Sports Fields Open Until October 25th

Sports Fields Open Until October 25th

This week, the City of Toronto announced the extension of the outdoor sport field season. The City’s outdoor sport and multi-use fields will remain open until Sunday, October 25th and permits will be issued for the remainder of the 2020 season.

The City offers almost 700 sport fields at more than 170 locations across Toronto. As a result of pandemic-related restrictions, many of the City’s outdoor sport and multi-use fields opened on July 6 for team training, and permits were issued for the summer season. The …

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A Note from John

A Note from John

On August 17, I woke with an extreme case of double vision, quickly followed by an extremely  high temperature and very high blood pressure. This led me to Michael Garron Hospital, where I was admitted and sent for a battery of tests.  After more than a week I got the surprising result: West Nile Virus.

The more serious symptoms have subsided and I am now at home dealing with the main remaining one: extreme fatigue. While I regain my strength, my Chief of Staff Markus O’Brien …

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BIA Ballots Arriving at Local Businesses

BIA Ballots Arriving at Local Businesses

This week the City of Toronto is mailing out over 800 ballots to commercial property owners and their tenants along the Yonge street corridor between Bishop/Hendon and Highway 401.  The ballot asks whether businesses will come together to form a Business Improvement Area (BIA) in the centre of Willowdale.  The majority of returned ballots will make that decision in late October.

BIAs are very successful in other parts of Toronto and benefit local businesses and their communities in a number of ways.  BIAs collect a small …

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City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program 

City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program 

The City announced earlier this month that they are expanding the successful Digital Main Street program as part of the city’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force’ short-term support and recovery plan for Toronto’s businesses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital Main Street was created to provide direct one-on-one support to  businesses who are trying to develop an online presence. The program has already been successful in delivering over 12,000 hours of support, training and education to businesses across Toronto.

Community Meeting on Getting Around Safely During COVID-19

Community Meeting on Getting Around Safely During COVID-19

On September 9th, pointA is hosting a virtual community meeting on getting around safety during COVID-19, with our local MP Ali Ehsassi.

The meeting will cover traveling safely by public transit, walking, and cycling. There will be an opportunity to ask questions about commuting more safely during the pandemic.

The event is free and open to all interested residents, not just those who live in Willowdale, and no registration is required.

To attend the meeting, click here.

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CNE Goes Virtual

CNE Goes Virtual

The Canadian National Exhibition is closed this year due to COVID-19. In spite of that, The Ex is running a virtual show for free on their website for families to get to take part in a Toronto tradition.

From August 21 to September 6, TheEx.com will share some of the fair’s most popular shows, favourite food recipes, performances by buskers and the Superdogs, and more.  For more information about what’s going the Ex is offering from home, click here.

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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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