2-course lunch or dinner for $35 including black bean soup and smoked BBQ ribs at this traditional Polish pub with patio dining on Roncesvalles Avenue
The Friendly Thai (223 Roncesvalles Ave)
A $15 lunch menu and a $25 dinner menu includes Thai favourites for takeout, delivery, patio and indoor dining.
iSLAS Filipino BBQ and Bar (1690 Queen St W)
Offering a $25 dinner menu including Filipino spring rolls, adobo or fiesta noodles.
Le Baratin (1600 Dundas St W)
Enjoy a dinner of steak-frites, vegetarian tarte iflette or fish of the day with dessert for $40
Share your meal highlights and tag your posts and photos with hashtag #ShowLoveTO.
For more information on the DineTOgether program, participating restaurants and menus, visit the City of Toronto website.
MOCA CELEBRATES LOCAL ARTISTS WITH FIRST-EVER TRIENNIAL
Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) on Sterling Road is set to launch its first-ever triennial survey, with 21 of the most energizing artists and art collectives working in the city.
Opening on September 29, 2021, the Greater Toronto Art 2021 (GTA21) is envisioned as a long-term commitment to Toronto’s artistic future, a framework that will continue to support the city’s creative community while addressing the most pressing issues of our time.
GTA21 marks a renewed focus by MOCA on the local art scene and offers significant support for the featured artists to realize new and/or expanded work. Visitors will encounter 21 specially commissioned or never-before-seen artworks spanning all three floors of the Museum in a range of media including drawing, sculpture, performance, painting and video.
While hundreds of large-scale exhibitions are mounted each year around the world, MOCA’s GTA exhibition is defined by its pledge to Toronto artists and the commissioning of new projects that add to a local and global discourse.
This first edition of GTA21 has been generated by the curators Daisy Desrosiers, Rui Mateus Amaral and November Paynter, with leadership and support from MOCA Executive Director and CEO Kathleen Bartels.
Beyond the Museum walls, the exhibition features several public artworks, a set of responsive digital components, a variety of public programmes and learning initiatives, and an accompanying publication.
The next GTA Triennial will take place in 2024 with a different team of curators and a continued focus on how an expanded view of Toronto can further encapsulate the spirit of this evolving and hyper-diverse city.
While most cultural and food festivals were cancelled this year due to the ongoing pandemic, (including the Roncesvalles Polish Festival), Toronto can look forward to celebrating at North America’s largest Ukrainian Festival, September 18-19 in Bloor West Village.
The festival will have a hybrid model this year, giving people an opportunity to experience Ukrainian culture and hospitality at its best: including Ukrainian dancers, vocalists, musicians, and a special youth segment – either in-person or virtually.
At the Bloor West location (2425 Bloor Street West), vendor kiosks will offer authentic Ukrainian food and beverages, crafts and collectibles. Cultural pavilions will feature interactive cultural activities and displays of historical and contemporary interest.
Festival organizers are working closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on safe execution, with its top priority being the health and well-being of audiences, talent, press and industry, and residents of the community.
Masks are required at all festival venues by Toronto Public Health authorities, and festival organizers will provide each ticket holder with a FREE cloth mask.
Since the 1880s, when immigrants from Ukraine to Canada embraced the opportunity to work, prosper and raise families in peace and freedom, Ukrainian culture has enriched the Canadian landscape. Today, more than 4 million people in Canada can trace their heritage to Ukraine.
WHO CAN GROW A TOP TOMATO? FIND OUT AT SORAUREN FARMERS MARKET
Summer’s bounty will be on display for admiring – and tasting – at the Annual Tomato Tasting at Sorauren Farmers’ Market, August 23.
With sampling back on the menu at farmers’ markets, you can sample tasty tomatoes and heirloom varieties from local farmers and vote for your favourite. Which farmer will be crowned tomato royalty this year?
Sorauren Farmers’ Market is a non-profit organization providing wholesome fresh food and community connection. It provides support to local sustainable farmers and producers, and work opportunities for those marginalized from the labour market. Generating relationships and dialogue around gardening, sustainable farming and healthy food and implementing measures to lessen the Market’s environmental impact are core aims.
The Farmers’ market operates each Monday from 3-7 p.m. at Sorauren Park, 50 Wabash Avenue. For more information about vendors and upcoming events, visit SoraurenMarket.com
SEE THE STARS AT SORAUREN PARK
Calling all stargazers: The Friends of Sorauren Park is hosting a new program of planet watching, constellation touring and meteor viewing, all in a friendly, everyone-welcome and COVID-safe format.
The next scheduled date is August 19 to see the Moons of Jupiter. All those interested can meet at the shipping container in the park near the baseball diamond at 8:30 p.m. A small telescope will be available to see the four pinpricks of light – the largest moons of Jupiter – that Galileo saw in 1610, turning cosmology on its head.
If you’re interested in joining the Sorauren Stargazers and learning more about the night sky and upcoming events in the park, sign up for email alerts and special opportunities like International Space Station fly-over viewings. Also, let them know if you’d like to volunteer and have any special experience or stargazing equipment.
Please note, this event is weather permitting, with an alternate night August 20, 8:30 p.m.
Learn more about the Friends of Sorauren Park here.
CITY EXPANDS ACTIVETO PROGRAM FOR JULY / AUGUST
Toronto has expanded its popular ActiveTO program, closing select city streets on weekends amid data that shows the program has resulted in a three-fold increase in cyclist traffic.
“I encourage all residents to take advantage of the many and varied ActiveTO locations that will be available throughout July and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for August,” said Mayor John Tory in a news release.
The city had previously suggested the closure of Lake Shore Boulevard West could not be accommodated this year due to a long-term construction project at the intersection of King Street, Queen Street and Roncesvalles Avenue.
Instead, the City has shortened the route on two of the weekends so that it terminates at Jameson Avenue rather than Stadium Road.
Closures for the July 31- August 1 weekend include:
Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes), between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road
Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes), between Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue
The Meadoway in Scarborough (Brimley Road to Scarborough Golf Club Road)
Roads within High Park
The City is considering opening new ActiveTO routes for the remainder of the year. For more information and updates about the program visit the City of Toronto website.
HIGH PARK EXPLORES LONG-TERM MOBILITY SOLUTIONS – TAKE THE SURVEY
High Park has been closed to vehicle traffic on weekends since Spring, 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and need to provide pedestrians with space to physically distance.
Now the City of Toronto is inviting the public to participate in a new High Park Movement Study to explore long-term mobility solutions in the park. The goal of the study is to improve the travel network to better serve park users and the surrounding community, prioritizing safety and accessibility while preserving the park’s ecological integrity.
The study is in early stages and will be underway by fall 2021. Over the summer, the City will be retaining a consultant team to support the study, finalize a work plan, collect data and conduct a background analysis. A preferred solution for long-term travel network improvements is targeted for the summer of 2022. The implementation of the preferred solution is targeted for 2023.
Now is your chance to give your feedback. Share your experiences when travelling to, from and within High Park in the online survey. All survey responses are anonymous and the survey will remain open throughout the summer.
The Friends of Sorauren Park has launched a new lineup of Covid-safe summer programs for kids.
The weekly series features a fun instructional video with self-guided activities children can do at home or at the park. Children can also drop by the Friends of Sorauren Park table every Monday at the Farmers’ Market, 3 – 7 pm by the Town Square, for (physically distanced) activity tips.
Led by summer programmer Amanda Vo, and filmed by summer student Dion Lynch, you can find each video on the Friends of Sorauren Park website and social media channels.
Participants can also win prizes! Take photos of your completed creation, and tag @SoraurenPark on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. There will be a weekly draw for free popcorn, redeemable at the concession stand at the Sorauren Park Outdoor Movies once they start up again (fingers crossed!), plus one grand prize at the end of the summer from Scooter Girl Toys, the Sorauren Summer Kids Fun sponsor.
LIVE PERFORMANCES RETURN TO HIGH PARK THIS SUMMER
In a positive sign of pandemic recovery, Canadian Stage has unveiled a dynamic in-person summer programming line-up for the High Park Amphitheatre.
The summer season of shows, including music, theatre, dance, stand-up comedy and more is designed to build, strengthen, and restore community connection through the performing arts.
“This summer brings us to a critical moment for arts and culture in this city,” says Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy. “We are all feeling tentative and yet are yearning for art and connection. What we wanted to do with High Park this summer is share it – share it in a way that meaningfully takes action on commitments we have made in the last two years and share it in a way that facilitates the beginning of this recovery period –not just for us but for the community at large. The result, we believe, will be a really thrilling and inspiring summer season that will offer something for everyone.”
Recognizing that the High Park Amphitheatre is one of Toronto’s few dedicated outdoor performing arts venues with gated entry, ample space for physical distancing, and capacity to meet all required health and safety protocols, Canadian Stage undertook extensive community outreach in the winter months to identify groups seeking outdoor performance space, resulting in the inclusion of 19 arts and community partners this summer.
Performances and events will generally be less than 90 minutes in length, and tickets will go on sale once outdoor performances are permitted to resume.
Charles G. Williams Park (often called Sorauren Playground) is about to get a long-awaited makeover. The City of Toronto says construction will start in June on the revitalization of the playground at the southeast corner of Wabash and Sorauren Avenue.
The park will be closed during construction, which is expected to last until this fall. Design highlights include:
A new playground, new landscaping and new pathways
New surface on the basketball court
A new junior single-court basketball pad
A new splash pad, replacing the wading pool
New bocce ball court and outdoor ping-pong table
The park’s original plaque, commemorating the sacrifice of neighbour and soldier Charles Gower Williams in the First World War, will also come out of storage and be placed near a newly planted Vimy Oak.
While the playground is closed, the Friends of Sorauren Park will be organizing a COVID-safe, self-guided children’s activity program in Sorauren Park.
The City of Toronto is set to begin construction on the Bloor Street West Bridge at UP Express on June 7. The project is part of the 2021 Capital Works Program and will take place in five stages until December 2021.
Stage 1: June – August (at South Side of Bloor St. W) Repair & refurbish
Stage 2: August – October (at North Side of Bloor St. W) Repair & refurbish
Stage 3: October – November (at median of Bloor St. W) Construction of median barrier and crash protection
Stage 4: November (at North Side of Bloor St. W) Reconstruction of roadway & bike path
Stage 5: December (at South Side of Bloor St. W) Reconstruction of roadway & bike path
The section of Bloor Street West between Dundas Street West and Perth Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction during all phases of work. Crews will be refurbishing the existing bridge, replacing concrete sidewalks, supporting walls and curbs, pavement and bike lanes.
For more information about the project, or to speak to staff on the construction site, contact Field Ambassador, Maria Lippa, 437-317-1465, BloorRail@morrisonhershfield.com
PARKDALE HUB PROJECT: COMMUNITY MEETING
The City of Toronto and CreateTO invite community members to join their online public meeting Thursday May 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to share feedback on a preliminary development concept for the Parkdale Hub project, answer questions and provide information on next steps.
The project, at the intersection of Queen Street West and Cowan Avenue, is a transformational city-building initiative that will deliver wide-ranging social, cultural and economic benefits to the Parkdale community.
Reimagining the future of this area provides a unique opportunity for CreateTO to collaborate with City divisions, agencies, the non-profit sector and the broader community to create spaces that will more efficiently and effectively serve the Parkdale community into the future.
Area includes 4.24 acres of City-owned land including the following properties:
Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre (220 Cowan Avenue)
Parkdale Library Branch (1303 Queen Street West)
Parkdale Arts and Culture Centre (1313 Queen Street West)
Toronto Parking Authority lot (1325 Queen Street West)
Potential Enhancements to Public Realm and Site Integration
Masaryk Park and Dunn Avenue Parkette
Public Laneway at rear of library (Milky Way Lane)
Toronto Community Housing residential apartment building (245 Dunn Avenue)
YOU’RE INVITED: COMMUNITY CONSULTATION FOR THE WABASH COMMUNITY CENTRE DESIGN
A new round of community consultation is about to begin for the soon-to-be built and long-awaited Community Centre on Wabash Avenue in the south east corner of Sorauren Park.
On Tuesday May 11 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., the City of Toronto invites all interested community members to attend an online public meeting where the design team will present and seek feedback on site design options and answer questions. The City is also inviting the community to provide feedback via an online survey from May 5 to May 31.
Each design option was developed based on the project vision and design principles that were refined through previous rounds of community consultation.
The Friends of Sorauren Park (FOSP) have advocated for retaining the Fieldhouse and the Town Square, site of the weekly Farmers Market, outdoor movies, community festivals, pumpkin sale fundraisers, ball games, fitness classes, skateboarding, the best place to learn how to ride a bike in Toronto, and more.
The community and the City have already invested more than $1-million in the Fieldhouse and Town Square. Watch the video below for more about the history and importance of the Town Square to the community.
FOSP also advocates for preserving trees (and replanting any that are lost), especially the groves that are special features of the park and that were planted or cared for by volunteers. FOSP also supports retaining the industrial heritage features of the linseed mill as much as possible. The community has supported these positions through FOSP-led community consultations and a survey.
The goal of the site design process is to establish a building “footprint” (size and configuration) and building location to best weave the new building within the existing fabric of the site to achieve the best community recreation centre building and surrounding site possible.
You can review the site design options and provide your feedback on the City of Toronto’s project website: www.toronto.ca/wabashCRC
December 2019: Architect was hired through an RFP (request for proposal) process
Summer 2020 to late 2020: Public consultation to confirm vision and design principles
Winter 2020 to 2021: Public consultation to review and refine design options
Spring 2021: Public consultation to inform further development of the building design
Summer 2021: Public consultation to share and confirm the final design
Fall 2021 to Fall 2022: Preparation of construction/contract drawings
Winter 2022 to 2023: Procurement of construction services
Spring 2023 to Spring 2026: Anticipated construction
CITY ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO #BLOOMATHOME THIS CHERRY BLOSSOM SEASON
It’s cherry blossom season, and that means High Park will once again be a draw for people to enjoy the colourful blooms of the Japanese sakura trees.
This popular (and Instagram worthy) Toronto experience looks a little different this year – mayor John Tory announced that High Park in 2021 will remain open to the public throughout the blooming season, however staff have installed fencing around the three largest sections of cherry trees to discourage congregation of people during the peak bloom period.
Last year, as a Covid precaution, the City closed High Park during the cherry blossom season.
“This year, we have worked with public health, with our parks staff, with Toronto Police and with the bylaw officers to try to find a way to keep the park open safely so that people can use it while still avoiding having the large crowd scenes that the cherry blossoms would attract in a normal year,” Tory said.
“We want people to enjoy the blossoms virtually and safely, and we still want people to enjoy the park.”
The city also has a live 24-hour “BloomCam” to encourage people to enjoy the beauty of the trees virtually from home.
The first Japanese Somei-Yoshino Cherry Tree was planted in High Park in 1959 and it was present from the citizens of Tokyo. These trees are the earliest to bloom and are much loved for their fluffy pink and white flowers. Another 34 cherry trees were donated to High Park from the Sakura project. Other cherry trees were also donated to other locations around the city, for example Exhibition Place and various universities such as McMaster University, York Uni and the UofT.
The Sorauren Farmers’ Market is planning to resume its regular outdoor market at Sorauren Park on Victoria Day, May 24th.
The market’s normal outdoor schedule is 3 – 7 p.m. every Monday on the park’s Town Square.
In normal years the market moves from its winter home indoors at the Sorauren Fieldhouse to its outdoor home in the park in late May. Pandemic conditions prevented the winter market from opening this past season, replaced by the Farm Box program, which has now wrapped up.
Covid-19 health and safety protocols will be in place to ensure physical distancing, one-way flow of foot traffic and to minimize the handling of products. Everyone must wear a mask.
Sorauren Farmers’ Market is a non-profit, participatory organization. Feel free to reach out if you have questions about the market or are interested in volunteering. If you are looking to becoming a vendor, please see their vendor application page. The market accepts applications from farmers and non-farmers.
For more information about the Sorauren Farmer’s market and contact details for vendors, visit their website.
RONCESVALLES VILLAGE HOSTS INDIGENOUS ART CRAWL THIS SPRING
From April 2-18 on a one-kilometre stretch of Roncesvalles Avenue, the work of Indigenous artist Keitha Keeshig-Tobias Biizindam will be on display.
Named the “Moccasin Side Trail” the art crawl project aims to help bring creativity and conversation into our communities in solidarity with local businesses during these uncertain times.
Keitha Keeshig-Tobias is a modern Indigenous artist from Neyaashiinigmiing Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nations and the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown.
Her works include pen and ink prints, hand-painted jackets, jewellery and apparel.
“My favourite medium is dipped pen and ink, especially blue ink: blue like at twilight a time of transition, blue like the water which is women’s privilege to cherish and protect,” the artist says on her website.
More than 20 local businesses, from Scout to Coal Miner’s Daughter will be displaying her artwork in their shop windows. For a list of participating locations, and a map, click here.
On March 20, the Ontario government announced changes to the Grey Lockdown level of Covid-19 restrictions for Toronto, and outdoor dining is permitted, subject to physical distancing rules and other public health and workplace safety measures.
Some sidewalk cafés and patios on private property can open immediately and others require permission from the City, particularly if they would like to install a sidewalk or curb lane café (on the road), through the CafeTO program.
The following rules apply:
A limit of 4 people can be seated together
Establishments must be closed between 10pm and 5pm
Alcohol can only be served between 9am and 9pm
All seated patrons must provide their contact details
A minimum of 2 metres or impermeable barrier is required between tables
Each establishment must post a sign in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity (number of patrons) permitted.
The City of Toronto will install ramps to ensure that people using mobility devices can access cafés in the curb lane.
To find out which restaurants will be offering outdoor patio dining in Roncesvalles Village, you can access the Roncesvalles Village BIA directory, for details and updates.
More information on the City of Toronto’s CafeTO program can be found at Toronto.ca/CafeTO. The first round of registration for curb lane cafés closes on March 26, 2021. The second round of registrations will open on March 27, 2021 and will close in May 2021.
NEW FARMERS’ MARKET COMING TO THE JUNCTION
Muddy Crops, a local organic food service known for its fruit & veggie boxes and outdoor pop-up shop at the corner of Roncesvalles and Westminster Avenue in the summer months, will soon open a permanent location in The Junction.
Nestled among local craft breweries like Shacklands, Rainhard and Junction Craft Brewing, the new market space at 100 Symes Road will open in April for curb-side pickup and delivery.
“We would be lying if we said we’d never thought about how cool it would be to be sitting on a patio, drinking local beer while eating local fruit. So we are making it happen,” Muddy Crops co-founder Steven Yoannou told blogTO.
The produce purveyors are known for their fresh Ontario berries and rare produce like paw paws, organic wheatgrass, Peruvian purple potatoes, blood peaches and goji berries. They are a zero waste company and offer free delivery on orders over $59.
CELEBRATE WORLD WATER DAY WITH HIGH PARK NATURE CENTRE
World Water Day (March 22) seeks to raise awareness about issues relating to water, such as conservation and sanitation. This year, High Park Nature Centre is hosting a World Water Day virtual event on Sunday March 21, 2021, with a focus on indigenous stories, songs and ceremonies.
Wyandot artist Taǫmęˀšreˀ, Catherine Tàmmaro of the Little Spotted Turtle Clan, will lead a session exploring our deep relationship with the Spirit of Water, through creative activation. Participants will create waterscapes using watercolour paint and paper.
Register for this free event, and you can pick up a watercolour kit (watercolour paper, gum tape and a paint brush) from the Nature Centre (curb-side pick-up) during scheduled pick-up times.
AIR QUALITY PILOT PROGRAM ANNOUNCED FOR RONCESVALLES BUSINESSES AS PART OF COVID RECOVERY
AirQ, a Toronto-based air quality monitoring startup, has announced it is partnering with the Roncesvalles Business Improvement Association (BIA) to pilot an air safety monitoring solution in Roncesvalles Village.
“COVID-19 has presented tremendous challenges to main street businesses. Monitoring air quality could be an important part of the recovery process and we’re excited to test it out,” said John Kiru, Executive Director at the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas.
As part of the project, AirQ will complete over 400 air quality measurements for small businesses in Roncesvalles. Twenty-five businesses will have their air quality permanently monitored through the installation of custom sensors that collect live air safety data, measuring levels of exhaled air and triggering fans or alarms if air safety drops. The presence of exhaled air, measured as CO2 parts per million, can inform businesses of the risks related to aerosol transmission of Covid-19 particles.
This pilot will leverage these indoor air safety measurements to support the success and recovery Roncesvalles local businesses.
Funding for the initiative was made available through the Digital Main Street Lab program, which seeks to pilot projects that help small businesses find innovative ways to attract customers. Further support was made available through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Digital Main Street platform and see innovative technology pilot studies like this one with AirQ, to help ensure health and safety and build confidence in our main street businesses,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.
AirQ’s air quality measurement testing will help identify areas with problematic ventilation, estimate safe occupancy levels and create a practical air safety plan to keep employees and customers safe.
At a time when both staff and customers are hesitant to enter indoor spaces as a result of the risk of Covid-19 transmission, AirQ’s data-enabled sensors and measurement capabilities can help manage the risks caused by poor air flow. While no setting can be deemed zero-risk, ongoing monitoring of air quality is an important step toward the identification of low-risk indoor settings and the ultimate goal of a safe return to indoor activities.
Preliminary air quality testing performed by AirQ has shown that 93% of main street businesses have high quality air.
More information about the Digital Main Street Lab program here.
SORAUREN PARK RINK: AN UPDATE FROM THE HOSERS CREW
The volunteer crew that builds and maintains the natural ice skating rink at Sorauren Park, affectionately known as “The Hosers”, recently reached out to the community to share public health rules that have been adapted this year, due to Covid-19 health protocols.
Signs have been posted around the rink, but in case you have missed them, please note before you go:
NO SHINNY (provincial orders also prohibit practicing, no hockey sticks or pucks)
MAXIMUM 25 PEOPLE
STAY 2 METRES APART (except for members of your own household)
WEAR A MASK
The City of Toronto has passed the responsibility of monitoring compliance of the safe use rules onto The Hosers crew, and additional steps have been taken to prevent the potential for fines, rink shutdown or both.
The Hosers have re-designed the rink experience by creating a skating trail to encourage physically distanced skating and discourage shinny.
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES AT KING / QUEEN / QUEENSWAY / RONCESVALLES INTERSECTION
The City of Toronto and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have coordinated infrastructure upgrades in the area of King Street West, Queen Street West, The Queensway and Roncesvalles Avenue (KQQR). This includes the intersection at KQQR and roadway on The Queensway from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles Avenue, as well as Roncesvalles Avenue from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West and rehabilitation of the Parkside Drive bridge.
Beginning February 12, 2021, work crews will begin advanced preparation work on The Queensway and KQQR intersection, ahead of the closure of the KQQR intersection scheduled for March 31, 2021.
Work includes: Water main replacement; sewer re-lining and TTC track construction. The 501/301 Queen and 504 King streetcars have been replaced by bus services in the KQQR area.
In order to complete the work in a safe manner, there will be road and sidewalk restrictions within the work zone. A follow-up notice will be issued ahead of the KQQR intersection closure.
(With files from the City of Toronto and Councillor Gord Perks)
LANSDOWNE UNDERPASS ART PROJECT: CELEBRATING TORONTO’S 2021 YEAR OF PUBLIC ART
Toronto artists interested in making their mark in the Parkdale/Roncesvalles neighbourhood are invited to submit an expression of interest to participate in The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project — one of several initiatives to celebrate Toronto’s 2021 Year of Public Arton the theme Knowledge Sharing Across Communities.
The goal of this Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) is to obtain a roster of artists, from which a group will be selected and compensated to create a detailed design concept for the Lansdowne Underpass Art Project.
StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of programs designed to showcase, celebrate and support street, mural and graffiti artists and art throughout Toronto, create a more welcoming environment and a greater sense of belonging for residents and visitors, and reinforce Toronto’s reputation as a global centre of creativity and innovation.
The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project will transform the east side of the Lansdowne Underpass, south of Dundas Street West, with a collection of murals that share first-person perspective stories that speak to the rich ongoing history of the site as home to diverse plant and animal species and cultural communities, beginning with the Indigenous peoples of Tkaronto and Turtle Island.
The deadline for REOI submissions is January 20, 2021. Production is planned for the spring or summer of 2021.
(With files from the City of Toronto and Councillor Gord Perks)
FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR POLLINATOR GARDENS – APPLY NOW
Did you know that Toronto is home to hundreds of species of bees, butterflies and other pollinators? These insects contribute to a healthy ecosystem, but they are also under threat from habitat loss.
PollinateTO is a protection strategy from the City of Toronto, offering grants of up to $5000 for pollinator habitat creation projects that educate and engage the community.
Funding applications are open to all resident-led groups and non-profit groups. Examples of eligible projects include:
community gardens in City Parks
school ground teaching gardens
Indigenous education gardens
multiple front-yard gardens on the same street that together create a pollinator pathway/habitat corridor
Applications are open and the deadline has been extended until January 18, 2021, and this year, priority will be given to projects located in Toronto’s 31 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. South Parkdale is designated as a Neighbourhood Improvement Area under the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy.
FIRE DESTROYS ABANDONED BUILDING AT DUNDAS & STERLING ROAD
Paul Smith / CBC
Many residents in the Roncesvalles area gathered in Sorauren Park to witness the dramatic scene as a five-alarm fire broke out on December 27 at 1875 Dundas Street West, an abandoned tool rental building.
The building is owned by Metrolinx, Ana Bailão, the Deputy Mayor of Toronto, said on Twitter. She added that it was purchased for the rail corridor expansion and it was set to be demolished soon.
Dundas Street was closed in both directions and Metrolinx temporarily stopped trains from running in the area. Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said that at the fire’s peak, 80 firefighters worked to put out the “difficult and challenging” blaze.
Portions of the building inside and outside collapsed due to the fire, however there were no injuries.
The City of Toronto partnered with Metrolinx to complete designs for the West Toronto Railpaith Extension in September 2020. The new multi-use trail will be aligned in the rail corridor from the Dundas Street Bridge to Queen Street West (east side of the railway corridor).
Subject to available funding, the City is working with Metrolinx to construct the railpath in coordination with the Regional Express Rail construction underway by Metrolinx. Funding for the estimated construction cost and property requirements is proposed to be included as part of the City’s 2021 Capital Budget process.
Please take the time to fill out this survey on what is important to you for the new community centre.
The City of Toronto will soon hire architects to work on the final design for the Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park. This is exciting news, and the Friends of Sorauren Park is asking for your input on what you’d like to see at our new community centre.
This survey has been created by the Friends of Sorauren Park, a non-profit volunteer group dedicated to the completion and enjoyment of Sorauren Park.
The intention is to collect community input that can help inform the design process and construction of the new community centre planned for Wabash Avenue adjacent to the park.
MASSIVE SUCCESS FOR 12th ANNUAL PUMPKIN SALE
Thanks to all who made it down to pumpkin patch on the Sorauren Park Town Square. We raised $3,200 towards the renovations of the CG Williams Children’s Park on Wabash. Left over pumpkins were donated to: Fern Ave Public School; Parkdale Public School; Holy Family Catholic School; Queen Victoria Public School; and Mary Mother of God Catholic School.
PUMPKIN SALE BENEFITING CG WILLIAMS CHILDREN’S PARQUETTE
Please join me and my fellow friends of Sorauren Park on Saturday October 19th 9-12 at the Sorauren Park Town Square to get your pumpkin. Bring the kids to the pumpkin patch for a morning of fun, face painting, hot apple cider and neighbourhood good cheer, and of course a wide selection of pumpkins for sale. 100% of proceeds go to to park improvements, there is no cost recovery as I donate all the pumpkins to the sale.
Come early as in previous years we have sold out. over $30,000.00 raised so far thru the generous donations of the community.
Looking forward to seeing you all!
MARTIN GOODMAN TRAIL
Martin Goodman Trail Improvement Project near the Royal Canadian Legion – Project Update: September 6th 2019
Good News! The city’s contractor has very recently confirmed that they will mobilize on Monday September 9th to begin the Martin Goodman Trail Improvements near the Royal Canadian Legion.
Signage to notify trail users of the upcoming works has also been installed along the trail and parks staff are currently coordinating with Cycling Infrastructure to send the message out via their social media networks in advance of the construction start. The contractor is required to maintain access around the work zone throughout construction.
During Stage 2: Alternate access to the Legion Parking lot will be provided via Net drive. The Net drive Parking lot will remain open as long as possible. Work is being completed during off peak season in an effort to minimize these impacts.
The City’s annual Community Environment Day is back! It will be held on Saturday, April 27th, 2019, from 10am – 2pm at Sir Casmir Gzowski Park (1751 Lake Shore Blvd. W.)
You can drop off unwanted items for donation, recycling and safe disposal. Free bags of leaf compost will also be available for pick up. For more information on the event see the attached posted or visit toronto.ca/environment_days
Councillor Perks will also be hosting three community compost days in Ward 4, where free leaf compost will be available for pick. The compost will be available from 10:00am, while supplies last. Please bring your own shovel and containers.
Here are the details for the compost days:
– April 20th, 2019 at Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre, 220 Cowan Avenue
– April 27th, 2019 at Runnymede Public School, 357 Runnymede Road
– May 25th, 2019 at Indian Rd Public School, 285 Indian Rd Crescent
Parkdale Public Library News
Parkdale Library has been a valued part of our community for over 50 years; well loved, well used. Now it’s time to refresh and renew.
Parkdale Library will be closing for approximately 3 months to redesign and revitalize the main floor. This includes enhancements to the Musical Instrument Lending Library, added flexibility to deliver programs, new carpeting and more public seating.
Join Toronto Public Library for a Community Open House to meet library staff, who will answer questions and listen to your feedback
Date: Thursday, March 7, 2019
Drop in time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Parkdale Library
Address: 1303 Queen Street West
Phone Number: 416-393-7686
TTC track work Queen and Roncesvalles – note from Councillor Perks
The TTC will be reconstructing the intersection at King / Queen / Roncesvalles / Queensway (KQRQ) in 2019. The construction will take place in three phases as outlined below. This is a joint project by the TTC, Toronto’s Transportation Services and Water Division.
Overall Scope of work – Starting in April 2019
* As part of the state of good repair work, the aging sewer and track around the intersection needs to be replaced
* Relocating the eastbound centre platform streetcar stop to the far side of the intersection
* Realigning the King Street West leg to create a better intersection angle and increase green space
* Modifying / constructing street car platforms at Glendale Avenue
* Continue the bump-out treatment on Roncesvalles at this intersection
As part of the Sunnyside Community Association area traffic study that was completed in 2008, the city will also be:
* Modifying the signal at Glendale Avenue and Queensway
* Adding dedicated eastbound – left – turn lanes at Sunnyside Avenue, Glendale Avenue, and The Queensway
* Signalizing intersection at Sunnyside and The Queensway
* Modifying the streetcar track vertical alignment (slope at Claude Avenue that will visually and physically enhance the existing right-in / right-out at Claude Avenue)
This work will take place in three main stages.
* Stage 1: Roncesvalles (from Harvard to The Queensway / Queen Street West)
o March 31st, 2019 to August 4, 2019
* Stage 2: Queen Street West and The Queensway (Sunnyside to Triller)
o August 4, 2019 to Winter 2020
* Stage 3: The Queensway (Parkside to Sunnyside)
o April 2019 to October 2019
* Roncesvalles will be closed to Thru-Traffic March 31 to August 4 2019
o Grafton Ave Closed (Traffic must circulate using Laneway to Harvard Avenue
o Access to Queen Street Laneway Closed
o 1 Lane to remain open on Harvard Avenue at all times
o Bump-out retrofit to coincided during this time
* South Side of the Queensway (Parkside Bridge to Sunnyside) April 10 to August 4 2019
o Access to Toronto Pump Station required at all times
o Southside Parkside Bridge to coincide during this stage
o Cross Over required at Colborne Lodge
* Full King – Queen – The Queensway – Roncesvalles intersection closure August 4 to October 7 2019
o Queensway to be local access only to Glendale
o Intersection opens October 8 (All legs of the intersection open, reduced lanes East and West)
More details on each phase of construction will be provided as we approach the specific dates. There will also be a link for this project on my and the City’s website. As with all construction related projects timelines may be slightly altered.
This project will improve public transportation and realm, pedestrian environment, and traffic circulation in this area.
If you have any questions about this project, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Councillor Gord Perks’ Office
Ward 4 Parkdale – High Park
100 Queen Street West, Suite A14
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
“There is no such thing as a small real estate deal, each one involves significant life decisions. Whether it happens quickly or over an extended period of time, working with a real estate practitioner who never loses sight of -it’s about you, is of paramount importance.
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This Is A Custom Widget
This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.