Volume 29 - Number 3                      Newsletter of the Swansea Area Ratepayers’ Association                    November, 2002



Please note that Executive meetings are public and held normally on the third Tuesday of each month, excluding July and August. There may be seating limitations, so contact the Executive before you come to a meeting.

Your executive is: V. Masnyk - President; G. Dubauskas Vice-president & Louis Gris - Vice-president & Membership; J. Oreto - Treasurer; V. Vancas - Secretary; Peter Chant - Past President; Directors: R. Braun, Ritvars Bregzis, L. Clay, M. Fenner, Bill Haines, M. Hudson, Peter Keefe, M. Lalonde, J. McMullen, William (Bill) Roberts, L. Volpe and S. Wilkinson. John Meijer is helping out as our web-master.


As many you may know, since the last newsletter the community has lost Jamie Bell who as well as being an active Executive member was the Executive Director of the Swansea Town Hall, and served on the March of Dimes and organized the volunteers for High Park Adventure Playground. His passing has created a major gap in our Association and he will be deeply missed. Regrettably it seems since 2000 we have lost key members to mor bios such as: Jean Roberts in 2000, Gunnars Martinsons in 2001 and now Jamie Bell.



SARA continues to monitor this committee's work. Bill Roberts is our contact on this body. The taskforce has now met on a regular basis and is reviewing the City and Fung proposals for the waterfront including the proposed business plan. SARA continues to take the position that it does not support the removal of the Gardiner at this time. While it may be desirable to preserve the alignment at this time, the present business plan is not predicated on the removal of the Gardiner. In addition we are not certain how the public benefits from the removal based on our concerns which have been stated in earlier newsletters. It must be noted that the City intends to bring Ontario Place and the CNE together and the remainder of what was the CNE will be privatized for office and residential uses.



If you have not done so, renew your membership for 2002 now.


Single membership           $10.00

Family membership           $12.00

Business membership      $14.00

Please contact L. Gris at (416)766‑2792 to renew. Membership inquiries may be sent to Swansea Area Ratepayers' Association, c/o Swansea Town Hall, Box 103, 95 Lavinia Avenue, Toronto M6S 3H9.



We continue to monitor this matter and note when the Urban Development department held the public meetings in May on the proposed Official Plan they chose not to go to York-Humber Civic Centre. This raises a serious concern that the staff truly has no use for our community or the York-Humber Community Council.



Jean McMullen is our representative.



SARA continues to press the City to enforce its bylaw. We continue to monitor this matter, but have not heard in regard to the status of the settlement discussions as of the date of this newsletter.



SARA supported an appeal by the Ripley Area Residents Group Ltd. (RARG). RARG objected to a Committee of Adjustment decision which reduced the parking standards while allowing the residential density to be increased. The developer moved to dismiss the appeal and seek costs against the appellants. At the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) material was filed in favour and opposed to the motion. A settlement was reached between RARG and the developer, which kept the parking standard at one space per unit on the west side of the site, half of the commercial density (thereby reducing the residential density), while maintaining the section 37 Agreement conditions of approval. Bill Roberts acted as lawyer for RARG. An area planner Robert Truman provided planning advice at nominal costs to RARG. It should be noted that RARG and SARA were on their own since the Urban Development Department supported the developer and not the community.



We continue to monitor the site and remain concerned there may be an attempt to erect high-rise condominiums on this site.



SARA continues to watch the situation, with increasing concern that the City is not doing all it can to protect and preserve the historic gas station (one of the last examples in Ontario).



Bill Haines is our representative on this committee. The new Staff Inspector Brody Smollet attended our Executive meeting to say hello and let us know either he or the appropriate police officer would be willing to attend Executive meetings to discuss any pressing matters in our area.



We continue to monitor this matter as well and hope that the funding and work will commence next Spring. This was a matter Jamie was monitoring, and so we will have to follow-up with Councillor Miller to see why the trail did not go forward during the summer of 2002. We do know that Councillor Miller is supportive of the trail being built. This is also an issue the Gardiner-Lakeshore Taskforce is monitoring.



Work has commenced however, we have been advised that piles are being driven rather than drilled, which we have also been advised is not in keeping with promises made to the community.



SARA supported the neighbors who appealed the decision to the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board). The OMB granted the appeal in part, by not allowing the applicants to exceed .6 times coverage. It granted the other two variances which allowed the building to exceed the depth provisions and have an addition greater than 15% of the original building. It should be noted the Urban Development Department refused to support the community and felt the neighbours who appealed, would lose at the OMB. 



The owners of the Fan have reapplied for their roof top patio to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission. SARA has filed an objection, along with other community groups and neighbours.



George Dubauskas, one of our vice-presidents made submissions before the York-Humber Community Council on behalf of SARA, and Victoria Masnyk, our President made a written submission to the Planning and Transportation Committee on our behalf. Bill Roberts and Frances Labelle attended at Councilor Miller's office for a meeting with members of the Urban Development Department concerning the retention of the Part II Plan for Swansea. The Urban Development Department did not want to retain the Part II Plan, on the basis it was redundant. Councillor Millor agreed to support SARA. At City Council he successfully moved a motion to retain the Swansea Part II Plan. SARA may well appeal the approval of the other parts of the Proposed Official Plan in conjunction with other ratepayers who are strongly opposed to the present wording. SARA is waiting to see what amendments were made, and in particular to what extent the Belza/Roberts proposals were adopted.



We continue to keep an eye on the Library. Please remember if we do not use it we will lose it. Remember it is as a living memory to the Village of Swansea soldiers who served in the First World War – the 22 who did not come back and the 150 who did.

Also do not forget you can arrange for any movie, book or any other library material to be delivered to the Swansea branch for pickup.


Monday:                 Closed

Tuesday:               10:00 A.M. ‑ 12:00 & (*) 1:00 - 6:00 P.M.

Wednesday:         1:00 - 8:00 P.M.

Thursday:              10:00 A.M. ‑ 12:00 & (*) 1:00 - 6:00 P.M.

Friday:                    Closed

Saturday:               10:00 A.M. ‑ 5:00 P.M.

Sunday:                 Closed

 (*) closed for lunch from 12:00 - 1:00 P.M. Tuesday & Thursday


There is a proposal to rebuild the rear of Runnymede Library during 2003 and it is presumed the Library will not be operational for one year from the commencement of construction. During that time Swansea may be used; however, a reliable source indicates that Library staff is suggesting that patrons be directed to the Annette and Royal York Libraries rather than increasing the use of the Swansea Memorial Library. We will monitor this matter.



SARA while supporting the concept finds the proposal poorly drafted; it is our understanding that council is trying to better draft the by-law based on the concerns raised by SARA along with other groups. It appears Council has agreed to a distancing provision requiring shelters to be a minimum distance apart. Councillor David Miller has agreed that our concerns are reasonable.



We continue to follow this matter.



The SARA website is http://www.swansearatepayers.ca



The Ontario Municipal Board wrote to the solicitor for the property owner asking whether the owner still wanted to have a by-law drafted as per the Board order or to have the file closed. The owner has indicated that it wishes the by-law to be amended as per the Board order and the City is presently drafting an amendment. SARA has requested the City to keep it advised.



Pizza/Pizza withdrew their application. There was a hearing before the Alcohol and Gaming Commission to remove the conditions on the Dark Horse. SARA supported the area residents in their concerns in regard to the application. It appears the City's rules are more generous than  those of the Alcohol & Gaming Commission in regard to the size of the patio that would be allowed.

Once again the villain appears to be the Urban Development Department that did not recommend prohibiting patios on residential flankages several years ago and a City which seem to be more interested in licensing fees and commercial interests than ensuring our neighbourhoods are livable rather than exploited. It appears the amalgamated City no longer strikes a balance between the two interests.



As many of the members in the south end of Swansea may be aware there is a proposal by Georgian Homes to redevelop the plaza to include residential along with commercial uses. It appears that the developer is now seeking to go above the permitted density.

The Swansea Part II clearly set out the criteria for the redevelopment of the Plaza which included: a study of the such issues as parking, views and impact; retention of the existing commercial density; and, that the total density for the plaza must not exceed 2 times coverage. A careful examination of the Part II Plan which interestingly enough "our purported" Urban Development Department did not want to retain, shows the interrelationship of the Plaza to the lands to the south and the north and east. The existing condominiums to the west and north are limited to an O.P. density of 1.5; while the Southport condominiums to the south are limited to 2 times, and an additional density of .28 if the balconies were required to be enclosed. When REON sought to rezone the Stelco site it retained the 2 times coverage. If you consider, the overall effect there is a stepping down toward the lower density residential to the north, west and east. [Ie. 2 times on southern condos, not to exceed 2 on the plaza and 1.5 to the north and east] as you move toward the one times of the low density residential areas. The industrial area of Ripley also has design controls built in, to protect the low rise residential neighbourhood adjacent to it.

To allow the plaza to exceed two times would upset this balance. [Do you think there was a game plan when "our purported" Urban Development Department wanted to separate these policies throughout the new Official Plan? We leave it for you to decide.]       



        William (Bill) Roberts: Editor

                                Louis Gris & John Meijer: Advisory Committee