Congratulations to Imelda (123 Roncesvalles) and the Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles), both winners in NOW Magazine’s recent “Best of Toronto” issue. Imelda was awarded the Critic’s Pick of “Best Shoe Store In Toronto”, while the Revue was voted by readers “Best Repertory Cinema in Toronto” for the second year running.
Imelda and the Revue join the many other award-winning businesses in our great neighbourhood.
Earlier this month, with the one-year anniversary of the Sunrise Propane gas explosions fresh in their minds, Roncesvalles residents watched behind barriers as firefighters and construction crews rushed to repair a gas line rupture, damaged during the reconstruction. Many were curious to know how close they just came to being engulfed in giant fireball of death. The answer, according to Councillor Gord Perks is: not close at all.
Councillor Perks said that whenever workers get close to an underground utility, as marked on the road, the heavy digging stops and workers switch to hand tools. Occasionally, the underground utilities are mapped incorrectly, or the pipe lies closer to the surface than it is supposed to be. So crews are always prepared for just such an accident, wrote Councillor Perks:
“Work stops. Equipment is turned off. Firefighter are called urgently to the scene. The fracture is repaired.
“Experience shows that the gas vents safely because it is does not build up to dangerous levels in an enclosed space. Think of the home safety tip to open your windows if you smell gas in your home.
“In the case of the recent incident, the pipe that was struck was an old disconnected service pipe. Because it was still attached to the main it caused a rupture in the main. When a service is disconnected, it is supposed to be disconnected from the main. We don’t know why this wasn’t done when the original disconnection was performed years ago.
“I wish higher standards for maintenance and record keeping had been required in previous decades. As you can see the City approaches this historical deficiency with several layers of safety planning. In this incident the protocols were followed and the incident was safely contained.”
If you have further questions about reconstruction safety, please contact Councillor Gord Perks’ office. The City asks that you to bring any concerns you may have to the City’s attention right away so that coordination with the Contractor can take place. You may obtain emergency service (24 hours a day) by calling 416-338-8888.
Roncesvalles TTC riders may have a new subway option within the next decade. The National Post reports that the TTC will “seriously study” the long-proposed Downtown Relief Line (DRL) this fall. Under the proposal, the new subway line would likely begin at Dundas West station, travel underneath Roncesvalles/Dundas West towards Liberty Village. From there, it would travel east alongside Queen Street West to Union Station. It would then continue east along the rail corridor, then head north towards Pape station. This is one of a number of proposed routes.
What has changed since last year, when the Post similarly reported the TTC would “seriously study” the DRL? Well, back then the TTC said only that it would study the DRL by 2018. Since then, interest in the new line has gained momentum, with even conservative members of City council supporting the new line.
Toronto Star columnist and neighbour, Joe Fiorito, has nice words for Roncesvalles, naming it as one of five things to love about Toronto:
“Old and plain and true, its butcher shops are reminiscent of the Poland of 100 years ago. If you live nearby and need a chop, or a loaf, or grapes, or stamps, you don’t need a car.
Along with the Danforth, Bloor West, and St. Clair, and a few other streets, Roncey is the template for how a neighbourhood ought to be built.”
Link: Toronto Star
On Friday, the Toronto Sun published an op-ed by John Bowker, chair of the BIA’s Beautification Committee and the BIA’s representative in Roncesvalles Renewed. The article celebrates the unity of our neighborhood, as we prepare for the 2009-10 reconstruction of Roncesvalles. It also criticizes efforts by suburban councillors to turn Roncesvalles into a busy highway for commuters from North York and Etobicoke:
“When the automobile folks and the streetcar folks go to war over who controls the street, the neighbourhoods themselves often suffer. Streets get carved up and divided, and a pleasant main street can become a tangle of barriers, signals, lines and signs. Slow streets can become fast highways, and pedestrians learn to just keep on walking with their heads down.
“Too often the local residents themselves succumb to this confrontational mentality, filing lawsuits and sending in angry petitions. Good ideas get drowned out as polarization sets in, leading to poorer outcomes for everyone.
“That’s why I am feeling extremely proud of our neighbourhood today. I believe we have responded to these challenges with remarkable creativity, intelligence and open-mindedness.
“And so our community is poised to benefit from an innovative streetscape plan that uses new ideas to balance the needs of all users, including motorists.”