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Parkdale faces restaurant and bar moratorium

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 3, 2012

toronto parkdaleIt's Ossington all over again. The stretch of Queen Street between Dufferin and Roncesvalles will not see any new bars or restaurants for at least a year if a temporary bylaw is allowed to run its course. Reported by NOW yesterday morning, the ban prohibits new hospitality businesses and forbids extensions or modifications to existing outlets in the area - including patios - in the hope of preventing the flourishing scene pushing out stores vital to the health of the area.

According to a staff report, complaints from local residents about increased noise, vandalism, garbage, and traffic congestion prompted councillor Gord Perks to push for the restrictions.

Joanna Kimont, a City of Toronto planner, says the action will allow city staff to properly complete a restaurant study on the area designed to report on how the bar boom is affecting the neighborhood. Though it's some way from completion, the study could restrict to the size and distribution of businesses along this stretch of Queen Street.

"Any applications that have already been submitted for a building permit or otherwise, those are being reviewed by our buildings division in conjunction with our legal staff to determine the status of the applications and how, if at all, they are impacted by this bylaw."

toronto parkdale mapPopular taco and bourbon joint Grand Electric at Queen and Elm Grove submitted a liquor license application for a new second floor extension just a few months ago. It's still in the works, and the new embargo could delay the project at least while the city figures out how to handle active applications for alterations.

Further west at Capital Espresso, owner/operator Damien Zielinski thinks the restrictions won't help new startups or more established eating and drinking spots.

"It definitely contradicts the interests of small business people," he says. "I think when a new bar or restaurant opens on the strip it benefits all of us, speaking as someone who lives and works in the area."

"A lot of the small businesses here have created an atmosphere of success [but] are still working very hard. It's not like we're all laughing with business to spare."

Closer to Roncesvalles, John Silva, co-owner of Poor John's Cafe, is of a similar mind.

"For the people on the cusp of starting their businesses, it's a terrible thing to do to them for sure. I understand where this is coming from but this isn't the way to address it. It's like shutting the barn door after the horses have already gotten out."

Is it a good idea to slow the Parkdale boom or is this a blow to the local area? Should the city cap the number of restaurants and bars in Parkdale?

Images: "Parkdale" by Craz11 from the blogTO Flickr pool and City of Toronto.



Nan / November 3, 2012 at 10:12 am
I'd be curious to know how many of the folks who go to the restaurants and bars are from the neighbourhood. This is obviously the growing pains of "revitalization" or perhaps "retail gentrification". Whether it's a good idea to slow the boom or not: it depends on who you are and where your interests (and frankly, money) lie. So hipsters, show your money.
george / November 3, 2012 at 10:22 am
Pi replying to a comment from Nan / November 3, 2012 at 10:40 am
Hipsters aren't exactly the bougie gentry some are making them out to be which is why Parkdale is diversifying and prospering more than anything.

Whatever you do Toronto, don' t let big scary FOOD and creativity come in and ruin those safe and cheerful deserted storefronts.
jay / November 3, 2012 at 11:09 am
God forbid Toronto ever were to let fun to flourish. How about this. Instead of stopping bars and restaurants and clubs to flourish, why not prevent the destruction of all business due to condos? Condos are the culprit in destroying neighbourhoods. NOT fun establishments. In fact ironically enough, condos have been tearing the life out of the entertainment district as it is.

Toronto. I'll never understand this place.
MJ / November 3, 2012 at 11:10 am
Worry more about dealing with the crack heads and gangsters of Parkdale, not new restaurants!
No one cares / November 3, 2012 at 11:17 am
Once a shithole, always a shithole
Matt / November 3, 2012 at 11:27 am
Of course no one wants to see Parkdale become nothing more than a bar district (i.e. Ossington.) But the solution should be in sensible legislation that restricts the number of bars and restaurants within a certain area--lots of cities, including NYC, do this, in order to keep streetfront retail mixed and not dominated by any one use.

But an outright ban is just a simplistic non-solution.
mm / November 3, 2012 at 11:47 am
What people are forgetting is that great neighbourhoods have a good mix of not only restaurants and bars, but also retail space that serve the community, rather than a small subset of people who come to the neighbourhood for shows, dinner ,etc..

I disagree with mobo that bars and restaurants bring retail. Their tendency is to expand and multiply until galleries, stores and services are pushed out of the neighbourhood and it becomes an "entertainment destination" rather than a community.

It's already happening because of parts & labour, 90% of their patrons don't live in parkdale and don't give a shit about the neighbourhood. Good on Gord Perks to take a breather and examine what's happening before it gets to a point where residents are moving out because of noise and obnoxious scenesters.
Sara / November 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm
If you actually lived in the community before this gentrification than you would understand why Gord Perks is doing what he is. I'm glad he has put on the restriction!
Renee / November 3, 2012 at 01:52 pm
a woman was found dead in her Parkdale rooming house the other day and it was ruled a homicide...has any progress been made in that investigation? focus on issues like that in Parkdale or roma youth, or landed immigrants who need and want homes, jobs, and to be welcomed to the neighborhood. I agree with so many of the comments above- what could be wrong with eliminating boarded up shops, filling them with life, people, jobs? Also I don't much care what Gord thinks I wanna hear from my girl Cheri Dinovo! And yes, I do live in Parkdale and have for many years
Phil / November 3, 2012 at 01:54 pm
less restaurants and patrons!

more crack heads and the mentally unstable!

lets keep Parkdale real!
god forbid it be like Ossington / November 3, 2012 at 02:51 pm
If Parkdale has a chance to be like Ossington they should be jumping at the chance. I don't get why everyone hates on Ossington, it is a great place to live. I don't like hanging out late on Friday and Saturday but I would trade that for the Sundays-Thursdays I get to eat at great places, shop at great stores, and go to my local theatre or art gallery.
scottd / November 3, 2012 at 02:52 pm
Parkdale is way better than it was even 15 years ago. There are only a few pockets of crap and I think King and Dufferin has got worse. For the record Parkdale did have a bar moratorium previously to stop fly by night crappy places (anybody remember the Mopaba or Mary's Place ?) from opening. It really made a difference.
small business owner / November 3, 2012 at 03:44 pm
One of the things you learn when you somehow scrape together (begging and borrowing from anyone you can) enough cash to open a storefront, thereby becoming a small business owner, is that city councillors and government agencies NEVER help you and are ALWAYS trying to either screw you without sympathy, or more often just fleece you at every turn. Silly licenses, yellow garbage bags, application fees, renewal fees, and so on keep adding up in cost while crackheads, schemers, perverts, and other manifestations of 'authentic Parkdale' vilify you for the audacity of opening a shop. The bright side is that Parkdale actually has- and I don't know why this never gets more attention- a very close-knit bunch of independent business owners who help and support one another when no one else really will. Add to these shop owners, many of whom live in Parkdale, the beautiful community of people that lives here and supports local business as a matter of culture and not as a matter of charity, and you have a pretty vibrant section of the community that is growing and moving forward inclusively, with little outside help. So yes, this legislation would be bad for small business and in turn the hood. But since when has government at any level really helped small business anyway? Screwing us is their whole M.O.
Parkdale home owner / November 3, 2012 at 05:02 pm
I own a home in parkdale... My family and I have always loved the neighbourhood and want to see
Parkdale grow into the culinary destination it is sooo desperately wants to become, much unlike roncesvilles! Certainly Gord Perks had no problem with the city handing out
liquor licenses to anyone who wanted to start a business on roncy (who is a very residential area)
So why does he have such a problem with parkdale?
I believe that Gord Perks is holding back the gentrification
of parkdale for his own agenda and its u to us as residents to fight him
and get him out of office ... this guys' a CLOWN
jameson / November 3, 2012 at 05:22 pm
This is really quite shocking to see come to pass. Where was the notice that this was going to be passed?

In terms of legalities, I don't think you need notice for an interim control bylaw, but you need to enact a study. But think the fact that this study was begun 2 years ago is a complete farce. This ICBL is completely bad faith.

And as mentioned previously, this is all done to put a stop on Parts and Labour, and Wrongbar. This is to appease residents. It's not going to work anyways, the businesses will just wait just like on Ossington. An ICBL is a complete waste of time.
frichpeople / November 3, 2012 at 05:26 pm
I for one am glad this is being done for the community and i say screw these wealthy homeowners whose house values have already risen 50% in the past five years, and screw these "small businessmen" (read: future starbucks & TGI Friday's franchisees) who want to suck more money from the community.

Parkdale puts a freeze on bars & restuarants? Good, there are more than enough already. So open a different business if you guys are such hot shot "entrepeneurs". The less drunks the better.
macdonell / November 3, 2012 at 06:15 pm
Hear, hear, frichpeople. I've lived in Parkdale for 25 years. A friend told me not long ago that some mothers at a local PS had suggested that the front row seats for the kids' concert be auctioned off to the highest bidder. If you live in Parkdale, and don't see anything offensive in this (what about you, mobo?), then you won't see Gord Perks' point. And you shouldn't live in Parkdale.
Parkdale is home to tons of new immigrants and/or low income people. There are thousands squished into apartments in the neighbourhood. But there isn't even a bakery on Queen Street, and no decent grocery store.
Bars and restos are great, but eighty per cent of the population will never see the inside of them.
(And to you again, mobo: you want to limit rooming houses, huh? Good luck with that... you'll be following in the footsteps of the many yuppies before you.)
Suzi / November 3, 2012 at 06:57 pm
Gord Perks is one of the few city counsellors who has a clue. He is concerned about the ward and is trying to clean it up. Hipster restaurants and bars are not the way to improve a neighbourhood. Locals can't afford to frequent these places. We don't need places that sell doughnuts at $38/dozen. As a resident of Parkdale for 8 years, I'm afraid that soon I wont be able to afford to live here.
jameson / November 3, 2012 at 08:30 pm
I understand the disconnect between the working citizen and the privilege in Parkdale. I've lived on Jameson for five years, and my sister has for six. The fact is that the process of municipal sponsored gentrification began in Liberty Village in the early 2000s and its simply moving westward.

But how does an interim control bylaw effect housing affordability? Do you really think that this ICBL has anything to do with the poor in Parkdale? It doesn't. If it did, Gord Perks would be on his soapbox imploring the city to urge the province to alter the Residential Tenancies Act and to get the Tower Renewal Department more funding. Instead he's sponsoring actions that appease homeowners that get him reelected.
dieyuppiescum / November 3, 2012 at 11:05 pm
As much as Pekrs is just another liberal scumbag masquerading as a leftist, Im happy to hear that no more bougie shitholes will be opening up in the area for the time being (bars anyways). now just the get rid of the ones that already exist.
Gabe / November 4, 2012 at 12:00 am
I live right in the neighbourhood for about 5 years and I've gone out for dinner or drinks in the neighborhood about once, maybe twice.
acv66 / November 4, 2012 at 12:01 am
too many bars in one area does one thing , ruin the area .
Jalodge / November 4, 2012 at 12:59 am
I just do not get the binary position on things. Case by case basis I say.
econstudent / November 4, 2012 at 01:56 am
I don't understand why there's so much discussion of demand for things besides bars and restaurants in the area but none of those businesses are starting up. If this demand did exist, wouldn't we see the closed storefronts turning into bakeries, art galleries, niche shops and pet stores? Realistically, it has to do with how the future of the area might be in new entertainment centres.

There's much talk of how new immigrants couldn't possibly afford the (quite honestly, really expensive) bars on Queen Street, but the fact that there are now businesses making money in the area means that the immigrants won't have difficulty finding nearby jobs, giving them the money that they can, eventually, use to spend on the local economy.

I worked in PK for 3 years, and I can say the rapidly gentrifying Queen Street combined with the still working-class residents has made Parkdale probably the edgiest district in Toronto, and by far my favourite place there. Trying to control the free market can only make the existing bars and nightclubs much richer with little actual gains to the community; We won't see Queen lose any more of its boarded-up storefronts, only less work to be had along the street
Rob / November 4, 2012 at 08:09 am
Why are some of you people talking about Parkdale like it's the southside of Chicago?

Get some damn perspective.
B / November 4, 2012 at 08:22 am
Stra / November 4, 2012 at 08:26 am
didn't Mr. Perks approve a parking lot to be built at Callender and Queen?
A / November 4, 2012 at 08:30 am
Having grown up in the Eastend (I've lived in parkdale for 10 yrs)
Parkdale is exactly what Leslieville was 8 years
ago... I remember city councillors really spearheading the
gentrification of Leslieville (not hindering it) which gave the
Prospective bakery and little start-ups the confidence to go ahead and
Take a chance on the shithole that the Eastend was.
Gord Perks is the exact opposite! All you idiots that don't
want bars and restaurants in parkdale!??? I guess you prefer
Boarded up storefronts? Wake up every chef in town is clamering to get a liquor license in parkdale
But Gord Perks won't let them!
ian / November 4, 2012 at 10:05 am
Read the staff report - it's a one-year moratorium, which will be over before you know it, and doesn't include the north side of Queen Street between Nobel and Dufferin, which is a considerable stretch of the strip open to new business development.

And to Gabe, who has lived in the nabe for 5 years and only gone out for dinner/drinks once or twice - I guess you sleep in Parkdale, but I wouldn't say *live* here.

And for that matter, Gord Perks is also a rare breed on council, representing a ward he doesn't live in.

haha replying to a comment from econstudent / November 4, 2012 at 10:44 am
attn "econstudent": just because a neighbourhood needs services, doesn't mean businesses will move in to serve them. It may be that it is more profitable to sell $10 drinks than sell groceries with razor thin margins, or open a bank branch to serve residents that have very small amounts of savings.

You're hilarious contention that immigrants can find jobs at restaurants and bars in order to "afford" these gentrified places of business is ridiculous. Restaurants and bars provide the worst jobs for migrants, often paying them under the table, less than minimum wage, and no job security whatsoever. At best, someone might aspire to becoming a line cook and making just above poverty level wages. You're entire post is infuriating, it reads like a high school students first exposure to capitalism.
Marlon replying to a comment from jameson / November 4, 2012 at 10:56 am
Appeasing home owners to get reelected? Most people call that representing your constituents. But if you personally disagree with him feel free to continue calling it 'appeasing home owners to get re-elected' lol
ian replying to a comment from Marlon / November 4, 2012 at 11:28 am
Worth noting that in Parkdale below Queen Street , 93% of households are rentals. Constituents too.
what replying to a comment from ian / November 4, 2012 at 02:27 pm
But Ian the strip on the north side from Noble to Dufferin is just the Legal Aid Office and the outdoor 'amphitheatre'. There is no space there to rent. To everyone , the proposition is still Would you prefer a boarded up space to a Chantecler? I see why people are pissed about bars, but restaurants? Who cares? And there is a bakery serving immigrants and lower income groups: Tim Hortons. Just look at all the Tibetan businesses. You think Parts and Labour is hurting them? Give me a break! More people in the neighborhood benefits all groups. Shutting out local businesses and passionate chefs means allowing Shoppers Drug Mart, Royal Bank, Tim Hortons, and even the new chain Gelato Pizza to define the character of the neighborhood. Sorry but people don't line up for Grand Electric because this is the new club district, it's because those guys work their asses off to do something really really well. The fact that talented young people working hard to improve Parkdale is perceived negatively is absurd. Just imagine the strip with a Taco Bell instead of Grand Electric, a Starbucks instead of the Mascot, and a Fionn McCools instead of the Cadillac Lounge and you get an idea what a hole this neighborhood would be without the young entrepreneurs that make it an interesting and unique place.
Joe Shmoe / November 4, 2012 at 03:22 pm
Asshole Mr Perks is publicly on record stating he is against the gentrification of Parkdale,
so this is no surprise.

The BIA needs to stick it to him. Perks will be the first to have 'a shooting up gallery' - a safe injection site in Parkdale so that the pushers will frequent Queen St. as before to sell their shit to the addict before going for their fix.

Now that would really set us back light-years.

Vote him out of office if you really care about building a balanced healthy community.
Aaron / November 4, 2012 at 04:17 pm
Fun Town T.O. just got funner!
C replying to a comment from haha / November 4, 2012 at 06:02 pm
This post is hilariously silly. Parkdale may not have too many grocery stores but there's a massive No Frills a ten minute walk up Lansdowne. Believe me, the services with "razor thin margins" are there, just not where property values are much higher and rising- along the main street- and are instead relegated to cheap areas not too far away... Tell me the last time you've seen a grocery store on Yonge Street, and you'll know what I mean. Gentrifying isn't a top-down system, it happens when property values force lower-margin stores out of the area, and if you take a look around, its happening all over Toronto; Parkdale isn't any different, and shouldn't be any different. The neat thing about it though, is that the area's not a tourist destination and there's still not much money there, so the standard Starbucks and Second Cup's never really moved in.

Also, you used the wrong 'your' every time.
mjb / November 5, 2012 at 08:01 am
While it might make sense to use the interim control by-law with respect to a rezoning; in this case, restaurants are already a permitted use under current zoning. The City is setting a bad precedent here as they should be upholding the existing zoning bylaw. The time for discussion on whether or not restaurants/bars were a good idea should have happened back when these properties were first zoned for mixed commercial residential use. Both residents and business owners should be able to rely on the zoning bylaw at a minimum as it is the only thing that provides certainty over what they can do with their property. While study of the area is certainly a good idea, in the interim, the current allowable uses should be respected.
GonzoC replying to a comment from what / November 5, 2012 at 11:51 am
Very well said What. I could not agree more.
mike in parkdale / November 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm
people who complain about the addicts/dealers/hookers/drunks should have seen the place 15 years ago. Parkdale is much clearner now, and doesn't even compare to some other high crime spots in the city - been on Queen East lately?

I agree that the city should have a plan in place for growing new commercial zones, and they should do everything possible to encourage diversity - if only so we don't end up with entire blocks that only open after 5:00pm.

And if you really want to improve the area - crack down on some of the long standing 'violation' restaurants instead of limiting the new additions. Take a look at Friends on King, Sun Fa on Queen, Happy Time on Queen etc... The few remaining pockets are anchored by rathole bars. Deal with them and the area will drastically improve.
macdonell / November 5, 2012 at 01:20 pm
What says:"And there is a bakery serving immigrants and lower income groups: Tim Hortons."
J replying to a comment from C / November 5, 2012 at 01:31 pm
There are grocery stores on Yonge street...
vampchick21 / November 5, 2012 at 02:02 pm
I've been living in Parkdale for nearly 20 years, and I have to ask some of the commentators here, are you in the same Parkdale I'm in?

PS. There's a FreshCo at Queen and Gladstone, and another No Frills at King and Jameson, and Metro down in Liberty Village. Never mind several small groceries along Queen. Open your eyes. We did have a bakery once, but it burned down, remember? I miss that place. We have three drug stores (Shoppers, Rexall and the down at the heels IDA), several small convenience stores, several clothing stores, both vintage and new, plus the Sally Ann, a used bookstore, independent coffee places, a Vietnamse restaurant, a food co-op, a library, a big fabric store, a small fabric store that offers classes and rents time on sewing machines, several jewelry stores, plus a few places that were there before I moved into the neighbourhood, that family clothing store that I can't recall the name of. That's just a small number of thriving, non-bar/restaurant boom businesses that I can think of off the top of my head.

Hipsters? I'm 40 years old. I'm not sure what the fuck a hipster is.
James / November 5, 2012 at 02:48 pm

Keep Parkdale Poor!

Way to go City. Clearly we have too much business going on. The only jobs councilors want are more public sector jobs that they can influence come election time.

We should get a new slogan. How about this?

Toronto: keep it lame.

C replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm
Very well said!
ChiefBrody / November 6, 2012 at 09:50 am
This is a complete crock. The new restaurants and bars on Queen are not bringing the vandals, noise, garbage and congestion to Parkdale. The vandals and garbage have always been a part of Parkdale and I have to say there is less of both these days. As far as noise and congestion, that's a part of living in the city. If you want to see congestion, try Queen West at rush hour. Are all of these people rushing to the bars and restaurants? Or to their homes? Any of the nightspots that do cater to an evening crowd that could potentially bring a louder, rowdier element to that neighbourhood are the ones that have been there for years and are much loved institutions within the neighbourhood. Not the newer places. If you lived in the 'hood or were around on any given evening you'd see that the patrons of these newer establishments tend to be a pretty broad spectrum of creative, educated people on the lookout for some good food and drink experiences. Not to get tanked and urinate in alleys with a can of spraypaint at the ready, hooting and hollering all the while. Give me a break. The area is really building up an excellent reputation for being a hotbed of culinary creativity and getting noticed on a national scale. Some of the best restaurants in the country are on this strip are getting noticed and some pretty decent acclaim. Why would you want to slow down this kind of momentum? Imagine if Parkdale was allowed to flourish, with all of the amazing establishment we already have in this city we could truly become a foodie destination on a broader scale and people would actually travel to our city to experience our hospitality. Wouldn't that be incredible?! I love Parkdale. I have lived in the neighbourhood for a number of years, seen the evolution of the neighbourhood and am excited by what is going on here. Let's not mess this up.
Gord / November 6, 2012 at 01:36 pm

I have lived in Parkdale long enough to remember what it was like before the bars and restaurants opened.

It was unsafe at night. I was threatened with stabbing walking to the corner store for smokes by looking at someone the wrong way. Fights, robbery, screams all hours of the night (on the same block as Parts and Labour is now).

Hookers owned the corners, johns prowled the streets night and day! Crackheads defecated in parks, winos pulled mattresses out of dumpsters and put them near the playgrounds in parkettes as a free place to flop, get bombed and fight.

Bystanders were getting shot and killed just walking past the gambling dens that pretended to by taverns (The club that was in the Wrong bar location - look it up).

And the cops could care less. Parkdale was more trouble that it was worth (I was this told by a beat cop).

And now, give me a break - black and white.

There are still gross parts (I mean you Queen and Jameson) but I am not taking my life in my hands going for a meal after dark. Police have a reason to patrol the streets when there are businesses with an investment to protect and decent people who are not looking for trouble (well, maybe too many cocktails and a easy hook-up).

The new places are doing their part in keeping things clean and controlled. The real assholes have moved on since they no longer have a seat at the table.

And we need to put a stop to this?

I think the problem is Perks doesn't live here, never lived here and will never live here. He was parachuted in by Miller to be his environmental deputy, not to serve the people of this community. He will never have a perspective on the hood and when his political days are over he will never return to visit.
M-A / November 7, 2012 at 01:17 pm
I think the point of this exercise is to take a breath and make sure we are heading in the right direction.(it is temporary, 1yr) Yes, I believe the newer food venues are doing some great things, but as a home owner and business owner in Parkdale, I would like to see a better mix of businesses that makes Queen west worthy of being an exciting place to shop and eat for the community as well as attracting those from outside the area. A great community is alive during the day as well as evenings. If almost every storefront is converted to businesses that are open in the evenings and/or weekends only, we won't get there. Let's just be sure this is the right direction before it is too late.
CM / November 7, 2012 at 04:16 pm
Good comments on both sides of the fence. As a long term resident (26 years now) I've seen Parkdale old and Parkdale new. The issue, is not restaurants, but bars. Under current liquor licensing rules, licensed establishments are often unclearly defined and what looks like a restaurant on paper, is a bar in reality. Some of the premises are de facto bars, not restaurants. They serve minimal, or no food, and are clearly not geared toward the restaurant clientele.

There are good patrons to these, there are also bad. Lately we have numerous late night partiers stopping at 2:00 a.m. to use the local park as a place to relieve their overfull bladders. We've had fights in the laneway, including one where a very drunken male threatened to shoot his girlfriend (so cool!) and have had to clean up vomit from the sidewalk in front of the house on a number of occassions.

No this is not every night, and no it is not restaurants such as Satiasian, M&B Yummy, or Chantcler which are the source of the problem. Sadly, though our licensing commission does not recognize the difference between the two.

In all fairness to Gord Perks, he is not acting on his own. I have been on the e-mail chains and can confirm that a number of residents have been raising concerns. Gord has been specifically asked by a number of people to deal with the issue of the proliferation of bars in the neighbourhood and the subsequent problems.

We may not all agree, but he is acting at the request of at least some of his constituents. Let's hope the breather gives time to reach an accord on how to move forward and doesn't stunt the good progress we have seen!
Damien / November 7, 2012 at 07:07 pm
Great discussion everyone! Guess what: there is not yet any moratorium and all this hysteria is about something that may not even happen. There will be a town hall at West Lodge on November 26 to discuss the possibility of the moratorium. If you want your Parkdale expertise to be valued, go have your say where Gord will be present listening!
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Damien / November 8, 2012 at 11:00 am
Thanks Damien! I'll see if I can't make it out that night to see what exactly the issues are.

CM, I can see your point, although I've not personally had issues with bar patrons. Then again, I live across the street from the Beer Store, so I have my own special issues from that. :)
Goldie / November 8, 2012 at 06:47 pm
Damien - I was going to suggest the EXACT same thing.

Folks, commenting on the internet is one thing - attending a resident's association meeting or actually being involved in your community is another. Hope to see you all at the town hall meeting on the 26th of November.
Susan Gaby-trotz / November 8, 2012 at 07:09 pm
I have enjoyed the new restaurants in my neck of the woods, and I much prefer them to the influx of tattoo parlours, three old problematic bars between Jameson and Roncessvalles;however, I do miss my local dry cleaners who was forced out by a landlord who doubled the rents.
John / November 8, 2012 at 08:04 pm
Yes, would be great to see a strong turnout at the meeting. For me, the big issue here is the role of the AGCO in regulating these establishments. Calling yourself a restaurant just because you have few frozen snacks on hand is good enough for the AGCO. Restaurants do not impact a community the same way a club or all-day boozecan do, and yet they are often exposed to the same scrutiny and enforcement regime by the AGCO. This, in my view, is at the heart of the issue. It is also beyond the jurisdiction of the municipal government. Really, the problems related to excessive alcohol consumption and rowdy behaviour are limited to a few places, but everyone gets painted with the same brush because everyone applies for the same type of liquor license.

As for having a healthy mix of businesses in the area, well let's remember that they are businesses - they should be able to survive by providing something that's needed and doing it well. We shouldn't be trying to program the commercial mix of the neighbourhood.
Lalalala / November 9, 2012 at 08:51 am
Everybody *relax* it's a one year moratorium. This is sensible and responsible planning. If you don't think bars are a problem, tell that to my neighbour who's car was DESTROYED behind Wrongbar by some douchebag(s).
Johnny Cash 2.0 / November 9, 2012 at 11:39 am
Honestly, the area doesn't need any more bars right now, there is a more-than-adequate supply. I'd actually prefer to see new businesses that offer something different, and are open during daylight hours.

I've been living in Parkdale for 6+ years. Not that long, but long enough to witness significant change. Residing on Queen, I can attest to the fact that the strip has become MUCH nosier in recent years. The pre-wrongbar evenings were a dream — I slept like a baby. Not anymore. But oh well, I live on a busy artery and earplugs are cheap.

However, I'm still in favour of what Perks is after - more balance for the community. There is an overabundance of bars and we really don't need any more at the moment. Clubland is toast and people now party in smaller establishments all over the city. I get it. But, I think Parkdale has has been more-than-welcoming to the influx of revelers and it's time to maintain things without letting the post-midnight "scene" get any bigger. It's true that the older establishments like Stones Lounge are attracting a lot of the shit-faced youth, but that doesn't mean Parkdale shouldn't check it's speed and take a rest for a bit.

Gord / November 11, 2012 at 04:04 pm
Heard Perks on the CBC saying that restaurants are different than other businesses because they make so much money, so quickly that rents for miles around jump sky high!

Who knew?

Honey QUICK! Take out all our RSSP funds and invest it in club sandwiches and pancakes! We are going to be RICH!
cibi / November 19, 2012 at 04:38 pm
I've been living in Parkdale for 17 years. I've seen lots of changes some good, some bad. I can understand what Perks is doing, but while he's careful about limiting who can come into the area why can't he do something about the booze cans that already exist (the crap ones....Grace's Place, Queen's Hotel, Skadalara (however you spell it....) There have been tons of complaints about those, they oversell alcohol, there are fights that break out and still they've managed to hold onto their liquor licenses?? How is that. Seems like the don't like to give out new ones to responsible business, but they don't want to take away the licenses from irresponsible ones either. Another suggestion while I'm at it. How about telling owners of store fronts that they have to do something with their properties. There are so many vacant store fronts just sitting there empty. Some for years. Do something about that.
Mike / November 21, 2012 at 03:59 pm
This is so stupid. We're in a freaking city, not the suburbs.Shut up locals and grow some balls and let the city grow. Otherwise we'll be a crappy, no-fun oriented ugly semi-city that people grow bored up and no one wants to visit twice. Parkdale/Queen West have SO much potential to become an active hub for residents and tourists and people under the age of 40 to enjoy themselves. Let it happen.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from jay / December 10, 2012 at 04:49 pm
Even better, why not try restricting these condos to places like North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, East York, or York, as I've already mentioned (and on the land where former factories stood, much like the corner of Brimley & Don Mills that my mom lived at and that once had a Honeywell plant there?) Also, once (and when) those strip malls/plazas in the above-mentioned places go under, why not build the condos in question on those sites instead of destroying good neighborhoods in old Toronto with this crap?
Cedric / December 19, 2012 at 03:55 am
I recommend:
www wewatchthematch com
There are loads of affordable bars showing sports events while taking reservation for FREE, be it in Parkdale or anywhere else.
King/queen / February 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm
Haha Parkdale is jokes I know every place that all of you mentioned Parkdale is the shit
Other Cities: Montreal