rfmcdonald: (photo)
Coffee Time by the towers (and Food Basics) #toronto #dupontstreet #wallaceemerson #coffeetime #foodbasics #condos #towers


I stopped off at the Coffee Time on the northeast corner of Dupont and Lansdowne this afternoon en route to Big on Bloor Festival, picking up a jumbo coffee and a beef samosa before I veered south onto Lansdowne towards Bloordale. I blogged about this restaurant and its (to my mind) unfairly grim reputation. (My Flickr link is here.) This time, as I approached the restaurant from the east, I saw the Food Basics grocery store lying just to the west, I thought about the controversy around this store and its neighbourhood.

This Food Basics is an anchor store for the Fuse Condos development, on the northwest of Dupont and Lansdowne. This new grocery store opening was welcome by some, who saw no reason this store could not co-exist with the FreshCo in the Galleria Mall just a few minutes east at Dupont and Dufferin. To some, this was a betrayal: Fuse Condos had produced a Metro grocery store, a higher-end grocery store with more selection, and some buyers were quite upset. There was even a petition calling for a Metro.

All this was satirized in The Beaverton, and aptly analyzed in the Toronto Star by Edward Keenan. Keenan pointed out that this behaviour was wildly out of place given the decidedly working-class nature of Wallace Emerson. Food Basics, obviously, got installed regardless.

Still: how long will this neighbourhood, this cluster of west-end neighbourhoods, remain what it has been? I wonder.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Coffee Time, Dupont and Lansdowne #toronto #wallaceemerson #dupontstreet #lansdowneave #coffeetime


The Coffee Time restaurant located at 1005 Lansdowne Avenue, on the northeastern corner of Lansdowne and Dupont, has long had a bit of a scary reputation. The restaurant's lone reviewer at Yelp rates it only one star, noting that the crowd hanging out here, in a traditionally poor neighbourhood close to apartment towers once linked to crime including drugs and prositution, is "interesting."

The transformation of the neighbourhood into one populated by tall condos and relatively affordable rentals is ongoing. Will this Coffee Time survive, or will its legacy be reduced to passing mentions in archived discussion threads about a neigbourhood transformed beyond recognition, like here and here? And what will become of the crowd?
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Wallace Emerson Community Centre in spring


I love these arches, and will be sad to see them go with the impending condo development at Dupont and Dufferin.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
NOW Toronto's Joshua Sherman tells the story of a Jane's Walk organized by Shari Kasman around the parking lots of Dufferin and Dupont.

"Thanks for coming to this beautiful parking lot on this beautiful, sunny day in Toronto.”

Shari Kasman is speaking into a red-and-white megaphone. And it’s not sunny at all. It’s a drizzly May 6 Saturday afternoon outside the Galleria Mall at Dufferin and Dupont.

Kasman, a local artist and author, is starting her latest guided tour, Parking Lots & Parking Spots: Galleria Mall & Beyond. It’s one of nearly 180 that took place last weekend in Toronto as part of the annual Jane’s Walk festival, named for the late urban activist Jane Jacobs.

While other local Jane’s Walks explore the historic aspects of the city, this tour is dedicated to the unglamorous and utilitarian: where Torontonians in a small pocket of the west end park “from the perspective of a non-expert,” Kasman tells NOW ahead of the event, making it clear this tour is no joke.

She may not be a parking authority, but Kasman, who already has two other Galleria-based Jane’s Walks under her belt, has been busy reading up on the subject for the past few weeks.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Underneath #toronto #bathurststreet #davenport #tunnel #night


Walking part of the way home tonight, heading south then west from St. Clair West, I passed by this mural on the rail underpass on Bathurst just north of Dupont.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Leaves of autumn, Dovercourt above Dupont


The only lasting change that has occurred in the environment around me since I took this photo, on the 28th of November, is that the leaves have fallen and things have gotten slightly colder. The little snow we got has not endured.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
What once had been a strip mall on the south west of Dupont just west of the rail tracks is in the process of being demolished. Condos, surely, shall rise here.

Demolition in progress, Dupont west of Lansdowne (1)


Demolition in progress, Dupont west of Lansdowne (2)


Demolition in progress, Dupont west of Lansdowne (3)


Demolition in progress, Dupont west of Lansdowne (4)


Demolition in progress, Dupont west of Lansdowne (5)
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Levelled, 10:56 pm #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #demolition #night


1120 Dupont Street used to have a building here, but in November it was torn down to make way for a future storage building.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Demolition, Dupont between Dufferin and Bartlett #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #demolition


1120 Dupont Street, once home to Harry's Motors and located just east of Dufferin, has been in the process of demolition by Teperman over the past few days. The official Toronto website notes that an application for a six-story self-service rental building has been submitted.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Morning glory, wire fence #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #purple #morningglory #flowers #wire #fence


This photo was easily the most popular of the several I took yesterday morning as I wound myself around my neighbourhood doing my laundry. So, I'm sharing it again.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
This summer, as I walked west along Dupont towards my Dufferin Street bus stop, I was greeted by a brilliant front yard garden full of iridescent zinnias. Their bright colours, some verging on the neon, were a welcome site. Even in October, there are still enough of these flowers to be noteworthy to passersby.

Neon pink zinnia #toronto #flowers #zinnia #pink #latergram


Twin pink #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #pink


Late orange #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #orange


Red #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #red


Pink #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #pink


Red #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #red


Orange #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #orange


White #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #white
rfmcdonald: (Default)
The Globe and Mail's Jeff Gray reports on the proposal to radically redevelop the Galleria Mall, my neighbourhood's centre at Dupont and Dufferin.

An ambitious plan to demolish Toronto’s dated west-end Galleria Shopping Centre and replace it with a sleek mix of condos, shops, office space, a new community centre and a large park is expected to get a rough ride as it includes a cluster of towers, one as high as 42 storeys, more than twice the height now allowed on the site.

“I think it is completely out of context and the character of the neighbourhood,” Ana Bailao, the local city councillor, said of the proposal from a joint venture of ELAD Canada and Freed Developments, which were to file a master plan with the city on Friday.

Ms. Bailao said the towers could create shadow impacts, and she has concerns about traffic and the strain on public transit that the dense development could create.

Still, she said there were many good things in the plan to rip up and redesign the site near Dupont and Dufferin Streets, a rapidly gentrifying area traditionally home to the city’s Portuguese community.

Ms. Bailao praised the developers for launching community consultations over the past year and incorporating that input into their designs, which include a fully funded and expanded community centre to replace the aging existing one.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
CBC News' Shanifa Nasser takes a look at the very recent train derailment in downtown Toronto. Since a huge stretch of track extending west to my street was involved, I'd think I'm entitled to some concern.

Two trains are travelling in opposite directions, one headed eastbound at 48 kilometres per hour and another westbound at 80 kilometres per hour, before sideswiping each other at a railway crossover in midtown Toronto.

Why did the westbound train operator see the stop signal so late? No, this isn't a high school math problem. It's a key point in the investigation into a Canadian Pacific train derailment that spilled 1,100 litres of diesel fuel near the residential Annex neighbourhood early Sunday morning.

New details emerged Monday as officials looked into the crash that left four rail cars leaning and damaged the tracks.

Neither train was speeding, the Transportation Safety Board says, and CP Rail ruled out mechanical problems, instead pointing the finger at human error, something it reiterated on Monday.

"After careful review, we determined that all track, equipment and signal systems worked as designed, and our preliminary investigation indicates human error is to blame," the railway said in a statement, adding, "We know one incident is too many."

On Monday, the union representing CP Rail workers called that conclusion "premature" but said it understands two of its workers are being investigated.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
The planned redevelopment of the Galleria Mall is the subject of this Toronto Star article by Verity Stevenson. The transformation of the southwest corner of Dupont and Dufferin into a futuristic complex of towers is, as one would expect, something a lot of locals are concerned about. I'm concerned about it: The planning is interesting, but it would change the neighbourhood hugely.

On a recent rainy Sunday afternoon, Sidonio Da Silva sat on a bench in the middle of Galleria Mall and chatted with another man.

“We come here to talk about life . . . food,” the 75-year-old said with a laugh, clutching a bamboo cane and wearing a white flat cap.

Da Silva mostly visits the Galleria, as he calls it, on Sundays. But he’d caught wind of the fate of the mall at Dupont and Dufferin Sts., which was discussed the day before at an open house called “Reimagine Galleria.”

Placards depicting renderings of a development that could replace the 1970s-era mall were installed in a neon-lit hallway between two fitness centres.

They showed four triangular buildings boasting more than 2,000 units, wedged into half of the 12-acre land. The other half, separated by a diagonal road connecting Dupont and Dufferin Sts., would be a park and a new community centre.


Much more, including the developers' sketches of the future of the neighbourhood, is at the Toronto Star.

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