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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Notice: Toronto Hydro Electrical Upgrade

Notice: Toronto Hydro Electrical Upgrade

Toroto Hydro is improving the electricity system in Ward 18.

The project area includes Finch Avenue West (North), Senlac Road (East), Sheppard Avenue West (South) and Bathurst Road (West). Expect the work to begin February 2020.

Generally, work on this project will take place Monday to Friday, between 7 AM. and 7 PM. Weekend work may occur.

In order to complete the work in a safe manner, there will be road and sidewalk restrictions within the construction work area. In the event of any parking restrictions, advance notice …

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Willowdale Outdoor Ice Rinks

Willowdale Outdoor Ice Rinks

Story by Stephen Boyle

Looking for something to do when the temperature drops and the snow starts to fly? Why not embrace the winter, get active and have some fun with the kids and your community neighbours. Dust off the skates and take to the ice whenever you want. Outdoor rinks are a great option for those of you looking to get together for a group skate or game of shinny (pick-up hockey).

You don’t pay for ice time and you don’t need to worry about a …

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