On Nov. 14, 2017, Etobicoke York Community Council unanimously adopted Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines; on Jan. 31, 2018, Toronto Council also unanimously adopted them

The Current post is related to a post entitled:

April 4, 2018 Long Branch Neighbourhood Association meeting featured Q & A with Toronto City staff regarding Character Guidelines

This post concerns the Nov. 14, 2017 meeting of the Etobicoke York Community Council.

Two transcripts are highlights below:

Long Branch is a neighbourhood in south Etobicoke on the Lake Ontario waterfront: West beach at Marie Curtis Park, April 4, 2018. Jaan Pill photo. Click on the image to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

Long Branch is a neighbourhood in south Etobicoke on the Lake Ontario waterfront: West beach at Marie Curtis Park, April 4, 2018. Jaan Pill photo. Click on image to enlarge it.

Councillor Mark Grimes sums it up, prior to Nov. 14, 2017 Etobicoke York Community Council vote, regarding Long Branch Character Guidelines

Councillor Sarah Doucette was final speaker, prior to Nov. 14, 2017 Etobicoke York Community Council vote, regarding Long Branch Character Guidelines

The deputations that were strongly against the Guidelines can be accessed at the Nov. 14, 2017 Etobicoke York Community Council YouTube video (see links to the video at the end of the post).

Etobicoke York Community Council

The members are:

John Campbell
Vincent Crisanti (Vice Chair)
Justin J. Di Ciano
Frank Di Giorgio
Sarah Doucette
Michael Ford
Mark Grimes (Chair)
Stephen Holyday
Giorgio Mammoliti
Frances Nunziata
Cesar Palacio

Introductory comments

I am a person with a strong interest in the local history of Long Branch, where I have lived with my family for the past twenty years.

In recent years, I’ve been writing extensively about local history at my Preserved Stories website.

My interest began in 2011, around the time when I learned that in 1797, a British colonel had built a log cabin, which was located at a site that is within a one-minute walk from the house where I live. Before that, I would not have cared less about history.

I am pleased that many people visit my website. Over the years, many visitors – from across Canada – have contributed great material, regarding happenings of many years ago, in Etobicoke and Mississauga neighbourhoods.

Given my interest in local history, over many years I have attended and recorded many local public events, where a person can actually see history unfolding, in a small or big way.

On Nov. 14, 2017 I attended one such public event, at the Etobicoke Civic Centre, where a decision was made – in a unanimous vote by Councillors attending a meeting of the Etobicoke York Community Council – that was highly significant.

That meeting began with ten, spirited and strongly expressed presentations, lasting five minutes each, in which residents from Long Branch spoke either strongly against, or strongly in favour, of the adoption of a document known as the Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines. The presentations were called deputations, and the speakers were called deputants.

It was established, at the outset of this meeting, of the Etobicoke York Community Council, that Councillors who were running the meeting could ask all the questions, of the deputants, that they wanted. It was also established that deputants were not in a position to ask questions of Councillors.

The meeting also addressed how a particular form of guidelines, namely Character Guidelines, can be applied to how development occurs, in a neighbourhood such as Long Branch.

Councillors also spoke at length about how such Character Guidelines will be equally applicable in neighborhoods across the entire City of Toronto.

A small number of residents, however, were unanimous in expressing strong opposition to the Long Branch Character Guidelines, in particular, as I understand, because the Guidelines would possibly interrupt the process of severing of 50-ft lots, in streets across Long Branch, and the building of a three-storey house on each of the resulting two 25-ft lots.

A larger number of residents expressed strong support for the Long Branch Character Guidelines, as they were sick and weary, as they said, of developers who come in to split a lot, overbuild on the resulting two tiny lots, hack away at 100-year-old trees in the process, and then make a run for it, wads of money in hand, leaving behind a streetscape that residents on the street, especially in adjacent and across-the-street houses, view as destructive of the physical character of the neighbourhood.

The beauty of the Long Branch Character Guidelines is that there’s a good chance that the number of overbuilt houses in the community will be diminished, now that the Guidelines have been unanimously adopted – first by the Etobicoke York Community Council (on Nov. 14, 2017) and (on Jan. 31, 2018) by Toronto Council.

Beware of a private sale to a developer: You may not be getting the best possible price; you may be short by $500,000

Speaking of wads of money, if you are planning to sell your house, I would suggest you work with a knowledgeable real estate agent, rather than agreeing at once to sell to a developer, who walks up to your door and offers to buy your house for $1-million.

First case

I mention this because I’m reminded of a story that a local real estate agent has recently shared with me.

According to this reliable source, a house on Atherton Crescent not long ago was sold for $1.5-million to a family that was pleased to acquire an existing house, on an intact lot, ready to move into.

A developer had earlier offered, to the owners of the Atherton Crescent property, a little over $1-million, with the intention of splitting the lot.

Fortunately, the owner had a real estate agent who was aware of what the house was actually worth, based on extensive research regarding what similar houses in south Etobicoke had gone for, in recent real estate transactions.

Second case

I am also aware, from a reliable source, of a case where a comparable house in Long Branch, worth $1.5-million according to the means of price-estimation outlined above, was in fact sold for $1-million to a developer.

If you have elderly neighbours, in particular, who are about to sell, please talk to them, to ensure they know the value of house-price research, and the value of working with a trustworthy and reliable real estate agent, in order to get the best possible price for their property.

The bottom line: Beware of a making a private sale, unless you first do thorough and wide-ranging research, and conduct extensive due diligence.

That is: Do your homework.


The purpose of the current post is to focus on the segment of the Nov. 14, 2017 meeting, of the Etobicoke Community Council, that dealt with the Long Branch Character Guidelines.

Working from the YouTube videos, of the meeting in question, Part 2 and Part 3, has offered a convenient way to complete the transcript.

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