Laneway Reinvention

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.  We have all come to know this 3-word moniker as a mantra for dealing with the billions of pounds of refuse we humans generate annually.  But those three widely recognized words could soon be coming to a laneway near you.  The ability to purchase a home or more urgently to find affordable rental units is reaching a critical stage.  The scarcity of available housing has the City of Toronto dusting off some old studies and taking a second, more urgent look at what could be done to remedy this ever-increasing problem.

One solution is Laneway homes.  Affordable units perched above laneway garages and attached to the principal home’s city services, could alleviate the burdening and endless array of some permit requirements and other obstacles while offering a very smart solution to a currently dismal rental market.

Richard Trapunski wrote an interesting and thought-provoking article in Now Magazine which offers the reader an insight into the problem and possible solutions in the form of Laneway Houses.  Reduce the urgency of an ever-diminishing rental market.  Reuse available space to the benefit of homeowners and renters alike. And Recycle the neglected garages into viable living spaces.  Let’s hope we see some serious action in this positive direction and not have the momentum fall victim to red tape and bureaucracy as it has in the past.

To read the article click here



East of the Don

With the recent surge of glass towers popping up all over the city, it is comforting to know that while developers are staying current and meeting an ever-increasing demand for green technology and modern spaces, that the old is not forgotten in the process.  A great example of this, is the rebirth of the Romanesque Revival building, best known for many years,  as the home of  the somewhat unsavory establishment , Jilly’s,  into what promises to be an exciting new addition on the hotel scene in Toronto.  Located at Broadview and Queen,  The Broadview Hotel will open in 2017 after a respectful restoration and modern addition have been completed.  When it opens its doors, The hotel will house 58 boutique style  rooms, a street level café and a rooftop bar.

A much needed facelift at this vitally important gateway to many energetic east end neighbourhoods, all eyes are on the Broadview Hotel’s arrival as an architecturally significant and sound piece of Toronto’s story.

Click on the link below to watch Toronto Star reporter, Christopher Hume’s short video on this piece of Toronto’s history.

Spring is in the air

Spring subtly tiptoed in at 6:58 yesterday morning.  In reality though the first full 24 hours of unmitigated, absolute “Springdom” is today, March 21st.   And as the sun pours down upon us, the Kingston Road Village flower markets are all bursting in colourful displays of scented loveliness with promises of beautiful and aromatic flora to grace every room of your home.  Shopping local benefits you, your merchants and the neighbourhood as a whole.

Check them out.



When The Wind Blows

With spring less than a week away, Mother Nature decided to have a little bit of fun by throwing another winter wallop at us yesterday.    Snow, bitter cold and extreme high winds were the order of the day and those type of weather conditions can wreak havoc on a construction schedule.

Yesterday, our Beech House project was forced to shut down operation of the crane due to high winds and freezing rain and snow.  Temperatures of less than minus 16 and winds over 55 kms per hour mandate the shutting down of the crane for safety concerns.   At this stage of the build, the crane is an integral player on the field and its inability to operate safely virtually brings the whole site to a grinding halt.   Many factors are taken into account regarding the operation of a crane under adverse conditions including but not limited to temperatures, wind, precipitation, as well as load dimensions and weight.  Safety First necessitates prudence in these matters.  Twenty-Four hours later and we are back up and running and looking forward to a gentler Mother Nature in the weeks to come.