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East York people, places, events & insights

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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EY ADVOCATE 029: It’s 20 years since The Borough of East York was killed by Province

Posted by on May 4, 2017

The slippery road to total amalgamation began when the provincial government initiated direct election of Metro councillors.

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SEEING GREEN 029: Loving our ravines —to death

Posted by on May 2, 2017

While many East Yorkers are sensitive to our natural environment and want to protect it, all too often I see the opposite. I hear people say “I love the ravines, I want to bring in more people so they will love the ravines also;” or “I want to use the ravines to promote my business (tourism, photography, art work, refreshment, souvenir sales)” or “More people loving the ravines will be more people protecting them” or “We need more access points, more trails, more washrooms, for what is the use of nature if we can’t get into every part of it?” But the ravines, and our environmentally significant areas within them, are dying —species are being lost; slopes are eroding; invasive species of fauna and flora are spreading; nesting is being disturbed; ground is being compacted; branches and logs are...

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EY ADVOCATE #028: Relating today to Billy McKay

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017

Have you ever heard the story of Billy McKay? Billy owned a large farm right in the centre of East York. It stretched from Sammon Avenue on the south to Cosburn Avenue on the north and from Glebemount Avenue on the east roughly to Linsmore Crescent on the west. lthough Billy had sold a small parcel on the west side of what later became Coxwell Avenue for R.H. McGregor Public School and another parcel on the east side for the Toronto East General Hospital (now the Michael Garron Hospital) in the 1920s, he continued to farm the rest. At that time Coxwell Avenue dead-ended at Sammon Avenue. As East York farms and market gardens were sold off for housing and businesses the Township Council offered to buy Billy’s farm, or at least part of it, so that Coxwell could...

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LETTERS: Good job covering the community

Posted by on Apr 2, 2017

My friend told me about your newspaper so I picked up a few copies at the Pape library. I like it. You’re doing a good job covering the community. I know the job isn’t easy, especially these days with the way newspaper advertising is tapering off. I published a monthly newspaper in Parkdale from 1989 to 1991 and it was hard slugging even then when ads were easier to sell. I’ve been a reporter/photographer in the community newspaper business since 1975. Until recently, I worked for the monthly St. Lawrence neighbourhood Bulletin. I did that for eight years. It shut down last November due to lack of ad revenue. I wish the Bulletin could replicate the success you’re having with the Chronicle in East York. Regards, Dennis...

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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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