Dear Friends and Neighbours,
As you may know, two items related to the development at 18-30 Erskine were before North York Community Council (NYCC) today: the residential rental demolition permit and site plan approval.
In May, I deferred the residential rental demolition permit for this application for the fourth time and moved a motion directing that both the residential rental demolition permit and the report on the site plan be brought forward concurrently to allow the TDSB risk assessment to be reflected in the construction management plan. Both of those items were heard at NYCC today and will go to City Council on July 4-6th.
I moved five pages of motions at NYCC to further ensure the health and safety of the children at John Fisher PS beyond what has already been agreed upon by city staff, the developer and the TDSB.
I developed a number of these motions based on comments from parents, the traffic study commissioned by the parent community and the school administration, including concerns relating to truck and vehicular traffic, balconies on the east side of the building and garbage pickup times. Other measures were the result of negotiations between Mayor Tory, MPP Wynne, the TDSB and the developer, in which I did not participate.
In addition, based on a meeting last night with a number of parent representatives, I also moved a motion to ensure that construction-related noise remains at levels considered safe for students and staff according to provincial and city standards and that Toronto Public Health and Municipal Licensing & Standards monitor this noise. Further to that, I also moved that the General Manager of the city’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division work with the developer and the TDSB to consider all options to save the trees on both the city’s and TDSB’s properties.
You can find a summary of the motions below, and a link to the motions here.
I continue to believe, like you, that the development at 18-30 Erskine is an example of irresponsible planning and should never have been approved by the OMB.
However, I was advised immediately before the NYCC meeting that were I to move the item forward without recommendations and not place these motions today, the additional safety and construction mitigation measures negotiated by the Mayor would be null and void.
I understand that these motions require further refinements and modifications. Today at NYCC, I ensured that the developer was on the public record stating that he would keep the lines of communication open to further working on these motions and other concerns raised by the parents and myself ahead of the July 4th Council meeting.
I also wanted to let you know that I received an email from Bruce Krushelnicki, the Executive Chair of Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario, in which he stated that he had received correspondence from the school council last week requesting a review of the OMB decision for 18-30 Erskine and that he is still reviewing this correspondence. MPP Wynne has indicated that should the ELTO proceed with a review of the OMB decision, the development – including the city’s issuance of the demolition permit and approval of the site plan – would stop in its tracks.
I want to thank all of the parents for your ongoing engagement and demonstrated commitment to your children, school and community. I’m confident that your activism on this development has at least in part inspired the forthcoming reforms to the OMB.
Thank you once again.
- A reduction in the length of the northernmost balconies on the east side of the building. This modification will reduce the direct overlook from these balconies onto the Neptune’s Net playground area.
- Require that all truck traffic access and exit the site from/to Yonge Street. On the rare occasions that truck traffic must pass in front of the school, it will not do so during the school drop-off and pick-up times and will be escorted by a paid duty police officer.
- Require that dump trucks and other construction vehicles enter and exit the site in a forward manner. On the rare occasions when a larger truck, such as a tractor trailer, must reverse out of the site, they will not be permitted to do so during the drop-off and pick-up times.
- There will be no road closures related to this construction on Erskine Avenue during the school drop-off and pick-up times.
- Require the developer to participate in a monthly construction oversight committee to ensure ongoing lines of communication and address construction issues, the status of the work and any areas of concern. Included in this committee will be representatives from the City, the TDSB, the John Fisher Parent Council, the John Fisher administration and the West Keewatin Neighbourhood group.
- Require the developer to implement a communication strategy, including posting regular updates online and notifying stakeholders in advance of any road occupancy or parking impacts. The TDSB, the John Fisher Parent Council, the John Fisher administration, the West Keewatin Neighbourhood group and the Sherwood Park Residents’ Association are listed as key stakeholders in this communication strategy.
- Require that the developer post contact information on the site’s hoarding, including a 24-hour construction hotline phone number.
- Require the applicant to sweep the construction site of debris daily and wash the construction site and adjacent sidewalks and streets weekly, or more frequently as needed.
- Require the developer to post increased signage to direct truck traffic and ensure pedestrian safety.
- Require the City Manager to designate a city staff member to act as the public-facing liaison to coordinate any concerns or complaints.
- Require the Chief Medical Officer and staff in Municipal Licensing and Standards to work together to evaluate the construction-related noise from this site and ensure that it remains at levels considered safe for students at John Fisher according to provincial and city standards.
Other Traffic Concerns
- Reduce the speed limit on Erskine Avenue from 40 km/h to 30 km/h.
- Install two permanent electronic speed board signs on Erskine Avenue in the vicinity of the school.
- Require Transportation Services to undertake a review of traffic and pedestrian safety in this neighbourhood, specifically looking at the safety impacts and feasibility of:
- A mid-block pedestrian crossing on Erskine Avenue in the vicinity of the school;
- A traffic signal at Erskine Avenue and Redpath Avenue;
- Prohibiting U-Turns on Keewatin Avenue during drop-off and pick-up times; and,
- Any other measures that would increase traffic and pedestrian safety in this neighbourhood.
- Request that Transportation Services engage in a conversation with the TDSB regarding traffic and pedestrian safety near their school, including discussions around:
- Designating the current Kiss and Ride area on Keewatin Avenue as the official parent drop-off and pick-up location for the duration of construction;
- Constructing a formal Kiss and Ride area on TDSB property off of Keewatin Avenue as part of the TDSB’s Master Plan for John Fisher Public School; and,
- Encouraging alternative methods of getting to school that will reduce the amount of vehicle traffic on Erskine and Keewatin during drop-off and pick-up times.
- Request the Toronto Police Service to assign school crossing guards at the Yonge Street and Erskine Avenue intersection and the Redpath Avenue and Erskine Avenue intersection.
- Require that the city’s Solid Waste division implement a garbage pickup schedule that does not conflict with parent and school bus drop-off and pick-up times.
- Require that the city’s Parks division report back on the feasibility of implementing an off-leash dog park in this neighbourhood.
- Require that the applicant provide up to $10,000 to the TDSB to install artwork on the hoarding that will be on the TDSB’s property.
- Require the city’s Parks division to look at all options to save the trees on the city’s and TDSB’s property, specifically trees #9, 10 and 11.