York Quay Neighbourhood Association covers Toronto’s iconic Central Waterfront, with members in every building. YQNA is actively engaged in what shapes our neighbourhood – traffic, transit, planning, cultural and social events, policing, environment, noise, businesses, and the great urban renewal transforming Queens Quay. YQNA welcomes all residents to participate, share their ideas and enjoy our events.
By Ed Hore
YQNA recently won a legal victory against the Cabana Pool Bar in the Ontario Divisional Court. The effect is that the outdoor nightclub won’t be authorized to make more amplified noise than it’s already making.
The nightclub owners already had a liquor licence that allowed thousands of people outside at Cabana Pool Bar, and to have amplified music until 11 pm on weekends. They applied for a new licence that they hoped would allow them to have a lot more people and make more noise for longer hours.
The Toronto Islanders, City Council and YQNA objected. I represented YQNA pro bono.
After a 17-day hearing in 2017, the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) granted the nightclub a new licence, but with a condition that prohibited amplified music outside. It found Islanders had been disturbed by loud music, and that the nightclub’s efforts to control noise had been casual and ineffective. The new licence was worse than the old one from the point of view of the nightclub.
On appeal, the Ontario Divisional Court upheld the Licence Appeal Tribunal in a lengthy decision released on June 14, 2021.
The Court dismissed the City’s cross-appeal which argued that the nightclub owners couldn’t apply for a new liquor licence because they already had one for the same premises through a related corporation. Nothing in the wording of the statute prevented the second licence application, said the Court.
The odd result is that the nightclub’s owners can, it seems, pick and choose which liquor license they like better: they’ll still probably stick with the old one because it allows amplified music outside.
But at least the recent decision prevents the nightclub from getting the licence it wanted. The loud music problem may not get better, but at least won’t get worse.
Both the nightclub and the City need permission to appeal. We don’t know yet if either will try.
Edward Hore is a lawyer, former chair of YQNA and founding chair of Waterfront for All.
Imagine New Yorkers being asked if they want a city airport instead of Central Park. The answer would surely be no. Recently citizens in Chicago, Berlin, Edmonton and Santa Monica were facing that question – a small airport or a big park – and they all favoured parks over airports.
Now Toronto is facing the same question. We are critically short of parks and recreation, especially downtown. Losing the Rail Deck Park would make it worse. The Island Airport is stagnant and looking for investors, hoping to resume commercial flights. Its lease to use this publicly-owned land runs out in 12 years.
It is time to review Port Toronto’s industrial use of 215 acres of valuable land on our Waterfront. Does a city airport fit into Toronto, the fastest growing city in North America? Is it even needed, now that we have a 25-minute ride with UP Express from Union Station to Pearson Airport? Will a great recreational space by the lake serve future generations best and become an urban treasure like Central Park?
YQNA wanted to learn more about the options and invited Brian Iler of CommunityAir as our guest speaker. Feel free to share his illustrated presentation from our May meeting.
An attractive new GO bus station has opened inside the first phase of the CIBC Square on Bay St. across from Union Station. This ambitious development will have two office towers with a distinctive glass diamond pattern, rising 49 and 50 storeys. Connecting the two will be an elevated park across the railroad tracks, which is bound to become a popular meeting place.
The GO bus station replaces the sketchy old bus station just south of Front St. It used to send buses rumbling through city streets and had people lined up outside. Now, the buses enter from the Gardiner Expressway via Lakeshore Boulevard and no longer clog city streets. Passengers use the well-marked entrance on the north side of Lakeshore between Bay St. and Yonge St. When CIBC Square is completed in 2024 there will be more entrances added.
Arriving buses drop their passengers at ground level, then take the ramp upstairs to the departure level. Passengers can find their platform on travel screens in the comfortable hall, while waiting to hop onboard their GO bus. Clear signage makes it easy to navigate the levels via escalators, find washrooms and even a vending machine offering masks.
This is an excellent example of how a public facility can be completely integrated into an office tower. International developers Ivanhoe Cambridge and Hines deserve high praise for their vision, not only for the bus station, but also the elevated park, retail and other public amenities in CIBC Square. They are adding vibrancy to both their buildings and the city.
The work of three international architectural firms—WilkinsonEyre, Adamson Associates and EVOQ Architecture—will make CIBC Square a Toronto landmark. The first tower is near completion at 81 Bay St. The second tower began recently with the excavation north of the tracks. Urban Toronto offers more information.
Do you ever read the Twitter postings that appear on the lower right hand side of our YQNA webpage? They began when various social media were first gaining popularity as ways to share information among large numbers of people. A group of YQNA members formed a committee to decide how best to take advantage of the opportunities Twitter might offer. Our webmaster at the time designed a Twitter account, Leah Lambert agreed to manage it and continues doing so today.
Our tweets do not take political positions, but do share timely information that could impact our neighbourhood. We retweet interesting news from community groups, organizations, and elected representatives or levels of government. It can be news on proposed projects, upcoming meetings, and a range of developing issues concerning the waterfront, such as public health, transit, the environment, housing, recreation, business, etc.
Our Executive encourages members who would like to be more connected via Twitter to follow us at York Quay NA. Our tweets will then appear on your Twitter feed, and you can like, retweet, or comment on them. If you want to suggest content for our feed, please email a link and Leah Lambert will post any material that’s timely and appropriate.
Our neighbourhood by the lake is beautiful year round, and no less during the winter months. People flock to the boardwalks to take in the scenery and fresh air. These stunning photos were taken by photographer and lawyer Jack Gilbert from his 32nd-floor condo in Harbour Square.
The ice on the lagoon and near the Islands is attracting skaters from near and far. Jack’s sharpest lens caught this idyllic scene across the bay. Visiting skaters are warned about thin ice in places. For safety, follow the locals who know the surface.