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As we indicated in our recent blog post, DECA posed the same questions to every Ward 19 City Councillor candidate with a published email address (on the city election website). We are publishing their replies in the order that we receive them. 

Meet: Paul Bura

1. What makes you the best person to represent the Danforth East area?

I was a resident of the Danforth East community, in a family home on Dawes Road, and as a first generation Greek Canadian, I always appreciated the cultural vibe of the area. I moved back to Beaches-East York a few years ago, to start a family in this great neighbourhood. Over the past 15 years I have worked as a public servant at the federal level. I have great experience navigating through government policy and guidelines in order to get the needed service to people. For a community that will see much development in the next 4 years, I think it’s imperative that the city councillor take the interests and concerns of the people living there with greater value than the interests of the developer.

 

2. What do you think is the most pressing issue for this area, and what is your plan to address it? 

Development and the gentrification of an evolving neighbourhood that will still support an inclusive community. I would ensure there is affordable housing, programs, and services for everyone.  I would look at options such as public-private partnerships that we have seen prove successful in other areas of the city such as Regent Park.

 

3. Who do you support for mayor, and why?

I would support whichever mayor is elected by Torontonians.

 

4. DECA took the position that changing the ward boundaries during the election was undemocratic. What do you think about that?

I agree with position DECA took.

 

5. We expect that our area will see a lot of development in the next four years. What do you think about that?

I think development is a positive for the area as long as is conforms to the set city guidelines and takes into account the needs of an inclusive community while maintaining the character of the neighbourhood.

 

6. How will you contribute to a more diverse and representative Council?

I bring with me a fresh new perspective of a vested and caring community member. I am nonpartisan which I believe is important when making decisions because I feel everyone’s view point is valid no matter how they sit politically. I am also not in any way affiliated with a developer, so I could ensure that the plans and initiatives for development truly meet the needs of the neighbourhood.

(No contact information was provided)

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As we indicated in our recent blog post, DECA posed the same questions to every Ward 19 City Councillor candidate with a published email address (on the city election website). We are publishing their replies in the order that we receive them. 

Meet: Frank Marra

1. What makes you the best person to represent the Danforth East area?
As a lifelong Toronto resident I have watched the City grow in spurts but never until recently have I witnessed such deep internal divisions on City Council to the point where political platitudes are the rule and residents suffer and the City bogs down. I don’t have any fixed political affiliation or inclination, which is exactly what I think residents of the Ward need, someone without a fixed agenda, someone willing to listen to, learn from and act on all of the concerns of residents, from the minor to the momentous.

It is my pledge that I am your representative first, last and always and I will not let ideology get in the way of serving residents. That is what I believe makes me the best person to represent Danforth East, a willingness to engage in and promote community input and idea sourcing from residents.

 

2. What do you think is the most pressing issue for this area, and what is your plan to address it?

It isn’t entirely clear which is the most pressing issue in the area but clearly there is great concern with gun violence, housing affordability and development as well as transit in its numerous forms.

I would rank development and transit as topmost as they are more directly impactful issues to more residents on a daily basis. Improvements in public transit in our ward have been mostly pinned to a Downtown Relief Line which can’t come soon enough to the area, however that is a long way away and more immediate solutions are needed. If elected, I would be pressing the TTC to advance and complete the improvements to track signaling which are touted to provide decreased travel times and capacity at peak hours as congestion is frequently raised as a concern in our community. With four subway stops within our Ward, the operation and continued improvement of service schedules is a great interest/concern to area residents. I would support the TTC in maintaining and expanding transit improvements that affect our ward residents.

In tandem with that is the Avenue designation of the Danforth for increased density which will not only bring increased numbers of residents into the community but also more pressure on our already stretched infrastructure, including the TTC and our road network. I am proposing that we step back from headlong development along Danforth to better examine what the infrastructure capacities can reasonably sustain or what investments need to be in place in advance to avoid unmanaged growth in
our area which can only lead to the degradation of the quality of life that may be had. Social housing has to be a vital part of that plan also after too long a period of neglect by the City.


3. Who do you support for mayor, and why?

This election brings with it a brand new dynamic between Council and the Mayor due to its reduced size and increased workload. For that reason alone the Mayor should be someone who can and does more directly engage with Council and residents in an open and transparent manner. This is not what we have seen from John Tory on most issues and I can’t honestly support him this time around. The City needs a new style of leadership that will both stimulate and challenge Council to dig in and get things done, the days of a less than a full time commitment of Council and the Mayor are gone. Delay upon delay is what we’ve seen from John Tory and I see no way for that to improve in this election.

I think Jennifer Keesmat is the better choice although she too has some baggage that is of concern, namely her time as the Chief Planner of the City. All in all though I think she has more energy and commitment to advancing matters in the City that does not involve the many distractions our current Mayor engages in such as the giant downtown park proposal and the frequent junkets out of country which bring little to nothing back with him.


4. DECA took the position that changing the ward boundaries during the election was 
undemocratic. What do you think about that?

I’ve expressed numerous times that I feel that the move to a 25 seat Council was very poorly timed and bound to rather needlessly cause concern among residents as an undemocratic attack on proper and effective representation of residents. However, as the process unfolded I became rather more optimistic that it is good for the City but not for the usually raised reason of being money saving. I don’t believe it will actually save money at all but it is a great opportunity for residents to really weight the worth of
their vote and to whom it shall go this election. Because of the increased size of the new wards, more people will come to be represented by one voice alone and no voter should now be casually casting their vote for anyone who stands behind ideology alone. Ideological rigidness and sloganeering is exclusionary and divisive and won’t serve the City or residents at all and is something I don’t practice.

This election cannot be a proxy for the last Provincial election however strong that temptation may be in a voter’s mind. This election demands that your representative be committed to the community, engaged and available and practice a true spirit of fraternity with voters.


5. We expect that our area will see a lot of development in the next four years. What do you think about that?

As touched on above I think development in the area needs to be tempered with a thorough examination of potential development sites and projected densities against the existing and/or required infrastructure. Doing less than that promises to bring problems and community upset that would be fruitless. As has been seen with the Woodbine Bike Lanes, true consultation is a worry and not always performed well by the City. I would insist on the widest possible level of community engagement/consultation for all major development matters in the Ward so that any development is thoughtful and considerate of the community. Most development should be geared toward the suggested scale of 6-8 storeys, perhaps a bit less, and no more as that would detract from the feel of the
street, setbacks as they currently stand should be maintained. Structures that encroach on the sidewalk like the LCBO on Coxwell are out of scale with the street and are not necessary to any foreseeable development in our ward. Our sidewalks are our greatest asset on Danforth and elsewhere in the ward and should be preserved whatever future development may bring.

 

6. How will you contribute to a more diverse and representative Council?

As a straight white male I can’t claim to be “diverse”, either racially or sexually, but I can say that having come from a large ethnic family of 8 children I do have a strong sense of the challenges and struggles that diverse people face, the greatest being ignorance and fear. My upbringing was not privileged and that has led me to be open to relating to others point of view and experience. My outlook is that everyone starts out as an equal and has the right to be who they are. This is what I defend and practice as a core value everyday and that will inform the decisions that would come before me as Councillor. I
support City programs and policies that promote diversity in all its forms. As to being representative, it is not about symbols for me but about the reward of service to the community and the City in being fully informed and invested and to making smart decisions both in the ward and on Council. As stated earlier, a smaller Council means there is no place to hide and our smart electorate will see through anything that is disingenuous or distracting.

Being representative to me means being a facilitator of the community’s wants and desires, being objective, honest and informed on the basis for a decision being sound or not, in short, being a sincere positive contributor on Council.

 

(No contact information was provided)

As we indicated in our recent blog post, DECA posed the same questions to every Ward 19 City Councillor candidate with a published email address (on the city election website). We are publishing their replies in the order that we receive them. 

Meet: Morley Rosenberg

1. What makes you the best person to represent the Danforth East area?

I believe I am the most qualified and experienced candidate running for city councillor in ward 19. I have 35 years of public service experience including serving as City Councillor in the City of Kitchener for 9 years and Mayor for 6 years. I was also a member of the Ontario Municipal Board for 20 years. I want to use my expertise to serve the residents of Danforth East.

2. What do you think is the most pressing issue for this area, and what is your plan to address it?

I think the key issue affecting residents of Danforth East, is the lack of affordable housing.

If elected I will campaign for the increased construction of rental apartments and require developers to make 10-25% of new units available for low-income Torontonians.

3. Who do you support for mayor, and why?

I would feel comfortable working with either John Tory or Jennifer Keesmaat so long as they supported my efforts to help the residents of Danforth East with their constituent concerns.

4. DECA took the position that changing the ward boundaries during the election was undemocratic. What do you think about that?

I strongly agree that changing the number of wards in the City of Toronto during the election was undemocratic. I believe city councillors won’t be able to handle the additional responsibility of looking after the increased number of residents in the new wards. Communication between the constituents and council members will be severely limited. Each council member will not be able to spend as much time with concerns of individual constituents.

I will push for the formation several community associations within Ward 19 to hear neighbourhood concerns on a monthly basis. With the new 25-ward model, effective delegation will be the key to listening to the concerns of the 110,000 residents of Ward 19, including those that reside that reside in the Danforth East area.

5. We expect that our area will see a lot of development in the next four years. What do you think about that?

I think that it would be great to see new development along Danforth East. Getting rid of commercial vacancies and attracting new small business into the area would be beneficial for the entire community. I would particularly focus on bringing together the Danforth East BIA, storeowners, tenants and city staff to work out comprises that satisfy all parties. I strongly believe new transportation routes will be integral to successfully tying in these new developments into existing neighbourhoods.

6. How will you contribute to a more diverse and representative Council?  

As a senior myself, I can identify with the needs of the growing senior population in the Danforth East area. I am the most qualified candidate to speak on behalf of the seniors of Ward 19 at city council.

For more information:

morleyrosenberg.com
647 354-9425
Twitter: @MorleyRosenberg
Facebook: facebook.com/voteformorley/
Instagram:instagram.com/morleyrosenberg/

As we indicated in our recent blog post, DECA posed the same questions to every Ward 19 City Councillor candidate with a published email address (on the city election website). We are publishing their replies in the order that we receive them. 

First up: Adam Smith

AS pic

 

1. What makes you the best person to represent the Danforth East area?

I am the best person to represent Danforth East because first and foremost, having lived here many years, I frequent the area often and know it’s ins and outs.  From participating in events at Main Square, to also using the doctor’s clinic there many times, to shopping at Canadian Tire or Shopper’s World, to grabbing food and drinks at Firkin (where my launch party was) or Relish, I live the Danforth regularly.  Having been on the board of a BIA for years I know the struggles of a main street strip, and am familiar with the history of the various BIAs on the Danforth (even the sordid parts).  I’ve also been a part of both the Danforth Ave Planning Study and the Main St Planning Study, keeping on top of plans and developments like those going on in Main Square and ideas bandied about for Shopper’s World and the TTC Danforth carhouse and garage.  Lastly, I am a very energetic and passionate person who believes in more public participation in our city’s decisions, and will do everything in my power to ensure the best for all residents.
2. What do you think is the most pressing issue for this area, and what is your plan to address it?

The most pressing issue for Danforth seems to be development and mass transit, as it is ripe for intensification but also experiencing some growing pains.  The addition of hundreds of new rental units in Main Square while the future of GO RER and Smartrack seem to have no concrete deadlines, not to mention the far off Relief Line, is going to worsen conditions on transit.  An overly large office/condo tower was also proposed on the southwest quadrant of Main and Danforth that is thankfully being rethought.
3. Who do you support for mayor, and why?

I have yet to fully research all our 35 mayoral candidates and so cannot answer at this time.
4. DECA took the position that changing the ward boundaries during the election was undemocratic. What do you think about that?

Changing the boundaries in the middle of an election is VERY undemocratic, and so is the fact there was a lack of consultation, it was not even hinted at during the provincial election, and it overrides a democratic decision by council.
5. We expect that our area will see a lot of development in the next four years. What do you think about that?
I already spoke about the various developments coming, and my thoughts are that they need to respect the scale and character of the neighbourhoods they are in, they must include affordable units, and they must be timed with expansions of mass transit.
6. How will you contribute to a more diverse and representative Council?
A community voice is one of my platform planks, and with double the size ward we now have twice the diversity of populations.  I will strive to represent all communities’ interests, and am already devising systems for better information gathering from residents.  I will bring that voice to council and ensure no one is left without representation.

 

For more information, contact Adam Smith:
437-226-2326

 @adamsmith.to
 @adamsmith_TO
 adamsmith.to

Market This Week

This Thursday is the penultimate East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market so you won’t want to miss it. (Doesn’t penultimate sound so much better than second-last?) Come and stock up on all of your favourite fresh, locally grown/made food and support the amazing farmers that make our market possible.

Community Tent 

FrontHub

We’re happy to welcome Riverdale Hub/Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre, with information about their Women in the Garden program. It is a year-round program that aims to improve the physical and social well-being of newcomer women in the neighborhood though gardening workshops and yoga.  https://www.riverdalehub.ca/

Kids

The crew of volunteer facepainters will be there, ready to make all your kids’ dreams come true.

Wine

tawse-winery

Tawes Winery will be sampling and selling everything you need for Thanksgiving dinner/weekend with your family. (Read whatever meaning into that you need to, friends)

DECA Tent

Last summer, Tak Bui, a Toronto artist and longtime friend of DECA, set out to travel to Newfoundland. These pen & ink drawings are the result of his road trip to the Rock, where he often stopped to draw the beautiful landscape and its inhabitants. Please drop by the DECA tent to view some of these original works.

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A complete show of these drawings will be displayed at “The Newfoundlander” 472 Danforth Road (at Birchmount) for one day only from 1:00-5:00pm on December 16th. For more info email Tak here or visit his website.

Election News

You may have heard that there’s an election happening. Next week on October 11 at the last market of the year, DECA has invited the City Councillor candidates for Ward 19 (east of Coxwell) to come to the market for a meet-and-greet. We’ve also invited the English School Board Trustee candidates for Ward 16 (this ward).

As you buy the last of the market goods for the season, you can chat up the candidates about your burning municipal issues. Or just tell them you think they’re awesome for putting themselves out there (which they are).

A few days after the last market, DECA has organized a Ward 16 Trustee candidates meeting on October 15 at 7:30pm (one week from Monday). Mark your calendars! If you have a question you want to pose, send it by email.

poster

The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7:00 p.m. between June 7 – October 11 at East Lynn Park, located on the south side of Danforth Ave, just west of Woodbine Ave. Stay up to date by visiting the East Lynn Market Facebook page or by following us on Twitter. If you’d like to volunteer as a cook or a DECA Booth helper please connect! 

 

map

Hello Neighbours,

With all of the back and forth about the upcoming municipal election and with all of the other amazing events we have on the go, DECA was unable to undertake to organize a candidates’ debate for the election.

We have submitted a set of questions to each of the Ward 19 City Councillor candidates with an email address posted on the City of Toronto elections website, and in the coming weeks we will post the Q&As for each candidate who responds, in order of receipt.

Stay tuned!

The DECA Board

 

 

Lots to enjoy in the hood this week! From our Harvestfest party on Thursday with Tree For Me pick-up to Saturday’s walking tour and TED like talks “Yes, in my community!”.

Harvestfest 10th anniversary party!

We’re throwing a party and you’re invited! Our amazing Harvestfest 10th anniversary party is happening this Thursday at East Lynn Park. Come down and groove to the live music: Dan the Music Man 4:15-5:00pm and Tim Bovaconti and The Enablers 5:30-7:30pm.  And surprise! We have beer, wine, cider and fresh juice available to wash down your farm-fresh goodies. For the kids, we have a hoop zone with Hoopersonic from 3:30-5:30pm, art activities with Fresh Paint from 4:30-6:30pm, Yoga Storytime with Appleseed Yoga at 5:30pm, and face painting from 4:00-6:30pm.

Anyone who ordered a tree from Tree For Me will be able to pick it up in the wading pool. (If you didn’t order one, a limited number may be available for walk-ups.)

At 7:30pm our Harvestfest after-party begins with a reprise of last year’s Tragically Hip singalong in the park. You may want to bring a chair/blanket, instrument and candle along. Come raise your voices with some neighbours – we love singing together.

harvest fest poster jpeg

Yes, in my Community! Walking tour and guest speakers

Join us on Saturday, Sept 29th for a community walking tour highlighting East Lynn Park, sites of the DECA Pop-Up Shop initiative, the old Crossroads building, and a rare tour inside the Danforth TTC Garage site! Meet at 3pm at the entrance to East Lynn Park.

After the tour, at 4:15pm, join us on 2nd floor of Danforth Coxwell Library for TED style talks from guest speakers who will share their expertise and experiences in community building. Questions and a discussion will follow. Read all about the speakers and event details in our blog post here. The event is also featured on Facebook.

TPL_DECA-poster_Yes-in-my-community!-event

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