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I'm new to the Islington village area and have noticed a few things...There is a new development going up at the corner of Dunbloor and Dundas, the first building is already up and almost complete. I believe 3 others are to follow all with some retail on the ground floor.

Does anyone have any info on the vacant land on the westside of dunbloor? I’m guessing that whatever happens there will depend on the six points remake? Would be great to see a grocery store there with maybe a condo atop of it.

Finally, on the northside of Dundas in Islington village is a string of retail strip malls, some decent restaurants there however it's just damn ugly. It would be huge for the neighbourhood to get rid of the parking lots and create parrallel meter parking. Anyone know if this has ever been talked about? Lots of potential in the area if things are done right.
Islington Village-Etobicoke

Thanks for the info Borgos. I kinda figured that all those stores were individually owned. I wonder, would those places be eligble for the facade improvement deal? Also you are right on that there are some great places on that stretch, that's definetly not the issue. The one major thing lacking in the area is a grocery store. I understand one used to be on the Dunbloor site before the current development. Hopefully the area will continue to improve, the addition of the Michael Power park is good to see but then on the corner of Resurection and Bloor I see a new parking lot. While maybe needed this is the sort of thing that will never improve the neighbourhood.
mike, I agree about the parking lot but I'm sure that it will eventually be redeveloped. Until recently, the church was trying to sell that land to the developer building the other Michael Power buildings. I guess they couldn't reach an agreement. I do urge you to contact Councillor Milczyn with your views about the north side of Dundas. Usually, only those opposed to any change are the most vocal. Also, if you haven't expressed your views about the six points interchange reconfiguration, you can do so here:

regarding facade improvement, yes I think that comming soon.
mike, the OMB approved a 26 storey condo building for the west side of Dunbloor but the approval was put on hold pending the six points reconfiguration. In any event, I understand that the mercurial owner of the property doesn't have firm plans for its imminent redevelopment.

Regarding the north side of Dundas, I share your views that it's mostly dismal. The problem is that each store is separatley owned making any large scale projects next to impossible. Also, the height limits on the north side are quite low (perhaps six or eight storeys?) because they back onto single family homes. That means that finacially, it's difficult to justify tearing down a three or four storey building to add only two or three more storeys. I think that the only answer is to provide greater incentives to owners to redevelop their properties (either more density which is unlikely due to anticipated local opposition or "TIF"- tax incremental financing - which is a possibility. City Council recently approved a Community Improvement Plan for Etobicoke City Centre which could open the door to TIFs.

Lastly, do not let the lacklustre appearance of the storefronts stop you from patronizing the local businesses. Some of them are excellent - as good as any downtown (I go to Anatolia Turkish restaurant all the time, Hair Unlimited for hair styling, May Flowers is an excellent florist, Gusto Cafe has excellent coffee -although it recently changed ownership and lastly Espresso Bakery which, until recently, I was reluctant to enter due to its uninviting store front. They have very good bread, veal sandwiches and pizza.
Mike, welcome to the forum.

It's too bad that the new park is being built right out at Dundas Street, where they should have created a decent streetscape with two-storey or three-storey buildings coming right out to the sidewalk. The park could easily have been slotted in behind such a development. Another missed opportunity!

I will add Miller's Country Fare to the list of recommendations. It's a decent restaurant (located in that series of strip plazas on the north side of Dundas opposite Dunbloor). Nothing special, but a solid and reliable place which has been there for years.
I wonder, would those places be eligble for the facade improvement deal?

Call me a naysayer for "facade improvement deals"--if only because those stucco jobs tend to look even more god-awful pasty than what they're meant to remedy. They're today's version of the aluminum-siding/angelstone vulgarizations of yore...
Islington Village-Etobicoke

Observer Walt, Miller's has closed down actually, not sure if it's the same owners but it's now going to be known as "Millers Bistro". They have also gutted the interior and already changed the signage.

Actually it's not the facade of the buildings on the northside of Dundas thats the problem it's the streetscape. I often walk along there and for example I have noticed that there is not one tree planted on the stretch from Royal Avalon to Kipling and the sidewalk is literally right next to Dundas with hydro poles in the middle of it! If somehow it was possible to get the owners of all the businesses to agree on transforming their parking lots into a wide sidewalk and then move the parking onto the street it would vastly improve the area. Besides there is also plenty of parking behind the entire stretch, but I'm dreaming now. :) Regardless, after the election I do plan on getting in touch with the councilor to voice my opinions.
I beleive that they will be putting in two "parkettes" on the north side of Dundas at Royalavon, which might help. The two murals just east of Cabot are very nice. They're also a tacit acknoweldgement that the those aweful buildings will not be replaced any time soon. Regarding Miller's - it was not very good. Not surprised that it closed twice. Maybe the new incarnation will be better. Village Tratoria on the south side, just east of Burnhamthorpe is excellent but pricey although I understand that the owner has been trying to sell the business which is not a good sign. Across the street is Oregano which is hit and miss. The absolutely WORST restaurant meal I've had in recent years was at Pinocchio's. Second rate banquet hall food meets Loblaws bought garlic bread. The perennially packed parking lot there is a testament to the spending power of old white pre-immigration Etobicoke which has no idea what good food is.
Miller's Country Fare used to be good... way back when. It opened somewhere around 1980 I think, and for a few years they were serious competition for Swiss Chalet in the area, and were often packed and had line-ups to get a table. They did a good job with chicken and ribs, and had way more interesting sides than Swissy Chicky, and also did Tourtiere, and had fantastic Sunday feasts where baskets of food showed uo at your table. Ah the good old days...

I wonder if the new place "Miller's Bistro" is the same owners or someone who just wanted to keep the name? I have to admit when it closed I was thinking it would be a great spot for a grocery store!
mike, I was thinking the same thing. My guess is that they licensed the name to the guy who's renting the building.
It's pretty funny - I've lived my whole life within about a 5 minute drive from Islington Village, yet I've never once eaten at any of those restaurants you guys are talking about. Every time I pass them (and that's very often) I think to myself I shold give them a try sometime, but I never do. The area just doesn't even occur to me when I decide to eat at a restaurant - I always go downtown.
Taste of Korea is quite good as is Kisoya for sushi....hi fellow Islington villagers! I've been on here for about 5 years and never realized that there were other forumers on my doorstep. Might be an idea for us to have a west-end social sometime. I've actually read about the parkettes they want to do on the Michael Power/Royal Avon/Dundas corners. The new park is looking quite good however I find the kid's area a little to big, colourful and circque de soleil -ish. If you like amazing schniztel you can always drive down Kipling and hang a left on Advance. On the north side near the Bakery you'll find the Musket German Restaurant/Tavern.
The parkettes is a positive thing, lets hope it's done well. I'm curious as to where these are exactly going to be located? I heard Michael Power and Royal Avalon but where? In the strip mall?
I do have to agree with ceaz40, the children’s playground is too big and the colours are horrible. I'm a bit puzzled why it couldn't have been a better colour scheme at least. Other than that the park looks good and when it's finally done will be a great addition to the area.
I'm fairly new to the area and am trying to find ways to get more involved. I have emailed the BIA and asked about any public consultation or more extensive info on any of these issues (parkettes/streetscape improvements) but haven't had a response. Posting on the Village of Islington BIA website doesn't seem to get much response either or I noticed that some people’s posts eventually get "edited" out of the forum section.
Anyways it's good to hear others in the neighbourhood talking about ways of improving it.

p.s. also true about not frequenting Islignton restaurants much, by default I head to the Kingsway or Bloor West Village. If the area was more pedestrian friendly then I probably would be staying around Islignton more often but my idea of a nice evening out doesn't include walking through the maze of cars our front those strip malls.
Mike, you should contact Councillor Milczyn's office. There are a number of public consultation committees currently working on various projects - Community Improvement Plan, the Etobicoke Centre charettes and the Islington/Kipling stations redesign studies. I'm sure that your participation would be welcomed.