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East York people, places, events & insights

Cosburn-Cedarvale stoplight deferred by Council despite overwhelming local support

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017

\ By Gary Webb-Proctor \ Despite hundreds of signatures on a petition asking for a traffic light to be installed at the corner of Cedarvale Avenue and Cosburn Avenue in the wake of a pedestrian fatality there last year, Toronto City Council at its July meeting deferred the matter until the fall. The deferment came in part because of the death of longtime Ward 28 councillor Pam McConnell the morning of Friday, July 7, the fourth and final day of the packed-agenda July meeting, which prompted the council to adjourn earlier than expected.  But the proposal, initiated by Ward 31 councillor Janet Davis and earlier approved over staff objections by Toronto and East York Community Council in June, had only been left till late in the meeting due to opposition from some council members who regard the idea as...

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RAT-POCALYSE! Significant increase in number of EY sightings

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017

Although the City of Toronto claims its garbage bins are racoon-proof, judging by recent reports on social media some East York home owners have found they may not be immune to rats. One member of the Danforth-Woodbine group on Facebook posted that she discovered a “a 4-inch hole on the top of our garbage bin” outside her home in the Gerrard-Coxwell area. Another reported that a rat “ran at me from behind the garbage and hit my ankle!” The rodents have also been reported being found in basement toilets, having apparently crawled up from the sewer system, and also under the hoods of cars. Several posters theorized that the influx may be due to renovations and new construction in their areas, where basements and foundations have been dug, disrupting the pests from their previous habitats. Similarly, watermain replacements and...

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EAST YORK ADVOCATE 031: How do rent controls and house speculation impact on East York?

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017

As a former federal Minister of Housing, I have been watching with great interest government efforts to help make housing affordable in East York and elsewhere in the Golden Horseshoe. Although our municipal government has expressed concern, its legal ability to impact the situation is extremely limited.  Any federal government action, such as increasing interest rates, would have to be applied nationwide rather than regionally.  While this might help in Toronto and Vancouver, it would be devastating to other cities, towns, businesses and farmers in Canada.  That means that any government action can only be applied at the provincial level.  In the early 1970s the Ontario government imposed both a foreign buyers’ tax and a land speculation tax.  They were very effective in cooling off housing prices at that time. Recently, the present Ontario provincial government has reacted to...

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EAST YORK ADVOCATE #027: 2017 budget debunks claims of tax savings from amalgamation

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017

At the beginning of 2017, after deciding to aim for increasing our property taxes 2% to keep pace with inflation, our Toronto City Council was faced with a $91 million deficit between its proposed spending and its expected revenue. Now as you may know, a municipality, unlike the federal and provincial governments, is legally required to balance its operating budget each and every year. Toronto can borrow money for capital projects by issuing bonds or debentures, but it is legally forbidden to pay for its annual operating expenditures in this fashion. Historically municipalities paid only for “hard” services such as garbage collection, roads, sidewalks, sewers, fire, police protection etc. from property taxes, while the senior levels of government paid for income redistributing “soft” services from graduated income taxes geared to income. Today Toronto is required legally to pay for...

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New logo for MGH’s 88th bday —but old name still much in use

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017

People don’t move so quickly when they’re 88 years-old —and apparently neither does a hospital.

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EY speaking out about proposed City budget cuts

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017

\ By Gary Webb-Proctor \ East York residents and political reps are poised to make a significant impact on the City of Toronto’s budget deliberations process this year —and one has already got city Mayor John Tory backpedalling on proposed cuts that rankle many in the borough. Olympic record-setter and historic 2016 gold medals winner Penny Oleksiak, a student at Monarch Park Collegiate in the area, tweeted her opposition to a proposed budget cut that would see the closing of the pool at S.H. Armstrong Community Centre on Woodfield Rd., along with two others. “It’s important to teach kids how to swim.. It saves lives and is a good physical activity,” Ms. Oleksiak wrote. Mr. Tory responded the next day with a tweet saying he’d asked the city’s Budget Chief, Gary Crawford, to try to find a way to...

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