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From our March 18, 2014 issue


Now is the perfect time to consider a monumental addition

Currently, Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon is encouraging discussion about refreshing and revitalizing a small and important portion of Kew Gardens.

There is a war monument located in the area of concern and most people will recognize it as the staging area for annual Remembrance Day services. This structure is a focal point of the park and its fountain dispenses a cool drink of water for people and beasts on hot summer days.

This monument, also referred to as a cenotaph, is missing something of importance, and although it is an inanimate object, I tend to rhapsodize it to the point at which I feel it stands there in embarrassment, waiting for someone to notice – and many people have now noticed and commented on its deficiency.

The monument recognizes the dates of the First and Second World War and the Korean War, but it ends there. It’s restless in its own solitude knowing that it omits those Canadians who served in other conflicts and peacekeeping missions such as, and not limited to, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda and Afghanistan.

It seems to me that this is the perfect opportunity to include a discussion on upgrading this monument in the context of the opportunities presented in the revitalizing of the small area in Kew Gardens.

My suggestion is to add “and to all of the veterans in the service of Canada” to the blank panel on the bottom right side of the Monument.

Remembering all our veterans would honour the courageous men and women of the ages who sacrificed themselves, for us, on the altar of freedom.

Bob Murdoch


More to the story of Queen Street condo

Re: Deal struck for Queen/Woodbine condo [Beach Metro News, March 4, 2014]

The article on the settlement for 1880 Queen St. E. is disappointing.

First, because the settlement is a huge victory for the developer, and secondly, because it only included the views of people who supported the settlement, making the deal sound far better than it is.

Where was the voice of anyone independent of this backroom deal?

In effect, the developer got nearly everything in his application.

The deal essentially moves the building (inside and out), by about 1.2 m north – very little internal floor space is lost. The parking garage now extends under the laneway. The building is now more imposing on the north side, where the impact is greater on residential areas.

Had the developer lost, or not gained the specific concessions he won, he would have had to totally redesign the floor plans and re-sell all the condos he already sold. He took a big gamble in pre-selling condos without the zoning approved, and he won big-time!

The Greater Beach Neighbourhood Association and Councillor McMahon want to paint a big happy face on this settlement, but the article didn’t look at their past positions.

McMahon saying it now “almost meets all the guidelines” is absurd – the building is still six storeys straight up on the main corner, without any setbacks. The 0.9 m setback is only 5 m long and applies on the fifth floor, on just the south side.

The building now violates the rear angular planes of the Beach Urban Design Guidelines even more than the original proposal.

She botched things on Queen Street from the beginning, starting with Lick’s [1960-1962 Queen St. E., formerly a Lick’s restaurant, now the planned site of Lakehouse Beach Residences - ed.] and her failure to pass an Interim Control Bylaw, which would have stopped both condos at Woodbine. The “hold” on development she trumpeted was useless. It was the Lick’s OMB approval that undermined the appeal on the Shell site, and thus on 1880 Queen St. E. too.

She says proposed Official Plan Amendment will still give us protection that is “pretty darn strong” – what ever happened to the guidelines alone being the “Beach Bible?”

Brian Graff


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