Lo­cals take is­sue with op­er­a­tor of Casa Loma

A pe­ti­tion has been sent to the mayor’s of­fice con­cern­ing noise and traf­fic

Annex Post - - NEWS - By Josh Sher­man

Res­i­dents liv­ing near Casa Loma are pe­ti­tion­ing Mayor John Tory to stop the city from con­tin­u­ing to lease the his­toric Mid­town site to Lib­erty En­ter­tain­ment Group.

“I don’t know if that’s go­ing to hap­pen, but we want to ba­si­cally get Mayor Tory’s at­ten­tion be­cause our coun­cil­lor has not been ef­fec­tive in deal­ing with this,” said Joann Bre­it­man, who lives on Lyn­d­hurst Av­enue.

Bre­it­man’s home backs onto the Casa Loma sta­bles and she said her pe­ti­tion against Lib­erty En­ter­tain­ment Group gar­nered 80 sig­na­tures be­fore she sub­mit­ted it to the mayor’s of­fice.

Ac­cord­ing to Bre­it­man, the com­mu­nity is frus­trated with noise, traf­fic and park­ing is­sues that arise dur­ing sum­mer con­certs and Le­gends of Hor­ror, a month-long haunted-house event, in Oc­to­ber.

Lib­erty En­ter­tain­ment Group CEO Nick Di Donato said his team makes ef­forts to mit­i­gate the im­pact on the sur­round­ing neigh­bour­hood. “One thing I know that res­i­dents aren’t aware of is … we’re con­tin­u­ally turn­ing down events which are not suited for the neigh­bour­hood,” said Di Donato.

He said his team mon­i­tors sound lev­els, which are com­puter con­trolled, and makes ad­just­ments to show pro­duc­tion based on noise com­plaints.

Dale Joffe, who lives on Walmer Road, signed Bre­it­man’s pe­ti­tion but said she no­ticed im­prove­ments this Oc­to­ber.

“They’ve got po­lice here ev­ery night con­trol­ling the traf­fic and the peo­ple. So there’s much less im­pact on the neigh­bour­hood,” said Joffe.

How­ever, she said that was not the case ear­lier this sum­mer, and added that a long-term fix for park­ing is “im­per­a­tive.”

Coun­cil­lor Joe Mi­hevc of Ward 21, St. Paul’s, said the city will un­der­take a traf­fic study and that within the next month he and the Lib­erty Group will meet city staff from City of Toronto Trans­porta­tion Ser­vices and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment di­vi­sions to look at park­ing so­lu­tions.

“There is a park­ing lot along the hy­dro cor­ri­dor by Dupont [Street] that has more than enough space,” said Mi­hevc, who sug­gested the idea of a shut­tle bus to take Casa Loma at­ten­dees back and forth.

As for break­ing a 20-year lease signed with Lib­erty En­ter­tain­ment Group in 2013, that is “not in the cards,” he said. “I am of the view that we can find that sweet spot that al­lows Lib­erty to con­tinue to make Casa Loma the jewel in our city while also re­spect­ing lo­cal rights.”

They’ve got po­lice here ev­ery night con­trol­ling the traf­fic and the peo­ple.”

Joann Bre­it­man said Casa Loma’s Hal­loween event was dis­rup­tive to res­i­dents

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