City staff to report this spring on action on castle’s future
Recommendations will focus on Kiwanis current contract
Possible someone else could manage Casa Loma for city
(Written for the Town Crier March 30.)
Casa Loma. Town Crier file photo.
Will the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma be allowed to continue to run the city-owned icon or will someone else be given keys to the famous castle?
Last July 7, council voted to take steps to terminate the club’s management agreement if a handful of conditions were not met in writing by the end of the month.
Now it’s eight months later and the city’s deadline has come and gone. However, the Town Crier has learned the city and the club have been meeting and city staff will be producing a progress report and recommendations that will come to the city’s Executive Committee in April or May.
“We are working with Kiwanis regarding Casa Loma,” said Michael Williams general manager of Economic Development and Culture, who council charged with creating a dispute resolution process between the two parties.
This progress report will also contain recommendations on what action city council should take regarding its current contract with Kiwanis, which has run the castle since 1937.
Kiwanis’s 2008-signed contract includes an agreement which would see the club fix up the castle’s interior while the city would spend millions on repairing the exterior. But according to last year’s report, Kiwanis has missed a number of agreed upon deadlines.
The city voted to have Kiwanis report back by the end of September 2010 with a financial plan to meet its contract obligations. The city also instructed the deputy city manager’s office to conduct an audit of Casa Loma’s operations and finances.
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Posted in Toronto culture
Tagged agreement, board, Casa Loma, chair, contract, council, Joe Mihevc, Kiwanis, Kris Scheuer, Michael, repairs, report, Richard, Toronto, Town Crier, Williams, Wozenilek
Toronto Community Foundation’s annual report on Toronto
(Column written for Town Crier Oct.7)
If we took the city’s pulse, what would it tell us?
Would we get a healthy, hopeful prognosis for Toronto’s future or would we hear a faint heartbeat indicating the city is a mere shadow of its former self.
In some ways, it depends on who you ask. Pricewaterhouse Cooper has chosen Toronto among its top international cities. However, the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey ranked us 215th out of 272 as the least affordable city.
These are just two of the findings highlighted in Toronto Community Foundation’s Toronto Vital Signs report released just 20 days before Torontonians go to the polls to elect a new mayor and council.
The charity tells a good news, bad news story of this city.
Good news: Crime is down and has been declining for a decade and most of us feel safer in our neighbourhoods.
Bad news: This June, there were 160,000 people on social assistance representing a 12 percent rise compared to the same time last year. Continue reading →
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged community, election, Foundation, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, Rahul Bhardwaj, report, signs, Toronto, Town Crier, vital
By Kris Scheuer
(Column written Oct 16.08 for Town Crier.)
Toronto the Good is not perfect.
The Toronto Community Foundation’s Oct. 7 report Toronto’s Vital Signs paints a mixed picture of how our city is faring 10 years after amalgamation.
Sure we are producing less waste, consuming less water, our beaches are cleaner, transit usage is up, arts
are doing well, but some disturbing trends muddy this rosy picture.
For example food bank use is up and wait times for subsidized daycare and housing are on the rise. Our
city’s debt load is also increasing.
But two of the most disturbing aspects of the report are 40 percent of residents don’t feel a sense of
belonging in this city. And there’s an increasing gap between rich and poor, especially for new
So this begs the question — Just how livable is our city? Continue reading →