Wins in Ward 20
- Seaton Village
- The Annex
- Harbord Village
- The Grange
- Entertainment District
Seaton Village is a family neighbourhood in transition, with several new developments being planned or proposed. The Village needs a Councillor capable of fighting for the integrity and liveability of the community. My record shows I have not only sensitivity to the community's needs, but that I will deliver.
Here's a look at some of the things I've done for Seaton Village:
- Secured improved lighting in the laneway off Follis Avenue
- Found $30,000+ for playground equipment in Vermont Park
- Negotiated a reduction in the size of a development at Christie and Yarmouth Gardens from 60 town homes to 13
- Held property tax clinics to assist residents with appeals to the Municipal Property Assessment Corp.
- Brought police, residents and business owners together to review safety and security concerns following a number of shootings in the neighbourhood
The Annex neighbourhood is a jewel in our city. However lately, it has been under sustained assaults from developers who are threatening the beauty and historical character of this wonderful neighbourhood. Here are some of the things I've been doing to keep the Annex beautiful:
- Reduced the size of the development at 100 Spadina Road. We also secured $350,000 for local park improvements, along with a $250,000 letter of credit from the developer to protect trees during construction.
- Reduced the new Varsity Stadium from 20,000 to 5,000 seats with no rock concerts allowed.
- Stopped the mega-condo tower proposed at the ROM.
- Worked closely with the community to try and stop the expansion of Royal St. Georges College. It is currently being heard at the Ontario Municipal Board
- Prevented a massive development at 164 Avenue Road, at Pears Avenue
- Negotiated to save a portion of the historic John Lyle Studio as part of the 1 Bedford Road development
- Secured $1 million in improvements for Taddle Creek Park
- Secured new funding for a Bloor Street Visioning study to restore and revitalize Bloor Street.
- Got the TTC to give Ecology Park back to the city and turn it into a community park.
- Worked with the community to improve Gwendolyn McEwen Park and save Philosopher's Walk from development.
- Worked with residents and St. Clare's Multifaith Housing to ensure the smooth transition into the community of social housing development at 138 Pears Avenue.
- Led the fight to save the Medical Arts Building on Bloor Street.
Harbord Village is experiencing many of the same pressures as The Annex and Seaton Village, including rising property taxes and spot development. I've been there to help residents of Harbord Village concerned about the preservation of the Victorian character of their neighbourhood. I've also:
- Helped the victims of the Robert Street fire and saved the facades of six historic houses from demolition
- Facilitated the creation of the Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District
- Supported many initiatives to improve the College Street streetscape
- Helped reduce the size of a development at 578 Spadina Road from 19 units to 5
- Worked with the Harbord Village Business Improvement Association to develop apprenticeship programs for youth at risk
- Negotiated $100,000 for the refurbishment of the Robert Street Rink. It's estimated that it will cost over $300,000 to repair the system, so we have work to do. The rink is an important part of our community and the repairs should be a priority
- Worked with Croft Street residents to improve streetscape, get historical info on the street and put in murals
There is no more distinctive neighbourhood in our Ward than Huron-Sussex, a small enclave of charming Victorian homes within the University of Toronto precinct. Both I and the residents want to see it kept that way. In the past several years, development threatened the very existence of this neighbourhood. Working in consultation with the community I have:
- Found a new home for Campus Co-Op Childcare, which had been evicted by a university development, and included a pick-up and drop-off zone for the children
- Rescued Coach House Press from eviction as part of a Campus Co-Op infill on BP Nichol Lane
- Helped residents fight off a plan by the University of Toronto to remove the protection of special neighbourhood status for the Huron-Sussex neighbourhood
Kensington is a world-famous urban environment, and I've worked hard to protect the culture and atmosphere that makes Kensington unique. Some things I've worked on in Kensington include:
- Securing funding for Pedestrian Sundays during the past two summers
- Working with the community to help maintain and improve its parks
- Negotiating a contribution of $20,000 for Bellevue Square from a development on Lippincott Street
- Working with Red Pepper Spectacle on a creative proposal for the south east corner of College Street and Augusta Avenue, with the hope of having it in place this year
- Fighting for the preservation of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Church on College Street and ensuring it was protected by heritage status
- Helping shut down a crack house on Wales Avenue
The Grange is a neighbourhood of many fine parks. I've fought hard to help protect and improve much of this vital green space. As Chair of the Grange Park Working Group I:
- Helped negotiate the acquisition of land from the AGO, and its transferral to Grange Park
- Supported the community in its efforts to improve McCaul Street as well as consulting with them on the Queen Street Heritage study which is currently underway.
- Worked to freeze development along Queen Street while the Heritage Study is completed. Preservation of historic Queen Street is a top priority. Adoption of
- Heritage status for the street is key to keeping out the big box stores - see my letter to mayor and city council.
- Secured funding for kids summer day camps run through the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation Department in Grange Park
- Secured funding for two new playgrounds in Atkinson Co-op
- Negotiated the construction of 2 new basketball courts in Atkinson Co-op
- A skateboard park and a community garden in Alexandra Park along with a bake oven in for community use and a complete renovation of the Alexandra Park Community Centre
- Worked with the police and businesses to keep chinatown safe and vibrant
- Assisted homeowners to appeal their increased property assessment
Toronto's Entertainment District is a dynamic neighbourhood with a vibrant night life. However with the rapid growth in residential development versus an ever increasing number of licensed nightclubs and bars, the conflict between residents and nightclubs has escalated. To alleviate these tensions I have:
- Advanced new legislation and bylaws that restrict many of the night clubs in the area
- Worked on changes to tighten the licensing requirements for nightclubs and worked with the community to introduce stricter controls on bars and clubs so that clubs will now be required to have liability insurance, 1 security guard for every 100 patrons, noise control plans, patron control, and metal detectors
- Helped the community improve St. Andrew's Playground on Adelaide Street West to ensure that children have a place to play in this area
- Took responsibility for ensuring the installation of a traffic light at Richmond Street and Brant Street
- Helped the Wellington Street Neighbourhood Association with their Wellington St. Streetscape plans. They are with the City of Toronto planning department for review and should be going to City Council soon for debate.
The Harbourfront is the fastest growing neighbourhood in our Ward, with new condos being completed every year and hundreds of new people taking up residence along the waterfront. With such rapid growth presenting a huge challenge, I've worked with the community to establish those services and amenities that are essential for good living in any neighbourhood, old or new. I have:
- Helped to bring Loblaws to Bathurst Street and Lakeshore Boulevard and co-ordinated the establishment of the Queen's Quay/Harbourfront Business Improvement Area to make sure that businesses essential for a healthy community are established
- Facilitated Shoppers Drug Mart's move into the site of the old Antique Market
- Worked with the community on plans for the Canadian Malting Silos development, which includes plans for the exciting new Ireland Park
- Been a vocal supporter of Harbourfront residents in their fight against the Island Airport and the Port Authority to ensure Harbourfront remains a beautiful place to live and visit.
- Worked with the residents for improvements to the Wittington Development and negotiated funds for local park improvements and possibly a swimming pool for the neighbourhood
- Successfully negotiated traffic lights for Navy Wharf and Bremner Blvd. to improve safety in the area (They will be installed early this summer)
- Continue to oppose the Front Street Extension to ensure that the waterfront remains accessible to downtown residents.