REimagine Yonge (UPDATED)

REimagine Yonge (UPDATED)

UPDATE – February 2018

Following a two year REimagine Yonge Street study, City staff have again recommended the “Transform Yonge” option.  Staff have held seven well publicized and well attended community meetings.  In addition, John has gone out to over a dozen additional neighbourhood meetings to discuss the project.

Transform Yonge would create a community friendly Main Street on Yonge between Sheppard and Finch Avenues, with wider sidewalks, protected bike lanes, trees, and outdoor cafes to support a vibrant public realm and a safer roadway.

Some key facts:

During …

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2018 Toronto Budget & Ward 23 Survey

2018 Toronto Budget & Ward 23 Survey

Toronto City Council will debate the 2018 Capital and Operating budgets on Monday, February 12.  The proposed budget, as approved by the Mayor’s executive committee this week, calls for a 2.1% increase on residential property taxes, keeping with the recent trend of keeping property tax increases at, or below, the rate of inflation.

The budget calls for a near 0% increase of program expenses across all departments.  It expands funding in the 10-year Capital Plan by $1.1B overall and includes:

$4.5B to continue the state of good …

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Update: Sheppard Yonge Station PRESTO Fare Gate Installation

Update: Sheppard Yonge Station PRESTO Fare Gate Installation

The TTC will be installing new PRESTO gates at Sheppard Yonge Station. Like many of you, John was concerned with the full closure of two entrances until mid-March for construction. John has worked with the TTC to revise the construction phases and we will no longer see full closures of TTC entrances during construction. The TTC will have Customer Service Representatives on site during all phases of construction at entrances to assist with directions.

Sheppard West and Harlandale Automatic Entrances

Sheppard West automatic entrance was scheduled to …

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News From City Hall: November 2017

News From City Hall: November 2017

Responsive Traffic Signal Technology

City of Toronto has launched a year-long pilot to test two new smart traffic signal systems to monitor traffic flow in real time and determine which works best for the city. This technology makes decisions on traffic light timings based on camera detection or radar that measures queue lengths on the approach to the intersection and relays that data to the signal.

Unlike standard traffic signals that are fixed to a set timing cycle for morning and afternoon rush hours and off-peak times, …

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Outdoor Skating Season is Here

Outdoor Skating Season is Here

The outdoor skating rink at Mel Lastman Square opens this week. Residents looking for a fun, free, family activity can lace up their skates from 10 AM to 9:30 PM on weekdays or from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekends – access to the Civic Centre and washrooms will not be available outside of those hours. The rink in the Square will remain open until March, weather permitting.

As the weather cools, plans for neighbourhood natural rinks are also underway. These rinks usually require a …

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Vision Zero Road Safety Plan

The City of Toronto remains committed to its Vision Zero Road Safety plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets. This week, City Council will consider a report recommending an acceleration of the program’s implementation of enhanced pavement markings, signage, Automated Speed Enforcement, Mobile “Watch Your Speed” boards, and new awareness programs. John had initiated the “Watch Your Speed” boards as a pilot for the City in 2014 and remains committed to looking for solutions to implement local improvements. John also supported …

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Education Development Charges

In October, John joined a panel with MPP David Zimmer, Trustee Alexander Brown and Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter in speaking with several hundred local parents at Earl Haig on the topic of school overcrowding in our area.

As with issues such as traffic and transit congestion, school overcrowding is the product of provincial rules which force development on the area but don’t give it the ability to deal with the population increase. Compounding that problem is another provincial policy which doesn’t allow the Toronto District …

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Overcrowding in Local Schools – Public Meeting October 30

Overcrowding in Local Schools – Public Meeting October 30

Children in some Willowdale condos look out their bedroom windows at schools that have no room for them. Instead of a short walk to class, they get on a bus to the nearest school that can take them. McKee School, built not that long ago to hold more than 600 students, has already been forced to add portables.

As with issues such as traffic and transit congestion, school overcrowding is the product of provincial rules which force development on the area but don’t give it the …

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City Consultation on Short Term Rental Policy

City Consultation on Short Term Rental Policy

Municipal Licensing and Standards and City Planning staff are holding a series of open houses on the newly proposed regulations for short term rentals in the City. The term “short-term rental” describes rentals that occur over a short period of time (e.g. 28 days or less). Popular online platforms, such as Airbnb, Flipkey, VRBO etc. facilitate bookings and payments for short-term rentals.

A local open house will be held from 3:00 to 8:00 PM (with short presentations at 4 PM and 7 PM) on Monday, September 11 at the North York Civic Centre Council Chamber (5100 …

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Re-imagining Yonge Street (UPDATED) – Open House October 10

Re-imagining Yonge Street (UPDATED) – Open House October 10

Update (September 5, 2017)

Re-Imagining Yonge, the City’s plan to reconstruct the badly aging stretch of Yonge Street between Sheppard and Finch Avenues continues as a critical infrastructure project for our community.  Over the spring and summer, John and his EA Markus O’Brien Fehr, participated in fireside chats with over a dozen local neighbourhoods and condominiums in small “fireside chat” formats, sharing information on the project and hearing a wide range of views and opinions.  One thought that most residents share is that Yonge Street is in …

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Healing Gardens Musicfest – October 14

Healing Gardens Musicfest – October 14

Each year, Terry Eagan of Patio Records in Massachusetts boards a plane from Boston, rents a performance hall in Toronto, hires some of his favourite musicians, and writes a cheque to cover all the costs.  Ticket sales from his concerts go towards building healing gardens for cancer patients in local hospitals, a project he started in memory of his late wife, Mary.

On Saturday, October 14, Terry brings this year’s Healing Garden Music Fest to North York’s Lyric theatre, a newly renovated 500-seat gem in the Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge St).  …

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Cultura 2017 (July 7, 14, 21 & 28)

Cultura 2017 (July 7, 14, 21 & 28)

The Cultura Festival returns Friday July 7 for our annual outdoor summer celebration of music, food, dance and film in Mel Lastman Square.

The free festival, enjoyed by all ages, begins at 6 p.m. each Friday in July with strolling musicians, street performers, tango dancing, activities for families, and some of the city’s best food vendors serving specialities from around the world. Great music on the main stage begins at 8 p.m., followed each evening by a world-class busker and an award-winning feature film.

From its founding …

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