Posts Tagged ‘demolition’

Work on the Port Land redevelopment continues.  The area is changing fast enough that I thought another visit would be a good idea.

below: Cherry Lifeguard Station, calm and peaceful in the early morning.  On a weekday in September all is quiet here.

cherry lifeguard station, with dock in front, very calm and still water, reflections of the building in the water, early morning,

below: A new red lifeguard chair sits on a freshly raked beach.  In the distance, a tug pushes a barge out of the harbour and onto Lake Ontario.

red lifeguard station on cherry beach in the morning

below: A family of Canada geese rest on the embankment of the Keating Channel. The white concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water.

white concrete supports of the elevated Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water of the Keating Channel while a family of Canada Geese sit on the bank

below: Looking west along the Keating Channel. The Don River empties to the bottom right, just out of the picture. At the moment, the Keating Channel is the only route to Lake Ontario but this is about to change.

looking west along the Keating Channel, trees on the left, Gardiner Expressway on the right

below: The Cherry Street bridge, a lift bridge, was broken in the open position for about a month at the end of the summer.  It was fixed in time for Labour Day weekend so it is down now (can it go back up?  It will soon be demolished so maybe that doesn’t matter)

view from above, Cherry street bridge in open position, port lands, cement silos, Lake Ontario, construction

below:  From above, the Keating Channel is in the foreground and it is here that construction on a new Cherry Street bridge is just beginning.  This is west of the present bridge because Cherry Street is going to be straightened as it passes under the Gardiner.      There is another small channel behind the Keating Channel but it ends at the T&T store… for now.    Cherry Beach and Lake Ontario are in the background.

Port Lands from above, Keating Channel, beginning of construction of a new bridge at Cherry street,

below: Reflections of the T&T sign.  Soon this store will be gone.  The path of one of the new waterways for the Don River goes right through the middle of their property to join with the channel that is already there (picture above).

reflections of the green T and T supermarket sign in a car window

below: Villiers Street, looking west from the Don Roadway.   The new path of the Don River is going to make an island of this part of the Port Lands as it runs parallel to, and immediately west of, the Don Roadway.

railway crossing sign on Villiers Street in the PortLands, some remnants of train track still there bu no trains

below: Villiers Street is actually two streets running parallel, both of which have two-way traffic.  This is left over from the days when the railway ran down the middle of the street.

green road sign that says Traffic operates two way on both branches of Villiers street

below: Remaining fragments of railway track can be found all over the Port Lands. This is Villiers Street at the Don Roadway. The Gardiner Expressway is in the background.

street with remnants of railway tracks on it

below: Old gas pump on Villiers.

rusty old gas pump

below: The northwest corner of Commissioners and the Don Roadway. The green mound is the beginnings of the flood protection work there. Flood protection means work on the re-routing of the mouth of the Don River.

the north west corner of Don Roadway and Commissioners Street

below: Looking west on Commissioners Street from east of the Don Roadway (at the traffic lights).  This is one of several large hydro structures that run from the Portlands Energy Centre (a natural gas burning electrical plant).   Hydro infrastructure changes are part of the Port Lands redevelopment.

a very tall metal hydro pole and structure above the street, Commissioners Street, Port Lands

below: Work on the south side of Commissioners.

cranes, workers, construction site

Soon Commissioners Street will be closed between the Don Roadway and Cherry Street.  All of the buildings there will be demolished.  At the moment, most of them are empty.

below:  Old abandoned buildings on Commissioners

old buildings on Villiers Street, with CN Tower in the background

part of an empty and abandoned building, two storeys, old windows, the number 130 written in large white numbers

side of an old abandoned building, top part is rusted pale green metal, bottom is painted dark grey

below: United Rentals on Commissioners Street, now empty. Soon gone.

empty United Rentals building in the Port Lands

below: Chained and locked.

a rusty chain and a padlock keep a gate closed

old brick building

construction on flood control measures in the Port Lands

below: North side of Commissioners, east of the Don Roadway. You can see the Gardiner Expressway and the old Lever Brothers factory.

a plant grows up agains a chain link fence, pile of dirt and industrial buildings behind the fence

a red and white danger due to sign that someone has written radioactive signs on so sign says danger due to radioactive signs

below: South end of the Don Roadway.

very south end of Don Roadway, south of Commissioners street, dead end, dirt road, no trespassing construction site entry

below: Looking west towards downtown from the Don Roadway

view of Toronto skyline and CN tower from Don Roadway

fence with signs, danger due to sign, plus sign that says Port Lands Flood Protection

below:  Back in July the demolition of the GFL (Green For life) buildings was well underway.

the last part of GFL (Green For life) structure to be torn down in the Port Lands, cement truck, dirt road, vacant land

below: This is the GFL recycling transfer station during the demolition process.  At the same time, the shoreline was being reconfigured and “naturalized”.  The trees in the water in the foreground have since died but this is part of the plan – they are to become part of a new fish and wildlife habitat.

west end of portlands early on in the redevelopment process, partially demolished building, barge in water creating new land, reconfiguring the shoreline

below: Access to the northwestern part of the Port Lands has been very limited.  Cherry Street and the T&T parking lot are as far as you can go … if you obey all the signs.    (photo from July)

black and orange cones line the route of entry to cement making facility in the Port lands

below: September

CN Tower and Toronto skyline from Cherry street, T and T market parking lot

below: The sea gulls have the parking lot to themselves, between Lafarge and the lake at the west end of the Port Lands.  There are no plans (that I can find) to remove or relocate Lafarge.

lots of sea gulls sitting on a parking lot behind Lafarge cement silos in the Port Lands

below: If you stand looking at the view above, and then turn around, you get the image below. Polson Pier view of the Toronto skyline.

view of Toronto skyline across Toronto Harbour from Polson Pier

a path leads to a fence, construction site behind the fence, including a cement truck

torn and shredded black fabric caught on a barbed wire fence

below: Map of the area.  As you can see, I have only covered a small part of the Port Lands.  There is so much more to explore!

map of the Port lands area

a red and white Canadian flag printed on a sticker that says Toronto Canada that someone has added their tag to, stuck on a utility pole in an alley

Today’s wander down Graffiti Alley yielded more than just a few new paintings and bits of graffiti.  I also came across a group of students from da Vinci school who were there doing an assignment that involved filming each other giving rants in the alley.

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley

two girls checking a video on a phone, other people nearby, in graffiti alley

below: Nipsey Hussle memorial mural by Sum Artist

black and white mural portrait of a young man in a toque, signed sum artist

one boy is filming another as he talks in the alley, in front of a colourful mural

woman in red dress and red shoes, graffiti on an alley, on a wood fence that has been painted white

two stickers on a graffit covered metal utiity pole. one sticker is a black drone in a grey circle

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley - in front of Uber 5000's mural

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley in main part of alley

below: Smile!

graffiti, word smile

three girls working on a video in a corner of an alley, on is filming with a phone and one is talking and one is holding the paper with the words on it.

a poorly done blue faced woman with red hair, beside a doorway with a black, white, and red, geometric face

a boy in shorts and a baseball cap is filming another boy in blue fleece and camo pants as he is talking in front of a mural in graffiti alley

mural of a pink praying mantis on the right and some students in graffiti alley on the left

teacher, students, and other people in graffiti alley

black and white painting of a man's face, very large, part of a mural in an alley

Today’s encounter reminded me that I once encountered Rick Mercer in the alley as he filmed a rant for his TV program – photo from October 2011.

photo from 2011, Rick Mercer and film crew walking down Graffiti Alley as he filmed a rant for his TV program.

One last thing that I want to address here – maybe you could call it a rant of my own.  Except that it will be in pictures not words.  There’s something new in Graffiti Alley; it’s not unexpected but that doesn’t make it any easier, or better.   The old Stephenson Rental building is on its way down.

demolition sign on a metal fence in front of a graffiti covered wall

In fact, it’s mostly down.

only one corner remaining, demolition of building in graffiti alley, covered with street art

demolition of building in graffiti alley

and mostly sad

demolition of building in graffiti alley, remaining buildings in the background

a gold coloured weather vane with a rooster on it, bright blue sky in the background

Once again, it seems that no matter where in the city you go there will be construction.  There will be the demolition of single family homes to make way for condos or at the minimum, blocks of rowhouses.   The area around Yonge and Finch is no exception.

apartment building in the background, a street of single family dweelings in the foreground, early spring so no leaves on the trees, a few cars parked in driveways

I am not sure if it serves any purpose, perhaps it’s futile, but I’d like to think that documenting what we are removing is worthwhile.   The houses on Finch Avenue East like the one in this picture are small, but the lots on which they sit are large.

small white bungalow with brown roof, on large piece of land, car in driveway

That means that a developer can demolish four houses and turn around and build 17 townhouses in the same space.    That is what is happening near Finch and Willowdale.

three small white bungalows with windows and doors boarded up, small trees overgrown around them.

Although the properties were not fenced off, all access to the houses themselves was blocked, sigh.  It looked like a local garden centre was using the backyards of a couple of the houses.

side door of a white wood house with rickety porch and steps. three trees growing besie it, door is boarded up

below: View to a new development on the other side of Finch Avenue.  This is the type of development that the area is now zoned for.  A lot of these townhouses have been built in the last few years and I suspect that eventually they will replace all of the single family homes.

view looking down a driveway, two empty houses - one on each side of the driveway. Can see across the street to new townhouse development on the other side.

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

Between Willowdale Avenue and Yonge Street, there were a couple of other houses that are boarded up and empty. I am not sure what the plan is for them (there was no development proposal sign posted, instead there was a sign advertising the company that is providing the financing – for what?).

small bungalow with blue door, windows boarded up, large tree in front yard, apartment building behind,

The internet can be a wonderful thing.  In case you are interested, the development is the Ava Luxury Residence and it calls for heights and densities that are vastly over what is zoned for in the area.  For example, at 9 storeys it is 37 metres tall in an area zoned for 11 metres.  The plan was first filed in 2016 but because of the size of the development, it requires a zoning by-law amendment, official plan amendment, and site plan approval to effect the proposal – all which take time.   An OMB appeal pre-hearing was scheduled to occur a few days ago, with a hearing slated for June.  MM170085 is the OMB case number if you want to dive down that rabbit hole.

small bungalow with blue door, windows boarded up, large tree in front yard, sign in front yard advertising financing

This is 50 Finch East.  As you can see, there is a taller building on the other side of Kenneth Avenue.  Kenneth was to be the dividing line – keeping the higher buildings, and denser development, closer to Yonge Street.  I’m not sure what side of the development battle you’re on, but what’s the point of having a plan if the developers (with help from the OMB) keep disregarding it?

small bungalow on a corner lot, with windows and doors boarded up, larger apartment building behind.

As I walked back to my car, I chose to walk on a side street instead of on Finch.  As I turned a corner, I happened upon a house being demolished.  Fortuitous.  Serendipity.

a yellow digger loading rubble from a house demolition into a dump truck

It doesn’t take long to reduce a house to rubble and dust.  “Another one bites the dust” springs to mind.

close up of a digger demolishing a house

And so it goes.

Exploring new places often leads to interesting finds.  I’m not sure if you think demolition/redevelopment sites are interesting, but I came across this one when I went to Moccasin Trail (next blog, scroll up).

An empty building.  The grey hoardings completely block the view of whatever is inside.

grey plywood fence in front of a three storey brick rental apartment building that is empty and will be torn down in a residential neighbourhood

I tried walking the perimeter, but there is no access or viewpoint.  There are actually two buildings.  Apparently one of the buildings was damaged by fire (arson) in 2008.  The buildings have been empty since 2011.

a tall tree, winter time, stands in front of a grey plywood fence in front of a three storey brick rental apartment building that is empty and will be torn down

The old sign still stands beside the fence. It is faded enough that I can’t read it, even with some manipulation in photoshop.  The building in the background is also part of the redevelopment plan.

old faded sign on grass side yard beside grey plywood fence around building about to be demolished. Across the street is another building from the 1950s or 1960s.

The year on the development proposal sign is 2013.  It also states that three buildings will replace the ones being torn down, one of 10 storeys and two of 4 storeys.  That was six years ago.   In March 2017 a plan was approved by city council for an 8 storey condo and a 4 storey rental replacement building.

Development proposal sign in front of a three storey brick apartment building.

When I saw the state of the building above, I started taking some pictures.  I thought the building was empty.  But then I heard music coming from one apartment.  Then a woman came out on to a balcony to hang up a blanket.

40 moccasin trail building, three storey apartment

Two years ago, back in March of 2017, 12 of the 34 units were occupied.   I am not sure how many people are living there now.   When it was first built, it was probably quite nice – very suburban, very Don Mills.  Now the building is in very poor condition but I’m sure that’s because the landlord is waiting to be able to demolish the building.

papered over window and old white door on apartment, overgrown saplings in front

crooked metal railings beside a concrete set of stairs, brown and white building behind.

concrete steps, side of a brick building

overgrown trees in front of an apartment

City of Toronto report on this site (May 2017)

two low rise apartment buildings, grass between them and a large tree

…and social decline, and capitalism, and a few more…..
The many dangers that we face.

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to xenophobia

The demolition of older residential buildings in Regent Park continues as that area of the city is redeveloped.

6 storey brick apartment building stands empty, a fence around it as it waits for demolition

Around the demolition site, someone has hung 18 “danger due to” signs, printed with different “causes” of danger, such as industrialization.

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to industrialization

It’s spelled wrong, but you know what it’s trying to say (hypocrisy).

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to hypocrisy (but spelled as hipocrisy)

chainlink fence in front of the entrance of an older brick lowrise apartment building, snow on the ground, dust, dirt and garbage on the ground

Apathy

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to apathy

two trees standin front of a construction site, green bin, fence around building next to be demolished in Regent Park

Over consumption

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to over consumption

workmen spray water as a machine arm pulls apart a building that is in the process of being demolished - sidewalk view

a small black heart drawn on the blue walls of building now being demolished

Political subterfuge

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to political subterfuge

workmen spray water as a machine arm pulls apart a building that is in the process of being demolished

Doug Ford

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to Doug Ford, premier of Ontario

workmen spray water as a machine arm pulls apart a building that is in the process of being demolished

close up of dust and debris as workmen spray water as a machine arm pulls apart a building that is in the process of being demolished

GM food

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to GM food (genetically modified food)

green machinery demolishes a building in Regent Park

Human infestation

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to human infestation

green machinery demolishes a building in Regent Park - one room still has a white fridge in it

Mass surveillance

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to mass surveillance

Misuse of signage

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to misuse of signage

green machinery demolishes a building in Regent Park - 3 storeys remaining

Shrinking resources

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to shrinking resources

partially demolished brick building in front of an empty building waiting to be demolished

Predatory economics

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to predatory economics

Shitty pop music

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to shitty pop music

Capitalism

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to capitalism

Urban decay

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to urban decay

Misinformation

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to misinformation

reflections in a broken window

Social decline

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to social decline

I walk past Davisville Junior Public School fairly often…. or should I say, I used to walk past it.

I didn’t think about it too much until I heard that it was going to be demolished – or was it going to be saved?  Maybe I should take some photos of it as apparently it has some architectural value, an early 1960’s Modernist building.   Then, back in November, a construction fence appeared around the property.   One of those metal wire temporary fences that you see all over the city.  So much for saving the building.

 

Photos from November:

west end of Daviville public school with it's coloured panels on the upper floor, basketball nets in front, pavement

side entrance of Davisville public school before it was demolished, modernist archtecture brick building,

back of part of Davisville public school through chainlink fence, before demolition

crooked chainlink fence posts at the corner of a schoolyard, with metal construction fence inside that, school in the background, large paved area in front of the school

The building was also home to the Metropolitan Toronto School for the Deaf as well as Spectrum Alternative School.

red roses stuck in a chainlink fence as a memorial tribute to the school that is being demolished, MTSD 1962 to 2018 where MTSD is Metropolitan Toronto School for the Deaf.

below: Notice on the fence, permit to remove 21 trees.   A new elementary school is being built on the site.  In the meantime (for 2 years), Davisville Junior Public is being relocated to Vaughan Road in what was previously the Vaughan Road Academy.  Originally, the plan was to build the new school on the property (there was a large playground) and then tear down the old (Globe & Mail Feb 2017)

city notice posted on fence, permit to remove 22 trees. Notice that 44 trees will be planted once the building on the site (new elementary school) has been demolished

below: I past by the site for the first time in a few months and discovered that most of the school is now demolished.  Only a small portion by the front entrance remains and I suspect that that won’t be around for much longer.

small part of a school remains, debris scattered on the snow, digger at work in the background, apartment building in the distance

broken fence, plywood fence, and the remains of a school that is being demolished

old front entrance of Davisville public school, lots of snow, broken walls as it is in the proces sof being demolished.

Another story of changes underway;
more documentation of buildings about to disappear.

trees and overgrown yard, two large signs advertising townhouse developments to come

On a leafy stretch of Bayview Avenue, there are some buildings that now sit empty.  The weeds have taken over the yards, as have large signs advertising the townhouse development that will be built there.   Actually the signs are only on one yard, this one:

below:  There are curtains in the window but some shingles are missing and the frontyard is overgrown with weeds – 2716 Bayview Avenue, sitting empty.   If you drive past it on Bayview you’d probably miss it because of the large trees between the house and the street.

small brick house with attached garage, overgrown front yard, tiger lilies growing by the front, piles of mulch on driveway, some ivy on front of house, some shingles missing from the roof

below: Nature takes over very quickly if you let it.  The lilies haven’t lost to the thistles yet though.

thistles, orange tiger lilies, and ivy, growing in a garden at the front of a house

below: The backyard was very overgrown too. The side door was open but I didn’t go in.  The basement appears to be in good shape.

an open basement door on the side of a house, overgrown yard, pile of debris in the foreground

If you go to their website, only 7 townhouses are shown in the drawings while the properties on either side of it (4 in total) are included in the plans as “future development”.   If you look at the original application on the City of Toronto website, the whole plan called for 20 townhouses facing Bayview Ave and a single family dwelling facing the street behind.  Each townhouse is 4 storeys (including basement level which is half garage and driveway) and 18’9″ wide.  The above ground levels are 47′ deep.   The site drawings and architectural plans were from June 2017.   I am not sure why the discrepancy.  It’s not uncommon for changes to occur between the planning stage and the final product…   So take the measurements that I just gave you with a grain of salt.

below:  One house to the south, 2710 Bayview.  A newer style house than its neighbour with part of its front yard hidden behind a glass block wall.   It too is set back a large distance from the street.  Once upon a time, someone put some love and care into this house.   I hoped that it was well used in its time.

modern style house with glass brick wall in front, around a front porch, large spruce tree, overgrown driveway,

modern style house with glass brick wall in front, around a front porch, large spruce tree, overgrown driveway,

double red doors, front entrance way to an empty modern design house

below:  Moving north, this is 2720 Bayview.  There is evidence that large trees have already been cut down.  At the moment all the evidence is well hidden from passers-by.   A year ago, farther south on Bayview a developer cut down 30+ large trees without permits from the city because they were building townhouses on the site  The outcry was big but the penalty is small.

white stucco bungalow with the remains of a chopped up tree in front

below: But….  if you have permission to build townhouses, there is no way the trees can stay.  Any plan that involves creating 20 new townhouses in less space than four single houses doesn’t leave room for large trees.  Those will be a thing of the past on this stretch of Bayview.  The one below was so big that I couldn’t reach around the trunk of the tree.

a large mature broadleaf tree in summer, green

below: The fourth building, 2722 Bayview, was originally built as a residence, but it has been a medical clinic for decades.  If you peer in the window, there are still posters on the wall (Is It Flu?) and even reading material on the table ([something] Task Force).  There is a sign on the front door that says that 2 June 2017 was the last day the clinic was open.

interior of medical clinic, no longer used, looking in the window, chair, posters on wall,

weeds coing up through the cracks in the pavement of a parking lot in front of an unused medical clinic, front entrance of the clinic, full length windows

Lastly, I took a picture of this house too as it is beside the ones above.   The “Notice” sign on the fence was a bit of a surprise considering how new the house was.  My original assumption was that the house was going to be demolished.  In fact, the planning application says that the house will be moved to the back of the property and three townhouses will be built in front.  One driveway down the north side of the property will access both the new townhouses and the moved house.

Apparently the application was submitted in December 2016 –  However, I noticed that the original application called for three 3 storey townhouses (and is on the City of Toronto website as such).  The sign says three 4 storey townhouses and a three storey single family dwelling.  The house in the photo is only 2 storeys.

a city of Toronto blue and white notice of development sign is on a black wrought iron fence in front of a large stone faced two storey house with a large front yard, grass and shrubs

What I’ve also learned while researching these properties, is that there is an official document called, “Bayview Townhouse Design Guidelines” that covers Bayview Avenue from the 401 south to Lawrence Avenue East.  It was adopted by City Council late in 2015.   In fact, large portions of the city have design guidelines and you can find them online.

I was curious to find out how many ongoing development proposals/applications there are in the city.  There is an interactive searchable map online that I used.  When I searched on ward 25 (where the above sites are), it showed 52 locations.  When I tried searching on the whole city, there were too many results.  If you’re interested in development, you can play with the website too!

thistles, close up of flower part of thistle, one purple flower

weeds growing out of cracks in the pavement of a parking lot, handicapped parking sign still there.