By Sue Stefko
The Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA) is preparing for our annual general meeting, which will again be run virtually on Wednesday, May 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. People can reach out at email@example.com for the Zoom link.
Our headline presentation this year is by Canada Lands Company, which will provide results from the public consultation for the 299 Carling Avenue park. Councillor Shawn Menard will give his update, and GACA will give a rundown of some of the notable activities in the community over the last year.
As always, development will be at the forefront. Our neighbourhood, which measures about 500 metres by 350 metres, continues to see an astounding amount of development, both planned and in progress, especially considering its size. The first of the ongoing projects was the John Howard Society site at 289 Carling. Construction began on the six-floor, 40-unit building in December 2020 and is expected to continue until late this summer. While residents were spared blasting, there were months of hoe-ramming, which coincided with COVID lockdowns, making the experience a difficult one for many.
Metres away, construction on Katasa’s 16-storey retirement residence “The Clemow” at 275 Carling began last August. This time, residents endured both blasting and hoe-ramming, as bedrock was removed to make way for five storeys of underground parking. Initially slated to take six months (until about this past February), excavation lasted until this April, fraying the nerves and patience of residents as work continued six days a week in the final push to finish. Work has recently started on the parking garage; construction of the actual building will begin in the fall and take 18 months to complete.
Meanwhile, Canada Lands’ 299 Carling project, expected to include four towers ranging from eight to 20 storeys, bringing an additional 550 units into the neighbourhood, finally received zoning approval in January, more than four years after public discussions began in November 2017.
A smaller-scale development recently underwent a hiccup when the previous owners of 7 Maclean sold the land after receiving site plan approval to build a three-storey, seven-unit building. The lot was recently purchased by Canci Realty; in the coming years, we expect 26 units to be added to the existing apartment building on 385 Bell Street South, which abuts the 7 Maclean property.
All these projects are occurring within the boundaries of the Glebe Annex, yet there are also other major developments in the works nearby, such as the Booth Street Complex, Arnon’s plans for a much-anticipated grocery store at 450 Rochester, the new Civic Hospital, Katasa’s proposed 26-storey development at 774 Bronson and other developments near Carling and Preston.
As for traffic news (and there’s going to be more of it!) the Glebe Annex is now a designated 30 km/hr zone, with gateway speed signs installed last November to reduce speeding and make the neighbourhood safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Work also continues on the Midtown Bridges project, which will replace 10 bridges in five locations on Highway 417 between Preston and Percy streets. Last year, Orangeville was closed to become a staging area – it will remain closed at Lebreton Street South until the end of 2025. The noise barrier and all the trees and vegetation on the south side of the 417 were removed, with the Ministry of Transportation continuing the rebuilding process throughout this year, replacing the Rochester overpass this summer and the Bronson overpass next summer.
This year is shaping up to be another busy one. GACA plans to conduct another community clean-up, starting from Dalhousie South Park, on Saturday, May 14 from 10:30 a.m. until noon – if it rains, we will do it the following day, Sunday, May 15. Our annual membership campaign, which will be done virtually, will kick off at the AGM on May 18. We also hope to restart some in-person social activities this year and will be seeking our members’ input as to what they would like to see. We hope the community will join us for all these activities as we kick off another busy year.
Sue Stefko is president of the Glebe Annex Community Association.