Letters to the Editor for May 5, 2015

On farmers’ markets and Kew Gardens

RE:  No Farmers’ Market for Kew, March 24:

I would like to clarify some information concerning the Boardwalk Café lease and a potential farmers’ market stated in a March 24 opinion piece.

Yes, the city solicitor was involved in the Tuggs/Boardwalk Café debate, however it was the parks department that issued the report recommending the opportunity be put to public tender. This report is a public document and can be found on the clerks’ website.

No, there was no in-camera discussion on the matter.

Believe me, I’m not a fan of the current situation we had foisted on us.

In order to break the Tuggs lease, just cause would need to be shown. So far this has not occurred.

In order for the city to buy Tuggs out, the operator would need to be willing to sell his rights. So far he is not.

Yes, it is very unfortunate that the Tuggs operator is not more cooperative with the community, as the operator of Grenadier restaurant is in High Park. Some organizers of our great local events still run their activities in Kew Gardens, while others have moved down by Balmy Beach (outside of the area operated by Tuggs) or elsewhere.

The renovations to the entrance way of Kew Gardens will not be available to Tuggs, a point that has been made clear to Tuggs by the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division.

I whole-heartedly support farmers’ markets and would love to see one in the Beach! My office and I have been working with the organizers of the Beach farmers’ market to help see their project through to fruition.

The ever popular Winter Stations were outside of Tuggs territory. It was one of our most successful winter events in the Beach. Despite the hand we have been dealt on the boardwalk, we can still celebrate our community!

Mary-Margaret McMahon

Councillor, Ward 32 Beaches-East-York


Resident no fan of bike lanes on Dixon

About a year ago, a group of cyclists knocked on my door and asked if we would support bike lanes on our street.

We said no. We thought it was a safety issue, and also felt that a one-way street with parking on it already had limited access. Since then, many cyclists have started riding down our one-way street in the wrong direction.

Many of them have young children with them, which, to my mind, is teaching them to break the law.

If I make a right-hand turn on my one-way street, I don’t expect to be faced with a phalanx of bicycles.

Now, all of a sudden, bike lanes have appeared on my street. There was no notification about this, and this has narrowed our street yet again.

I have no problem with cyclists, as long as they, like I do, obey the laws, but I think these bike lanes are hazardous, and an accident waiting to happen.

Kathryn Philipps

Dixon Avenue


Pantry Park deal needs a second look

I am happy Beach Metro News covered the leasing of Pantry Park to the Toronto District School Board for a 999-year term (April 20, 2015).

However, the story reads like a win-win for the City, TDSB and Kew Beach Public School kids.

Missing is a perspective from the public or local residents associations and affected properties. There was no comment by Councillor McMahon.

There are far-reaching implications that deserve public consultation and an open and transparent lease process, which is presently secret. I didn’t know leases between two public bodies could be secret.

I didn’t know a change of land use could take place without notification to affected properties.

What will be best for Kew Beach School, Woodbine Park and Pantry Park in 3015? Has anyone besides me wondered how a deal affecting the great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great-grandchildren of the kids at Kew Beach School can even be determined by anyone?

The TDSB holds an indefinite option to build a school in Woodbine Park but it does not appear to hold any authority at all to trade that option away like this deal allows. The land in Woodbine Park remains a public park owned by the city unless the TDSB exercises its option. How good is a deal where the city leases exclusive daytime use of an open green space public park to keep indefinitely what it already has?

And if there is a need for a school in the area during the next 100 years, let alone 999, where will it be built if this deal carries through? Is this even the best time to entertain a deal that transfers pretty well indefinitely the maintenance and care of a public park to the TDSB, which is selling off surplus land and could deem the open green space at the front of the school surplus after leasing Pantry Park for the school playground? Soccer leagues use the park all summer long so with school use and league use how tricky will shared public use become?

The councillor hasn’t answered these questions and others from the community. She has not held open consultation with the public or opened up the secret lease process. A quick walk-about to some homes on May 2, three days before the May 5 vote, hardly counts as an open and accountable process.

If it’s win-win for everyone where is the transparency?

Janis Cole

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