Monthly Archives: June 2010

Jack Layton G20 reaction

Vandalized businesses should be compensated: Layton
NDP leader says G20 summit was mishandled
Kris Scheuer
(Written June 28 for Town Crier.)

Jack Layton paid a visit to the Town Crier offices to offer his views on compensation for G20 protest damage. Photo by Victor Aguilar/Town Crier.

The morning after the G20 Summit wrapped up in Toronto, Federal NDP leader Jack Layton called on the Harper government to compensate businesses that were vandalized by violent protesters.
Layton was speaking to reporters at an editorial board this morning at Town Crier’s offices.
He said the G20 meeting was not well planned in terms of the Toronto location.
“Of course when you invite the global leaders, you are also going to essentially be inviting the Black Bloc to show up. It’s too bad Mr. (Stephen) Harper didn’t listen to the mayor and the city officials who said why don’t we put the meetings in an area that’s easier to secure for example the CNE, which has lots of open space around it and no businesses around it.”
Layton, along with his wife and MP Olivia Chow asked the federal government to compensate businesses if there was property damage. Continue reading

G20 cops and protesters

Protesters on College, University meet huge police presence
Kris Scheuer
June 25

I took these pictures today between 5-5:45 pm as G20 protesters marched and chanted along College St and south on University Ave to Gerrard St where they were blocked by police from traveling further.

Cops on bikes tail a protest march along College St towards Queen's Park. By Kris Scheuer.

Continue reading

TDSB to close 8 schools

Arlington MS among eight sites to shut
Board also approved improvements for local sites
Plus Davisville’s possible redevelopment discussed in Jan
By Kris Scheuer
(Written June 24 for Town Crier. Revised June 25.)

TDSB voted June 23 to close eight schools. File pic.

The TDSB voted last night to close eight schools, including Arlington MS.
McCowan Rd, Pringdale Gardens, Heron Park, Peter Secor, Silverthorn Jr., Brooks Rd and Kent Sr schools will also close starting in 2011, saving the board about $2 million a year in operating funds.
Plus, the board will save millions more in capital repairs and upgrades, trustee Josh Matlow said. Continue reading

Ward 27 election debate

Game show format tests candidates’ knowledge of area
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for the Town Crier.)

Perry Missal, left, next to Robert Meynell, Kristyn Wong-Tam, Simon Wookey, Enza Anderson and Ken Chan at the debate. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Rob Salerno listens as Chris Tindal, to his right, Susan Gapka and Ken Chan wait to weigh in. Photo by Kris Scheuer.

It wasn’t your typical debate.
First off, it was held at Fly nightclub. Second, it was done game show style to test the knowledge of the candidates in the most crowded council race in Toronto.
A dozen of the 13 registered Toronto Centre-Rosedale candidates hit the stage for a rowdy session organized by Vote Toronto and hosted by comedian Maggie Cassella.
The event deemed “So you think you can council?” focused on issues from the serious to the fun.
In the spotlight was on Ward 27 candidates Kristyn Wong-Tam, Chris Tindal, Simon Wookey, Rob Salerno, Ella Rebanks, Perry Missal, Robert Meynell, Susan Gapka, Joel Dick, Evan Dean, Ken Chan and Enza Anderson. Paul Spence was the only candidate not in attendance at the June 10 event. Continue reading

TDSB votes on closing schools

School board deciding fate of eight sites
If eight schools closed,  would save $60 mil
Kris Scheuer
(Written June 23 for Town Crier.  June 24 UPDATE.)

TDSB to vote on closing sites to get revenue to reinvest in schools across Toronto. Town Crier file photo.

The school board has some vital votes tonight on whether to keep eight public schools open.
Board staff and a local Accommodation Review Committee recommend Arlington close by September 2011 and J.R Wilcox, Cedarvale, Humewood and Rawlington all expand to grade eight to accommodate area students.
Briar Hill school
Another local ARC recommended closing Briar Hill PS and moving students to nearby school sites. A minority report by some committee members recommended putting a new JK to 3 school at the site, which could be redeveloped with a residential building.
That was supposed to come to the school board June 23, but instead a decision’s been postponed to allow time to explore the options.
No decision have been made yet regarding selling the site, redevelopment or closing the school, but staff has been asked to look at how much it would cost to build a new Briar Hill school on-site if the lot was redeveloped. Continue reading

Mayoral debate on development, transit

Top candidates talk transportation and city’s financial health
Forum at Board of Trade moderated by John Tory
By Kris Scheuer
(Written June 21 for Town Crier.)

Mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson wants to build subways not LRTs, if elected. Photo by Josh Freeman/Town Crier file.

Six top mayoral candidates faced off on development, transit and city-building at the Toronto Board of Trade this morning.
John Tory moderated the debate that was hosted by the Urban Land Institute and attracted over 150 property owners, investors, developers, lawyers, architects, planners and engineers.
Less than 10 minutes into the debate came one of the first heated exchanges between mayoral candidates Rob Ford and George Smitherman seen as the frontrunners in recent polls.
“I can’t believe George Smitherman would have the nerve to come here and run for mayor of the city when he blew and squandered $1 billion when he was the health minister?” Ford said.
Smitheman retorted, “The allegations of $1 billion expediture on E-health counts the time when your father’s (Douglas) colleague Elizabeth Witmer was the minister of health in the province.”
Ford, “My dad passed away three year’s ago. Thanks.” Continue reading

Tory coy about mayoral run

Former 2003 mayoral candidate Tory not running now
But never say never, former PC leader says leaving door open
By Kris Scheuer
(Written June 21 for Town Crier.)

John Tory not running for mayor, but never say never, he comments. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier file photo.

Former mayoral candidate John Tory says he doesn’t like the direction the city is going, but won’t commit to running for its top job.
After moderating a mayoral debate focused on development, transit and city-building this morning, Tory addressed the question on many a political watcher’s mind: Is he jumping into the mayoral race?
“In my case as of the moment I am not running for anything except maybe cover once in awhile,” he joked with reporters.
But he indicated he’s learned never to say never.
The last day to register as a candidate in the city election is September 10. And while anything can happen, Tory remains coy about his intentions.
“There are many, many, many days we can all enjoy ourselves and watch what’s going on in politics,” he said. Continue reading

Junior Academy wall may mean trees lost

Private school ordered to put up wall for privacy, noise barrier
Complying could mean trees damaged and cut down in process
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier June 17.)

Junior Academy parent Marva Gragtmans's concerned if a masonry wall is built, trees could be cut down or injured in process. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Junior Academy is in a quandary.
It was told by the Ontario Municipal Board to build a masonry wall between the school and its neighbours to lessen noise and increase privacy for residents next door.
However, to do that the school may have to remove five trees and damage 18 others says an arborist hired by the school.
“No one in the community benefits from the destruction of 10–12 trees,” said Junior Academy parent Marva Gragtmans. “In North Toronto we have a great canopy but we are losing old trees especially in storms.”
Instead, the school is proposing erecting a wooden fence to comply with the 2006 ruling which required the construction of a 2.4-metre high masonry wall at the Bayview and Lawrence facility. Continue reading

Mayoral hopefuls debate development

Ideas range from status quo to reducing city planners
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier June 17.)

MAYORAL CANDIDATES Rob Ford, Giorgio Mammoliti, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman and Sarah Thomson (not pictured) debated development and design issues at a June 16 forum. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Six top Toronto mayoral contenders were on the hot seat at a debate on their vision to make the city more development and design-friendly.
The standing-room only June 16 event at the Art Gallery of Ontario preceded the annual PUG Awards for architectural excellence.
Mayoral candidate Rob Ford focused a lot on his skills as a businessman heading his late father’s company Deco Labels and his plan to save the city money by cutting expenses such as cutting council from 44 to 22 councillors.
But he got heckled more than once to answer the questions related to development and city planning.
Ford did mention there needs to be more public input on planning.
“I have had so many people frustrated at the process,” he said. “The residents don’t get listened to at all. I stick up for the little guy. There person who doesn’t have a voice at city hall.” Continue reading

Josh Colle ward 15 candidate

Ex-trustee Josh Colle challenging Howard Moscoe
Son of MPP Mike Colle looks to unseat veteran councillor
Kris Scheuer
(Written June 15 for Town Crier.)

Photo courtesy of Joshua Colle.

The son of MPP Mike Colle decided to take his own political plunge today by entering the race for Eglinton-Lawrence Ward 15.
Joshua Colle is running against veteran North Toronto councillor Howard Moscoe.
“For me personally, there’s a bit of disenchantment with the way the city is run and how business is conducted,” said Colle. “In the past five years, I’ve had three kids. I see my city, community and neighbourhood through a different lens. It’s incredibly tough for families in this city.”
One of his key issues is to have the city do more for families.
“How long will it take for the city to have schools become community hubs?” asks the former Catholic school trustee for Eglinton-Lawrence. “I have a park near us that is not well maintained so no one uses it. Effective transit is a huge issue for families.” Continue reading