I would like to extend my warmest wishes to you and your families this holiday season. I hope you are able to relax and spend time with loved ones during this busy time of year!
Over the last few months, my family and I have received an outpouring of kind words from across Leaside and I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for the well wishes. Your support means the world to me as I begin my journey to recovery.
One year ago, I was officially sworn in as your City Councillor in the new, amalgamated Ward 15 – Don Valley West. As 2019 draws to a close, I want to reflect on how much we’ve accomplished together in such a short time.
At a community traffic meeting in June, local residents indicated their clear support for a holistic traffic and speed management strategy for the entire Leaside neighbourhood. Armed with a petition signed by more than 1,700 residents and with the support of the Leaside Property Owners’ Association (LPOA), we successfully implemented a neighbourhood-wide 30 km/h speed limit and initiated a Traffic Management Plan for Leaside. These initiatives will complement the School Safety Zones we installed at three Leaside schools over the course of 2019.
This fall, I worked closely with the community and the LPOA to refine Laird in Focus, the planning policy framework for the intersection of Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue. While the plan – including building heights – was adopted by North York Community Council last term, a new implementation report from City Planning presented an opportunity to strengthen the policies to protect and enhance our neighbourhood. With feedback from the community, I developed a series of motions to enhance greenspace buffer zones, limit density, require construction management plans, and ensure that there is sufficient school capacity to meet growing demand.
In October, I wrote about our successful efforts to drain Lake Leaside. My team and I used this local issue as a catalyst to tighten up our City-wide bylaws regulating unfinished or dormant development sites. These properties are an eyesore and nuisance, but even more importantly, they can pose a safety risk for the surrounding neighbourhood. Through the use of fines, permit revocation, and other enforceable regulations, the City will hold developers accountable to approved construction timelines and ensure compliance with our property standards bylaw.
Along with the many park enhancement projects that are currently underway in Leaside – including Trace Manes, Southvale Drive, and the Bayview-Millwood Parkette – I worked closely with the parent community at St. Anselm School to secure funding for the Playground Revitalization Project. I was pleased to see this important project completed over the summer – just in time for the new school year.
From playground improvements to major planning studies, it’s been a busy year in Leaside. I look forward to continuing our work together on new community initiatives in 2020. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.