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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RBC Race for the Kids (Lane Restrictions)

RBC Race for the Kids (Lane Restrictions)

The RBC Race for the Kids event returns to Willowdale this Saturday, September 17.  Over the past three years, RBC Race for the Kids Toronto has rallied over 19,880 participants and raised over $5.1 million benefiting youth with mental health issues through Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project.

For beginners or seasoned runner alike, participants choose the distance that works for them and receive support every step of the way. Best of all, racers are helping youth with mental health issues to find the specialized care they need.

All routes start and finish at Mel …

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Toronto Ward Boundary Review (UPDATED)

Toronto Ward Boundary Review (UPDATED)

Update (Sept. 2016):

The City continues to tinker with ward boundary recommendations to resolve the current imbalance in Toronto ward populations.  Our Ward 23 now holds more than double the residents of others in the city.

Council’s Executive Committee rejected the recommendation of its third-party consultant in May asking for a new proposal consistent with the current 44-ward system, or aligning where possible, with federal and provincial boundaries.

Another public consultation event has been planned in our community forMonday, September 19 at the North York Civic Centre from …

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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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Ward 23 Community Environment Day – July 9

Ward 23 Community Environment Day – July 9

Our annual Ward 23 Community Environment Day has been scheduled for Saturday, July 9 from 10 AM to 2 PM at Earl Haig Secondary School (100 Princess Ave)

Reuse, Recycle and Safely Dispose

Do your part in creating a cleaner, greener and more liveable Toronto. Bring us your unused and unwanted household items and you will help to:

Extend the life of a product by offering it to someone for reuse.
Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and ensure that it is properly recycled.
Ensure that hazardous waste materials are …

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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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Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon – May 1 (ROAD CLOSURES)

Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon – May 1 (ROAD CLOSURES)

The community of Willowdale is fortunate to play host to the start of the 2016 Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon on Sunday, May 1.  This international event will draw 14,000 runners to our community representing more than 50 countries.  Race organizers expect to raise $1.2-million in 2016 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Sick Kids and other local charities. To date, runners in the annual Toronto Marathon have raised $7.5-million for Princess Margaret.

While there is a great deal of excitement in the community for this event, residents …

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City Continues Work on Street Safety

City Continues Work on Street Safety

City staff are currently working on a road safety plan that will be presented to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in early summer. The plan’s goal is to identify potential safety initiatives that can be implemented to help reduce transportation- related deaths and serious injuries on Toronto’s roads.

Among the key issues being addressed in the plan are safety for seniors and school children, pedestrian and cyclist safety, and the problems of aggressive and distracted driving.  This continues to grow as a local issue relating …

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Yonge/Sheppard Development News

Yonge/Sheppard Development News

There have been several community meetings over the past month dealing with potential development in the Yonge & Sheppard area.

At John’s instigation, the City is looking at a new Secondary Plan for Sheppard Avenue West in Ward 23.  We are looking to create much more attractive development on Sheppard Avenue West at the same time as protecting adjoining residential neighbourhoods.  It is necessary to update the plan to provide a context in which to consider new development applications.  Currently, there is an application for 53-63 …

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Future Improvements at Edithvale Park Community Meeting – April 11

Future Improvements at Edithvale Park Community Meeting – April 11

John is pleased to announce that as of May 1st, 2016, the City enters into a lease agreement with the TDSB for use of the school board land on the south west corner of the park.  This additional green space will allow Edithvale Community Centre and the public to use the space freely and for recreation programming.  This past summer the City also acquired the remaining residential properties on Finch Avenue for park use allowing the long awaited completion of the park.

In 2014, John held …

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