Take a community walk with ARECA June 16

A Town Crier Community Column

On Saturday, June 16 at 11 a.m., ARECA will conduct a community walk starting at the Post Office site at Yonge Street and Montgomery Avenue. As a group we will puzzle together the pieces of the three-kilometre wide park strategy we outlined in the ARECA Statement recently presented at the Ontario Municipal Board.

The plan to improve where we live connects and collects the open space inventory between Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School, Eglinton Park, North Toronto Collegiate and Northern Secondary School.

Our vision is to improve our parkland and convert our streets into “Street Parks.” ARECA believes not enough attention is being paid to the public realm as the private realm intensifies.

Development pressure in midtown has been significant, especially over the past 10 years. Over that period nothing significant has occurred in the public realm. Public safety at intersections is still a big concern and we are in dire need of a proper traffic study with recommendations. Our sidewalks, parks and open spaces have all suffered as more and more residents come into our community.

This is why we are so supportive of the Eglinton Midtown Plan. ARECA sees the plan as the only way to relieve the pressure of intensification on the public realm. Through the Eglinton Midtown Plan, local residents have been able to draw attention to the long neglected quality of life and public safety issues where they live. We hope you can join us June 16 to work with ARECA on some good community-based planning.

TTC Crosstown Station at Avenue Road

ARECA understands the TTC has designated the future LRT Station at Eglinton and Avenue Road as minor. We do not believe such decisions should be made in advance of any community consultation. We will be making that point at the upcoming Crosstown Meeting.

We have already submitted our concept ideas for a more-than-minor station at what will be an important transportation node for our community.

Development Proposal for Helendale Ave. at Yonge St.

Application has been made for a development on Helendale Avenue at Yonge. ARECA has contacted the Toronto North District Community Planning Department and arranged to review the development proposal with the planner on the file. The Yonge/Helendale site under the Official Plan is expected to intensify and ARECA will be, once again, in the community’s corner.

Primarily, our focus will be on what we can expect to see by way of community benefits, public safety and how traffic will flow.

A second development application, this time on Yonge at Helendale, is expected soon. ARECA believes it is time the block within which these two applications reside should be reviewed in its entirety.

News has also been trickling down about redevelopment possible at the corner of Eglinton and Henning avenues. With this much intensification it is important that we have a comprehensive plan for the area and a good planning outcome for the public realm. As councillors, planners and developers all fight over height and density, all too often local residents and their needs are sidelined.

A big shout-out to The Town Crier

ARECA’s column about the problems associated with large infill housing next to lower-scale bungalows was read by one interested resident who used the information to negotiate a settlement. The next-door developer at the Committee of Adjustment agreed to supply a high-efficiency furnace and a chimney extension to overcome the problem. The expensive solution owes much to community newspapers and community leadership.

ARECA is a volunteer community association representing the views of residents in matters that affect our community in North Toronto. ARECA represents the area bounded by Eglinton Avenue West, Yonge Street, Roselawn Avenue, Avenue Road, St Clements Avenue and Chaplin Road. Email: [email=information@areca.info]information@areca.info[/email]. Website: www.areca.info.

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Posted: Jun 12 2012 5:00 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto