Let's all hope this Thursday is the one that finally brings those gum drop showers we've been hearing so much about. But even if we don't get that, we'll always have news, like: a bid for big retail in Kensington Market area is turned down, the push for Expo 2025 heats up, the spat between Metrolinx and the TTC goes on, and the tallest condo tower in all the land doesn't get support from its local councillor.
Who’s afraid of the big box retail? Kensington Market, that’s who. The City’s Committee of Adjustment has just turned down a proposal to build large retail space at Bathurst and College, on the site of soon-to-close Kromer Radio. Local councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) says large retail with 300 parking spaces will overwhelm an already busy area; local residents are taking “NIMBY” to its literal conclusion and arguing that the giant building will make their backyards shady. All in all, the proposal doesn’t seem to have a lot of fans. Next stop, the Ontario Municipal Board: the place where fanless proposals tend to find favour.
The City’s transit agency and the Province’s transit agency are insisting that they aren’t having major disagreements about the new LRT lines and they totally like each other and get along great. One such major disagreement they aren’t having is over who will operate the lines once they’re built. TTC Chair Karen Stintz thinks all Toronto transit should be under the purview of the TTC, while other councillors think Metrolinx should have a chance to run some public transit. One thing is for sure though, Bombardier’s LRT vehicle prototypes are neat looking.
City councillors are starting to push hard to bring Expo to town in 2025. A motion will go next week to initiate a staff report that looks into questions like how many jobs will the event create and what the bid process will be like. The most important question though, is what kooky building will we get to add to the exhibition’s long tradition of kooky structures, like the Eiffel tower, the Ferris wheel, and those funny little Habitat 67 houses in Montreal.
Speaking of kooky structures, how about an 83-storey condo above Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street? A developer has put an application in for such a thing, which, if approved, would be the tallest residential building in the entire country. But local councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) is not on board for the wannabe high-in-the-sky residence.