Hello Friends,

I hope everyone's 2023 is off to a wonderful start.

I'm pleased to be bringing you my first newsletter as Mayor. I recognize that participation in local government looks different to many people, and it is important that we support a community that is well informed on City news, processes, and opportunities to get involved. As such, I am committed to bringing you regular key updates directly to your inbox through this newsletter.

Pickering is regarded by many as Durham Region’s premier municipality, and I attribute much of this to our community spirit. It is through our meaningful events, experiences, and connections with one another that deepen our shared pride and sense of belonging to this great City. So many of us are greatly invested in working towards becoming a more vibrant, engaged, connected, and sustainable city, and we do it not only for our cherished ones here with us now, but for future generations to come.

With that, I encourage you to engage in your local government and get involved in the community. Together, we can ensure Pickering is a place we are all proud to call home.

I'm happy to share these updates with you and encourage you to spread the word to subscribe.
Council Meeting Highlights
As part of our commitment to open, transparent, and accessible municipal government, we will be posting online recaps of the decisions made at our Council Meetings to help residents better understand municipal affairs and directions set by Council. 

You have two options to catch up on the monthly Council Meetings:

  1. Watch my personal, short video recaps of City Council Meetings - Keeping up with Council.
  2. Read a brief summary of the meeting, available on our website - pickering.ca/CouncilHighlights.
Planning Pickering’s 2023 Budget: The City invites residents to share their priorities!
Hey Pickering - it's your tax dollars, so have your say on the service, program and infrastructure needs that are most important to you:

  • Complete the online survey
  • Attend/speak at the special meeting for budget deliberations (Executive Committee Meeting) - April 13, 2023
  • Attend/speak at the April 24, 2023 meeting (where the 2023 Current and Capital Budgets will be formally adopted)
  • Connect with me and Members of Council directly

Visit LetsTalkPickering.ca/Budget to learn more and watch our short video below.
Pickering Casino Resort Highlights
The Pickering Casino Resort first opened its doors over a year and a half ago, and has been taking grand steps to realize its vision as a multi-venue attraction that anchors the very best in hospitality, dining, and entertainment.

The Casino itself features 2,200 slots, 90 live gaming tables, and 52 stadium gaming terminals. But it doesn't stop there. On January 2, 2023, the Resort opened its 275-room hotel, featuring a range of elegant and spacious suites, with a business centre and soon-to-open fitness centre.
It also recently launched its brand new, 2,500 seat, Performance Venue where it will host a variety of concerts and live entertainment. To the left, you'll see the space set-up for a recent boxing card. Visit pickeringcasino.com to view upcoming performances and events.

I look forward to experiencing this unique destination as even more dining and amenities open over the coming weeks.
Pickering Casino Resort Update

OLG recently issued the City its third quarter non-tax gaming revenue payment of $3,857,611 for hosting the Pickering Casino Resort.

Did you know, that while property taxes are the City of Pickering's main source of revenue, the City seeks out other funding opportunities to help relieve the residential tax load?

This includes:

1. Actively seeking and applying for eligible funding and grant programs from both the Federal and Provincial governments.
2. Naming rights partnerships.
3. The City’s Municipal Contribution Agreement with Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation, in which it receives revenues for hosting the Pickering Casino Resort.

The City has received a total of $20,253,778 in casino revenue since the gaming site opened July 1, 2021. The City employs a financial strategy that has been recommended by the Ontario Lottery Corporation that is based on the established principle that you “Bank the funds in year 1, and then spend these funds in Year 2.”

Casino funds received were used to fund 2022 Current and Capital Budget items like:

  • Funding for 19 community groups as part of the City’s Community Grants Program
  • Funding of Elexicon dividend decrease
  • Consulting for Naming Rights and Sponsorship Evaluation Strategy for City facilities (including City Centre)
  • City Centre project-related planning activities and design costs
  • Gravel lot parking upgrades (behind Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex) – project has not yet started

Over $16 million remains unspent or unallocated and will be used to fund future capital projects and budget pressures.
Explore Pickering's natural outdoor ice rinks

While the City is proud to offer this safe, outdoor winter fun to Pickering's residents and visitors, we must ensure that it remains just that - safe! Please keep this in mind and be patient as our staff work through seasonal inspections and adjust the hours of use accordingly. This winter season has seen erratic temperatures and the ground must be frozen, and weather below -4º (24ºF) for several consecutive days before attempting to build ice.

  • Rick Hull Memorial Park (55 x 75 ft) - (9 am to 5 pm)
  • Forestbrook Park (55 x 75 ft) - (9 am to 5 pm)
  • Claremont Memorial Park (full rink size) - (9 am to 11 pm)
  • Greenwood Park (80 x 150 ft) - (9 am to 11 pm)
  • Whitevale Park (40 x 93 ft, not fenced) - (9 am to 5 pm)
  • New - Centennial Park, under the picnic shelter (35 x 65 ft) - (9 am to 5 pm)
  • New - Frenchman’s Bay Rate Payers Memorial Park (55 x 65 ft) - (9 am to 5 pm)

Hours of Operations are available at pickering.ca/OutdoorSkate and updated during business hours. Please pay attention to posted signage on evenings and weekends.
Learn about your property and know your Zone!

The City is going through an exercise to consolidate its six current Zoning By-laws and combine them into one comprehensive document to manage land use and future development. Having one Zoning By-law will make it easier for residents and developers to access the information they're looking for.

Why is this important?

Pickering had six different zoning by-laws that applied to different areas of the City. Many are outdated and do not reflect current Provincial legislation and Official Plan policies. Through this review, the previous by-laws will be consolidated to reflect Pickering’s Official Plan policies, modern planning trends, and simplify the processing of permits and planning applications.

View the Draft By-law and interactive map at LetsTalkPickering.ca/ZoneReview.
The City of Pickering proudly celebrates Black History Month in honour of the contributions, achievements, and legacy of diverse Black communities in Canada and around the world.

We encourage everyone to take the time to learn, reflect, and engage in the many initiatives across Durham Region that honour Black Excellence.

Visit pickering.ca/BHM to view a curated collection of activities that you can participate in each day of the month.
Take action on Anti-Black Racism in Pickering

The City of Pickering is seeking passionate and committed residents and stakeholder representatives to sit on the Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce (PABRT).

The Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce was first established in 2020 to address anti-Black racism and to promote the Black community and culture.

Each term of four years presents the opportunity for residents to apply to sit on the Taskforce, and lead the critically important work of striving for an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community. I am proud to be part of the efforts accomplished by the PABRT to date, and look forward to continuing this meaningful work. Get involved today. Applications close February 26, 2023.
Be Prepared this Winter

I want to take this opportunity to stress the importance of being prepared during the winter season.

Power outages can happen for many reasons, including due to large accumulation of snow.

Elexicon Energy is Pickering's Electrical Supply Company and you can follow Elexicon on Twitter or view its outage map for updates.

I also urge you to take some time to plan a 72-hour emergency kit for yourself and family and learn the hazards and risks in your area. Visit pickering.ca/BePrepared for details.
Pickering snow clearing

The City's Winter Control consists of clearing and removing the snow from roads and designated sidewalks around the City. Our crews work hard to keep the people and streets of Pickering safe during the winter months.

View and subscribe to our snow clearing activity report for regular updates during a winter event, or track the plow with our interactive winter map. Visit pickering.ca/SnowClearing to get started.
Find your inspiration at the Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex

We all start off the new year with ambitious resolutions and good intentions. The City is committed to supporting the health and well-being of Pickering residents and I encourage you to check out your local recreation complex to discover the amenities, programs, classes and more that will help you with your physical exercise, mental well-being, and social goals.

Watch our video here and visit pickering.ca/recreation to view your options.
Stay connected!