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Our New City Council Is About to Meet: How Can They Use Development to Build the City that We Want?

During my recent canvassing (of 6 months) while running for Toronto City Council, two topics were most commonly raised by residents at the door: transit and development.  

We can use development to improve so much of what is missing in the city.  We can use it to create a city of which we can feel more proud.

Click on the link below to read my brief Huffington  Post article on how we can use development to build the city that we want.



Fake Ward 16 Polls & Robocalls

Over the last few weeks, we at home have received a few calls from a polling firm that does not exist.  (We checked the name and called the phone number that they provide.)  These calls have never included the names of all the candidates running in Ward 16.

Tonight, it appears that there was another blitz.  Again, fake name, untraceable and unreachable phone number, and the names of some candidates only.  And many of you have received it. And some of you have contacted me to ask why my name was not on that list.

I am very much in this race.

While the intent of whoever is behind this dishonest tactic could be manifold, it is clear that one of the objectives is to make people think that I am not in the race.  I know that I am one of the front runners in this election.  I have also knocked on thousands of doors in the Ward and have spoken earnestly with many of you about what can be done for our city.  I will continue to do my work, and I know that my supporters will continue to spread the word.

If you get one of these calls, try to jot down as much information as you can: name and number of “polling” firm, the name of the candidates included in the poll, and so on.  Then contact me and/or the Town Crier.  Go bigger and contact The Star or the Rogers news network.

As for me, I will be out there, every day, so you all know that I am still willing and hoping to make our city –and our politics– better.


Coming up….

Tonight, Tuesday, October 7, the last all-candidates meeting will be held.  This one at Fairlawn United Church, 28 Fairlawn Avenue, from 7-9 p.m.

Thank you to ARECA for organizing last night’s well-attended meeting at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre.  Amazing to see so many engaged and caring residents.

The City has finally mailed out the Voter Cards, so look for yours in the mail in the next day or two!

Ward 16 Building Proposals Considered on August 12, 2014

On August 12, the North York Community Council dealt with a number of larger development proposals that impact Ward 16. Here are a few highlights:

  • Bank of Montreal Building at 2444 Yonge Street
  • 2088 Avenue Road application for a 5-storey mixed-use development
  • 228 Wilson Avenue proposal for a 17-storey condominium apartment
  • Postal Station K- 2384-2388 Yonge Street and 31 Montgomery Avenue proposal (now referred to as “Montgomery Square.)
  • 90 Eglinton Avenue West, at Henning, zoning by-law amendment application
  • 200 Ridley Blvd. zoning by-law amendment

 Here is the link to the agenda:

 Over the next few days, I will provide summaries of the proposals and the decisions of NYCC here.

Bank of Montreal Building at 2444 Yonge Street:

Another historical building at potential risk….

The proposed application is for a 5-storey commercial development with retail space on the first three floors and a restaurant with an outdoor patio on the fourth and fifth floors. Part of the existing Bank of Montreal building would be retained.

I would prefer to see such buildings of historical significance used differently.  I’d like to see the entire, not just a portion of it, retained, and for at least some, if not all of it, to be put to public use.  The possibilities are endless: the upstairs could be used for retail or office space, while the main level can be a museum, an art gallery, a shared space of local and Toronto entrepreneurs, a place for aspiring musicians, actors, and other artists… However, the cost to buy such sites is prohibitive.  It is time for us to have a public discussion about buildings such as the Bank of Montreal Building (and Postal Station K would have been covered by this) and find ways to raise and set aside money to preserve the few historical buildings that we have in the city.  Alternatively, we must ensure that private owners and developers retain and protect the historical site and make that portion of the building available for public use.

As for the current proposal, the City of Toronto will schedule a community consultation meeting for this proposal. The notice will go out to those residents living within 120 metres of the site and will also be posted on the site.

Read more

Saving Our Green Spaces, for Our Children and Our Future- Bannockburn

May 6 2014.

On Monday, May 5, I attended a community meeting organized by the residents who live around Bannockburn School and who have been working hard to save its green space for the neighbourhood.  Residents spoke passionately about both their desire and the need to keep the green space green, as well as their dismay at the lack of consultation and transparency from the Toronto District School Board.  

Ward 16 has far less green spaces than the majority of wards in Toronto.  The park at Bannockburn is essential to the neighbourhood and must remain green.  As a community, we will work to save this green space.  However, in order to truly save our green spaces, and in order for us and other residents in the city not to be faced repeatedly with the same problem, we need long-term solutions that bring together City Council and the province as willing and true partners.

I am committed to long-term solutions, to transparency, and to meaningful collaboration.  I will soon follow up with a more detailed position on this issue.


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