On Monday, February 8, a dozen waterfront residents met with Mayor David Miller in his office at City Hall. The delegation, which included representatives from the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association, the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, CommunityAIR, the Harbourfront Community Centre, the Toronto Island Community Association, the YQNA, and Councillors Pam McConnell and Adam Vaughan, met with Mayor Miller for nearly an hour.

The residents spent the first part of the meeting detailing the repeated violations of the Tripartite Agreement, unbearable traffic problems, Porter’s frequent curfew violations, the Toronto Port Authority’s failure to appear before last month’s Board of Health meeting, and the water, noise and air pollution generated by the Island Airport.

The second part of the meeting was spent working out a detailed plan for remedying the resident’s concerns. Mayor Miller promised that the city would begin taking a more active role as one of the three partners of the Tripartite Agreement.

Residents advise Board of Health about Island Airport pollution

Fifteen deputations, including representatives from the Harbourfront Community Centre, Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association, Port Lands Action Committee, Community AIR, Harbourfront Community Association, St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association and the YQNA spoke before the January 18 meeting of the Toronto Board of Health at City Hall. The agenda focused on pollution control at Pearson International Airport and Toronto City Centre Airport (TCCA), better known as the Island Airport.

While the Pearson representatives gave a detailed report of their successful efforts to cut down emissions and noise, with exemplary public participation, the TCCA provided none of the materials the Board had requested and didn’t send any representatives.

Many citizens filled the committee room, and delegate after delegate spoke with elegant indignation about the water, air, and noise pollution caused by the Island Airport. Several spoke of the myriad carcinogenic chemicals contained in the cloud of diesel fuel that hangs over the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood and others detailed the damage, and cost to the city, from the airplane de-icing fluid which the Island Airport disgorges, untreated, into the city’s sewer system.

After all the deputations, our two City councillor, Pam McConnell and Adam Vaughan and Board of Health members introduced motions that included directing the Board to look into the long term effects of water and noise and air pollution generated by the Island Airport. The motions also asked the Board of Health to study what Environmental Assessments are required before Porter Airlines is allowed to proceeded with its planned tripling of passenger volume and flight frequency.

This hearing was a turning point for residents who have watched the unchecked growth of this airport. It is supposed to be governed by a Tripartite agreement between the Federal Government, Toronto Port Authority (TPA) and the City of Toronto. The first two partners have managed to expand the airport with taxpayers’ money and little oversight or concern for the Waterfront. Meanwhile, the City of Toronto has been inexplicably lax, though it is reportedly owed $38 million in back taxes from the TPA. So it was a pleasant surprise for citizens who spoke to be understood and well received by the Board of Health, which has six City Councillors as members. We are hoping these sympathetic councillors will give a wake-up call to the rest of City Council before the Waterfront becomes completely compromised by this growing and very polluting airport.

Celebrating Waterfront Police

YQNA member Lloyd Graham led the spontaneous singing of “.. and they are jolly

good fellows” for the guests in uniform. Here he is with constable Neil Hall.

YQNA threw a wonderful dinner party in appreciation of police officers from the Marine Police and 52 Division. Our association has constant access to them though our members of the Police Community Liaison Committee. Around 30 police officers and 30 residents filled dinner tables in the party room at Waterclub, Nov. 23.

One constable said, as he refilled his plate, “We thought we would be invited for pizza!” Instead the elaborate potluck dinner offered delectable foods from around the world, sumptuous desserts, a bar and door prizes. The room was donated by Waterclub, flowers by Sobey’s, gifts from Mariposa Cruises and MP Olivia Chow gave an enormous cake along with a certificate of thanks to the Police. YQNA member Cyndy De Los Santos organized a great party with many cooks in the kitchen.

One of our Member Condos wins TOP AWARD

YCC 510, more commonly known has 55/65 Harbour Square, has won the Canadian Condominium Institute’s prestigious CONDO OF THE YEAR AWARD. The award, which carries a value of $5000, was presented to members of the Harbour Square Communications Committee which is headed by Doug Dempsey.

The Canadian Condominium Institute is an independent, non-profit organization formed in 1982 with chapters throughout Canada. Its Toronto Chapter represents more than 500 condo corporations.

Congrats to the Brookfield Management team, staff, and residents of Harbour Square.

The bottom of Yonge Street has become an attractive Promenade and adds a new bike lane to the Waterfront. At the ribbon cutting were (left ot right) Downtown Manager of Planning and the guiding force behind this $5.1 million project, Al Rezoski, Michael De Cotiis of Pinnacle International, City Councillor Pam McConnell, Barry Fenton of Lanterra Development, and Yvonne Bambrick, Director of Toronto Cyclists Union.

Good planning does happen in Toronto. The new Yonge Street Pedestrian Promenade was officially opened on September 29th with City Councillor Pam McConnell and Downtown Manager of Planning, Al Rezoski, giving a tour of the new, attractive streetscape.

The densely populated neighbourhood put great demands on the pedestrian realm. Rezoski was praised for his tenacity and urban savvy, giving this formerly sad part of Yonge Street a green and pedestrian-friendly look. It now has wide sidewalks, planters edged with seating, 125 trees in raised beds, wide pedestrian crossings and 86 new roadway lights in the railway underpass. A charming plaza, open to the public, was created by Pinnacle International on Harbour Street.

One tall condo tower houses as many people as a subdivision, so bike lanes, parking and lock-up rings for bikes were important additions. Yvonne Bambrick, Director of Toronto Cyclists Union attended the event along with Michael De Cotiis of Pinnacle International and Barry Fenton of Lanterra Developments. Residents from St. Lawrence and York Quay Neighbourhood Associations applauded the promenade, which is one of several that will connect the Waterfront to downtown.

Traffic continues to flow at this busy intersection at Yonge Street. The major improvements are for people on two legs or two wheels. They’ll be safe and can enjoy a beautiful entry to the Waterfront.