Locals take issue with operator of Casa Loma
A petition has been sent to the mayor’s office concerning noise and traffic
They’ve got police here every night controlling the traffic and the people.”
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.”
Joann Breitman said Casa Loma’s Halloween event was disruptive to residents