Letters – January 2018

Leaside High students on college vs. university?

Ms. Zhen Park-Vandal wrote a terrific, well-informed article in the December issue of “Leaside Life.” She compared attending college versus university after graduating from high school.

It is awesome that she is thinking about her future work direction, and is investigating where and how to gain the skills to fulfill her interest in event planning. Something for Ms. Park-Vandal to consider: say she graduates from Leaside and starts off at George Brown. By 20 or 21 she will have graduated from college and will be off working, for perhaps 40 years! In the 40 years many things can happen, and especially her interests may change.

Hence, a suggestion for Zhen, and all soon-to-be high school graduates to consider: Always keep on learning, and always continue to explore your interests. Who knows, you may find a totally different occupation that appeals to you, that you want to explore. Be prepared to go down that new road!

Daniel F. Engels

Laird in Focus: Need to address Business Park transportation needs in a comprehensive manner 

We are proposing that the Laird in Focus Study Transportation Study (which currently includes only the western part of the Business Park, from Laird to the railway tracks) be expanded to include the eastern part from the CP Rail tracks to Overlea Blvd. and the Don Valley.

This proposal is endorsed by Kendall Fullerton and Dag Enhorning (president and past president, respectively) of the Leaside Business Park Association (LBPA).

It is essential to understand the Business Park’s economic issues and plan for the economic future. The fact is that transportation needs in the Business Park are derived FROM business needs and not the other way around.

The scope of the transportation study, currently confined to the western section of the park, is fundamentally flawed.

• The railway splits the Business Park; it does not form an edge. The industrial and commercial uses in the Business Park are similar on both sides of the track. Today the “divide” is more between properties fronting on Laird and the rest of the Park than between different sides of the railway.

• With the coming of Costco, the north side of Overlea Blvd. is essentially facing pressures for mixed use/commercial similar to that of Laird Dr.

The LBPA Annual Meeting on Nov. 22nd clearly displayed LPBA members’ growing frustration about the business park portion of the study. Concerns were raised about:

• What the (seemingly inevitable) intensification planned particularly for Area A (the Eglinton/Vanderhoof and Laird/Aerodrome block) means for the traffic conditions in the Business Park.

• The study’s direction to date of encouraging use of Wicksteed and Laird for truck traffic to exit the park, and the lack of attention to the Beth Nealson/Overlea route.

• The apparent lack of consideration for the huge investment in infrastructure (such as electric power installations) represented by the existing industries in the park, such as Tremco, Siltech and Lincoln Electric.

• The lack of attention to developing links to the Leslie LRT station, which for the establishments east of the railway tracks is far closer than the Laird station.

The Leaside Business Park is the last remaining industrial area (still largely industrial) closest to downtown. Transportation is key to maintaining the Leaside Business Park as a major employment district in Toronto.

Geoff Kettel and Carol Burtin-Fripp, Co-Chairs, LPOA 

Update: While the letter (originally sent to various officials on December 1) has not been formally addressed, conversations with City staff at the Dec. 5 Laird in Focus public meeting indicate that while the approved project budget does not permit an increase in scope, the project will consider the Beth Nealson/Overlea intersection along with the intersections on the west side (Brentcliffe and Laird with Eglinton, Commercial with Laird, etc.