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)

Re-imagining Yonge Street (UPDATED)

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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From City Hall: Stormwater Management Fees

From City Hall: Stormwater Management Fees

Many Willowdale residents who attended public consultation meetings this spring were concerned with a City proposal to separate stormwater management costs from their existing water bill and implement a new fee. Stormwater is runoff that occurs when rain or melting snow flows off hard surfaces instead of soaking into the ground. The proposal offered no difference however to residents who had taken efforts to absorb stormwater on their own property and minimize impact on the City’s water system.  In large part due to public feedback, Council voted to receive this …

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North York Budget Consultations – January 9

North York Budget Consultations – January 9

The City’s tax-supported budget process launched on December 6, 2016 and will go to council on February 15 and 16. Toronto’s rate-supported budgets were approved by City Council on December 15.

City Council’s Budget Subcommittee meets at the North York Civic Centre Council Chamber on Monday, January 9 (3 – 6 PM) to hear deputations from the public wishing to share their views.  Councillors Campbell, Di Ciano and Nunziata will be the members of the Committee attending.

To register as a speaker, call 416-392-4666 or email buc@toronto.ca. …

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City Finances & “Revenue Tools” – Consultation December 7.

City Finances & “Revenue Tools” – Consultation December 7.

The City of Toronto needs to take a hard look at how it collects revenue, both to maintain and improve services and to finance major projects including public transit, affordable housing and other infrastructure needs.  While finding spending efficiencies is an important part of this equation, capital priorities cannot continue to be funded almost exclusively from the property tax base.  John strongly supports the City’s active exploration of additional revenue tools that would more fairly spread the tax burden.  He also opposes the idea of selling off …

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From City Hall: New Ward Boundaries Approved

From City Hall: New Ward Boundaries Approved

With the population of Ward 23 now over 100,000 – literally more than double other wards in Toronto – and development rates among the greatest in the City, John was pleased to see the City take action to re-align the City’s wards making population sizes more equitable.  Either the 44 or the 47-ward models that went before Council would have broken up Ward 23.  John voted with the majority to expand council slightly (to 47 wards) to accommodate the high growth rates being experienced across …

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City Takes Next Steps on SmartTrack & Transit

City Takes Next Steps on SmartTrack & Transit

City Council adopted a package of recommendations this month to move forward with SmartTrack and Eglinton West LRT.  SmartTrack is the integration of 6 new stations on Metrolinx’s GO lines.  The Province is working towards the electrification of these lines to allow faster moving trains running at greater frequency.  Adding stations through these corridors will make the GO a more viable subway-type option for Toronto residents and, more importantly for Willowdale residents, take some pressure off of Line 1 (Yonge).

John voted in favour of these …

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From City Hall: Council Approves Scarborough Subway (UPDATED)

From City Hall: Council Approves Scarborough Subway (UPDATED)

Update (July 2016)

Again this month, John voted with the minority of Councillors that preferred an LRT option in Scarborough as a replacement to the existing SRT. John previously voted against the Scarborough subway in 2013 believing that spending more than $1-billion of City money was wasteful when the Province was prepared to assume 100% of the LRT cost.  Recent reports have the cost of the subway going up even more, leaving Toronto residents on the hook for cost overruns.

The majority of Council however again backed the subway …

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Property Assessments & Property Tax

Property Assessments & Property Tax

As the provincial organization MPAC sends out property value assessment notices in June, Willowdale residents are again reminded about the impact skyrocketing property values are having on property taxes in the area.  Under the provincial “current value assessment” rules, homeowners in Willowdale pay significantly more than residents in some other parts of the city with the same sized house or property and same level of municipal services.

Because of this system, John’s believes increased user fees – instead of increased taxes – provides a fairer way …

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From City Hall: Ward Redistribution on Hold

From City Hall: Ward Redistribution on Hold

The population in our Ward 23 is now at about 100,000 – more than twice the size of some of the city’s 44 wards.  In addition to having more people, our ward also has far more development applications, new home construction, committee of adjustment applications and traffic problems than almost anywhere else in the city.  John’s office is committed to keeping up with all of it, but this is a situation that needs a long term fix.

Recently, the City’s Executive Committee deferred consideration of recommendations …

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From City Hall: Shifting Plans on Transit (and Open Houses)

From City Hall: Shifting Plans on Transit (and Open Houses)

The City has once again announced a shuffling of the deck on high speed transit proposing amendments to several projects previously approved by Council.  While residents have grown weary of constant change, in this case there is reason for optimism and hope that the City is not only moving forward, but inching closer to getting it “right.”

The Mayor’s SmartTrack proposal leveraging the Province’s electrification of the GO lines was approved for study by Council in 2015.  It adds stations to these lines in the eastern …

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From City Hall: Future of the East Gardiner (UPDATED)

From City Hall: Future of the East Gardiner (UPDATED)

Updated (June 2015)

On June 10 & 11, City Council approved the rebuilding of the East Gardiner Expressway – the “hybrid solution” – by a vote of 24-21.  John was among those who preferred the teardown option, replacing 1.7 km of elevated highway with an at-grade boulevard with an elevated ramp only where the boulevard would connect with the Don Valley Parkway.

John’s position on this issue was supported by more than 70% of the more than 400 Ward 23 residents who completed his online survey through …

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