Downsview Park is holding another community consultation. Though our community has been more than consistent and clear in that it does not support selling park land for development, you can attend their meeting tomorrow, December 5 at 6:30pm 35 Carl Hall Road, Unit 2. More info here. Flooding? Changes? You May Qualify For Property Tax Refund/Reassessment
If your home was recently damaged due to flooding, or for other “in-year” changes to your home, you could qualify for a cancellation, reduction or refund of property taxes. Please contact my office for help, and check here for more info. Here is a link to the MPAC Request For Consideration Form.
The challenges to flooding infrastructure throughout Toronto have been further emphasized by the July 8, 2013 storm. There are various measures in the 2014 proposed budget that will help address some of our needs. I have been working closely with staff to address our flooding infrastructure needs on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood basis and updating each area as substantive new information comes. As you may know, Toronto’s flooding repair and upgrade needs are backlogged in the billions of dollars. The 2014 City of Toronto Budget, which aims to introduce new tools to speed up flooding upgrades and repairs is still in its proposal stage. During this period I will be continuing work to ensure that Downsview receives the best attention possible, through new Budget measures to help prevent future flooding. Contact my office if you have additional questions or concerns and keep an eye on update notices from my office that may come to your door, specific to your neighbourhood.
Do I Need to Disconnect My Downspout?
After December 2013, and December 2016 the City may issue infractions to some households in our community for connected downspouts. Disconnecting your downspout helps ensure our stormwater and sewer system is not overloaded with rain collected from your roof. Contact me if you have questions about when you need to disconnect, or if you believe you may need an exemption. Check this map, type in address to see if you have to disconnect.
New “Regeneration Areas” in Downsview
The City of Toronto Planning and Growth Committee just completed and adopted its “official plan and municipal comprehensive review” for the entire City. Its focus was to keep as many of Toronto’s Employment Areas (planning-speak for industrial-commercial) as possible fearing residential development could overrun areas that traditionally provided jobs to Torontonians. Despite this, I was still able to successfully move two initiatives that will leave a positive legacy for our community. Two areas in our neighbourhood will now have “regeneration area” designation (zoning) once the current use of the land is discontinued.
One area is Dufferin Avenue and Billy Bishop Way, and the other is the site of former Sunrise Propane facility and adjacent lands including Teskey lands. Regeneration area is a designation intended to ensure the use is most compatible to the existing community -such as similar residential construction to the immediate area (Murray road), commercial frontage with a focus on pedestrian friendly access, and employment and public works where compatible. Though private land-holders have an absolute right to continue their activity and keep their lands as-is, when change does come we have put in place the framework that will ensure the enhancement of these areas for the enjoyment of all our community..
New Parks And Upgrades Coming in 2014
Langholm Park is getting upgraded. Design and approvals are complete, tender documents are currently being prepared for issue in early 2014. Construction schedule is set for 2014. Image of Community Consultation evening.
Belmar Park is getting a splash pad. The concept designs have been completed, approvals are in place. Tender documents to be prepared for issue early 2014. Construction schedule set for 2014. Image of Community Consultation evening.
Anthony Road Park build out. Since the Park was saved from development, I have been working closely with the community and City Staff to build out the Park as soon as possible. The park will potentially include a new splash pad/adult exercise area, children playground, mini soccer field, walking track and more. Next steps include hiring a landscape architect (December), Stakeholder consultation in January or February 2014, with the aim to begin construction in Summer 2014, and completion in late 2014. All is subject to favourable weather conditions for construction operations.
Grandravine Community Centre on List for New Priority Funding
Grandravine Community Centre’s recreation programming is set to become more accessible. As part of the 2014 proposed budget, Grandravine C.C. is on the list to become a priority centre which means its programming will be exempt from fees. This will be a huge benefit as the Grandravine community will soon be able to access its recreation programs for free.
Are You A Tenant? Download My Tenant Survival Guide
Lots of great tips and help related to tenant living in Toronto. Download it here.
Are You A Senior? Download My Senior Info Guide
Your golden years can be challenging. Download my Senior Info Guide here for some great tips.
Wilson Avenue Road East from Dufferin Resurfacing and Watermain Replacement
Wilson Avenue from Dufferin Street to Bathurst Resurfacing and Watermain Replacement is expected to take place from Spring 2014 to Fall 2014. Additionally, the City-owned portion of any substandard water services will also be replaced (between Bathurst Street and Collinson Boulevard). Download the notice for more info.
In The News – Maria on Downsview Park – Global
Global News Coverage of Mattamy Homes taking over the Stanley Greene Neighbourhood Development. Watch Here.
In The News – Maria on Downsview Park – Toronto Star
“They are quite angry that 10,000 units of development are going to go right where they were promised a park. We don’t have the infrastructure, the roads or the sewers, for this tremendous build out and we already have nightmarish traffic.” Read More Here.
TTC Fare Hike Coming
The TTC has been starved of investment for years. Recently, a fare hike was voted on at the TTC. As a Commissioner, I voted against this fare hike as I believe we should not be asking riders to pay more when there has been no real increase in service. The TTC is the least-supported transit system in North America and possibly in the developed world. This has put a huge pressure on riders to carry the lion’s share of the TTC’s operating costs through the fare they pay. This is unacceptable. Other levels of government need to invest in the operation of our Transit system, just like they do in every other part of the world. Investing in transit reduces gridlock and helps our economy grow. Watch my comments to the press by clicking here.
Sunrise Propane Sentencing Hearing Next Week
Last Summer, Sunrise Propane was found guilty of many violations in relation to the Sunrise Propane explosion of 2008. The sentencing was deferred until December 9, which is next week. Read here for more details.
Council Votes to Bring Stability to City Hall
City Hall and the actions of the Mayor have been under incredible scrutiny over the last month. As a result I, with the vast majority of Council voted in favour of measures that brought some much needed stability to City Hall. Questions of the City’s credit rating dropping, a economic agreement being cancelled with Toronto, and even school trips to City Hall being deemed too unsafe to continue are among just a few of the consequences said to have resulted from the recent turmoil. While the important work of Council has continued throughout this period, it was clear Council had to act to restore some order to the seat of municipal government. Many Downsview residents contacted me with concerns in this period. Though some faith has been shaken in some elected leadership at City hall, rest assured I will continue undistracted to work on your behalf. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me.
We Love Our Libraries
We love our libraries in Toronto. In the last few decades, their funding has been increasingly under attack. As you know, I am a strong advocate of our public libraries. Find out how important libraries are to the vibrancy of our neighbourhood and the challenges they face by watching this very creative video presentation.
TTC Tunneling Complete on New Subway Line
Watch the video!
Annual Remembrance Day Ceremony – Photos
The Downsview Remembrance Day Ceremony is an annual tradition that takes place at Downsview Memorial Parkette which features a monument to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Click here for pics.
Grandravine Community Centre Men Seniors’ Bocce Tournament – Photos
2013 Grandravine Community Centre Men Seniors’ Bocce Tournament Highlights. Click here for pics.
Now You Can Apply For a Building Permit/Service Online
Toronto Building Division now accepts email submissions for customers applying for building permits and making building service requests.
Submit applications for many types of building, mechanical and plumbing permits via email and you can get them fast-tracked. Click here for more info.
Be Cautious of Door-to-Door “Water Testing”
You should always be cautious of door to door sales people who make too-good-to-be-true claims.The City of Toronto has received complaints from Toronto residents who have been approached by sales persons offering door-to-door water tests or requesting water samples with the aim of selling water-related products. The City is aware of these companies and does not endorse or sponsor private water testing or any related products or services. Residents should be aware that, in Ontario, only fully accredited laboratories are licensed to perform health-based tests on drinking water. Check here, at bottom for more info.
Help Bring Needy Kids a Toy this Holiday Season
Toronto recently kicked off its annual Toy Drive. It is the season of giving and everyone is encouraged to help bring a smile to one of the many children in need this season with the donation of a toy. You can drop off new, unwrapped toys, gifts and gift cards to any of the following toy drive collection locations, during operating hours, until Tuesday, December 24:
• City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
• Metro Hall, 55 John St.
• Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall
• North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.
• East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.
• Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
• York Civic Centre, 2700 Eglinton Ave. W.
Have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season!