The East York Community Centre has re-opened to the public after a four-month, half-million-dollar spruce up that included a furnace overhaul.
The centre, located on Pape Avenue near O’Connor Drive, reopened Jan. 4 after being closed since Labour Day. Residents had to find other recreation options and use a different library as the Todmorden Room branch inside the community centre was also closed.
Local councillor Mary Fragedakis said many in the community are relieved to see the building’s doors re-open.
“It is the only community centre in the ward,” Fragedakis said. “A lot of seniors use the pool. There was a lot of concern and anxiety for them to go out of the ward.”
But the reno was necessary, she added.
“This particular renovation was a state of good repair,” Fragedakis said.
One of the reasons the renovation took so long was the old furnace had to be disassembled and the new one taken apart and reassembled in order to fit in the building.
Aside from the new air conditioning unit, the renovations also included cleaning and replacing air ducts, upgrades to entrance, changerooms, showers and washrooms, and new flooring on the second level.
The entire project cost about $450,000.
Gardens and trees
A Springdale Boulevard homeowner is protesting after city hall issued a violation ticket for keeping an overgrown yard. In city documents, the owner at 219 Springdale says the front and rear areas of the property are not overgrown unkempt yards, but rather purposeful, natural gardens. The city requires property owners to maintain lawns and plants at heights below 20 centimetres, or seek a natural garden exemption.
The owner was issued a notice of violation and appealed. A natural environment city staffer inspected the yards, and deemed the gardens acceptable.
The home near Greenwood and Danforth avenues features gardens with tall wild flowers, mint, jasmine, oregano and forget-me-not plants. Community council will vote Jan. 18 on whether the natural garden can stay.
There are currently no stop signs or traffic lights at the intersection of Gertrude Place and Woodycrest Avenue.
For five years up, until the end of 2009, there were no reported collisions here, but a local resident witnessed a near-accident and asked for stop signs to be installed.
Traffic volumes here are low: nine to 10 cars travelling each way east and westbound in the morning peak and another seven to nine in the evening peak along Gertrude Place. Southbound on Woodycrest Avenue there are 53 cars in the morning peak and 58 in the evening.
Normally, the city’s transportation division requires high vehicle volumes, violations of the 50km/h speed limit or a prior history of accidents to justify traffic calming measures.
However, in this case city staff suggest two stop signs at the uncontrolled intersection to make it safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists at a cost of $400.
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