Willowdale Attractions – Summer in the City

Willowdale Attractions – Summer in the City

If you’re looking for something to do around Willowdale, here is a list of just some of the activities around the neighbourhood.

Toronto Pools – Splash Pads – and Beaches

If you’re looking for places to cool down in the city, there is now an online Cool Spaces Near You page to help you. In WIllowdale, some of your options include:

Outdoor Pools – including Goulding and Mitchell Field Community Centres.

Splash Pads – at Hendon Park, Willowdale Park or Glendora Park.  Hours are 9 AM – 8:30 PM weather permitting.

City Beaches – All public beaches in Toronto are …

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Masks Mandatory Condos and Apartments

Masks Mandatory Condos and Apartments

Masks will soon be required for anyone using the enclosed common areas of condos and apartment buildings. As of August 5, condo boards and the owners of apartment buildings will be required to have policies in place covering such areas as elevators, laundry rooms and lobbies.

Although some owners and boards had already voluntarily adopted such measures, others have not, prompting Council to make it mandatory at its meeting earlier this week.

The move came amid concerns about keeping the number of new cases low as Toronto …

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Learning To Live Safely With COVID

Learning To Live Safely With COVID

It’s a risk, to be sure, but one that’s being cautiously managed.

Starting today, Toronto moves to Stage 3. This means that restaurants and bars can now seat customers inside. Other re-opening permissions include larger indoor and outdoor gatherings and the long-awaited ability for children to return to public playgrounds. For a list of what can open, with restrictions, click here.

With many businesses hanging on by their fingernails and all of us needing to return to whatever semblance of normal life we can do safely, this seemed like …

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John on Police Accountability

John on Police Accountability

Police Accountability

For the past 1,103 days the Toronto police officer convicted of assaulting Dafonte Miller has been at home collecting full salary.

To summarize the judge’s findings in what has come to be known as the Dafonte Miller case, although he was not the one on trial: Michael Theriault, an off duty Toronto police officer, chased and beat Miller, who he believed was trying to break into a car in Theriault’s driveway; Miller, 19 and black, was beaten so badly that he lost an eye; Michael …

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What’s New in COVID – July 17

What’s New in COVID

I spend lots of time – maybe too much – tracking this invisible but deadly threat, compiling reliable information I hope will help keep us safe. I’m careful, in this space, not to offer my own projections, and I encourage you to do your own research.

We should rely on advice from public health officials, based on a body of evidence they have at a point in time, while keeping in mind that this sometimes takes a while to emerge. Only after it …

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Mandatory Masks and Other Community News

Mandatory Masks and Other Community News

Dear Friends,

With several weeks of much lower case numbers and hospitalizations, we are slowly and carefully resuming small parts of our pre-pandemic lives. But let’s not lose sight of how quickly that progress can reverse – as we’ve seen in parts of the United States that opened up too much too fast and residents have resisted simple precautions.

Among the most important things we’ve learned about the virus is the extent to which it is spread by those not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) as well as …

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Police Defunding and Accountability

Police Defunding and Accountability

Dear Friends,

This past week, Council dealt with several policing issues and a motion to “defund” Toronto Police by 10%. In previous newsletters, I elaborated on why, on a close decision, I would not be supporting that exact cut right now. I thought a detailed explanation would show respect for those fighting inequality and demanding new and better ways of handling community safety.

While I believe firmly in the principal of reallocating police funding, the way the motion was presented to Council had several problems:

The 10% cut …

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Statement on Police Funding

Statement on Police Funding

Dear Friends,

At its June 29 meeting, Council will be discussing two proposals to change the way we do policing in our City and to fund a variety of programs aimed at combatting racism, inequality and other societal problems that form the roots of crime. Despite the similarities in these two plans, discussion has focused on a single major difference. The first motion, by Councillor Josh Matlow, calls for a 10% “defunding” of the Toronto Police Service while the other, from Mayor John Tory, doesn’t specify the amount …

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Green Button, Red Button

Green Button, Red Button

Dear Friends,

My desk in Council has two buttons: green for Yes, red for No. On major issues, you push these buttons many times, moving through multiple motions and amendments before reaching a single vote on the final package. If you see merit in parts of competing arguments, there is no button for that.

Which brings me to an upcoming vote at which members of Council will grapple with the convergence of multiple issues in a way that does not easily lend itself to a green button/red …

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The Need for Real Change

The Need for Real Change

Dear Neighbours,

Too often, discussions about prejudice and social injustice stay largely within the circles of those experiencing the sting of discriminatory treatment. But this week, who among us hasn’t been forced to examine our own actions – or collective inaction – on issues of race and inequality?

My office has received an unprecedented number of emails – 3,400 at last count – from Torontonians responding to the horrific “I Can’t Breathe” murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, captured on video and …

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Update on Yonge Resurfacing/Repurposing of Curb Lane During Pandemic

Update on Yonge Resurfacing/Repurposing of Curb Lane During Pandemic

The resurfacing of Yonge Street between 401 and Finch has now been shortened to one-week, beginning Monday, June 1, to minimize the inconvenience to pedestrians and businesses. The work is being done as a temporary fix to hazardous conditions on sections of the road.

From June 1-6, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Curb lanes will be closed, but 10-minute parking for restaurant delivery and pickup will be added at each side street, close to Yonge. Please support our great local restaurants …

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COVID-19 Community Update (May 29)

COVID-19 Community Update (May 29)

Dear Neighbours,

As we move into another month of pandemic, almost everyone I speak with is puzzling over when they might resume some version of normal and what they should be doing to stay safe until then.

Is it now safer now to go out? When should I wear a mask and where do I get one? Should business be starting up again? Who is most at risk?

The answers to these questions can change daily as we learn more and move through various stages of the pandemic. …

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