Looking Forward MoveTO Means More Reliable Transportation

Looking Forward MoveTO Means More Reliable Transportation

If COVID-19 has had one benefit, it may be the largest drop-off in traffic volumes ever recorded in Toronto. But eventually, it would be wise to expect a return to the growth of traffic and congestion seen over many decades. The current drop in demand should only present an opportunity to be ready for the rebound.

This week, City Council unanimously approved an action plan, dubbed MoveTO, to manage congestion and create an improved transportation network. Though many of the components have been in the works for several …

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COUNCILLOR FILION, RESIDENTS AND ADVOCATES CALL FOR IMPROVED YONGE STREET

COUNCILLOR FILION, RESIDENTS AND ADVOCATES CALL FOR IMPROVED YONGE STREET

COUNCILLOR FILION, RESIDENTS AND ADVOCATES CALL FOR IMPROVED YONGE STREET

TORONTO – Residents in Willowdale joined local Councillor John Filion along with advocates from across the city at a virtual press event this morning calling on Toronto City Council to support recommendations for the reconstruction of Yonge Street between Sheppard and Finch Avenues.

The report REimagining Yonge, returning to the City’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee on December 1, would revitalize Yonge St. with much wider sidewalks, enough room for planting, benches and outdoor patios plus a bike …

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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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COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts Provide Hope

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts Provide Hope

The COVID-19 case projections this week have been bleak. There’s no other way to say it. But at least in a tough week we also got a strong glimmer of hope. On Monday, the drug company Pfizer released early data on a COVID-19 vaccine under development showing that it may be up to 90% effective. Though the vaccine remains several weeks away from completing its final phase of clinical trials, and with data yet to be peer-reviewed, the results are nevertheless a very encouraging sign.

The …

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Kids Rely on Access to Local Parks

Kids Rely on Access to Local Parks

by Markus O’Brien Fehr, Chief of Staff

Public health experts are trying to balance the risks and benefits of necessary physical activity with the necessity to keep populations safe from exposure to the virus.  But what impact is the lack of physical activity having on our kids?

A couple weeks back I had the chance to participate in a workshop put on by City Building Ryerson presenting a study conducted over the spring and summer of 2020.  Dr. Raktim Mitra was part of a group looking at …

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Willowdale BIA Poll Successful

Willowdale BIA Poll Successful

Business owners want Willowdale to have its first Business Improvement Area! Since late August, the city has run a poll of business owners along the Yonge Street corridor between Bishop/Hendon and Highway 401, to gauge interest in forming a Business Improvement Area. The poll closed last week, and almost three quarters of respondents voted in favour of the formation of a BIA.

BIAs benefit local businesses and their communities in a number of ways. The BIA collects a small additional levy from local businesses, and when …

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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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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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The Future of Our Roads is Arriving

The Future of Our Roads is Arriving

by Markus O’Brien Fehr, Chief of Staff

When we imagine a “future city” one of the first things that jumps to mind is transportation.  From The Jetsons cartoons of the 1960s to the Back to the Future movies of the 1980s, futuristic cars have been imagined, though never actually realized.  We’ve heard about driverless cars coming at some point in the future.  Those that think that these are still a long ways off may need to think again.

This week, the City of Toronto announced an agreement …

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Schools Should be Growing With Our Neighbourhoods

Schools Should be Growing With Our Neighbourhoods

By Markus O’Brien-Fehr – Chief of Staff

As a dad sending young kids to school this fall, I’ve shared apprehension with many parents about how this year is going to work. Can kids be adequately distanced in these spaces, especially with surging COVID-19 numbers in our community?

I’ve made a few observations over the first couple of weeks. First, teachers are working very hard and adding great creativity doing their instruction in a completely different and difficult educational environment. Second, schools simply don’t have the resources or …

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