REimagine Yonge (UPDATED)

REimagine Yonge (UPDATED)

UPDATE – March 2018

City Council this week deferred consideration of REimagine Yonge. The deferral came after the TTC raised last-minute concerns about potential conflict between bike lanes and a bus lane north of Finch Avenue.  With this issue unresolved, the Transform Yonge option would not likely have passed. John therefore reluctantly supported postponing the decision.

The issue could possibly come back to Council this term or, as the last Council meeting this term is in July, a decision may be delayed until 2019.

The Transform Yonge option …

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City Builders release Open Letter to Mayor and Members of Council on REimagine Yonge

City Builders release Open Letter to Mayor and Members of Council on REimagine Yonge

This morning, the team at the Ryerson City Building Institute asked John to distribute this open letter addressed to the mayor and members of council regarding the coming vote on PW27.1 REimagining Yonge on their behalf.

How could this many great urban thinkers be wrong?

OPEN LETTER TO TORONTO MAYOR AND COUNCIL RE: TRANSFORM YONGE

March 23, 2018

Dear Mayor Tory and Council,

This is an Open Letter to support the “Transform Yonge” recommendation for Yonge Street in North York. We believe that this is a once in generation opportunity …

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Update: Sheppard Yonge Station PRESTO Fare Gate Installation

Update: Sheppard Yonge Station PRESTO Fare Gate Installation

The TTC will be installing new PRESTO gates at Sheppard Yonge Station. Like many of you, John was concerned with the full closure of two entrances until mid-March for construction. John has worked with the TTC to revise the construction phases and we will no longer see full closures of TTC entrances during construction. The TTC will have Customer Service Representatives on site during all phases of construction at entrances to assist with directions.

Sheppard West and Harlandale Automatic Entrances

Sheppard West automatic entrance was scheduled to …

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News From City Hall: November 2017

News From City Hall: November 2017

Responsive Traffic Signal Technology

City of Toronto has launched a year-long pilot to test two new smart traffic signal systems to monitor traffic flow in real time and determine which works best for the city. This technology makes decisions on traffic light timings based on camera detection or radar that measures queue lengths on the approach to the intersection and relays that data to the signal.

Unlike standard traffic signals that are fixed to a set timing cycle for morning and afternoon rush hours and off-peak times, …

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Outdoor Skating Season is Here

Outdoor Skating Season is Here

The outdoor skating rink at Mel Lastman Square opens this week. Residents looking for a fun, free, family activity can lace up their skates from 10 AM to 9:30 PM on weekdays or from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekends – access to the Civic Centre and washrooms will not be available outside of those hours. The rink in the Square will remain open until March, weather permitting.

As the weather cools, plans for neighbourhood natural rinks are also underway. These rinks usually require a …

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Vision Zero Road Safety Plan

The City of Toronto remains committed to its Vision Zero Road Safety plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets. This week, City Council will consider a report recommending an acceleration of the program’s implementation of enhanced pavement markings, signage, Automated Speed Enforcement, Mobile “Watch Your Speed” boards, and new awareness programs. John had initiated the “Watch Your Speed” boards as a pilot for the City in 2014 and remains committed to looking for solutions to implement local improvements. John also supported …

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Education Development Charges

In October, John joined a panel with MPP David Zimmer, Trustee Alexander Brown and Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter in speaking with several hundred local parents at Earl Haig on the topic of school overcrowding in our area.

As with issues such as traffic and transit congestion, school overcrowding is the product of provincial rules which force development on the area but don’t give it the ability to deal with the population increase. Compounding that problem is another provincial policy which doesn’t allow the Toronto District …

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Overcrowding in Local Schools – Public Meeting October 30

Overcrowding in Local Schools – Public Meeting October 30

Children in some Willowdale condos look out their bedroom windows at schools that have no room for them. Instead of a short walk to class, they get on a bus to the nearest school that can take them. McKee School, built not that long ago to hold more than 600 students, has already been forced to add portables.

As with issues such as traffic and transit congestion, school overcrowding is the product of provincial rules which force development on the area but don’t give it the …

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RBC Race for the Kids (Lane Restrictions) & Terry Fox Run

RBC Race for the Kids (Lane Restrictions) & Terry Fox Run

Willowdale residents will want to be aware of races being held in our community this weekend.  RBC’s annual Race for the Kids in support of youth mental health at Sunnybrook, will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2017.  Over the past three years, the race has welcomed 28,000 participants, raising over $7-million for this important cause.

Road closures will be in effect on Yonge Street (between Sheppard Ave and north of Finch Ave) from 7:15 AM to 11:15 AM.  Finch Ave will also be closed between Doris Ave and Beecroft Road.  For a …

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Re-imagining Yonge Street (UPDATED) – Open House October 10

Re-imagining Yonge Street (UPDATED) – Open House October 10

Update (September 5, 2017)

Re-Imagining Yonge, the City’s plan to reconstruct the badly aging stretch of Yonge Street between Sheppard and Finch Avenues continues as a critical infrastructure project for our community.  Over the spring and summer, John and his EA Markus O’Brien Fehr, participated in fireside chats with over a dozen local neighbourhoods and condominiums in small “fireside chat” formats, sharing information on the project and hearing a wide range of views and opinions.  One thought that most residents share is that Yonge Street is in …

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Healing Gardens Musicfest – October 14

Healing Gardens Musicfest – October 14

Each year, Terry Eagan of Patio Records in Massachusetts boards a plane from Boston, rents a performance hall in Toronto, hires some of his favourite musicians, and writes a cheque to cover all the costs.  Ticket sales from his concerts go towards building healing gardens for cancer patients in local hospitals, a project he started in memory of his late wife, Mary.

On Saturday, October 14, Terry brings this year’s Healing Garden Music Fest to North York’s Lyric theatre, a newly renovated 500-seat gem in the Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge St).  …

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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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