Basketball Court Upgrades at Willowtree

Basketball Court Upgrades at Willowtree

At the July meeting of City Council, John passed a motion in support of the upgrades of the basketball court at 415 Willowdale Avenue, an affordable housing complex known as Willowtree.

John’s motion directed half of the required funding to assist Toronto Community Housing (TCH) in upgrading the large basketball court at Willowtree, with the other half being provided by TCH.

These funds will be used to increase the size of the court, upgrade the poles and nets, provide new benches and fencing and make the site …

Read More »

The Future of Sheppard West & Bogert Apartments

The Future of Sheppard West & Bogert Apartments

The Lansing neighbourhoods (west of Yonge, on either side of Sheppard) continue to face extreme development pressure, with two major battles being decided by a provincially-appointed board.

Recently, a five-week hearing dealt with development along both sides of Sheppard, west of Yonge. Two years ago, the City had adopted a plan for Sheppard West which restricted development to the main street and limited heights to five and six storeys in most locations.  But a group of land speculators appealed the city’s plan and presented one of …

Read More »

Premier to Open the Floodgates on Development (updated)

Premier to Open the Floodgates on Development (updated)

Updated (June 6, 2019):

This week, Bill 108 passed third reading at Queen’s Park and received Royal Assent.  It is now law in Ontario.  There remain many concerns about the passing of this bill, and conflicting information circulating about its overall impact.  Last week, we did some fact checking on the Province’s claims.

In many cases, details about the actual impact to development charges and community benefits have yet to be released by the Province.  That means its not too late to contact our MPP and share …

Read More »

Helping with Property Standards

Helping with Property Standards

With great weather comes great responsibility to maintain outdoor spaces. Properties should be clean and free of waste and debris, with long grass and weeds not exceeding 8 inches in length.  Unfortunately, the City does not always have the resources to enforce proactively and can use your help.

If you notice a property in your neighbourhood that has become unsightly, you can contact 311 311@toronto.ca or our office at Councillor_filion@toronto.ca.

After the problem is reported, Municipal Licensing & Standards (ML&S) will issue an advisory notice. If the …

Read More »

Fact Checking our MPP on Bill 108

Fact Checking our MPP on Bill 108

Willowdale MPP Stan Cho has released a “fact sheet” on Bill 108. But who’s checking the facts?  Virtually every point on the page was either incorrect, misleading or unsupportable by information on the public record.  Here are our top 10 most glaring concerns:

Claim: “Lengthy unpredictable approval processes and high costs have slowed down the building of new housing and rentals leading to a supply-demand imbalance.”

Reality: Toronto has had more development than any other city in North America. Since 2002, 226,000 new homes have been built …

Read More »

Yonge North Planning Study – May 22

Yonge North Planning Study – May 22

For several years the City of Toronto has been reviewing its Official Plan for the Yonge Street area between Finch and Steeles.  Not everyone has agreed with John’s vision to focus on building a complete neighbourhood, with community facilities, schools and places to work and shop. He is proposing a network of bicycle paths and pedestrian connections, with lots of new parkland. John believes in restricting tall buildings to sites with subway stations – and to make any increased density conditional on subway construction.

With subway …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

City Consultation on Construction Dust – May 15

City Consultation on Construction Dust – May 15

Willowdale continues to be a neighbourhood with a very high amount of infill construction. When builders are not sensitive to impacts on their neighbours, this can be a source of great frustration.

Over the past several years, John has worked with the City to improve the resources it has available to enforce bylaws, improve training for building inspections and develop new communication tools for neighbours.

You can read more about addressing infill construction issues here.  Or find the City’s recently published Good Neighbour Guide here.

One of the most frequent …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

OMB Reform Coming Soon

OMB Reform Coming Soon

The provincial government has announced that it intends to replace the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) with a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal which will be required to give much more weight to the decisions of local municipal councils. Under the proposed system, the Tribunal would evaluate appeals by whether the City had followed its own planning rules in the initial decision. The set of proposals, if implemented, would put planning back in the hands of your local elected councils, which John believes is very good news.

This legislation, part of Bill 139, passed …

Read More »