City Rolls Out Photo Radar

City Rolls Out Photo Radar

Pedestrians and cyclists in Willowdale sometimes find themselves dodging drivers who don’t respect posted speed limits.

In December, Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras (photo radar) and signage were  added to Toronto streets to increase road safety, reduce speeding, and raise public awareness about obeying posted speed limits.

Initially, 50 cameras will be installed on local, collector and arterial roads in Community Safety Zones near schools. In Willowdale, the cameras will be installed at Patricia Avenue between Laconia Drive and Homewood Avenue, and Lillian Street between Abitibi Avenue …

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Trashing the Rebates – Why Smaller Black Garbage Bins Will Cost More

Trashing the Rebates – Why Smaller Black Garbage Bins Will Cost More

Several years back, the City of Toronto moved away from paying for water and garbage disposal through property tax rates. A new funding model was introduced to fund those services separately through a utility bill.

In Willowdale, where residents pay higher than the city average in property tax rates, homeowners were previously paying much more than residents in other parts of the city for the same services. By breaking out the costs onto a separate bill, all residents would not only pay a uniform rate but …

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City Council Approves Building Levy Hike

City Council Approves Building Levy Hike

In December, Toronto City Council approved an increase to the City Building Levy that will raise an estimated $6.6 billion for new TTC upgrades and repairs and affordable housing.

The current levy of 0.5% annually, will increase to 1.5% in 2020 and 2021. An additional 1.5% annual increase will continue until 2025.

This is not a vote that John took lightly.

By law, cities in Ontario must apply a uniform property tax rate to the values of properties as assessed by MPAC. The system is highly problematic — …

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City Council Approves HousingTO Action Plan

City Council Approves HousingTO Action Plan

The skyrocketing cost of Toronto real estate over the past few years has created a housing affordability crisis, especially in Willowdale.

In trying to address the variety of housing issues across the City, Toronto City Council recently approved HousingTO Action Plan 2020-2030, a 10-year strategy that looks to address a variety of housing issues, from homelessness and social housing to affordable rental housing and long-term care.

Implementing the estimated $23.4 billion plan will require investments from all three levels of government. The City will fund $8.5 billion, …

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LPAT Upholds City’s Rules on Short-Term Rentals

LPAT Upholds City’s Rules on Short-Term Rentals

The City of Toronto will be able to regulate how properties are listed on short-term rental sites such as Airbnb. That was the result of a decision this week from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) upholding Council’s approved short-term rental bylaws from 2017. Those rules had been on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.

In recent years, the popularity of online short-term rental sites has had several undesirable impacts on local neighbourhoods. They have reduced the number of available rental properties driving up prices, …

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Transit Deal: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Transit Deal: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

This week, Toronto City Council endorsed a deal with Metrolinx and the Province of Ontario that will create some stability after a turbulent year in which the Province had announced plans to seize all high-speed transit assets in the city. The deal allows all parties to move forward productively, but comes with details both good and bad.

Here’s a look at some of the key details.

The Good

The Province has backed down from a plan to seize the City’s transit network. As transit and city planning are …

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Improving Protection For Our Trees

Improving Protection For Our Trees

Trees are a critically important part of our community. They beautify our neighbourhoods, clean the air, offer shade from the sweltering heat during the summer, and help keep sewers from being overwhelmed during a storm. The City of Toronto has committed to increasing its tree canopy to 40% coverage. Despite this good news, many trees are being lost throughout the construction process.

Over the past several years, John has worked with Toronto Urban Forestry staff to improve the speed of inspections and tree protection to ensure …

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Toronto Declares Climate Emergency

Toronto Declares Climate Emergency

Climate scientists widely agree that the world must rapidly reduce carbon emissions over the next 10 years to reduce dangerous effects on our collective health, infrastructure and economy.

This week Toronto City Council unanimously voted to declare a Climate Emergency, joining hundreds of governments around the world and cities across Canada seeking to ensure that Toronto does its part.

Council had previously introduced a climate action strategy in 2017 titled TransformTO. It seeks to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into Toronto by focusing on more efficient …

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City of Toronto Seeks Public Input on Climate Action and Priorities

City of Toronto Seeks Public Input on Climate Action and Priorities

The City of Toronto wants to hear from residents about their ideas on actions and priorities on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the City.

For Willowdale residents, there will be a public meeting held on Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 8:45 PM at North York Memorial Hall (Burgundy Room A), 5110 Yonge St.

You can register here to attend a meeting.

Public input will help inform the 2021 to 2023 plan for the City’s TransformTO climate action strategy. The plan will be presented to Council in …

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City of Toronto Seeks Input From Toronto’s Neighbourhood Associations

City of Toronto Seeks Input From Toronto’s Neighbourhood Associations

The City of Toronto wants to explore the relationships between neighbourhood associations, and their relationships with City Council, and how they participate in local and city-wide decision-making.

If you’re a member or coordinator of a neighbourhood or resident network, association or group, the City invites you to attend an upcoming consultation as part of City Council’s Special Committee on Governance.

Neighbourhood associations are invited to:

Provide input via an online survey at toronto.ca/TOgovernance
Drop in to talk with City Staff on these dates:

North York Civic Centre – Main floor, …

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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 …

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Road Safety: Vision Zero 2.0

Road Safety: Vision Zero 2.0

The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan was enacted in 2017 as part of an international movement to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on local streets.  John’s office continues to collaborate with City Transportation staff to advance road safety measures in Willowdale.

Over the past year, we have been able to greatly enhance the Watch Your Speed Program which piloted in Willowdale in 2014 at John’s initiative.  School Safety Zones, including these boards, have been permanently established at Cameron PS, Hollywood PS, Willowdale MS/Churchill PS and …

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