trefann-logo.gifWelcome to the website for the Trefann Court Residents Association.

Scroll down to read all items (listed in date order, newest items first), or use the menu on the right to view a recent post, view comments by other readers, posts for a particular category (eg. Regent Park reconstruction), or for a particular month (ie. archives). Navigation is slightly different for mobile users.

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Queen River Secondary Plan

The city’s 2002 Official Plan identifies this area as “regeneration”. No other planning guidelines exist, so a detailed secondary plan is a good thing for neighbourhood, to better ensure new developments are compatible (otherwise, without any detailed city planning guidelines, a developer could go directly to OMB with plans for any type of development). To date, most residential development in this area has been 2-3 storey townhouses (with the exception of Vinegar Lofts and Malt House Lofts). City planning had public meetings on June 28, 2012 and Jan 24, 2013. As of Dec 2013, still no final planning report! Likely the city’s strategy is to delay completion of this plan while it charges ahead with Regent Park rezoning. By the time the folks living in 3 storey townhouses in Queen-River “wake up”, it will be too late for them to complain about the wall of 30 storey condos approved for Regent Park’s River street border.

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school re-opens

After 2 years of renovations (and $8 million over budget), Nelson Mandela Park Public School finally reopened March 19, 2013. The school’s official opening was June 10, 2013; no one from the community was invited (although we endured 2 years of construction noise).

This building has a lot of history, so we’re grateful that it was preserved. To learn more about the history of the school, built in 1915, see pages 8-24 of the heritage application.

It wasn’t a surprise to us that the school wasn’t ready for the original planned opening in Sept 2012. At a June 2012 meeting with the school trustee’s assistant Beth Butcher and the school project manager Hasan Mohammed, the neighbourhood was assured the school renovation was on schedule for opening in only 3 months. New windows had been installed on the 2nd and 3rd floor, but the old windows still remained on the 1st floor. We emailed the school principal and the trustee on June 28 and asked “why the windows and window ledges on 1st floor will not be replaced?” – no reply.

One of the last activities – landscaping and sodding the front yard of the school -happened on Aug 16-20. At yet 2 days later, there was a sudden decision to delay re-opening the school; “soil contamination” seems to be an excuse made up at the last minute.

The trustee (and her staff) should assume some responsibility for this – how many other $20mm $30 million TDSB projects were underway in her ward? Sounds like Sheila Ward is passing the buck: “We need to ask whose responsibility it was to blow the whistle.”

cost overrun report

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TDSB flaunts tree protection (just like TCHC)

How tree protection works, as practised by TDSB

  • Day 1: start excavation without putting protective fence around base of healthy tree which would delimit root area where soil shouldn’t be disturbed. Citizen complaint made on day 1 at 9am by phone, photos also emailed to tree protection office.
  • Day 2-6: Dig down 4-5 feet using power equipment, very close to base of the tree, to cause lots of root damage.
  • Day 7: Replace soil, and firmly compact using power equipment, to further damage roots.
  • Day 8: Stop soil compaction activities when partially done, use chain saw to cut down tree entirely, dig out tree stump, load tree branches and stump into a bin and haul away all evidence of tree. Three hours later: no longer any evidence that tree was healthy, or even existed! (Citizen made followup call to 311 when tree removal started: advised that no update from tree protection office since original “day 1″ complaint.)

So many of the city bylaws are enforced “by complaint”. Why bother complaining, if the city can’t / won’t respond? (Compare to TDSB’s tree caper in March 2011.)

These photos, taken Dec 13 and Dec 20, show exterior “landscaping” as part of the renovation of Nelson Mandela Park Public School.

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more dirt

It’s obvious that the problem of significant construction dirt on Shuter St is not taken seriously by Councillor McConnell or by TCHC. Dirt control techniques promised 9 months ago for the Sackville St entrance to the Regent Park construction site were not implemented. That street is now torn up and trucks drive directly from a field of mud onto Shuter St.

In other downtown construction sites, staff use hand shovels and brooms to immediately remove large clumps of mud from the road and sidewalk – but the city-owned TCHC is seemingly too lax to enforce the same standards here. Trefann emailed Pam McConnell in Oct 2011 to complain about construction dirt; her executive assistants heard the same complaint during 2012 at meetings they attended Feb 29 and June 26 – and last month, when questioned at a Nov 6 neighbourhood meeting, Pam replied she had “no knowledge” of this problem. Bullshit!

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Shuter St parking problems

Longtime Shuter St residents will have noticed an increase during the past few years in “all day” parking on Shuter – in spite of the 3 hour limit, sporadically enforced.  All nearby streets (Wascana Sackville, Sumach) have 1 hour limits, and “permit only” at night.  Sumach has alternate side parking (so the street gets properly cleaned, unlike Shuter).

Night-time “permit only”parking is planned for Shuter St, east of Sumach (see city report), so so parking on Shuter, between Sackville + Sumach, will soon get even crazier.  More Regent Park condos will add to on-street parking demand.

The Trefann Association has started a parking petition, but help is needed to finish it.  Email us if if you have an hour to help.

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development – Aug 2012

A quick bike around the “neighbourhood” to check on the current status of local developments (compare to Nov 2006, Nov 2007, Feb 2008, Jan 2009, April 2010).

King + River (left)

510 King East (right)

King + Parliament (left)

Trinity + Eastern (right)

Dundas + Sackville (left)

Dundas + Street “P” (right)

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swimming soon ?

The pools at the Regent Park Aquatic Centre have been filled, but no signs on the building to indicate an opening date.

Updated: mid-Aug opening, according to our city councillor’s office (see details)

Posted in development, recreation, Regent Park | 1 Comment

Regent Park: June 2012

June 26 was the 2nd meeting of the “Regent Park Community Construction Liaison Committee”.  No Regent Park residents attended; neither did the contractor. See meeting minutes and TCHC’s presentation; following is our account of this meeting.

The problem of construction dirt on Shuter St – on the road, and accumulating on the south side of the street – remains unresolved.  In 2011, as well as operating a sweeper truck, the contractor periodically “washed” the street via tanker truck.  This year, only sweeping (no street washing) in spite of this promise 6 months ago, from TCHC.

No continuity from Councillor Pam McConnell’s office – for this 2nd meeting, Sean McIntyre attended (previous meeting, Pam’s rep was Glenn Gustafson).  Sean advised that the city will study the feasibility of parking on alternate sides of the street (to allow periodic cleaning of the south side of the street). Glenn made the same suggestion four months ago, and TCHC’s Tom Burr said the same thing eight months ago, so no progress. Pam McConnell was already our city councillor when bike lanes (and street parking) were added to Shuter in 2002 – 10 years later, and the city and Pam still have no plan for adequate street cleaning.  Since April, TTC buses (replacing the 501 streetcar) have detoured along Shuter; these large vehicles stir up all of the dust at the side of the road – see June 12 video of delivery van (buses have same “suction” effect). Can you tolerate the TTC buses on Shuter until the end of October?

(Two city workers used brooms and shovels on June 29, and worked between parked cars, to scoop up some of the dirt on the south side of Shuter, but lots of dirt still remains.)

TCHC admitted that one promised dirt control technique – wheel wash station – wasn’t implemented (in spite of their written commitment:  see Feb 29 presentation, page 12; and Feb 29 minutes)  Now they are hinting “it’s too expensive”, so one questions whether our concerns are taken seriously. TCHC’s contractor uses a 4 foot pile of dirt to hold up a fence (see photo, above) – obviously not serious about minimizing dirt which blows around the site. TCHC claimed that “mudmats” were implemented on access roads, but how much “mud prevention” is provided by this bit of gravel on Sackville ? (see photo).

The school board (TDSB) did attend this meeting, and presented a timeline for completion of school renovations in time for Sept 3 opening.  An official “public open house” is tentatively planned for Sept 13.  The school will be heated via the central Regent Park energy plant, which should be an improvement (residents directly across the street should no longer experience the loud rumbling noise that previously emanated from the school’s furnace).  TDSB’s extensive renovation of the school is planned to meet silver LEED standard (for energy efficiency).  New windows were installed on the 2nd and 3rd floor, but the old windows remain on the 1st floor (see June 28 photo) – hard to imagine that these old windows give good noise or temperature insulation. (TDSB is likely running out of time or money, but wouldn’t admit it when asked).  In terms of construction dirt, TDSB claims that they will clean the street “on request” – doubtful that works (who requests? how quickly does cleaning occur?).  TDSB will remind their contractor to respect the noise bylaw, concerning early morning construction activity on weekdays and on Saturday.

We were told by TCHC that the Aquatic Centre should open early Aug 2012, and the Arts Centre in Sept; the Community Centre (still not started) now has a promised completion date of Sept 2013.

– added photos (July 1)
– added official minutes, presentation (July 12)

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Regent Park: March 2012

It’s been almost a year since TCHC met with residents living adjacent to Regent Park, to give us an update. For several months, Shuter St has been clogged with mud, from TCHC and TDSB construction activity (see photos).  In response to TCHC’s meeting invite, a week before the meeting, we replied:

Please invite someone from TDSB (school board) who is knowledgeable about the renovation of Nelson Mandela Park Public School. Their construction is also affecting the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood needs a single point of contact to address concerns – hopefully this “Community Construction Liaison Committee” will be that single point of contact.

TDSB was a “no show”, without offering any explanation.

Here is a copy of TCHC’s presentation, given Feb 29, and minutes prepared by CPLC.  Trefann Court’s highlights from this meeting:

To reduce the large amounts on mud tracked onto Shuter Street by construction trucks accessing the site, the contractor is finally implementing a truck washing station (on Sackville north of Shuter), mud mats, and repeated an earlier promise to spread calcite on roadways, to control the dust. The Daniels Corporation representative claimed that an employee inspects the entire area surrounding the Regent Park construction site throughout each day, and takes immediate action to remedy any negative impacts, including the removal of dirt from nearby streets.

Glenn Gustafson (Councillor McConnell’s rep) attended this meeting, and was told that the dirt can accumulate 2 inches deep in the eastbound curb lane of Shuter. Three hour parking is currently permitted; in practice vehicles park here throughout the day and night, so and the curb lane doesn’t get cleaned for several months at a time. More parking enforcement won’t solve this problem; we’re expecting prompt action from the councillor to implement temporary parking restrictions (eg. no parking on 15th and 30th of each month) so that the increased accumulation of dirt/debris from construction traffic is periodically cleaned off the street.

According to TCHC, the school is scheduled to re-open in Sept 2012, even though it will still be in the middle of a construction zone.  One resident suggested:  to avoid exposing school children to high levels of dust, construction traffic and other potential safety hazards resulting from ongoing Regent Park phase 2 reconstruction, the school re-opening should be delayed for a year. A seemingly reasonable suggestion, but no one from the school board was in attendance at this meeting to listen/respond.

TCHC re-iterated that the community centre (not yet under construction) will be completed this year, also the big park. Sackville and Sumach road re-construction will be completed this year and these roads re-opened to the public, allowing travel from Shuter to Dundas.

As detailed on pages 6-7 of the presentation, Phase 2 will have a mix of “market-priced condo” (m) and “subsidized rental” (r).  See map showing location of each block #.
– projects underway:  block 20(r), 24 north(m), 25(m)
– in 2012/2013:  block 21(m), 22(r), 24 south(r), 23 (m? r?)

Still no decision yet, on whether “block 23″ (NW corner of Sackville and Shuter) will be rental or market condos. TCHC promised to advise this committee as soon as their decision is made public.

(Corktown Association also attended this meeting; here is their summary.)

– added photos, link to corktown.ca (March 4)
– added minutes prepared by TCHC (March 12)
– added additional info from TDSB (March 20)

Posted in development, Regent Park | 2 Comments