Preserved Stories Blog

April 2016 issue of Old Mill Gazette newsletter provides quick overview of Old Mill (European) history

I’ve received a notification of the publication of the April 2016 Old Mill Gazette; I’ve written about the Old Mill neighbourhood in the past:

Click here to access April 2016 Old Mill Gazette newsletter >


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City moves to protect heritage of former St. Agnes Anglican Church in Long Branch (Toronto)

An April 12, 2016 article is entitled: “City moves to protect heritage of former St. Agnes Anglican Church in Long Branch.”

Subhead reads: “Developer working with city heritage staff on an ‘adaptive reuse’ of church for residential development,”

Our thanks to Sid Olvet for informing us of this link.


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MPP Peter Milczyn’s Gems of Etobicoke-Lakeshore 2016. Deadline for nominations noon on Friday, May 6, 2016.

PeterMilczyn_quarterV_APR16__InfoSheetThe following message is from Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn’s Office:

Do you know a Gem of Etobicoke-Lakeshore 2016?

The Gems of Etobicoke-Lakeshore were created to recognize and appreciate outstanding small businesses, community and service organizations that are unique to South Etobicoke and make our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play.

Peter Milczyn

Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn. Jaan Pill photo

What are the criteria for a Gems selection? The small business or community organization must be within the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. We  are looking to recognize those that provide outstanding customer service. Please nominate your favourites!

[Click below to access a nomination form:]

2016 Gems of Etobicoke-Lakeshore Nomination Form

The submitted Gem nominations will be reviewed by a community panel in partnership with Etobicoke-Lakeshore BIA Communities. Information and nomination forms are attached, and can also be downloaded from

Adam Feldman canvassing on behalf of Peter Milczyn near the corner of Queen Mary’s Drive and Kingsway Crescent, a residential area that features lots of history and a beautiful, flourishing tree canopy. Election Day was June 12, 2014. Jaan Pill photo

Forms will be accepted until noon on Friday, May 6, 2016. Completed nomination forms can be sent to my office by email, fax or post (or drop off!) to:

The Office of Peter Milczyn, MPP
933 The Queensway
Etobicoke, Ontario M8Z 1P3

FAX: 416 259 3704

Please call Wendy McNaughton at my office, at 416-259-2249, if you require any further information.

In his previous role as Ward 5, City of Toronto Councillor, Peter Milczyn directing Toronto city engineers to a washed out bridge in the area morning of July 9, 2013

Help celebrate and highlight small businesses, service and community organizations in Etobicoke-Lakeshore that make our community sparkle! Please join me on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the Assembly Hall located at 1 Colonel Sam Smith Drive (Kipling and Lake Shore Blvd West) for the Gems of Etobicoke-Lakeshore recognition ceremony!


Peter Milczyn, MPP


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Discover the Lost Ontario by Stuart Clarfield, The Mission Media Co. – Kickstarter campaign mentioned by Mike James

I’ve worked with Mike James with leading of Jane’s Walks in southern Etobicoke over the past four years. We’re no longer leading walks, although we remain involved with helping to organize them.

Mike grew up in New Toronto in the 1960s; he now lives in Niagara on the Lake. He ‘s received some information from the Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) Historical Society, which he’s passed along to me, as he thought I might be interested:

This does indeed look interesting, for which reason I’ve devoted this post to it. An excerpt from the Kickstarter campaign reads:

Discover the Lost Ontario by Stuart Clarfield, The Mission Media Co.

About this project

HMS ONTARIO, circa 1780, Fort Niagara. The photo is from the Kickstarter campaign discussed at the page you are now reading.

HMS ONTARIO, circa 1780, Fort Niagara. The photo is from the Kickstarter campaign discussed at the page you are now reading.


During the 18th century, warships were the equivalent of the Space Shuttle – the highest evolution of technology. Travelling across the expanse of Lake Ontario was crossing an inland sea. HMS ONTARIO was launched on May 10th, 1780. It was a world at war on a continent that was a vast, infinite unexplored wilderness to the British, French and American colonists who were here. The ship was built to defend Canada from attack from the American army and disappeared on her last voyage, on Halloween 1780. When the 120 souls on board were last seen alive, George Washington was the leader of the United States.

[End of excerpt]

Click on the photos to enlarge them; click again to enlarge them further

During May 6, 2012 Jane’s Walk in Long Branch (Toronto), Mike James speaks at Parkview School at site of Colonel Samuel Smith’s cabin, built in 1797

The above-noted link also describes the Project, its Impact, and the Support that your contribution toward the project will go for.

The campaign goes for 20 days. I plan to contribute toward this effort, and I hope you might consider doing the same.

Mike James at the mike. Jaan Pill photo

May 2, 2015 Jane’s Walk in New Toronto: Mike James at the mike. Jaan Pill photo

1700s and 1800s North America history

The story of HMS Ontario brings to mind the history of those times, as discussed by way of example at the following posts:

Long Branch Rifle Ranges, Long Branch Aerodrome, Long Branch Racetrack: What do they have in common? (Draft 2, with photos)

John Boyd committed his infantry before his artillery could properly support them: Battle of Crysler’s Farm, Nov. 11, 1813

Battle of Chateauguay (1813): one of two great battles that saved Canada

Linda Colley (2002) speaks of the life of the common British soldier in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Class and status drove the British empire, David Cannadine (2001) argues 

Karolyn Smardz Frost (2007) documents the story of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn who “stole themselves” from slavery 

We can add that the story of technological advancement in warfare goes back a long way; in the 1200s, the knight on horseback was the equivalent of the twentieth-century tank:

Technological advancement is a key storyline in the world history of warfare

Jane Jacobs

Jane’s Walk is a legacy of the non-academic urbanist Jane Jacobs; her legacy brings to mind an April 8, 2016 Next City article entitled: “Jane Jacobs Was Put to the Test in 6 Italian Cities.”


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The story that claims that bombing will solve the problem of ISIS is a story that leads us astray

A basic point that Nicolas Hénin makes in Jihad Academy (2015), a study that is featured at a previous post, is that some news stories lead us astray.

With any story, it’s useful to consider where the evidence leads, and to go with the story that is based upon the strongest evidence,  rather than with the story where the evidence in insufficient, incomplete, not corroborated by other sources, or missing.

I strongly support the position of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who argues that joining in the bombing of ISIS is not the best way to address the challenges posed by the crisis in Syria and Iraq. There are better ways, as both Justin Trudeau and Nicolas Hénin cogently argue.

Along with analysis of events on the ground in the Middle East, Hénin offers a positive view of a way forward, as the following text from Jihad Academy (2015) demonstrates (pp. xiii – xiv):

“The challenges posed by this crisis are new and require a comprehensive response. A reaction based solely on policing, legal measures and intelligence is doomed to fail. Likewise, a military operation, regardless of the means mobilised, can only spell disaster, since the intervention of ground troops (except for the discreet efforts of special forces) is out of the question, as there is no support for it. When the frustration of a youth from the European suburbs combines with the rage of a Syrian persecuted by his own country’s security forces, it’s easy to understand why public agencies need to work together. Diplomatic efforts must apply pressure to bring about political transition in the states concerned. Humanitarian organisations need to act, because there is no better breeding ground for extremism than entire populations in despair.

“It will be no easy task. Competing powers are involved in the crisis in Syria and Iraq, each hoping to strengthen its own position. The Russian-Iranian axis believes its survival is at stake. For the Gulf monarchies, it provides a way of containing the ‘Shia Crescent’ while strengthening the conservative tendencies within the Arab Spring. Turkey, having had to abandon its good-neighbour diplomatic policy, is now trying to suppress Kurdish claims at the same time as containing the jihadist thrust. But Turkey does not understand that the countries in the region don’t look favourably on its neo-­Ottoman imperialism. Finally, the West, as so often, views the crisis in terms of security, and has a particular fixation on Israel; it remains entangled in contradictions over the vital issues of human rights and the protection of civilians.”

[End of excerpt]

Stories that seek to explain, and that act as a basis for addressing, income inequality

I read with interest an April 6, 2016 Atlantic article entitled: “Is America Having the Wrong Conversation About Income Inequality?”

The subhead reads: “One sociologist says that there’s too much of a focus on giving out more college degrees, getting more people married, and making elite workplaces more diverse.”

This is a valuable article. We as human beings use stories to make sense of the world around us.

In this regard, it’s a great idea to take care, when choosing a story when seeking to make sense of income inequality.

So, I highly recommend the article. It offers a framework for choosing a story that best addresses the topic if income inequality.

Gated communities; gating as a state of mind

A passage in the April 6, 2016 Atlantic article attracted my attention, given my interest in the role of gated communities as they relate to governance practices in contemporary China.

I am also reminded of a historic gated community, called Long Branch Park, that was developed in the late 1880s in what is now the neighbourhood of Long Branch in Toronto.

The passage, which strongly took hold of my attention, in the April 16, 2016 Atlantic article reads:

White: Speaking of politics, you identify several issues that contribute to growing income inequality, including political sway in the form of lobbying, rent-seeking, and under-investment in public good. Is there one factor you think is more problematic than the others?

Leicht: I think one of the biggest things is disinvestment in public goods. When you produce extreme amounts of inequality, then there’s a segment of the population that can basically purchase private access to just about anything that they want. They can live in a gated community, they can have a private police force, they can send their children to private schools, they can send their high-school graduates to private universities. They can set up their own enclave neighborhoods. So when inequality gets to a certain extreme and you can opt out of all those things, then suddenly the welfare of your neighbors is not something you have to deal with or take care of.

[End of excerpt]

March 23, 2016 article by Nicolas Hénin

A March 23, 2016 Guardian article by Nicolas Hénin is entitled: “In the fanatical world of Isis, your duty is to kill and die.”

The subheading reads: “If there is any hope in the Brussels outrage, it is that there are still humans in the bombers’ ranks who refuse to meet their death.”

The Atlantic article by Gillian B. White and the article and book by Nicolas Hénin address the same fundamental question: What do we do with regard to the inequality that currently exists, and that is growing more extreme with the passage of time, in the distribution and management of the finite resources of the world? Gillian B. White and Nicolas Hénin, in their respective overviews of things, point in directions that make good sense to me.

Related topics

An April 5, 2016 Brookings Institution article is entitled: “Why are efforts to counter al-Shabab falling so flat?”

I became interested in the Brookings Institution article after reading an evidence-based overview years ago, about the economic benefits, to a country, from effective early childhood education. It was based on the work of Fraser Mustard, among others. I was super impressed and have been reading longread articles at the Brookings Institution website as a primary means of keeping up with in-depth reading about world events.

Previous posts at my website, under the category of military history and related topics, highlight evidence-based analyses of topics addressed by Gillian B. White and Nicolas Hénin, among others.

The topics include, among others:

Elite storytellers

An Aug. 3, 2015 [that is, last year] article at is entitled: “Exposing the false prophets of social transformation”

The subhead reads: “A growing group of elite storytellers present radical solutions to global problems, but their ideas actually inhibit real change and strengthen the status quo.”


An April 12, 2015 Brookings Institution article – entitled “Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong” – adds an additional perspective, regarding the topics at hand.


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Nicolas Hénin, author of Jihad Academy (2015), is featured in a Feb. 16, 2016 CBC The Current interview. Here is a link to the transcript.

Nicolas Hénin is author of Jihad Academy: A Former ISIS Hostage and Veteran Middle East Journalist Explores Misperceptions of Islamic State and Their Consequences (2015).

A February 16, 2016 CBC The Current transcript of an interview with Hénin can be accessed here. The interview is of interest. If I recall correctly, I decided to borrow the book, from the Toronto Public Library, as a result of hearing the interview.

It makes for a good read. It tells a story that is a little more comprehensive, and for me a little more engaging and believable, than many, everyday news accounts related to the topics at hand.

A blurb for Jihad Academy (2015) at the Toronto Public Library reads:

“Framed by Hénin’s personal experience as a hostage of ISIS alongside James Foley, Jihad Academy debunks the myths surrounding Islamic extremism and provides a revealing insight into the sect’s strange and distorted world. By invading Iraq in 2003 and not intervening in Syria since 2011, the West helped fuel radicalisation and continues to fuel it, by making diplomatic compromises with dictators, by refusing to heed the suffering of populations, and by failing to offer a convincing counter-narrative or a political alternative. Hénin shows how Western societies share the responsibility for the creation of the new jihadists, explains how they are moulded and how the West has played Islamic State’s game and spread its propaganda, allowing it to enlist more and more recruits ready to fight for a distorted vision of Islam. He then advances possible strategies for repairing what can still be repaired.”

[End of text]

The chapters are organized as follows

Chapter 1: Marketing Secularism

The chapter begins with the following overview:

“The Syrian regime is not secular. Its foundations are built on sectarianism. Its claim to defend minorities is a myth.”

Chapter 2: Birth of the Jihadists

The key point is:

“The Syrian regime is not fighting Islamic State; it created it. Islamic State in turn is not fighting the Syrian regime.”

Chapter 3: Money Talks

The salient point is:

“The revolution’s economic and social roots shouldn’t be forgotten. The regime and armed groups are fighting for control of revenue and resources.”

Chapter 4: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy

The chapter begins with the following point:

“The radicalisation of the Syrian revolution is the natural result of our inaction.”

Chapter 5: Who’s Killing Whom? And, More Importantly, How Many?

Here the key point is:

“The West is obsessed with the security risk the jihadists represent. Local people, however, are the jihadists’ main casualties. And the worst terrorists are regime forces.”

Chapter 6: Syria and Iraq: Two Countries, One Destiny

The chapter notes:

“The Iraqi and Syrian crises are linked. Any policy that treats them separately is bound to fail.”

Chapter 7: The Kobane Scam

The case is made that:

“The defence of minorities is a misleading trap. All of the region’s peoples are entitled to security. The ‘mobilisation’ for minorities – Kurds, Yazidis or Christians – is a form of communalism and promotes sectarianism.”

Chapter 8: The Dabiq Miracle

The key point is:

“International intervention is a recruitment sergeant for Islamic State. It turns its apocalyptic prophesy into reality. Intervention weakens the moderate opposition and has contributed to growing sectarianism in the region.”

Chapter 9: Restoring Ties

The chapter notes:

“People’s trust needs to be regained. The priority must be the protection of civilians.
Think local. Do not forget the economy. Reform governance.”

Conclusion – A New State of Barbarity

The book ends with the following point (p. 139):

“We do nevertheless have to care about Syria and Iraq. These countries are Europe’s neighbours. If we forget them, they will remind us of their existence in the worst possible way: through images of violence and via terrorist attacks. Demonstrations of their despair will return to blow up in our faces. We should also bear in mind the strength and resilience of Syrians. Hala Kodmani suggests that ‘their best form of resistance is not men under arms. It is that of civilians, of those who continue to find the strength to burst out laughing from the depths of hideouts and basements, caught between regime bombings and jihadist checkpoints.’ Yet how much longer can laughter survive? The political scientist Hamit Bozarslan is worried that ‘the Arab city, the Arab body politic, is dying. It could well be that in 2020 there will be no Syrian society, no Iraqi society, and no Yemeni society either. I am not sure that everybody realises how serious the situation is.’

[End of excerpt]

March 23, 2016 article by Nicolas Hénin

A March 23, 2016 Guardian article by Nicolas Hénin is entitled: “In the fanatical world of Isis, your duty is to kill and die.”

The subheading reads: “If there is any hope in the Brussels outrage, it is that there are still humans in the bombers’ ranks who refuse to meet their death.”

Related topics

An April 5, 2016 Brookings Institution article is entitled: “Why are efforts to counter al-Shabab falling so flat?”

I became interested in the Brookings Institution article after reading an evidence-based overview years ago, about the economic benefits, to a country, from effective early childhood education. It was based on the work of Fraser Mustard, among others. I was super impressed and have been reading longread articles at the Brookings Institution website as a primary means of keeping up with in-depth reading about world events.

Previous posts at my website, under the category of military history and related topics, highlight evidence-based analyses of topics addressed by Gillian B. White and Nicolas Hénin, among others.

The topics include, among others:

Elite storytellers

An Aug. 3, 2015 [that is, last year] article at is entitled: “Exposing the false prophets of social transformation”

The subhead reads: “A growing group of elite storytellers present radical solutions to global problems, but their ideas actually inhibit real change and strengthen the status quo.”


An April 12, 2015 Brookings Institution article – entitled “Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong” – adds an additional perspective, regarding the topics at hand.


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Dangerous traffic conditions at Fortieth Street and Lake Shore Blvd. West in Long Branch

On April 5, 2016 I sent the following message to Mark Grimes. If you live in Ward 6, and have a concern about this topic, please send a message to his office also.

My message to the Councillor’s Office:

Good evening Councillor Grimes:

I wish to add my voice to the voices of other residents who have from time to time expressed concerns regarding traffic conditions at Fortieth Street and Lake Shore Blvd. West.

With a great coffee shop and two [actually three; I had forgotten there were three] popular food establishments in the area, the sight lines of drivers and pedestrians are often obscured by parked cars jammed into a small amount of space in the area.

I was walking south along Fortieth Street not far from Lake Shore Blvd. West around 6:30 pm on Tues., April 4 when I heard the sound of a collision. Then I observed what had occurred. The sound of the collision remains etched in my brain. A car was making a turn; another car collided with it. A reminder: Good idea not to be on a cell phone when walking in traffic. Good to drive with full attention on the road and what’s happening around us, at all times.

I shared the above-noted collision message at the Long Branch Neighbourhood Watch Facebook Page just recently. Another resident noted, in response to my message:

“It was a pretty bad one. Was in my shop and it happened basically right out front. 4th or 5th accident over the last 7 months in that spot.”


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Additional comment from Donald McMaster (MCHS 1967) regarding memories of teachers from the 1960s

In a previous post, I’ve had the opportunity to share some great reflections about Malcolm Campbell High School from Donald McMaster (MCHS 1967):

Donald McMaster graduated from MCHS in 1967 and went on to study Electrical Engineering

Donald has recently sent me an email, on receiving the DVD of the MCHS yearbooks (1961-62 to 1973-74) that I mailed to him recently; with Donald’s permission, I have posted his email as a comment at the above-noted post, and have also posted it here, in a separate post, as a way to bring attention to his message:

Donald McMaster wrote (April 5, 2016):


I just received the MCHS DVD you sent.

I have sent you $5 in Payment. Let me know when you get it.


It brings back memories of some of the teachers.

Bernie Shoub, Trigonometry.
Mr Kupperman, History, Drivers Ed; who fought against the Japanese in WW II.
Peter Kemp, Gym; who was a field goal Kicker for the Montreal Alouettes.

I also had: Perez -French, Bregman – Intermediate Algebra, Edmonson, Harold – Shop , Christmas – French.



[End of text]


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February 2008 Mississauga Business Times article shares key insights regarding community-initiated Lakeview Waterfront Connection Project

The source for the article and editorial highlighted at the current blog post is an online archive at the University of Toronto:

Development that takes into account the interests of local residents

I’ve written about topics related to Lakeview on many occasions in the past. I am super impressed with everything I know about projects currently underway in Lakeview. If you click on the links below, you will have access to previous blog posts about the following Lakeview-related projects:

Inspiration Lakeview

Lakeview Waterfront Connection Project

Hanlan Water Project

Jim Tovey

Small Arms Building

Articles and photos are from February 2008 Mississauga Business Times. Please note:

In following text, it’s unclear to me what the meaning is of the word “geomatically.” We will make an effort to track down the meaning. If you have the answer, please let us know. As well, I’ve added some headings, to make it easier to read the text, for both the article and the editorial, from the February 2008 Mississauga Business Times.

“Rising from the ashes: Proper development of the Lakeview lands could seal the deal for future of Mississauga”

Mississauga Business Times, February 2008

By Rich Letkeman

“It’s a no-brainer,” said Jim Tovey, president of Lakeview Ratepayers, leaning back into his chair in the club lounge at Port Credit Yacht Club which, along with the adjacent Lakefront Promenade Park, is arguably Mississauga’s most attractive waterfront spread. “Here are our options for Lakeview: 1) leave its post-industrial landscape alone with maybe the addition of a gas-fired power plant, or 2) turn it into the GTA’s signature urban waterfront district.”

And that’s what people are talking about in parts of City Hall, in the Ontario Government’s Energy Ministry, at the University of Toronto’s School of Urban Design, at the Ontario Municipal Board, and in the humble homes of Lakeview ratepayers. “To not opt for number two would be an urban disaster,” said Tovey, a carpenter by trade, who thinks constructing Mississauga’s future begins and ends in Lakeview.

Professor John Danahy and Jim Tovey (top) looking over conceptual designs for the Lakeview lands that used to be home to a giant power plant (above). Source: February 2008 Mississauga Business Times

Professor John Danahy and Jim Tovey looking over conceptual designs for the Lakeview lands that used to be home to a giant power plant. Photo by Rich Letkeman. Caption and photo is from February 2008 Mississauga Business Times.

“Residents who jog and walk their dogs are inspired when they behold the empty lands that very recently were Lakeview Generating Station,” he added. “It’s a grand and beautiful expanse of blue water, enhanced by Toronto’s gorgeous skyline to the northeast.”

Lakeview’s legacy is 100 years of industrial toil and smoke, of heroic arms manufacturing to supply our World War II troops, the TTC streetcar ending in its west-end loop, and finally, of a decaying industrial economy that used to provide 5,000 jobs.

Jim Tovey, John Danahy

Jim Tovey’s colleague, Professor John Danahy, a University of Toronto urban designer and part of the ratepayers’ planning committee, was busy manipulating his laptop computer beside Tovey at PCYC.

“Here it is. We’ve got a model of a new Lakeview, although of course, it’s not carved in stone.”

He swivelled the LCD screen toward two gathered reporters and pressed some arrow buttons to cause the image to rotate slowly, giving us moving perspectives of tall and low-rise buildings, the yacht and marina basins, the post-industrial-era buildings and the empty lands around the 200-acre former power plant.

We “flew” around the local districts, whose grey buildings had not been coloured in as yet.

“The software? It’s called Polytrim and has been developed by Uof T students and faculty. It’s innovative, it’s enlightening, and when Danahy is done, he expects this plan to be released to be the municipality – an egalitarian, made- in-Mississauga look-see at our future.

Danahy pulled up equal-scale, geomatically will check it out] enhanced “Google maps”, or models, of the West Donlands and Distillery District projects and then superimposed them onto the Lakeview model. They fit easily into the vast Mississauga waterfront. It shows the potential of the Lakeview lands.

500 acres available for development

Who would have thought Lakeview was that big or Toronto projects were that small? Why have Toronto’s waterfront plans been so protracted and loaded with disputes?

Danahy calls plans for the 500 acres a magnificent vision of a complete urban waterfront. Photo by Rich Letkeman. Caption and photo from February 2008 Mississauga Business Times

Danahy calls plans for the 500 acres a magnificent vision of a complete urban waterfront. Photo by Rich Letkeman. Caption and photo is from February 2008 Mississauga Business Times.

The question was too loaded for Danahy. He said, “We have about 500 acres available for development in what should by rights become GTA’s biggest, fully planned and best-coordinated, people-friendly waterfront district, right at Toronto’s western exit into Mississauga. It’s a magnificent vision, or mixture of visions of our ratepayers’ group. And it’s the last chance in the GTA – unless they go through some massive demolition projects – to design a complete urban waterfront and get it right.”

“One thing you can’t make more of is waterfront. And the fact is that cities, towns and planners never seem to look big enough, or far enough ahead.”

Most people agree: Mississauga has to look back at itself and redevelop, away from “condo alley” habitats. Vancouver developer Amacon knows this, and is developing a billion-dollar mixed-use village on only 27 acres just west of City Centre, containing pedestrian green space and in-line shops.

But in Lakeview, where does it all start? “Jim [Tovey] and I have been framing the thinking on this for about two years, and we’ve been enjoying the all-encompassing input of our enthusiastic ratepayers, of whom we are two,” said Danahy.

“The ratepayers embrace southeast Mississauga, from the Lakeshore up to Queensway,” said Tovey. “And further east, in Port Credit and Clarkson, there are signs of a merging of landscapes and various industrial properties across the southern strip of the city, punctuated by St. Lawrence Cement and the Clarkson Refinery.”

This connecting of the waterfront dots could bring Mississauga’s focus back to its traditional centre.

Visual access to Lake Ontario

Tovey added: “If we get our plan through [into the framework of the Lakeview District Master Plan], you’ll be able to walk along the water’s edge for seven kilometres through southeast Mississauga except for a small stretch of nine homes.”

Lakeview development proposal looking south – from a model created by professor John Danahy and U of Toronto design students. Image is from February 2008 Mississauga Business Times.

Lakeview development proposal looking south – from a model created by professor John Danahy and U of Toronto design students. Image is from February 2008 Mississauga Business Times.

“And Lakeview would be GTA’s only community offering 99 per cent waterfront accessibility,” added Danahy.

“Where there used to be cooling channels along the shoreline at the power plant, there’s a potential to build a beautiful, canal- type community along the waterfront here, without a lot of development money,” said Tovey, pointing at the LCD screen.

He notes that Mississauga’s modern industrial era is growing dynamically in northern sectors rather than in the south end. The time has come to concentrate on developing an urban waterfront, especially since very few manufacturing activities remain, and expropriation will be either inexpensive or unnecessary.

Many observers are concerned about “dark” brownfields.

“They almost don’t exist and they’re not an issue,” said Tovey, “because our government kept their facilities [at the power plant] clean, and soil contamination elsewhere in Lakeview is very limited and site-specific.”

Detailing how the Lakeview development idea is progressing, Danahy said: “With industrial jobs and Lakeview’s industrial land usage having gone virtually obsolete, there is a growing network of people at the city’s executive level who are thinking and talking Lakeview redevelopment.

“It’s a lot more optimistic than one would guess. No-one we’ve met doesn’t like the idea, and a half-dozen groups are working on it. An urban-design consulting firm, BMI Group is organizing ‘visioning’ exercises to gather public opinion and ideas, not just on Lakeview but on various entries to the city and along the Lakeshore Road corridor of Port Credit and Clarkson.”

Not included in the 500 acres of Lakeview redevelopment lands is the 75- acre Arsenal Park, just approved for development.

Wartime arms manufacturing

Tovey likes the park’s connection to the past. “It’s here that 40,000 women worked in arms manufacturing during World War II., and here, in 1900 to 1950, when industrial output was the area’s best-use profile,” he said.

After Arsenal Park was conceived, Tovey became chairman of the ratepayers’ heritage committee and dreamed up a Heritage Walk for the park, containing major relics of the wartime arms factory and “study materials” for school boards and student field trips. The Heritage Walk is expected to become the “theme” of the park.

Lakeview residents want to adhere to the Province’s Smart Growth plan with medium rather than low density, “and this is a departure from typical community aspirations in Ontario,” said Danahy. “People visualize something larger than a West Donlands mixed-use project, plus parks and recreation facilities. Right now we’re thinking about five-million square feet, or a billion dollars worth of residential floor space, not including retail and commercial buildings.

“The way our provincial government drew up its Places to Grow legislation, the more density we build into our section of the Lakeshore corridor, the more pressure we take off high-density requirements elsewhere in the city or district.
But there are extremes. The 21-storey condominium tower at Deta and Lakeshore Roads (in Lakeview’s extreme east end) is being designed with 199 units jammed into a single acre.

Wait a minute.

Smart Growth is partly about preserving and enhancing traditional neighbourhoods rather than destroying them, and this is explicit in the legislation, explained Danahy.

Town planning in the modern world means community planning – making liveable spaces.

At the PCYC meeting, Tovey and Danahy kept trading off ideas for major sports and recreational venues that could make Lakeview a household word in the GTA. Danahy pushed keyboard buttons to flip a football stadium, university campus, Chicago Pier, and a public aquarium onto the Lakeview model on his LCD screen. What about developing a fast commuter [ferry] service to Toronto from the former power plant’s huge coal-shipping pier? Or turning the pier into a major, summertime Fisherman’s Wharf with charter boats and seafood cafés along the pier?

Transit options

“Many things are possible if we think on a grand-enough scale,” said Tovey, “and many Lakeview residents are doing just that. We’ve also proposed extending Toronto’s and Mississauga’s separate LRT routes through Lakeview, another no- brainer and simple thing to do. It would be a boon to southwest GTA transportation, particularly if Lakeview could host a transport hub, a sports arena and, perhaps even a Lakeview Opera House at the same time.”

A few developers have even purchased properties in Lakeview recently, says Tovey. “They’re keeping their ears and minds open.”

Exactly what the people at City Hall and Queen’s Park should be doing.

[End of text]

“Lakeview’s the answer to our urban angst”

[Please note: As with any text that I post, in posting the text that follows, I am not through the posting of it giving support to the entirety of its contents; in particular, and among other things, I do not support the use of unsubstantiated, typically knee-jerk references to “welfare cheats, dead-enders” in the text that follows. That said, there are other aspects of the editorial that are well worth reading, in my view.]

February 2008 Mississauga Business Times editorial

By Rick Drennan


To: Premier Dalton McGuinty

Cc: Mayor Hazel McCallion, Councillors Corbasson, Mullin, Prentice, Dale, Adams, Parrish, Iannicca, Mahoney, Saito, McFadden

Subject: The future of Mississauga – development of the Lakeview lands

Dear Premier:

Some dusty old philosopher once said he could write 500 volumes on human folly. Since you’re busy, and I’m no philosopher, I’ll try and keep this email under a few thousand words.

The greatest folly ever foisted on the City of Mississauga was the building of a coal-fire hydro plant in its southeastern corner. I don’t blame anyone for the Lakeview Generating Station which first began construction in 1958. It was the industrial age, when people were evangelical in their worship of growth, when the province was smitten by Adam Beck’s aesthetic dictum of making hydro plentiful and cheap, and when the environmental movement was a much lighter shade of green. The building of monstrous industrial plants in the middle of residential areas, on eco-sensitive land near a body of life-giving water, was the norm.

Four Sisters

Heck, when the Lakeview plant got the go-ahead, Al Gore was still in short pants.

So what if Lakeview’s cigarette shaped smokestacks (dubbed the Four Sisters by lake pilots) sprinkled coal dust over half the population of southern Ontario and New York State? So what if this was one of the main causes of acid rain, that helped denude many of our northern lakes of life? So what if we’ll never know the effects of this bad air on the three generations of people who lived in and around the plant? So what if the plant’s effluents spilled into Lake Ontario for over a half-century causing who knows what kind of cell damage to the fish or the fishermen? So what if in building the plant, it neatly removed most of the lake view to the residents of Lakeview?

It was the rubric of the day: everything was in the offing. We now know the price of unfettered growth. It’s a heavy one.

I watched this unfolding narrative while growing up in the shadow of the smokestacks. My grandfather actually worked on their construction. Our neighbour was a “hydro guy.” I remember our school, Lakeview Beach Public, taking us there on a field trip. I was awed by its gleaming magnificence, its button-pushing modernity, its pulsating, 24/7 vibrancy. Lakeview was built as “an interim solution to augment hydro-electric sources and provide base-load power until nuclear power plants came on line.” At full capacity, 670 highly-trained people worked the plant, and it fed nearly 17 per cent of the province’s power demand. The hungry god of progress loved Lakeview.

Aerodrome and flying school

Before the power plant was built, south of Lakeshore Road was sacred ground. In 1915, Curtiss Aeroplanes and Motors Ltd. established Canada’s first aerodome and flying school. The land between Dixie and Aviation Road was known as the Rifle Range, and many of our troopers in World War II trained right there. They even lobbed artillery shells three miles into the lake from the Lakeview shores to keep in practice.

At Dixie and Lakeshore, the small arms plant produced many of the guns and ammo that helped put Hitler in his place. Thousands of women worked the plant during the war years, many staying on to live and marry and raise kids in Lakeview.

Canada and the world will be forever indebted to those women who helped drive the war industry. Later on, Lakeview folded into what became the Town of Mississauga.

Our first mayor was Robert Speck, a grocery store owner and Lakeview resident.

The post-World War II era wasn’t kind to the place. The army camp was used as cheap housing for welfare cheats, dead-enders, and decent, but down-on-their-luck families. It was a dumping ground for the great unwashed, a Hogarth painting. Toughs roamed the streets. The local nightclub/dancehall was nicknamed the “Bucket of Blood.” Lakeview got a bad rep and suffered its first black eye. The hydro plant made it a matching pair when it began to spill its filth. Lakeview became the dumping ground for industry and humanity.

It suffered the weight without sharing in the benefits of Mississauga’s riches.
Today, Lakeview’s water treatment plant processes 70 per cent of our region’s wastewater. It also supplies two-thirds of Peel’s water and 40 per cent to York Region. Peel gets multi-millions in its sweetheart deal with York.

So how has Lakeview been paid back for all it has provided, then and now?

Fences with barbwire tops

In the mid-1950s, Ontario Hydro secured the land south of the Lakeshore for development. The lands around the plant were zoned industrial. The ponds and hillocks and little lost places that sported a unique eco-system and offered a bucolic playground for local kids, was paved over.

Suddenly, it wasn’t such a wonderful place to live. Fences were erected with barbwire tops and NO TRESPASSING signs. The locals were kept on the outside looking in, coughing up coal dust, watching as the plant spewed out its poison.

The Four Sisters became symbols of the age, and LAKEVIEW was writ large on the outside of the facility, dirtying its name across the province.

Then, as if it were all a dream, your government put the boots to coal-fired plants. On June 12, 2007, the walls (and the sisters) came tumbling down in a controlled explosion. Thanks, Mr. McGuinty for a promise kept. Thanks for shedding us of this major eyesore.

News directors at TV stations across North America ran the Lakeview footage. The implosion made great TV – in high def, and slo-mo. But to me, and other Lakeview residents, it symbolized something much more significant – like the fall of the Berlin Wall did to commie haters.

It was a deep and emotional cleansing.

It signalled the end of the industrial age. An end to the stupidity of ignoring our sensitive eco-systems. An end to making backroom political deals that impacted on thousands of innocent families for over 50 years. Lakeview got its lake back.

Talk of gas-fired power plant

But…. There’s always a but when it comes to Lakeview. There’s talk of another gas-fired power plant there. Mayor McCallion made some noise about it a while back, and said it would attract more tax dollars to the city’s coffers. You can’t blame Hazel. She’s old school. She grew up during the industrial age. When she rammed through a pro-development mandate while in office, she wasn’t looking far enough down the road.

In the early stages, the city lived a charmed life. Then it started to choke on its excess. Hazel was dubbed the Queen of Sprawl. Monochromatic housing developments s-p-r- e-a-d throughout the city like lichen on a rock. It was a city built for the car. You needed one to get anywhere.

But hey, everyone was caught up in the frenzy. Progress or die, became the mantra.

Then it all came to a screeching halt. Our streets were plugged to the nines. The financial costs of low-level development hit home in the need for more infrastructure.

Places to Grow

Hazel has bellyached to the feds that they should pay to rebuild the crumbling bridges and roads, and they’ve told her to look in the mirror. She then became a born-again advocate for intensification. She was a huge supporter of your Places to Grow legislation.

There’s been a vast shaking of collective soul here in Mississauga over the past year as the City looks inward, and tries to redo the old model. They’ve implemented some of the principles of Placemaking, and talked about building a Light Rapid Transit line up Highway 10. But the mess created is deep and maybe unfixable. The ad hoc development schemes that some have proposed for the Lakeview lands lack both vision and purpose. Putting in another power plant should be a definite no-no.

Do our leaders really understand that the Lakeview lands can change the very aesthetic vocabulary of the city?

Liveable core on pristine waterfront

Former Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray gets it. He spoke recently at the “Conversation About Building A City For The 21st Century” and said development of the Lakeview lands could propel Mississauga into the 21st century and beyond. What an opportunity, he exclaimed. The chance to build a liveable core on pristine waterfront!

Will our mayor and council recognize this as the last best opportunity for our city? Will they work with your government, the industrial landowners, and local residents to fix what needs fixing?

I’m not holding my breath. After all, I’m from Lakeview.

This is a rare opportunity to solve our urban angst. This project could and should be the most dynamic in Canada, maybe North America. It’s the first time government has control over how a project of this scope will look and feel. It could be a poster child for the Places to Grow initiative. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) would have a crucial role to play in doing the right thing.

When you talk about the need to place 40,000 new university students over the next few years, why not build the school on the Lakeview lands? Want to begin the process of relieving gridlock? How about using the four docks (left over by the power plant) to start a boat rapid transit (BRT) shuttle from Lakeview (Mississauga) to Toronto? It’s way past time we thought outside the box.

The Lakeview residents don’t want to see a Condo Alley built there, like we have on the Lakeshore leading into Toronto, or those eye-popping projects around our own City Hall.

They want graduated development off the Lakeshore, that celebrates the land, sky, and lake. They’re not anti-development, but pro-smart growth. Why not reconnect the streetcar line that used to connect Lakeview to its eastern neighhours in Toronto?

Political will

If we show some political will, anything’s possible. These Lakeview proposals are coming from the bottom up. The residents are smart, engaged, and willing to invest in their community. I wish you could pick the brain of Jim Tovey, president of Lakeview Ratepayers, or his colleague, Prof. John Danahy, a U of T urban designer. They haven’t lost faith in the system – yet. They recognize that Lakeview can take its rightful place in the future of our city and province if we just jettison our industrial age attitudes.

The last three generations in Lakeview groaned in the shadow of an ill-placed power plant. Surprisingly, the coal dust didn’t blacken their view of the world.

It’s Lakeview’s time for clean land, clean air, and a clean new development. And it’s way past time you helped clean up our name. To put it bluntly, Mr. Premier, the province of Ontario owes us one. If you don’t act, that dusty old philosopher will have to add one more book to his 500 volumes on human folly. I eagerly await your reply.

[End of text]


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Re: Conserving Long Branch – April 2016 Addendum from David Godley

A previous message from David Godley is entitled:

Conserving Long Branch (Toronto) – April 2016 update from David Godley 

The following addendum to the above-noted post is from David Godley:

Local Area Boards approved by City (Information from our MPP)

Photos by David Godley

Photos by David Godley

“In 2011 when I was Councillor, Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore and Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee, I put forward a motion to establish a Sub­ committee of the Planning and Growth Management Committee to develop a structure, relationship framework and implementation plan for a Local Appeal Body to hear appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions on Minor Variance and Consent Applications. I am thrilled to advise that City Council on March 31, 2016 approved the Report to establish a Local Appeal Body (LAB) for Toronto. To review the report, please click here.

- Peter Milczyn

[Comment from David Godley:] Room for cautious optimism although it may be months before first hearing is held. Appeal fee $300.

Heritage Building Designation (Etobicoke York Community Council April 5 2016)

Intention to Designate under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act – 69 Long Branch Avenue and 24 Marina Avenue.

[Comment from David Godley:] This covers the former St Agnes Anglican Church on Long Branch Avenue and the Vicarage.

This makes it more difficult but not impossible to redevelop.

Political contributions and the OMB

Ontario’s laws are the antiquated version, where the wealthiest people and biggest corporations and unions are allowed to vastly out-influence the average voter. Globe and Mail Editorial 30 March 2016.

In his landmark study of campaign funding in Ontario from 2004 to 2011, York University political scientist Robert MacDermid found that Ontario’s three major parties raised more than $162 million, with nearly 40 per cent coming from corporations and another 5 per cent from unions. The Liberals raised a disproportionate 50 per cent of their $72 million from corporations — mostly developers and the wider development industry, followed by big banks and energy firms. Provincial Column by M R Cohn, Toronto Star 31 3 16.

Unpublished letter to the Editor, Toronto Star

Dear Sir,

Thank you Toronto Star for helping the Ontario Government with transparency on political funding.

The revelations have the optics of corruption rather than greasing the wheels of democracy.

It is now easier to understand how the Ontario Municipal Board has survived in its current form.
The Building Industry is known to have delayed a review of the OMB.

The OMB only give credence to the rich and powerful.

The general public have no real say in land use matters affecting them since it costs around $20,000 to $30,000 to be an effective party to a hearing.

The OMB has often ruled in contradiction to the intent of the Official Plan in Toronto.

The Official Plan calls for beautiful and engaging neighbourhoods.

The OMB has been trashing our neighbourhoods and making dubious decisions about other matters Province-wide.

Your truly, David Godley

[End of text]

[Comment from David Godley:] More criticism of OMB in Toronto Star Letters today [April 3, 2016].


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