All posts by Ric Amis

On Common Ground Festival – Sept. 15/16/17

The On Common Ground festival features an engaging mix of culturally-diverse music, dance, storytelling, theatre, visual arts, local food, and family-friendly activities in celebration of Canada 150. This three-day festival will launch the world premiere of Miigis by Red Sky Performance. Melding contemporary Indigenous dance and live music, Miigis explores a journey from the Atlantic Coast to the Great Lakes.

For more information click here.

Date: Friday Sept. 15 to Sunday Sept. 17th
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Place: Old Fort York and The Bentway

Exhibition Place Community Consultation – Sept. 19

You are cordially invited to attend Exhibition Place upcoming Community Liaison Consultation Meeting on September 19th at Beanfield Centre. Use the link below to obtain event details and where to RSVP:

There is an  article worth reading in last Saturdays Globe by Alex Bozikovic about Exhibition Place:

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 19th
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Place: Beanfield Centre, Meeting Room 203 (across from Enercare Centre)

2017 Roncesvalles Polish Festival – Sept. 16-17

Enjoy great local and international music, including Polish folklore, Polka and Euro dance bands, and entertainment from near and far on multiple stages. Saturday night enjoy the ever-popular Dance Under The Stars polka party. Come out and sample fantastic cuisine from over 40 renowned restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and bistros, along Roncesvalles, and of course, lots of traditional Polish fare, including pierogi, kielbasa, bigos, cabbage rolls, and much much more!

Cześć! Join the festivities on Saturday September 16th and Sunday September 17th for North America’s largest celebration of Polish culture in Toronto.

For more info click here.

Community Benefits Workshops for Parkdale – Aug. 30 & Sept. 7

The Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) is hosting a series of Community Benefits Workshops for Parkdale on Wednesday August 30th and Thursday September 7th*.

Come learn about new developments arriving in Parkdale, discuss how they will impact the neighbourhood, and collectively develop ideas for how these developments can be best leveraged to benefit our community.

Building on workshops held earlier this summer with ESL students and the PARC Ambassador and Co-op Cred program, these workshops will provide a platform for community members to express their thoughts and suggestions on how to ensure that new developments in Parkdale benefit the local community and strengthen its four overarching values: Inclusiveness, Affordability, Diversity and Equity. The workshops will help to establish a set of community demands that developers must adhere to when building in Parkdale.

Food and refreshments will be provided. Please note that the library is wheelchair accessible. Contact for childcare and/or translation needs.

Spaces are limited. RSVP encouraged but not required:

*Please note that these workshops are identical and participants need only sign up for one workshop.

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 30th
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Place: 1303 Queen St W. – Parkdale Library (basement)

Date: Thursday, Sept.. 7th
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Place: 1303 Queen St W. – Parkdale Library (basement)

Bonnie Briggs passing

Bonnie Briggs, a housing activist and poet who was 64, died suddenly Friday at her Parkdale home.

Bonnie worked tirelessly on homelessness and affordable housing in Parkdale and beyond. She was a member of the Parkdale Residents Association Executive for the past 2 years; along with chairing the Tiny Houses project and as a board member of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust.

Her generosity and compassion is cherished by all the people who met and worked with her.

Laneway Housing Information Session by PRA

The City of Toronto is considering Laneway Suites (housing). A laneway house is a smaller, detached home located where the garage would normally go on a single-family lot.

Join us at an information session to learn more about laneway housing and how it can affect Parkdale!

Sign up HERE.

Please read the following links:

Lanescape – A laneway housing advocacy group

Toronto Star – Laneway suites could open up new Toronto housing possibilities…/laneway-suites-could-open-up-new-…

CBC News – Laneway housing a step closer to reality after community consultations…/metrom…/laneway-housing-report-1.4029590

City is Welcoming Your Comments Re Short-Term Rentals

On June 19, 2017, the City of Toronto Executive Committee directed Municipal Licensing & Standards (ML&S) and City Planning to consult the public on proposed zoning bylaw amendments and licensing and registration framework. The proposed regulations are to:

  •  Amend the City’s zoning bylaws to create a new land use called “short-term rental” that is permitted in principal residences across the city;
  •  Prohibit short-term rentals that are not in a person’s principal residence;
  • License companies that facilitate short-term rental activity, like Airbnb; and
  • Create a registry for anyone who operates a short-term rental in their home.

If you have concerns or interests about these proposed rules for short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnb) in the neighbourhood, the City invites you to express those concerns in an online survey. It takes about ten minutes to complete. The survey will be available online until August 18, 2017.  The input that you provide will inform the final recommendations that staff will report to City Council in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For more information, please visit Please note that public consultation meeting dates will be made available online once they are finalized.

Sunnyside (Roncy) Pedestrian Bridge Mural Launch Party – July 27th

Chicago artist Justus Roe, his local Public Art Assistants, as well as members of the Parkdale – High Park community have been hard at work transforming the Sunnyside (Roncesvalles) Pedestrian Bridge to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday and the “Year of Public Art” taking place in Chicago and Toronto (sister Cities).

Join them for “Building Bridges of Flavour”, a locally inspired menu by Palais Royale Chef Steffan Howard, along with local musicians, artist Justus Roe, and John Tory – Mayor, City of Toronto.

We look forward to celebrating the completion of this new artwork with you – and ask that you RSVP by Monday, July 24th for this community event!

Date: Thursday, July 27th
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Place: Palais Royale (1601 Lake Shore Blvd West, Suite 100)

Women Paint transforms Parkdale Laneway – July 16

A talented mix of emerging and established Toronto-based artists will transform the laneway that runs north behind 1468-1486 Queen Street West — between Lansdowne Avenue and Macdonell Avenue — into an outdoor art gallery. Working side by side, the collective of all female artists will paint approximately 2,000 square feet of murals that respond to the theme of “Intersectional Feminism: Representing Diverse Experiences”.

Women PaintAs a closing celebration, community members, mural enthusiasts and interested Torontonians / Parkdalians are invited to meet the artists and be inspired by the murals.

Date: Sunday, July 16th
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Place: the laneway that runs north behind 1468-1486 Queen Street West—between Lansdowne Avenue and Macdonell Avenue.