Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A grand birthday weekend!

A great many and heartfelt thanks to all this past 31st birthday weekend. From gifts, cards, messages, bbq's, wonderful evenings out and a lot of help on the canvass - it's been a fantastic past few days with loved one's sharing in a nice balance of both politics and fun!


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Timothy Eaton meeting notes

Thank you Trustee Wong for hosting a lively public meeting concerning the sale of the Timothy Eaton school building and property.

For those who were unable to attend, the meeting featured a powerpoint presentation followed by a question and answer period with residents. Joining Trustee Wong on the panel were Shirley Hoy of the Toronto Lands Corporation, and Andrew Gowdy, the TDSB Planning Manager. After introducing the purpose of the meeting and giving the background rationale for closing the school, the bulk of the meeting focused on what happens next, the role of the Toronto Lands Corporation, how they accept proposals from potential bidders, and where students and daycare attendees who have used Timothy Eaton will be redirected to.


- At the last public meeting, the community was in favour of leasing Timothy Eaton. The TDSB in their June 30th meeting, however, voted overwhelmingly to sell, and authorized the Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC) to circulate the property to a preferred list of public institutions.

- The child care centre will be relocated to Highland Heights Junior Public School

- Given the large scale residential developments planned for the area (e.g. Bridlewood Mall), some concerns were raised as to whether there was enough school space to serve an influx of residents. TDSB staff explained that the existing secondary schools in the area (Stephen Leacock, L'Amoreaux, Sr John A Macdonald) have the capacity to absorb new students, and are large enough to accomodate additions if enrollment increases substantially.

- The TLC will now proceed to offer the property to the following institutions for a period of 90 days, in order of priority:
French-language public district school board
English-language separate district school board
French-language separate district school board
English/French language college
The university whose head office is nearest to the property
The Province of Ontario
The City of Toronto
The Federal Government of Canada

- In an effort to keep the site in public hands and not sell to private ownership, Trustee Wong informed us that the TDSB approved a motion to bring the property back to the Board if no sale occurs with one of the preferred public institutions.

- If the City is able to secure at least part of the space - several community constituents including residents, non profit agencies and myself are in support of the develop of a 'hub' for needed services that will able to serve the Timothy Eaton area. There are at least two groups who have expressed interest in this idea - a United Way-led consortium of agencies, and a Family-justice group of agencies. Giving the pecking order of institutions, however, for the City of Toronto to be able to make use of the site, any proposal needs to be compatible with bids received from the institutions holding a higher priority status.


If the City is able to secure at least part of the site, I would be delighted to discuss how we should best use the space at organizing@bryanheal.com or 416-760-2938.

For information regarding the decision to close and sell Timothy Eaton, the surplus process, what the raised capital will be used for, where students will be redirected to, enrollment projections and other TDSB issues please contact our local Trustee Soo Wong.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Big week for Ward 40

With the Bridlewood Mall development before Community Council, the launch of the TTC's customer service panel report, a meeting on the sale of Timothy Eaton, and a vote on rooming house by-laws this Thursday = a big week for Ward 40 issues! 

Regarding the public meeting tonight on the sale of the Timothy Eaton school - all area residents are welcome at the St Paul's L'Amoreux Centre, 3333 Finch Ave East at 7pm to share your thoughts on the future use of the school and the land. For those unable to attend, please visit www.bryanheal.com tomorrow afternoon where I will be happy to post an update.


Bryan Heal
Ward 40 resident and local candidate for Toronto City Council

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Bridlewood development supported by councillors, not residents

Dear Friends

I attended this past week's Scarborough Community Council meeting. Most significant for Ward 40 residents was the afternoon deliberation and vote on the controversial condominium development proposed for the parking lot of Bridlewood Mall.

The series of large buildings has been met with criticism from the community, including myself, who questions whether the Warden-Finch area has the infrastructure in place to effectively support the additional units. Several deputations were made by community members giving testimony to difficulty with city planners near the end of the consultation process, as well as studies highlighting the gaps in services that already exist; that Toronto Hydro currently lacks enough transmission lines for the project; and that developments of this magnitude are more appropriately built around subway corridors. Most compellingly, one woman spoke of Finch Avenue being the busiest bus route in Canada, and of how much difficulty she has getting to and from work everyday - frequently having to wait for 3-4 full buses to pass her before she is able to board. A city that works, is a city that moves. As north Scarborough residents have to wait this long to get to work as it is, the next council should be planning, prior to approving new developments, of how to upgrade transit capacity so that service levels are not compromised as new homes are created.

That the Council voted unanimously to approve the development was not surprising. What was, however, is how poorly the merits of many arguments made by community members were even acknowledged. Councillors will vote as they will, but they need to remember that they serve us, and when a constituent brings forth a legitimate and well-reasoned argument on an important issue - that constituent deserves nothing less than the respect to have their concern openly acknowledge and (if possible) addressed.


For the InsideToronto/Scarborough Mirror article on the issue, please visit the followign url:

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Candidate Surveys

Enjoyed completing the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT) and the Clean Air Partnership (CAP)'s candidate survey on walking and cycling infrastructure. Including ArtsVote2010 and the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), that's 3 report cards we currently await for the fall!

Next up: The Public Transit Coalition on the 23rd. And then the papers!

Looking forward to a fun & busy week ahead of meeting people, and more people :)


Saturday, 14 August 2010

8 ways to help Bryan

Courtesy of our lovely Facebook group ...

Dear Friends

Thank you for your continued support!

It's time to elect someone different.
It's time to elect someone who represents and understands the diversity of our communities.
It's time to support new leadership and elect Bryan for City Council in Ward 40!

Since launching our website, newsletter and Facebook page, we are delighted to have received so many words of encouragement and offers of assistance. If you would consider helping Bryan further, here are 8 things that we all can do to help send our good friend and colleague to City Hall:

1. Share Bryan's website link with your networks - www.bryanheal.com

2. Invite your FB friends to join our page at - www.facebook.com/healcitycouncil

3. Make a YouTube video supporting Bryan

4. Commit yourself to finding 5 people in Ward 40 who did not vote in 2006, to cast their ballots this October!

5. Help Bryan fundraise by making a donation (Ontario residents), sending a letter or hosting a small gathering. Whether it's $5, $750 or something in between - all generous contributions will go a long way in helping to print lawn signs, distribute flyers, and provide support for those needing assistance getting to the polls. Donations of $25 and above are eligible for a cash rebate of up to 75% back!

6. Volunteer with an event. We've got at least two big events in the works, and need all the help we can get!

7. Enjoy walking or cycling on a nice day? Come to Agincourt for a workout and drop some flyers along the way!

8. Save the date on October 25th and sign up to help Bryan get out the vote!

Thank you for all of your support!
--The campaign to Elect Bryan Heal to City Council in Ward 40 Scarborough Agincourt


Friday, 13 August 2010

ACORN Tenant vote rally

I took a break from the canvass to attend ACORN Canada's tenant vote rally in St Jamestown.

Congratulations to ACORN Canada for launching this important campaign. While the voter turnout throughout Ward 40 is about 40% - in some building clusters it is as low as 10-15%, and that needs to change in this election and all elections!


Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Dave Meslin @ TEDxToronto

Better Ballots is the best thing to have happened to this year's election season yet, with candidates and communities in all 44 wards talking about how to improve elections in Toronto. Let's all congratulate Dave Meslin on his upcoming speech to TEDxToronto, and listen to him discuss the voter apathy myth and current structural impediments to community engagement.


Monday, 9 August 2010

Dorset Park Community Planning Meeting

Had a fun, informative and engaged meeting at 6 Glamorgan with area residents as we begin our strategic community building planning for the next year! Big thank you to the Action for Neighbourhood Change, the DP neighbourhood association and 6 for organizing and playing host.

Aug 6-8 weekend update

Thanks for a great weekend team

We have recruited 30 new volunteers, put in a new print order to help drive the rest of the summer, and have now canvassed almost every storefront in the Ward!

We're looking at holding a fundraiser at a local venue in mid September, to help fuel the home stretch. If you're able to help organize, please join us at organizing@bryanheal.com


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Review voting places for accessibility

Toronto Elections has posted a tentative list of voting places for public review of the
accessibility features of the locations. The list highlights entrance
locations, and any modifications that are to be made to make the
location accessible on Election Day.

To view the tentative list visit, please http://ow.ly/2l6Gh .