West End Boy

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There was a big public meeting yesterday about the TDSB's Bloor/Dufferin land sale. TDSB, City, Toronto Lands Corp, and the Provincial community hub secretariat were all represented.

The plan is still to sell 7.3 acres of land at Bloor/Dufferin, and the old Brockton school on Croatia will be renovated and Bloor CI and Alpha 2 schools will relocate there in Sept 2018.

There is a RFP going out soon for interested developers, and so the idea is to get a developer on board with a vision and who will be required to include community benefits (still not fully defined). The timeline is to choose the developers in the Fall.

There were 2 breakout sessions about the Brockton renovation, the community hub idea, and the planning ideas for the site.

The Brockton renovation is budgeted at $20-million, and the TDSB staff admitted it is a downgrade from past plans for the school, due to money issues and Provincial rules. Many attendees, include teachers from Bloor CI, had concerns about the sizes of the classrooms at Brockton and the TDSB staff did their best to provide useless answers. It was a bit shocking, as one person pointed out, that they didn't bring floor plans of the existing building to bolster their tepid claims that everything should be fine, when in fact others in attendance had first-hand knowledge of the classroom sizes. Lots of other concerns, including space, safety of the connection to the field across the street, construction impacts on students, etc. One teacher suggested that they should consult with staff and students to ensure their needs are met (crazy idea, eh?) and the TDSB seemed uninterested in this idea. Architects know best, apparently.

The City will require lots of hoop-jumping before re-zoning is ever approved. They are looking for parkland (they will not take $ in exchange in this case), heritage studies, etc. Lots of interest in the crowd for affordable housing, art spaces, childcare, etc. to be included. Someone from the City said that demographically, the neighbourhood is well served by many services, but is short on green space and childcare spaces. He also said the neighbourhood has a higher millennial percentage, lower unemployment, but also lower income than the city overall.

My overall impression was that the community accepts that there will be tall condos on the site, but will work very hard to ensure that positive community benefits will also be included. The school renovation is disappointing to most, so we'll see where that goes. It does seem like things may move quickly now, barring a big slowdown in the economy and housing sector.

Anyone else in attendance? I didn't attend the community hub breakout session but would love to hear more about what happened there.
 

West End Boy

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Moderators, could this be bumped into its own thread in the forum? It will be a huge project and no doubt will generate lots of opinions and online links over the next number of years. Quite significant to see so many levels of gov't and different agencies at the table together (they have been meeting for the last 6 months to discuss this site).
 

Towered

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I'd like to see a proposal here similar to the Westbank one at Bloor and Bathurst that will replace Honest Ed's. I think something like that would be ideal. Bloor and Dufferin is way overdue for densification.

Was there any talk of building a better connection between Dufferin Mall and Bloor?
 

West End Boy

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I'd like to see a proposal here similar to the Westbank one at Bloor and Bathurst that will replace Honest Ed's. I think something like that would be ideal. Bloor and Dufferin is way overdue for densification.

Was there any talk of building a better connection between Dufferin Mall and Bloor?
There was some talk about traffic and a subway exit on the south side of Bloor. I didn't hear anything more than that.
 

P23

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They are looking for parkland ... Someone from the City said that demographically, the neighbourhood is well served by many services, but is short on green space and childcare spaces.

Dufferin Grove is just a block to the South though?
 

toraerach

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I would love to see an urban square on the corner. I don't believe there's any open space along Bloor itself for the entire stretch between Christie Pits and High Park; a place to sit down and chill, to watch the world walk past and to stage smaller events/performances would be appreciated here.
 

W. K. Lis

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The tennis courts, at the southeast corner of Dufferin and Bloor, do not count because they're not grass. Neither do the parking lots.
 

Johnny Au

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The Railpath could work, though it is a little small (but is a few kilometres long).
 

West End Boy

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For the love of all, please provide a connection to Dufferin station.
Yes! If you look at the layout of the station, there is a blank wall facing south that seems designed to accommodate a corridor connecting south of Bloor. Would be great to have even now with so many pedestrians walking south to the mall.
 

West End Boy

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I would love to see an urban square on the corner. I don't believe there's any open space along Bloor itself for the entire stretch between Christie Pits and High Park; a place to sit down and chill, to watch the world walk past and to stage smaller events/performances would be appreciated here.
I read somewhere that there used to be a public space there with skating and music in the winter.
 

adHominem

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"Walk" south to the mall? Ha. Everyone crams on the bus, no matter how full it is, and rides the 200m south to Croatia Street.

But yes, a south exit from Dufferin Station would be excellent (though that would mean yet more construction there, after how many years now?) - an exit leading up to a public square, bordered by community services & a cafe or small-business-incubator type shops. Be a nice entryway to the neighbourhood.
 

West End Boy

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Apparently bids are being drawn up and will be submitted very soon. I heard through the grapevine that Daniels will be putting in a bid, including a proposal to retain the old Kent building as community spaces, add a new theatre, and build condos, rental, seniors housing, retail, and a park. I like what they've done in Regent Park. Would be great to see them bring their community building slant to this area. Curious to see who else bids and what the outcome is.
 

springroll

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Apparently bids are being drawn up and will be submitted very soon. I heard through the grapevine that Daniels will be putting in a bid, including a proposal to retain the old Kent building as community spaces, add a new theatre, and build condos, rental, seniors housing, retail, and a park. I like what they've done in Regent Park. Would be great to see them bring their community building slant to this area. Curious to see who else bids and what the outcome is.
A movie theatre?!?! That'd be freaking sweet since we live in the neighborhood and we can really use one that's close by.
 

adHominem

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Apparently bids are being drawn up and will be submitted very soon. I heard through the grapevine that Daniels will be putting in a bid, including a proposal to retain the old Kent building as community spaces, add a new theatre, and build condos, rental, seniors housing, retail, and a park. I like what they've done in Regent Park. Would be great to see them bring their community building slant to this area. Curious to see who else bids and what the outcome is.

That sounds like a much better outcome than what I'd feared (a couple of thoughtless G+C throwaway buildings with some banal retail space at the base, call it a day). If anyone is going to redevelop this site, I'd be happy with Daniels. That's a solid mix of proposed uses.
 

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