Toronto Sign Returns to Nathan Phillips Square

Toronto Sign Returns to Nathan Phillips Square

Last Friday, the City unveiled the new Toronto Sign on Nathan Phillips Square and the sign’s first celebratory wrap. The new sign is a more durable replica of the original which was installed in July 2015 for the Toronto 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games.

The sign’s first wrap, Patterns of the People, was designed by Danilo Deluxo McCallum in recognition of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent. Woven into the colourful patterns are African cultural symbols like the Adinkra Sankofa bird, which …

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New COVID-19 Distancing Restrictions

New COVID-19 Distancing Restrictions

The Province has responded to an alarming rise in new COVID cases in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa with new restrictions on meeting size and much tougher penalties for those who don’t follow the rules.

The size of social gatherings, such as backyard barbecues or parties, has been reduced to 25 people outdoors and 10 indoors.

Fines for those who organize gatherings above those numbers can range from $10,000 to $100,000, with the possibility of up to a year’s jail time. All guests who attend illegal events face …

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ActiveTO Expands to Yonge Until End of September

ActiveTO Expands to Yonge Until End of September

The City is expanding its ActiveTO program to include Yonge Street, between Davenport Road and Queen’s Quay, on the final two Sundays in September.

Roads will begin to close starting as early as 8 a.m. and be reopened by 3 p.m. each day. Vehicle access on these sections of roads will be closed and the City will actively manage traffic through signal timing adjustments on adjacent routes. Motorists who normally travel northbound on Yonge Street on Sundays should plan ahead and use alternate routes.

During the closure, …

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Recreation Programs Returning to Toronto

Recreation Programs Returning to Toronto

Markus O’Brien-Fehr – Chief of Staff

As a parent with young kids at home, part of the back to school routine for us includes registering for recreation programs to enrich their experience. The City of Toronto offers a huge range of activities for children of all ages (including the grown-up ones) that are both reliable and reasonably priced. This fall, registration beings for the North York District on Tuesday, September 15.

After a successful summer camp season at our community centres, they return to more familiar offerings including …

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Short-Term Rental Regulations Start September 10

Short-Term Rental Regulations Start September 10

Starting this week, the City of Toronto is taking further action to regulate short term rental properties.  Moving forward, those renting properties for fewer than 28 consecutive days must register with the City and provide a registration number on any listings on sites such as Airbnb, Expedia or booking.com.  Having property owner information on file with bylaw enforcement will allow for more efficient follow-up for by-laws officers and increase owner accountability.

Short term rental hosts can now register online here, and must register by December 31, …

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Join the Willowdale Youth Council, 2020-2021!

Join the Willowdale Youth Council, 2020-2021!

(Photo above: WYC team of 2019-2020, with Councillor Filion’s Manager of Community Engagement, Jesse James)

Councillor Filion is pleased to announce that he is accepting applications for the next cohort of his Willowdale Youth Council (WYC), 2020-2021!

The WYC is a unique opportunity for up to 15 youth living in or attending high school in Willowdale to learn more about their local community and connect with other young leaders.

As part of WYC, you can help shape our neighbourhood and learn how the City of Toronto operates by …

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Toronto Supporting School Boards with Back to School Plan

Toronto Supporting School Boards with Back to School Plan

To help keep kids and parents safe during COVID-19 and the return to school, The City of Toronto has offered the Toronto District and Toronto Catholic District School Boards access to 36 rooms in 24 city owned properties to help staff and students physically distance.

The City is also continuing to look into how we can provide even more space without affecting programs that have already been scheduled. We recognize the importance of ensuring students, teachers and support staff are socially distanced …

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Cameras Catch Speeders

Cameras Catch Speeders

Willowdale’s new Automatic Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras are already catching speeders. Located at Doris and Spring Garden, as well as on Church Ave. east of Doris, the cameras issued 372 tickets in the first two weeks of the program.

Of those tickets, 38 drivers were repeat offenders, with one individual being ticketed 6 times over the two week period. The fastest speed recorded was a car going 85 km/h in a 40 km/h zone, which resulted in the driver being fined $670. Obviously, these statistics are a major concern. …

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New Public Art at Mel Lastman Square

New Public Art at Mel Lastman Square

If you’re passing by Mel Lastman Square, be sure to take a look at the new art that is in the outdoor amphitheatre. Willowdale artist Jieun June Kim was commissioned by North York Arts to transform the space with a temporary creative social distancing artwork.

While there are no events scheduled to use the amphitheatre due to the pandemic, the art will make it easy for people to physically distance once the threatre opens back up. Jiuen used spray chalk with her custom stencils to mark safe seating areas and bring a bright pop of rainbow colours to …

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Alexander Brown Elected Chair of TDSB

Alexander Brown Elected Chair of TDSB

Willowdale trustee Alexander Brown was elected Chair of the Toronto District School Board earlier this week. I have worked closely with Alexander over the past several years and have found him excellent at involving the community in decision-making – something that is greatly needed as we enter the uncharted territory of school reopening during a pandemic.

In recent years, school boards have frequently turned to Willowdale representatives for leadership. In 2019, Trustee Maria Rizzo was elected to a one-year term as Chair of Toronto’s Catholic School …

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Book Fitness Rooms, Indoor Lane Swim, Online

Book Fitness Rooms, Indoor Lane Swim, Online

As of Monday August 17th, Fitness and weight rooms in community centres across the city will be opening to the public. To make booking easier, the City has introduced an online reservation option for workouts at facilities like Mitchell Field, and Edithvale community centres.

The new tool also allows you to book a lane swim at any of the City’s indoor pools online, including at Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre. Outdoor pools at Goulding and Mitchell Field will still be filled on a first come, first served basis.

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My Parents’ Generation and the Pandemic

My Parents’ Generation and the Pandemic

Seventy-five years ago today, my father learned he’d soon be heading home. World War II was officially over in the Pacific, where he’d served with the RCAF. Two years earlier, he’d said goodbye to family, friends and, most notably, a wife and their new baby – not knowing if he’d see them again.

He returned full of optimism at age 30 and set about building the life he wanted: a family, a home, a career, a contributor to a strong society. Much of this was already …

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