Trashing the Rebates – Why Smaller Black Garbage Bins Will Cost More

Trashing the Rebates – Why Smaller Black Garbage Bins Will Cost More

Several years back, the City of Toronto moved away from paying for water and garbage disposal through property tax rates. A new funding model was introduced to fund those services separately through a utility bill.

In Willowdale, where residents pay higher than the city average in property tax rates, homeowners were previously paying much more than residents in other parts of the city for the same services. By breaking out the costs onto a separate bill, all residents would not only pay a uniform rate but …

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City Council Approves Building Levy Hike

City Council Approves Building Levy Hike

In December, Toronto City Council approved an increase to the City Building Levy that will raise an estimated $6.6 billion for new TTC upgrades and repairs and affordable housing.

The current levy of 0.5% annually, will increase to 1.5% in 2020 and 2021. An additional 1.5% annual increase will continue until 2025.

This is not a vote that John took lightly.

By law, cities in Ontario must apply a uniform property tax rate to the values of properties as assessed by MPAC. The system is highly problematic — …

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City Council Approves HousingTO Action Plan

City Council Approves HousingTO Action Plan

The skyrocketing cost of Toronto real estate over the past few years has created a housing affordability crisis, especially in Willowdale.

In trying to address the variety of housing issues across the City, Toronto City Council recently approved HousingTO Action Plan 2020-2030, a 10-year strategy that looks to address a variety of housing issues, from homelessness and social housing to affordable rental housing and long-term care.

Implementing the estimated $23.4 billion plan will require investments from all three levels of government. The City will fund $8.5 billion, …

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Transit Deal: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Transit Deal: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

This week, Toronto City Council endorsed a deal with Metrolinx and the Province of Ontario that will create some stability after a turbulent year in which the Province had announced plans to seize all high-speed transit assets in the city. The deal allows all parties to move forward productively, but comes with details both good and bad.

Here’s a look at some of the key details.

The Good

The Province has backed down from a plan to seize the City’s transit network. As transit and city planning are …

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Toronto Declares Climate Emergency

Toronto Declares Climate Emergency

Climate scientists widely agree that the world must rapidly reduce carbon emissions over the next 10 years to reduce dangerous effects on our collective health, infrastructure and economy.

This week Toronto City Council unanimously voted to declare a Climate Emergency, joining hundreds of governments around the world and cities across Canada seeking to ensure that Toronto does its part.

Council had previously introduced a climate action strategy in 2017 titled TransformTO. It seeks to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into Toronto by focusing on more efficient …

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Cultura Announces 2019 Line-up for July

Cultura Announces 2019 Line-up for July

What will you find on July’s Friday nights in Mel Lastman Square? You just never know until you’re there!  Willowdale’s own “community festival” presented by John Filion and North York Arts returns for another power packed season.

Each week you’ll find family activities, colourful characters,  incredible music and more as the Square comes alive for audiences of all ages from 6 to 8 PM.  Grab a bite with one of our international street food vendors, featuring Gogi Korean BBQ, Forno 450 pizza, Jerk Brothers, Espeto Brazil, Naansense and …

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Movie in the Square – RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 21

Movie in the Square – RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 21

Updated (June 11, 2019):

Due to the conflict with Game 6 of the NBA Finals and the tremendous support for the Toronto Raptors as they pursue their first championship, we have rescheduled our June Movie in the Square (details below) to Friday, June 21.  Please join us at dusk (approximately 9 PM) for this event celebrating the rich culture of the Willowdale community.

 

Original Post (May 27, 2019):

Join John and MP for Willowdale Ali Ehsassi for a special presentation of Song of God – a new documentary …

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Parks & Recreation Improvements

Parks & Recreation Improvements

Local parks and recreation spaces are a critical part of creating complete communities. To better serve our growing community, we are always on the lookout for opportunities to expand these public spaces.

This year, John continues working towards new and accessible playground equipment being installed at local parks with projects in Kempford Park and Empress Tot Lot. Last year, we updated numerous parks, including Hendon and Sheppard East Parks.

After many years of construction, the Edithvale Park expansion is also nearing completion. The completed park will include outdoor …

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Bike Safety & Family Fun Day – June 15

Bike Safety & Family Fun Day – June 15

Summer is here which means its the perfect season to get out on your bike and go for a ride.  But are you ready for the season?  Join John for Willowdale’s inaugural Bike Safety & Family Fun Day at Bayview Arena (3230 Bayview Avenue) on Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 1 – 4 PM.

We’re ushering in the summer season with free bike tune-ups (first-come first-served) to make sure you’re ready for your summer ride, along with free ice cream and family activities including a cycling …

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The Future of Sheppard West & Bogert Apartments

The Future of Sheppard West & Bogert Apartments

The Lansing neighbourhoods (west of Yonge, on either side of Sheppard) continue to face extreme development pressure, with two major battles being decided by a provincially-appointed board.

Recently, a five-week hearing dealt with development along both sides of Sheppard, west of Yonge. Two years ago, the City had adopted a plan for Sheppard West which restricted development to the main street and limited heights to five and six storeys in most locations.  But a group of land speculators appealed the city’s plan and presented one of …

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Premier to Open the Floodgates on Development (updated)

Premier to Open the Floodgates on Development (updated)

Updated (June 6, 2019):

This week, Bill 108 passed third reading at Queen’s Park and received Royal Assent.  It is now law in Ontario.  There remain many concerns about the passing of this bill, and conflicting information circulating about its overall impact.  Last week, we did some fact checking on the Province’s claims.

In many cases, details about the actual impact to development charges and community benefits have yet to be released by the Province.  That means its not too late to contact our MPP and share …

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Road Safety: Vision Zero 2.0

Road Safety: Vision Zero 2.0

The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan was enacted in 2017 as part of an international movement to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on local streets.  John’s office continues to collaborate with City Transportation staff to advance road safety measures in Willowdale.

Over the past year, we have been able to greatly enhance the Watch Your Speed Program which piloted in Willowdale in 2014 at John’s initiative.  School Safety Zones, including these boards, have been permanently established at Cameron PS, Hollywood PS, Willowdale MS/Churchill PS and …

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