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East York people, places, events & insights

OPINION: It’s time we got more use out of our East York Civic Centre

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018

The East York Civic Centre has long been a cherished public space for East York. When we were our own municipality, it was our East York City Hall.  Residents could often walk in, pay their bills and more often than not, the person on the other side of the counter was an East Yorker. The Borough of East York had their council meetings every two weeks and they were always in the evening because the council had long believed that they should be at night to encourage residents to attend and offer feedback on the important matters that were before the Borough Council. The Mayor of East York was a full-time position while the eight Councillors were part-time positions.  If you wanted to call your councillor at home, you could.  East York took great pride on customer service. I...

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SEEING GREEN 036: New Year brings new urgency on environment resolutions

Posted by on Dec 6, 2017

We as East Yorkers and members of the planet Earth start our new year, both globally and locally, with trying to absorb many pledges, resolutions and commitments to restore and protect our environment and the living systems we depend upon.  They depend on our involvement and action. As the Bonn Climate Conference wound down there was increased urgency to for countries to solidify the Paris Agreement procedures and increase the targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  This became more acute as a result of the World Meteorological Organization‘s announcement that the levels of carbons dioxide in the atmosphere surged at record breaking speed to new highs in 2016.  This news was especially disappointing coming after a two year hiatus in increases. (Let alone coming after the disappointments of the actions of our neighbour to the south/) Another urgent “Call...

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EAST YORK ADVOCATE 036: The Great Mud Slide of 1985

Posted by on Dec 3, 2017

‘Twas just before Christmas when all through the house not a telephone was ringing, absolutely nothing was ding-a-linging… The year was 1985 when, on Sunday December 8, two lanes of pavement on Millwood Road just south of the railway overpass across from the Ontario Hydro transformer station, together with 100 tons of mud, slid into the Don Valley, ripping out a utility tunnel and eight telephone exchange cables, cutting off service to about 15,000 East Yorkers with 421, 422, 424, 425 and 429 telephone exchanges. Because of the mud slide Millwood was closed to both southbound and northbound traffic.  Southbound traffic had to be diverted across Laird to Wicksteed via Beth Nealson Drive and Thorncliffe Park Drive to Overlea Boulevard then back to Millwood Road.  Northbound traffic on Millwood had to do the reverse route, Millwood to Overlea to...

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East York Advocate 035: Decisions made at City Hall and by the Province aren’t truly local!

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017

New provincial appeals board’s adherence to Smart Growth Act will undermine local EY neighbours’ wishes and concerns Have you ever heard someone complain about the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)? Well, as of last May, appeals from decisions of Committee of Adjustments in Toronto are now heard by Toronto’s own Local Appeal Board (LAO) rather than the OMB.  We can only wait to see if this new board will be more sympathetic to neighbours’ concerns. However, appeals from all other planning decisions continue to be heard by the OMB.  But, according to Premier Kathleen Wynne, that will soon be over.  “Planning decisions have to be made locally,” she says. To accomplish that the Ontario government plans to replace the OMB with what it calls the Local Planning Appeal Board (LPAT).  The LPAT, the Province says, will provide a faster, fairer,...

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EY ADVOCATE 034: Will it ever end?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2017

Endless appeals allowed under Planning Act put EY family on bureaucratic merry-go-round Have you ever received a NOTICE from city council’s Committee of Adjustment informing you that your next door neighbour wants to build an addition on his house and needs a “minor variance” from the zoning by-laws in order to do so? In 2015 a Queensdale Avenue family got one of those notices and immediately realized that the “minor variance” requested by their next door neighbour would have a drastic impact on their own property.  Fortunately for the family, when they attended the Committee of Adjustment hearing their next door neighbour did not show up and, after hearing what the family had to say about the drastic impact the requested “minor variance” would have on their property, the committee rejected the proposal on the grounds that the requested...

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OPINION: Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do -by Justin Van Dette

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017

Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do In recent months, there’s been a lot of talk and debate about increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour and whether it’s too much to fast or the right thing to do. At a time when the cost of living, and everything around us, in increasing, I support raising the minimum wage. I first started following the issue last year as it became a hot topic during the Democratic primaries.  Senator Bernie Sanders made some very articulate arguments on the issue and attracted a ground swell of support from labour and the youth of America.  He openly pledged to make the national minimum wage $15 dollars because the current $7.25 (USD) was, as he described it, “starvation pay”. Transit fares, gas, hydro, home ownership and food prices are...

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