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Our new constituency office: should we stay or should we go?


I’ve written some long, wordy e-blasts lately – there's been so much to talk about. Last week I explained in detail why our transit system will be in the news for the next while. If you want to keep following the City’s work on this, a thorough report outlining all our plans up to the moment the province announced their intentions is coming to Executive Committee next week. If you missed that e-blast, you can read it here.


While this e-blast is a great way to communicate with you – I truly enjoy hearing your feedback every week – sometimes it's best to talk face-to-face.

My team and I really enjoy meeting with you. That's why we hope you will consider meeting us at our constituency office. That's right – we finally have a constituency office!


Our office

We have been searching for a real estate bargain in Don Valley North for months now in hopes of finding a small space to meet with constituents. But let’s face it – our ward is growing in value, which means we couldn't find spaces to rent with a price we could justify spending taxpayer dollars on. As a temporary measure, we moved into a space at the North York Civic Centre (NYCC) last month.

Here's the thing: now that we're using the offices at the NYCC, we're seeing a number of advantages to using it permanently. For example, we have easier access to the North York city staff, including Transportation staff, Planning and Building Inspection services and even Revenue Services.


Our constituency team, Dan Fox and Margaret Cheung, are at the NYCC a few days a week to take your calls and organize meetings with me on Fridays.


Why NYCC?

While it is the City’s intention to provide every Councillor with a constituency office in their respective wards, Councillors also have the option of using space in our nearest civic centres. During the election, I did promise to set up a constituency office in our ward – however, the going rate for an appropriate office that is AODA compliant AND transit friendly is around $5,000 a month. It just doesn't make budget sense.


We do pay for the space at NYCC but it's a tiny fraction of what a free-standing office would cost. At NYCC, we have a subway station and parking close by on Beecroft Road – it's the best of both worlds.


My question for you


I need to know how you feel. Should I keep searching for an office within the boundaries of Don Valley North, or are you happy to visit the North York Civic Centre for an in-person meeting with your councillor?


We need your feedback. If you think we should make our new home in NYCC permanent, we will unpack our boxes, put the kettle on and have a little welcome party for you when the weather finally gets warmer.

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