December 2023 Holiday eNewsletter


On behalf of my family and myself, I wish you all the best this holiday season and in the new year as 2023 draws to a close.

This has been a very busy year faced with new challenges, but also many great initiatives. I wish to highlight a few of them for your reference:

  • Pickering increased its Property Tax Grant to eligible Seniors and Persons with Disabilities;
  • We increased our Senior and Persons with Disabilities Snow removal program from 400 to 750 persons, and extended eligibility to those earning less than $200,000 a year;
  • Additional Advisory Committees were created for Community Safety and the Waterfront;
  • The Community Safety Wellbeing program was expanded to identify more Community Safety Zones; and
  • We implemented a new Lobbyist Registry.

Moving forward into 2024, we can expect some challenges due to reductions in both Provincial and Federal funding, however I am confident in the City and in you; and together we can look forward to another impressive year. I would like to thank you for your continued input and support because none of this would have been possible without it!

New Year's Eve

and the Mayor's Levee

Join us on New Year’s Eve for a free swim & skate, plus family-friendly activities!

An early but memorable countdown and balloon drop will start at 8:30 pm.

📆 Sunday, December 31

🏊 Free Swim: 6:30 - 8:00 pm

⛸️ Free Skate: 6:30 – 8:30 pm

🎈 Balloon Drop: 8:30 pm

📍 Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex

Mayor Ashe and Members of Council invite you and your family to welcome 2024 with an afternoon of live entertainment by The Natural Women Show.

Plus, enter for some fantastic giveaways!

Children’s crafts, snacks, and light refreshments will be served.

📆 Monday, January 1

2:00 - 4:00 pm

📍 Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex

Community Building

Have you ever wondered what the role of a Municipal Councillor is?


As a municipal Councillor, I am your direct contact to city and regional affairs at the grass roots level. I am in constant communication with residents, community groups, agencies, stakeholders, government officials and staff. A municipal Councillor also has the duty to sit on several boards and committees to which they are appointed to. For example, I currently sit on the Pickering Public Library Board, the Region’s Health & Social Services Committee, the Region’s Transit Executive Committee, the Durham Advisory Committee on Homelessness and the Durham Region Community Safety & Well-Being Steering Committee. As a Member of Council, I am your voice and I am responsible for gathering a host of information from various individuals and institutions, while making educated decisions that will best impact our community.


Another key role of Council is to be a community builder. Not just in the physical sense of infrastructure related matters and city planning decisions; but also in having a strong community-based approach through networking at the neighbourhood level. By representing Ward 1 residents all these years, I am very fortunate to have experience collaborating with various neighbourhood groups and leaders. As you may be aware, I thrive in environments that encourage building partnerships, community engagement, and open dialogue. I believe this is the recipe for strong communities to feel informed and empowered. I am proud to recognize Ward 1 as having the largest number of community groups in all of the City within 4 active neighbourhoods: Pickering Westshore Community Association, Fairport Beach Neighbourhood Association, Rougemount Community & Recreation Association and South Rosebank Good Neighbours. These groups have the pulse of the residents in their geographic areas, which enables me to take into consideration the feedback of all parties, and make informed decisions on behalf of our great communities! I urge all Members of Council to continue to build strong neighbourhood relations, as it aids in the decision-making process with items that cross the Council floor. I am very honoured to work with the amazing teams and community groups within our great city and I appreciate the ongoing support. I look forward to the continual growth of community partnerships across all neighbourhoods within Ward 1, and beyond! 

Lets Talk Budget:

A Look Inside the Process


Pickering is preparing its 2024 budget under the Strong Mayors Powers granted by the Provincial Government. I would like to be clear and remain firm on my current stance in opposition of the Strong Mayor Powers, as some Members of Council’s opinions may be unintentionally overlooked. While I personally disagree with the Province’s decision, my role of Council promotes me to speak on behalf of my constituents and share your voice with the Mayor and my fellow Councillors. As the budget is a very hot topic for most of our residents, I feel it is necessary to gain your feedback and provide you with the necessary tools for engagement with the City. 



This is the first year that Pickering’s budget falls under the Strong Mayors Powers and your public input is extremely valuable. City staff are currently working with the Mayor and will forward both the Current and Capital Budget to each Member of Council for their review and comments. I along with my colleagues, will have the opportunity to question the budget on a line-by-line basis while providing suggestions to the Mayor. Then it is the Mayor’s role to take all points under consideration when formulation his position on each matter. 


Pickering is a thriving city, thanks to the residents and businesses who live, work, and invest here! A budget not only sets your annual property taxes; but it also creates the roadmap and framework of each City department. This in turn effects the services and infrastructure for the coming year. 


Members of the public can tune-in for a virtual presentation and Q&A session on the Senior Staff Recommended Draft 2024 Capital Budget highlights, with City of Pickering Director, Finance & Treasurer. 


Residents can participant virtually and leave their questions on the comments thread or email their questions in advance to [email protected].


Location: or

Date: Thursday, January 4, 2024

Time: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm



The commenting period closes on Thursday, January 4, 2024, at 11:59 pm (midnight). Input received will be provided to the City's Director, Finance & Treasurer, and Mayor Ashe for consideration when presenting the Mayor’s 2024 Capital and Current Budgets by January 30, 2024. It is at this time that Council will receive the final budget simultaneously as it is released to the public.



The Senior Staff Recommended Draft 2024 Capital Budget and 2025-2027 Capital Forecast is available for viewing online, with the option to reach the Finance Department directly through [email protected].


Residents can visit Let’ to view this document, get a better understanding of the cost of capital infrastructure and where property taxes go, watch a video overview of the City’s key infrastructure projects, and share budget priorities for Pickering’s future. 

Joint-Ward Community Town Hall Meeting

Monday, January 15, 2024 at 7:00 pm

Join myself along with Ward 2 Regional Councillor, Linda Cook and City Councillor,

Mara Nagy on Monday, January 15, 2024 at 7:00 pm at the West Shore Community Centre - located at 1015 Bayly Street. The feature topic is on the City's 2024 budget and the upcoming capital projects slated in our communities. A special guest speaker will be joining from the City of Pickering: Director of the Engineering Services Department, Richard Holborn!

Please join us - all are welcome!

For future Town Hall Meeting information, including dates & locations, please contact the Council Office by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 905.420.4605.

City of Pickering CAO:

Key Infrastructure Projects

A look back on this year's infrastructure projects

Each year, the City budgets for long term investments like infrastructure and facilities, that are paid off over time. This includes projects related to roads, bridges and sidewalks, vehicles and equipment, streetlights, playgrounds, and trails. It includes new infrastructure projects, as well as the maintenance and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure.


Learn more about some of these key projects in this year's capital budget.

City of Pickering CAO: 2023 Department Highlights

City Development

  • Consolidated Zoning By-law Review
  • GIS Strategic Plan
  • MyCity/Pickering Residential Interface & Service Modernization (PRISM) portal - including the new public app for building permit applications
  • Bill 109 development review procedural changes
  • Tree Protection By-law review and amendments
  • Textile Diversion Program with Diabetes Canada
  • Accessory Dwelling Units Policies

Community Services

  • Pickering Museum Village renovated Blacksmith Shop opening and permanent exhibit - has welcomed over 3,000 students since opening
  • Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex upgrades - new bleachers in the pool area, new flooring with partial pickleball court lines
  • Major events like Winter Nights, City Lights, and the Santa Claus Parade

Corporate Services

  • Corporate Strategic Plan
  • Workplace Modernization Project
  • New Nuisance By-law
  • Tech Connect Event

Economic Development & Strategic Projects

  • FGF Brands Groundbreaking
  • Pickering named Smart21 Community

Engineering Services

  • Asphalt resurfacing on 17 streets
  • Reconstruction of four playground areas to include accessibility features
  • Completion of the Rotary Frenchman’s Bay West Park Reconstruction project, including the comfort station
  • The Lisgoold Stormwater Management Pond retrofit and cleanout
  • The Pine Creek Erosion Assessment Class Environmental Assessment


  • Successful audit by Deloitte - the consultant stated that the City had a clean audit report for 2022 and that the City’s financial position is healthy and strong, and is able to meet its current and future financial commitments.
  • Financial strategy and analysis of the Cherrywood Project.

Fire Services

  • Transition of home inspection program to a digital GIS-based platform
  • Grand opening of Fire Hall #1 - staff officially made the move in May

Human Resources

  • Upstaffing - ensuring that we were adequately prepared to fill the 50 new positions budgeted for 2023
  • Partnered with Office of the CAO to support the City's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Office of the CAO

  • Partnered with IT to develop a Digital Strategy
  • Partnered with Corporate Services to support the Corporate Strategic Plan
  • Community & stakeholder engagement - Staff made a considerable effort to promote the City’s services, projects and initiatives to Pickering’s community members. Key staff and brand ambassadors hosted street team pop ups at Farmers’ Markets, the Pickering Town Centre, Pickering GO Station, summer concert series, and various community events. Outreach included listening sessions with over 20 community and faith groups.


  • Opening of Fire Hall #1
  • City Centre Vision
  • Renewal of running tracks at St. Mary Park and Beverley Morgan Park
  • Council Chamber dome roof replacement

Pickering Public Library

  • Claremont Public Library renovation:
  • Brighter, refreshed space with new furniture and kid’s play area
  • A fully accessible public washroom
  • Innovative, self-service model that allows the library to be open more hours for residents

City of Pickering CAO: Corporate Strategic Plan

Pickering moves ahead with its first Corporate Strategic Plan

Thank you to all staff who participated in the planning process for the development of Pickering's first Corporate Strategic Plan. I'm pleased to update you that it was endorsed by Council at the December 11, 2023 Council Meeting.

The Plan identifies a vision, goals, and key actions to be achieved over this term of Council and beyond.

The six areas of strategic priority include the Corporate Key, that emphasizes Good Governance, and the following six specific areas of strategic focus:

Priority 1: Champion Economic Leadership and Innovation

Priority 2: Advocate for an Inclusive, Welcoming, Safe & Healthy Community

Priority 3: Advance Innovation & Responsible Planning to Support a Connected, Well-Serviced Community

Priority 4: Lead & Advocate for Environmental Stewardship, Innovation & Resiliency Priority 5: Strengthen Existing & Build New Partnerships

Priority 6: Foster an Engaged & Informed Community

While this plan originated from extensive discussion and collaboration between Mayor Ashe and Members of Council, community engagement lies at the heart of it, and has helped shape the fundamental principles that underpin the strategy.

The Plan provides a blueprint and a roadmap for Council and Staff, who will work together to deliver on the strategic priorities identified in the Plan over this term of Council, and beyond. We look forward to engaging with Department as we move forward with the operationalization of the plan.

Petticoat Creek Conservation Park

At the December 11, 2023 Council Meeting, a Report from the CAO's Office came before Council to discuss the Opportunity for Petticoat Creek Conservation Park.

Find a copy of the full Report to Council and corresponding attachments here.

Notice of Temporary Trail Closure:

Waterfront Trail

(from Bruce Handscomb Memorial Park to Elvira Court)

The waterfront trail will be closed from Bruce Handscomb Memorial Park to Elvira Court to permit the reconstruction of that section of the trail. This temporary Trail closure is anticipated to Summer 2024.

For more information, visit the City's website Notice here and see attached.

Have your say on #UrbanAgriculture

in Pickering!

Visit to complete the survey by January 29, 2024. Your ideas and feedback will help City staff develop educational programs and tools, select workshop topics, and explore new opportunities to support urban agriculture within #Pickering.

Food insecurity is an issue many in our community face, and it’s by participating in urban agriculture-related activities that we can help combat it.

The City supports urban agriculture by⬇️

🍅hosting a weekly Farmers’ Market

🧑‍🌾supporting the operation of the Valley Plentiful Community Garden

🍽️coordinating a 55+ Plot to Plate Community Garden Program

🦋enhancing pollinator habitat

💲providing funds for urban agriculture-related projects through the City’s Environment Schools Grant and Community Grant

🥕encouraging developers to support opportunities to grow food

📄supporting Official Plan policies and zoning provisions that encourage community gardens in all land use categories and zones

✅integrating urban agriculture into long-range plans

💻delivering annual workshops to educate residents about growing food

Follow the link to read the full release here.

Pickering's Zoning By-law Review

Have your say in Pickering's Zoning By-law Review

Are you passionate about your city's zoning regulations? Curious about short-term rentals or additional residential parking!? Want to have your voice heard?

Complete our surveys at:

Your perspective matters! Don't miss out on the opportunity to shape the future of your city!

#ZoningReview #CommunityEngagement #CityDevelopment #HaveYourSay

Durham Region CAO Monthly Briefing Notes

Durham Region government plays a significant role in providing essential services and resources to all of their corresponding municipalities. Check out the December 20,

Durham Region CAO Briefing Note summary to learn more. 

City of Pickering: Council Highlights

A breakdown of our Council Meeting Highlights are available on the City's website here.

The official meeting minutes are also publicly available through the City's website calendar and Corporate Records webpages.

Lobbyist Registry

The Lobbyist Registry is up and running, and it is now mandatory for those that lobby Public Officer Holders. The team from the Clerks Department has played a lead role in not only preparing the Lobbyist Registry By-law, but also the tools that will assist Public Office Holders and Lobbyists to understand the definition of a Public Officer Holder.

Questions or Concerns? 
Connect with our Customer Care team, Monday to Friday (8:30 am - 4:30 pm), by telephone at 905.683.7575, email [email protected] or
Stay Connected

Thank you for taking the time to read this eNewsletter. I welcome your feedback and comments. For more information on what's happening in Pickering and Durham Region, visit my social channels:, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can also reach me by contacting the Council Office at 905.420.4605 or by email at [email protected].

Feel free to forward this eNewsletter to other Pickering residents, who may find this information helpful. To subscribe to future eNewsletters, visit and selecting the checkbox for Councillor Maurice Brenner Newsletter. eNewsletters are sent out a maximum of once per month and you can unsubscribe at anytime.

City of Pickering Council Office | 905.420.4605 |
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