Downsview Highlights Video
Click to see what’s happening in Downsview.
NOTICE: THIS WILL BE THE LAST E-UPDATE UNTIL NOVEMBER DUE TO NEW RULES IN PLACE. YOU CAN CONTINUE TO FOLLOW ME ONLINE FOR DOWNSVIEW UPDATES.
Reading Sprouts Garden Opens
On Saturday July 26, Reading sprouts Garden opened right beside the Jane Sheppard Library. This beautiful park features an amphitheatre, beautiful furniture, knowledge and wisdom themed murals done by local youth, and its name emerges from a naming contest held at 4 local schools –the winning name came from Bryanna Sanford – a grade 5 student from Blessed Margherita School. Check out pics of the ceremony here.
Heathrow Park Makeover
A makeover is coming to Heathrow Park in 2015. Improvements will include new lights, pathways, drainage improvements, signage, extending trails, pedestrian bridge improvement, new fences, new surfacing & more. Contact my office for details.
Memorial for Your Neighbour
A memorial will be held for Paulette Pampena who sadly lost her battle with cancer and passed away on July 11, 2014.
You’ll remember Paulette as a friend and neighbour and as the mother of Nicole Pampena who I highlighted in my last e-newsletter. Nicole Pampena is 19 years old, weighs 49 pounds and suffers from Cerebral Dysgenesis (Cerebral Palsy). Her father is blind and Nicole needs round the clock nursing care in order to survive.
The Memorial mass will be held on August 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm at St Norbert’s Roman Catholic Church.
You can still help out the family at http://gofundme.com/nicolesmiraclewish .
New Road – James Finlay Way Dedication
The new James Finlay Way will soon be open. This new roadway at Keele and Wilson will provide much needed access for the George Appleton community, and provide relief for traffic at the Keele/Wilson intersection. The late James Finlay was a Parks and Recreation worker in Downsview who worked diligently for our community. Check out pics of the road dedication ceremony here.
BBQ time in Downsview. The Grandravine Community BBQ was a great success, check out the pics here.
New 120 Calvington Bus Improvement Coming
It is very difficult to get the improved bus service we need in Toronto to meet demand. However I am proud to announce that an extra bus will be in service on the Calvington 120 starting in September, reducing wait times by at least 8 minutes in the afternoon rush, so you can get home sooner.
Toronto Water Flooding Tips
Click here for some helpful summer tips from Toronto Water.
Sections of Downsview are set for “regeneration”. This is a classification of zoning that is uniquely set to naturalize an area to be more community-appropriate. As part of this process, an item coming to the Planning and Growth Committee will provide a status update on the consultation process. If you are interested in being involved, contact my office. The report is available for reading here.
Local Appeals Board to Replace OMB
Part of our Set Downsview Free campaign is to free Downsview (and Toronto) from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The OMB is a quasi-judicial provincial body of unelected and unaccountable people to whom developers turn to overturn City decisions and get approval for developments. The OMB sides with developers 64% of the time and often do so with little regard to wider community impacts and with no input from the local community.
At City Council last week, we voted to approve a Local Appeals Body (LAB) that aims to keep planning decisions local. A LAB would hear appeals to planning decisions and aims to prevent an OMB appeal.
What’s the difference between the OMB and LAB? With a LAB, we, your local elected representatives, decide the guiding principles, and will have a hand in ensuring those on the Board will have the vision for Toronto that truly creates a balance between growth and local needs–which is something often missing in the decisions of the OMB.
You can read more about Toronto’s LAB here.
2800 Keele – Old Post Office Site
This is why the OMB does not work.
Watch my comments in Council as to why the sale of the former Federal Government land at 2800 Keele St. and why the scheduled OMB hearing unfairly handcuffed planners and elected representatives.
When this land was sold by the Federal Government to a developer, I formed a panel of affected residents who helped guide the project with the hope it would be reflective of community concerns, decide where the community benefit money would go, and ultimately have a more acceptable development.
Even before the development proposal came before the North York Community Council for consideration, the developers requested an OMB hearing. Were the project to be approved at the OMB, Downsview residents would have lost any community benefits destined to improve Downsview Library, help hundreds of area children and youth, and assist in the beautification of Keele Street. The choice was either to approve the redevelopment and avoid an OMB hearing, or take a gamble at the OMB, surrender all community benefits and be threatened with having to swallow even greater densities. These pressure tactics render the work of our local panels very frustrating and points to a very unhealthy and fearful OMB process.
An OMB hearing being filed even before the development documents came to community council is a perversion of the OMB’s original intent and just the latest example as to why we need to Set Downsview Free from the OMB. Hopefully our Local Appeals Body, and your advocacy to Set Downsview Free will help do just that.
Her Words on Downsview Park
Long-time community resident, Edith Hay took some time to explain to us why the Set Downsview Free campaign is so important. Watch the video here.
Set Downsview Free Gaining Momentum
Hundreds of your neighbours have taken lawn signs, signed petitions and got involved in helping Set Downsview Free from the Federal Government and the OMB.
It is important that this work continue and you can help by ordering a lawn sign [Click here to order a lawn sign] or start a petition group [click here to download petitions]. You can stop by my community office at 660 Wilson Ave (Just West of Dufferin, north side) to pick up either.
Have a happy summer,