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TPS presentation slide, Oct. 10, 2017

Where is the best spot for a police station? Did you know Division 54 & 55 are amalgamating and looking for a new site. We first blogged about this last month.

One of the shortlisted sites is the TTC Barns at Coxwell and Danforth – a massive five acre site that, if put to the right use, has the potential to transform our neighbourhood. Can we unlock the potential of this site with a police station?

The selection process for the new station is happening very fast with a decision expected to be made next month.

Last week, DECA and other community groups, including the Danforth Mosaic BIA, formally requested a delay in the process, citing the need for more public information.

To be clear, this isn’t about NIMBYism. We aren’t saying no station here. We’re asking what is possible for that site, with or without a station. More than anything right now, we want more information and time.

What we know

Toronto Police Services (TPS) and the City of Toronto began the site selection community consultations in October, presenting the top three sites: the Danforth Coxwell TTC Barns, the East York Civic Centre and the current 55 Division at Dundas and Coxwell.

DECA’s Visioning Committee, DECA Board members and many neighbours attended the packed meetings. Although TPS had been planning to build a new police station since 2014, the public wasn’t invited into the site selection process until October 2017. TPS plans to present the selected site to the City’s Executive Committee on November 29 and then go to City Council on December 6th (to seek further study of the selected site).

[You can read more about the site selection process in this Beach Metro article by Stephen Wickens (who has been a driving force behind DECA’s Visioning Committee for years) – the article also sheds light on another possible site!

What we’ve asked

Because of the impact a new police station could have on our community, DECA and others have requested a further public meeting to get answers to these questions:

Questions in regards to Coxwell TTC Barns site:

  1. We are concerned about the security design criteria and setbacks required by TPS, even if some recent stations include some aesthetically pleasing design. Specifically how might the police station fit onto the site? Is TPS willing to compromise on security criteria in order to truly integrate with and contribute to a vibrant mixed-use hub? Can the TPS facility fit within close proximity as part of an urban-style cluster of mid-rise, mixed use buildings?
  2. With neighbourhood concerns about traffic and noise, will serious traffic studies be done prior to final site alternatives be conducted for the entire TTC property? Would such a fit-test endeavour to include all potential uses: TPS, the TTC’s existing and potential uses (TTC needs space for various front and back-office functions and is considering a museum)? What other city office-space needs might be served? Would new building offer opportunities for an expanded or relocated library, public open space, public indoor space, Tobias House upgrades, heritage structure programming.
  3. Will the concept of Complete Streets with retail and even residential components be considered in the site planning process?
  4. If a police division is located on the Coxwell TTC site, how might it prevent/inhibit other community/cultural uses? (Such as those listed as things the community needs below). We request clarification on what percentage of the Coxwell TTC site the TPS would occupy, if this site is chosen. How much space would be available for other uses?
  5. How is the heritage status to be preserved if this site if chosen?
  6. How will the parking be accommodated? Will the community have any assurance that the parking will be underground? The current walled-off surface parking lot is seriously street-deadening.
  7. There has been a lack of community engagement and involvement in the site selection, followed by a rushed process taking place under a sudden deadline. To what extent will the community be involved in the design of the station and the selection of the community and cultural uses that could be attracted to occupy other parts of the site?
  8. The process to date has included little or no information on the impact that a police station on this site might have on rest of land and its immediate surroundings. This includes concerns over the Heritage Status as well as the loss of potential uses for this site (cultural, community, retail etc.) which may not be deemed a good fit to cohabit with a police station. Does the TPS, city real estate and city planning have partners in mind for the site and, if yes, who are they?

Community needs in regards to Coxwell TTC Barns site:

  1. The two police divisions extend from the Don River to Victoria Park yet only two public consultations were held at EYCC and further south, nearer the Dundas police station, perhaps because there are no large meeting spaces centrally located on the subway, near Danforth. Such a space would be essential to a mixed-use hub at the Danforth, as would outdoor public space + community recreation facilities and cultural uses. The area also needs functions that bring people to the area and its shops and restaurants from other parts of the city each day. It could be office space for all three levels of government or an educational institution (a police college?). Daycare, healthcare and a library that are all part of mixed-use buildings present real opportunity. Some residential, including apartments geared to seniors, might be a great part of the mix.
  1. The community and BIA have worked hard over the past five years to improve our commercial strip along Danforth East and create a vibrant street. This section of Danforth is lacking a pedestrian-friendly and welcoming retail strip, while the street frontages of the TTC site create blocks that are too long and impenetrable. Plans to redevelop the Coxwell TTC Barns should focus on economic development and the creation of pedestrian-friendly blocks. [Note: See work of Ryerson Architecture students “Danforth East Streetcar Yards” and Top Ten Ideas for the Danforth, by Paul Bedford’s Students presented at Imagine the Danforth, hosted by DECA in 2015.]
  1. We believe it’s important to work with the mid-rise guidelines created by city planning and approved by city council to develop this nearly five-acre site. They are essential elements of the ongoing Danforth Avenue Planning Study and cannot be ignored for any site, let alone such a key and potentially catalytic site. This has to be a primary focus, no matter what the TPS security concerns.

What can you do?

We have more influence the more members we have. If you haven’t joined DECA as a member, join now for $10/household annually: http://deca.to/membership/

The Toronto Police Service material provided these contacts for this process:

Toronto Police Service, Enrico Pera, Manager, Facilities Management, 416-808-7951, enrico.pera@torontopolice.on.ca

Real Estate Services, Nick Simos, Manager Development & Portfolio Planning, 416-392-7223, nick.simos@toronto.ca

City Planning, Paul Mulé, Senior Planner Community Planning, 416-392-1306, paul.mule@toronto.ca

You may also contact your City Councillor to ask your own questions and seek more information.

We will keep you posted as we learn more!

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Thanks to DECA Visioning Committee for this blog post!

You probably received a notice with your mail recently about public meetings the city and Toronto Police Service are holding on the next two Tuesday evenings regarding plans for a new local police station. (TPS plans to amalgamate its 54 and 55 Divisions under one roof.)

The discussion is particularly important for us because one of the three short-listed sites is the nearly five-acre TTC property at Danforth and Coxwell.

Danforth East TTC Barns at Coxwell. Photo credit Google Maps.

The Danforth East Community Association was formed a decade ago with a goal of making our area’s main street more vibrant, walkable and safe; to succeed we need to continually attract more people to the Danforth sidewalks for different reasons at different time of the day. World-renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs (who died in 2006) identified that TTC site as one of only two in the DECA area with significant potential for creating the type of multi-use hub that the community will need for revitalization.

While DECA has not taken a position, our Visioning Committee and some members are concerned — especially in an era when police stations tend to be walled, big-box fortresses — that this may not be an appropriate use for such a rare and valuable site on our main street.

The other two locations on the short list are East York Civic Centre and the current 55 Division at Dundas and Coxwell.

The two meetings are slated for:
– Tuesday, October 10 (6:30 to 9 p.m.) at East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell;
– Tuesday, October 17 (6:45 to to 9:15 p.m.) at SH Armstrong Community Centre, 56 Woodfield Rd.

To learn more about the community consultations and plans for a new site for these police stations, go to: https://www.torontopolice.on.ca/TheWayForward/new-54-55-building.php

Looking back at “Imagine the Danforth” 
The images below are renderings of possibilities for the TTC site, created by students, that were presented during Imagine the Danforth in May 2015. The meeting was hosted by DECA and featured the top 10 ideas for Danforth East developed by students at Ryerson and U of T.

Imagined sketch for new use of Danforth East TTC Barns by Ryerson Students, Nov. 2014

Imagined site plan for new uses of Danforth East TTC Barns by Ryerson Students, Nov. 2014

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Looking for a great way to cap off the school year? Head to the farmers’ market this Thursday.  Shop, eat and relax on the grassy hill of East Lynn Park.

What can you expect this week?  There will be wine from both Coyote’s Run and Broken Stone Wineries.  School Grown has been tweeting up a storm about their scapes and 100 lbs of lettuce that they harvested just yesterday.  And if you’re like me and didn’t know what a scape was, let alone how to cook with it, check out this link for some ideas.

There will also be lots of ready made food options, like loaded baked potatoes from the Borough.  And just in time for Canada Day, Fa Real Custom Tees will be selling some of their custom made East York Tee’s.

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A student from School Grown showing off her scapes.

Also important to know about this week: There is NO FACE PAINTING. However, Kelly and the gang from Face-to-Face Games will have games galore to entertain and stimulate brains young and old.  Toronto Public Library will have story-time and a craft activity starting at 4:30 p.m.

And don’t forget, there is a community safety walk starting at 7:00 p.m. with members of the Toronto Police Service. The group will meet at the top of the hill by the water fountain and walk east along Danforth Avenue to Main Street.

Wellness Booth 

Dancing for fun, happiness and joy!  Come and learn how dancing not only is a fun way to exercise but it has additional benefits like; reducing stress, improving strength and flexibility, keeping our muscles and joints healthy, improving posture and balance. Not only that but people participating in dance, learning sequences, mastering new skills helps with brain development, makes us smarter and can lift our mood and make us Happy!

Pegasus Studios will be at the Farmer’s Market Wellness Table to give you information, tips and maybe even get you moving!

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Pegasus dancers in a flash mob.

The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7:00 p.m. between June 4 – October 15 at East Lynn Park, located on the south side of Danforth Ave, just west of Woodbine Ave. Stay up to date by visiting the East Lynn Market Facebook page or by following us on Twitter.

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Community Safety Walks

DECA and the Toronto Police Service (TPS) have been working together to plan two community safety walks along Danforth East. We’ll have representation from 55 Division (East and West walk) and 54 Division (West walk). By walking through the community, you’ll have the opportunity to voice your concerns, as well as hear advice from the TPS representatives on how to make our community safer.

Suggestions, please!

Please send us your suggestions for topics the TPS should cover on these walks. Leave a comment on this post, on our Facebook page, Twitter (#DECASafety), or send us an email at safety@deca.to (and BTW, did you notice our brand new and much, much shorter website address? DECA.to).

Walk Details

Meet up at the north end of East Lynn park beside the park sign. Feel free to join either walk (or both). We’ll do our best to do some live tweeting of the walks too, for those who can’t make it.

·         West Walk: Tuesday June 23rd 7:00-8:30ish, East Lynn to Monarch park

·         East Walk: Thursday June 25th 7:00-8:30ish, East Lynn to Main

 

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Home Safety Audit this Thursday

Case your own joint! This is a great opportunity to learn how to prevent break-ins at your house.

DECA members are invited to attend a home safety audit on Thursday, October 3rd at 7pm (after the Farmers’ Market). We will visit a home on East Lynn Avenue with Constable Rob McDonald from 55 Division who will offer tips on how to increase  security of your homes both inside and out.

We will meet at the DECA booth at the East Lynn Market at 7pm. Please email Diana Gibbs if you are interested. And stay tuned for news about community safety walks this fall.

Farmers’ Market: Photo Contest Voting & This Week’s Fun 

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Fresh from the field

market Pic

Mysterious redhead enjoying her peas

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Untilted

Do you remember these beautiful submissions to the East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market photo contest? Well, it’s time to vote for your favourite.  Click here to go to our Facebook poll and cast your vote for the winner.

This week, our Silly Goose Kids pals will be at the market with Rooster Tales (stories, songs and circle games) with Sally Jaeger and Erica Webster.   Fun starts at 4:30 PM. Naturopathic Doctor Nana Jokura of Accept Wellness will be providing tips on boosting your immune system and breaking the cycle of perpetual colds.  She will also be offering free tongue and pulse diagnosis (3:00-5:00 PM).

SGK

The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7 p.m. between June 6 – October 17 at East Lynn Park, located on the south side of Danforth Ave, just west of Woodbine Ave. Stay up to date by visiting the new East Lynn Market Facebook page.

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A few updates…

Safety Notice – Update

We have an unconfirmed report that the female female with the gold tooth who was knocking on doors in the area has been caught.  We hope that everyone who had contact with her is safe and sound.  If you have firm info on this, please contact us or leave a comment below.

Len is opening where?

Contrary to what you may have read this afternoon, our friends at LEN are not setting up shop at 698 Danforth Avenue, which is at Pape.  We are quite happy to report that they are opening at 698 Coxwell Avenue, which is just north of Danforth Avenue on the west side.  Yay!  We’ve updated the original post but can’t recall all those emails.

(Big thanks to one of our readers, Alison, who pointed out our error!)

55 Division Town Hall – New Date is May 15

The 55 Division Town Hall has been rescheduled from May 8, 2013 to May 15, 2013.  All other info is the same.  Click here to see our updated post for the details.

Does this nice weather get you outside and talking to your neighbours?  Why don’t you talk to them about DECA! They can sign up for the blog, follow us on Twitter (@DECADiaries), like us on Facebook, and/or pay $10 and officially join DECA!   

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Carmelina Condo Info Night – April 30, 2013 (Tonight!)

Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon has organized an info night with the developers of the Carmelina Condos (Woodbine & Danforth) – TONIGHT at the Danforth/Coxwell Library – 1675 Danforth Avenue at 6:30 – 8:15 p.m.  

Bells on Danforth – May 11, 2013

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Silent Mini-Quilt Auction Fundraiser – May 8, 2013

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55 Division Town Hall – May 15, 2013 – (UPDATED!)

town hall meeting zone 3 AND 4 MAY 15th 2013  final FOR PAT

Don’t forget about this Saturday’s Jane’s Walk in our neighbourhood with DECA’s own Steve Wickens @ 10:00 a.m.! For more details, click here

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