Tag Archives: Councillor Michael Walker

Election races with no incumbent

Toronto election to produce shake-up
Some wards feature no incumbent as councillors retire
(Column written March 31 for Town Crier.)

We are guaranteed new political faces at city hall.
Here’s a sampling of the changes, why it will make these election races exciting and should increase voter turn out but may make it hard for constituents to choose new reps.
In midtown, councillors Kyle Rae and Michael Walker are retiring and in the east end Case Ootes is doing the same. Councillors Joe Pantalone, Rob Ford and Giorgio Mammoliti are running for mayor rather than re-election in their wards. As of April 1, a total of 36 candidates are registered in these six races with no incumbent councillors.
But the absence of incumbents, doesn’t mean newcomers will have an easier time getting elected. In fact, they may have to fight just as hard.
Toronto Centre Rosedale Councillor Rae’s Ward 27 is a prime example. His name won’t be on the ballot, but 12 candidates have registered here so far to try and replace him.
Name recognition can still be a factor in races with no incumbent, says University of Toronto political science professor Larry LeDuc. Continue reading

Forest Hill Village parking lot expands

Thelma and Spadina parking site gets additional spots
The site was once approved for controversial development
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 25)

Thelma & Spadina Green P parking lot will be expanded. Town Crier file photo.

It may have take 12 years, but more parking spots are coming to the heart of Forest Hill Village.
And all without a new development.
The Toronto Parking Authority got council permission to spend over $1 million to add an additional 11 spaces to the  43-space surface lot at the corner of Thelma Avenue and Spadina Road.
This would require purchasing the property at 457 Spadina Road from Sharon and Fred Green for $898,000 plus another $255,000 for construction and associated costs.
The $1.15 million price tag would come from the Parking Authority’s revenues and the money would be recovered through future parking fees. If approved, the expansion would result in a total of 54 surface spaces at the lot.
“It’s a good opportunity,” said Lorne Persiko, vice president of real estate and development for the authority. “We are expanding the lot. We will do significant greening. It will be good for the area and they (residents) don’t have to deal with a development.”
He is referring to the storied history of this site that dates back at least a dozen years.

Continue reading

Chris Sellors St. Paul’s candidate

Sellors a candidate to replace retiring by Coun. Walker
Walker endorses his former assistant  Sellors for Ward 22
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 25)

Chris Sellors announced his candidacy March 11. Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Chris Sellors has decided to step out of the shadow of Councillor Michael Walker and try to take over Ward 22 from his retiring his former boss.
“I will take his methods and build on them,” said Sellors, who started volunteering with Walker in 1997 and has the councillor’s endorsement. “I will remember what he has taught me, but I am my own man.”
Sellors was hired as the constituency assistant for the St. Paul’s councillor back in 2001 and became Walker’s executive assistant in 2005.
“I was over the moon,” said Sellors. “I was so honoured.” Continue reading

Michael Walker retiring from city hall

Veteran councillor recalls three decades in politics
Walker not seeking re-election in St. Paul’s
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 24)

Councillor Michael Walker bids so long after 28 years on council, he's not seeking re-election. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

It is with certainty that for the first time in 28 years, Michael Walker won’t be among the decision-makers guiding Toronto’s future come October.
The longtime St. Paul’s councillor has decided it’s time to retire, announcing in March that he won’t be seeking re-election.
The born and bred Torontonian has long political history, winning every election he’s ever entered — with the exception of his first try for school board back in 1976.
Recalling that first race, Walker says he refused offers of help, even from then MPP Margaret Scrivener, and knocked on doors alone. He came in third. Continue reading

Councillor Michael Walker retiring

Toronto veteran politician announced he’s not running again
Walker is calling it quits after nearly three decades in politics
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 11.)

St. Paul's Councillor Michael Walker is not seeking re-election. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

After months of speculation on his political future, veteran councillor Michael Walker announced today he is calling it quits after nearly three decades in municipal politics.
The St. Paul’s rep made his announcement at 11 a.m. in the press gallery at city hall.
“I am announcing my intention not to stand for re-election as city councillor,” said Walker, who turns 70 this June.
“I do this with mixed emotions,” he said, at times getting misty eyed. “I have been most fortunate and honoured to have represented the residents of Toronto for 28 years.
Over that period I have been privileged to serve the interests of astute, discerning and highly engaged constituency for which I was deeply grateful.”
“The time has come now for me to step aside from that role now, which I will dearly miss as most of you know,” he said. “I thank the people I have represented for the remarkable level of trust they have placed in me over the years.”
Although he sees himself as “her majesty’s royal opposition” to the mayors he’s worked with, Walker spoke fondly of Art Eggleton, June Rowlands, Barbara Hall, Mel Lastman and current mayor, David Miller. Continue reading

Yonge Eglinton redevelopment site

Dozens of homes vacated to pave way redevelopment
Meanwhile a ghost town has emerged as old houses stay empty
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Feb 24 for Town Crier.)

Empty homes await demolition if redevelopment approved. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Right in the heart of North Toronto on Duplex and Berwick Avenues sits a ghost town of sorts.
Almost two-dozen old houses sit vacant at 54 to 74 Berwick and 191 to 211 Duplex.
There is no mystery as to why these homes are empty. The entire site is part of a redevelopment application that would see the houses demolished if the project is approved. The proposal is for 20, 3-storey town houses fronting onto Duplex Avenue and a 17-storey condo tower with 215 units facing Berwick Avenue.
None the less, as this site is just one block south of Eglinton Avenue and a street west of Yonge Street it is an oddity to have so many houses standing empty.
It’s a mere two-minute walk from one of the city’s busiest intersections and across from the Minto towers, around the corner from high rise office buildings, the Eglinton subway, banks, shops restaurants and an indoor mall with a movie theatre. Continue reading

Michael Walker to announce political future

Toronto councillor vows to make his decision in March
Walker openly considers retiring from politics but may run again
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Feb 19 for Town Crier. UPDATE here.)

Councillor Michael Walker

Councillor Michael Walker.

North Toronto representative Michael Walker plans to make an announcement in March about his career at city hall.
As of March 3, Walker had yet to register for re-election in St. Paul’s Ward 22.
He’s openly talked to the Town Crier about the possibility of his retiring after 28 years as an elected official.
“I may need to make my decision by the end of March,” said Walker in mid-February. “I am leaning towards running, but everything is so fluid (at city hall).” Continue reading

Toronto election races to watch

These are the hot races to watch in this city
Election offers plenty of sparks, sparring
By Kris Scheuer
(Updated and expanded Oct. 25)

 

Councillor Case Ootes isn't seeking re-election and the race to replace him in ward 29 is a hotly contested one.

 

There are some exciting races in the Toronto election. Here are my 18 reasons to pay attention. What do you think, am I missing any races?
1. Mayor David Miller is not seeking a third term, but *40 candidates have made their bid to replace him. *Sarah Thomson withdrew but is still on the ballot. Find out who is running, here. Who will you choose?
2. Councillor Adam Giambrone Davenport Ward 18 was running for mayor but now he’s not. He’s also not seeking re-election locally. This race has attracted 12 candidates: Twelve candidates are running: Coun. Giambrone’s Executive Assistant Kevin Beaulieu, Doug Carroll, Nha Le, Joe MacDonald, Mohammad Muhit, Kirk Russell, Joanna Teliatnik, Hema Vyas, Ana Bailao, Ken Wood, Abdirazak Elmi and former Green Party of Ontario leader Frank de Jong.
3. Councillor Joe Pantalone Trinity-Spadina Ward 19 is running for mayor. His seat is up for grabs and 9 people are running: David Footman,  NDP leader Jack Layton’s son Mike Layton an urban planner and environmentalist, Jim Likourezos, sportscaster Sean McCormick, journalist Karlene NationGeorge Sawision,  Jason Stevens, community activist, planner and environmentalist Karen Sun and Rosario Bruto.
4. Councillor Anthony Perruzza for York Centre Ward 8 is seeking re-election. This should be a real tough fight between former local rep Peter Li Preti who represented the ward but lost by 579 votes to Perruzza in ’06. Li Preti has signed up for a rematch. Plus six other candidates: John Gallagher, Naseeb Husain, Antonius Clarke, Gerardo Miniguano, Arthur Smitherman (George Smitherman’s brother) and Ramnarine Tiwari are also running here. Continue reading

Get on Toronto voters’ list

City’s voters’ is not up-to-date
If you are on it, less hassle on election day


(Opinion written for Town Crier Dec. 13)

Municipal voter turnout was a dismal 39.3 percent in the last election but it may not just be apathy that’s to blame.
It may a flawed voters’ list contributing to people not showing up to cast ballots.
Canadian citizens 18 and older can vote in the city election if you live here or own property in Toronto, but the voters’ list is actually compiled
by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. But the provincial agency’s list is flawed so many tenants, owners and entire buildings are
left off the voters’ list.
Eligible voters can still vote if they aren’t on the list, but it’s harder. Continue reading

Davisville redevelopment and ARC

TDSB examines how best to accommodate students
And redevelopment possibilities discussed at school site
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Jan. 13 for Town Crier. UPDATE here.)

The possibility of redeveloping Davisville Junior Public School has drawn the ire of councillor Michael Walker who says the 48-year-old education facility should be left as is.
The Toronto District School Board is forming a local community design team in the coming months to look at redevelopment for the land just east of Yonge Street.
“I find it offensive Davisville is looked upon as (a financial) asset,” says Walker. “It’s a school first.”
According to school trustee Josh Matlow, the possibility of closing the school and redeveloping the land is one of many options being passed around at this point. Closure of the school is unlikely, he says, and redevleopment is not a certainty.
“We have met with parents and ratepayers. They have been told directly redevelopment won’t happen without their consent,” says Matlow, who is running for a council seat in St. Paul’s, ward 22. Continue reading