Etienne Brulé Visited Parkdale 400 years ago.

Wednesday, August 26th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm,
High Park Library, 228 Roncesvalles Ave.

To mark 400 years since first contact between Europeans and First Nations in our area… Amateur historians of the Parkdale and Roncesvalles Historical Societies will present an overview of local history around the arrival of Etienne Brulé. Free event.

Hear about events that may have shaped the Canadian character. Wednesday, August 26th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, High Park Library, 228 Roncesvalles Ave

Parkdale Village Historical Society,  pvhs.info
Roncesvalles Village Historical Society. ‘Like’ us on Facebook, or see http://rvhsociety.blogspot.ca
Sponsored by the RMRA

Posted in Parkdale, People | Leave a comment

Parkdale Historic Houses on TV from Aug 24

Structues: ‘The Historic Houses of Parkdale’
Premiers Mon. August 24 at 10 pm.
Only on rogersTV channel 10 & 63 in Scarborough
You can watch it again!
Tuesday, August 25, 8:30 am, 11 am & 4pm
Wednesday, August 26, 4:30 and 9 pm
Thursday, August 27, 8:30 am and 2:30 pm
Friday, August 28, 2 am.
Parkdale is on TV and so am I, Jack Gibney.

Posted in Parkdale | Leave a comment

Preserving Sexy Old Bricks

As Parkdale Village reaches 135 years some of our bricks need help.

(The ‘Beaty Ave Toronto‘ article has been upgraded. Come and see.)

Posted in Architecture, Parkdale, Properties, Resource | Leave a comment

UHN Not So Good for Housing.

The University Health Network, or UHN, is following a path that leads to the systematic loss of affordable and historic housing. There is evidence that they are having a negative influence on the neighbourhood.

The University Health Network is responsible for the maintenance of 9 through 17 Close Ave as well as 82 Dunn Ave. In 2014 17 Close Ave was demolished unnecessarily. Read about it in The Historic Destruction Game. I drive by these houses on my way home daily and I began to notice a pattern of destructive ‘repairs’, leading to demolition. The historic veranda on 82 Dunn has been replaced with cheaply designed, pressure treated wood that is starting to age just one year later. All the UHN houses on Close Ave have cheap wood replacements of parts of their steps or verandahs. 19 Close has plastic ‘roofing’ over a side window.  Leaks cause deterioration. Unpainted wood begins to look ugly. One day we will hear that one of these is being demolished and the UHN may hope we will think ‘who cares’.

It is not surprising that the University Health Network appears to value hospitals more than houses, but is that good for Parkdale? Just a few doors north on Dunn Avenue neighbours are investing in beautifying their houses, both rental and single family.  One block east on Cowan Avenue houses are beautifully preserved from end to end.

Gord Perks returned my call this morning and I proposed my plan as follows:

Proposed objective
Maintain housing and historical character in Parkdale.
Problem
The University Health Network appears want to remove all of these houses to replace them with hospitals.
Every maintenance issue appears to result in the replacement of parts of the buildings with pressure-treated wood or plastic.
Many buildings sit vacant with leaking windows and roofs covered with plastic or inappropriate repairs.
Demolition occurs whenever possible. Alternatives are not sought.
Proposal
Require the University Health Network to sell all of these houses individually at arms length. Individual homeowners in the neighborhood are doing a very good job of maintaining old houses and providing affordable rental units.

Gord Perks advised me that he and the city inspectors had been on this for several years, but although they can require basic repairs, building code does not define beauty. I am sure Historic value would be even harder to define. We can’t force the UHN to sell and expropriation is at best very difficult and probably imposable. So they are here to stay.

Other things we can do to protect existing housing.
1. Email me with ideas
2. Advise me of any further deterioration of these houses.
3. Write to Gord Perks or your favorite Politician aboutprotecting Historic and affordable housing in Parkdale.
3. Tell anyone looking for land for big institutions, apartments or condos that Parkdale already paid.

Take a walk past the UHN houses on Close and Dunn below. Follow uhn on this site.  Jack Gibney

Posted in Parkdale, Properties | Tagged | Leave a comment