Ward 18 in Toronto is only one small part of the City of Toronto and the GTA. As Ward 18 slowly gets swallowed by the downtown core it's not such a bad thing, in a matter of fact it could be considered a renaissance opportunity if guided in the right direction. Here is a great PDF MAP of Ward 18 that inludes all the street names and boundaries that really give you an idea of our area or position within the city. Notice that Ward 18 is bounded by the CPR rail tracks to the north and the south/west by the mulltiple rail tracks of Go and UPExpress lines and to the east by Dovercourt Road. It's a pie shaped area.
Ward 18 contains Dupont, Bloor, College, Dundas and a short strip of Queen West. The demographics have been changing quickly. High rents in the core have pushed people out a bit to search for more cost effective business rents and housing costs and a good portion of Ward 18 was overlooked for years until now. Restaurants are "hip", coffee houses are plentiful, car2go Smart cars are everywhere, strollers abound and pedestrian traffic is healthy. Ward 18 was like the lost Ward for years, stuck between The Annex and Bloor West Village with some sad BIA's that thought that plastic flags strung across lamp posts was an attention-getter for the neighbourhood.
So what's in the future for Ward 18? Residents should pay attention to some of the silent changes that are going on for a better idea of what Ward 18 might be in the future. For example, the recently proposed mid-rise 16 storey building, that's right 16 storeys, on the north/west corner of Bloor and Dovercourt. It will be from the Nova Era Bakery to the edge of the Scotia Bank and all the way to the alley. Remember that every NEW building and every extra STOREY approved to go ahead adds up to tax revenue for the Corporation of the City of Toronto. The City is a business whether we want to admit it or not. Have you noticed that Dovercourt Road is quietly changing to a busier boulevard style street? What could the Councillor know that we don't know? What's really in store for Ward 18 is growth and the City will push to maximize that growth with height.
Sure, there are lots of great things about Ward 18 but we expect great things from a City that tells us it's great all the time. But throwing a small parkette at residents to trade off for higher buildings is wrong. Allowing traffic to back up at Bloor and Dufferin at 6PM is wrong and dumps tons of additional air particulate on our gardens and homes. Why did the City spend 25 million dollars on that tunnel at the bottom of Dufferin at Queen? Possibly to create a very straight line for traffic all the way from the 401 right down to The Gardiner/QEW link. Is Ward 18 going to become the next Allen Expressway battle? There are plans on tables at City Hall for the next twenty years but we only get fed the information on an as needed basis. Why doesn't the Councillor post a future view of Ward 18 so we can all have an idea of what's coming? Maybe that's asking to much so in the meantime, watch for those silent little changes, they mean a lot.