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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Updates to Edithvale Park

Updates to Edithvale Park

Edithvale Park and Community Centre (131 Finch Ave W) is one of our busiest hubs for recreation.  John has continued to work with the community and City PF&R staff to make the park more functional for its users.  The next set of updates will begin in the fall of 2017 with the restoration of the Native Plant Garden.  Many residents have seen this area tarped off to remove a number of invasive plants and weeds.  The new garden will be designed as a natural habitat for …

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Mel Lastman Sq Movie – The Salesman – May 26

Mel Lastman Sq Movie – The Salesman – May 26

MAY 26 Update:

Movie Night is On!  Forecast for showtime (8:45 PM) is partly cloudy skies and 16 degrees C. Bring a blanket to stay warm or a cushion to sit on.

MAY 17 Post:

Join John and Member of Parliament for Willowdale, Ali Ehsassi for a free outdoor film screening in the heart of our community, the amphitheater in Mel Lastman Square (5100 Yonge)

Bring a blanket and curl up under the stars for The Salesman winner in the Best Foreign Language Film category of this year’s Academy Awards.  This film screened outdoors …

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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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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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Ward 23 2017 Community Environment Day – May 12

Ward 23 2017 Community Environment Day – May 12

John hosts his annual Community Environment Day at Earl Haig Secondary School (100 Princess Avenue) on Saturday, May 13, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Environment Days are focused on creative ways to reuse old items, recycle properly, and learn about waste diversion initiatives.  It is also a space where people are encouraged to donate the items that they might otherwise throw away, specifically any school supplies or non-perishable food items. You may pick up new kitchen compost containers ($5 ea) and drop off old technology, batteries, and household hazardous waste to ensure a …

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New Green Bins arriving in Willowdale

New Green Bins arriving in Willowdale

The City continues to phase in delivery of the new Green Bins.  Neighbourhoods west of Yonge have now been completed and areas east of Yonge began recieving new bins on March 9. It will take about three months to complete this distribution. The City will deliver to one collection route per day, which represents approximately 1,500 households. Don’t be alarmed if you see residents in your area with new bins and you have not received one — yours is coming. On the same day that residents …

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Cracking Down on Bad Builders

Cracking Down on Bad Builders

It will come as no surprise that our neighbourhood has more new home construction – by far – than anywhere else in the city.  The unprecedented increase in construction has brought with it a large number of “builders” who show little respect for the City’s bylaws, the neighbourhood in which they are building, or neighbours near their construction sites.  There are, of course, still some good and responsible builders, but these now appear to be in the minority.

Keeping up with the amount of construction and …

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Rec Spaces at Local Community Centres

Rec Spaces at Local Community Centres

Residents interested in keeping active in 2017 should look into some of the many great community centres Willowdale has to offer.  Check out the leisure skating programs at Mitchell Field or Goulding Community Centres, walk/jog the indoor tracks or join the gym at Mitchell Field or Edithvale Community Centres, or check out the drop in sports programs at any of the three by clicking on the centre name below.  Spaces are also still available for many registered programs at all three locations.

Edithvale Community Centre (131 Finch Ave …

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Toronto Ready for Winter Snow Clearing (UPDATED)

Toronto Ready for Winter Snow Clearing (UPDATED)

Some quick reminders on City snow clearing for this year:

When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimeters, local road plowing will begin.  Plowing on the local roads is usually completed between 14-16 hours after the snow stops falling. During this time, snow service requests will not be taken by 311. 

The City will only open driveway windrows wherever it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimeters of snow has fallen. Typically, driveway windrows are opened between one and two hours …

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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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John Calls on Province to Broaden Camera Enforcement

John Calls on Province to Broaden Camera Enforcement

Over the past several months, John and his staff have had conversations with local community groups and senior officers at TPS 32 Division discussing enforcement strategies in an overly congested traffic environment.  Too often, even when a uniformed officer is available to observe a traffic infraction on a busy road like Yonge Street, they will avoid issuing a ticket as this process would take out a lane of traffic for 10-15 minutes.  The recommendation from local Superintendent Sam Fernandes has been to work towards camera enforcement …

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