The issue of development, as might be expected, provided the few sparks at Councillor Jon Burnside’s annual Leaside Town Hall on Feb. 5.
Otherwise the meeting of more than 100 residents with city and Metrolinx representatives at Leaside Memorial Gardens was relatively uneventful, mainly providing a forum to to update community members on current projects.
The sparks came from residents expressing frustration with the city’s planning department being unable to keep developers from seeking and winning variances to develop projects that go beyond the restraints of municipal bylaws.
City planner John Andreevsky defended the department’s obligation to consider each such proposal from developers.
Lesser flash points at the meeting came over a perceived lack of police intervention regarding traffic violations and a lack of signage in areas of construction. In some areas, dead-end roads created by construction are not indicated, causing drivers to have to resort to illegal U-turns, potentially causing accidents, some residents said.
In other news, it was announced that more than $1.2 million has been raised so far for the new playground at Trace Manes Park. This includes $800,000 raised by Jillian Walsh in memory of her daughter Georgia who was who was struck and killed by a vehicle at Millwood Road and McRae Drive in July 2014.
Other contributions have come from the city ($200,000) and developer Shane Baghai ($250,000) who is constructing an eight-storey condominium building on Southvale Drive.
Burnside also announced the planned remodelling of the intersection at Southvale and Millwood Road has been put off from this summer to the summer of 2019. This is due to the work on the nearby Millwood and intersection having taken longer than expected this year and having created traffic tie-ups in the area, to the annoyance of drivers and local residents.
Of interest to North Leaside residents, the city is to carry out a formal poll on the pilot plan to close Bayview Avenue from Glenvale Boulevard, Broadway Avenue and Craig Crescent to deter commuter traffic passing through the area. Sixty per cent of residents voting would have to approve in order for the plan to move ahead at Toronto and East York Community Council.
Other issues raised and discussed were the renaming of Leaside lanes, riding and ward boundaries, neighbourhood infiltration by cars, and the need for affordable housing and year-round shelters.
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