Movie Night – Friday

Innisfil IdeaLab & Library presents “Fresh Air Flicks”, movie nights at the park – Innisfil Beach Park. This Friday, July 13 it’s the Pixar animated film, Monsters Inc. (rain day, 14th) Bring your lawn chairs and a blanket.

The fun begins with music at 7:00 pm and the movie starts around 9:00 pm. Check the website for the whole summer line-up:

Fresh Air Flicks

 

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How to BILD?

The housing builders association (BILD) regularly lobbies for easier access to more land for more single-family housing in the GTA. They expect an average of 115,000 new residents per year over the next 20 years – a total of 2.5 million more residents in the region.

That will require 55,000 new homes every year according to BILD. They have put forward a four-point plan that includes:

“Fair & equitable fees, taxes and charges”

BILD says these make up 25% of the cost of an average new home. These types of development charges are applied by municipalities to recover the cost of installing basic infrastructure – i.e. water pipes and sewers. Development charges can also be levied by school boards and the county.

“The revenue pays for increased capital costs related to hard and soft services that come as a result of more people and businesses moving into the municipality. For example, the revenue could go toward the construction of new sewer and road systems that might not have been required before. The revenue could also be put toward soft services like new municipal recreation centres and libraries.” (A brief explanation of development charges, Toronto Star, March 2013)

These development charges can vary substantially by municipality. Each municipality decides what’s right for them. I don’t think ‘one size fits all’ is a workable approach. The development charges are collected as housing is built. Municipalities foot the initial infrastructure cost. Historically though, municipalities never catch up with cost recovery.

“Fund & build critical infrastructure”

By that they mean municipalities (i.e. – you) should foot the bill to add new infrastructure over greenfields now without the limitation of sprawl-limiting intensification regulations. Doug Ford’s accidental admission that he was thinking of opening up the Greenbelt to development is an example.

“Cut bureaucratic red tape”

BILD wants a uniform “service standard” to speed up permits and inspections for “building and renovations”.

Adopt new housing solutions

Specifically, BILD refers to laneway housing and secondary suites as ways to “unlock the potential of current neighbourhoods”.

Is that it? I have to wonder if there aren’t more ways to provide more affordable housing? For instance, I have walked through a few local model homes and felt they were really inappropriate to the market. Like the oversized homes, for instance, with “luxury” features, and wasted unusable spaces that were priced around the million dollar mark. Are builders really building for the market? Or building to maximize profit?

Maybe we should (in no particular order):

  • Encourage more relocation to smaller communities
  • Require a better mix of smaller housing
  • Require a better mix of low-rise housing options (I still fondly remember my old walk-up apartment)
  • Research more live/work design possibilities (like the huge residence that was built over a small factory in Toronto)
  • Ban the demolition of existing usable (livable/convertible) buildings
  • Prevent housing speculation through new sales conditions
  • Examine new technologies for basic (water/sewer) infrastructure
  • Examine new technologies to lower construction costs
  • Remove the cost of land from housing developments (I know, think about it)
  • Just wait for us of the ‘boomer’ generation to exit stage left?

Feel free to share your ideas too.

Musicians Invited – Open Audition!

The Ontario Musicians Cooperative Inc. (OMCI) has secured funding to hire emerging musicians in Simcoe County to perform at various public events this summer.

These “Emerging Artists” will be adding a new element to a variety of events and building up their resume in the process. The initiative is Simcoe County wide, and  now it’s our turn in Innisfil!

Auditions will hosted at the Lakeshore Branch Innisfil Public Library on Saturday, June 16th from 1:00 to 4:30pm.  1-2pm is a drop in slot, while 2-4 is saved for scheduled auditions. To schedule an audition, one must apply through www.indeed.ca.

Please see the poster on the “Experience Innisfil” page of this blog and feel free to circulate and spread the word.

Big Hearts, Helping Hands

I came across a popular quotation lately that really struck me: “Volunteers don’t necessarily have time, they just have heart”. That’s particularly true of several local organizations that typically rely on a small contingent of dedicated volunteers to keep the wheels turning.

If you have some heart, and a little time, Innisfil organizations would welcome you to fill a needed role. In particular, the Innisfil Arts, Culture & Heritage Council has extended the following invitation for new volunteers to fill some Board vacancies:

Innisfil Arts, Culture & Heritage Council

“On Monday, May 28th, the Innisfil Arts, Culture & Heritage Council will hold its Annual General Meeting and will vote in a new Board of Directors.

As such, we invite you to submit your expression of interest in serving on our Board of Directors or on one of our working Committees to:

pres@iachc.ca
treasurer@iachc.ca

The IACHC is excited about plans to expand the scope of its activities over the coming year and has several positions on the Board opening due to the completion of the current term of the incumbent. Executive positions that are coming available include:

  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

as well as the following working committee Chair positions:

  • Membership Chair
  • Communications/Social Media Chair
  • Grants & Funding Chair

Currently, the Board meets monthly at the Town of Innisfil municipal building (2101 Innisfil Beach Road, Innisfil) but there is a possibility that this frequency will reduce to quarterly in the coming year. The Working Committees meet throughout the year on an as-needed basis, but typically no more than once per month.

We thank you for your interest in one or more of these opportunities and look forward to speaking with you directly.

New IACHC members are always welcome. Consider attending the Annual General Meeting on May 28.”

Cookstown Creative Challenge 2018

How can you tell Cookstown’s famous Wing Ding weekend is coming around again? The Cookstown Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the annual Creative Challenge. Entries are invited for a recycled originally decorated frame. This year’s theme is “Roots” – and you can interpret that any way you like!

See the details below. Download an entry form. Last day for entry submission is Saturday, May 26. Display and judging is during Wing Ding, June 2-3.

RootsFrame

 

Preserving a Viable Agricultural System

The agricultural sector reportedly contributes more than 37 billion dollars to Ontario’s GDP. As population continues to grow, the Ontario government has released a draft document, Implementation Procedures for the Agricultural System in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe. It is intended to provide greater clarity and guidance to municipal planners for the preservation of prime agricultural lands.

Especially closer to Toronto, the fear is that remaining farming enterprises are becoming more scattered and isolated from the necessary agricultural support services that would help them remain viable. Farmers have told the government that they need assurance that agricultural lands will have long-term protection in order to plan for new investments in farming assets.

“At this time, protection of agricultural land varies across the GGH. Similar land may be designated prime agricultural area in one municipality and designated rural lands across the municipal boundary, even when soils and other land use characteristics are comparable. While all planning decisions must be consistent with the PPS [Provincial Policy Statement] and conform with other applicable provincial land use plans, there may be differences in policy interpretation and application due to differing study methodologies and growth pressures from one municipality to another.”  Continue reading