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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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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The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr reports. All I can say is that this is a great plan. Will it be enacted? This remains to be seen.

Bike lanes could be coming to eight of Toronto’s busiest streets if the city’s new 10-year cycling plan pans out.

The plan, released in a city report Monday, identifies 525 km of new bike lanes, cycle tracks, trails and other routes that, if built, would create the kind of connected network Toronto’s bike advocates have long pushed for.

The majority of that infrastructure, some 280 km, would be in the form of painted or physically separated bike lanes on busy streets, while 190 km of it would be cycling routes on quieter roads. The remaining 55 km would be “sidewalk-level boulevard trails” running alongside major thoroughfares. The plan would cost an estimated $153.5 million over the next decade.

“Over a 10-year period we would roughly look at doubling the amount of cycling routes in the city,” said Stephen Buckley, the city’s general manager of transportation services. He said that to date the city’s planning of its bike network has been disjointed, and his goal was to “develop a full network that we could get behind.”

The guiding principles are connecting existing cycling routes, expanding the network, and improving infrastructure already in place, Buckley said.

Perhaps the most striking feature is a proposal to study bike infrastructure on eight major corridors, including Bloor St./Dupont St. from Dundas St. to Sherbourne St.; Danforth Ave. from Broadview Ave. to Kingston Rd.; and Yonge St. all the way from Steeles to Front St., almost the full length of the city.

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