Welcome to Harbord Village

HVRA members receive regular email messages about local events and issues. See recent HVRA News messages here.


University-Rosedale Election Debates:

7 pm Fri. Oct. 2 and 7 pm Mon. Oct. 5

Here are two chances to see and hear the candidates in our new federal riding of University-Rosedale.

1. Fri. Oct. 2, Bloor Street United Church, 300 Bloor St. W

doors open at 7 pm, Forum at 7:30 pm.

HVRA’s past chair Gus Sinclair will chair an All-Candidate Forum this coming Friday evening at Bloor Street United Church (Bloor and Huron). Come early for the Forum start at 7:30 pm. Five registered candidates have accepted our invitation: Chrystia Freeland, Liberal Party of Canada   chrystia-freeland.liberal.ca/; Jennifer Hollett, New Democratic Party, jenniferhollett.com/; Simon Luisi, Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada; Steve Rutchinski, Marxist-Leninist Part of Canada, www.cpcml.ca/; Nick Wright, Green Party of Canada, www.electnickwright.greenparty.ca/. Karim Jivraj, Conservative Party of Canada, has not confirmed his attendance, www.votekarim.ca/.

2. Mon. Oct. 5, 1 Devonshire Place, 7 pm

Another local all-candidates debate, this time focussed on Global Affairs, will be hosted by the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Canada International Council, Toronto branch, and will be followed by a reception. Topics will include Foreign Affairs, Defence, International Trade, Development Assistance, Citizenship and Immigration Policy, and others. The debate will be livestreamed. Event information can be found at munkschool.utoronto.ca/event/18981/; obtain a seat free of charge at www.eventbrite.com/e/university-rosedale-all-candidates-debate-on-global-affairs-registration-18522088064. Candidates registered before September 15th have been invited, and these have confirmed attendance: Chrystia Freeland, Liberal Party of Canada; Jennifer Hollett, New Democratic Party; Steve Rutchinski, Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada; Jesse Waslowski, Libertarian Party of Canada; Nick Wright, Green Party of Canada. Karim Jivraj, Conservative Party of Canada, has not confirmed his attendance. 


The 2015 Fall Fair, planned for Sun. Sept. 13 in Margaret Fairley Park,

had to be cancelled because of bad weather   :(


BUT -- you can still meet your neighbours at the HVRA Fall Meeting

Wed. Oct. 21, 6:30 pm

Multi-Purpose Room, Kensington Health Centre, 45 Brunswick Avenue


AND -- you can still bid in the Silent Auction

-- put in your first bids at the Fall Meeting, Wed. Oct. 21

-- revise your bids and pick up your items at the Pumpkin Festival, Sun. Nov. 1


Scenes from the HVRA Spring Meeting, May 28, 2015

Photos by Richard Longley

Caleb Woolcott (Lord Lansdowne Public School) reading his prize-winning essay. (See also the Student Essay Contest page.)

Callie Deacon (King Edward Public School) reading her prize-winning essay. (See also the Student Essay Contest page.)

The SW caucus reporting on its discussion.

The NE caucus reporting on its discussion.


Letter on Construction at Central Tech: from Ward 20 Councillors and Ward 10 School Trustee

Discussions between the developer and neighbourhood groups about the composition of the artificial turf component are continuing, but the redevelopment of the Central Tech playing field will start soon. A public letter from Mike Layton, Joe Cressy, and Ausma Malik outlines the construction schedule. Click here to read it.


HVRA Welcomes Mediated Settlement on Central Tech Field

Thanks to a mediated settlement recently concluded under the auspices of the Ontario Municipal Board, the Harbord Village Residents’ Association and its community partners have succeeded in reducing the scale and potentially harmful effects of a proposed large championship field at Central Tech.

Read the whole March 6, 2015 statement here.


HVRA supports the Community Swim

pool photosThe Central Tech Community Swim is every Saturday from late September to the May long weekend

A donation of $2 per person, accepted at the door, is used to pay the pool lifeguards. 

The pool is divided into three sections each week, so that there is lap swim, a child and family area in the shallow water, and a section in the deep end with a diving board.  Everyone is welcome!

Where: Central Tech Pool at Lennox and Lippincott Streets, southeast of Bathurst, door 16
When: every Saturday from late September to the May long weekend
Hours: 2 to 4 p.m.
Contact: centraltechpool@gmail.com

See more about HVRA's support for the CT Community Swim here.

Donations sought for Graffiti Removal Teams

In February 2013, 30 people representing police, school, Harbord BIA, residents, the councillor and his staff met to discuss what to do about the continuing graffiti tagging that is going on in our lanes. Following that event, almost all graffiti tags on Sussex Mews and Harbord Street were removed or painted over, and two of the most prolific "taggers" have been arrested. Now HVRA would like to extend the programme to other Harbord Village lanes. 

  • If you would like your laneway to be next and are willing to help, contact HVRA Chair Tim Grant at chair@harbordvillage.com.

Up to now, the cost of paints and graffiti removal chemicals has been borne by a handful of individuals. That amounts to thousands of dollars. HVRA is now seeking financial donations that will create a superfund to pay for paint and supplied to be used on other laneways. Why is this necessary? Many of those whose garages or houses have been tagged are on fixed incomes. The HVRA wants to make graffiti eradication painless for them, and will find volunteers to do the work. But they need funds to support their work. 

  • If you can help, please mail cheques payable to "HVRA" to: HVRA, 360A Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X1. Mark "graffiti removal" on your cheque.

Toronto Heritage Grant Program 2015

In 2015, the city again offered grants for restoration work on houses within our two Heritage Conservation Districts. (For wonderful photos and reports on those districts, see the Heritage Conservation section of this website.) Watch for news on next year's program.

This is how it worked in 2015:

  • If you owned one of the 349 heritage-designated houses, you were eligible for a grant from the city for 50% of the estimated cost of conservation work, up to $10,000. Applications are due by 4 pm on April 3, 2015. Forms and information are available online.
  • A public workshop on the program and the application process was held in early February at City Hall.

We were disappointed in February 2015 to hear from the City that our community was not chosen for an extension to our heritage districts, simply because of lack of staff. We continue to press for inclusion. 

Heritage protection applies only to house facades — what is visible from the street, not the back or the inside.

For more information, please check the City’s Heritage Preservation Services website.

And we hope to share better news soon.

 Barton Cottages on Robert Street

HVRA presents COMMUNITY BUILDER AWARD to neighbourhood hero Sharron Richards, Nov. 3, 2014

Our thanks to photographer Richard Longley.

Our thanks to good neighbour Sharron Richards of Major Street for showing extraordinary courage and compassion in coming to the aid and assistance of two young women who had been mugged, robbed and physically beaten on Major Street south of Ulster.

In appreciation of Sharron's generosity, HVRA's chair Tim Grant presented Sharron with a Community Builder Award during our AGM on November 3, 2014.

The citation continued, "Answering one’s door at 2:30 in morning is not an easy thing, nor, upon doing so only to find two women in distress and one bleeding profusely from the head.  But this is precisely what happened to Sharron Richards on the morning of October 30, 2014.  Sharron did not hesitate to bring them inside and tend the wounds with towels and ice and by calling the police who arrived quickly with an ambulance. 

"Harbord Village is proud of Sharron’s actions on that night. And with neighbours like Sharron, Harbord Village will thrive."

Click here to see Sharron tell CBC-TV about the late-night knock on her door.

7th Annual Pumpkin Festival — ooohs and aaahs for our 800 carved and candle-lit pumpkins


HVRA winners at Heritage Toronto Awards October 21, 2014


Left: Volunteers (re)light candles during the very windy Pumpkin Fest on November 1, 2014. Our HVRA chair/festival coordinator Tim Grant is in the middle of the group of three at the back of the table.

Our thanks to the 35+ volunteers who helped make the festival an enchanted evening.



See more photos of our 2014 Pumpkin Festival here.

HVRA and board member Wendy Smith win HERITAGE TORONTO awards!

HVRA newsletter Autumn 2014

Left: Representing HVRA at the Heritage Toronto Award Ceremony October 21, 2014 (left to right): Eleanor Levine, Oral History Project coordinator Nicole Schulman, Margaret Procter, HVRA Chair Tim Grant, and Wendy Smith. (Photo courtesy Heritage Toronto.)


HVRA was a big winner at the Heritage Toronto Annual Awards ceremony on October 21, 2014, with two awards for its oral-history project. To see what the judges liked so much, visit the Harbord Village History website and enjoy listening, reading, and viewing personal accounts of what it was like to live in this area before 1975.

HVRA board member Wendy Smith was also honoured, receiving Heritage Toronto's Award of Excellence in the Media category for her Toronto Park Lot Project. You can see Wendy's project here: http://parklotproject.com.

For the full story about these awards, see the History Project page on this site.

Honest Ed's Development

Community survey finds green space, a civic plaza, and a community cultural centre the three top priorities of neighbouring residents in the redevelopment of the Mirvish Village site


Westbank Projects Corp., a Vancouver development firm, has acquired the Honest Ed’s site in the block bounded by Lennox, Markham, Bathurst and Bloor. It has undertaken a series of public consultations and will be presenting plans to the City as early as later in the Fall.

In response the Mirvish Village Task Group, led by the Palmerston Residents Association, with the participation of the Seaton Village, Annex, and Harbord Village residents' associations, has surveyed residents to determine community desires for whatever building development take place on this critical site. This will be one of the largest developments in our part of town.

Asked to rank the importance of the inclusion of various kinds of public amenities in the development, 276 respondents ranked GREEN SPACE first (215 very important, 48 somewhat important); a CIVIC PLAZA second (109/75); and a  COMMUNITY CULTURAL CENTRE third (111/89).

The survey also found that residents favoured a building height similar to that of the B-Street Condos across Bathurst Street, and wanted to see only small-size retail operations in the building.

A further public process will take place in the future.

You can see the study results here.

Harbord Village Pilot Project Gets Ahead of Emerald Ash Killers

Cost to HVRA homeowners as little as $250 every 2 years

Harbord Village EAB Management Plan —
for more information, click here to visit our Treeing the Village web pages.

Cover of

Finally, some real hope in staving off the green beetle that is threatening one in ten trees in the City of Toronto and is further advanced on the University of Toronto campus than was thought. Some have been found in Harbord Village, but we need to act quickly to save half our trees.

“We need to be in a position to act by June,” said Prof. Sandy Smith, University of Toronto Forestry Department Entymologist, in 2012. “Injections must be within June-August timeframe, or the trees will die.”

“This is way better than we thought,” said Tim Grant, Chair of HVRA, when we were given a quick preview of the plan. “We still have a chance to act.”

What is promising is that the cost of injecting affected trees is considerably less over time than cutting them down, because a major infestation is invariably fatal.
Read more here.

Find your tree!

Our Google Earth map will show you your street, your house, your tree — and the entire Harbord Village canopy.

Check it out on our Harbord Village Trees Inventory web page

Reading recommendation from the HV Tree Committee:
Here's a timely article about tree care from the Fine Gardening web site: What's Wrong with That Tree?

Google Earth