Gibson Park & Rose Garden Opening

Gibson Park & Rose Garden Opening

For many years the Rose Garden was a landmark parcel of open space at the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Park Home Avenue.  Many residents assumed that it was a City Park, not realizing that for several decades it was owned privately and was in imminent danger of being destroyed through high rise development construction on the site.  With the help of a large number of residents, John was able to negotiate City ownership of most of the pre-existing garden.  On Saturday, May 30, …

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Clean Toronto Together 2015

Clean Toronto Together 2015

The City’s 2015 Clean Toronto Together campaign takes place this weekend. Every year, tens of thousands of Toronto residents, schools, businesses and community groups take part in the spring cleanup to help keep the city clean and green.

At the same time, City divisions are conducting inter-divisional cleaning activities across Toronto, including removing graffiti vandalism, cleaning up litter and hauling away dead trees and branches from City property.

Community Cleanup Days will be held on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19 at locations across the city. …

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Development Updates & Park Plans

Development Updates & Park Plans

Over the past year, the city has received an unusually-large number of extremely bad planning applications. Some of these will be dealt with by Council in August, some won’t be reported on until early next year, and some have already been appealed by the applicant to the Ontario Municipal Board. Here’s a brief summary:

Proposal to Build Townhouses at Empress and Willowdale:

This proposal by a developer would allow townhouses in a location where the city’s Official Plan allows only single family homes. It would set an …

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Plans for Art Park in Willowdale (UPDATED) – Lee-Lifeson Art Park

Plans for Art Park in Willowdale (UPDATED) – Lee-Lifeson Art Park

Update (September 2016):

For the most recent news on the Park’s official opening, click here.

Update (July 2014):

Our upcoming one-of-a-kind Art Park will be named after two famous Willowdale musicians if, as expected, North York Community Council approves my initiative in August.

The Art Park will be a place for the community to celebrate and observe the creative arts. We’re still at the design stage, which is producing some very exciting ideas. Construction of the park, located between Princess and Hillcrest, just east of Doris, will begin next …

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New Park Announced

New Park Announced

The creation of new, interesting parks has been a major component of my efforts to continually improve our community.  Within the past five years we have opened great new parks at Edithvale, Olive Square, Maplehurst and Avonshire.  This fall, we expect to officially open the Rose Garden at Yonge & Park Home as a City park and are well into the design development of the new North York Arts Park at Princess Avenue and Gladys Allison Gate.

But the best news of all is that the …

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Edithvale Park Expansion (UPDATED) – Meeting June 2

Edithvale Park Expansion (UPDATED) – Meeting June 2

Update (May 2014):

I am pleased to announce that the Toronto District School Board has formally approved my plan to allow community use of the Board’s property close to Edithvale Community Centre. The eastern half of the block will now be available for community recreation programs. This summer, we are planning a number of improvements to the area, including replacing the swing set, repairing the backstop, creating an adult outdoor fitness circuit and adding an outdoor ping pong table. A preliminary vision of the improvements was presented …

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New Play Equipment for St. Edward

New Play Equipment for St. Edward

Catholic School Trustee Maria Rizzo and I have arranged funding for a new set of play equipment through the City of Toronto and the Toronto Catholic District School Board for the site of St. Edward Catholic School at 1 Botham Road.

The new play space will include play equipment for children 2-5 and 5-12 years old.  In addition, nature inspired interactive play stations are proposed around the perimeter of the school’s grass playing field.  The play structures located at the school will be available to the community after …

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Willowdale Organizing for Clean Toronto Together – April 26 & 27

Willowdale Organizing for Clean Toronto Together – April 26 & 27

The City of Toronto holds its annual Clean Toronto Together weekend on April 25 – 27.  It’s an opportunity to get together with friends, family, coworkers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs your help.  Working together we can eliminate litter, stop graffiti vandalism and keep Toronto clean and green.

My office has gotten great feedback from many of our local community groups organizing community clean-up events in Ward 23 on April 26 & 27.  If you are interested in …

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New Additions to Gwendolen Park

New Additions to Gwendolen Park

The children of West Lansing already have three playgrounds, and with two more on the way, the neighbourhood adults decided it was their turn.  This summer, Gwendolyn Park will become the home of an adult fitness circuit located around the perimeter of the park. The six stations will be connected by a 500-metre pathway with a natural mulch surface.   The concept was selected by residents from several options I presented at a community meeting in December. Their initial choice was then refined at two subsequent …

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Clean Toronto Together

Clean Toronto Together

Led by the Environment & Energy Division and the Toronto Office of Partnerships, the Clean Toronto Together program is returning for 2014.

The City encourages residents to get together with friends, family, coworkers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs your help.  Working together we can eliminate litter, stop graffiti vandalism, remove illegal postering, and keep Toronto clean and green.

Events will be scheduled throughout Earth Week (April 22- 27). You can get involved on:

Friday April 25 – Corporate & School Clean-up …

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Rebuilding Our Tree Canopy

Rebuilding Our Tree Canopy

Anybody who lives in Willowdale knows how valuable trees are to this community – and how much our beautiful urban forest was devastated in December’s storm. City forestry crews are still assessing  the damage and preparing a comprehensive restoration plan.

In the meantime, this week’s budget included $7 million in new funding to plant 97,000 new trees. Council has also allocated both reserve funds and money within the regular budget to deal with the huge clean-up, repair and maintenance backlog created by the storm.

Toronto has an estimated 10.2 million …

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Local Parks Meetings Launch

Local Parks Meetings Launch

What improvements would your local park most benefit from?  That’s the question I’ll be asking residents over the coming months.  New development in the area brings pressure to provide enough recreational opportunities for existing and new residents. Fortunately, I have been able to ensure that developers pay their fair share to solve this problem, mostly in the form of development charges and parks levies, and to have this money directed back into our community.

In the coming months, we’ll be seeking your advice on ways to …

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