Looking Forward MoveTO Means More Reliable Transportation

Looking Forward MoveTO Means More Reliable Transportation

If COVID-19 has had one benefit, it may be the largest drop-off in traffic volumes ever recorded in Toronto. But eventually, it would be wise to expect a return to the growth of traffic and congestion seen over many decades. The current drop in demand should only present an opportunity to be ready for the rebound.

This week, City Council unanimously approved an action plan, dubbed MoveTO, to manage congestion and create an improved transportation network. Though many of the components have been in the works for several …

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COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts Provide Hope

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts Provide Hope

The COVID-19 case projections this week have been bleak. There’s no other way to say it. But at least in a tough week we also got a strong glimmer of hope. On Monday, the drug company Pfizer released early data on a COVID-19 vaccine under development showing that it may be up to 90% effective. Though the vaccine remains several weeks away from completing its final phase of clinical trials, and with data yet to be peer-reviewed, the results are nevertheless a very encouraging sign.

The …

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Kids Rely on Access to Local Parks

Kids Rely on Access to Local Parks

by Markus O’Brien Fehr, Chief of Staff

Public health experts are trying to balance the risks and benefits of necessary physical activity with the necessity to keep populations safe from exposure to the virus.  But what impact is the lack of physical activity having on our kids?

A couple weeks back I had the chance to participate in a workshop put on by City Building Ryerson presenting a study conducted over the spring and summer of 2020.  Dr. Raktim Mitra was part of a group looking at …

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Willowdale BIA Poll Successful

Willowdale BIA Poll Successful

Business owners want Willowdale to have its first Business Improvement Area! Since late August, the city has run a poll of business owners along the Yonge Street corridor between Bishop/Hendon and Highway 401, to gauge interest in forming a Business Improvement Area. The poll closed last week, and almost three quarters of respondents voted in favour of the formation of a BIA.

BIAs benefit local businesses and their communities in a number of ways. The BIA collects a small additional levy from local businesses, and when …

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Sports Fields Open Until October 25th

Sports Fields Open Until October 25th

This week, the City of Toronto announced the extension of the outdoor sport field season. The City’s outdoor sport and multi-use fields will remain open until Sunday, October 25th and permits will be issued for the remainder of the 2020 season.

The City offers almost 700 sport fields at more than 170 locations across Toronto. As a result of pandemic-related restrictions, many of the City’s outdoor sport and multi-use fields opened on July 6 for team training, and permits were issued for the summer season. The …

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BIA Ballots Arriving at Local Businesses

BIA Ballots Arriving at Local Businesses

This week the City of Toronto is mailing out over 800 ballots to commercial property owners and their tenants along the Yonge street corridor between Bishop/Hendon and Highway 401.  The ballot asks whether businesses will come together to form a Business Improvement Area (BIA) in the centre of Willowdale.  The majority of returned ballots will make that decision in late October.

BIAs are very successful in other parts of Toronto and benefit local businesses and their communities in a number of ways.  BIAs collect a small …

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City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program 

City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program 

The City announced earlier this month that they are expanding the successful Digital Main Street program as part of the city’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force’ short-term support and recovery plan for Toronto’s businesses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital Main Street was created to provide direct one-on-one support to  businesses who are trying to develop an online presence. The program has already been successful in delivering over 12,000 hours of support, training and education to businesses across Toronto.

Community Meeting on Getting Around Safely During COVID-19

Community Meeting on Getting Around Safely During COVID-19

On September 9th, pointA is hosting a virtual community meeting on getting around safety during COVID-19, with our local MP Ali Ehsassi.

The meeting will cover traveling safely by public transit, walking, and cycling. There will be an opportunity to ask questions about commuting more safely during the pandemic.

The event is free and open to all interested residents, not just those who live in Willowdale, and no registration is required.

To attend the meeting, click here.

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Toronto Supporting School Boards with Back to School Plan

Toronto Supporting School Boards with Back to School Plan

To help keep kids and parents safe during COVID-19 and the return to school, The City of Toronto has offered the Toronto District and Toronto Catholic District School Boards access to 36 rooms in 24 city owned properties to help staff and students physically distance.

The City is also continuing to look into how we can provide even more space without affecting programs that have already been scheduled. We recognize the importance of ensuring students, teachers and support staff are socially distanced …

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Playgrounds Officially Re-Opening

Playgrounds Officially Re-Opening

Parents and caregivers that have struggled to keep kids entertained at home will be very glad that as of today, the City of Toronto is officially re-opening its 800 playgrounds.  Please be aware however that the City will not be sanitizing this equipment.  Make sure that kids stay supervised, that they wash hands before and after play, physical distance as much as possible, and wear masks if playing in closer proximity to others. If playgrounds get too busy, it might be smart to find a different …

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Council Starts Down Path to Balance Books, but Questions Remain

Council Starts Down Path to Balance Books, but Questions Remain

This week, City Council began to wrestle with the very large hole in the City’s budget resulting from COVID-19.  Since March, the City has been hard hit by additional expenses, especially from areas like shelter and housing support, or the need for additional protective equipment and cleaning supplies.  Expected revenue has also dropped dramatically, especially from fewer riders on public transit, reduced municipal land transfer taxes and reduced revenue from user fees.

Altogether, the City now expects it will be short $1.9 billion for it operation …

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Farmers Market to Reopen!

We were happy to work with the North York Farmers Market to enable their return to Mel Lastman Square on Thursday July 16. This will be welcome news for many of our residents, who have been missing this opportunity to support our local farmers and businesses. The following vendors in attendance: Willowtree Farm, Motherdough Mill & Bakery, Superior Meats, Elfsong Apiaries, De La Terre Bakery, Thames River Melon and Jack’s Farm.

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