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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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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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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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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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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Willowdale Community Picnic – May 21

Willowdale Community Picnic – May 21

Join Councillor John Filion, the We Love Willowdale coalition and your friends and neighbours from the local community for a very special picnic event in Mel Lastman Square.

Monday, May 21 – 11-2 PM

This picnic will bring to a close the 26 Days of Music on Yonge, one day of music for every person injured or killed on April 23rd.

Though we continue to mourn those that were lost, let us also celebrate the thousands of acts of kindness and love in the wake of this tragedy, and remember …

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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 …

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Community Safety Town Hall – May 6

Community Safety Town Hall – May 6

In the aftermath of last week’s attack, the City of Toronto’s Community Crisis Response Program and Toronto Police Services invites residents and business owners or staff to an interactive dialogue about community safety in Willowdale.  Topics will include how to support your neighbours and available community resources during a time of crisis.

Please join us Sunday, May 6, from 6 – 8 PM at Willowdale Baptist Church (15 Olive Ave).  Refreshments and child care will be provided.  For more information, contact Rose-Ann Bailey by e-mail or 647-217-4368.  You can also pre-register here.

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A note of thanks: #TorontoStrong Vigil

A note of thanks: #TorontoStrong Vigil

A very large word of thanks to the City of Toronto staff, countless members of the Toronto Police Service, members of Faith in the City and the Toronto Area Interfaith Council for their tireless work in pulling together last Sunday’s #TorontoStrong Vigil in Mel Lastman Square. It was an opportunity for members of the Willowdale community, and for residents from literally across the GTA and beyond to gather in support and solidarity with the victims of the attack. We hope that it brought a small amount of comfort and healing to those who …

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#TorontoStrong Vigil & Community Walk – April 29

#TorontoStrong Vigil & Community Walk – April 29

As we move together through a difficult week, I want to update you on community gatherings in the days ahead.

The #TorontoStrong Vigil was announced today by the City of Toronto to honour and support all those who have been affected by Monday’s tragedy.

The vigil will take place on Sunday, April 29 at Mel Lastman Square, beginning at 7:00 PM.

Organized in collaboration with community groups Faith in the City and the Toronto Area Interfaith Council, the vigil will be an interfaith demonstration of Toronto’s diverse communities as well as a display of the City’s resiliency.

Additional details, including …

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UPDATED – Community Note on the Yonge Street Attack

UPDATED – Community Note on the Yonge Street Attack

UPDATE (April 24, 2018):

I have been both touched and astounded by the outpouring of offers from residents to offer their time or services to assist others during our current time of need in the Willowdale area. Thanks to all who have sent in thoughtful messages of support.

As we move forward, our priority has been to allow first responders and the Toronto Police to continue doing their important work on Yonge. About half of their work area has now been re-opened to the public and I …

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Outdoor Skating Season is Here

Outdoor Skating Season is Here

The outdoor skating rink at Mel Lastman Square opens this week. Residents looking for a fun, free, family activity can lace up their skates from 10 AM to 9:30 PM on weekdays or from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekends – access to the Civic Centre and washrooms will not be available outside of those hours. The rink in the Square will remain open until March, weather permitting.

As the weather cools, plans for neighbourhood natural rinks are also underway. These rinks usually require a …

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