The Party Is Over For Party Houses

The Party Is Over For Party Houses

In recent years, the surge of short-term rentals popping up on websites like Airbnb has hurt communities like Willowdale by reducing the stock of available rental properties, leading to soaring prices and less stable neighbourhoods.

With land speculation continuing to be a significant factor in the local real estate market, owners have become more creative in monetizing properties on these web platforms, renting out homes as party venues and causing headaches for large groups of neighbours seeking John’s assistance.

That party, however, is about to end. In …

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City Rolls Out Photo Radar

City Rolls Out Photo Radar

Pedestrians and cyclists in Willowdale sometimes find themselves dodging drivers who don’t respect posted speed limits.

In December, Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras (photo radar) and signage were  added to Toronto streets to increase road safety, reduce speeding, and raise public awareness about obeying posted speed limits.

Initially, 50 cameras will be installed on local, collector and arterial roads in Community Safety Zones near schools. In Willowdale, the cameras will be installed at Patricia Avenue between Laconia Drive and Homewood Avenue, and Lillian Street between Abitibi Avenue …

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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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Trashing the Rebates – Why Smaller Black Garbage Bins Will Cost More

Trashing the Rebates – Why Smaller Black Garbage Bins Will Cost More

Several years back, the City of Toronto moved away from paying for water and garbage disposal through property tax rates. A new funding model was introduced to fund those services separately through a utility bill.

In Willowdale, where residents pay higher than the city average in property tax rates, homeowners were previously paying much more than residents in other parts of the city for the same services. By breaking out the costs onto a separate bill, all residents would not only pay a uniform rate but …

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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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City Council Approves Building Levy Hike

City Council Approves Building Levy Hike

In December, Toronto City Council approved an increase to the City Building Levy that will raise an estimated $6.6 billion for new TTC upgrades and repairs and affordable housing.

The current levy of 0.5% annually, will increase to 1.5% in 2020 and 2021. An additional 1.5% annual increase will continue until 2025.

This is not a vote that John took lightly.

By law, cities in Ontario must apply a uniform property tax rate to the values of properties as assessed by MPAC. The system is highly problematic — …

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City Council Approves HousingTO Action Plan

City Council Approves HousingTO Action Plan

The skyrocketing cost of Toronto real estate over the past few years has created a housing affordability crisis, especially in Willowdale.

In trying to address the variety of housing issues across the City, Toronto City Council recently approved HousingTO Action Plan 2020-2030, a 10-year strategy that looks to address a variety of housing issues, from homelessness and social housing to affordable rental housing and long-term care.

Implementing the estimated $23.4 billion plan will require investments from all three levels of government. The City will fund $8.5 billion, …

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Willowdale Residents Weigh In On Road Safety

Willowdale Residents Weigh In On Road Safety

Road safety is an issue John takes very seriously, leading to our office working actively with the City and community members to enact traffic measures that will make Willowdale a safer community for everyone.

Over the past year, City Council and the Transportation Services department have added to the list of safety measures under the City’s Vision Zero road safety program.  These have included laying the groundwork for introducing Photo Radar (which will launch in early 2020), doubling the number of Red Light Cameras in the …

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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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Metrolinx and TTC Holiday Service 2019

Metrolinx and TTC Holiday Service 2019

Metrolinx is offering early homebound service on Christmas and New Year’s Eve on GO Transit. Also, free late-night service on both GO and UP Express for New Year’s Eve.

Early Homebound Service:

Most GO train lines are running early homebound service on December 24th and 31st.

Some regular afternoon train trips have been replaced with earlier departures.
Check com/holidayservice for details.

Free NYE Late Night Service:

On New Year’s Eve, you can ride GO Transit after 7 PM for free, with extra late-night trains.

Simply board. Don’t tap or buy a ticket …

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Winter Is Coming…To Toronto

Winter Is Coming…To Toronto

Winter is coming…to Toronto.

With the snowy season just around the corner, the City of Toronto is prepping for the challenging season. The City allocates about $90 million a year to deliver Transportation Services winter maintenance program, which includes plowing and salting of roadways, bikeways and sidewalks, in addition to the snow removal and cleaning of windrows.

The delivery of the winter maintenance program every year requires about 1,500 personnel along with approximately 500 road plows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks.

Additionally, the new and improved …

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LPAT Upholds City’s Rules on Short-Term Rentals

LPAT Upholds City’s Rules on Short-Term Rentals

The City of Toronto will be able to regulate how properties are listed on short-term rental sites such as Airbnb. That was the result of a decision this week from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) upholding Council’s approved short-term rental bylaws from 2017. Those rules had been on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.

In recent years, the popularity of online short-term rental sites has had several undesirable impacts on local neighbourhoods. They have reduced the number of available rental properties driving up prices, …

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