Lois Lilienstein- Our community is grateful

Lois Lilienstein- Our community is grateful

Dear residents,

I was preparing an e-newsletter for you on an array of local and city hall issues but there is a one specific reason I'm writing to you this evening. I will send my regular update to you on Monday.

I am very saddened to share with you that Lois Lilienstein, of the beloved children’s music trio Sharon, Lois & Bram, passed away last night due to a rare form of cancer. She was at peace, surrounded by family and friends.

As part of the Toronto-based group, Lois had delighted children (and their parents) since 1978, introducing many of us to a love of music.  Many of us know her best from the Elephant Show which originally aired on the CBC during the 1980s and has lived on for generations of children in reruns. It is a testament to the timeless appeal of Sharon, Lois, & Bram’s music that many of our kids, and those of us who grew up being entertained by them, can recite the “Skinnamarink” verbatim three decades later.

Lois has been recognized for her talents winning both Junos and Gemini awards during her long career. In 2002 the trio received the Order of Canada, making the Chicago-born Lois one of the few non-Canadians to receive this honour.  Last year, I had the privilege of honouring their legacy as longstanding members of our Midtown community, and to children everywhere, by naming the playground at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park after Sharon, Lois and Bram along with Toronto's only park sign shaped as an elephant. I am heartened that the Lois was able to perform at the concert for the playground naming ceremony and that her family was in attendance to watch her. That concert was a special day for my family as I know it was for many others in our neighbourhood and from other parts of our city and indeed, from across North America.

As we work as a community to move forward with more exciting improvements to this playground, I intend to find an appropriate way, with her family, to further recognize the late, and forever loved, Lois Lilienstein. Along with Bram and Sharon, Lois helped make so many childrens' lives magical and musical. I was certainly one of those kids.

With love and condolences to her family, friends, Sharon, Bram and all who have been touched by her music,


City Hall and Community Update for April 2, 2015

Dear residents,

I hope you find my most recent update to you below interesting and informative. City Council just concluded a three day meeting that was productive but clearly demonstrated to me a need to improve the way council conducts our city's business. I share Mayor Tory's interest in raising the level of civility and decorum during our public debates and better placing council's focus on Toronto's priorities. I am still optimistic, despite the behavior of a few, that this new era at city hall will be one we can be proud of.

City Hall and Community Update for March 13, 2015

Dear residents, I've enjoyed seeing so many of you recently at community events, while I've been visiting local small businesses, meeting residents in the community or simply walking in our neighbourhoods, parks or ice rinks with my family. I'm also happy to tell you that it's been a busy and productive time at city hall with a renewed spirit of cooperation and optimism. That being said, I remain focused on our local priorities and the many real challenges facing our city by taking what I hope is an accessible, honest, determined and evidence-based approach to public policy decisions.

Power almost fully restored

Dear Residents,

Keeping you updated regarding community and City Hall issues is a top priority to me. When there are emergencies such as last winter's ice storm or today's power outage, I work to ensure that you have current information on what actions are being taken.

Since learning of the power outage this morning, I have been communicating throughout the day with Toronto Hydro. I was recently advised that there are only three buildings without power, of 8,000 initially affected. I will continue closely monitoring the situation until every resident has their power restored. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel welcome to contact Toronto Hydro at 416-542-8000.

I hope you have a very enjoyable and, most importantly, warm Family Day weekend!

Best regards,


Update on this morning's power outage

Dear Residents,

At 10:30 am today, power went out from Eglinton south to Wellesley and Spadina east to Yonge. With the extremely cold weather that's been forecasted for this weekend, I was very concerned and immediately contacted the Office of the President of Toronto Hydro for an update.

I've been advised that both Toronto Hydro and Hydro One crews are on site and are working to determine the cause of the outage. While we don't currently have an estimated time for the restoration, I can assure you that crews are focused on the restoration process. As soon as I receive further information from Toronto Hydro, I will let you know.

If you are aware of a senior or anyone else affected by the power outage that is on their own without access to the internet, TV or radio, please consider checking in on them.



City Hall and Community Update for January 23, 2015

City Hall and Community Update for January 23, 2015

A Lack of Accountability and Transparency on the Costs of the Scarborough Subway Extension

In today's Toronto Star, Jennifer Pagliaro wrote an important story revealing how many tax dollars will be wasted on sunk costs if the Scarborough LRT is cancelled (there may be more). The article also quotes City Manager, Joe Pennachetti, suggesting that the full amount is hidden within this year's City budget. Moveover, the City Manager has not reported back to City Council on Metrolinx sunk costs, as directed by Council. To read the full 2013 agenda item, please click here.

City Hall and Community Update for January 9, 2015

Action Being Taken to Combat Traffic Congestion


Traffic congestion impacts our ability to get to work on time, spend more time with our families at the end of the day and move goods and services around our city and region. As many of you know, I have been working hard on combatting gridlock with evidence-based initiatives since early on in the previous term of Council. While I recognize that the long-term solution is a greatly improved public transit system, there are specific measures we can take immediately to help improve the situation. Unfortunately, the previous administration had little interest in taking real action.


I am delighted that John Tory, our new Mayor, has acted swiftly since taking office. He has incorporated ideas, such as the motion I successfully moved in 2011, to increase fines and enforcement for drivers parking in curb lanes during rush hour. The first day of the Mayor's crackdown saw 29 cars towed during the morning rush alone.


I further commend Mayor Tory for signalling that he will take action on developers that block lanes for construction. In August of last year, I moved a motion asking City staff to look at the feasibility of increasing the upfront fee for blocking a lane, to encourage developers to look for alternate solutions that do not negatively impact residents. My motion also proposes implementing escalating monthly fees for blocking a street lane to encourage developers to use a lane for the least amount of time possible. I believe you will see the intent of this motion reflected in the Mayor's Gridlock Plan.


The long term goal should be to eliminate this practice altogether. Developers in New York are able to construct buildings without taking up traffic lanes or sidewalks; we should demand the same in Toronto. Please see this City News report for further information on this issue.


While it is unrealistic and unreasonable to expect Mayor Tory to solve gridlock overnight, I am proud to have a mayor who is prepared to take action, and make hard decisions, to improve the lives of our city's residents and get Toronto moving.


Toronto Ward Boundary Review Meeting: Have Your Say!


The Toronto Ward Boundary Review is looking at the size and shape of Toronto’s wards. This Review is being undertaken to ensure that each person in Toronto is fairly represented at City Council. The Review will look at the number of people living in each ward, as well as other factors such as geographic communities of interest and neighbourhoods, major physical and natural boundaries and population trends, to ‘draw the lines’ among Toronto’s wards. Any changes that occur as a result of the review will come into effect for the municipal election that takes place in 2018.


Public meetings are currently being held across the city as part of round one of the review's public consultation process. The meeting located nearest to Ward 22 will be held 6pm-9pm on Thursday, January 15 at Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Blvd., Meeting Room 224 ABC). If you are unable to attend the public meeting, please consider completing the online survey.

Crosstown Update: Highbourne Road Access at Eglinton Ave West

I was notified by Metrolinx today that Highbourne Road will be closed at Eglinton Avenue West on Monday, January 12th. Metrolinx has sent out notices to all Highbourne Road residents and local businesses, but I also wanted to take this opportunity to share this temporary road closure notice with you. For more information, please click here.

Basement Flooding

Basement Flooding has impacted many households across Ward 22. After every major rain storm, my office is contacted by residents who have suffered damages to their property as the result of basement or surface flooding. In fact, my family and I have had our own basement flooded- we've gone through this awful experience too.

I have been working with residents and City staff to address this problem in different areas across the ward. This past week, I met with the General Manager of Toronto Water and he has confirmed that a recommendation to conduct a Basement Flooding Study Area, that will cover the majority of the ward most impacted by flooding, will be brought forward to City Council by staff this winter for approval.

The objective of the study is to provide recommendations to reduce the risk of future flooding during severe storm events. The study will include a public consultation component that I will update you about, once confirmed.

A Big Thank You to Aroma Espresso Bar at Pleasant Blvd. and Yonge St!


Last month I was joined by families from across Ward 22 to celebrate the opening of our new Hodgson Ice Rink, and Arta Kadenaj from Aroma Espresso Bar (1407 Yonge Street) kindly donated coffee, hot apple cider and tasty treats for the event. Kind thanks to Arta for her generosity and helping to make our community skating party such a success!


Bienvenue à Holy Rosary!: New French Immersion Program in Midtown


Holy Rosary Catholic School is excited to announce that, along with their regular full-day kindergarten program, they will be offering a new French Immersion program in September 2015! The program will begin with a blended full day kindergarten class, including both Junior and Senior Kindergarten in 2015, and grow one year at a time alongside the current English stream. French Immersion Instruction is entirely in French until the end of Grade 2; English-language instruction is added in Grade 3. From Grade 5 to Grade 8, instruction is given 50 per cent in French, 50 per cent in English.


Admission to a Catholic elementary school is open to children who are baptized Catholic or who live with a parent who is baptized Catholic. A full list of all required documentation and admission criteria can be found on the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s website at


All registration for September 2015 can be done online at or in person at the school, which is located at 308 Tweedsmuir Ave. For more information please call Holy Rosary Catholic School at 416-393-5225.


Spadina Museum Tours and Exhibits


See Spadina, and the history of Toronto, through the eyes of the Austin family, who made it their home. Business people, artists, socialites and philanthropists, the Austins were a prominent family whose struggles and triumphs were closely tied to those of Toronto as they entered the 20th century.


Meet the Austins: A Toronto Family Between the Wars at Spadina Museum
Saturdays and Sundays, beginning January 10
12:15 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Regular admission applies.


For more information on this event, please visit the City's Arts and Culture website.

For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit Click here to read my previous community updates.

Community Update for November 28, 2014

Hodgson Artificial Ice Rink Update: It's New, Improved and Ready to Open!

I'm delighted to announce that the new and improved Hodgson Artificial Ice Rink will be open ahead of schedule, this Saturday, November 29! I'd like to thank my remarkable community for your patience and understanding as the construction took place, and also for your ongoing advocacy to ensure the rink was a top priority for Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff. I'm planning a community skating party for mid-December to celebrate the rink's opening- I'll update you with details about the time and date in my next enewsletter.

The "Skinnama-Rink" Natural Ice Rink near June Rowlands Park's Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground

I'm continuing to work with Lesley Stoyan and Chris Trussell of AppleTree Markets on getting our natural "Skinnama-Rink" up and running again this winter at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. We're now looking for community volunteers to help flood the rink over the course of the season. Please let me know, by responding to this email, if this is something you would be willing to assist with and I will gladly provide you with more details on how you can support our wonderful community initiative.

Shop the Eglinton Way!

During the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, I believe it's more important than ever to support our local businesses. This Saturday, November 28, the Eglinton Way BIA is participating in the Yellow Pages "Shop the Neighbourhood" campaign. Shop the Neighbourhood is a free national initiative which supports small businesses and reminds Canadians how local shopping makes a difference in all our lives.

Customers shopping the Eglinton Way between Chaplin Crescent and Oriole Parkway may use a free valet parking service. The locations are as follows:

  • The Healthy Butcher at 298 Eglinton Avenue W.
  • TNT Blu at 388 Eglinton Ave. W.
  • One2One Studio at 506 Eglinton Avenue W.

For more information on the festivities, please visit the Eglinton Way BIA website.

Recent Local Flooding

There have been recent watermain breaks, such as one on private property that affected residents of the Brentwood Towers, and basement flooding due to storms on streets across Ward 22 (and throughout Toronto). I have been actively working with City staff on ways to improve both the City's response, and repair or replace the existing infrastructure which is in many cases 60 years or older. If you experience basement flooding, please call 311 immediately.

Holiday Gift Fair at the Central Eglinton Community Centre

The Central Eglinton Community Centre (160 Eglinton Avenue East) will be holding a Holiday Gift Fair on Friday, December 5 from 10 am to 2 pm. Gifts and one-of-a-kind items will be for sale, as well as a bake table, used book sale, door prizes, silent auction and a Snowflake Café.

For more information, please call 416-392-0511 ext. 0 or visit

Let's Draw the Lines Together

The Toronto Ward Boundary Review is currently being conducted to ensure that each resident in Toronto is being represented at Toronto City Council. The review is led by an independent team of consultants who will make recommendations to City Council about the size and shape of Toronto's Wards.

In order to give feedback, residents can attend a public meeting or complete a survey online. For Toronto and East York areas, the meeting will take place Saturday, January 10 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Trinity St. Paul's Church (427 Bloor Street West). Learn more about the Toronto Ward Boundary Review project at

Midtown Yonge BIA Poll Results: We're moving Forward!

I'm very proud to have initiated and worked with local merchants on a new Ward 22 Business Improvement Area (BIA) to improve local businesses, our local streetscape and the quality of life in our community. After much great work by the merchants in the Midtown Yonge area, the poll for proceeding with establishing a BIA has been approved. The results are as follows:

  • 63 ballots submitted
  • 2 spoiled ballots
  • 50 ballots in favour
  • 11 opposed

The next step is for City Council to officially approved the BIA in the new year.

Local Unicorn Day Care Spaces Saved!

I've been working very closely with Eric Mackey, the director of Unicorn Day Care, to ensure that a new home was found and local day care spaces were saved pending eviction from Brown P.S. I'm so pleased that the Church of the Messiah (240 Avenue Road) will now be the new home for Unicorn Day Care. I will continue supporting Eric through the next steps of the licensing process and will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Little Libraries & Bulletin Boards in Ward 22 Parks

As part of my initiative to improve parks across Ward 22, such as the new playgrounds we've constructed in Charlotte Maher and Forest Hill Road Parks, I'm delighted to announce the addition of a community bulletin board and little library in Oriole Park and June Rowlands Park. If you would like to discuss parks improvements in your neighbourhood, please let me know.

For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit Click here to read my previous community updates.

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