My name is Raymond Desilets and I want to be your Ward 5 Councillor.
We all want to keep taxes low … find efficiencies … reduce gridlock … build transit … and restore civility at City Hall. But if you visit the websites or look at the campaign brochures of the other candidates in Ward 5, all you’ll find are lots of glossy photos and long bios but very few specifics.
Instead, I am offering solid, practical solutions to the issues of traffic gridlock, shabby commercial businesses, and short-sighted, high-rise development. My ideas for developing Etobicoke Centre into a thriving, balanced community, revitalizing The Queensway into a vibrant destination location, and building express transit to downtown are all tailor made for Ward 5 and its residents.
On this website, I also explore some of the ‘big picture’ issues facing the city, and show how the residents of Ward 5 can enjoy the ‘best of both worlds’ living in a green suburban neighbourhood with all the benefits of modern urban life close at hand.
Section 1 of my website Places to Grow describes the driving forces behind most of the development in Ward 5 and across the city. In 2005, the provincial government passed The Growth Plan to curb urban sprawl, forcing Toronto to increase its density, a fancy way of saying we have to pack more people inside our boundaries. To do this, Toronto will develop five Urban Growth Centres within Toronto, including one right in the middle of our ward – Etobicoke Centre. This section of my website, will give you the basics you need to understand the development issues facing all of us.
Section 2, the planned Etobicoke Centre development project will require new homes and condos for 67,000 people, a major new transit hub at the Kipling subway station, and new schools, businesses, stores and services. It is the single most important development project in Ward 5 and one of the most ambitious in Toronto. Support me in leading the charge to…
- Stop all new development until a scale model can be built and displayed publicly so residents have opportunities to see what is being planned and can provide input.
- Ensure that a substantial portion of the residential units are built for seniors and families, including subsidized units for each group.
- Provide abundant and high quality retail space, civic, cultural and entertainment facilities, schools and community centers, public squares and walkways, and other amenities.
- Build a centre for everyone in Ward 5 and not just a condo desert for those who live there.
The municipal election gives us an opportunity to talk about The Queensway Revitalization which I discuss in section 3. Toronto City Planning has said The Queensway will be transformed into a new urban ‘Avenue,’ featuring new housing, shopping and job opportunities in a pedestrian-friendly environment. But so far, all we’ve seen are big box stores, heavy traffic, high rise architectural eyesores, and lots of businesses that don’t belong in a family neighbourhood. Join me in forcing the City and developers to…
- Stop the construction of high rise condos along The Queensway and to build them in Urban Growth Centers according to the Official Plan.
- Build quality, attractive housing suitable for families and seniors, as well as singles and couples.
- Reduce traffic to no more than four lanes at any given time so that this Avenue is built for its residents rather than those passing through it.
- Attract new businesses – like grocery stores, pharmacies, bakeries, cafes and clinics – that meet the needs of local residents.
My innovative plans for Express Transit to Downtown by streetcar will provide a fast and affordable transit option for commuters without causing local congestion or slowing traffic. Extending streetcar service along The Queensway will also attract desirable new development, residential projects and businesses to this Grand Avenue. Watch my animated video in section 4 that shows how express streetcars can move people faster without taking away a lane of traffic or slowing down cars on The Queensway. It is a win-win-win transit solution!
I urge you to take some time to dive deeper into the details in my website, learn about the challenges facing Ward 5, and judge whether my proposed solutions make sense.
Then on October 27, vote for Raymond Desilets and, together, we will build a better Ward 5!