From City Hall: New Ward Boundaries Approved

From City Hall: New Ward Boundaries Approved

With the population of Ward 23 now over 100,000 – literally more than double other wards in Toronto – and development rates among the greatest in the City, John was pleased to see the City take action to re-align the City’s wards making population sizes more equitable.  Either the 44 or the 47-ward models that went before Council would have broken up Ward 23.  John voted with the majority to expand council slightly (to 47 wards) to accommodate the high growth rates being experienced across …

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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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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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From City Hall: Council Approves Scarborough Subway (UPDATED)

From City Hall: Council Approves Scarborough Subway (UPDATED)

Update (July 2016)

Again this month, John voted with the minority of Councillors that preferred an LRT option in Scarborough as a replacement to the existing SRT. John previously voted against the Scarborough subway in 2013 believing that spending more than $1-billion of City money was wasteful when the Province was prepared to assume 100% of the LRT cost.  Recent reports have the cost of the subway going up even more, leaving Toronto residents on the hook for cost overruns.

The majority of Council however again backed the subway …

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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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