NYSC Continues Critical Seniors Support

NYSC Continues Critical Seniors Support

For over 46 years the North York Seniors Centre has served in the heart of our community connecting older adults to their community and assisting them in living safely and independently in their own homes. Though their Active Living Centre and adult day programs remain closed to in-person programming, the staff and volunteers at NYSC continue as an essential service providing rides and home support for clients throughout the pandemic.

In addition to providing rides to doctors’ appointments, testing centres and vaccination clinics, NYSC delivers groceries …

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Hey There! Slow Down!

Hey There! Slow Down!

It’s not a surprise to see evidence that speeding is an issue along Doris Avenue. The 4-lane service road serving as a barrier between Yonge Street and the neighbourhoods to its east has long had a bad rap for cars moving too fast, and sometimes even racing. With four schools nearby and a high population density, there are many reasons to take the problem seriously.

But it was still pretty shocking to see some numbers this week coming from our local Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras. …

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Encouraging Curb Lane Cafes in 2021

Encouraging Curb Lane Cafes in 2021

Small business owners remain among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as we head into the 10th week of the current lockdown. Though the lockdown will continue in Toronto until at least March 8, we are starting to see small glimmers of hope. Governments continue to ready a broad rollout of vaccination clinics, the cold weather has begun to show signs of the coming spring, and today the City of Toronto launched registration for the 2021 CafeTO program to help get restaurants up and …

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A Budget with a Hole – Why That May Be (Mostly) a Good Thing

A Budget with a Hole – Why That May Be (Mostly) a Good Thing

Toronto City Council passed a $12 billion operating budget this week with a $649 million “hole”. In other words, it approved a plan for 2021 with money it hasn’t fully sourced yet. This may seem strange for many who know that in Ontario, City governments aren’t allowed to run deficits.  But in unusual times, this budget takes a balanced approach to City finances, but may pave the way for a “new deal” with Provincial and Federal governments moving forward.

Toronto continues to struggle with the financial …

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Looking Forward: Municipal Property Taxes Need Revision

Looking Forward: Municipal Property Taxes Need Revision

by Markus O’Brien Fehr, Chief of Staff

It’s never the best week when the property tax bill arrives. Along with many of you, I received my interim bill this week. As Council also prepares for its budget debate, the big question that always comes up is: “Why do I keep paying more and seem to get less in return?” The answer: Because it’s true.

In the years since amalgamation, property taxes have been frozen by City Council in four of those years – and increased by the …

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For Virtual Learning, Teachers Deserve Gratitude

For Virtual Learning, Teachers Deserve Gratitude

Three weeks into full online learning for our school-age kids, the great social experiment continues. The stories I’m sharing with friends and family about my 4 and 7-year-olds often leave them in stitches. From one cowering under their blankets in the middle of class, to messy kitchen experiments when mom and dad are still wrapped up in meetings and slow on the snacks. From IT connection issues (“I don’t know what I did!”), to becoming highly proficient at dumping out of Google Classroom, and getting …

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COORDINATION A CRITICAL PART OF YONGE NORTH SUBWAY EXTENSION

COORDINATION A CRITICAL PART OF YONGE NORTH SUBWAY EXTENSION

As the City begins to advance work on Yonge Street following the Council vote in December, there are other major infrastructure projects in the works that need to be carefully monitored and coordinated with this work.  Metrolinx, Ontario’s provincial transit agency, continues to advance work on the Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE) with several reports passing through Council in recent months. The YNSE is one of four priority transit expansion projects that were taken over by the Province of Ontario in 2019.

Metrolinx continues to target …

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Improving Transit? Lets Follow the Numbers

Improving Transit? Lets Follow the Numbers

COVID-19 has exposed many inequities in our city and put an enormous strain on municipal infrastructure. Transit has been impacted tremendously. For many thousands, including many workers on the front lines of the fight against the pandemic, public transit is the best and only affordable option to get around. More busses are needed to adequately meet this need while allowing riders to be safely distanced. On busy bus routes, including local bus lines on Steeles Avenue, Finch Avenue, and Sheppard Avenue, this remains a big …

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Rebuild Report Requires New Deal for Cities

Rebuild Report Requires New Deal for Cities

by Markus O’Brien Fehr, Chief of Staff

Toronto has an enormous amount of work ahead of it to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting to where we want to be may require a total re-think about government services, who provides them, and how we pay for them.

This week Council debated a 238 page recovery report, available online in three parts (part 1 / part 2 / part 3).  It includes 83 recommendations from the City’s Office of Rebuild and Recovery that addresses topics including public health, …

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Federal Government Invests in Rapid Housing Initiative

Federal Government Invests in Rapid Housing Initiative

Earlier this week the Government of Canada announced the launch of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) investing $1 billion to create up to 3,000 new permanent, affordable housing units across the country.  City Council responded quickly today, adopting a motion to receive the $203.3 million made available to Toronto through the Major Cities Stream of the program to create a minimum of 417 new permanent affordable homes. City Staff have been directed to identify projects that can be brought online in the next 12 months.

The …

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Yonge North Consultation to be Held October 29

Yonge North Consultation to be Held October 29

Plans are well underway to redefine the community close to Yonge Street, between Cummer/Drewry and Steeles. Several community meetings have already taken place.

An online meeting to discuss possible road networks will be held Thursday, October 29 at 7 p.m.To join the meeting, register here.

Residents who live in the area should be aware that city staff are presenting alternatives that would potentially have new roads running through existing neighbourhoods, where many homes are located.

At my request, staff have reduced the number of such roads, but there …

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Unsticking the Gridlock at Yonge/401

Unsticking the Gridlock at Yonge/401

by Markus O’Brien Fehr, Chief of Staff

In the coming weeks, conversation at City Council will shift back to the future of Yonge Street and how it best serves our growing community.  This week, we were all reminded of a big project that ties in closely – the access ramp onto Highway 401.

John first initiated studies on how to improve access to the 401 back in 2006, recognizing that the left turn required to get southbound Yonge traffic onto eastbound 401 was an inefficient set-up inadequate …

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