Archive for Portlands development

Water and leadership

Adriana talks about the importance of water, the environment and strong leadership on these issues.

2010 Jul 28: Information meeting on planned Ashbridges Bay streetcar yard

Here’s the full public notice for the next public meeting the TTC is holding in regards to the planned Ashbridges Bay LRV storage and maintenance facility and the Leslie Street connecting track.

TTC Public Information Meeting on LRV Plans
Wednesday, 2010 July 28, 6:30 pm – 9 pm
Toronto EMS and Fire Academy, 895 Eastern Ave

From the notice: “The meeting will address impacts and mitigation measures for such issues as the removal of contaminated soil, noise and vibration levels and traffic associated with this project.”

The city’s goofy transit plan

A few days ago, I attended the meeting about the new streetcar yards at Leslie and Lakeshore and the route the new cars are expected to take.  As with most public consultations these days, the format was pre-determined to minimize disruption, opposition and effective input.  It’s a veneer of public accountability masking a process that’s alienating and distant.     Read more »

2010 Apr 8: Streetcar troubles

Public Consultations into the New Streetcar Yards at Leslie/Lakeshore
Thursday, 2010 April 8, 6:30-9pm
Fire Academy, 895 Eastern Ave

On Tuesday, March 9, I was invited to help out and listen in to a meeting where Leslieville residents got together to begin forming an association.  The issue that galvanized the community into action was the proposed new streetcar yards at Leslie and Lakeshore on the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant site.  It was a packed hall and strong opinions were voiced from many angles.

The plan is to have almost 100 streetcars leave the new site every morning between 5 and 7 am and slowly spread throughout the city, way up to St. Clair, downtown to King Street, and all along Queen, College/Carlton/Gerrard, Dundas, Spadina and so on.  The Connaught and Roncesvalles yards will also be maintained, though the Connaught yards will have to be changed to accommodate the new design.  The streetcars will be four times the length of the current non-articulated models, or double the length of the articulated designs on the street today.     Read more »

2009 Jun 16: Portlands under threat, again

Once again the Portlands are being threatened with being used as a dumping ground for unwanted development.  This time, the TTC wants to use them as yards for sleeping streetcars as they expand their fleet.       Read more »

2008 Aug 19: Wading Deeper: The future of deep lake water cooling

Tuesday, 2008 August 19, 7 pm
Ralph Thornton Centre

765 Queen St East (east of Broadview)
Free; refreshments provided

A free public forum on the future of Deep Lake Water Cooling and its potential to further reduce Toronto’s energy use,      Read more »

2008 Aug 14: Power down for Blackout Day

The symbol for Blackout DayPower Down for Blackout Day
Thursday, 2008 August 14, all day

Five years ago, August 14th, Ontario and much of eastern North America was plunged into a blackout that lasted several days.  In that time of crisis, some beautiful things happened:

  • we saw the stars, like never before
  • people organized barbecues and street parties
  • we rediscovered the importance of conservation

    Read more »

Isn’t it lovely when we all play nice?

Here’s the latest report on the Portlands Energy Centre’s Community Liaison Committee:

Energy centre’s regrouped citizen committee has distinctly different vibe     Read more »

Watch your gas

The National Energy Board has recently announced that natural gas deliverability will drop in Canada by 7-15% over the next 2 years.  As always they are eternally hopeful for the future.

This opens up the question of what Premier McGuinty is thinking as he builds up natural gas power plants across the province.  Power plants like the Portlands Energy Centre could contribute to a growing threat to our ability to heat our homes in the future.

2007 Sep 29: Power to Choose at U of T

Power to Choose logoThere will be two follow-ups to the original Power to Choose forum.  One will be in Ottawa on Friday and the other will be here in Toronto this Saturday:

Power to Choose
Public consultation on Ontario’s Energy Plan
Saturday, 2007 September 29, 9 am – 5 pm
OISE Rm 4-414, 252 Bloor St W (at St. George TTC)

Come for all or part of this free all-day event.

Contact Paul York for details about the event.  If you’d like to make a presentation, you can email Adriana.

If you can’t attend, you can still make your views known using the online survey form.

Greens have never supported any Portlands power plant

I’ve been approached by several people recently with stories about what Peter Tabuns said at the all-candidates debate on Tuesday night.  While I wasn’t there to hear exactly what was said, it is clear that something he said gave people the impression that the Greens supported a power plant on the Portlands.  This impression is false.     Read more »

Wind energy — Is the price too high?

This video from the Daily Show shows why it’s important to get our electricity by splitting atoms and setting things on fire.

The PEC threat

The Portlands Energy Centre is rapidly rising on the waterfront.  It is already an eyesore.  The question now is if it will operate and how often.  Torontonians are going to have to be a lot more vocal and active if they don’t want another power plant belching emissions into our overburdened airshed.     Read more »

PEC committee walkout / transmission line woes

The Portlands Energy Centre Community Liaison Committee effectively fell apart because the PEC representatives never allowed it to have any impact on the things they promised to do.     Read more »

All-in-one update from a sicko

I’ve been trying to get my house in order after burning myself out on Power to Choose, but I’m pretty worn out and prone to feeling ill instead. There is also still a lot of follow-up work with Power to Choose, including fora in other locations and editing and compiling the information gathered. And soon we’re about to announce another nomination meeting.

But I wanted to let everyone know the highlights from last week. I’m going to do a special entry about the Pride Parade, which I wish I would have written about a long time ago. I also want a special entry about the Portlands Energy Centre CLC walkout. Here’s the rest of the news:     Read more »

2007 Jul 11: Energy and the Ontario provincial election

The following is in many ways a follow-on to the Power to Choose event.

The future of clean, green energy will be decided by the winner of the October 10, 2007 provincial election.

Plug in with other Toronto activists at a community meeting on:

Wednesday, 2007 July 11, 6 pm – 8 pm
Riverdale Library
(Broadview and Gerrard)

Get in the conversation at

For more info, email

2007 Jun 23: Power to Choose

Power to Choose logoDalton McGuinty came out with an energy plan last year, but never had any consultations about it.  Adriana thought there should be some consultations.  So here they are.  [Watch the Power to Choose videos on YouTube.]

Come to express opinions, share knowledge and discuss strategies to create a sustainable, safe, clean and affordable energy plan for Ontario.  We deserve a say in our energy future.

Power to Choose (Toronto)
Citizens Forum on Ontario’s Energy Future
Saturday, 2007 June 23, 9 am  – 5:30 pm
Metro Hall, 55 John Street, room 308/309

Attend all or part of this important free event.

Sponsored by Greenpeace, WWF and EvolutionGreen.

2007 Apr 16: Tell the City what you want at the mouth of the Don — finalists

As part of the City’s Innovative Design Competition for Toronto’s Lower Don Lands, four teams have been selected as finalists for the competition. This will decide the future of the western part of the Portlands, and I recommend that everyone go and comment on it.

The dramatic changes proposed are a reflection of the tireless efforts of concerned citizens from Toronto-Danforth and around the city not to settle for a simple cosmetic change, but instead to develop a more natural river mouth with substantial wetlands.

Their proposals were presented at an exhibition launch and public forum Monday night. There is some discussion and a lot of pictures on Spacing Wire. For full information, or to submit comments, see the complete exhibition at BCE Place. The exhibition runs until Wednesday, April 25, but comments need to be submitted by this Friday, April 20.

Alternately, go to Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation or send them email at by April 20.

Lower Don Lands Design Competition Exhibition
2007 April 16 – 25
Allen Lambert Galleria, BCE Place, 181 Bay St

2007 Apr 24: Nuclear plan transmission line?

I’ve just received a flyer from the oranges. (New nickname for NDP — note oranges are not local, therefore unsustainable.)

Next Tuesday there will be a public meeting regarding the proposed transmission line into the Portlands. (Note again, who did NOT oppose the Portlands, simply advocated a lower capacity? Oranges.)

What shocked me though, was not the shameless self-promition. (I think we’re all used to that by now). But rather the ending sentence:

There are better sustainable options to building more nuclear and high voltage transmittion lines.

Though this could be confusing just to me, since I am ESL, it sounds like they are saying there is a sustainable way to get nuclear? Perhaps it is just bad wording.

I definitely plan to attend the discussion to get clear on the issue. I hope it will be more than just a case of NIMBYism in order to “green” themselves.

Deborah Coyne, PEC and Kyoto

Deborah Coyne has been nominated as the Liberal Party candidate in Toronto-Danforth for the next federal election.  Her nomination speech, in which she expressed her support for the Portlands Energy Centre, has me quite worried that a Dion-led Liberal government won’t be any better than a Martin-led Liberal government at addressing climate change.     Read more »

2007 Apr 1: Portlands Energy Centre community concrete pour

The Portlands Energy Centre is offering a one-time opportunity to help pour the concrete for its foundations.

Community Concrete Pour
Sunday, 2007 April 1, 3:27 am sharp
Portlands Energy Centre

Second PEC CLC meeting doesn’t even happen

I’m back from the PEC CLC meeting, which I was late to and so missed the fireworks.     Read more »

Buy locally or apply to Wal-Mart for welfare…

Last night, at the Ralph Thorton Centre, a depressing but quite possibly real future was presented for our community:

  • empty (more) storefronts on Danforth, Gerrard, Queen St.E.
  • the vibrancy of our community hitting all new lows.
  • the average wage in the retail sector falling. Local entrepreneurs of all ethnic groups forced out of business. More pressure on government for social assistance.
  • growing numbers of working-poor people who can only afford to shop at Wal-Mart.
  • we can’t see them but exploited children and adults, in far corners of the world, work for pennies fabricating the items for sale at “everyday low prices”. We can’t see it, but tonnes of carbon are emitted to bring these items here.
  • thousands of cars, bringing their carbon and noxious emissions, to our lovely waterfront in the Portlands.


If you dispute the above, then please explain how ‘is our community different from many hundreds of others in North America and thousands around the world?’

One answer is that together we will force politicians at all levels of government to hear our voices, to see the big picture, say “no thank you”

2007 Mar 14: Wal-Town: The Film

6 activists, 36 towns, 1 filmThere is a Wal-Mart planned for the Portlands area of our riding.

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Councillor Paula Fletcher and Peter Tabuns, MPP, present:

Wal-Town: The Film
Wednesday, 2007 March 14, 7 pm
Ralph Thornton Centre
765 Queen St East

(two blocks east of Broadview) Free

The director and cast will be there to discuss the effects that multinational retailers like Wal-Mart have on local communities.