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MolsonExport
Dec 15, 2005, 3:10 PM
Yark, argh, hiss. More parking lots. Maybe they will enlargen that massive Canadian flag out front by a third. Who are they really trying to kid?

Canadian, my ass.

The Great Scaper
Dec 16, 2005, 5:06 AM
I don't get to check on other threads that much but I am glad to here London is booming too!!! Spread the wealth!!! ---Cheers BOB---http://users.pandora.be/eforum/emoticons4u/music/musik01.gif

ldoto
Dec 17, 2005, 4:51 PM
NOTICE OF APPLICATION


Here's some new news that I read from the city!
This is great for the downtown area it is booming.


The Municipal Council for the City of London is considering an amendment to the City’s Zoning By-law
We are
advising you of this application to invite your comments.

APPLICANT: Auburn Developments Inc.

LOCATION: 484-500 Ridout Street North (see attached map)



POSSIBLE
AMENDMENT:
Change Zoning By-law Z.-1 from "Holding Downtown Area (h-3.DA2.D350.H90) "
(.7 acrewhich permits a broad range of residential, office and facility type uses at a
maximum density of 350 units per hectare and a maximum height of 90m subject
to completion of a wind study to "Downtown Area (DA2.D750.H90) " to permit
the same range of uses at a maximum density of 750 units per hectare and a
maximum height of 90 m (295 ft.) or approximately 28 storeys .
The purpose and effect of this zoning change is to permit the construction of a
23 storey, 210 unit apartment building on the .28 ha ) site (see
attached).The applicant has also submitted a site plan application (SP 05-
101845) which includes a site plan, building elevation and photo elevations (see
attached). Please note that because the applicant’s have requested bonusing
and the review process has just started, that the attached plans may change.
The final site plan, elevations etc. will be included in the bonusing clauses
included in the site plan agreement.

ldoto
Dec 20, 2005, 4:18 PM
London council last night stalled plans to build a Home Depot in east London so it could hear more from merchants who say they'll be squeezed out by the big-box retailer.

Many local business owners were blindsided by news Home Depot had been given a green light last week by the city's planning committee, Coun. Bill Armstrong said.

From family stores to established chains such as Canadian Tire, all deserve more of a chance to speak out about a development that could be the death knoll for some, he said.

"They're good corporate citizens. They deserve a right to speak," Armstrong said.

Planning committee chairperson Roger Caranci defended the process, saying, "We did have a public participation meeting. No business showed."

But the process followed, while legal, was inadequate, Coun. Joni Baechler said. Rules require notices be sent only to property owners within 400 feet.

That's not enough for a big-box store that can drive others out of business, a phenomenon some researchers have dubbed the "kill rate," Baechler said.

There's a glut of vacant commercial property in London -- about one million square feet -- so a new big box will add to that problem, she said.

The Home Depot would be on land north of Dundas Street and south of the train tracks, east of Clarke Road. The land had been earmarked for a 100-unit subdivision by the city's official plan.

Other business relied on that plan, anticipated new homes and expanded stores, Coun. Fred Tranquilli said.

To change the plan that dramatically would be unprecedented, he said.

"We should (only) do it with an abundance of caution," he said.

But Caranci said the time for housing had come and gone with no takers. The best hope for development now was for retail on the scale of nearby Argyle Mall.

"Nobody here's bigger on residential development in east London than me, but it won't happen here," Caranci said.

His colleagues weren't so convinced, voting 11-7 to refer the issue back to planning committee to seek more public input.

The area is served by Canadian Tire, Rona, Wal-Mart, Home Hardware, Copp's Buildall and a TSC store.

ldoto
Dec 21, 2005, 2:32 AM
Volunteers planted nearly 2,500 trees and shrubs across the city this year, surpassing ReForest London’s goal of 1,500 plantings.

“This year has been so encouraging,” said Julie Ryan of ReForest London. “I think it’s an important contribution by Londoners.”

Maples, oaks and tulip trees were among the native species planted across the city in parks, along streets and in schoolyards, she said.

“You’d be surprised how many schoolyards don’t have trees,” she said.

Megan Williams, a teacher at the Academie de la Tamise, a French public elementary school in London, is part of one group trying to raise the funds needed to secure the matching support from ReForest London for a 2006 project.

She hopes to raise enough money to plant at least six new trees at the school next year, she said.

“There’s absolutely no trees where the kids play,” she said.

“I really think (the students) will enjoy the shade,” she said.

:cool:

ldoto
Dec 21, 2005, 6:01 PM
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2005/IMGP3240.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2005/IMGP3241.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2005/IMGP3243.jpg



The Capulet Lane Apartment is in the Old West end of the city it is 12 floors Construction end 2005. More to come soon!

Coldrsx
Dec 28, 2005, 5:16 PM
^im sorry, but that is just awful.

Blitz
Dec 29, 2005, 12:01 AM
That building is only about 100m from my building! (It looks a lot like mine too).

MolsonExport
Dec 29, 2005, 2:53 PM
That crane has been planting weeks all year.

ldoto
Dec 29, 2005, 5:07 PM
The president of the London Chamber of Commerce is 'much more optimistic.'


London Chamber of Commerce president David Gurnham said the city has an edge thanks to its proximity to Cami Automotive in Ingersoll and the coming Toyota plant. (Ken Wightman ,LFP)
David Gurnham is trained to look at the bottom line and by that measure, he says the city's economy is in good shape.

Gurnham, a 48-year-old chartered accountant, took over as president of the London Chamber of Commerce in July.

A partner in the London office of Deloitte, he works closely with manufacturing clients, especially in the automotive sector.

Despite the intense pressures facing the North American auto industry, he said London's workforce and proximity to Cami Automotive and the soon-to-be-built Toyota plant gives the city an edge. "There is going to be a fundamental shift with winners and losers, but we will have enough winners to do very well."

The Halifax native ended up in Deloitte's Toronto office, but decided to settle in London. "I was attracted by the size of the city. I like Toronto, but I didn't want to raise a family there."


Gurnham's wife, Eveline, is a real estate agent with Royal Lepage. The couple have a son attending Carleton University in Ottawa and a son and daughter at Saunders secondary school.

To balance his working life, Gurnham runs about five times a week and escapes to the family cottage near Peterborough. He has also coached minor hockey for about 10 years, currently coaching a West London midget team.

While Gurnham is optimistic about the local auto industry, he said the chamber needs to act on potential economic threats, such as gridlock at the crucial Windsor border crossing.

He said auto-related businesses are incurring higher transportation costs, especially when security is tightened, but progress on a new border crossing at Windsor has been slow.

Gurnham said the rising value of the Canadian dollar has been painful to many export-oriented businesses, but so far most have been able to handle the pressure.

"If you had asked me when we had a 62-cent dollar whether we would be in trouble at 87 cents, I would have said yes, but we are still doing reasonably well."

After several years when the chamber slammed sharp increases in municipal taxes, Gurnham said he would like to have a "balanced" relationship with city hall, noting the chamber was "reasonably happy" with this year's city budget.

He said he would also like to broaden the chamber's membership. There are about 1,000 members, but there are about 9,000-12,000 businesses that aren't.

Gurnham said the best part of his chamber role is the energy he draws from the people he meets.

"I've met a lot of people who are genuinely interested in making London a better place to live . . . I am much more optimistic about the city."

ldoto
Jan 2, 2006, 10:47 PM
Update!

There a update on the new 13 floors Proudfoot lane apartments by old oak's. :)


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2005/IMGP3239.jpg



http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2005/IMGP3236.jpg

ldoto
Jan 7, 2006, 5:50 PM
Bob Usher, general manager of Covent Garden Market and the incoming chairperson of the London Downtown Business Association, says the downtown needs "more people, more employment options, and the parking issue needs to be addressed.

For downtown London to survive in the Big Box world of tomorrow, it needs to develop a unique character, says Robert T. Usher, the new chairperson of the London Downtown Business Association (LDBA), which represents more than 400 local businesses.

The downtown is improving, Mr. Usher said in an interview with The Londoner - something people who haven't visited for a while always notice.

But to succeed, "We need to be different from the big box stores and continue to keep the uniqueness downtown."

Usher, general manager of Covent Garden Market, brings a broad background to his new role. He has experience provincially with five years as the Ontario regional manager of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). His regional experience includes work with Olympia and York in development, travelling back and forth to Toronto and as director of tourism for Sarnia-Lambton. Locally he has 14 years as general manager of White Oaks Mall.

As general manager of Covent Garden Market he has seen a 27 per cent increase in sales up of the end of October from two years ago and the market has been ranked in the top 10 nationally. He also does retail consulting on the side.

Like many Londoners, he is passionate about this place he calls home.

"London is where I want to be. London is home and will probably always be."

What do you see as the priorities for downtown London in terms of redevelopment?

There are a couple of major issues and one of them is the tax evaluation process. We want to take a good look at that and some of the inequalities. We also want to continue to drive MainStreet. (The Downtown Business Association is the funding partner of MainStreet).

We also want to continue to fill the vacancies downtown. There's even evidence of new construction with the geared-to-income housing development. There are opportunities that we need to continue to attract. One of the goals of the LDBA through MainStreet is to find a way to allow individuals to look at their properties because there is an incentive for redevelopment. We need to start looking at some incentives to do better.

There are 51 vendors in Covent Garden Market. It's that type of individual who will succeed downtown. We need to be different from the big box stores and continue to keep the uniqueness downtown.

The one thing you need to be clear on is that it is not Bob Usher's job. I am working with a very committed board. My job is to facilitate the roles and actions. I have a very committed board that think outside of the box. We even brought in outside real estate to find some creative ways because of the committed board.

What have been the major successes downtown over the past few years?

If you look around the vacancy rates are way down, with the success here at the market, and the John Labatt Centre with things like the Memorial Cup - when people who came downtown that haven't been here in a while, they were pleasantly surprised.

What does downtown absolutely have to have? A grocery store, for example?

Grocery has always been perceived as missing in downtown. I'm not sure if grocery is the issue. What we need is more diversity in services. What we need is the ability to buy dry goods. We have noticed our customers buy fresh two or three times a week. It certainly needs more people, more employment options, and the parking issue needs to be addressed.

Although in the past everyone thought they could drive up to the front of a store and shop, but if you were in another city you would find that London with its parking is good. We need to look at our expectations in a realistic way. Downtown is pretty healthy.

If you look at Jonathon (Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Interiors) and Mark who has just opened up the chocolate bar, when you look at that you begin to say isn't that just a bit creative. There is an audience. The Novack's of the world that offers something unique.

Downtown is unique and different. It's entrepreneurial and it offers a real variety. Look at Kingsmill's, it's been there 150 years but the product they sell is unique across the city. Certainly the entertainment factor is huge.

How can or will the Creative Cities Report impact the city's downtown?

I haven't participated. Janette MacDonald, manager of MainStreet London has for both our boards. We, from a creative city's stance, need to be looked at beyond economics and clean streets. The city will be looked at from the soft components like the arts. Our younger generation are realizing that the arts and heritage are important. This city, in a lot of ways, we're losing our young people. When we redevelop we have to look into the other side of the equation, there's a cause and effect.

There's a reality that exists, what is it that we will be leaving behind? As LDBA and MainStreet, we are always aware of that. What are the long-term benefits and it always contains the arts and heritage, it has to. It has to have a business case but we all want to be proud of our community.

What are the biggest inhibitors to a successful downtown?

The biggest inhibitor right now is people's perception. People who haven't been here in a while need to come down and walk around. It's not what it used to be but it's different. Pretty much every city has had to reinvent and reinvest in their downtown. For people in White Oaks and Masonville, that is their downtown. But we have evidence now and we can prove and show that it is rapidly improving with things to do. Downtown is a living, healthy microcosm. It is always changing and there are natural evolutions and I believe we are ahead of the game. One of the things we don't want to look at is just the punitive end of cleaning up downtown with all the partners.

How can heritage and development work collaboratively in re-inventing downtown?

I think as some of these buildings are being sold and second and third generation Londoners are starting to pick them up, we need to educate owners about the value of the buildings and the ambiance it creates.

At the same time we are cognisant about what we are saving. Is it structurally sound? Is it worth saving? Our role is to bring these two together. We should be looking at that process very seriously every time.

What would be on your wish list for downtown for 2006?

I think I've mentioned a few of them already. My number one issue would be that the media take a realistic look at downtown and report on the positive. Because of the political will and the volunteers and the amazing amount of time that city employees put into downtown is huge. Downtown has come a long way.:frog:

Tony
Jan 13, 2006, 1:16 AM
ok you crazy Londoners, I will be moving to your fair city for two months starting Jan 28/29th. I need a 2 month short-term lease for myself and my fiance. Anyone got some leads?

ldoto
Jan 19, 2006, 5:53 PM
Almost 400,000 passengers flew from its runways last year.



London airport saw a record number of passengers lifting off its tarmac last year, as nearly 400,000 took flight -- a 24 per cent increase over 2004.

And for the first time in its history, the number of passengers from outside London exceeded Londoners -- 55 per cent from the region -- and cemented the airport's status as a regional transportation hub, Steve Baker, president and chief executive of London International Airport, said yesterday.

"It is a record, all-time high for us, it is phenomenal growth," he said.

Most airports in Canada saw traffic increase four to six per cent.

"The difference for us now is that we are marketing ourselves outside London. When we built the new terminal, we wanted to become the hub of transportation in Southwestern Ontario and the airlines are telling us more people are travelling from London."

The growth coincides with a solid year for Tourism London, said John Winston, general manager of Tourism London. The city played host to 34,236 visitors last year, a an increase of 2,000, or five per cent, from 2004.

The city got a boost from the Memorial Cup, which saw about 2,000 visitors for the events. But an academic humanities conference -- the city's largest conference to date -- saw 6,000 visitors from around the world in London for two weeks filling the hotels, he said.

Rounding out the year's top tourist events were the World Transplant Games, which attracted 1,500 visitors.

While those numbers will be tough to top, Tourism London is looking to three more big events to keep people coming to London. This year, the city hosts the Scott Tournament of Hearts Canadian women's curling championship, the world field lacrosse championships and the LPGA Canadian Open.

As for the airport, greater demand for service has seen carriers increase flights from the city. Westjet shut down its Windsor service and consolidated those flights to London, increasing flights here to seven a week from four

ldoto
Jan 25, 2006, 2:42 AM
Home Depot, ward appeal both get nod



East London will get a new Home Depot despite concern about its effect on local business.

City council approved the big box store north of Dundas Street east of Clarke Road on land previously earmarked for a 100-unit subdivision.

"I see nothing but good coming from this development," said Ward 4 Coun. Roger Caranci, chairperson of council's planning committee.

"And there is interest in new housing in East London but in other locations. We've sacrificed 100 lots to potentially getting hundreds more."

The controversial development was opposed by Caranci's wardmate, Coun. Bill Armstrong, who argued the big box store would hurt local retailers and take away much-needed residential land.

Coun. David Winninger agreed.

"This development may be good for the proponent, but it's not good for the neighbourhood," Winninger said.

Several businesses expressed concern about the Home Depot and sent letters. But no one objected at a second public meeting last week, Caranci noted.

The cost to clean up the site is estimated at $2.3 million, which would include drainage and fencing, a cost that discouraged residential developers, Caranci said.

Though the Home Depot may be a concern for some local businesses, Caranci said, it will improve the attractiveness of the entire Argyle commercial area and fuel more residential development.

A move to defer a decision for two weeks to get more information on a legal dispute related to the land sale failed to get support of council.

In other business, a motion for city council to reconsider London's appeal of an Ontario Municipal Board order to replace the current seven-ward electoral system with 14 wards was defeated without discussion.

Coun. Harold Usher, who supported the appeal, said it would be a waste of money because Londoners appear to have accepted the idea.

But Usher's motion for reconsideration failed to get the required two-thirds majority support of the 19-member council to get on the table for discussion.

ldoto
Jan 29, 2006, 5:12 AM
This is good news to me I live two minites from that corner. Before I would have to drive 20 mins to go to the new home depot across the city.
:)







Despite claims of a glut, demand keeps rising, so developers keep adding new shopping space.


Consumer confidence is being credited for a drop in London's retail vacancy rate in 2005, despite a flurry of new construction.

The vacancy rate dropped a full point to 7.4 per cent over the course of the year, said Peter Whatmore of the London office of CB Richard Ellis.

Just over 200,000 square feet of additional retail space was constructed in the city last year, but almost twice as much, 376,749 square feet, was absorbed in the market.

Whatmore, a senior vice-president, says the vacancy drop shows consumer confidence -- spending -- and the retail trade is strong in the city.

"The debate about London being overretailed has been lurking around for 20 years, but we continue to get new construction," he said.

The vacancy rate in the downtown core dropped from 15.4 to 14.4 per cent per cent, partly because of ongoing conversion of retail space to office space in Galleria London.

But even without the conversion, there was a net drop of 32,000 square feet in downtown vacant space. Vacancies in the suburban area fell, with the exception of east London, where they rose slightly.

Major retail projects completed or underway include:

- RioCan's development of a 325,000-square-foot centre at Highbury Avenue and Commissioners Road, anchored by a Loblaws and a Rona outlet.

- A new 147,137-square-foot Home Depot and Michael's Arts and Crafts store at Wonderland and Southland Roads.

- A Wal-Mart expansion in northwest London and its opening of a fourth location.

Whatmore said the rapid suburban expansion marks a shift in retail patterns.

"There's no question that the transition out of malls and into big-box space will continue," he said.

But the boom of retail growth on the fringes of the city is still raising concerns.

Ward 1 Councillor Judy Bryant said she is cheered by some improvement in downtown vacancies, but said city council is allowing retail expansion in the suburbs with no regard for the city's official plan.

"We are paying dearly for all of this. We cannot afford to service all these peripheral areas."

Developers are favouring suburban development, she said, simply because it is cheaper.

The downtown businesses will continue to suffer along with smaller retail nodes such as the corner of Hyde Park and Gainsborough roads in her ward, she added.

"It's pushing lots of local businesses out. It's such a terrible shame
__________________

Tony
Feb 1, 2006, 2:04 PM
NOT sure if this has been reported in this thread yet, but some exciting news, there's a picture of it in the paper today:

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2006/02/01/1420653-sun.html

Landowner will build it if they come

Wed, February 1, 2006

By JOE BELANGER, FREE PRESS CITY HALL REPORTER



Shmuel Farhi is ready, but is London?

That's what London's largest downtown landowner wants to know as he lays the groundwork for what could become the city's most luxurious core residential tower at the site of the former Central Library on Queens Avenue.

"Is this city ready for something this luxurious? When the market tells me they are, I'll be moving on it right away," Farhi said yesterday.

For now, his proposed 30-storey, $35-million-plus project is just a drawing, the largest project he's tackled.

But Farhi is moving ahead with plans to redevelop the library building he bought from the city for $2.4 million into "signature" office space that would house one or a few major tenants.

"We are talking to a few clients, but nothing is done yet," Farhi said. "We will renovate to their specifications, their needs."

The condo tower would have 28 floors above ground and two below.

It would be set back and slightly to the east of the library building.

The first three floors would be occupied by three street-level townhouses, designed to resemble the library.

The rest of the highrise would be designed "to complement" the city's tallest downtown tower, the 25-storey One London Place building, which Farhi has long admired.

"I think that's a great building with great presence," said Farhi, adding his tower, with lower ceilings, won't rise quite as high. "It speaks for itself."

The next 20 floors would each contain five units with windows and balconies facing north, east and west.

The 25th to 27th floors each would house four units, while the top three floors would each contain two units with floor space in excess of 3,000 square feet.

City council's planning committee gave the needed rezoning for the proposal the green light Monday and council is expected to follow next week.

Farhi's plan for the luxury building is already drawing rave reviews, especially from realtors.

Rick Cleed, president of J.J. Barnicke, which does business with Farhi, said he plans to be among the first to buy.

Cleed says he works downtown and enjoys the nightlife.

"My wife and I absolutely love the downtown," he said, adding he's attracted not only by the luxury, but by the fact it's unlikely to attract many students due to the prices -- in excess of $300,000 for the smallest units.

"I think you're going to see more and more people migrating to the downtown," Cleed said.

Realtor George Georgopoulos said there's growing demand for luxury condos as boomers look to downsize from their suburban homes.

"It's what London needs," he said. "And, with Farhi, he wouldn't build something unless he was willing to live in it himself."

Janette MacDonald, manager of Main Street London, said she hopes Farhi builds the tower "sooner than later."

"It's just what we need downtown and, obviously, we're happy the old Central Library is going to be maintained," she said.

MolsonExport
Feb 1, 2006, 3:06 PM
London badly needs another ~30 storey to densify the core, and to complement One London Place.

Finally, a skyline commensurable with the size of the population.

ldoto
Feb 3, 2006, 2:25 AM
Here's some new pics of the proposed 30-storey Former Central Library,
$35-million-plus project


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3480.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3481.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3478.jpg

ldoto
Feb 4, 2006, 3:56 AM
Here's some new pics that I found from the proposed 30-storey Former Central Library, $35-million-plus project!



http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/3482.jpg


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/3483.jpg

JBinCalgary
Feb 9, 2006, 3:51 AM
those are some great designs. way to go london!

ldoto
Feb 14, 2006, 5:33 PM
London, this Bud's for you.

Fresh on the heels of a $40-million investment that shifted production from its closed Toronto brewery to London, Labatt Breweries has relocated its Bud and Bud Light keg line to London from Montreal.

"We made the decision that based on logistics, it just made sense to brew it in London, since it is for the Ontario market," said Charlie Angelakos, Labatt spokesperson.

The Horton Street brewery also saw 61 full-time jobs transferred here as a result of the investment, which came about after Labatt decided to close its Toronto brewery.

The brewer announced in June plants in London and Montreal would share production from the shuttered Toronto plant, and London won a new keg line, as well as a packaging line, fermenting operation and brew house.

But the Bud and Bud Light for the Ontario market was added in December.

The new keg lines will brew 360 kegs an hour or the equivalent of 4.5 million cases of beer a year, but Labatt declined to reveal how much of that will be the new Bud.

The keg line also brews Blue and Blue Light for the U.S. and domestic market and Labatt Crystal.

"We made a $40-million investment in the London brewery and at the end of the day, it is a big investment, it is a big economic development initiative for the city," said Angelakos.

The expansion and investment will boost the plant's capacity about 45 per cent to 4.1 million hectolitres annually, the equivalent of one billion bottles of beer.

In December, the plant saw eight gigantic vats, each able to brew a million bottles of beer, trucked to London from Sarnia and Toronto, as part of the expansion.

The eight fermenters here will be running by the end of March and a new brew house will open in June. The physical expansion of the plant should be competed by mid-May, added Angelakos.

In other Labatt news, brewery spokesperson Bob Chant has left to take a position as chief of staff for John Tory, leader of the provincial Conservative party.

The London brewery now employs about 390, including 50 temporary workers

MolsonExport
Feb 20, 2006, 9:14 PM
I don't like this new thread location.

MolsonExport
Mar 8, 2006, 7:18 PM
Did Ldoto die?

Tony
Mar 10, 2006, 9:19 PM
Maybe he can't find his thread?

ldoto
Mar 13, 2006, 4:23 AM
I don't like this new thread location to MolsonExport

crooked rain
Mar 13, 2006, 4:33 AM
Ask them to move it back. I used to browse this thread in the Ontario section, and God knows that section of the forum could use a little life.

twolondonplace
Mar 18, 2006, 8:43 PM
NOTICE OF APPLICATION


Here's some new news that I read from the city!
This is great for the downtown area it is booming.


The Municipal Council for the City of London is considering an amendment to the City’s Zoning By-law
We are
advising you of this application to invite your comments.

APPLICANT: Auburn Developments Inc.

LOCATION: 484-500 Ridout Street North (see attached map)



POSSIBLE
AMENDMENT:
Change Zoning By-law Z.-1 from "Holding Downtown Area (h-3.DA2.D350.H90) "
(.7 acrewhich permits a broad range of residential, office and facility type uses at a
maximum density of 350 units per hectare and a maximum height of 90m subject
to completion of a wind study to "Downtown Area (DA2.D750.H90) " to permit
the same range of uses at a maximum density of 750 units per hectare and a
maximum height of 90 m (295 ft.) or approximately 28 storeys .
The purpose and effect of this zoning change is to permit the construction of a
23 storey, 210 unit apartment building on the .28 ha ) site (see
attached).The applicant has also submitted a site plan application (SP 05-
101845) which includes a site plan, building elevation and photo elevations (see
attached). Please note that because the applicant’s have requested bonusing
and the review process has just started, that the attached plans may change.
The final site plan, elevations etc. will be included in the bonusing clauses
included in the site plan agreement.


ok, so i checked on that adress, its on ridout st near the lerner's law firm. lerners is building a new 3 or 4 floor addition on that lot, but i havent heard anything about a 210 unit apartment building...anyone have any more info?







---->only Chuck Norris can divide by zero

twolondonplace
Mar 18, 2006, 8:46 PM
oh, and does anyone know of any knew developments in Shmuel Fahri's plan for the old library on Queens?

ldoto
Mar 21, 2006, 2:56 AM
New Flights

Sunwing Airlines offers coast to coast non-stop flights from London
17 Mar 2006 - Sunwing Airlines offers coast to coast non-stop flights from London

(ONTARIO – MARCH 17, 2006) – Sunwing Airlines and London International Airport announced today that Sunwing Airlines will be offering non-stop flights from London to both Halifax and Vancouver.

These programs will operate on Sunwing Airlines 189 seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

LONDON TO HALIFAX

Two weekly flights departing Tuesdays & Fridays from June 23 to September 15

LONDON TO VANCOUVER

Two weekly flights departing Mondays & Thursdays from June 22 to September 14

Airfares to Halifax are $149 and to Vancouver are $249.

“This new direct service will provide affordable travel options and will greatly benefit travelers to and from London and our region of Southwestern Ontario. “The direct service is a new opportunity to travel coast to coast from London with low cost service,” “Sunwing has operated a very successful program to Cuba and the Dominican Republic over the past three years and is rated as one of our best airlines in customer service surveys” said Steve Baker, President, London International Airport.

Passenger volumes at the London International Airport increased by 24% in 2005 and have increased by 12% in 2006.

Stephen Hunter, Sunwing Airlines Chief Operating Officer stated “We are very excited to launch this new service from London to Halifax and Vancouver. This enables us to provide a year-round commitment to the region of Southwestern Ontario.”

Sunwing Airlines flights are available through professional Travel Agents or at www.flysunwing.com

ldoto
Mar 21, 2006, 9:43 PM
Originally Posted by twolondonplace oh, and does anyone know of any knew developments in Shmuel Fahri's plan for the old library on Queens?




One of London's biggest core-area developers knocked city hall yesterday for discouraging the preservation of historic buildings.

"Politicians talk about heritage a lot, but there's no money or incentives for it," said Shmuel Farhi.

Developers who take on heritage properties are "penalized" with high development charges and higher taxes, he told members of Heritage London Foundation at its annual meeting.

Those levies, added to the unpredictability of renovation costs, scare most developers away from heritage buildings, he said.

Farhi said he's renovated historic buildings and has had a tenfold increase in property taxes afterward because of the increased value of the sites.

In a few cases, he said, he's paid almost as much in development charges as he paid for a building.

Farhi said he's also required to bring old buildings up to code, yet receives no breaks for that.

Older buildings with high ceilings are more expensive to heat and cool and often don't have much parking -- a deterrent to attracting tenants, he said.

Farhi owns about 50 buildings and 400,000 square feet of space in downtown London. He has only 50 parking spaces when municipal regulations say he should have 1,600.

"We have buildings worth saving, but we need policies to help save them," he said.

"We should be helping private developers willing to do it, not penalizing them for it."

Last summer, Farhi purchased the old central library on Queens Avenue for $2.4 million and has had to remove asbestos.

He plans to retain the front of the building and its big lobby and build apartments behind or beside it.

ldoto
Mar 21, 2006, 9:45 PM
Developer Peter Sergautis stands in front of some of the 80 hectares of property he owns near Adelaide Street and Sunningdale Road. (Sue Reeve, LFP)
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly and developers gotta make money.

Just how much developers are going to make on what London planners are calling placemaking subdivisions will play a major role in any decision to head down one of these new-style streets, says one of the city's biggest developers, Bernie Zaifman.

"We're all in business to try to make money, people who make cookies or chocolate bars or whatever," says the head of Z Group.

Zaifman's Z Group is one of several developers working with the city on a new way of designing and building subdivisions.

The style, evident in the GTA for two decades, is called new urbanism, new suburbanism and smart growth. London planners are calling it placemaking.


Z Group's property on the southeast corner of Commissioners Road East and Jackson's Road will be the test plot for placemaking.

Sometime this fall, after months of meetings and wrestling with placemaking concepts, a group of planners and developers will design a subdivision unlike any other in London for Z Group's land.

Then the costs and profits of that subdivision will be calculated and compared to the traditional design already made for the land.

Then, Z Group may build a placemaking subdivision.

"We want to develop a sense of community that may not be there in a typical subdivision where you've got rows and rows of houses that are jammed together," Zaifman says.

"Placemaking is more important today than it's ever been because people are looking for something different, a different flavour of architecture, a different flavour of community."

A strong market demand can translate into quick house sales, which can make additional costs for developers worth it, Zaifman says.

Besides quick sales, there is much Zaifman likes about placemaking, from the small parkettes that give a neighbourhood a small-town feel to the wide and shallow lots that showcase the front of a home, not the front of a garage.

"The streetscape. That to me is the No. 1 benefit. It is much friendlier. The architectural details of the house, rather than the garage, are more outstanding. It gives you the ability to do those details."

But a conversation with Zaifman also reveals some concerns about placemaking that must be addressed before big developers take to the ideas in a big way.

For example, Zaifman doesn't seem willing to abandon the cherished theory that lots and houses backing onto parks will bring in more dollars than houses that front the park across the road.

Roads along a park or woodlot or lake that have houses on one side are called single-load roads because they have houses on only one side.

Single load roads mean half the load of money for builders.

"I think that single-load roads can be useful, but they can be very expensive," Zaifman says. "You are paying for the same road that would put houses on either side. There has to be a situation where you are getting a great benefit from the parkland or open space area."

Urban design expert Michael Hannay argues that developers actually make more money by setting up parks that give houses fronting the greenspace and near the greenspace a higher value.

"I have always been interested in seeing how these communities evolve," says Hannay, who has designed several new urbanist neighbourhoods. "I knock on doors, go into sales office."

Hannay says he learned houses on streets running perpendicular to the parks sold almost as fast as those that front parks.

"They are selling fastest because they are close to the park or have a partial view or across the street with a view."

A park open to more houses creates more houses that can be sold at a premium, he says.

That allows new urbanist subdivisions to actually make more money than traditional ones, Hannay concludes .

Zaifman isn't so sure.

"I am not convinced of that. When you back onto a park or back onto a ravine, it is very significant in premiums."

Zaifman also isn't sure about giving up entirely on cul-de-sacs, the bane of new urban developments.

Cul-de-sacs, say new urbanists, hinder people from walking around their neighbourhoods because they have to go so far just to get to neighbouring streets.

"The cul-de-sacs are a lot more saleable" than straight streets, Zaifman counters.

"From the buyer point of view, it is a big thing. Cul-de-sacs are a big demand."

Other concerns of Zaifman include back lanes and the insistence by some new urbanists that each neighbourhood have a commercial centre inside the subdivision.

"I don't like the back alleys. I think it's a waste of pavement. . . . It creates more runoff. It makes it more expensive for the homebuyer.

It just adds to the cost of maintaining the roads. Some people believe it increases crime rates. It creates these dark areas where criminals can hang out."

Zaifman also points out that where developers will make changes, sometimes the city will not.

The city doesn't like maintaining small parkettes, for example.

And engineers resist narrower streets and homes close to those streets.

"I think it is a waste of land being so far back," Zaifman says. " If you could reduce those road widths and get a few more houses per acre, you could reduce the housing costs. Instead of chewing up the acres of farmland every year, we could reduce that."

Zaifman already had plans for a new-style subdivision on the test plot, but slowed down the process to work with the city. The relationship allows him a bit of a safety net.

"Innovation is a dangerous thing for developers because the process is so long. It takes three years to get a shovel in the ground and you don't know if it will work. If you've got to give up a significant amount of profit, the business case of doing a development may be questionable. "

Even so, Zaifman is both a little tired of the old design and a little worried about losing market share -- a combination that seems to have inspired other developers to try a new style.

"I think trying some of these things are risky, but I think it is worthwhile because we have to move ahead with housing designs," Zaifman says. "We don't want to do the same old, same old, over and over again."

At the other end of London, developer Peter Sergautis hopes to have the shovels in the ground a year from now on a subdivision that would put a bit of Old North and Wortley Village on 100 acres of fields.

"We're committed. We think it will capture the imagination of homebuyers," says Sergautis about the planned development at the northwest corner of Sunningdale Road and Adelaide Street.

Always a fan of Wortley Village and an avid supporter of new urbanism, Sergautis decided to try a different style of development on his property.

"I look at what the other builders are doing. It seems to me they are doing the same thing they have been doing for the last 30, 40 years: building two- or three-car garages with houses behind."

"I want to pick up the things that have been lost in the new subdivisions and duplicate what made Wortley Village one of the more attractive areas to live in."

Key elements would include interesting architecture from several builders, shopping within walking distance, parkettes and rear lanes in some areas.

Essential to the community would be a focus. Sergautis says it "could be a bakery/cafe, or several buildings that cater to the community."

"Instead of sterile parks, we want to create neighbourhood parkettes scattered about."

The area's large environmental area, at present a woodlot, would not have houses backing onto it, but a road that showcases it to everyone, he says.

"That way, the whole community benefits," adds associate Howard Crummer.

A large shopping area off Sunningdale would have front and rear access, so residents of the community would have the same access as drivers heading along Sunningdale.

There would be 1,000 units, with 500 to 600 family units and the rest townhouses and low-rise apartment units.

Modern suburbs lose out because they appeal to only one economic or social class of resident, Sergautis says.

"Right now, developers are trying to isolate, sterilize with one type of housing.

The street pattern in the community would be a true grid, but shorter streets would ease suburbanites' concerns about cars racing through the neighbourhood, Crummer says.

Houses would be closer to the street and rear lanes with detached garages would go behind some of the units.

Sergautis and Crummer dismiss concerns buyers will shy away from rear lanes and detached garages.

It's true builders worry about paying for more roadway and the question of who maintains the lanes -- the city or the homeowners -- has to be settled. But builders can actually put in more houses per acre with rear lanes, Sergautis says.

Homeowners get more of a house because less space is taken up by the garage.

There has always been a stable market in Old North and Old South for attractive homes with detached garages and people have always paid a premium price for homes there, Sergautis says.

Those older houses are often costly to renovate or maintain and are hampered by small kitchens and low basements.

So why not buy a new house that looks the same? Sergautis asks.

There are still a lot of wrinkles to work out, but, Sergautis says, he's committed to placemaking.

ldoto
Mar 22, 2006, 9:49 PM
St. Joseph's Health Care in London got the provincial green light yesterday to move ahead with more than $20 million in rebuilding under Ontario's controversial private-sector financing program.

"We are just delighted that they are honouring their commitments," said David Crockett, integrated vice-president of St. Joseph's and London Health Sciences Centre.

The work will be done at St. Joseph's Grosvenor Street site, where about $45 million in construction has already been completed.

The new construction will be on the hospital's southeast side with renovation of about 7,200 square metres, including the urgent care centre, cataract suite, health care records area, urology department and diabetes centre.

"It is going to take us about a year to a year and a half to do it," said Crockett.

To finance the St. Joseph's projects, the government is turning to the private sector under a program it has dubbed Alternative Financing and Procurement.

Companies are being asked to bid on putting up the money and doing the construction work. In turn, the province will pay the companies back over a period of as long as 40 years.

Wilson Lee, spokesperson for Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan, declined to release the ministry's estimated cost of the St. Joseph's projects.

"We are not sharing cost estimates. We have learned in the past that once we start floating our cost estimates, that becomes the floor from which everybody else starts bidding. What we want to do is maintain the competitive tension," he said.

The financing method has been attacked by critics who maintain it amounts to the privatization of health care.

Caplan has said it's not privatization because the public sector owns the hospitals.

Without the private financing, many hospital projects wouldn't be able to go ahead, Caplan has said.

Other projects approved to go ahead yesterday included expansion and renovation of the Bluewater Health Norman site hospital in Sarnia, Sudbury Regional Hospital, Quinte Healthcare in Belleville, Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, and construction of a new youth justice facility in Brampton.

ldoto
Mar 22, 2006, 9:49 PM
St. Joseph's Health Care in London got the provincial green light yesterday to move ahead with more than $20 million in rebuilding under Ontario's controversial private-sector financing program.

"We are just delighted that they are honouring their commitments," said David Crockett, integrated vice-president of St. Joseph's and London Health Sciences Centre.

The work will be done at St. Joseph's Grosvenor Street site, where about $45 million in construction has already been completed.

The new construction will be on the hospital's southeast side with renovation of about 7,200 square metres, including the urgent care centre, cataract suite, health care records area, urology department and diabetes centre.

"It is going to take us about a year to a year and a half to do it," said Crockett.

To finance the St. Joseph's projects, the government is turning to the private sector under a program it has dubbed Alternative Financing and Procurement.

Companies are being asked to bid on putting up the money and doing the construction work. In turn, the province will pay the companies back over a period of as long as 40 years.

Wilson Lee, spokesperson for Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan, declined to release the ministry's estimated cost of the St. Joseph's projects.

"We are not sharing cost estimates. We have learned in the past that once we start floating our cost estimates, that becomes the floor from which everybody else starts bidding. What we want to do is maintain the competitive tension," he said.

The financing method has been attacked by critics who maintain it amounts to the privatization of health care.

Caplan has said it's not privatization because the public sector owns the hospitals.

Without the private financing, many hospital projects wouldn't be able to go ahead, Caplan has said.

Other projects approved to go ahead yesterday included expansion and renovation of the Bluewater Health Norman site hospital in Sarnia, Sudbury Regional Hospital, Quinte Healthcare in Belleville, Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, and construction of a new youth justice facility in Brampton.

ldoto
Mar 24, 2006, 3:08 AM
Air Canada is winging its way west from London, with its Jazz operation starting daily jet service to Winnipeg.

"It means there will be a higher level of service out of London," Steve Baker, president and chief executive of London International Airport, said yesterday.

The service announced yesterday will feature 50-seat Bombardier regional jets and offer one-way fares for $192, matching rival Westjet's Winnipeg-London service.

The flight from Winnipeg will arrive at London at about 4 p.m. and depart 40 minutes later, seven days a week.

Jazz now flies from London to Toronto and Ottawa, and will add the Winnipeg flights in August. It considers London a regional centre for Southwestern Ontario, said Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick.

"London is an important market and Jazz has a sizable operation there. It is well placed as a catchment area for Southwestern Ontario and we are optimistic the service will do well," he said.

Last week the airport announced a new airline, Sunwing Airlines, will offer direct flights to Halifax and Vancouver from London.

Sunwing will offer flights from London to Halifax on Tuesdays and Fridays, from June 23 to Sept. 15. It will offer two weekly flights from London to Vancouver, departing Mondays and Thursdays, from June 22 to Sept. 14.

But there's more to come, with the airport in talks to add direct flight service to Chicago and Washington, Baker said.

As for other Western Canada service, Westjet operates flights from London to Calgary and on to Vancouver, as well as from London to Winnipeg and Edmonton.

"We have tremendous connections and price and this just makes for more competition for Western Canada," Baker said.

Passenger volume at London International Airport rose 24 per cent last year and has grown 12 per cent in 2006, he added.

ldoto
Mar 25, 2006, 4:24 AM
A review of yesterday's provincial budget has uncovered a 14 million dollar payday for the city of London.
It's one of the biggest pay days for the city, and it's all new money, but it took awhile to find it.

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan gave the impression that the budget was about one region... Toronto and area... and that region only.

However, London is getting a chunck of 90 million dollars earmarked for southwestern Ontario.

The money will be spent mainly on infrastructure like road and sewer construction and repair.

ldoto
Mar 29, 2006, 2:19 AM
The London firm will announce a deal today involving 24 apartment buildings.


ICORR Properties International will announce today a deal with Toronto-based TransGlobe Property Management Services involving 24 apartment buildings in London and Sarnia, the Free Press has learned.

The residential buildings are part of the Carlton Group, a real estate empire amassed by Norton Wolf, a well-known London businessperson and philanthropist.

The Carlton holdings became part of ICORR, a property service company founded by Norton Wolf's son, Ron, in 1986.

The deal does not affect commercial properties owned or managed by Carlton or ICORR.

ICORR is expected to refocus and expand its holdings in the sector.

Transglobe will take over management of the 24 apartment buildings, but the Carlton Group is expected to retain some stake in ownership.

TransGlobe is already a major player in the London market. In 2002, the company bought 22 apartment buildings with an estimated value of $160 million from developer Tony Gratt. Last year the company bought three more apartment towers on Mornington Ave.

TransGlobe controls about 4,000 apartments and more than 4.1 million square feet of commercial space across Canada.

The company's president, University of Western Ontario graduate Daniel Drimmer, has described London as an excellent market for his company.

ICORR president Ron Wolf declined to comment on the deal, which is not expected to close until later today.

Ron Wolf said his father, a member of the London Business Hall of Fame, bought his first building, Carlton Court on Ridout Street South, in 1959 and went on to build many of the city's high-rise buildings.

"He was a major part of building the highrise skyline in London," he said.

ICORR AND TRANSGLOBE

DANIEL DRIMMER

Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Drimmer earned his BA at the University of Western Ontario and an MBA in Montreux, Switzerland. He launched TransGlobe Property Management Services in 1994. Working with his brother, Leonard, the company's vice-president, Transglobe has quickly grown into one of Canada's largest residential and commercial property management firms.

NORTON WOLF

Started in the family business, Artistic ladies wear, a fixture in downtown London operated by his father, David, and uncle, Bernard. He established Carlton Realty in1959 and amassed a fortune acquiring residential and commercial buildings. Through the Bernard and Norton Wolf Foundation, he has funded many community projects including the Wolf Performance Hall at the Central Library.

RON WOLF

Son of Norton Wolf, founded ICORR (Industrial Commercial Office Retail and Residential) in 1986, a property management and construction company that handles management of the original Carlton properties, as well as many other residential and commercial properties in southern Ontario and Florida.

ldoto
Apr 4, 2006, 3:30 PM
A construction crane marks the spot where a new apartment building will rise beside an existing one at Southdale and Wonderland roads in south London. (MORRIS LAMONT, LFP)
Highrise apartment towers are climbing across the city, as builders look to woo a growing number of empty-nest baby boomers.

This year, at least 933 units will be built in London, almost double last year's total of 562. In 2004, 834 units were built, compared to just 94 units in 2003 and 70 units the year before that.

"We have seen a big jump in high-end, luxury buildings coming on stream," said CMHC senior analyst Ken Sumnall. "There is lots of activity."

The leading edge of baby boomers hits 60 years old this year and the housing industry is bracing for a rush of empty nesters fleeing their large, family homes for apartments and condominiums.

"They expect a wave over the next few years as boomers work their way through townhouses and condominium apartments," said Sumnall.


"The robust home-sales market we have seen in recent years has really helped fund the rentals. The economy has also been robust in recent years."

Among the larger single developments being built in London are:

- Sixty units at Richmond and Fanshawe Park roads, Tricar Group.

- Eighty units at Pall Mall, near Richmond, Tricar.

- Two hundred and sixteen units on Proudfoot Lane, Old Oak.

- One hundred and forty units on Beaverbrook Lane, Drewlo.

- One hundred and fifty-nine units on Proudfoot Lane, Old Oak.

- One hundred and ninety-four units on Kipps Lane at Adelaide Street, Medallion Properties.

Tricar Group also has begun construction on a $27-million, 13-storey, 198-unit apartment tower at Wonderland and Southdale roads. It's the firm's second building on the site and there are plans for a third, said president Joe Carapalla.

Homeowners who have lived for years in the Westmount area want to remain, but as empty nesters. These apartments let them do it, he added.

"It is a very dynamic area. Southside (the company that owns much of the real estate in the area) has done a fabulous job," he said. "Westmount is an established neighbourhood. People have raised families here and they want to stay."

The area's retail and commercial development is also a draw. The intersection offers shopping, banking, grocery stores, a library and fitness centre -- and a new retail plaza is going up on the former Wally World site.

Tricar has fully leased its 148-unit building on the site, as well as 24 townhouses. Another 13-storey highrise will be built, "within a few years," said Carapalla.

The new rental building, coupled with the record number of new and resale homes sold in recent years, combined to drive vacancy rates higher to 4.32 per cent in 2005.

In 2004, the rate was 3.7 per cent after hovering near two per cent the previous two years. In 2001, the vacancy rate was 1.6 per cent.

Blitz
Apr 6, 2006, 3:16 PM
^ Yeah, they're building another highrise in my complex at Oxford and Wonderland (it's officially on Beaverbrook Lane I think). They're up to the 7th floor already.

MolsonExport
Apr 6, 2006, 4:31 PM
^Them sound like London Streets, but your location says Windsor.

Blitz
Apr 6, 2006, 6:15 PM
I've lived in and tolerated London for the past 20 months but Windsor will always be my true home...I'd like to move back there soon.

arnold
Apr 14, 2006, 8:46 PM
^tolerated? ouch

is london really that bad?

when i was living in windsor i would frequently make trips up to london to hang out, and i thought that was a pretty enviable place.

Blitz
Apr 17, 2006, 4:57 AM
London is a nice place to live - it has a bad traffic problem and is rather sprawly but other than that, it's good.

I miss a lot of things about Windsor - the big blue river, driving along Riverside Drive, the proximity to Comerica Park, the funky little neighbourhoods, etc.

ldoto
Apr 19, 2006, 12:40 AM
Tue, April 18, 2006

Developers hope to expand a fiercely contested highrise in north London.

By JOE BELANGER, FREE PRESS CITY HALL REPORTER



Some north Londoners are reeling over a developer's plan to more than double the size of a proposed condo complex.

The Ontario Municipal Board in August approved a 64-unit, 12-storey luxury condominium building.

But Tricar Group has now applied to build a $25-million, 12-storey, 155-unit building north of Masonville Place.

The new plan for the controversial project comes after the company bought an adjoining parcel of land.

"It's extremely unfair to the community and the neighbours," George Aiello, of the Chancery Place Residents Association, said yesterday.

Kelly Mancari, who lives directly across from the site, said he's "shocked."

"I'm dumbfounded," Mancari said. "We were told by the OMB there wouldn't be a domino effect, but here it is."

In January 2005, city staff supported Tricar's original bid for a highrise on the property, which was then zoned for medium-density development.

But city council turned down the application.

That's because the proposal violated a community plan approved in the late 1990s and later upheld by the OMB that targeted the land for low-rise, medium-density development.

But Tricar successfully appealed to the OMB, which rejected residents' objections based on the previous community plan, traffic safety and fears more highrises would follow in a domino effect.

Tricar president Joe Carapella said yesterday heavy demand for the 64 luxury units in the area led to the change.

"I'm hoping council will vote in support of this since there was such an overwhelming support at the OMB last time," Carapella said.

He said more than 100 potential buyers expressed interest in the original building.

Carapella said he isn't surprised by the reaction of nearby residents.

"But I think the plan will benefit the people across the street because it will be set back another 65 feet (from Richmond Street)," he said.

Carapella said he hopes to break ground as soon as possible and reaffirmed a commitment to protect as many trees on the site as possible.

Coun. Roger Caranci, who chairs council's planning committee, agreed council will be hard-pressed to reject the plan, which may be on Monday's agenda.

"The OMB was so strong in their opinion, I can't see why council wouldn't approve it," Caranci said.

"It's a good area for that type of development."

Caranci, along with then-planning chair Coun. Cheryl Miller and Controller Bud Polhill, sparked controversy soon after council rejected the proposal in a 10-9 vote.

The three planning committee members, who supported Tricar, tried to prevent legal staff from representing the city at the OMB appeal, a move overturned by council.

Gloria McGinn-McTeer, president of the Stoneybrook Heights/Uplands Residents Association, was also disappointed.

"It's exactly what the neighbourhood feared would happen," McGinn-McTeer said.

"We'll have to review the proposal and make an assessment of what to do, but the community can't be at the OMB all the time.

"It's expensive."

Aiello said he's not sure if residents are in the mood for a fight.

"I think people are burned out and to mount another opposition is going to be difficult," he said.

"I think people will see that the writing's on the wall and the developer is going to win -- that it's hopeless."

Tony
Apr 19, 2006, 4:24 PM
There's something in the works for the area across the street (King St.) from the John Labatt's Centre. BTW, it's huge.

upinottawa
Apr 20, 2006, 4:38 PM
There's something in the works for the area across the street (King St.) from the John Labatt's Centre. BTW, it's huge.

A brand new, state of the art Rideout Tavern!

Tony
Apr 21, 2006, 7:05 PM
^ yeah right.

Residential, heights still being worked out.

ldoto
Apr 29, 2006, 1:54 PM
More good news for london hospitals!

London's $13-million share is part of a $222-million provincial package.

By JOHN MINER, FREE PRESS HEALTH REPORTER AND NEWS SERVICES



London hospitals are being given more than $13 million by the province to cut wait times for cancer surgery, cardiac procedures, hip and knee replacements, cataract operations and MRI and CT scans.

"It is all new, fresh money," London-Fanshawe MPP Khalil Ramal said yesterday, adding it will ensure patients receive the care they need and receive it more quickly.

The additional money, part of a $222-million package for the province, was announced as the government released the latest wait-time statistics that showed improvement in key areas.

In London, the money will pay for 5,278 added procedures, including 465 cancer surgeries, 722 cardiac procedures, 650 cataract surgeries, 321 hip and knee replacements and 3,120 MRI exams.

London Health Sciences Centre receives the bulk of the money, $12.7 million, while St. Joseph's Health Care is getting $848,000.

Health Minister George Smitherman says the province has already made great strides in reducing wait times for the procedures, which had all been increasing a year ago.

Ontario's wait times for cancer surgery and cardiac procedures -- the two biggest lifesavers -- are now within national guidelines, he said.

Dr. Alan Hudson, head of Ontario's Wait-Time Strategy, said yesterday the province should celebrate the gains made in cutting key waits.

"The two big killers, cancer and cardiac, already are within the targets set by . . . Smitherman last December. That's a fact," said Hudson.

"The others are all heading towards the targets, heading in the right direction. When we started this, the wait times were all going up."

Data specific to London covering December 2005 to January 2006 indicated the wait for total hip replacement operations was an average of 148 days, down from 252 days in August and September 2005.

Knee replacement waits averaged 228 days, down from 273 days last summer.

WAIT-TIME FUNDING

Here's what area hospitals will receive from a $222-million provincial package announced yesterday:

- London Health Sciences Centre $12.7 million

- St. Joseph's Health Care London $848,000

- Owen Sound $3.6 million

- Stratford General $862,583

- Woodstock $683,500

- Strathroy Middlesex $153,000

- St. Thomas Elgin $126,877

- Clinton Public $112,000

- Alexandra (Ingersoll) $105,000

MolsonExport
May 2, 2006, 5:55 PM
London=Sprawlsville. I am getting pissed off at the so-called leaders of London. The peripheries are booming with big-Box asswipe retailiers, thereby sucking commerce out of the core and inner suburbs. New residential construction springs up next to the big-box retailers (check out areas around Hyde Park/Fanshawe, or Wonderland/Southdale, for evidence). Schools close in the inner suburbs, but multiply on the periphery. Total donut effect. Downtown London is turning into a larger version of the Galleria.

Blitz
May 2, 2006, 6:24 PM
^When I first moved here, the Wonderland/Southdale intersection was more or less farm fields. Now, it's full of big box crap. The same thing is happening in the north end.

MolsonExport
May 2, 2006, 8:28 PM
^exactly, I've been here less than one year, and it has changed enormously at either end.

upinottawa
May 2, 2006, 8:35 PM
The death of Wally World was too sad....

However, it is fun driving past the both the new Canadian Tire and then the abandoned Canadian Tire!

I remember reading ini the London Free Press last year that London has way too much excess retail viz-a-viz its population (and demand). At some point, something has to give and think it won't be the fringes....

Blitz
May 2, 2006, 10:34 PM
Yeah, although the abandoned Canadian Tire in the south end has since turned into a storage facility. Canadian Tire recently abandoned their store near Masonville Mall as well in favour of a massive box on Hyde Park Road.

MolsonExport
May 3, 2006, 8:12 PM
^could this be the first signs of Masonville mall going the way of Westmount mall??

ldoto
May 6, 2006, 9:27 PM
New industrial park adds hundreds of acres to London’s industrial land inventory
More than 110 acres of prime serviced industrial land became available in London, Ontario today with the official opening of Innovation Park.

Located on Airport Road South, the park offers competitively priced land with convenient access to Hwy 401 and the London International Airport.

“It’s great to celebrate the launch of another piece of our Land Strategy designed to bring new industry to our community,” says Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco. “We’ve had such phenomenal success in attracting new investment over the past five years and we’re confident Innovation Park will be a key component of the next phase of development.”

The Park has already secured its first sale. CT Innovations is a high tech automotive parts manufacturing company that offers advanced tubular steel forming solutions for Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive companies. Construction of the company’s 25,000 sq ft building is expected to start in July.

“Innovation Park will have a positive impact on London’s ability to attract new investment,” says John Kime, President and CEO, London Economic Development Corporation, “Having a park of this caliber in terms of its location, the design requirements and its phased growth potential is something our community can be very proud of. The City is to be commended for its foresight and commitment to growing London’s economy with this kind of investment.”

Phase One of Innovation Park represents an initial investment of $6,761,000 by the City of London and a $3,385,000 investment by the Province of Ontario through the SuperBuild Fund.

“We are on the side of Ontario’s businesses and entrepreneurs who help our province prosper,” said Khalil Ramal, MPP for London-Fanshawe. “Through investments in local infrastructure, we’re working to ensure our communities provide the best opportunities for residents and businesses alike.”

Phase One of the Park provides immediate access to 110 acres of serviced land. Subsequent phases will provide an additional 460 acres starting in 2007. The lots are being sold for a price of $65,000 per acre with a 5% premium for lots with Airport Road frontage. All parcels are zoned Light Industrial.

Launched in 2001, the City’s Industrial Land Development strategy has witnessed significant success with Forest City Industrial Park exceeding sale and growth expectations within the first three years.

ldoto
May 8, 2006, 4:19 PM
Here's a couple pics that I took at gibbins park today.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3638.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3639.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3640.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3643.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3644.jpg


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3645.jpg


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3646.jpg


P.S soon I will post update on new construction from the city!

MolsonExport
May 8, 2006, 4:34 PM
^sorry but that is not Gibbon's park!

Blitz
May 8, 2006, 5:02 PM
Greenway Park maybe?

ldoto
May 9, 2006, 4:25 AM
London's red hot housing market continues to burn brightly.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports overall housing starts were up in London by 30 percent in April compared to one year ago..

The biggest jump is in multi-family homes, which are up 47 percent over last year.

Single family home starts are 21 percent higher than a year ago.

CMHC says the resale market has been tight for nearly 5 years, and that home prices, both new and resale, are still going up steadily.

ldoto
May 9, 2006, 4:57 AM
Update
2nd building from Proudfoot lane (13 floors)








http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3637.jpg




http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3634.jpg

MolsonExport
May 9, 2006, 2:06 PM
YEAH! more commie-blocks!

ldoto
May 10, 2006, 4:06 PM
ed, May 10, 2006

By NORMAN DE BONO, FREE PRESS BUSINESS REPORTER


A new apartment tower rising in downtown London will have little trouble attracting tenants because demand for core living remains high, according to Ken Sumnall, Canada Mortgage Housing Corp. senior analyst.

Auburn Developments broke ground yesterday on a 23-storey, $35-million apartment building at Ridout Street and Dufferin Avenue.

It is just one of several downtown residential developments under construction or recently opened.

"They are renting, there is no question about that. There has been a real demand downtown," Sumnall said yesterday.

Auburn believes other rental properties that have opened downtown in recent years have done well and there is a pent-up demand they are looking to meet, said Jamie Crich, Auburn president.

Recent rental studies by a Toronto firm have pointed to a residential vacancy rate downtown of about four per cent -- a solid figure given the number of units that have come on the market, Crich added.

Those include:

- Two apartment towers built by Drewlo at Colborne and Dundas streets, with 400 units altogether.

- An 80-unit luxury condominium on Pall Mall Street built by Tricar.

- A 15-storey, $25-million building constructed by Old Oak Properties on Talbot Street.

- Another Auburn development of 137 units for students on Ann Street, just outside the downtown.

- 25 units of affordable housing being built on Dundas Street by Market Lane.

- Time Condominiums on King Street, near the Covent Garden Market, offering more than 150 units next year.

- A 40-unit condominium under construction on Colborne Street, north of Dundas, by the Prespa Group.

"There is a real synergy they have created downtown and that is a big part of this," said Crich. "The (John Labatt Centre) has been a great success and there is a vibrant feel to downtown. It is a great climate."

The city's waiving of development fees saved Auburn more than $1 million on its new development and the company will also get a tax break on the building for about seven years.

The addition of downtown apartments may help feed the demand for other residential spaces, said Sumnall.

"If there are a range of products and choices, then more people will look to downtown. It is a positive," he said.

However, any developers planning future apartment towers may want to pause, said Sumnall. It will take about three years for the impact of these latest projects to be felt and anything more could have trouble filling up.

Janette MacDonald, manager of MainStreet London, still wants to see more homes built downtown.

"I do not think we should slow down. There is definitely a market for different groups, from empty-nesters to graduate students," she said.

There are about 5,000 people living downtown and with 30,000 working there. She would like to see just as many living in the core.

THE HARRISTON

- A 23-storey, $35-million apartment building to be built at Ridout Street and Dufferin Avenue by Auburn Developments.

- Will contain more than 200 units.

- Work to begin in about two weeks and be complete by September 2007

- Will offer one- and two- bedroom apartments with a den, ranging in price from about $1,000 to $1,500 a month.

- Apartments will range from about 700 square feet to 1,500 square feet.






There is a rendering on today's (May 10) Free Press. For now, you can see it here, if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader:

http://www.canoe.ca/LondonPDF/20060510.pdf

Tony
May 10, 2006, 4:31 PM
However, it is fun driving past the both the new Canadian Tire and then the abandoned Canadian Tire!


You think that's fun? You should drive by the abandoned Home Depot on Warncliffe south of Southdale. Now that's something you don't see everyday!

MolsonExport
May 10, 2006, 5:30 PM
^Wharnecliffe is going down the toilet. At least half of it (from Oxford to Commissioners) sits at the bottom of the bowl, with the other turds. A charming slice of East London in western London.

ldoto
May 11, 2006, 4:45 AM
Update

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3574.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3576.jpg :cheers:

ldoto
May 11, 2006, 4:26 PM
UWO to undergo $230 million revamp

Thu, May 11, 2006

By PETER GEIGEN-MILLER, LONDON FREE PRESS REPORTER



The University of Western Ontario plans to spend $230 million over the next seven years on 15 major construction, renovation and relocation projects.

The long-range construction program, announced Thursday at a media briefing, will provide 70,000 square metres of new space for classrooms, laboratories and related facilities.

An additional 85,000 square metres of existing space will be renovated to meet current teaching and research requirements, said UWO president Paul Davenport.

The additional space is needed to help Western deal with a space crunch caused by growing enrolment, especially in graduate programs, and increasing demand for lab and research space, said vice-president academic Fred Longstaffe.

The projects will be financed from a variety of sources including Western’s capital and operating budgets, federal and provincial grants and fundraising.

For the full story, read Friday’s London Free Press on the web or in print.

MolsonExport
May 11, 2006, 4:30 PM
HA! Beat you to it, ldoto!

London population soars
Thu, May 11, 2006

Officials say the influx of newcomers to the city is the key to the hot pace of construction.

By NORMAN DE BONO, FREE PRESS BUSINESS REPORTER



London is in the midst of its biggest population boom in 20 years and that has building soaring .

Nearly 4,000 people flowed into the city at the end of 2004, the last time figures were recorded. It's a number not seen since the 1980s, said Ken Sumnall, senior market analyst with the Canada Mortgage Housing Corp.

"When you see those numbers, it really impacts the demand for housing and feeds the labour force growth."

That helps explain why building permits in the city refuse to tail off, defying predictions of a looming drop in construction, said Rocky Cerminara, the city's director of building controls.

In London, from January to April this year, $211.5 million in building permits were issued, compared with $186.6 million over the same period last year -- a 13.3-per-cent hike.

"We are riding a wave," said Cerminara. "It's a trend. In the first four months of this year, we are equal or ahead of last year. We're doing very well."

As for population, by the end of 2004, 18,500 people flowed into London and 14,600 left -- a gain of 3,900.

In the 1990s, the population flow ranged from 400 in one year to a high of 2,100.

The city's population after the 2001 census -- the most recent available -- was 335,539.

"We have been enjoying a fairly solid economy. It's because of employment growth," Sumnall said.

The city employed 225,000 in 2001 and 241,100 this year -- a job gain of more than 15,000 in five years, he said.

Home construction led the charge in building statistics with $136.8 million in permits issued, compared with $125.8 million over the same period last year, an increase of 8.7 per cent.

Commercial building, spurred on by the big box boom in north and south London, is also strong, up to $31.6 million, compared with $19.3 million.

"That is more big box than anything else," said Cerminara. He pointed to Hyde Park and Southdale and Wonderland roads areas as hotbeds of retail building.

Institutional building was up to $28.4 million from $24.5 million. Industrial dropped dramatically, as building slowed in health care and education, a 77-per-cent decline to $3.7 million from $16.2 million.

"We are seeing smaller numbers. They were spending in the area of $200 million in 2003 and 2004," Cerminara said.

But the demand for building permits will close by year's end, he said, projecting permits will total $550 million this year, compared with $621 million last year and $647 million in 2004.

"We are on a downward trend," Cerminara said. "We have done surveys with builders, architects and engineers as to what is going on. That is the yardstick we use to measure and what we have now is not sustainable."

LONDON'S GROWTH

The city's net population gains:

- 3,900 in 2004

- 2,100 in 2003

- 3,500 in 2002

- 2,400 in 2001

- 2,500 in 2000

ldoto
May 16, 2006, 12:48 AM
Update!
Beaver Towers 2nd!

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3629.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3631.jpg

ldoto
May 16, 2006, 11:22 PM
Tue, May 16, 2006

Source says parts plant near Alliston may be in the offing

By NORMAN DE BONO, LONDON FREE PRESS BUSINESS REPORTER



Honda is poised to make a “significant” announcement for Ontario, and London may win big when the investment is unveiled, industry sources say.

While Ontario will not land an assembly plant, it may get a major parts plant, perhaps making engines or transmissions near its existing facility in Alliston, said the source who declined to be identified.

“They will be making an announcement for Canada and they are saying it is significant,” said the source. “They will be making an announcement soon about their plans for Canada and we are not sure yet whether it is a new plant or an expansion.”

Honda Canada Inc., with the provincial and federal governments, will make an “investment and product announcement,” Wednesday at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto.

John Langley, director of the investment branch for the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade Tuesday declined comment on the speculation.

If there is an investment in Alliston, it will mean the London area will get spinoff work for parts suppliers, analyst Dennis DesRosiers said.

“That has to benefit the London corridor,” he said, referring to the area from Sarnia to Fort Erie. “There is a lineup of Japanese suppliers looking to get into Ontario now.”

The parts sector has seen about $4.5 billion in new investment in the province in recent years — and that number will grow, said DesRosiers.

“I think we are looking at an investment of more than $5 billion in the near future.”

The parts sector boasts annual sales of about $35 billion a year — and it makes sense Honda would add a drivetrain plant to that total, said Gerry Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association.

“That is the kind of thing we are really good at. The skill level at an engine or transmission plant is higher than at an assembly operation and our competitive advantage is a skilled workforce,” he said.

Honda is also looking at adding a major assembly operation in the U.S., to make about 150,000 vehicles a year.

While the total employment numbers may be higher at an assembly operation, an Ontario engine plant could still employ up to 3,000 and the average wages are higher because they largely employ skilled trades, said Fedchun.

“It would make sense from a business point of view to put an engine or transmission plant here,” said Fedchun.

If Honda announces a new assembly operation in the U.S., Ontario may still get about 10 per cent of that work — valued at about $100 million, he said.

“We will get some, but not nearly as much as we would if it was closer. It is a stretch, but it is doable.”

Along with Alliston, Sarnia was rumoured to be a site for a Honda parts plant, but Mayor Mike Bradley dismissed the idea Tuesday, saying if one comes to the province it will likely go near the existing assembly plant.

“Following the automotive industry is like chasing smoke, you never really know what’s going on,” said Bradley.

John Kime, chief executive of the London Economic Development Corp., agreed with DesRosiers that London’s parts industry is well positioned to benefit from Honda’s announcement.

“We are beating the bushes to find out what is out there for London and we will continue to do that,” he said. “There are a lot of rumours flying around

Snark
May 17, 2006, 12:30 AM
..

ldoto
May 17, 2006, 12:53 AM
Originally Posted by Snark Hi there. I have occasionally lurked here in the past, but when I read this, I decided to join in order to ask more about this potential development. Can you tell us any more about this???

I assume this is the Ridout site you speak of.

After reading bits and pieces about the assembly of the parcel, the quick demolition of the buildings, and the quiet confidence that people who seemed "in the know" about the situation seemed to have in interviews about future development of the site - I suspected somthing major was afoot.

I wondered then if this had the potential to be the new downtown signature development, possibly outdoing One London Place.

So, can anyone say if they know any more about this?


I believe this is what you guys are talking about!:banana:


A 23-storey, $35-million apartment building to be built at Ridout Street and Dufferin Avenue by Auburn Developments.

- Will contain more than 200 units.

- Work to begin in about two weeks and be complete by September 2007

- Will offer one- and two- bedroom apartments with a den, ranging in price from about $1,000 to $1,500 a month.

- Apartments will range from about 700 square feet to 1,500 square feet.

ldoto
May 17, 2006, 12:54 AM
Originally Posted by Snark Hi there. I have occasionally lurked here in the past, but when I read this, I decided to join in order to ask more about this potential development. Can you tell us any more about this???

I assume this is the Ridout site you speak of.

After reading bits and pieces about the assembly of the parcel, the quick demolition of the buildings, and the quiet confidence that people who seemed "in the know" about the situation seemed to have in interviews about future development of the site - I suspected somthing major was afoot.

I wondered then if this had the potential to be the new downtown signature development, possibly outdoing One London Place.

So, can anyone say if they know any more about this?


I believe this is what you guys are talking about!:banana:


A 23-storey, $35-million apartment building to be built at Ridout Street and Dufferin Avenue by Auburn Developments.

- Will contain more than 200 units.

- Work to begin in about two weeks and be complete by September 2007

- Will offer one- and two- bedroom apartments with a den, ranging in price from about $1,000 to $1,500 a month.

- Apartments will range from about 700 square feet to 1,500 square feet.

ldoto
May 17, 2006, 1:00 AM
Sorry for the double post!:shrug:

Snark
May 17, 2006, 1:41 AM
..

GreatTallNorth2
May 17, 2006, 12:16 PM
Here is the dirt I've heard on the Ridout block, which btw is not the tower that Auburn is building:

That block where the Ridout Tavern used to be is owned by a consortium of developers and they are going to sell the land to one of the owners. That owner is planning on building a residential tower with 300 units along with a parking garage at the bottom. This could be built and occupied in two years. With 300 units and an above ground parking structure, my guess is that this will be in the neighbourhood of 30+ stories. That would be nice, seeing as that side of downtown does not have many buildings.

I just hope we don't get another crappy, poorly designed building. We have enough of those already.

BTW, there was plans to put a hotel on that site and maybe that hotel will go somewhere else.

Snark
May 17, 2006, 4:44 PM
..

GreatTallNorth2
May 17, 2006, 6:25 PM
Probably with the Auburn development, Ridout and old library development, one of these projects will not happen...hopefully they all will, but probably not. I really like the proposal for the old library. It looks awesome. I would also like to see the Ridout one proceed. If one didn't go through, I hope it would be the Auburn because it is pretty ugly.

Tony
May 17, 2006, 7:10 PM
Here is the dirt I've heard on the Ridout block, which btw is not the tower that Auburn is building:

That block where the Ridout Tavern used to be is owned by a consortium of developers and they are going to sell the land to one of the owners. That owner is planning on building a residential tower with 300 units along with a parking garage at the bottom. This could be built and occupied in two years. With 300 units and an above ground parking structure, my guess is that this will be in the neighbourhood of 30+ stories. That would be nice, seeing as that side of downtown does not have many buildings.


This is kinda accurate. I don't have the full details but I know it will probably be two towers.

GreatTallNorth2
May 17, 2006, 9:01 PM
Have you heard anything then on the heights and just as important...will the design be attractive or boxy?

Tony
May 17, 2006, 9:05 PM
Have you heard anything then on the heights and just as important...will the design be attractive or boxy?

No clue on height. But if we use standard 3m / floor, we'd be sitting around 90m for the height if it goes to 30 storeys. I don't remember what the designer said, but he was thinking of juggling the heights, one may be 30 or taller and the other shorter. There are no finalized designs and we're pretty far away from these right now, so I'm not sure if it'll be "boxy" or something with some curves. I do know he went to check out some Cityplace designs for ideas the other day. (Cityplace TORONTO, not London :haha: )

GreatTallNorth2
May 17, 2006, 9:29 PM
If it is anything like CityPlace T.O., that will be awesome, but CityPlace London is horrible IMO. How do you know all this info? Did you also hear plans of a hotel? Anything else going on downtown that you know of?

Snark
May 17, 2006, 11:54 PM
..

ldoto
May 18, 2006, 12:38 AM
More riders, more requests for service face London Transit

By BEN BENEDICT, The Londoner

London Transit carried 18.4 million riders last year, an increase of 49 per cent over the past nine years. The city-owned system operates over 33 routes.


Londoners are showing an increased interest in and use of public transit. While a positive in many respects it can result in over-crowed buses, missed riders or delayed schedules and missed connections for new and regular users alike.

The London Transit Commission is currently in the process of outlining and implementing new resources like the gas tax to tackle these issues in conjunction with the objective set out by the City of London’s master plan.

Larry Ducharme, general manager of London Transit, explains the constraints of the past several years and the looming opportunities that will become evident in the next two years.

The city-owned bus line has shown success – ridership is up by 49 per cent over the past nine years and grew last year by one per cent to 18.4 million rides. One Londoner in two rode the bus at least once last year. Mr. Ducharme and his staff are under pressure by city council to make ridership gains as a less costly alternative to expensive road-widening projects. But London’s love affair with the car is a difficult habit to break.

“Our short, medium and long-term strategies are influenced by a number of activities,” Mr. Ducharme says. “Our strategies takes direction from the city’s master plan and the transportation master plan - the city’s official plan on how the city will grow and develop influences how we get there. They are the two most significant influences.

“We need to start making critical decisions today on how we view transit.”

To assist in the development of these plans Mr. Ducharme would like to see more transit-friendly land-use guidelines with a move from “shall give consideration to,” to “shall do it.”

Initiatives currently in the works are the further development of smart bus technology and service delivery. Smart buses use digital technology, both in the fare box and in the sky, to enhance service and reduce costs. Some day soon, for example, you might use the equivalent of a cash card to pay for your daily fare. And how often buses run on your route might be regulated by satellite based Global Positioning Systems.

“It’s our response to the direction set out by the May, 2004, transportation master plan. It’s in some final discussions right now. It’s coming, we’re about a month out now,” Mr. Ducharme says.

When it comes to service delivery, the key component is scheduling.

“The first order of business is defining the service – routing and frequency – and it’s an integral service that covers all the city. The design and frequency varies by day, time and time of year. We look at the city based on needs and the physical environment in which we work. That design equals X number of revenue service hours – when the busses are carrying passengers,” Mr. Ducharme says.

Currently there are 520,000 revenue hours per year on 33 routes plus an additional five percent or 25,000 hours to and from the routes for a total of about 545,000 hours of service to provide vehicles and manpower for according to Mr. Ducharme.

“We need 143 to 145 buses Monday to Friday during a.m. and p.m. peaks. After 9 p.m. I need 50 buses and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. I need 100 buses. It shows the variability,” Mr. Ducharme says.

In addition to actual needs there are union agreements and the Employment Standards Act that must be considered in delivering a financially viable service.

“Bus schedules are derived from work assignments and the public timetable that goes on the website. We track the two schedules in our automatic vehicle locations system. There is hardware on the buses and beacons around the city. It shows us real time performances against the scheduled times. The software is dated at present. It allows the system to be adjusted or callers to find out real time information. This is what we are trying to enhance,” Mr. Ducharme says.

The goal over the next several years is to use provincial and federal gas tax dollars to invest in new technologies to address scheduling woes.

“Our objective is to have display models in real time displays on about six key roads throughout the city. We’re looking at the smart bus technology to integrate with the traffic signals. It may extend a green or shorten a red light depending on how far down the bus is on the schedule. This has to be flushed out yet,” Mr. Ducharme says. “One of the issues we have is a reliance on schedules that can be interrupted for many reasons. The more times you have to stop it takes time. As the system becomes more popular that happens. Right now we just add busses. In response to services reliability, overcrowding and linking schedules, we need a system that communicates in real time, bus to bus, and a system design that allows you to be more efficient. We looked at upgrading to a higher level of transit service.”

The key drivers to the program include transit priority through integration with traffic signals, provincial yield to bus legislation, to announce next stop is in voice and display to riders on the bus, the use of an infrared passenger count for detailed route planning by time of day, and real time info displays including automatic updates on the website, according to Mr. Ducharme.

“We’re developing the Global Positioning System right now. A total of $5.3 million in investments are to be integrated in 2007 and by the end of 2008 it will be completed,” Mr. Ducharme says.

In a recent staff report to city council, Mr. Ducharme presented an overview of customer service activity and system performance for 2005. The report highlights information collected from a variety of communication tools including calls to London Transit’s information line, a summary of public contacts, a summary of conventional transit contacts, a breakdown of complaints and website information.

London Transit received 188,070 telephone calls in 2005, down five per cent from 2004, but the website received 918,760 page visits, up 39 per cent over the 659,192 visits in 2004. This increase in web activity also resulted in fewer public timetables being printed in 2005. Ridership also increased by one per cent in 2005 to 18.4 million trips by riders.

Contacts relating to conventional transit totalled 2,493 up by 164 contacts over 2004. These are the compliments, requests and complaints. Of the 144 service development requests, 69 were related to existing routes and schedules and 55 related to requests for services in newly developing areas like Hyde Park (15), Uplands (five), North Talbot (five), and Lambeth (five). This related to existing routes, accessibility and convenience of schedules.

“Adding a minute to a bus route, going from 15 to 10 minutes between buses, I can’t do this without adding a bus at $450,000 for the bus (12 to 18 hours per bus) plus $250,000 in operating cash. You can see how we have to be selective,” Mr. Ducharme says.

The majority of compliments came in the area of service performance (21) and operator performance (102). These were also the areas that exhibited the highest number of complaints. The report indicates that complaints about operator performance (951) related largely to driving and attitude. Service performance complaints (777) related to missed passengers and on-time performance.

The report provides a number of factors that contributed to these issues including the pressures of ridership growth (49 per cent over the last nine years) and the availability of reliable, predictable and dependable service to meet the needs of growth. Other issues were associated with increased traffic congestion, weather, and the changing and competing needs of riders.
__________________

ldoto
May 18, 2006, 11:50 PM
London housing market is hot, says surveyThu, May 18, 2006:cool:

Value of a 'typical' home has increased almost 50 per cent

By HANK DANISZEWSKI, LONDON FREE PRESS BUSINESS REPORTER



A new survey shows London has the third-hottest housing market in Ontario with prices up almost 50 per cent in the last five years. The Century 21 survey shows the value of a “typical” three-bedroom bungalow in London has shot up 48 per cent since 2001, from $131,000 to $194,000.

London’s increase was just behind Peterborough (54 per cent) and Kitchener (51 per cent).

Costa Poulopoulos, president of the London and St. Thomas Real Estate board, said London has been catching up in recent years after lagging behind the real-estate boom seen in the Greater Toronto Area and other regions.

He said the sharp rise in real estate is good news to London homeowners even if they have no intention of selling their homes.

“They find that homes similar to their own are selling for a lot more money and that boosts confidence.”

But Poulopoulos said London is still affordable for new home buyers.

“We are still under the $200,000 price point, which is amazing compared to other major metropolitan areas.”

Poulopoulos said London realtors are seeing clients from the Toronto area who are selling their homes and buying much more impressive homes for less money in London.

There are predictions the London market would slow down this year, but real-estate board figures show sales of detached homes are three per cent ahead of the same period in 2005.

Don Lawby, President of Century 21 Canada said the biggest price increases in Canada since 2001 were in Vernon, B. C. (129 per cent) northeast Calgary (121 per cent) and Fort McMurray (105 per cent.)

The survey found housing prices have increased faster than most other goods or services including food, automobiles, recreation and post-secondary tuition.

Lawby said part of the increase is due to a dwindling supply of land for residential development.

“We are seeing taller buildings on smaller footprints to keep costs down,” he said

Another new survey, released Thursday by RBC Economics, showed the affordability of housing is declining because of higher prices and increasing mortgage rates.

The RBC survey showed housing costs in Vancouver, including taxes and utilities, were eating up 64 per cent of a typical household’s monthly pre-tax income. In Toronto, the figure was 41.7 per cent.

But as long as mortgage rates remain relatively low and the economy remains strong, Lawby said the housing market should stay strong.

“We will continue to have a good market - maybe not spectacular - but close to last year,” said Lawby.

ldoto
May 19, 2006, 7:53 PM
update!

A photo update of the affordable housing project on Dundas?
This is from the backside of Dundas beside the market.


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3661.jpg


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3662.jpg;)

Tony
May 19, 2006, 7:59 PM
^ excellent. I wasn't even aware that was suppose to be affordable housing.

Thanks

ldoto
May 21, 2006, 4:09 PM
435 Colborne Street, London
Available in spring 2007, these two bedroom executive units offer luxury living at its best.

Six-storey residential condos in the heart of downtown London
Only 40 units available
All are spacious two bedrooms units
Main floor commercial space
Convenient underground parking on two levels


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/Colborne.jpg


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3670.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3669.jpg

ckkelley
May 22, 2006, 12:17 AM
It's so nice to see pictures of my hometown.

I left London in April 1990.

I'm glad to see downtown is on the rebound. When I left, downtown was happenin'.

ps. the more pics, the better!

ldoto
May 23, 2006, 1:06 AM
Update!Hooters Restaurant and new strip mall.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3671.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3672.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3673.jpg




New Hooters Restaurant Opening up in london on Wharncliffe road with a new strip mall.
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2005/IMGP3130.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2005/IMGP3131.jpg

Tony
May 23, 2006, 4:05 PM
^ uggg.. just what is needed in that area, another strip mall. I guess nothing else would really fit in now at this point.

Blitz
May 23, 2006, 10:34 PM
Wharncliffe Road sucks.

Snark
May 24, 2006, 1:15 AM
..

Tony
May 24, 2006, 10:49 AM
When I was a kid (over some 30 years ago), Wharncliffe Rd. was the main westerly gateway that led right into the core of the City (if one doesn't include the 401, which one actually accessed from the South of the city in those days). Up to the early/mid 1970's, it had some of the more prestegous businesses located on it then: Patton's Place furnature, the London Winery, The Seven Dwarves restaurant, Hooks restaurant, the largest Canadian Tire store (in its day), and many others.

I guess at least it has EQ3! - awesome stuff there, just way overpriced.

ldoto
May 25, 2006, 1:22 AM
Update!


New westmount Estates two
335 southdale rd.w.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3613.jpg


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/ldoto/2006/IMGP3614.jpg

ldoto
May 26, 2006, 3:58 PM
White Oaks Mall grows

Fri, May 26, 2006

A chunk of the mall is being redeveloped, with new space for retailers catering to youth.

By KATE DUBINSKI, FREE PRESS REPORTER




White Oaks Mall is expanding. (Ken Wightman, LFP)
London's second-largest mall is redeveloping a chunk of its interior and adding new space for retailers catering to young, hip shoppers.

Savvy shoppers are already buzzing about one of the retailers, clothing and accessory retailer H&M of Sweden, moving into White Oaks Mall.

"I've never shopped there. I just can't wait. I can't wait. I'm so excited," a gleeful Salma Meddaoui, 19, said yesterday.

Her friend, Silvia Fuentes, 28, who's been to H&M's Toronto store, rattled off the store's special mix of clothing and pricing, noting: "Everyone I've talked to can't wait."

The H&M is part of an expansion and renovation of White Oaks that suggests the south London shopping centre is bucking the trend -- big-box retailers -- that's hurt and even killed other malls.


"The young shoppers, especially, have heard rumours, and they're reacting. They're excited," said Jim Hewer, the mall's general manager.

"We've had lots of questions, but until recently we've kept things under wraps."

Construction began in February. The new space will allow for a new south-end entranceway; the H&M store; a U.S.-based Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar, the mall's first sit-down restaurant in years; and Canadian clothing retailer Urban Behavior.

The expansion and redevelopment is in the mall's south quadrant and includes redesign.

The area the new stores will move into was once considered more of a "service corridor," Hewer said, but will now be the mall's fashion central.

Other stores in the redesign:

- Jacob, Jacob Connexion, Jacob Lingerie and Jacob Jr., all in one area, the first time the Montreal-based retailer has tried the concept in Canada.

- Shoe store Aldo and sister store Aldo Accessories.

- Roots; Icing by Claire's, an accessory store catering to a more mature crowd than sister store Claire's; and Watch It, an accessory store.

"We're enhancing the overall mall. We've got strength here, we've got two very strong anchors, The Bay and Wal-Mart, and we've got a great location," Hewer said of the mall's expansion.

About one-third of the White Oaks Mall's shoppers come from outside London along the Highway 401 corridor.

That traffic, in an era when big-box stores are gobbling up the retail landscape, is key to the mall's success, some say.

And the mall is on the right track by putting hip clothing and accessory stores close to each other, said John Winter, a Toronto retail analyst.

"Apparel and accessories are so egocentric that you want to walk around to compare and contrast what's right for you," Winter said.

"The big-box stores certainly have taken over some of the market, such as home improvement. But the big, enclosed malls still have a function for clothing.

"You walk down the hall and cross-shop in a climate-controlled environment."

By mid-July, construction at White Oaks will be finished and the new spaces handed over to retailers, who will add the finishing touches to create their atmosphere, Hewer said.

Hewer declined to reveal the cost of the expansion.

Although the mall is growing, it isn't adding new parking. The expansion is eating into some existing surface parking, but 100 new spots will be created underground, almost totally offsetting the lost spaces, Hewer said.

A grand opening is planned for late fall, but individual retailers will likely open sooner, Hewer said.

BY THE NUMBERS

- 60,000: Total square footage of space at White Oaks Mall being redeveloped, more than half of it new space.

- 1973: Year mall built.

- 33: Percentage of mall customers from outside London.

- 185: Stores in the mall.

- 60-90: Days average retailer takes to take store from newly-built to ready for opening.

MolsonExport
May 26, 2006, 5:23 PM
^I'm surprised that the article did not mention London's famous shrinking mall, the Westmount Shopping Centre.

gmania
May 29, 2006, 12:57 AM
YEAH! more commie-blocks!

I had a great view of downtown London when I lived on the 11th floor of one of those commie blocks. :banana:

Good old Proudfoot Lane....

gmania
May 29, 2006, 1:06 AM
UWO to undergo $230 million revamp

Thu, May 11, 2006

By PETER GEIGEN-MILLER, LONDON FREE PRESS REPORTER



The University of Western Ontario plans to spend $230 million over the next seven years on 15 major construction, renovation and relocation projects.

The long-range construction program, announced Thursday at a media briefing, will provide 70,000 square metres of new space for classrooms, laboratories and related facilities.

An additional 85,000 square metres of existing space will be renovated to meet current teaching and research requirements, said UWO president Paul Davenport.

The additional space is needed to help Western deal with a space crunch caused by growing enrolment, especially in graduate programs, and increasing demand for lab and research space, said vice-president academic Fred Longstaffe.

The projects will be financed from a variety of sources including Western’s capital and operating budgets, federal and provincial grants and fundraising.

For the full story, read Friday’s London Free Press on the web or in print.

I went to Western from 1999-2005 and I couldn't believe the changes in that time period. I wonder how much more green space they can destroy with the construction or how far they can expand away from the core of campus?

Snark
May 29, 2006, 2:33 AM
..

gmania
May 30, 2006, 1:43 AM
Spent 1985 and 1986 at Proudfoot. Wild times and unforgetable memories. Strangly enough, I know a lot of people who have passed through there - and am still meeting people 20 years later who spent time there. Seems like some sort of rite of passage. :P

Some may call them Commie blocks (and that is somewhat understandable), but if they were built like the Taj Mahal, I would have had to pay a lot more than the $475/mo rent that I was paying for what were some pretty nice digs for a guy in his early 20's.

I lived at 560 Proudfoot from 2002-2003. Rent was up to $700/month (1-bedroom without utilities) but pretty sweet when you figure it was 1096 square feet and had a great view.

I know what you mean about wild times... So many great memories as friends lived in four different buildings on the street. If I ever moved back to London, I would move downtown, but you never forget the Proudfoot... :)