Centennial Community & Recreation Association of Scarborough, Ontario, Est.1949

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Letters to the Editor

The views expressed in these letters do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the CCRA.

 

 

Posted May 2014

 

First let me say what a wonderful job CCRA has done over the years for all of us who live in this great community. Our family has been here for over 30 years and we believe Centennial is one of the best kept secrets in Toronto. I have been saddened however at our community, Ron Moeser and CCRA for not noticing or rallying to do anything about a recent move by the City of Toronto and the Chief of the Toronto Fire Department to close our community fire pumper, P215 on Lawrence Ave West. This is an unbelievably bad and tragic decision for our community. Of all the vehicles to lose in this city, P215 was the worst. I'm also amazed that Ron Moeser didn't comment on it in his news letter nor did CCRA. First let me say I am not a fire fighter. I do have however have an intimate knowledge of the workings of fire departments, not only Toronto but most of the big city departments in North America. When you consider the actual make-up of the emergency runs of our fire station on Lawrence, we need and deserve the best. With Chemical Court, various high occupancy schools and hi-rise building on Kingston Road and Lawrence, both of our fire vehicles are vital to this community. And now we have lost one. Our fire chief has had very little experience with a department as large and diverse as Toronto. His decisions are flawed. He is not an experience fire fighter. He is an administrator who relies on computer models and wishful thinking. The community has been led to believe that our aerial (A215) on Lawrence will suffice in running not only as a pumper but an aerial serving the community without leaving us vulnerable to tragedy. Wrong. An aerial is much slower in responding to an emergency. Probably double the time it would take a pumper to get on scene. This week alone A 215 has responded to the far reaches of our community for at least four call for VSA....Vital Signs Absent. At a time Toronto Fire has issues with response time, this only adds to the problem. The Fire Chief has called the aerial replacement of our pumper a "Quad", meaning it has a pump so it is really a pumper as well as a ladder truck. It does have a pump. But it does not carry an appropriate amount of hose, as a pumper does, to be effective in a fire responds first on scene. We have been led to believe that we have two fire trucks in one. Not so. In order to effectively utilize the capability of the our remain Quad we need the manpower of both the ladder truck and the pumper, 8 fire fighters. We have lost 4 of those fire fighters in our community. The remaining 4 firefighters have to quickly decide upon arrival at a fire what action they will take- ladder or pumper tasks. It can't be both. It is only a matter of time that something tragic will happen in our community as a result of this flawed decision. Let's not let this budget cut be forgotten. We need to rally our community to demand our elected officials to re-instate our vital community resource. Seconds Count.

Ralph McKittrick


 

Posted Feb 24th 2014

 

DECEMBER POWER OUTAGES:

 

Kudos to the ingenuity of the woman who froze bowls of water on her balcony in order to keep her fridge foods cold.

Kudos to ALL who put their fridge freezer foods in their garages or in some cases the trunk of their car.

SAFETY SUGGESTION: For those of us who ran their gas appliances – think about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector with a battery back-up.

 

Anita Waddell

5 Charles Tupper Dr.


 

 

Posted Jan 8th 2014

 

I am writing to echo the comments made in a recent Letter to the Editor regarding Councillor Moeser's complete lack of action after the ice storm ("Ice Storm in Ward 44"). I think it is timely to note that the recent storm (or ice "event" as described by Councillor Moeser) is again demonstrating the inaction and lack of communication from our councillor.

This is an election year, and Councillor Moeser's disappearance during the ice storm should again remind us why it is in everyone's best interest that the constituents of Ward 44 elect a new councillor in this October's election. Due to his lack of response to my e-mails, I recently tried to speak with Councillor Moeser at his plaza office. Not surprisingly, he was not there.

I've been told that Councillor Moeser's home was without power for less than 12 hours. I can't confirm this because I have not received a response from him about it, despite several e-mails to him. I and my family, like many other Ward 44 constituents, were without power for more than four days. We celebrated Christmas morning in our home where the temperature in our family room was 3C degrees.

Can any Ward 44 constituents attest to receiving any direct "help" or "assistance" from Councillor Moeser in the aftermath of the ice storm? Did anyone e-mail Councillor Moeser and receive a response from him (not his assistant)? Do any constituents believe (like I do) that its a communications weakness on the part of Councillor Moeser to neglect using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.?

I agree with the previous letter writer: Ward 44 deserves better than this.

Rob Elbertsen


 

 

Posted Jan 1st 2014

 

Re: Ice Storm in Ward 44

 

After 96 hours with our house plummeting to 5 degrees Celsius, power came back early morning on Thursday, December 26th. Ours was one of a few neighbourhood streets left in the dark .

Port Union Community Center had power on Christmas Eve, so my 20 year old son contacted City staff he knew, in hopes of setting up a warming centre or reception location. This did not happen. People in Ward 44 had to go to 43 Division Police Station which was at capacity, and then on Friday Dec. 27 to Heron Park Arena. Meanwhile, lights blinked messages about upcoming community events on the outdoor sign at Port Union. Could Councillor Moeser have pushed for it to be opened? Why did young teens have to loiter at Walmart to keep warm all week?
 
On Sunday Dec. 22 we found that the plaza at Lawrence and Port Union was fully functional and all systems go... except for Ron Moeser's constituency office which was locked up tight. No signs in the window how to reach him, no Facebook or Twitter accounts, and no updated news on his website.
 
I contacted both Councillor Moeser and Ward 43 Councillor Paul Ainslie on Friday Dec. 27th.  Paul Ainslie’s assistant called me 3 hours later from her home, returning calls and working around the clock trying to get Ward 43 residents what they needed. I waited for Ron Moeser's assistant to return my call, which I received three days later on Monday, December 30.
 
Councillor Moeser wasn't able to be reached, while many other City Councillors were tweeting until the early hours of the morning, sending out newsletters and updating websites. On Monday Dec. 30, Councillor Moeser’s website still doesn't have updated information about what to do with tree branches and food waste.


On checking Twitter, I see that I’m not the only one unimpressed with communication from the elected city official representing our area. Where was Councillor Ron Moeser during this power outage?
 
I think Ward 44 deserves better than this.
 
Tracy Forsyth
Bathgate Drive
416 282 8116


Posted Jan 2014

Removal and Replacement of Centennial’s Ash Trees

 

Sadly, the deadly Emerald Ash Borer has come to the Centennial area. City Forestry staff are regularly monitoring the Ash trees and are marking trees for removal when necessary. This work has been on-going since 2011 and will continue throughout our community for some time to come.  Wherever Ash trees are removed, new trees will be scheduled for planting during the next available planting season.   

If you are losing an Ash tree, you can be involved in choosing the species that will be planted adjacent to your home.   According to the person in charge of the City’s Forest Renewal Section:

“When an Ash tree is marked for removal, Forestry staff initiates a Service Request for a replacement tree to be planted. Urban Forest Renewal staff will visit each address, choose a planting location and select 2 species appropriate for the site conditions. Staff will consider soil conditions, space available for planting, obstacles such as overhead utility lines, species diversity in the neighbourhood and other factors. They will leave a door hanger for the resident indicating the planting location and the 2 recommended species. Residents are advised to call 311 if they want to discuss the location or the species choices.

The priority of staff is to plant large-growing, native tree species. However, we do plant non-native species as well, because they do well in urban environments and it gives us more choice so that we can maintain species diversity.

To get an idea of the species we plant, I refer you to the Residential Free Tree Brochure on the Forestry website at www.toronto.ca/trees and then follow the link to Tree Planting, under Toronto Tree Information.

There are areas that have already received replacement trees. The rest of the trees will likely be replaced next spring or fall, depending on when the Ash are removed.”

Once our new trees are planted, we can help them to survive by giving them some water when the hot, dry weather arrives and reporting any damaged or sick trees to the City.  Together, we can help with the growth of a healthy, diverse assortment of species, which will eventually grow to beautify our community and be here for future generations.

Gay Cowbourne

 

Past President, CCRA


 

Posted Dec 2013

 

November 21, 2013

 

My name is Carolyn Elbertsen and I have been a resident of Goldberry Square for nearly 25 years. As I’m sure most residents in the area are aware, the Emerald Ash Borer (and invasive species from Asia) has killed the majority of ash trees in southwester Ontario-including our neighbourhood. As a result, the City of Toronto is removing ash trees. This summer, the City removed 14 established trees on Goldberry Square and we are scheduled to have 24 more trees removed. The City of Toronto has thus far only replaced 2 trees-with Genkgo trees. Genkgo trees are not native to Canada, have a slow growth rate and produce a pungent stinky fruit. Our community would be stick lined. Residents have the right to request the species of trees to be replanted on their property. Please request Canadian, fast growing trees such as the Silver Maple to be planted in our neighbourhood. (Call 311 Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm or email 311@toronto.ca). I urge all neighbours who feel strongly to contact Councillor Ron Moeser (Constituency Office 5504 Lawrence Avenue East, Scarborough ON, M1C 3B2 416-338-5306, councillor_moeser@toronto.ca). Have a say in our community and what our community looks like! “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realized that I am somebody.”

 


 

   Posted Feb. 2013

Hi, I have heard that a decision has been made to widen Port Union Rd. Apparently this was casually mentioned at a meeting regarding the townhouses to be built at No Frills, in which only a few of the closest homes were invited to attend. It was not relayed to the rest of the community. I guess we are supposed to learn about this through the rumour mill. I knew that widening was under review but there had not been any community update regarding this for the past few years. Why was there no mention of this important change in the Jan or Feb CCRA newsletters? I would have thought this would be in Councillor Moeser's section for sure. I believe there is to be 4 lanes, a median, and bike lanes on each side. This will undoubtedly mean that existing trees will be removed along Pt Union and traffic flow will be close to the fences of the private homes. I believe the community should know the facts about this - and not have to rely on hearsay passed from a few people who were at that townhouse meeting. Can you please follow up with this important change to our community and ensure the residents in the Centennial Community are informed? Thanks.

Bonnie Ballam

 


Posted Feb 2013

 

To Councillor Moeser

 

Councillor, It would be appreciated if you would take a moment to review your file on this property to confirm its existing and potential land use (e.g. as is) and then ensure that the selling agent, Prudential Realty, is aware of it.

 

Thus informed, Prudential can then meet their full disclosure commitments and inform potential buyers accordingly.

 

A review of your file will show that the owner prior to current one(s) was a speculator/developer who, while undertaking a failed attempt to subdivide the property, utilised it as a rental property. As a developer/speculator no attempt was made to improve the appearance of the property to have it fit within the standard of surrounding properties.

 

I also understand the survey plan being handed out by Prudential has been annotated to show a proposed subdivision of the property with two lots fronting onto Satchell. This is not in accordance with current zoning and was previously rejected by the City. Use of such a marked-up plan could be deemed as misleading to potential buyers with intent to increase the property’s marketability.

 

A review of your file will also show this as the property that was clear cut of over 30 mature private and city owned trees while the city stood impotently on the side. I am still, to this day, baffled that the City did not plant new trees, either along the boulevard or back along the property line.

 

I am Winston Beard, owner of 79 Satchell Blvd. We look onto the open backyard of 198 Lawson. The entire 180 feet of property abutting Satchell is exposed. We and other neighbours look forward to the day when an owner of 198 will recognise their neighbourhood responsibilities and create visual screening to their backyard, which is all too often used as a vehicle, boat and equipment storage area, and maintain this property at the same standard as the rest of this excellent neighbourhood. We are sorry to see the current owners leave as they indeed had such plans for the property.

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I trust that lessons learned from the situation at 367 Lawson will encourage you and the City to act proactively and ensure potential buyers are not misled a property’s potential.

 

Cheers

 

Winston Beard

 


 

          Posted Jan 2013

To Whom it May Concern,
 


 

This letter is to demonstrate a position of strong opposition to the application for the 50 stacked town homes that are proposed to be built on 17 Island Rd.


There are many concerns for this proposed building project--the main one being that a small commercially zoned lot is being considered for residential zoning. It makes absolutely no logical sense to build a dense, residential complex that does not match the aesthetics of the surrounding community. In addition, I cannot imagine any family wanting to reside in a home where they are surrounded by the noise of the 401, No frills or a child and youth services group home.


According to the proposal, these town homes will have limited parking. This will result in residents occupying parking reserved for NO FRILLS customers, as well as congest Island road when additional parking is required. This is problematic for many reason. The first is the direct affect on local business owners who will lose customers due to limited/no parking. it is also assumed that each unit will have only one vehicle and limited visitors, and that there will be only one family per unit. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to own a home that is in the middle of a commercial zone with no direct access to parks and schools. As a result, I believe the outcome will be an unkept, low income community that will become a focal point upon entrance to the otherwise beautiful West Rouge area.

 

In addition, There are very few main roads in the West Rouge community; Port Union and Island road are two of them. By building densely populated town homes in this location, it will add to the already congested traffic flow. In addtion, Port Union is a one lane road (for the most part) and is used to access both the GO train and the 401 by local residents. This will not only add to the current congestion, but might force people to rush through residential streets to avoid such traffic, resulting in increased residential traffic that can compromise the safety of children who are walking to and from school, etc. In addition, if there are 50 families with children in this complex, this could result in over 50 school aged children. There is no school in the immediate area, and if neighbouring schools are already at capacity, the result will be crowded schools and undesirable portables for students and the community.

 

Why is there a need to build on every green space left in our community? Why do we insist upon increasing our carbon footprint? This is not in the best interest of our community and environment.

 

The builder proposing this project does not care about the West Rouge community or the negative impact that will result if these homes are built. This builder is only concerned with making as much money as possible and he can only do this by creating a densely built community. I urge you to keep this space zoned for commercial use so that our community can continue to support local businesses.

 

In closing, please honour and respect the residence of this community by listening to their voices on this matter and recognizing that we have chosen this community because it is scarborough's gem and a desirable place to live and raise our families. We should be able to do so without our community being compromised in the long term for someone else's short term profit.

 

Thank you for your consideration.


 

Violet Mari

27 Cockburn Drive