Parkway Forest: The Final Phase – Ward 33 E-Blast October 12th

Next Tuesday morning, at North York Community Council (NYCC), North York Councillor’s will be considering an application for the final block of buildings to be developed in the Parkway Forest community by the developer Elad. This final phase, known as ‘Block C’, will be the end of a long seven-phase process. Residents of Parkway Forest and neighbouring Henry Farm have been living with construction and adjusting to expanding populations for almost 10 years. If all goes as planned, the construction will have lasted 12 years as originally forecast. I think it is worth reviewing the whole process up to this point. Back in 2005, after purchasing 8 apartment buildings and a townhouse complex in the neighbourhood, Elad made an application More »

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Not All Studies Are Created Equal – Ward 33 E-Blast September 28th

I got really steamed on Monday morning while listening to the radio program “CBC Metro Morning”. Host Matt Galloway was responding to a study released by the GTA Landlords’ lobby group by having the Provincial Minister of Housing, Peter Milczyn, on his show. Matt quoted the landlords’ study and condo super-salesman Brad Lamb, who maintains that extending rent controls to newer apartment buildings and condo rentals would be devastating. The landlords’ study claimed that all rental development would stop and young people would be unable to find a place to rent. The study insists that 1000 approved apartment units that were to be developed have now been hastily converted to condo projects. That’s the equivalent of about 5 apartment buildings More »

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What Difference Does A Hat Make When You Are Fighting Crime? – Ward 33 E-Blast September 21st

Toronto Police Chief, Mark Saunders, and Police Union President, Mike McCormack, spent this past week in a spat over whether officers should report to work in their uniform peaked hats, or a union logo-emblazoned baseball cap. McCormack lead this action to protest what he says is a lack of progress in hiring 80 new police officers.    This particular column doesn’t need to be a very long read. Here are the facts: 1. When the Mayor and I joined the Toronto Police Services Board at the beginning of this term of office the police budget was the largest and the fastest growing line item in the City of Toronto operating budget. 2. Many, many community members, community leaders and citizen coalitions expressed their displeasure with More »

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Dallington Pollinators Community Garden: Recent Issues

A note from the Dallington Pollinators Community Garden group: Dallington Pollinators Community Garden (DPCG) DPCG was built in fall 2013 with a grant from Walmart-Evergreen Green Grants and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. The project was supported by the Ward Councillor, Shelley Carroll. History of the garden DPCG started as an initiative undertaken by community members to: Build a community hub Engage residents in stewardship of land Address issues of food security and stormwater management using sustainable urban agriculture methods in Dallington Park. As an area that is largely unexplored by local residents, we aspire to engage the community with this rare parkland resource within suburban North York. By providing a guiding model and engaging students and residents as volunteers More »

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We’re Engaged! – Ward 33 E-Blast September 14th

It’s brainstorming time all over Ward 33 for our annual Participatory Budgeting Process, but we’ll get to that later. First, I want to talk about another form of participatory decision-making that is playing out in and around Ward 33: petitioning. The most famous petition you may have heard of recently was signed by Margaret Atwood and her surrounding neighbours, to stop an 8 storey building from being developed downtown on Davenport Road. Living, as we do, near the Sheppard Subway, we could easily dismiss Canada’s most famous living author as being deluded to think that 8 storeys is too much for downtown. When I took a closer look at the city report on the 321 Davenport Rd development that Ms. More »

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Why We Named A Street After Howard Moscoe – Ward 33 E-Blast September 7th

Why we named a street after a guy you might still bump into on a subway, Howard Moscoe! On Wednesday, North York Community Council met for the first time since early June. Community Council is where we deal with the final details of local planning matters and area-specific disputes and appeals. Trees, fences, local traffic. We made a decision back in 2004 to call this local body the “North York” community council, even though some of the 11 councillors who make up the group represent parts of the other legacy cities of East York, City of York and Toronto. We meet in the chambers built by Mel Lastman’s town council. It’s not an opulent chamber, by any measure, but it More »

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TIFF Tidbits 2017 – Ward 33 E-Blast August 24th

I want to talk about that special thing that makes the end of summer something to look forward to in Toronto. If you are a lover of film, of celebrity, of open street festivals or a lover of all three, then TIFF is your favourite time of year. But first, a local matter. I got a helpful message via Twitter last Saturday afternoon. A ward resident who follows @Ward33Team and @ShelleyCarroll sent the following message: By 5:30am on Sunday, another arrived: While I have a lot of fun on twitter, some would say too much fun when I’m ranting about U.S. President #45, the messages above are the real reason I am on so many platforms. Whether it is Facebook, More »

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What A Minimum Wage Increase REALLY Means – Ward 33 E-Blast August 17th

At summer picnic events and canvassing on summer evenings, I’ve taken a lot of questions about the coming increase to the Ontario minimum wage. What will this mean to Toronto specifically? What is the new amount, $15 based on? Is it a meaningful enough increase for Toronto? Will people lose their jobs? There are multiple scholarly papers out there on the impacts of minimum wage increases on the economy, any economy. I’ve spent the last few evenings reviewing them to try to separate out what we will need to know about Toronto. I was optimistic there would be an ability to write a balanced piece, given the recent release of a report written for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Most More »

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The Summer Of The Ward 33 Audit – Ward 33 E-Blast August 10th

For my wonderful @Ward33Team, this summer has been all about the “Ward Audit”. We’ve had some extra hands on deck this year, so we are able to send them out to physically tour every street and park in search of needed repairs and improvements. Each time we do one of these audits, we check on things we have requested in the past. Has the work been completed? If not, do we know when it will be? Are there new state-of-good-repair issues that haven’t come to our attention yet? Little pot holes repair quickly, the bigger they get the bigger the job. The Ward Audit has two goals. First, the team tries to catalog what we find and then help city More »

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