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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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 …

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Citywide Transit Update

Citywide Transit Update

Keeping track of the city’s transit priorities has become a difficult task – even for those of us who vote to set the priorities. However, an update on one of the most critical files at City Hall:

The new Line 1 subway extension from the Sheppard West Station (at Downsview) to Vaughan Centre is expected to open by the end of this year.

Construction is underway, via Metrolinx, for both the Eglinton Crosstown and the Finch West LRT (from the new Finch West station to Humber College) with openings planned …

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Re-imagining Yonge Street (UPDATED)

Re-imagining Yonge Street (UPDATED)

Update (May 12, 2017)

Re-Imagining Yonge, the revitalization of Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard Avenues took a big step forward this week after staff recommendations were adopted by the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC).  The staff recommendations for the project, resulting from the public consultation process and Environmental Assessment conducted in 2016, include a full reconstruction of the Yonge roadway, widening of sidewalks for pedestrian use and outdoor patios and cafes, substantial improvements to trees, plantings and street furniture, inclusion of cycling facilities – including grade …

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Local Appeal Body (TLAB) Now Active

Local Appeal Body (TLAB) Now Active

On May 3 the City of Toronto launched the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB), to handle appeals of land use decisions from Committee of Adjustment hearings.  TLAB is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that replaces the function of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). In doing so, the City hopes that the TLAB will make the appeal process more efficient, allowing citizens to make claims in person, by phone, or online through video conferencing. Most TLAB meetings will be held in the Toronto Public Library located at 40 Orchardview …

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From City Hall: Growth Strategy for Child Care

From City Hall: Growth Strategy for Child Care

Last month, City Council approved a 10-year strategy for expanding child care and early learning programs in Toronto and authorized staff to meet with federal and provincial representatives in pursuit of a tri-government agreement on expanding child care and early learning. The City’s vision is a licensed child-care system serving 50% of Toronto’s children up to age four by 2026. Locally, population growth has meant finding licensed child-care is a problem for many Willowdale families.  John has worked maximize developer contributions in this area to expand our local system.  …

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2017 Clean Toronto Together – April 21-23

2017 Clean Toronto Together – April 21-23

With warmer weather coming (or already here) it’s time for some spring cleaning. Gather your friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs your help. Friday, April 21 is the Corporate & School 20-Minute Makeover, and Saturday April 22 and Sunday April 23 are the Community Cleanup Days. Registration begins on March 1st.  Learn more, register your event and find out when and where to get your free GLAD® garbage and recycling bags at livegreentoronto.ca or call …

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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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City Consulting on Web Tools

City Consulting on Web Tools

The City of Toronto is working on the design, development and implementation of a new toronto.ca website that is citizen-centric and service-focused, with a new look and feel.  As part of this project, a number of sessions are being organized looking for feedback on key web design elements.

The City will team with Ipsos Reid to host a Citizenlab – an in-person survey and focus group event – at the North York Civic Centre on Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.  Several spaces are still available …

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