GWAC’s October Meeting

October 2, 2012

Last night was the October meeting of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council.   It was reasonably well attended — including five City staff to discuss various parts of the agenda — and the debate was lively and interesting.

We had a Planner and two folks from Transportation to give us an update on the Viaducts, Prior/Venables Street and all things traffic.  They noted that parking has now been re-established on the north side of Prior and crossing times at lights have been extended (both are traffic calming measures); and they have kickstarted new planning for the Malkin Connector proposal by meeting with industries on Malkin and with the Cottonwood Gardens folks.

They did a pretty good job of explaining how no access (pedestrian, bicycle) will be lost if the viaducts are removed, and they also assured us that the material from the viaducts could be reused in a variety of ways rather than just dumping it in the landfill.  They disclaimed much knowledge of the roughly $75 million of potential development land that would be made available.

The new work on Malkin plus continuing work on the Eastern Core will probably take until April or May next week.  Ideally they would like to present this to Council together with the viaducts report.  However, political considerations may bring the viaducts forward.

After another presentation by a rep from Parks Board regarding the redesign of the Salsbury Park playground, Andrew Pask from Planning gave an update on the Grandview Community Plan and the current Open Houses.  Further to the viaducts/traffic discussion earlier, he mentioned that he is thinking about incorporating a Transportation Workshop into the Plan process. He also didn’t think that the Mayor’s Task Force would have much impact on the Plan, though most everyone else there disagreed with him.

Finally, in regards to the Mayor’s Task Force that was coming up to Council the following day (today), the GWAC Directors unanimously approved an emergency motion requesting that Council not approve any of the Task Force recommendations until the public and organizations such as GWAC had a reasonable amount of time to study and comment on them.

It was a good meeting and showed the value of GWAC as a forum for debate about topics of direct concern to the community.


Changes On the Drive #14

October 2, 2012

Autumn is surely upon us now, but it was still wonderful walking weather as I strolled down the Drive yesterday.  This is the time of year when I like it to rain — but only overnight.

Several of the old vacancies are still unfilled — 1935 Commercial (used to Frank’s jewellery), 1748 (was River clothing), the former DQ outlet in Mercato Mall, the storefront next to Liberty Wines, the old BVLD store at 1340, and the upstairs offices at 1848 are still looking for tenants  — but no new gaps have appeared.  In fact, some new stores have moved in which is always a good sign.

I noticed for example that upstairs at the Grandview Lanes is the Rogue Dance Studio which offers, amongst othe rdelights, tango every Friday night. Also, at 1818 Commercial — at what was the Cafe Crepe — we now have The Cannibal Cafe which appears to be a high-end burger and bar joint not unlike Fets (excuse the picture, the sun was in a position that didn’t allow me to photograph the interior properly.)

Across the street, as previewed last month, the Saloniki has now taken over what was the former Bouzyos.  Still Greek, but a different sign.

At First & Commercial, where the late lamented KitchenWare store used to be, the new Drive Pharmacy has opened.  I hope they start filling their windows soon as it looks a little bleak right now.

Much brighter and looking fine is the old cafe sign that BLVD has re-purposed on the corner of 4th.

Finally, the former Dutch Girl Chocolates place at 1002 Commercial is just about ready to re-open as the Licorice Parlor.  I hear there is a gala opening this Saturday evening from 5pm until 11 with live music from the Tall Brothers.  That should be fun!