February 2018 Environmental Committee Report

There have been concerns and complaints brought forward by BV residents regarding the deteriorating shape of our ravine and bridges. Relevant to this issue in general is a report that is a collaboration of 5 Community Groups in the Moore Park area. With the help of professionals they drafted up a comprehensive report with data, statistics, photos, plans to move forward, requests from government, etc. This is what may need to be done to get some concrete movement and action. We have brought up these issues with the city in the past but did not get very far due to budget restraints and red tape.

If you read the attached report it began the same way we began, initially with concerned residents complaining, as well as a walk-about down the ravine with City staff. Gary James has secured Dennis Kovacsi, Supervisor, Ravines and Watercourses, City Wide, to attend a walk-about down the ravine once the snow clears in April to do a visual survey of the damage and to determine what needs to be done for reconstruction. Sharon and/or Monty have agreed to attend.

Gary has also recently responded to residents' concerns and complaints through emails regarding the erosion and bridge that is currently closed off at Burbank & Canary Cres. Perhaps our ‘Reconstruct the Ravine’ initiative can be a collaboration of ALL the BVA Committees and/or involve other community groups as well for more clout in order to take the bulk of all this work off just a handful of people. A petition could be used to allow the residents to have a voice. That would be a good indicator to demonstrate if we have enough support to move forward with this.

We have asked for a discussion of these matters at the next BVA Executive meeting. In addition, Sharon plans to host another Tree For Me event the first weekend on a Saturday in June. Forest Grove Church has graciously agreed to allow us to use their site for the event. It has been more difficult than I anticipated to secure a partner for this event. The BVA cannot apply without a charitable number. Geri James has been helpful in approaching the Rotary Club to partner with. We approached Forest Grove Church weeks ago, but the Treasurer is away until Feb. 11th. A decision cannot be made until then. The deadline for the application is Feb. 16th. We are hoping either the Rotary Club or the Church will agree to partner, and of course our application is approved. The application is near completion. Just waiting for a partner/charitable number. Sharon will report the outcome at the Feb. Exec Meeting.

How You Can Help Fight Climate Change & Global Warming

According to NOAA & NASA, 2016 was the hottest year to date, with 2017 being 2nd, and 2015 being 3rd.  NASA now places 2017 as the 2nd hottest year on record, based on its measurements, at 0.91oC above the 20th century average, behind 2016 (at +1.00oC), but ahead of 2015 (at +0.87oC). This is the third year in a row that temperatures broke yearly records for the hottest years to date. Globally, the temperature rose 1.69% in 2016. This increase may appear small, but according to scientists it significantly impacts the planet in many ways. What's truly remarkable about 2017? It ranked as high as it did in the records even without the influence of an El Niño. 2017 was the hottest year in the records that did not have any influence from El Niño, and it would have taken the title of the hottest year, officially, if the 2015-16 El Niño had not happened. Read the full article.

Global warming and climate change is caused mainly from the mass farming and production of livestock including beef, pork, fish and poultry, and the use of fossil fuels. Simply eating less livestock, especially beef, decreasing your use of fossil fuels, and planting trees on your property will have a significant positive impact in reducing global warming and climate change. By participating in the Tree for Me Program Bayview Village residents will be adding to the overall tree canopy in Toronto, to their personal quality of life and to the health of Planet Earth. The planting of just one tree can make a difference.

Waste Wizard

Waste Wizard is a tool that allows you to simply type in the item that you want to discard and provides information on how to appropriately dispose the item.

BVA Environment Green Star Practices

Your BVA Environment Committee recognizes grass cutting and gardening contractors who work in a manner that helps protect our environment and our health.

Contractors that meet the following criteria, are designated to have earned a BVA Green Star:

  • Use battery power or electric edge trimmers, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers
  • Do not use 2 cycle engine equipment, whether lawn movers, edge trimmers, hedge trimmers or leaf blowers

At this time, we are aware of one lawn care service that follows Green Practices. If your current lawn care contractor does not use Green Practices please ask them to, or consider using an alternative that does:

Student Green Practices Lawn Care (Ethan: 647-461-4214) is a small student locally run community service. They follow Green Practices such as mow lawns with Electric/Low Polluting 4-Cycle Engine Mowers, use Ion Lithium battery operated Edgers & Hedge Trimmers, leave grass clippings on the lawn to promote healthy lawns, use rakes and brooms to remove grass clippings and fertilizer overspray from walks and drives, remove garden debris and leaves by hand/rake. They do not use Leaf Blowers, especially 2-Cycle Engine Leaf Blowers that most contractors use, emitting high levels of TOXIC UNBURNED FUEL and TOXIC STREET DUST into the air. By hiring local students you are helping employ students, and at the same time do your part to keep our community cleaner and safer. If your contractor employs Green Practices, let us know and we will publish their names/phone numbers in our newsletter and on our website. They deserve recognition. Contact Monty McDonald at 416-221-2569 or Monty.McDonald@hotmail.com

The Emotional Toll of Clutter

What is your space saying about you — and what is it doing to your energy, mood and outlook on life?

Vida Ghaffari makes her living in the public eye. The hard-working actress has appeared in a number of TV shows and independent films, including 2012’s Cross My Heart, and also has made a name for herself as a television entertainment reporter. Until recently, though, the camera-friendly celebrity was hiding something behind the scenes. A lot of things, actually: Her Southern California home was packed full of tchotchkes, as well as clothes, accessories and shoes that she rarely wore...Read more.

 The BVA Environment Committee is currently looking for Volunteers.

If you are willing to volunteer for the Tree for Me program, or any of our initiatives, please contact Jean Probyn, our Volunteer Coordinator at 416-222-4033 or jean.probyn@rogers.com 
You do not need any experience. We will take care of that. We just need residents who want to make a difference in the quality of life not only in Bayview Village, but have an impact globally. Every small step to help the Environment and Planet Earth means something; therefore your help will mean something. We will let you know about all of our programs and initiatives and find a place that’s right for you. Young and not so young are most welcome. We can also accommodate High School Students who need Community Hours.
A special thanks to all from Sharon Johnson and Monty McDonald, Environment Committee, BVA. We look forward to hearing back from you!

TransformTO: Climate Action for a Healthy, Equitable and Prosperous Toronto Report #1

The first TransformTO Staff Report is now live and available here. The report was presented to the Parks and Environment Subcommittee on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation on November 14. The report identifies short-term strategies to set Toronto on the path to meet our targets including our interim goal of 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. For more information on TransformTO, please visit toronto.ca/transformto

Environmental Committee’s document on how to Raccoon/Wildlife Proof your yard and house, and other important facts and links regarding wildlife

Coyotes in Bayview Village!

Coyotes are naturally timid animals and will usually flee at the sight of a human. If they linger or approach, it’s time to begin “hazing.” This is a term applied to the following actions that can be taken to scare coyotes and chase them away: Be as big and loud as possible. Do not run or turn your back. Wave your arms, clap your hands, and shout in an authoritative voice. Make noise by banging pots and pans or using an air horn or whistle. Throw small stones, sticks, tennis balls or anything else you can lay your hands on. Remember the intent is to scare and not to injure. Spray with a hose, if available, or a squirt gun filled with water and vinegar. Shake or throw a “coyote shaker”—a soda can filled with pennies or pebbles and sealed with duct tape.

The effects of hazing may not last unless all food attractants are permanently removed. This information should be shared with neighbors, friends and homeowner’s associations since hazing is most effective when the entire neighborhood is working together. Hazing should never be attempted if the coyote is accompanied by pups or appears to be sick or injured. If it’s the latter, make a report to the local police or the City of Toronto Animal Services at 311.

.…failing to respond to hazing Some coyotes may freeze and stare, or run a short distance and stop. Hazing should be continued until the coyote gets the message and finally leaves the scene. Hazing can work whether the encounter is with a lone coyote or a small pack. If the leader retreats, the rest of the pack will follow. If the coyote refuses to retreat or returns to the area despite persistent hazing, it may be due to the fact that someone is feeding coyotes nearby. This is a cause for concern and should be reported to the local police or animal control officer.

approaching a pet or a child Small pets and children should never be left unattended, and dogs should always be walked on a leash. Problems are more likely to occur when the animal is out of the owner’s control. It can also be helpful to carry a noisemaker, whistle, squirt gun or pepper spray. If a coyote approaches, pick up the pet or child, then start hazing. If the coyote does not leave, back away slowly while continuing to haze and go indoors if possible. Any aggressive behavior should be reported to the local police or animal control officer. If bites or other injuries are sustained, medical attention should be sought and a report made to the City of Toronto Animal Control Services at 311.

Your Environmental Rights at a Glance Download the full-colour guide

If you live in Ontario, you’re really lucky. Why? Because you have environmental rights! For example, under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), for instance, you have:

  1. A right to know about – and have a say in – government decisions that affect the environment;
  2. A right to ask the government to change or create environmental laws or policies; and
  3. A right to ask the government to investigate if you think someone is breaking an environmental law.

Read the Environmental Bill of Rights itself, and its regulations, which describe how it applies to different ministries and laws, and approvals and permits.
The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario is charged with monitoring and reporting on how well the government complies with the Environmental Bill of Rights.
Find out more about the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.
What does the Environmental Bill of Rights mean for me?
Under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), you have rights to participate in ministry decisions about the environment and hold the government accountable for those decisions. (The EBR applies to environmentally significant decisions and proposals made by certain Ontario ministries or under certain Acts.)
You have the right to:

  1. Comment on environmentally significant government proposals,
  2. Ask a ministry to review an existing law, or the need for a new one,
  3. Ask a ministry to investigate harm to the environment,
  4. Seek permission to appeal a ministry decision on an instrument,
  5. Use courts or tribunals to protect the environment,
  6. Get whistleblower protection.

The Environmental Registry
The Environmental Registry is a key tool of the Environmental Bill of Rights. The Registry is a website that lets you keep informed about, and comment on, environmentally significant decisions in Ontario. Thanks to the EBR, the government is obliged to consider your comments. You can sign up to get email alerts about notices on the Environmental Registry that may interest you — as they are posted. Sign up now!
Find out more about the Environmental Registry.

Statements of Environmental Values
Each of the ministries subject to the EBR has a Statement of Environmental Values (SEV). This statement guides the minister and ministry staff when they make decisions that might affect the environment. Statements of Environmental Values are available on the EBR website.
Find out more about Statements of Environmental Values (SEVs).

FLAP CANADA  -- Fatal Light Awareness Program is an organization that provides bird rescue and conservation work. FLAP advocates for bird friendly buildings. Do you love to see and hear wild birds around your home? Do you put out feeders for them and give them water to splash in and drink? Wild birds benefit greatly from your kindness. If you want to keep them safe, make all your windows visible to birds. Provide birds with visual cues or markers that alert them to the presence of glass. Windows can deceive birds: reflected trees or sky, a tempting potted plant seen through glass or a view straight through the building or glass balcony railing can trick birds into thinking they can fly through to the other side. Birds that do not die upon impact can become easy prey for predators such as cats, raccoons, gulls or other animals. For further information on how you can bird proof your home go to www.flap.org

Did you know that Section 37 of the Planning Act authorizes municipalities to grant increases in height and density of development, in exchange for the provision of “facilities, services or matters”? The City of Toronto has used Section 37 provisions for community benefit contributions more extensively than any other municipality in Ontario, since its introduction by the Province. The City’s experience is widely relied upon by other municipalities as they implement their own frameworks for using the provisions of Section 37.  See the complete report of Section 37 Review Final Report City of Toronto and how it has affected, and will continue to affect the North York Center Corridor. 


North York Zoning Bylaw

Here are Elements of North York Zoning Bylaw #7625 for single family dewellings for Lots 60 and 50 ft frontage (R3 and R4 zoning designations respectively) which comprise most of lots in Bayview Village. For a complete version covering all zoning designations , google North York Zoning bylaw #7625

  1. maximum 2 storey structures:
  2. outer walls of the building sideyard setback a minimum of 1.8meters (5.9ft) reduced to 1.2m (3.94ft) for garage with no habitable space above
  3. Front yard setback 7.5meters (24.6ft)
  4. Rear yard setback 9.5meters (31.2)
  5. maximum lot coverage of 30%
  6. maximum permitted building height is 8.8 meters (28.9 ft) sloped roof
    8.0 meters (26.3ft ) flat roof
  7. maximum permitted 1st floor* height is 1.5 meters (4.9 ft)
    note 1st floor can be at a lower level than 1st Storey

Note R2 are lots greater than 60ft frontage (e.g Forest Grove, Highmount) have greater setbacks but allow 3 stories

What are contractors doing to push the envelope?

  1. Extending the foundation walls to surround a basement walkout
  2. these walkouts are made feasible by increasing the level of the 1st storey by putting in a small vestibule minimum 10 square meters (called the 1st floor) with stairs to the 1st storey which results in the level for main living area well above the max 1.5 meter height of 1st floor.
  3. These extended foundation walls are then being used to support a balcony at 1st storey height. The bylaw allows balconies as long as they do not exceed 5% of the lot area. So instead of a traditional patio at grade neighbours are further shadowed by balconey structure.
  4. Further, balconies constructed this way meet the definition of a structure so should be included in the calculation of lot coverage (see definition 435) . On some projects, if the balconey structure were included in the coverage the bylaw would be exceeded.

North York Zoning Bylaw Definitions

First Floor means the floor of the building, other than an area used for parking, that:

  • is closest in elevation to the elevation of established grade;
  • has an interior floor area in excess of 10 square meters (107 ft2); and
  • is closest to the required front yard setback.

Side Yard Setback means a horizontal distance on a lot measured at a right angle from the side lot lines to the nearest main wall of a building or structure

Storey means a level of a building, other than a basement, located between any floor and the floor, ceiling or roof immediately above it.

Building means a wholly or partially enclosed structure with a roof supported by walls, columns, piers or other structural systems. A vehicle is not a building.

Building Setback means a horizontal distance measured at a right angle from any lot line to the nearest part of the main wall of a building or structure

Lot Coverage means the portion of the lot that is covered by any part of any building or structure on or above the surface of the lot

Structure means anything that is erected, built or constructed of one or more parts joined together. A vehicle is not a structure