General Committee Update – December 5, 2017

December 8th, 2017|0 Comments

This week Council met in General Committee and we had before us a presentation as well as visitors from the Town’s new partners, Niagara College Canadian Food and Wine Institute… This is an exciting moment in Aurora, and for the revitalization of our downtown core. CFWI will be occupying the the Armoury and will be bringing their world class and [...]

Council Update – November 28, 2017

November 29th, 2017|1 Comment

This week at Council, members were presented with the architectural concept for the redevelopment of The Armoury. Staff have been working with GOW Hastings Architects to complete the design for the restoration of the property. The intent of the design was to produce a multi-purpose facility that could be repurposed quickly and efficiently… The design included a classroom/meeting space with [...]

24 Townhomes on 3 lots at Metcalfe St ?

November 28th, 2017|3 Comments

Recently, Council had before it, another development application to receive. The application, for 103, 107, and 111 Metcalfe St, is a unique one… The builder has come forward asking for an application to amend the zoning bylaw to build 24 townhomes where 3 homes stood. The current zoning is R3 which does not allow for townhomes. In addition, the proposed [...]

General Committee – November 21, 2017

November 23rd, 2017|4 Comments

This week Council met in General Committee (GC). One item before us was an application for a development at the Southeast corner of St. John’s sideroad and Yonge Street (the former Oakland Hall) As I explained previously, when these applications come before Council - where a resolution is required to accept, or not accept the subject application – as per [...]

Council Update – November 14, 2017

November 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Last night at Council we ratified the recommendation from General Committee in regards to the Christmas Market. This is wonderful news! While I would have liked to see a full market happen at Library sq this year, I agree with staff that it was going to be difficult to create a full event within the limited amount of time available. [...]

General Committee Update – Nov 07, 2017

November 10th, 2017|0 Comments

At General Committee this week Council had before it 3 applications looking for zoning amendments. Council could decide to receive the applications, as per the staff recommendation and proceed to a public planning meeting where the application would be heard or council could deny receiving the application outright as per the provisions of Bill 73. As noted in the staff [...]

Council Reduced from 8 to 6 for 2018

October 26th, 2017|0 Comments

In support of a motion put forward by Councillor Humfryes, Council has moved forward with reducing the size of Council from 8 Councillors to 6 Councillors. When the idea of reducing council was floated at the beginning of this term, I wasn’t sold on the idea. As a new councillor I didn’t think I had enough information or experience to [...]

Council Update – October 24, 2017

October 25th, 2017|1 Comment

This week, Council met to deliberate a number of items, one of which was the matter of winter parking restrictions. Last year, Council in the majority approved a pilot study that would allow for parking at all times (day or night) on the street during the winter, unless a snow event was issued. When a “snow event” was called that [...]

General Committee Update – October 17, 2017

October 19th, 2017|1 Comment

Council met this week in General committee. One item of interest concerned animal control. There have been many questions over the years from residents concerned about the service that the OSPCA has provided to the Town and if the Town has been served well by the contract with OSPCA. The report before Council included a staff recommendation that we move [...]

Written Submission to the Standing Committee – Bill 139

October 18th, 2017|0 Comments

I want to thank the Committee for providing me the opportunity to speak to Bill 139 and the important legislative change this Bill presents for Municipal decision-making in land-use planning. While I appreciate the invitation to speak to the Committee, as I was unable to attend the hearing in person, I am providing my comments in writing. My comments will [...]

Council Update – October 10, 2017

October 13th, 2017|0 Comments

We had a very light agenda at this week’s Council meeting as we did not have much before us that was not already discussed at last week’s General Committee meeting (items such a the JOC Audit see - http://www.mrakas.ca/general-committee-update-october-3-2017/ for more info if you missed the last week’s update.). One new matter before us was a motion from the Mayor [...]

General Committee Update – October 3, 2017

October 5th, 2017|0 Comments

This week Council met in General Committee. The agenda was fairly light however there was one item before Council that I would like to highlight and that was a motion to approve the hiring of Brook Laker & Associates to do an audit of the JOC project. Residents may recall that despite the fact that the JOC build had a [...]

Council Update – September 26, 2017

September 27th, 2017|6 Comments

At this week’s meeting of Town Council, members discussed my motion to create a new special event – the “Aurora Christmas Market”. I believe, with all the discussions that have occurred over the past two decades about the need for the revitalization of the downtown core, and with the excitement of all that is happening within the Cultural Precinct and [...]

7, 15, 19 Cousins Dr – Settlement

September 26th, 2017|1 Comment

The OMB pre hearing was held September 25th at Town hall in regards to the application for 7, 15 ,19 Cousins Dr. The hearing turned into setting dates for a settlement hearing. There is a settlement agreement between the Town and the applicant that still needs to be signed as some clauses are still being worked out. The original application [...]

Winter Maintenance Service Levels

September 21st, 2017|12 Comments

I know no one wants to think of winter, but Council discussed the winter maintenance program at our September 5th GC meeting. We have had issues with regards to our winter service levels over the last couple of years. As I have stated many times, when it comes to services such as snow removal, the Town should be providing the [...]

Council Update – Sept 12, 2017

September 14th, 2017|0 Comments

At this week’s meeting of Council, there were three agenda items which I would like to highlight: 1. Council approved that staff publish public notification that Council is considering the use of the Hydro Fund; 2. The RFP for the detailed design for Library Square has been approved. So moving forward, the Town’s vision will be developed in a detailed [...]

Meeting Residents on Elyse Ct.

September 10th, 2017|0 Comments

What a beautiful day today ! I took this great weather as an opportunity to visit residents Elyse Ct, in one of our newer sub division directly off Wellington St. Everyone I met today is new to Aurora, coming from a wide range of areas - Burlington, Bolton, Toronto, and even one coming from Louisville in the USA… They all [...]

General Committee Update – Sept 05, 2017

September 6th, 2017|2 Comments

Last night Council at General Committee had its first meeting since returning from summer and we had a few items of interest before us… One item that I would like to highlight was a discussion surrounding a request to receive the application for development at 46 St. John’s Sideroad (Biddington Homes Aurora Inc.) Under Bill 73, as Council has already [...]

Meeting Residents on Timbertrail Cres

September 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Well it’s the last long weekend of the summer, and I hope everyone is having an enjoyable time before the craziness of Fall starts this week! This weekend I took some time meet with residents on Timbertrail Cres. I had some great conversations with residents. One resident in particular spoke about how much she loves Arouca because of how diverse [...]

Working Group Meeting with AG Yasir Naqvi

August 16th, 2017|1 Comment

The Working Group on OMB reform met with Attorney General Yasir Naqvi and MPP Lou Rinaldi (The Parliamentary Asst to MMA). We had a great discussion on Bill 139 and the thoughts of municipalities re the proposed Bill. We shared some of our concerns; specifically, that while we all like the Bill, we would hate to see it watered-down as [...]

Visiting Residents on Valley Cres…

August 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Well it might be the long weekend but that doesn’t mean there is no time to go out and meet with residents of our great Town. I decided to visit residents on Valley Cres. Surprisingly most were home and I had some great conversations with many of them. It is great to hear the stories about Aurora and excitement that [...]

Meeting Residents on Chadburn Cres.

July 31st, 2017|0 Comments

This weekend was a busy beautiful weekend and I made my way to Chadburn Cres to visit residents and hear directly from them their thoughts about the neighbourhood and our Town. Well everyone I met this weekend was very pleased with the neighbourhood and quite happy to be living in Aurora. One issue that did come up was that of [...]

Meeting Residents in the Brentwood Community

July 16th, 2017|0 Comments

This weekend I spent time visiting residents in the Brentwood community ( Woodland Hills Blvd, Duncton Wood Cres, Black Court, Joseph Tuck Ct, and Sherman Oaks Ct) For those of you that are not familiar with this area, it is what I call the forgotten sub-division of Aurora. It is at the corner of St. John’s and Bathurst (North Side) [...]

Council Update – July 11, 2017

July 12th, 2017|3 Comments

Last night council had before it the application for the Aurora United Church rebuild. The application has a senior living/retirement home that would be part of the development. As I said at the table – and have stated previously with other applications, as the application requires an amendment to the OP and a zoning amendment, I believe that amendments should [...]

Construction Mitigation Plan – Highland Gate

July 7th, 2017|1 Comment

All development in Aurora is subject to the Town’s standard construction mitigation plan. The purpose of which is to minimize impacts of development on the community. Dust control, street cleaning, road access for work vehicles, grading… vibrations to neighbouring homes, flooding due to changes in topography – these are all impacts of development that need to be monitored at any [...]

Highland Gate Park Design….

July 5th, 2017|3 Comments

*********Update********* In response to my post I have been contacted by the President of the ratepayers group who felt the discussion surrounding the motion before council re the park could be misconstrued and has requested clarification. Specifically that the minutes of settlement were the result of two years of work by the ratepayers group to obtain the best result possible. [...]

Council Update – June 27, 2017

June 28th, 2017|0 Comments

While there were a number of items before Council last night, and a few warranted considerable debate, I will concentrate on the one that generated some interesting policy and procedural discussions – the approval of the comprehensive zoning bylaw. Council needed to identify what would be allowed to by pass one particular provision of Bill 73 – the 2 yr [...]

Meeting Residents On Baywell Cres.

June 25th, 2017|1 Comment

This weekend I visited with residents on Baywell Cres. This street wraps around a beautiful park (Chapman Park) It was great to meet with residents that ranged from life long Aurorans to New Aurorans that have just moved in. I had many great conversations about the area and while everyone loves living in Aurora there are some issues that residents [...]

52 and 56 Victoria St.

June 21st, 2017|3 Comments

Tuesday June 20th at General Committee, there was considerable discussion amongst members in regards to options for temporary accommodations for the current tenants of 52 and 56 Victoria St. As residents are no doubt aware, earlier this year Council decided, 8-1(Councillor Gaertner opposed) to demolish the two properties. As a consequence, current tenants of the two properties will be displaced [...]

Meeting Residents on Peter Miller St. & Crane St.

June 17th, 2017|0 Comments

I had some great conversations with many residents at the door today, while visiting Peter Miller St. And Crane St. In the 2C area. Some of the concerns and issues that we discussed were with the grading in the sub division, questions to when the Bridge for Hartwell Way will open (Bridge will be opening in the fall – September) [...]

Council Update – June 13, 2017

June 14th, 2017|2 Comments

Last night at Council the majority of time was spent discussing the joint motion regarding the Highland Gate Development put forward by Councillor Gaertner and myself. In the rather lengthy discussion of the motion, a number of members made note of what a great job the developer is doing in terms of accommodations and working with the Town and the [...]

Canine Commons (Leash Free Dog Park) Upgrades

June 8th, 2017|7 Comments

At General Committee this week, Council had before it, an agenda item that outlined recommendations from the Parks and Rec Committee in regards to the Canine Commons (Leash- free dog park). The recommendations are that staff proceed with capital upgrades and maintenance requirements in 2017 which include improvements to the parking lot, a new fence and entrance gate latch system, [...]

Public Planning Meeting – May 24, 2017 (Aurora United Church)

May 25th, 2017|0 Comments

Last night was the second Public Planning meeting that dealt with the Aurora United Church rebuild. While there was no final decision made (that will come later as per the Public Planning process) Council did unanimously support moving the application to the next step which is to a General Committee meeting. As we move forward to the next decision-making stage, [...]

Council Update – May 23, 2017

May 24th, 2017|1 Comment

Last night at council, the decision was made in regards to the voting method for the 2018 municipal election. Council went forward and adopted on a vote of 7-2 ( Councillor Thom and Pirri opposed) to implement a hybrid method for the 2018 election. In addition to the traditional paper ballots and tabulators, there will be online voting in the [...]

Library Sq – Moving Forward

May 19th, 2017|2 Comments

Well we are one step closer to moving Library Square from mere concept to a reality. At General Committee this week (May 16th) we had a very long discussion about the concept plans that were presented to Council. The majority of members saw many things we liked in both plans and were not in favour of endorsing one over the [...]

OMB Reform

May 17th, 2017|1 Comment

I have had the opportunity to read the press release from the Provincial Government that outlines the proposed changes to the OMB.  https://news.ontario.ca/mma/en/2017/05/ontarios-proposed-changes-to-the-land-use-planning-appeal-system.html It does look like the Province has listened to what elected officials, residents and the building community alike have been saying for years - that meaningful reform of the OMB is needed. The Province has listened, and taken [...]

Council Update – May 09, 2017

May 10th, 2017|0 Comments

Well last night at Council was a bit of a long drawn out process of discussing for the most part one specific item. The agenda item in question was the recommendations from the Heritage committee in regards to the delisting the properties on 12, 16 Tyler St and 55, 57, 57a Temperance St from the Aurora Register of Properties of [...]

Library Sq. Concept Plans

May 5th, 2017|0 Comments

The conceptual plans are here!! The Library Square Concept Plans have been made available and will be before Council at the General Committee meeting May 16th for consideration. Council will now have the opportunity to review the concept plans and make a decision with respect to how best to move forward with a new and revitalized Library Square. There are [...]

Council Update – April 25, 2017

April 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Council had quite a few items of interest as some were deferred from General Committee the week before. First we dealt with the staff report on internet voting; however as I have already put up a post about it http://www.mrakas.ca/internet-voting-part-2/ and we will be getting another staff report next month – I will leave my comments on that for a later post. [...]

Internet Voting – Part 2

April 26th, 2017|0 Comments

There was some discussion last night at Council, with regards to internet voting. While Council did not make a final decision as to the way the 2018 municipal election will be held, the motion that was on the floor was to pass a bylaw that would at least allow all three methods of voting (internet, tabulator – current form, and [...]

Should Aurora Implement Internet Voting For The 2018 Municipal Election???

April 19th, 2017|2 Comments

At this week’s General Committee meeting, Council had before it a report that spoke to the upcoming 2018 municipal election and potential changes to voting processes; specifically, a recommendation from staff and the Governance Review Committee for the Town to introduce internet voting for the 2018 municipal election. Personally, I think that the introduction of internet voting would be a [...]

Council Update – April 11, 2017

April 13th, 2017|2 Comments

At this week’s Council meeting we had before us a report on the JOC (Joint Operations Centre), a final report that spoke to lessons learned about the project, its progress and processes related to it. There are a number of questions, however, that still need to be addressed, not least of which was the fact that the project is over [...]

Questions About Potential Impacts of All Day GO Service

April 6th, 2017|5 Comments

At the March 28th meeting of Council, Metrolinx made a presentation in regards to the new 2-way all-day every 15 minute GO service. This is really great news for Aurora as our residents need more, and better, transit options. However, these service improvements, while positive, will also have a number of other impacts that will directly affect Aurora and for [...]

5 Homes on 3 Lots??

March 24th, 2017|15 Comments

At our Public Planning Meeting, Council had an application that was in front of us for the second time. The application seeks to sever 3 lots on Cousins Drive and build 5 homes. The first time we had this application before Council, every member present made the same point – that 5 homes was not acceptable. Council asked that the [...]

Aurora United Church

March 23rd, 2017|17 Comments

On the Public Planning meeting agenda last night, Council had before it, for the first time, the proposal for the new Aurora United Church. I think the community as a whole is very excited to see that the Church will be rebuilt, in its original location. Personally, I think this is a beautiful proposal that will enhance the downtown. However, [...]

Repeal of Vacancy Tax Rebate Program

March 9th, 2017|2 Comments

My motion to request the repeal of the vacancy tax rebate for commercial and industrial properties passed unanimously. By way of background, the vacancy tax rebate provides tax rebates to owners of commercial or industrial properties which have vacant portions – a rebate of 30% on their property tax. The funding for these rebates comes largely from residential taxpayers as [...]

New Directional Road Signage

March 3rd, 2017|4 Comments

Staff and I, along with the Region, have been working towards improved directional road signage, installed at certain locations around the perimeter of the Town for the purposes of diverting through-traffic, away from the Yonge and Wellington intersection. A number of these new signs are already up. I think we can all agree that traffic issues are an ongoing struggle [...]

Council Update – February 28, 2017 (Downtown Déjà vu)

March 1st, 2017|2 Comments

Last night at Council we had a motion to endorse a downtown revitalization plan. If you’re having a case of déjà vu you’re not alone. As residents who have participated in the many public outreach and consultation events we have had for Library Square and the Cultural Precinct know - we already have a plan. The Promenade Plan. Developed in [...]

22 & 26 Centre St

February 23rd, 2017|1 Comment

Last night, at our Public Planning meeting, Council saw an application to convert two lots - 22 and 26 Centre st., in the Northeast Old Aurora Heritage District - that are currently occupied by single family homes into a 12 unit town home complex with a new street. I did not support the application for a number of reasons, but [...]

Delegation at YRDSB Meeting

February 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

I spoke at the YRDSB Meeting with fellow Councillors and residents in regards to the need for a new High School on the Bayview Ave lands. Here is what I said: "Good evening Madam Chair, members of the board and members of the public, my name is Tom Mrakas and I am a Councillor for the Town of Aurora. I would [...]