John’s Update (May 1)

John’s Update (May 1)

Dear Neighbours,

Just a few months ago, in budget discussions with residents, most agreed that the City needed new sources of revenue to improve public transit, build affordable housing and create the liveable city we want to be part of.

Just a few months later, we’ll need that new revenue just to keep from going broke.

City government is not immune to the financial destruction caused by the virus. As Council was told yesterday at its first-ever online meeting, Toronto is losing an estimated $65 million per week. …

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UPDATED: New Provincial Rules Would Help Developers, Hurt Communities

UPDATED: New Provincial Rules Would Help Developers, Hurt Communities

 

Residents may be interested in the formal submission made by the City of Toronto to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on April 20 as part of the formal consultation process.  That submission can be read here.

John’s submission is also linked at the end of the original post below.

Original Post (April 17, 2020):

Most developers in Willowdale will be paying much less towards the cost of new parks, child care centres, community centres and other facilities if a new Ford Government proposal becomes final.

In …

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John’s Update (April 27)

John’s Update (April 27)

Dear Neighbours,

I am thankful that all of our political leaders are taking a non-partisan, fact-based approach to the COVID crisis, in harmony with Public Health experts.

Today, the Province outlined a cautious framework, stages through which we might take baby steps towards a new normal.

Stage 1: Allow select workplaces and small gatherings to reopen.
Stage 2: Allow additional workplaces and some larger gatherings to reopen.
Stage 3: Relax restrictions on small public events and workplaces but still not allow large events such as concerts or sporting events.

For more …

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John’s Update (April 23)

John’s Update (April 23)

Dear Neighbours,

April 23, 2018 began as a sunny spring day in Willowdale. Hundreds strolled Yonge Street’s sidewalks, visiting stores or out with friends for lunch. None of us will forget where we were when we learned that the beauty of that afternoon had been shattered by an act of violent hate that killed 10 people and injured 16 more.

I am proud to say that our community responded to that hate with an outpouring of kindness, compassion and love. The group We Love Willowdale formed overnight …

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John’s Update (April 20)

John’s Update (April 20)

Dear Neighbours,

This is a year of tragedies. The incomprehensible mass murder of innocent people in Nova Scotia that we are still coming to grips with, the loss of 260 lives from the senseless shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, and the tragedy playing out in long-term care homes in our city and across the country.

In Willowdale this week, our thoughts return to the awful tragedy of April 23, 2018, when 10 people lost their lives and 16 more were injured in an act …

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John’s Update (April 17)

John’s Update (April 17)

Dear Neighbours,

As we edge closer to the day when we’ll likely record the highest number of daily COVID deaths, some take comfort from the notion that things can only get better. I also look for smaller signs of resilience.

I had a lovely email exchange with a local retirement home resident who reads these newsletters — Hi Jack. He let me know that although he is staying in his room, he feels safe and cared for and finds ways to exercise. He wondered how others, such …

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John’s Update (April 14)

John’s Update (April 14)

Dear Neighbours,

The most vulnerable among us should count on us to make sure they are being well looked after. We have fallen short.

The tragedy in numbers: as of April 14, of the 115 Covid deaths in Toronto, 68 lived in long-term care homes. But of course, these people aren’t numbers. They are our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and friends. They used to be our neighbours. They led happy and productive lives.

Before this is over, much will be said about what could have been …

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John’s Update (April 9)

John’s Update (April 9)

Dear Neighbours,

If there’s something to be thankful for as a virus overtakes everyday life, it’s the new appreciation of the lives we owned little more than a month ago. Who knew we’d be longing for those good old days so soon?

How easy it was to take for granted the simplest of things: getting together with friends and family; walking children down to the playground; going to work; planning a holiday.

There’s a lesson here. This week, as we look forward to a future when we can …

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John’s Update (April 6)

John’s Update (April 6)

Dear Neighbours,

As all of us struggle to find ways to safely get groceries to our homes, many of our neighbours have an extra worry: they can’t afford enough food to feed their families. Just as the economic situation worsens, two of the three food banks serving Willowdale have closed their doors, at least temporarily.

All levels of government are working with several organizations to help keep food banks open.

In Toronto, the Mayor today announced several new city initiatives:

Food Delivery for Some Seniors
The City is partnering with Red Cross …

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John’s Update (April 3)

John’s Update (April 3)

Well….if any of us weren’t already alarmed enough to change our behaviour, COVID-19 projected death totals released by the Province today should change that. As a best case — that is, if we all do what’s required to keep ourselves and others safe — the number of projected deaths in Ontario ranges from 3,000 to 15,000 deaths. A worst case, if we don’t do what we need to, is many times worse than that.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from today’s announcement is that thousands of lives depend on us following some …

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COVID-19 Update (April 1)

COVID-19 Update (April 1)

Dear Neighbours,

As the COVID-19 crisis worsens, government actions to control public behaviour increases. Today, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa formalised several measures (see below) which were previously strongly recommended but not legally required. As of today, those who don’t comply will be subject to legal penalties.

Over the past two weeks, the number of cases in Toronto has increased by 500%. Urgent action is required to flatten that trajectory to avoid the tragic situations we see in other large cities. The difference …

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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 …

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