City Takes Next Steps on SmartTrack & Transit

City Takes Next Steps on SmartTrack & Transit

City Council adopted a package of recommendations this month to move forward with SmartTrack and Eglinton West LRT.  SmartTrack is the integration of 6 new stations on Metrolinx’s GO lines.  The Province is working towards the electrification of these lines to allow faster moving trains running at greater frequency.  Adding stations through these corridors will make the GO a more viable subway-type option for Toronto residents and, more importantly for Willowdale residents, take some pressure off of Line 1 (Yonge).

John voted in favour of these …

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Yonge-401 Interchange (UPDATED)

Yonge-401 Interchange (UPDATED)

Update:

In late October, John joined representatives from the Yonge Corridor Condominium Association, West Lansing Homeowners Associationand West Willowdale Neighbourhood Association for a meeting they arranged at Queen’s Park with Willowdale MPP David Zimmer and Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca.  The focus of discussion was the ongoing delays in proceeding to an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Yonge Street/Highway 401 interchange improvements.

Residents, along with John, expressed their frustration over the stalling of a Feasibility Study in 2015.  In the summer of 2016, the Province announced …

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Updates to Olive Square

Updates to Olive Square

City parks are a place where children from all cultures naturally play together.  John is looking to take this one step further by creating a simple way for residents of different communities to share their childhood games and celebrating the diverse culture of the North York Centre.

The first attempt to do so will be at Olive Square, located near the southeast corner of Yonge & Finch, a location with a very large number of residents of Korean, Persian, Chinese and other heritage.  Many of these …

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Lee Lifeson Art Park Opening – September 17

Lee Lifeson Art Park Opening – September 17

In recent years we have had the great fortune of opening a new park virtually annually in Willowdale.  2016 is particularly special as our community’s new Lee Lifeson Art Park – located between Princess and Hillcrest Avenues at Gladys Allison Place – will be not only celebrate the arts in our community and beyond, but will honour two hugely successful artists with local origins.

The initiative to create an art park, and to name it after Willowdale natives Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, originated with John in …

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City Consulting on Web Tools

City Consulting on Web Tools

The City of Toronto is working on the design, development and implementation of a new toronto.ca website that is citizen-centric and service-focused, with a new look and feel.  As part of this project, a number of sessions are being organized looking for feedback on key web design elements.

The City will team with Ipsos Reid to host a Citizenlab – an in-person survey and focus group event – at the North York Civic Centre on Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.  Several spaces are still available …

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Registration for Recreation Programs – Sept. 13

Registration for Recreation Programs – Sept. 13

Local families registering for fall recreation programs through the City should be ready to go!  Registration opens in North York at 7 AM on Tuesday, September 13.  To register, make sure you have your family and client numbers and visit http://www.toronto.ca/torontofunThe system has been upgraded this fall to allow for easier navigation finding programs of interest and expanded to allow 25% more traffic on the server at any given time.

The City also continues the process of replacing its online registration process expecting to have a …

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Cultura Festival – July 8, 15, 22 & 29

Cultura Festival – July 8, 15, 22 & 29

The place to be every Friday night in July is Mel Lastman Square as Cultura returns for its seventh season.  The festival, which John founded and still oversees is a free celebration of music, dance, food and film.

The show starts at 6 PM with strolling musicians, international street food,  colourful buskers and family activities.  It continues through the evening with a major musical act at 8 PM followed by top buskers and a feature movie in the Square’s amphitheatre at dusk.

Program highlights include:

Friday, July 8
Main stage: …

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Help Shape Toronto’s Ravines – July 8

Help Shape Toronto’s Ravines – July 8

The City of Toronto has been working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and consulting with the public and a wide range of stakeholders since early 2015 to develop a strategy on Toronto’s ravines. A vision has been developed to represent the core ideas and values that will guide the City in future decision-making related to ravines and address the challenges and opportunities in the city’s ravine system.

Before finalizing the principles and recommendations, the City would like to hear from the public. Our …

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Council Adopts 10-year Cycling Plan

Council Adopts 10-year Cycling Plan

In June, Council approved a 10-year cycling network plan to connect gaps in the City’s existing bicycle network, grow the network to new parts of the city and renew existing routes to improve quality.  This plan adds a total of 525 km of bicycle routes to the city and doubles the annual funding committed to growing the network.

John strongly supports cycling as a tool to reduce our reliance on cars and reduce traffic.  Locally, Council has approved the implementation of bicycle lanes on Willowdale Avenue between Sheppard Avenue and …

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Property Assessments & Property Tax

Property Assessments & Property Tax

As the provincial organization MPAC sends out property value assessment notices in June, Willowdale residents are again reminded about the impact skyrocketing property values are having on property taxes in the area.  Under the provincial “current value assessment” rules, homeowners in Willowdale pay significantly more than residents in some other parts of the city with the same sized house or property and same level of municipal services.

Because of this system, John’s believes increased user fees – instead of increased taxes – provides a fairer way …

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From City Hall: Ward Redistribution on Hold

From City Hall: Ward Redistribution on Hold

The population in our Ward 23 is now at about 100,000 – more than twice the size of some of the city’s 44 wards.  In addition to having more people, our ward also has far more development applications, new home construction, committee of adjustment applications and traffic problems than almost anywhere else in the city.  John’s office is committed to keeping up with all of it, but this is a situation that needs a long term fix.

Recently, the City’s Executive Committee deferred consideration of recommendations …

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Tips from Toronto Water

Tips from Toronto Water

Some good tips this month from Toronto Water to both help our environment and save you money:

Plan a water efficient garden using native plants.  Learn more here.

Dirt on cars can contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals oil and grease.  Get environmental tips on washing your car.

Did you know a leaky toilet can cost up to $600/month?  Learn how to save money in the bathroom

Use that water bottle!  The average bottle fill-up with City tap water costs only 1/10 of a penny.  Learn more about your drinking …

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