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: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisionBodyProfile.do?function=doPrepare&decisionBodyId=265#Meeting-2014.NY34

 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.

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Residents in Ward 16 Engaged in Protecting Our Neighbourhoods- Two Days at the Committee of Adjustment

May 14, 2014

Residents from all over Ward 16 are fighting to protect our green space and our neighbourhoods.  Over the past two days, Tuesday, May 13th and Wednesday, May 14th, at the North York Community Council, residents have come together to speak against development proposals that are short-sighted and harmful to our neighbourhoods.

I am heartened by the engagement and involvement of so many of you, our Ward 16 residents, with these important issues, and was honoured to support you, watch you in action, and be present at these hearings.

On Monday, two key Ward 16 issues were dealt with at the Committee of Adjustment at the NYCC.  The residents of 41 Chatsworth have been fighting to ensure that the trees, the ravine, and the land at 41 Chatsworth (site of a former church) are protected and unharmed by any development in the area.  Moreover, residents want to ensure that any development on the site is done responsibly.  The developer’s plans to build a 114-unit residential condominium with 120 car parking spaces would have a significant impact on the residents that live on this one-ways street, on the traffic in the area, and on the natural greenery of the ravine.
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