COVID-19 Update (March 30)

COVID-19 Update (March 30)

Dear Neighbours,

It’s been another day of sad news — the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to mount — together with some bits of good news in the form of increased support for individuals and businesses by governments at all levels.

Thanks to the vast majority of you who are doing all you can to keep us all well by strictly observing physical distancing rules: stay home if possible and, if you must go out, keep at least two metres away from others. Wash your …

Read More »

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Like all of you, my team and I are working daily to keep up with the impacts that COVID-19 is having on our country, city and local community. As the situation continues to change daily, we have been adapting to the latest circumstances.

If you have questions about best practices relating to COVID-19, I encourage you to visit www.toronto.ca/covid19 for the latest news and best information.

Following the advice of the Medical Officer of Health, we are doing our part to protect the community by serving Willowdale …

Read More »

Profile: Canadian Helen Keller Centre

Profile: Canadian Helen Keller Centre

Story by Franco Cignelli, Marketing & Communications Specialist, Canadian Helen Keller Centre. This story first appeared on CHKC’s blog. To learn more about CHKC visit chkc.org.

Located in the Willowdale community is the Canadian Helen Keller Centre (CHKC). In operation since 1992, CHKC provides 16 affordable housing units on Willowdale Avenue known as the Rotary Cheshire Apartments (RCA). It also operates a fully accessible Training Centre on Empress Avenue where Canadians who are deafblind can learn life skills.

CHKC’s vision is to see a society where all …

Read More »

Next Steps to Addressing Vacant Homes

Next Steps to Addressing Vacant Homes

After generating much discussion, action on a Vacant Homes Tax was not ultimately part of this year’s budget cycle. This will, however, be something Council takes a close look at over the coming months.

Over a relatively short number of years, the issue of housing affordability in Toronto has grown from concerning to crisis level. Real estate prices have escalated so quickly, both for home ownership as well as for rentals, a whole generation is finding itself priced out of the market. Rental vacancy rates are …

Read More »

Potential Building Code Service Changes Could Put Public At Risk

Potential Building Code Service Changes Could Put Public At Risk

In the pursuit of reducing red tape and speeding up development, the Provincial Government has recently proposed changes to how the Building Code is enforced in Ontario.

Part of a discussion paper circulated by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, a central change would create a new ‘Certified Professionals Program’ allowing developers to hire private architects and engineers to perform inspections currently carried out by City of Toronto’s Building department.

John, along with the majority of Council, was immediately alarmed by this proposal. Having critical safety …

Read More »

Moving Forward On Transit Partnership

Moving Forward On Transit Partnership

As the City of Toronto and Province of Ontario continue to move forward on a partnership ensuring high-speed transit expansion, John continues to watch negotiations carefully.

Last spring, a deal was reached between the City and Province on a $30 billion transit expansion plan that would see extensions of subway Line 1 to Richmond Hill, Line 2 to Scarborough Centre and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to Pearson Airport; along with the creation of an ‘Ontario Line’ between the Ontario Science Centre and Ontario Place that would …

Read More »

City Council Passes Ravine Strategy Plan

City Council Passes Ravine Strategy Plan

Image: “Toronto ravine path (HDR)” (CC BY 2.0) by ruffin_ready

Toronto is home to a vast network of ravines that play an integral role in providing environmental, health and recreational benefits to the public.

The City’s ravine system covers 11,000 hectares, or 17 percent of Toronto’s land area and includes forests and wetlands, and numerous species of plants and animals.

Last week City Council unanimously adopted the Ravine Strategy Implementation which will help revitalize and protect Toronto’s ravines.

The plan includes $2.7 million annually to address urgent needs related to managing invasive …

Read More »

Community Update On Novel Coronavirus

Community Update On Novel Coronavirus

John is monitoring the novel coronavirus situation very carefully and is reviewing regular updates from the Medical Officer of Health. We will continue to keep the community updated on the work being done by Toronto Public Health in the coming days. At this time, TPH continues to advise that the risk to our community remains low. Staff are however working around the clock to ensure Toronto is well prepared and in contact with those that may have come into close contact with either of the …

Read More »

Profile: Willowdale Group of Artists

Profile: Willowdale Group of Artists

Story by Margie Wagner

Willowdale Group of Artists was founded in 1947 by 10 enthusiastic artists who loved to paint.

The objective of WGA is to bring together people who have a desire to draw and paint and to provide them with inspiration, opportunities for learning, and support. The diverse group of artists draw, paint and have classes in the afternoons, evenings and on weekends. Classes are held at different locations to fulfill differing needs.

Willowdale Group of Artists had its first annual show in February 1948. Two …

Read More »

Vision Of A Main Street On Yonge Still Strong

Vision Of A Main Street On Yonge Still Strong

Image: Community Outreach staff member Jesse James speaks to a group of business leaders during the BIA Brunch Meeting this past October.

Yonge Street is in desperate need of a makeover. But more than a just new layer of asphalt and concrete, our main street needs a new way of thinking — one that makes it more functional for our growing community and the many uses demanded of our public space.

Residents in Willowdale want their stretch of Yonge to be a safe place to …

Read More »

Win For Families At Yonge Sheppard Centre

Win For Families At Yonge Sheppard Centre

Image: Catherine LeBlanc-Miller (pictured) stands alongside one of three child care playgrounds at the redeveloped Yonge Sheppard Centre.

If you’re the parent, or caregiver of a young child, chances are good you’ve shared the struggle of finding high-quality, affordable child care. In Willowdale, our population growth has created long wait lists, challenging young families looking for a supportive and welcoming space for their little ones.

Throughout his career, John has taken a creative approach to establishing new child care spaces, leveraging surplus school space and development revenue …

Read More »

Notice: TTC Subway Emergency Simulation

Notice: TTC Subway Emergency Simulation

On Sunday, January 12 from 4 AM to 7 AM, the TTC and Emergency Response Services will be conducting a Subway Emergency Simulation at Finch Station and the Emergency Subway Exit Building on Church Avenue south of Finch Station. Subway service from Finch Station will begin at 7:56 AM to Lawrence Station.

Starting at approximately 5:45 AM, 300 participants in passenger roles will begin to be evacuated from a train to a place of safety – the Church Avenue Emergency Exit. Activity during this simulation will …

Read More »