December 2017
Reflecting on 20 Years
Wow, time flies! It was 20 years ago, December 1st, 1997, that I was first sworn in as Councillor in the City of Pickering. Prior to that, I had served as a volunteer appointed to the Heritage Pickering Advisory Committee. It has been, and continues to be, an honour to serve the good people of Pickering. I have been reflecting on the years, and though I usually talk about City programs and projects, this time I thought I would first talk about the people that I have had the pleasure to work with over these past 20 years.

We have a wealth of great residents - youth to seniors (our youth at heart); many faith and cultural community groups; energetic seniors' organizations; vibrant and exciting arts organizations; Pickering Museum Village volunteers and Foundation; sports groups; and vital community support organizations - who selflessly donate their time and expertise to these community organizations and supports. There are too many individuals, groups, and organizations to name here. I have had the pleasure of meeting many of them and seeing them in action. On behalf of all residents, we appreciate the dedicated work of all the volunteers in the community.

City of Pickering and Region of Durham staff, both outside and inside workers and up to the executive team and CAO, do an amazing job for residents. They fight fires, police our streets, repair and clear snow from roads, clean our parks, plan our communities, run programming in our libraries and recreation centres, provide health and social services, and manage our meetings - to name just a few services. They basically keep the City and Region running, help residents with their day-to-day municipal needs and concerns, and plan for the future. Thank you staff for what you do at the City and Region to make our community a great place.

On Pickering Council, I have had the pleasure of serving with two great Ward 3 Council colleagues: Councillor Rick Johnson who worked tirelessly for Ward 3 residents for over 20 years before his unfortunate passing, and current Councillor Shaheen Butt who is a great people person and brings energy, and new ideas and approaches to the role of Councillor. Both former Mayor Wayne Arthurs (1988 to 2004) and current Mayor Dave Ryan (2004 - present) have provided strong leadership and vision over this time. Rounding out councils over the years have been a number of dedicated men and women, including the other present Councillors Ashe, McLean, Brenner, and Cumming.
A Community to Live, Work, and Play
On the ground, I believe Pickering is developing into a better-rounded and complete community for residents to live, work, and play. Transit including GO and Durham Region Transit has improved; sidewalks, bridges and roads have, and are, being upgraded; we are seeing a greater selection of restaurants and entertainment options; increased investment in a range of housing options; and growth and attraction of businesses. On the horizon is the new community of Seaton, the innovation and employment corridor along Highway 407, the exciting Durham Live project (on which I hope there will be an announcement to update you on soon), and an arts centre. Sure, there are, and will be, challenges but I think we are heading in a good direction, working together for a better community.  Please send me your views and ideas at
Upcoming Pickering Events
The city has many events for residents to enjoy the festive season, some of which are highlighted below. I, and my family, as well as other members of Council will be attending some of these festivities and we hope to see you there. If you are able, please consider donating your time, food, or funds to those less fortunate this time of year.

Wednesday, December 27th & Friday, December 29th
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Pickering Recreation Centre - Arena

Thursday, December 28th
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Pickering Recreation Centre - Arena

Sunday, December 31st
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Pickering Recreation Complex

Monday, January 1st
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Pickering Civic Complex
Daniels Corporation Development (Southeast Corner of Kingston and Valley Farm Roads)
The lands at the southeast corner of Kingston Road and Valley Farm Road have been purchased by Daniels LR Corporation ("Daniels"). Several months ago, I personally met with Daniels representatives and received their commitment to host an information meeting with 1880 and 1890 Valley Farm Road residents. In August 2017, this meeting was held. During this well-attended meeting that Daniels representatives, condo residents, and Councillor Butt and I attended, a number of comments were received and are being reviewed by City staff and Daniels.

Daniels is proposing to develop the easterly portion (Phase 1) of the property for 100 three-storey stacked townhouse units. The City received a formal Site Plan Application from Daniels for the easterly portion of the property in November 2017 and construction is anticipated to commence in the fall of 2018. To prepare the site for construction, Daniels will be erecting temporary erosion and siltation fencing around the perimeter of the property and commencing preliminary earth works in the spring of 2018.

Daniels have entered into an agreement to sell the westerly parcel to Chartwell Retirement Residences. At this time, Chartwell has not indicated when they will make an application and proceed with construction of their portion of the site. Chartwell has not prepared any formal plans at this time, but have indicated that they are interested in developing their portion of the site for a high density retirement residence containing approximately 415 units.

Vehicular access to the Phase 1 lands (stacked townhouses) will be restricted to Kingston Road via Lennox Lane. An access to Valley Farm Road will be ultimately constructed and opened with the completion of Phase 2 (retirement residence). An updated traffic study will be prepared and reviewed in support of the retirement residence. Additional information regarding the stacked townhouse proposal and technical reports submitted by the applicant are available by clicking here or at the City Development Department, Pickering Civic Complex, One The Esplanade, Pickering, ON L1V 6K7.

In future eNewsletters, I will provide an overview of other development proposals such as Geranium Homes (Claremont) and Averton and Stonepay (Brock Road).
Out and About
I was honoured to be part of a great turn out in Pickering for the Remembrance Day services at both City Hall and Claremont. A number of veterans were present which made the ceremonies that much more special. I laid a wreath both as Regional Councillor and in memory of my Grandfather James Pickles who serve in the Canadian Navy.
Lots of work going on for the reconstruction and improvement of the Palmer Bridge on Valley Farm Road north of Finch. This is a complicated job working over Duffins Creek and its environmental concerns. Like 
many residents, I am looking forward to work being completed and a new bridge in place.
Thank you to the South Pickering Senior's Club for the invitation to their annual Christmas Dinner & Dance. A wonderfully festive event, including a traditional turkey meal and the company of many good friends!
Happy Holidays and New Year!
As my family celebrates Christmas, I wish you and your family the best of the season according to the faith and traditions of your family. I also hope the New Year brings you special moments, joy, and prosperity.
Keeping in Touch
Thank you for subscribing to my eNewsletter. Please share with your friends and neighbours if you think they too would be interested in receiving it. They can subscribe here.

I welcome your feedback and comments any time. You can reach me at 905.420.4605 or by email at

And while I am always available to help, please keep in mind our Customer Care Centre who provide an important link between you, the Mayor, Members of Council, and City of Pickering municipal departments. Their main priority is to ensure that you, the "customer," receive prompt attention and service regarding any municipal concerns you may have.  Reach the Customer Care Centre from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, by phone at 905.683.7575 or by email at