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No patio for Parts and Labour

March 11th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Parts and Labour's Roof-top garden in Oct. 2010. The establishment wants to put a patio in.

Parts and Labour's roof-top garden in Oct. 2010. The establishment wants to put a patio in. Photo courtesy of Parts and Labour

By Beth Macdonell

On March 9, The city’s Committee of Adjustment panel turned down a request by Parts and Labour (1566 Queen St. W.) to construct a roof-top patio.

Eighteen opposing community members showed up at the meeting and 68 people signed a petition submitted to the committee against an outdoor space, says Josie Kruzick, whose daughter owns a building next to Parts. Madam Gillian Burton noted the committee received many letters on the matter. Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park)  also sent the committee his recommendation to refuse the application.

If passed, the patio would have increased the venue’s capacity from 417 to 645 patrons. The roof-top is currently used as a garden to supply ingredients for the establishment’s restaurant, and holds some of the space’s mechanical equipment.

Those against the patio say the venue hasn’t respected neighbours and additional outdoor space will just make matters worse. “There is no proof that there will be more concern, or attention, or expertise applied to the roof-top patio than there will be to the front of the building,” says Josée Brome, a tenant living across the street.“I’ve nothing to say about what goes on inside, but I have not had a good night’s sleep on a night they’ve been open since they’ve opened.”

At decision time, committee member Robert Brown chastised the owners for not being clear in their intent.  “As businessmen, you should have better answers. Would you be playing music? Will this be broadcast on the patio? No live bands?”

“My gut reaction is to refuse this application,” he continued.  “I don’t think they’ve been sensitive to the neighbourhood with their existing operation … the fact that they haven’t done a noise study—listen, if you are an experienced operator you know exactly what you want to do.”

The owners say they need to ensure they get a return on their investment, but are willing to compromise with neighbours. “Obviously we’d like to be open until 2 a.m., but we are open to a bargaining process,” said Parts co-owner Jesse Girard to the committee.

“It wasn’t a decision that we didn’t expect,” co-owner Richard Lambert told the Gleaner after the meeting. “It doesn’t matter if you try for a patio on Queen East, or Parkdale, or anywhere in Toronto. People understand that people like to drink outside, but not in their area.”

The owners say there are many Parkdalians who welcome Parts and Labour, and would by happy to see a patio.

The agent and architect representing Parts told the committee  that the business held a community meeting in January where they received support for the patio, and said he was surprised by the amount of opposition at the committee adjustment meeting.

“I get emails from people that support us, but they are not going to take the day off work [to come and speak]. The other people just show up. They are making themselves heard and other people aren’t,” says Lambert.

As for what’s next, Lambert says he can’t confirm if they will appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. “Many of our patrons have told us they would enjoy an outdoor patio and we are trying to provide that.”

Tags: Liberty · News

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 J. L. Campbell // Mar 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I for one (there are many other) am pleased the city’s Committee of Adjustment panel turned down the request by Parts and Labour for a roof-top patio. Between Brock Avenue and Gwynne (the area in which I reside), there are several so-called restaurants that open late to serve liquor and offer entertainment until the early hours of the morning. On leaving these establishments at 2 a.m., the inebriated patrons stand in groups on neighbourhood streets to converse loudly, often with beer bottles in hand, or they roam the streets demonstrating raucous behaviour and yelling obscenities. Some nights the level of noise is enough to wake the dead, and certainly those who had hoped they might get a good night sleep.

    Mornings after I find myself sweeping up garbage, broken beer bottles and hosing down vomit off the sidewalk. Bar owners do have the responsibility to exercise control over how much alcohol is served to any individual (to limit consumption before drunkenness), and the level of noise in and outside their premises, and owners ought to be taken to task on this…

    Parkdale is a neighbourhood, and like most consist of a residential area serviced by businesses that includes grocery stores, dry cleaners, medical facilities, schools, libraries, etc., and yes, restaurants and bars. But how many bars does a residential area need? Most of the people that patron these late night bars/entertainment establishments are not from the area. It has become evident, and a concern for many of the Parkdale residents that their neighbourhood may become the next club district. I do not believe this is in the best interests of, or preferred by the Parkdale community.

  • 2 Matt // Mar 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Yeah, this place has a capacity of over 400 people. They don’t need more. People’s bedroom windows are just a few metres away from where a patio would hypothetically be.

    Anyway, can we please not turn Parkdale into Ossington: The Sequel?

  • 3 Parkdale resident // Aug 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I would love a roof top Patio. The revived night life in Queen west did wonders for that neighbourhood that was spearhead by places like the Drake (wonderful roof top patio there). There was the same negative sentiment to those establishments in the beginning and infact those establishments ended up cleaning up the area more than the local residents. Good luck Parts + Labour and thanks for taking a chance with Parkdale!