Next Steps from Traffic

Brown School Safe Passage:

-          Troy had requested the traffic counts needed as part of the investigation in to a stop sign or cross walk at Poplar Plains Rd & Poplar Plains Cres – The city representative Dan Clement, requested two weeks to investigate and determine what is required to progress this issue. ACTION: Dan please respond to Kendra with the details and timeline.

-          No one from Police enforcement was present to discuss the speeding, illegal stopping and other concerns on Poplar Plains Rd – ACTION: Matt Moyer / Bert Dean – please send an update directly to Kendra on recent enforcement activities.

-          We have confirmed that no crossing guard can be added until a cross walk or stop sign is in place an a student count can be conducted – No ACTION for now



-          Speed Humps on the first block of Poplar Plains Cres (nearest to Avenue) have now been formally requested with a petition submitted.  Unfortunately, the city was unable to report on progress.  ACTION: Dan connect with Troy & Blake to determine if there necessary criteria is in place to move this ahead.  Please revert with next steps and timeline.

-          The neighbourhood consensus for Cottingham street is not yet clear.  The block in question for speed humps is the first block west of Avenue Rd.  Before Josh’s office or the City take any action, we must determine there is majority agreement.  ACTION: Nichole to work with Kendra to canvas the neighbours directly impacted and revert with level of support.

-          Laneway bumps were also discussed – the process here is less formal, a we can press ahead assuming agreement – specifically looking at the north south lanes.  ACTION: Blake & Dan to confirm what is required from us.  Maggie will act as coordinator of any neighbours on Avenue Rd.

-          We talked through some changes expected for Radar enforcement on Avenue Rd and possibly at some stage for photoradar on our neighbourhood streets.  Not yet clear how the new legislation will come to life.  ACTION: Blake & Josh to keep RARA informed of our options – we will revisit this at our next update meeting.

-          Josh walked us through coordinated plans to improve pedestrian safety on Avenue Rd and the coordinated efforts at council with other wards.  No ACTIONS for RARA – but we will support and inform as requested.

-          We did discuss the possibility of having a radar sign ‘know your speed’ trailer brought in to either Poplar Plains Cres or Poplar Plains Rd.  ACTION: Blake to confirm how we get our neighbourhood on the list for this moving sign.

-          Again we were not able to talk about enforcement and would ask for a detailed email from Toronto Police.  ACTION: Bert /Matt, please notify us on latest for speed enforcement.


Wrong Way / Street Signage:

-          It was noted that a number of signs had been fixed and added – thank you Dan / Troy & Team

-          We are still looking for some better one-way signage off on McMaster, Cottingham & Macpherson. AS well as improvements at the Macpherson / Rathnelly intersection. ACTION: Dan to report back with what has been requested and what is pending.

-          Macpherson Bump out plans are in queue.  Unfortunately the timeline will be 2 YEARS due to lack of budget.  We have asked for more detail on the plan, interim options and detailed timelines ACTION: Dan to report back with details.

-          Line Painting is expected in the Spring.  We will watch to ensure it is completed.  NO ACTION until late summer

-          We were aware that some enforcement had occurred at the Macpherson / Rathnelly, Macpherson / Poplar Plains Rd, Cottingham / Rathnelly intersections – ACTION: Bert / Dan to confirm latest on enforcement & to revisit the neighbourhood to do another Round.

-          We discuss the West side T junction where Cottingham meets Rathnelly and the possibility of improving visibility – ACTION: Dan to review whether a yellow line on curb by corner, or some movement of the signs is possible.


Island at Poplar Plains Rd & Macpherson:

-          The residents on Poplar Plains Rd remain concerned about the illegal turning at this intersection.  We have formally requested the island be extended and that options be sought to reduce near misses and accidents. ACTION: Dan & Blake to return to the group with an update on next Steps & Timeline. ACTION: Dan / Bert – please prioritize this for enforcement as reports from neighbours of near misses continue.



-          The hot topic of the meeting was parking.  More enforcement, over enforcement, lack of enforcement! It seems that we as a community have some work to do to get clarity to ensure we are sending the right message to Parking enforcement on our concerns and priorities, as well as educating our neighbours on the bilaws, history / context and enforcement options.  Generally there is also some confusion caused by the lack of consistency and new changes. ACTION: RARA will prioritize this issue for broader coverage. 

-          Poplar Plains Cres (Block closest to Polpar Plains Rd) – residents would like to do away with two sided street parking due to safety concerns and congestion.  Residents are also seeing a pattern of ‘gaming’ the 3 hour parking limit for those working in the neighbourhood.  ACTION: Dan to Confirm the next steps on limiting Parking to just the North Side.  ACTION: Andrea / Cynthia to revert with details on enforcement.

-          Poplar Plains Cres (Block closest to Avenue Rd) – residents are split.  There is a 3 hour parking limit, which by nature of the enforcement team’s shifts is very hard to enforce, as they must come and chalk and then return 3 hours later to ticket.  There are some neighbours who are contacting parking enforcement regularly to request enforcement – which results in ticketing.  There are other neighbours who feel targeted and who are paying excess tickets for their friends, trades and own cars.  There is also a report of a towing, which we confirmed could only have been due to unpaid parking tickets.  The situation requires a more focused conversation and specifically the residents on the south side of the street would like to be better represented.  ACTION: Kendra to work with Cynthia & Andrea on a deeper investigation and resolution of the parking tension on this block.  ACTION: Kendra will report back to RARA on progress and include Grace in key activities. 

-          Rathnelly – some view that enforcement may be working and that the 1-hour parking limit trial was starting to positively improve parking for residents without other options.  Others raised a desire for more enforcement and still others felt that the 1-hour trial was not having an impact. ACTION: Andrea / Cynthia to send details on the enforcement stats for Rathnelly 1-hour parking.  ACTION: Judie Thom to work with RARA on the community meeting and timeline for gather broader consensus in the fall on the success or lack there off of the parking trial.

-          Concerns continue to be raised regarding the Trades parking illegally by the unfinished construction on the South East corner of McMaster & Rathnelly.  ACTION: Andrea / Cynthia to confirm enforcement plan for this issue.

-          We continue to work with the Green P corporation to try to modify the hours for day time parking.  We will also continue our outreach to businesses on Macpherson to encourage them to work with us on reducing the impact of employee parking on pour residents.  ACTION: Kendra to report back to group with progress.


We will follow up directly with Action owners on the items above.  Please keep Kendra informed of changes & Progress.  This topic will be covered in the May 16th AGM, we will want the latest information by that time.  We will work with Josh’s office top book a follow-up meeting for early fall to revisit open items together as a group.


Update from Toronto Hydro on Davenport Project

All - here is the outcome summary from this week's meeting with Toronto Hydro - Thank you to Pym for attending on our behalf and sharing the full details.  We have been watching this project carefully because of community concerns around traffic, parking and a desire to minimize the impacts on Pump Park this summer (especially for Rathnelly Day!)

---Begin email update---

Good Morning Everyone,

I wanted to follow up on a few items from our last meeting: communications to residents, traffic plan/alternative parking recommendations and worksite signage.


I’ve attached three communications pieces that I hope will provide a good understanding of the work Powerline Plus (PLP) is doing on behalf of Toronto Hydro to upgrade the infrastructure in the area. The first is the general letter delivered on February 16th by Toronto Hydro to advise residents of the upcoming construction, project timeline and contact information for our customer operations team should residents have any concerns. The second letter was delivered on March 10th by PLP to advise residents of possible disruptions and contact information for PLP should they have any concerns. Both are part of our standard communications practice and letters are delivered to homes that are expected to be directly affected by the work.

From the discussion at our last meeting, we’ve created the third communications piece which provides further details on the project phases, Phase One timelines, community impacts and contact information. We recognize that residents outside of the delivery area of the first two notices may be impacted, so Josh and Pym, we would appreciate your assistance in sharing this information—including posting the letters on the Rathnelly community notice board. We will provide an updated version of this letter as the construction schedule for the next two phases are confirmed.

Traffic plan:

Prior to beginning construction, PLP worked with the city’s Transportation staff to identify a plan to work safely while occupying space in the public roadway. Although they were not able to identify alternative parking for the spots they will be occupying along Boulton, PLP will continue to work as diligently as possible to limit the disruption to residents in order to complete the project. 

Worksite signage:

In addition to the City of Toronto Book 7 required signage, PLP has installed signs to warn cyclists of incoming traffic / construction.

We do appreciate the patience of this community and recognize there has been a lot of ongoing work in this area. Stephen Sheehy our director of design and construction has been onsite this week to ensure construction began smoothly, Shannon Jackson from our customer operations team is on-hand at 416-542-3366 throughout the project, and PLP will address any immediate concerns and can be reached at 416-609-8272.

I hope this information is helpful, but please let me know if you have any new or outstanding concerns since our meeting.

Kind Regards,


Cindy Brooks
Public and Government Relations Consultant
Office of the President
Toronto Hydro|  14 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1K5
T: 416-542-3186  |  C416-903-0207

Documents for download:




Traffic Meeting April 5th

As promised, we continue to work through the community's concerns related to traffic safety with the city, police and Josh's office.  For those residents who would like to participate, our next meeting with all parties will be held at 9am Wednesday April 5th at 188 Cottingham Street.  We expect to hear full updates from the city on the items raised for further investigation (which you can see featured in earlier installments of this blog).  



Rathnelly Traffic Update

All Republic residents.  Traffic concerns have been raised by many – we convene a public meeting on December 2nd.  The City, Police & Josh Matlow attended, as did many concerned residents.  Please review the following summary of the meeting and actions coming from the various parties.

Thank you for those who were able to join yesterday’s meeting – we spent over 2 hours on the topic of traffic safety and heard from a number of concerned residents.  Our aim to work together on a concerted plan to combat some these issues together.  Our aim is to follow through and hold each other accountable on the items discussed so that we can demonstrate to the RARA membership that we are taking the concerns seriously and making best use of the solutions available.  I will be in touch to book a follow-up meeting in late February – this will hopefully give all involved some time to push the actions forward.

Concern #1 – Safe Passage for Brown School Students

High-level overview

·       Generally viewed to loud and dangerous to walk kids up Avenue Rd from the neighbourhood to Brown school, which means most opt to walk up Poplar Plains Rd.

·       Heavy rush-hour traffic and speeding on Poplar Plains Rd. Made worse by the Mabin kiss & ride, construction & wrong way driving

·       Lack of side walk on Poplar Plains Cres, made worse by cars parking on both sides

·       No stop sign or cross walk means that we cannot have a crossing guard

·       No sidewalk on the east side of Poplar Plains Rd – forcing kids to cross

·       Net result is that parents do not feel that their kids can safely walk to our community school.  There have been near misses – general senti,ment is that this is getting worse & we have signed up over 50 families who are effective and looking help.

What is possible

·       The residents of Poplar Plains Cres will not support a sidewalk as it would cut in to their properties and create a major project – we agreed not to continue to raise this as it would never get approval without their support.

·       The City will need to explore the suitability of adding a stop sign at Poplar Plains Cres & Poplar Plains Rd – Some study would be required

·       The City will also look in to a cross walk, though this was generally viewed as less likely to be accepted due to the flashing lights

·       The City would investigate the status of adding a physical barrier at Poplar Plains Rd & Russel Hill Rd (this was raised by South Hill to prevent wrong way driving & near misses at that intersection.)

·       We will also explore options for getting a crossing guard through the police service (would be unlikely before the cross walk)

·       While enforcement is limited the police will visit the area when possible to show visible enforcement during the school walk

Actions Assigned

Troy – Will walk the route & begin the process of investigating options – We expect to hear back from Troy on likely timeline and the support he needs from RARA in the next two weeks.

Claire – Will contact Brown School to discuss the crossing guard situation, There is likely nothing immediate, but we want to ensure this in on their radar.

Claire – Will update the Parents concerned on the plan.

Kendra – To coordinate with the South Hill Association on their progress & reinforce the items related to Poplar Plains Road

Bert – To look at enforcement options during the morning Rush hour

Concern #2 – Speeding

·       Speeding, especially on the East / West Streets is a concern

·       We discussed that Bumps can only be added when sidewalks are present

·       We heard some of the history of bumps not working, because they were too low

·       We discussed Signage & the eventual possibility of Photo Radar in the neighbourhood because of Wynn’s announcement

·       We discussed, and eliminated more drastic measures, like creating dead-ends

·       We discussed the limited effectiveness of ‘please slow down signs’

·       Enforcement is viewed as the best option – Constable Dean did share the investigation completed by Constable Swain

·       Grace, Josef & Bill represented the Poplar Plain Cres neighbours and brought their signed petitions – these will be sharedas part of any submissions made to the city

Actions Assigned

Blake – To continue to investigate new options such as photo radar & keep RARA up to date on what is possible

Blake – The source of so much of this issue is really the congestion on Avenue Rd leading to frustrated drivers – please do let us know what if anything is being considered for improving that situation

Troy – Walked the neighbourhood and saw first hand the signage issues.  Please suggest game plans for better signage, Speed bumps on Cottingham & the first block of Poplar Plains Cres – again, we would like an update in 2 weeks time on what you expect is possible & what time frames any associated investigations, planning might take.

Bert – If there are opportunities to visit the neighbourhood for enforcement, please do so during the afternoon rush hour – We have asked for your team to report back to us at the highest level on the results of any enforcement

Kendra – We discussed reinforcing better behavior from residents through communication – we will feature a series in our upcoming newsletters to drive home the point

Concern #3 – Wrong way Driving

·       We went through options related to signage Improvements, including in the lanes and at the corners

·       We discussed the physical barrier suggested for the corner of Rathnelly & Macpherson and review renderings

·       We raised a desire for exploring other locations where a barrier could be employed (Cottingham & Rathnelly perhaps)

·       It was raised that the expectation had been set that the island at Macpherson & Poplar Plains Rd would be extended to prevent illegal turns

·       We spoke about the commercial tenants and their employees being a big part of the problem on MacPherson with high-speed reversing

·       It was generally agreed that enforcement was the best option, though by this stage in the meeting we had heard numerous times that the resources for enforcement are extremely limited with only 1 traffic cop on duty for all of 53rd at any one time.

Actions Assigned

Troy – As a priority, we would like to move forward with the next steps for the bump out at Macpherson & Rathnelly – please come back to RARA with what is required to confirm community support & make this happen.  We want to fully understand the impacts to parking on Rathnelly.

Troy / Blake – follow up on the Island at Macpherson & Poplar Plains Rd – sounds like this was last with Randy.  We want to see this completed as agreed.

Troy – to come back with further options for signage & physical barriers – again we will want to associated timelines and actions needing RARA’s support

Bert – To look in to enforcement, especially on Macpherson & Rathnelly

Kendra / RARA – to approach owners of businesses on Macpherson to discuss the impact of the wrong way driving and concerns related to parking

Concern #4 Drivers missing Stop Signs

·       Josh commented on how common this issue was with up to 80% of drivers rolling through stop signs

·       Pippa shared some created walk-way painting seen in Cabbagetown

·       We talked through examples where stop signs were not well place and hard to see

·       Specific concern was raised on the dangerous intersections with Rathnelly

Actions Assigned

Troy – Follow up on sign fixes & painting of our lines

Troy – to investigate if there is a way to add painted walkways as well

Troy  - Study the Rathnelly / Macpherson & Rathnelly Cottingham intersections to see what can be done to make them safer

Bert – to add this to the list for any upcoming enforcement

Hardy’s Corner / sidewalk driving / Rathnelly Parking

·       We discussed the negative impact of ongoing construction of the residence at Rathnelly & Macmaster – and the illegal parking associated with it – some context was shared on the limits related to the Building permit & issues causing such an extended delay

·       We discuss the impact of Rathnelly having parking on the west side, making it a one-lane street and the fact that doing away with that parking is not an option, nor is turning Rathnelly in to a one way street – as there would not be necessary support from resident – we agreed not to pursue these options

·       We discussed bollards to block people going on the sidewalk, but concluded that with the road being so narrow and the occasional time needeing trucks to go on the sidewalk, this was not ideal

·       This landed on enforcement & communication with neighbours

·       We discussed issues with the Green P and the need to reinstate the day rate

 Action Assigned

Bert – to connect Kendra with the Parking enforcement lead so that we can further discuss parking enforcement on Rathnelly (mid day for the 1-hour parking) and enforcement on trades

RARA – to explore Creating a list of parking spots for rent / lease that could be shared with the businesses on Macpherson – trying to alleviate illegal parking

Kendra – To contact the parking authority to discuss changes to the rates at the green P

Blake – to update RARA on the progress related to the construction delays & anything the community can do to help resolve the associated effects of this work & the trades parking nearby

Bert – any enforcement on this concern is best between the hours 8 -10am or 5-7pm

Troy – to walk this section & make suggestions on how to improve drivers visibility, ability to yield, etc.

Other items raised:

·       Claire raised concern about the crossing guard at Avenue & Cottingham for the Cottingham School kids – Bert, please connect me to Constable Lau

·       Josh raised recommendation that we do not rush to actions that create the impression of safety, but instead focus on the best solutions long term

·       Generally it was noted that these issues have been on the agenda for years, going back to 1976 in fact and that follow through was not likely – we all agreed to holding each other accountable and to working together to change that reality.

·       Troy and a few residents walked the neighbourhood following the meeting so that he could see for himself the issues that were discussed. (please send the summary of that walk to me so that I can add it to the above)

·       Kendra would like to work with Josh & Staff Sergeant Moyer on raising the lack of enforcement up the chain – we realize this is not a simple topic, but would be willing to work with you to get more visibility for what is clearly a service gap today!

RARA Winter Newsletter 2016 & Lane Name Voting

The winter newsletter went out to the mailing list this past Sunday night.  If you didn't catch it you can see the archived version here:

If you are not on the mailing list you can sign up here:

Of note -- the Lane Names voting is very close... like 50/50 close!  If you haven't voted yet you can do so here:




Poplar Plains Cres Petition: Dangerous Vehicular Traffic and Parking

To:  All Poplar Plains Crescent Residents

Subject:  Dangerous Vehicular Traffic and Parking


  • Vehicular traffic and parking trends on Poplar Plains Crescent are making our street unsafe and dangerous to our health. There seems to be no let down. Here are the contributing factors that you should be aware of:
  • Rush Hour Traffic – we see frustrated drivers cut off Avenue Rd looking for a faster way – often they are whipping off Avenue Rd at high speeds as Poplar Plains Road has become the proxy for Avenue Rd when it’s congested.
  •  Trade vehicles and other parking violators making road hard to navigate and reducing visibility & increasing congestion. The 3 hour parking limit on city streets is not being enforced.  Rathnelly is now piloting a 1 hour parking limit to reduce the number of out of the neighbourhood parkers.
  • Lack of side walk – especially from Rathnelly to Poplar Plains Rd – making walking and crossing already dangerous.  One girl was recently run over by a vehicle sending her to hospital for extensive x-rays.
  • Poor Signage – new drivers to the area are at risk of not knowing our streets are one way or what the speed limit is.
  • Little enforcement by police has resulted in many violations such as speeding, not stopping, side walk driving, wrong way driving, and high speed reverse driving.

What is RARA Going to Do?

RARA is working towards a productive multiparty solution with the City, Province & Toronto Police Services to help on the immediate enforcement and a plan to change the vehicular and parking patterns to improve our neighbourhood. To be comprehensive and convincing with City officials RARA is seeking input from all residents. 

What is Requested of You?

We need to sign this petition and provide any comments and suggestions for improvements. This information will be sent to RARA to support its work with the City.

Please print, sign the petition, and deliver it to your street rep (or send directly to Josh Matlow's office).

Download the petition here