Joe Cressy: Our New Man in Council

Joe Cressy, our new Councillor for the Central Waterfront (Ward 20 – Trinity Spadina), will stand out as young and progressive in a City Council of mostly older colleagues. He has big shoes to fill, taking over the seat of the incisive Adam Vaughan, who is now our MP. Joe won by a wide margin and was endorsed by many prominent Torontonians, including Councillor Pam McConnell in Ward 28. We expect Pam and Joe will work well together on Waterfront issues.

Joe says: “Everywhere you look, politicians seem to be lowering the bar, promising tax cuts and belt-tightening instead of building our city up.” He is ready to invest in affordable housing, public transit, childcare, clean air to breathe and water to drink. “The economic case for investment is clear: the longer you delay infrastructure repairs, and transit modernization and expansion, the more difficult and expensive it becomes to catch up in the future,” he says.

Cressy, who sits in Council as an independent, finds taxing, spending, and regulating are the core functions of government, no matter who holds office. “The difference lies in how you prioritize spending,” he says.

The Waterfront is close to Joe’s heart. He describes our neighbourhood as home to thousands of residents, millions of annual visitors, beautiful blue flag beaches and unique recreational facilities that draw Torontonians from the entire GTA.

A jet airport does not belong on the Waterfront, according to Joe.  “Waterfront revitalization is a priority for our city and is not compatible with jets or expansion of the Island Airport.”

YQNA welcomes Joe Cressy and looks forward to working with him.

WATERFRONT DEBATE CANCELLED!

John Tory and Olivia Chow.
John Tory and Olivia Chow.

John Tory Leaves Waterfront in the Lurch

John Tory cancelled his participation in the important Waterfront Mayoral Debate the day before the event, planned for Tuesday, September 16 in Harbourfront Community Centre. Tory’s last-minute decision was considered very disrespectful by the many Waterfront volunteers who invested time and money in the debate. Rogers TV10, City News online and other media also invested much time preparing for the debate.

This one-on-one debate between Tory and Olivia Chow was much anticipated because of the Waterfront’s controversial issues — the proposed jet expansion of the island airport, and the urban renewal led by Waterfront Toronto. By leaving organizers in the lurch without an explanation, it is assumed that Tory is unwilling to face these issues.

York Quay Neighbourhood Association, Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association (representing 10,000 residents) and the Waterfront Business Improvement Area had planned this debate for three months. They paid for renting the hall, which holds 500 people, as well as a sound system and promotion.

Tory’s abrupt cancellation is bound to raise questions about his commitment to the Waterfront and will likely cost him votes.

Talk: City Building on the Waterfront

Ken Greenberg, Toronto’s great innovator of urban design, will give a unique presentation at YQNA’s next meeting with the title “City Building on the Waterfront.” For over three decades, Ken has shaped downtowns, waterfronts and regions across North America and Europe, in cities such as Toronto, Amsterdam, New York and Paris. He has a prominent role in our own Waterfront neighbourhood, where we enjoy the results of his holistic approach and long-term view of planning. Ken and his wife Eti are often seen here on their bikes or in kayaks. Ken’s book, “Walking Home: the Life and Lessons of a City Builder” expresses his philosophy that cities may be big, but they are enjoyed on a human scale.

We are honoured to welcome Ken Greenberg, and invite you to attend this free event:

Tuesday, September 9th at 7 – 9 p.m.

Radisson Admiral Hotel

249 Queens Quay West, Rain Dance Room

Intelligent Community of the Year

CEO of Waterfront Toronto John Campbell (left) has reason to smile, as he receives the prize for The Intelligent Community of the Year in New York City.  He shared the stage with Cristina Verner, director of Intelligent Communities, which awarded the prize, and IBM executive John Longbottom. The prestigious honour was based on our own neighbourhood and lands extending east to the Port Lands, getting Canada’s most advanced broadband Internet service. Every home and business will have access this super fast one-gigabyte network — for video conferences to film editing and emailing your grandmother. It will open the Waterfront to unparalleled economic opportunities and competitiveness. This is yet another international prize for Waterfront Toronto, and we will all be winners.

Han Dong, Our New MPP

Trinity-Spadina has a new Member of Provincial Government: Han Dong, seen here with his children. He replaces YQNA’s long-time friend, MPP Rosario Marchese, who worked with us on many issues that are specific to our condo environment, such as new legislation to protect condo owners’ rights and ending developers’ reliance on the OMB. We hope Han will take up these causes. Both Han and Rosario are staunchly opposed to jet expansion of the Island Airport.

YQNA thanks Rosario for his many years of friendship and open communications. We welcome Han and look forward to including him in our neighbourhood issues and his help in protecting our beautiful Waterfront.