July 14, 2023
This update comes after the culmination of a week's long mayoral by-election. I would like to once again congratulate Olivia Chow on her victory and thank all those who have put their name forward to lead this city. We have witnessed throughout the by-election cycle the issue of housing and affordability as a focal point for debates and headlines. While the needle has moved substantially on both fronts, over the years, it is clear that Torontonians are looking for continued progress.
I am happy to share with you the current progress on the Update Downsview file which showcases that affordable housing units are coming Downsview.
My staff and I continue to hear community input on what they would like to see incorporated as part of the Update Downsview plans. This large-scale project is one of its kind in North America. It will bring affordable housing units into the heart of Downsview and create 47,000 jobs. The project will include an array of community assets like community centres, child care centres and a library. The plan also calls for major street alignments that would connect the area with the DUKE Heights community.
My staff and I met with the DUKE Heights BIA and local businesses to discuss the recent changes put forth by the province and the City on the zoning of lands dedicated solely for employment use. My office will continue to work towards a favourable solution and advocate for the needs of the community. We are all very concerned about these proposed changes and the harm they will cause and I will oppose them in Committee and Council
City staff and I recently met with business owners along Chesswood Drive who have expressed concerns about the current construction project in the area. My staff and I have put these concerns forth to the appropriate City divisions and will continue to discuss improvements to the work being carried out to minimize disruption and increase traffic flow.
The City of Toronto continues its work to find ways to improve the movement of commercial vehicles in the Finch West area. A report from City staff is expected to come to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee in September and our office will remain in close collaboration with DUKE Heights, as well as local businesses, to ensure that all voices are heard throughout the process.
Small businesses are a valuable segment of our neighbourhoods. They provide a sense of belonging and are often times inseparable to the local residents they serve. When such businesses grow, so does the community. Fostering an environment for such growth is the vision behind the Toronto Public Library's Entrepreneurs Suite. A dedicated co-working space for entrepreneurs to work, connect and access resources and training linked to cultivating their creative ventures. Applications to use the suite from July 1 to September 30 are open. To apply, call the Business, Science & Technology desk at 416-395-5613 or send them an email.
As we continue to move forward with the business of the city, I am honoured to be a continued advocate for the business community.
City Councillor for Ward 6 – York Centre
Chair, North York Community Council
Chair, General Government Committee