Golden Lion Plaque & Jane’s Walk – May 4

Golden Lion Plaque & Jane’s Walk – May 4

On Saturday, May 4, at 12:30 PM we invite you to join John along with members of the North York Historical Society and Heritage Toronto at the North York Central Library Main Floor Atrium (5120 Yonge Street) for the unveiling of a historical plaque commemorating the Golden Lion Hotel.

The Golden Lion Hotel was a landmark on Yonge Street at Sheppard Avenue for over a century.  A popular way station and social centre in its time, the Golden Lion Hotel played an important role in the 1837 Rebellion. Rebels rallied there before heading south and later …

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Remembering the Yonge Tragedy – April 23

Remembering the Yonge Tragedy – April 23

Almost one year ago, the Willowdale neighbourhood was struck by a horrible tragedy.  Within hours Willowdale residents mobilized to help turn our collective cries of sorrow into songs of healing.  We are engaging with that tragedy again, and we all hope that our community continues to mend collective wounds.

How do we process grief and tragedy?  This is a difficult question both for individuals and for an entire community, even a year later.  This question is made more complex by the plurality of Willowdale’s residents where …

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Concerned About TTC Upload (UPDATED)

Concerned About TTC Upload (UPDATED)

Premier Doug Ford announced the Province’s plans for transit expansion in the Toronto area this week.  Details remain vague on funding and construction timelines but redesigned plans focus on the Scarborough Line 2 extension, the Yonge North Line 1extension, the Eglinton Crosstown West extension and Relief Line subway.

John immediately spoke out about his concerns around the feasibility of this plan, the delays it is likely to cause and the potential impact on public safety.  Many of the above expansions have been active in the planning stages for the last several years.  Redesigning elements of …

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Clean Toronto Together Campaign – April 28

Clean Toronto Together Campaign – April 28

Toronto’s annual spring cleanup takes place on April 26-28, 2019.  The Clean Toronto Together program mobilizes more than 200,000 residents, students, businesses, organizations and community groups.

The Corporate 20-minute makeover event and school cleanups are scheduled for Friday, April 26.  Community Cleanup Days are Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.  To register your group for a cleanup event and become eligible for free litter/recycling bags and special litter collection, sign up here.

This year, Willowdale representatives at all levels of government are joining together to organize a clean-up blitz in the North York Centre.  …

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Willowdale Road Work Coming

Willowdale Road Work Coming

As we transition into spring, a number of large-scale reconstruction, repair and maintenance projects are scheduled to begin in our community. Residents will be particularly interested in some of the projects that will cause some traffic delays.

As the full reconstruction of Yonge Street (Sheppard to Finch) has been pushed back to allow for the REimagine Yonge project to come back to Council this year, a temporary resurfacing project will get underway in early October to address the badly deteriorating conditions until a proper reconstruction can be addressed in 3-5 years.  …

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Federal Housing Investment Announced

Federal Housing Investment Announced

This week, the Government of Canada made a major commitment towards addressing the critical need for affordable housing in Toronto.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood with Mayor John Tory to announce $1.3-billion in funding – the largest federal housing investment with a municipal partner in Canadian history – to support the renovation of 58,500 Toronto Community Housing units in 1,500 buildings across the city.

Since the creation of TCH in 2001, the City has been working on commitments from other levels of government to address the ballooning back-log of …

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Enhancing Your Yard With Trees & Shrubs

Enhancing Your Yard With Trees & Shrubs

As you make your gardening plans for the spring, think about new trees and shrubs.  The City of Toronto is continuing its tree planting strategy pursuing the goal of reaching 40% tree canopy cover.

To help achieve this target, Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) offers a Subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program which helps you enjoy the many benefits of trees by planting the right tree in the right place. You will get an arborist consultation at your property, a 5 to 8 foot native tree and full …

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Canada Blooms at Cummer Lodge

Canada Blooms at Cummer Lodge

Last week, John joined Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson celebrity gardener Ben Cullen at Cummer Lodge to welcome 600 new plants donated by Canada Blooms.  This is the 12th season that Canada Blooms, an annual world-class festival connecting people to the joys and benefits of nature through gardens and flowers, has donated plants to beautify one of the City’s long-term care facilities.

John was happy to hear that this year’s donation will complement the natural beauty of the Cummer Lodge grounds. The outdoor plants that have been donated will …

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Getting Yonge/401 Back on Track

Getting Yonge/401 Back on Track

Willowdale residents have been endlessly frustrated by the lack of action on improving the Yonge Street & Highway 401 interchange to allow southbound traffic to turn eastbound onto the highway more efficiently and address traffic back-ups in both directions.  Multiple studies have addressed these concerns, so why no action?

A joint study was presented in 2013 by the City of Toronto Transportation Staff and the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation (MTO).  The recommendation was to proceed to a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) to get an upgrade of the interchange moving …

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Community Safety Town Hall

Community Safety Town Hall

Community safety is a top of mind issue for many Willowdale residents.  Everyone should feel safe in their homes, on their neighbourhood streets, in their parks and in other green spaces.  To engage with the community and share some best practices and tips, John has partnered with the Toronto Police Service 32 Division, the West Willowdale Neighbourhood Association and the Edithvale-Yonge Community Association to organize a town hall on community safety:

Monday, April 1, 2019, 6 PM – 8 PM
The People’s Church (374 Sheppard Avenue East)

Bring your questions or concerns.  Topics …

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Council Passes 2019 Budget

Council Passes 2019 Budget

Our city remains in a bad financial situation.  Though this month’s budget may have been the best we could do under the circumstances, there remain ongoing issues that need to be fixed.

City Council approved its 2019 tax and rate combined operating budget in March. This included a 2.55% tax increase for residential properties, 1.28% increase for commercial properties and no increase for multi-residential/apartment buildings as per provincial legislation. With additional levies, including 0.5% to the City Building Fund, the total increase for homeowners will be 3.58%.

The …

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Decommissioning Ceremony – Yonge Memorial Sites – June 3

Decommissioning Ceremony – Yonge Memorial Sites – June 3

Willowdale has responded to the horrific attack of April 23 with an outpouring of grief, sympathy, kindness and generosity. This is reflected in the memorial sites which residents have created at Olive Square Parkand Mel Lastman Square.

This weekend, 40 days after the attack, we mark another step on the road to recovery. A special ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 3, beginning at 2 PM at Olive Square (near the southeast corner of Yonge and Finch) and then moving to Mel Lastman Square. We will remember the victims once again and respectfully gather the …

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