Monday, 15 March 2021

Your chance to comment on Toronto’s Foreshore Masterplan

This Masterplan has been a very long time in coming, but at its meeting on 22nd February, Council endorsed the draft Masterplan, which is open for public comment until 22nd March.

The plan and associated details can be found on Council’s website. Large-format hard copies are available in the Library and are easier to read. Feedback is through a survey and/or submission to Council. Everyone is urged to give feedback to Council and encourage others to do so. Our Foreshore and Lake are the jewels of Lake Macquarie!

The planners have looked at the potential of every square metre and incorporated new amenities and landscaping that will greatly improve the recreational use of this hitherto rather neglected foreshore strip.

A few minor changes have been made following the public consultation in December/January: shared and walking path locations are now shown, a small shade pavilion replaces the existing rotunda, and there are car drop-off points. The plan incorporates a number of facilities and additions that will allow improved use of the relatively small area for everyone in formalised and natural settings.

However, the proposed small, single-storey building on the Bath Street site is still sketchy, other than ‘potential cafe and bike hub’. Council’s foreshadowed reclassification from ‘operational’ to ‘community’ land for some of the Bath Street site and the remaining Victory Row parcels has yet to occur.

Two other key issues have not yet been adequately dealt with. These are parking and boat access to the Lake. They are discussed below from the perspectives of the TFPG and RMYC Toronto, respectively.


A good masterplan doesn’t just look good on paper/screen. It also addresses the practicalities. Toronto’s foreshore will only be ‘activated’ if people can get there without too much inconvenience. Access means that traffic and parking must be part of the design, not an after-thought.

As it stands, the masterplan adds ‘facilities’, including a cafe, but takes away quite a lot of parking. Parking spaces are shown on the maps, but no estimate is given of the net impact. Blind Freddy can see that more people and less parking is a recipe for chaos and frustration.

In respect to parking, Lake Macquarie Council has failed the community three times over. First, it did not require in the contract that the planners should calculate the net impact on traffic and parking, including boat trailers (which have been banished). Second, community concerns expressed during the preliminary consultation seem to have been ignored. Third, Council does not have an updated Traffic & Parking strategy to address Toronto’s growing population (which Council is underwriting). Hardly integrated planning.

No-one wants the Foreshore to become a carpark. No-one wants the township to be over-whelmed by traffic and parked cars. But if people can’t get to the Foreshore, they will stay away, which is not ‘activation’.

The Mayor and councillors need to explain how people will be able to get their boats, kayaks, etc. into and out of the Lake, how picnickers will get their gear to/from the Foreshore, how families will manage with strollers and young children, or the elderly/disabled. ‘First in first served’ is not good enough.

There are not many options, but there are some. Angle parking on both sides of Bath Street would help to accommodate patrons to the Yacht Club and café, as would more parking behind the café, which could be moved forward. Victory Parade could be better managed. A loop bus would help to move people around if they have to park further away. And it must all be safe for pedestrians.

The Mayor and Council must ensure that the money spent on consultants is well spent and that the CEO and staff are doing their job to provide a framework to integrate the Masterplan. Ignoring obvious problems is not planning.

The RMYC’s Perspective

The RMYC raised the following points in a letter to Councillors with supporting documentation that can be viewed on the website.

In our response to the preliminary Toronto Foreshore Master Plan (FMP) released in late 2020, we indicated that the club supports the direction and that it was clearly an improvement on Council’s original proposal. At the same time, our response pointed to deficiencies that were also highlighted in ‘community consultation / pop up sessions. The club is disappointed that those deficiencies have now been replicated in the draft FMP.

The following points summarise our more detailed response:

  1. Parking is not addressed in the preliminary or draft FMP. If the FMP intent is to activate the foreshore, it will need sufficient parking along with frequent and accessible public transport.
  2. Lake Macquarie is an aquatic playground but this plan barely addresses boating needs.
  3. Angle parking could easily be accommodated on the southern side of Bath Street.
  4. The northern side of Bath Street might also have some right-angle parking interspaced with trees. The RMYC are keen to discuss leasing the footpath area in Bath Street alongside the club for its long-term parking needs.
  5. Removal of the Wharf Street launching ramp will put pressure on the Bath Street ramp, where no trailer boat parking is planned. Whilst the Bath Street ramp is part of the RMYC Toronto Marina’s Permissive Occupancy, it is available to be used – and is used as a free of charge - as a public ramp.
Several other considerations have been overlooked in regard to RMYC Toronto’s position on the Foreshore:
  1. Parking on the Bath Street site is not primarily overflow for RMYC. During the peak of the Covid19 pandemic, the RMYC car park was empty but workers in/visitors to Toronto continued to park on Bath Street.
  2. The Bath street site is used as overflow parking when there are big community and Lake based recreational activities. These include the Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta as held in February 2021 and which – over 15 years, has raised $470,000 in support of Cancer Council and Marine Rescue.
  3. Combined with support for recreational boating, club support for community-based events (more than 300 in total), brings many visitors to Toronto, thereby helping to ‘activate’ the Foreshore.
  4. The RMYC is a 90-year-old, Not-For-Profit, community-based club, (2,600 members), with no debt and housed in a heritage building (the former Arnott’s holiday home). It deserves to be supported by Council, not penalised.
We understand that council are now undertaking a Lake Activation Study (opened for comments on 10/3/21) and a Toronto Traffic Study. RMYC hopes that these will be brought together in an integrated plan and would welcome such assurance.

Additional community concerns have been raised about the lack of recognition and respect of heritage and historical values highlighted by the proposed removal & replacement of the rotunda which was built in 2002, and which houses 7 plaques recognising significant local events and has strong social ties with the community. Could it be retained and enhanced to both save a community structure and reduce the wastage associated with demolition and rebuilding?

Feedback to Council by 22nd March

Progress Parlance

Bush Blocks – A new beginning

The flurry of February activity to garner pledges of support for the 20 Laycock Street, whilst not successful in securing the site, was in fact a success in showing local support for such a project.

It is acknowledged that there were shortfalls in the process: not enough time, background knowledge, nor detail. In spite of this there were 17 pledges made totalling $47,120. Considering the 48 hour timeframe this was very inspiring and genuinely appreciated.

Many of those that pledged have rolled over their pledge as a show of ongoing support for the project. As the concept is more fully explained and direction and new opportunities arise, the pledges will provide a barometer of our community’s capacity to undertake a collaborative housing project. 
You can pledge support for the ongoing project at

The CPPA committee has endorsed further exploration of the collaborative housing concept and an invitation is warmly extended to anyone interested in joining a project team to develop a project plan with defined objectives and a crystal clear mission within our geographical area. Contact Suzanne to get involved

Seeking a hall booking coordinator

Feel like volunteering a small amount of time throughout the year to coordinate the bookings at our Hall? The job involves keeping a calendar of bookings, showing interested parties the hall and processing the paperwork, taking about 1 to 2 hours a week on average. Contact Ian Dennison to find out more 0412 083 130

Muso’s musings

The CPPA is willing to support and encourage a regular social jam session at Progress hall with the intention of having a musical event as a regular Progress activity in the future. If you’ve got musical ability and are interested in making music contact Suzanne and we can get together, see what’s possible and look for suitable times.

Can we be plastic free?

The Toronto cafés and about 35 other cafés around Lake Macquarie have had the strong bamboo reusable coffee cups for a month now for only $2. With the COVID concerns about handling now addressed, it’s considered safe to use reusable coffee cups. With 2.5 million takeaway cups going to landfill in Australia each day, the TASNG team are keen to get Toronto back on track and heading towards being a plastic-free community. Later in the year it is hoped to support coffee trucks and fastfood restaurants with the reusable cups initiative.

Formosa’s getting hard to find!

We’re not popping the corks yet...but it won’t be too long. Well done, Coal Pointians, on great progress in eliminating the elegant but evil Formosa lily.

We’ve noticed a significant drop in number this year, indicating that far fewer seeds have been spread along our beautiful bush ridge.

That success is in no small part due to each one of you who has kept an eye out since last summer and dug out that horrible bulb, or at least removed the flower head before it seeded.

If we can keep up this rate of reduction, soon will come a summer when we’re down to a handful of sightings.

Watch for them in your yard. And feel free to remove them from our bush reserves if you can. If we get down to five floral fiends we’re all celebrating! ...and it will be well-deserved.

How much can one community comment on in a month?

LMCC has their pedal to the metal with plans-a-plenty for comments during March.

The Lake Activation Strategy comments due 30th March. It will help shape decisions about the replacement, renewal or enhancements of things like boat ramps, jetties, parking, shared paths and swimming areas. Plus, it will also help in discovering new opportunities for the foreshore, and current and future community events.

The strategy applies to the lake and importantly any council owned and managed foreshore land that adjoins it. The strategy will assess current usage and identify future needs and opportunities. It will measure the adequacy of lake and foreshore infrastructure and facilities to meet those current and future needs and will develop a 10-year Action Plan to map how we will deliver our agreed vision for the lake.

The draft Walking, Cycling and Better Streets Strategy is currently on exhibition until 30th March. 

Council staff and the Active Transport Advisory Group (ATAG) have been developing this document for almost two years. Carey Bay local, Nico Marcar, is a member of ATAG and encourages everyone to comment. ”This plan is greatly improved on 2012 version with an improved decision making process to inform one year operational and four year implementation programs. This is a significant document for our community with lots of potential routes mentioned, including a Kilaben Bay to Rathmines connection along the waterfront”.

LMCC’s Urban Greening Strategy is welcoming comments until 1st April. This new, key Council planning document aims to ensure the green areas in our city continue to grow and thrive for years to come. Trees play a critical role in creating healthier, more liveable and sustainable urban environments and mitigating urban heat effects.

Toronto is one of 11 suburbs in the city identified as being most impacted by extreme heat mainly due to increased impervious cover and higher dwelling density.

With Council recently joining a select group of 120 cities across the world as a ‘Tree City of the World’, comments on how we can make our urban areas greener and cooler are welcome.

The Hub’s Community Garden

There’s a growing number of community garden volunteers at the Toronto Community Centenary Hub (97 The Boulevarde) who are gaining skills and camaraderie.

The group meets weekly on a Wednesday 3:30-5pm however for the rest of March it will be on a Tuesday. The community garden is also open Saturdays from 9 am - 12 noon.

Upcoming activities include 
  • harvesting figs on Saturday 13/3, 
  • a cooking demonstration on fig preserve on Saturday 20th March, 
  • The garden meeting on Tuesday 23rd March at 5pm after Tuesday gardening
  • Community Garden Plant sale/morning tea, sausage sizzle on 17th April.

The group’s activities are on the Hub’s facebook page.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

DA In Play to 9/3/21

The CPPA endeavours to provide a summary of active applications in our area as outlined in the table.

Please consult LMCC’s website for a full listing:
  • DA = Development Application
  • BC = Building Information Certificate
  • TA = Tree Assessment
  • CC = Construction Certificate,
  • CDC = Complying Development Certificate,
  • REF = Review Environmental Factors
  • SC = Subdivision Certificate.
  • MU = Mixed use
  • RFB = Residential flat Building