There will be music. BBBD fundraiser, March 27, Burdock
Come out and join a few neighbours for an intimate night of dance and song at the Burdock Tavern, all in support of Build a Better Bloor Dufferin. There will be song and dance—Lori Cullen, Kurt Swinghammer, Ansley Simpson (Best New Artist – Indigenous Music Awards 2018), Andy Maize & Aaron Comeau (Skydiggers), dance artist Andrea Nann (Dreamwalker Dance Company), and Georgia Harmer (recently home from an international tour with Alessia Cara!)—and a chance to sample the food and great brews of the Burdock. Book your tickets and get ready to celebrate spring.
“What happens here can set a precedent for future urban development,” Andrea Nann wrote in an email encouraging her friends to attend. “find time to come out on March 27th to hear some outstanding music and to see and do a bit of dancing. We would love to see you.”
Snow and ice aren’t the only coverage these days
We’ve been in the news! Now that more towers are planned for Bloor and Dufferin (with Primaris—the Dufferin mall owners proposing changes to the northern end of the mall parking lot), various media have taken an interest.
In mid January there was a story in the Toronto Star and another in Toronto.com
Because the city also aims to “improve” the rink house at Dufferin Grove, there’s been some attention to that too. For example, the West End Phoenix ran this story. It’s hard not to see the Dufferin Grove plan as related to these other two, especially because green space will be a big issue with the proposed developments’ increased density in the neighbourhood. In both cases, we want community members to be meaningfully consulted on the plans.
Read Jutta Mason’s blog on the subject here at the “unofficial” Dufferin Grove Park website. She knows.
Let’s Talk Numbers
If you look on real estate listings in the neighbourhood, you can get pie charts and data pulled from Statistics Canada (just look under “statistics” on any real estate listing and you can find out more). For example, a house for sale on Margueretta near Bloor listed these facts:Just over 54% of households are headed by people between the ages of 20 and 49 (28.9% 20–34 years old; 25.4% 35–49 years old)66% of households have children.Just about 33% rent their homes.When the stats come to money, we see some interesting numbers. Bloor/Dufferin sits at the intersection of the Dufferin Grove (DG) and Dovercourt–Wallace Emerson–Junction (or DWEJ) neighbourhoods. The 2016 census (City of Toronto Neighbourhood Profiles), found that both neighbourhoods have high rates of households requiring affordable housing, and households requiring units of 2 or more bedrooms:Residents in low income: 17% (DWEJ); 18% (DG)Households not able to afford average market rent (income of less than $60k, based on a calculation of $58k requirement): 46.7% (DWEJ); 50.4% (DG)Households earning less than $100k (amount required to buy average Toronto condo https://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/want-to-buy-a-toronto-condo-you-now-need-an-annual-income-of-at-least-100000): 74.6% (DG); 71.2% (DWEJ)Households living in apartments: 75% (DG); 60% (DWEJ). In the case of DWEJ, some of this includes condos. Dufferin Grove neighbourhood has very few condos to date, meaning the 75% living in apartments are almost all rentals, not including houses that are rented.Families with three or more people: 41% (DG); 47% (DWEJ).
These numbers raise good questions about what makes for affordable housing. Affordable for whom? Rent in the current market is not affordable for many of us who live here.@
Our list of supporters continues to grow
Community support for Build a Better Bloor Dufferin is stronger than ever. To date, BBBD has received letters of endorsement from Dovercourt Public School School Advisory Council, the Bloordale Community Improvement Association, St Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society, Parkdale Activity–Recreation Centre (PARC), Sistering, Working Women Community Centre, Bloor Collegiate Institute Parent Council, South Asian Women’s Centre, Habitat Services, Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre, Houselink Community Homes, St. Stephens Community House, Social Planning Toronto, and Foodshare Toronto. If you are a member of a community group or organization that shares our values and wants to endorse us, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s going on with the City?
We’ve had a number of meetings, conversations, and emails with our City councillor and City staff in the past few weeks. These have shed some light on the state of the planning process for the Bloor Dufferin TDSB site. All indications are that City Planning has moved ahead significantly in their conversations with the developers since last summer. Although we’ve only had one community consultation (in early 2018), it seems that City Planning is getting close to submitting a settlement report for the site to Community Council.
Unfortunately, as community members we’ve had little access to this process. From July to December we were unable to participate in discussions because of the municipal election period. As far as we can tell, City Planners and the developers are moving toward an agreement that will be much the same as the last proposal—with a small park and the community hub located in the basement and ground floor of the old Kent school. Affordable housing has still not been secured. We don’t know more than that.
Capital Developments has been reluctant to meet with us and City staff have to consult their lawyers each time they speak with us! Our City Councillor Ana Bailão has agreed to include us in a number of upcoming meetings with City Planning and the developer about the site. We will report back to you as soon as we learn more. We are committed to ensuring that this site is well planned, in a way that includes real community input and benefits all of our neighbours, including future neighbours who move into the new proposed developments.
Warm wishes on a sunny ice-melting spring day,
The Build a Better Bloor Dufferin Team