Let’s set some goals for Parkdale-High Park

Sep 14, 2022

This is a moment that requires ambition and vision. We need to bring people together around a shared vision for our communities and our city. I want Parkdale-High Park to be the model for a different kind of city building and the place where we prove what’s possible.

Let’s make Parkdale-High Park:

  • The best place to live in the city;
  • The best place to play, shop local and own a business;
  • The ward with the best representation.

Based on my conversations in every part of the ward, and my career-long focus on urban issues, I’m going to spend my time on City Council making Parkdale-High Park a model for problem solving and community vitality.

This is already an amazing place to live but there’s so much more we can do. We’ve already wasted too much time. And we can only move forward if we know what we’re trying to achieve.

THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE IN THE CITY

Parkdale-High Park will be a place where we take care of each other and our neighbourhoods, and where everyone can move around safely and efficiently. That means we need to:

  • Urgently address the affordability crisis to make sure everyone can afford to live here;
  • Lead the bold creation of different housing types, infill and lowrise, smart density that benefits communities;
  • Increase protection for renters and enforce building standards;
  • Create incentives and policies that expand and protect affordable rental;
  • Introduce supportive housing and build a network of support for local shelters;
  • Set design and construction standards to ensure community fit and minimized community disruption;
  • Improve road management and mobility, including the redesign of Parkside Drive, to improve safety and reduce impacts on residential streets;
  • Expedite the redesign of the ward’s dangerous intersections and road networks, including traffic calming measures in residential neighbourhoods;
  • Restore and expand transit service and increase accessibility;
  • Create a connected cycling network focused on safety and enjoyment, including commuter corridors, Bloor Street connection into the Railpath and the expansion of the Martin Goodman Trail;
  • Commit to a ward goal of Vision Zero road fatalities;
  • Repave aging roads and laneways;
  • Improve management and implementation of major infrastructure projects, reducing impact on communities;
  • Incorporate climate mitigation and emergency preparedness into everything we do.

THE BEST PLACE TO HAVE FUN, SHOP LOCAL AND RUN A BUSINESS

City life isn’t just about getting to work and sitting in traffic. We live here to enjoy our neighbourhoods, get outside and find moments of magic, fun and community. That means we need to:

  • Increase investment in public space and a focus on fun, play and delight;
  • Revitalize High Park;
  • Make the Western Waterfront a destination public space;
  • Introduce more public washrooms;
  • Increase access to water, including fountains, splash pads and the waterfront;
  • Create safe and engaging public space for all ages, including teenagers and older residents;
  • Invest in new and improved sports amenities, including baseball diamonds, basketball courts, pickleball;
  • Expand library hours of service;
  • Increase shade and public space initiatives focused on climate mitigation;
  • Focus on neighbourhood harm reduction, innovative crisis response programs and community safety initiatives;
  • Remove red tape for local business and increase support for vibrant retail;
  • Expedite support for BIAs;
  • Beautify our streetscapes and increase street cleaning and garbage pick up;
  • Encourage more public art and support for culture, creative initiatives and industries;
  • Introduce lighting projects along mainstreets, laneways and in public space;
  • Make this a home for engaging events, volunteerism and community involvement.

THE BEST REPRESENTATION 

After four years of giant wards, it’s time to rethink how we represent Parkdale-High Park and show every resident that they can be heard and well-served. That means we need to:

  • Introduce systems and approaches that will ensure every resident and neighbourhood feels heard and well represented;
  • Have ward representation that understands and addresses the issues of EVERY neighbourhood;
  • Establish standardized response times and processes for community concerns;
  • Increase and improve communication on ward issues;
  • Provide inclusive representation that focuses on addressing inequities and barriers to access;
  • Make sure that councillors have the resources to represent all constituents;
  • Have a ward council to help prioritize and identify neighbourhood issues and needs, build social cohesion;
  • Hold annual Town Hall meetings in every neighbourhood;
  • Create a public engagement portal, so residents can find all ward projects in one place and offer feedback;
  • Modernize the city services residents use most, like permit applications and committee of adjustment
  • Introduce bold approaches to addressing the City’s budget challenges;
  • Focus on addressing city issues at their core: procurement, contracts and implementation;
  • Have transparent decision making and priority setting;
  • Put in place term limits for council members so the ward always has energetic representation focused on community needs.