Cool Rinks, Warm Hearts

Cool Rinks, Warm Hearts

This year, Willowdale is home to four community outdoor skating rinks. The rinks are built and maintained by local volunteers so that members of their community can enjoy the outdoors and skate safely in their own neighbourhoods. With COVID-19 making everything more difficult this year, I want to extend a very special thanks to the volunteers who have built and maintained the rinks. We have happier, healthier, communities because of you.

If you want to enjoy the rinks yourself, you can find them at:

Edithvale Community Centre: …

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Staying Active Outside During the Lockdown

Staying Active Outside During the Lockdown

In case you missed it last week, Willowdale is home to four natural rinks this winter!

Our office will be providing up to date information on the rinks here. Be sure to check the page often to see which rinks are currently open for use. We will be updating the page weekly with all the most up to date information on rink conditions from now until the end of the season.

As a reminder, due to COVID-19 the following rules are in place for natural rinks across …

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Community Conversations about Parks Improvements and Road Safety with Councillor Filion

Community Conversations with Councillor Filion and Local Community Leaders!

Over the next month Councillor Filion is pleased to host a series of community conversations about two important, Willowdale-based topics:

Parks Improvements
Road Safety

Each conversation will focus on ways that these topics affect a specific geographic neighbourhood in Willowdale. The panelists are made up of community leaders in that neighbourhood so that each conversation will have a distinct local feel. A question and answer period for participants will be open at the end of each conversation.

To find out when …

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Kids Rely on Access to Local Parks

Kids Rely on Access to Local Parks

by Markus O’Brien Fehr, Chief of Staff

Public health experts are trying to balance the risks and benefits of necessary physical activity with the necessity to keep populations safe from exposure to the virus.  But what impact is the lack of physical activity having on our kids?

A couple weeks back I had the chance to participate in a workshop put on by City Building Ryerson presenting a study conducted over the spring and summer of 2020.  Dr. Raktim Mitra was part of a group looking at …

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Work Continues on Community Basketball Courts

Work Continues on Community Basketball Courts

By Markus O’Brien-Fehr – Chief of Staff

Construction is currently underway for two community basketball facilities that will help keep communities active and youth engaged.

In 2019 John secured funding to help pay for the reconstruction of a basketball court at a TCH community in Willowdale. The construction began this past summer and will include a larger and new playing surface, a new perimeter fence, new basketball nets, and a community-led mural at centre court. The whole project should be completed in the next couple months.

New courts …

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Willowdale Parks Improvement Survey – 2020



Provide your input to help improve Willowdale’s parks!

Councillor Filion is working with City Staff to develop a list of priorities and projects for the next 2+ years that will see a number of significant park improvements in Willowdale. This survey will help Councillor Filion gather important insight and feedback from Willowdale residents.

This survey is also part of a series of virtual community conversations with Councillor Filion throughout September. If you have any questions then please contact Councillor Filion’s office: councillor_filion@toronto.ca or call 416-395-6411.

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THANK YOU!

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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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Improving Protection For Our Trees

Improving Protection For Our Trees

Trees are a critically important part of our community. They beautify our neighbourhoods, clean the air, offer shade from the sweltering heat during the summer, and help keep sewers from being overwhelmed during a storm. The City of Toronto has committed to increasing its tree canopy to 40% coverage. Despite this good news, many trees are being lost throughout the construction process.

Over the past several years, John has worked with Toronto Urban Forestry staff to improve the speed of inspections and tree protection to ensure …

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Tree Planting in Willowdale

Tree Planting in Willowdale

Over the next few weeks, the City of Toronto will be planting trees in numerous parks within Ward 18 to increase the area’s forestry canopy.

John is also always looking for groups of residents that wish to advocate in their area for more City tree plantings. In the past, several Willowdale neighbourhoods have canvassed their streets to determine areas for new trees. Where a site is deemed by Forestry to be appropriate – taking into account the location and soil quality – residents can then choose …

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Abbotsford Park Re-Opening

Abbotsford Park Re-Opening

This fall, we’re excited to open a new and improved Abbotsford Park in the West Willowdale community.

Parkland contribution from recent development allowed the City to acquire a new lot on Ellerslie Avenue in 2018. This space not only expands the park, but creates a new pedestrian path connecting Abbotsford Road to Ellerslie.

In consultation with the West Willowdale Neighbourhood Association and surrounding community, the City has also upgraded the park itself adding new playground equipment, pathways, lighting and landscaping to enhance this great community space.

Join John, …

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Parks & Recreation Improvements

Parks & Recreation Improvements

Local parks and recreation spaces are a critical part of creating complete communities. To better serve our growing community, we are always on the lookout for opportunities to expand these public spaces.

This year, John continues working towards new and accessible playground equipment being installed at local parks with projects in Kempford Park and Empress Tot Lot. Last year, we updated numerous parks, including Hendon and Sheppard East Parks.

After many years of construction, the Edithvale Park expansion is also nearing completion. The completed park will include outdoor …

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Arts in the Parks Season Launch – June 7

Arts in the Parks Season Launch – June 7

An initiative of the Toronto Arts Foundation which John helped to launch in 2015, Arts in the Parks brings free, family-friendly arts events and activities to a park near you. Think theatre performances, dance classes, workshops, movies, festivals and more, right in your backyard!

All ages are welcome to join us on Friday, June 7 from 12 – 3 PM at Lee Lifeson Art Park (223 Gladys Allison Place) for a free afternoon of performances, workshops and fun as we kick off the summer season of Arts in …

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