This issue was raised at the December 6th 2019 at community meeting @ Victoria Village Public Library; Councilor Denzil Minon Wong told us that he had to recuse himself regarding the issue – to past Councilor David Shiner.
Overall Denzil stated that this was a federal issue and the city played no part in the final decision. It was agreed Don Valley East Collective would investigate the issue and report back to the community.
Action: Our first step was to reach to Yasmin Ratansi, MP for Don Velley East
Result: Yalda Mehran who received my call at Yasmin’s office was friendly and helpful; she went on to inform me that this was strictly a City of Toronto issue – contradicting Councilor Denzil Minon Wong’s statement at our community meeting on Dec 6th – however Yalda offered to perform some research and got back later on that day with a personal e-mail to us including some links to various reference documents published by the City of Toronto regarding the proposed Heliport Landing Pad.
Action: We reached out to Transport Canada for some detail on this issue, they only commented on the fact that they had approved this Heliport and did not provide further detail or justification regarding the decision.
Result: On Dec 17 they got back to me with the following e-mail:
Thank you for contacting Transport Canada.
The safety and security of Canadians and of the transportation system are Transport Canada’s top priorities. The Government is committed to ensuring that transportation continues to serve our communities and families in a safe and efficient manner. Canada’s airports contribute to the economy of the municipality that they serve, as well as the provincial and national economies.
Transport Canada’s responsibility is to ensure all aircraft are operating in a safe manner and in accordance with the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). The department’s focus is on safety. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that all aircraft are operating in a safe manner and in accordance with the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), which are available to the public at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-96-433/.
The Dare to Dream heliport, located at 1325 Lawrence Ave. East, was certified for operations by Transport Canada on July 20, 2016. It is certified under Canadian Aviation Regulation 305 and Standard 325 for day only operations and for the use of a Sikorsky S76 type helicopter. Consultation with the City of Toronto was accomplished prior to certification. If you have further need of clarification with the City, you can find contact information at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/council/members-of-council/.
If you have any further questions for Transport Canada, please feel free to contact me.
Civil Aviation Inspector – Flight Operations
Transport Canada / Government of Canada
[email protected] / Cell: 647-825-0942 / TTY: 1-888-675-6863
Inspecteur de l’Aviation civile – Opérations aériennes
Transports Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
[email protected] / Cell: 647-825-0942 / ATS: 1-888-675-6863
Action: Reached out to the Toronto City Planner who was responsible for coordinating the proposal for the City of Toronto – Michelle Corcoran.
Result: Michelle told me that this was a strange case and that she would have to get back to me after consulting with her supervisor at the City of Toronto Planning Office.
Acton: Michelle Corcoran got back to me as promised – she is a very friendly, knowledgeable and professional City of Toronto employee, I was impressed. She believes that its’ not in the best interest of the community to forego performing the proper assessment and consultation process as it sets an unfortunate precedent by opening up the door for other Heliport approvals all over the this city in the future.
Result: Michelle followed up with this formal e-mail:
According to the Canadian Aviation Regulations, Transport Canada requires that, prior to the issuance of a Heliport Certificate, the applicant shall (among other matters),”submit to the Minister proof that the applicant has consulted with the local government authority relating to the proposed heliport and adjacent land in accordance with the requirements of the applicable heliport standard”. (CAR 3050.8(1)(d) – https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-96-433/FullText.html#s-305.08)
The applicant met and discussed the proposal with various City Planning staff, however it is City council that represents the City of Toronto, and therefore staff reported the application details along with our recommendations, to North York Community Council (NYCC). That report, including materials submitted by the applicant, can be viewed here:https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ny/bgrd/backgroundfile-87900.pdf. The Local Government Authority Consultation Process referred to in the report is attached. The decision of North York Community Council as it related to this report, can be found here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2016.NY11.41.
I do not have confirmation in my file, however it is my understanding that despite North York Community Council’s requests for additional information to further evaluate and consult publicly on the request, Transport Canada was satisfied that the consultation requirements were met, and issued the requested Heliport Certificate. I recommend that you contact the persons below at Transport Canada for further information on Transport Canada’s consultation requirements, and the status of this particular application. It has been a few years, so I cannot confirm that Joseph and Jennifer are still involved with these matters, or that these are they current roles, but they were my contacts at the time.
Joseph Szwalek / Regional Director, Civil Aviation, Ontario Region / T: 416-952-0162 / C: 905-516-2070 / E: [email protected]
Jennifer Holmes / A/ Regional Manager, Civil Aviation Secretariat, Civil Aviation, Ontario Region / T: 416-952-0163 / C: 416-670-0626 / E: [email protected]
If you have further questions about my report or the decision of North York Community Council, please let me know.
Thank you, Michelle Corcoran, MCIP, RPP / Planner / Community Planning, City Planning Division / City of Toronto / North York Civic Centre / 5100 Yonge Street, Ground Floor / Toronto, ON M2N 5V / t: (416) 395-7130 / f: (416) 395-7155 / e: [email protected]
Action: Seeing as the issue had come back full circle and back to Yasmin Ratansi we reached out again to Ratansi’s office following up with a phone call and spoke to Yalda – her assistant again, she assured me that their office was looking into the issue and would get back.
Date: Mon, Mar 4, 2019 at 4:29 PM
Subject: Re: Helicopter pad at Lawrence Ave. E
To: <[email protected]>
Hi there Yalda, It seems like I have come full circle and back to your office for comment regarding this important safety issues that impacts the residents of Don Valley East; From my research – which I will forward you – it seems like the City had requested more time to conduct a proper assessment for said application however the Ministry of Transport just went ahead and approved the application, therefore I am looking back at your team. I would like to discuss when you get a chance, thanks, Paul Reddick Don Valley East Collective 647-963-0181
will forward email & attachment form City of Toronto (Michelle Corcora)
will forward the response form the Ministry of Transport (Andrew Dunt)
Result: no response to date
Action: Reached out to Peerage Capital – the company at 1325 Lawrence Ave E & 30 Railside rd. in an attempt to arrange a consultation with the owner / operator of the Heliport Landing Pad on behave of the Community.
Result: no response to date
Date: Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 12:52 PM
Subject: Don Valley East Collective
To: <[email protected]>
Hi there, our team has been looking into the private helicopter landing over at your shop on Lawrence ave, there are questions and it seems like – as per our research to date – a full assessment and public consultation that the city was looking to do did not happen, we realize your application was approved by transport Canada without all those steps and we are reaching out to see if you can comment and possibly engage the community in some way to make this right ?