Scarborough Centre is a great place to live, work or visit. Here are a few of the community projects that Glenn has supported to make the ward an even better place to be:
Glenn helped raise $200,000 towards the creation of our wonderful Scarborough Walk of Fame and has eagerly promoted the celebration of Scarborough’s many celebrities. Those honoured range from athletes such as Cindy Nicholas and famous musicians such as Peter Appleyard, Deborah Cox and the Barenaked Ladies, to outstanding volunteers such as Lois James, of Save the Rouge Valley System, or Dr. Joseph Wong, of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. The people of Scarborough are amazing, but they’re seldom mentioned in the media as being from Scarborough, so Glenn tries to point out the many ways the people of Scarborough are helping to make the world a better place!
Students of Centennial College have been benefiting from quality, hands-on learning programs since the 1960s. New educational opportunities opened up in September 2016, with the launch of Centennial’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts. The 350,000-square-foot facility also houses the Centennial Student Residence, featuring much-needed accommodation for 740 students. Glenn was pleased to support the creation of this striking Progress Campus facility, which includes state-of-the-art kitchens, culinary labs, commercial baking labs, a beverage tasting room, hotel suites, event space, interactive classrooms, a full-service restaurant and a café. Glenn is proud of Centennial College, which provides access to outstanding experiential programs for students as well as employment opportunities for many Scarborough residents.
Centennial Recreation Centre Renovations
For many, the Centennial Recreation Centre is a hub of Scarborough life. Recently, a host of renovations were completed to make the centre even more inviting. The centre now has upgraded change rooms, new ice equipment, resurfaced tennis courts, new lights in the volleyball court, a resurfaced parking lot, and a new dog park on the property. In addition, major repairs were made to the recreation centre’s roof, and there are plans to add 375 solar panels to the roof to make the building more “green.” While all of these improvements are bound to benefit Scarborough residents, another huge benefit is that all City of Toronto recreation programs offered at this centre—and eight other Scarborough locations—are now free!
The Scarborough-based South Asian Autism Awareness Centre (SAAAC) provides free services to about 250 families of people with autism. Thanks to Glenn’s help in securing City funds, SAAAC is moving to a larger location, where they can serve even more families as they provide children, youth and adults with autism a dynamic space to grow, learn and play. Established in 2008, SAAAC was created in response to the growing need for awareness, as well as support, for South Asian families affected by autism and related developmental disorders. Over the years, its services have grown to incorporate a number of traditional and unique therapies, along with social service supports. The agency has trained about 150 volunteers to assist with their important work.
A committed environmentalist and advocate for animals, Glenn has launched a variety of projects, and pushed for municipal guidelines and laws, that protect animals, both wild and domesticated. From banning puppy mills in Toronto to creating free spay and neuter clinics to help control the feral cat population, Glenn finds humane, innovative ways to help animals. He has also committed to the following projects:
- Supporting the opening of Toronto’s first municipal animal hospital, which is in Scarborough
- Pushing to license wildlife operators
- Creating Toronto—and Canada’s—first mobile spay and neuter clinic
- Working with the Toronto Wildlife Centre to find a permanent location to build the largest wildlife hospital in Canada
- Protecting cormorants
- Working with the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) to create the first mandatory bird-friendly development guidelines in the world
- And more! Read More…
Scarborough Centre residents and their four-legged friends are benefitting from our community dog parks, including the new Bellamy Dog Zone, Centennial Recreation Centre Dog Park, the massive Thomson Memorial Dog Park and the Hand of God Dog Park. These parks enable our pups to enjoy off-leash excitement in safe, enclosed spaces, and they’re great spots for dog owners to socialize too! Read More…
Scarborough’s libraries are vibrant places to learn, gather and create. Glenn supports literacy programs and enhanced library facilities, which benefit children and all members of our community. If you haven’t already had the opportunity, do explore Bendale Library or the new Scarborough Civic Centre Library sometime soon! Read More…
Local youth will have a new option for learning when a French language Catholic school opens in Scarborough in September 2017. The school, at 2850 Eglinton Ave. East near McCowan Road, will originally open for students in grades 7 to 9. It will gradually offer all high school grades as it grows towards its capacity of 500 students. About 60 per cent of the school will be covered by a 2,800-square-metre green roof, which will receive up to $100,000 in funding from the City’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program, an initiative that was supported by Glenn. The Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud is grateful to Glenn for his support in constructing Scarborough’s latest French Catholic high school, École secondaire catholique Toronto-Est. In addition to featuring the latest digital technology, the school will offer a unique sports, leadership, health and wellness program that promotes healthy living. Local Grade 5 and 6 students—who could be among the school’s first students—took part in a groundbreaking ceremony when construction began in 2015 (see photo).
Street corners with concrete, asphalt, traffic lights, hydro poles, trash cans and utility boxes all scrunched together in a small space can be downright ugly! Glenn tries to beautify our community whenever an opportunity arises. For example, during the repaving of Lawrence Avenue, Glenn worked countless hours with City staff to improve the run-down corner of Lawrence and McCowan. Glenn had City staff install a sitting wall, replace a dying tree with a healthy new one, install new garbage cans and a newspaper stand, plant shrubs, fix the broken curb and sidewalk at the RBC driveway, plant trees in front of the Shoppers plaza, and create a walkway to the RBC plaza where there was once a dirt path. This was a huge amount of work and attention to detail for just one corner, but Glenn believes every bit of Scarborough deserves to be polished and attractive. Combined with the landscaping improvements that the Scarborough Hospital has made to the northwest corner, the intersection is now something to be proud of!
Glenn works hard to preserve, enhance and expand Scarborough’s parks and community gardens. Residents are enjoying the new North Bendale Playground, the Lee Centre Park and the Scarborough Centre Butterfly Meadow, and there are more parks and gardens planned for the future! Read More…
Scarborough Centre’s splash pads are great places for children to cool off, have fun, keep fit and enjoy play time with their friends and families. Following the success of the Trudelle Street, Woburn Park and Lee Centre Park projects, a splash pad was added to Thomson Memorial Park in 2016, and more projects are planned for Ward 38. Read More…
Outdoor Ice Rinks
Outdoor community ice rinks provide residents of all ages with opportunities for recreation. Glenn has worked to improve facilities in Albert Campbell Square, at the Scarborough Civic Centre, to support the creation of a new rink in Churchill Heights Park, and to help ensure that new facilities will be created in two other Scarborough locations. Read More…
Glenn helped all three tennis clubs—North Bendale, Thomson Park and Centennial—get the financial assistance needed to have their courts resurfaced. All three clubs now have new, smooth, updated courts—this makes playing safer and more enjoyable, and it helps increase membership, as the courts are more attractive to play on.
Mature woodlots help make Scarborough beautiful, and Glenn is committed to preserving these natural features. He fought to preserve or restore the Frank Faubert Woods and the woodlots on Borough Drive and the corner of Lawrence and Bellamy. Read More…
Glenn has had more than 2,000 new street trees planted in our community. Trees clean the air, help prevent basement flooding, slow down cars, increase property values—and look great! You can see the next generation of trees growing on almost every street in our community, with Glenn taking special orders so that local residents can chose one of more than 30 species to plant in front of their home. Glenn admires the giant beautiful trees that were planted by the original homeowners back in the 1950s and 1960s, and he hopes that the small trees he’s planting today will shade future generations of local residents as they walk to school or to the bus.
While an avid tree lover, Glenn has led an effort that allows homeowners to request that old crab apple trees planted in front of their homes be removed and replaced with a healthy new tree. Many of the old crab apple trees planted decades ago are now at the end of their lifespan and have become diseased, infested and sometimes unsightly. Glenn is helping to remove these old nuisance trees and replant healthy trees that will grow larger and provide more shade in the future.
The topic of bus shelters may not be glamorous or make the headlines of the six o’clock news, but new shelters are something that Glenn has been advocating for. Glenn has arranged to install approximately 20 new bus shelters in our community. He knows from personal experience that there is nothing worse than just missing a bus and having to wait 15 minutes for another bus in the pouring rain or freezing snow, so he tries to get bus shelters installed wherever he can. New bus shelters are hard to get, as they cost about $25,000 to build and install—they require surveys to be taken, sight-lines tested, a concrete pad poured, a safe electrical connection made, as well as the installation of glass panels, a bench and a trash bin. Glenn is pleased that, wherever he can, people now have some someplace to shield them from the sun, wind, snow and rain.
Glenn knows that today’s streets have changed from when he was a young child in Scarborough: traffic volumes are overwhelming and the speed of cars is ever increasing. Glenn has supported new traffic lights in strategic locations to help pedestrians cross streets. While it is impossible to install a set of traffic lights at every intersection, Glenn knows that, for safety reasons, new lights are needed at strategic locations. He is glad he has been able to help make our community safer while keeping traffic disruption to a minimum. In recent years, he has helped to install traffic lights in several locations… Read More…
Glenn spends a large amount of time taking care of local roads: from his annual “report your pothole, so I can fix it” mass emails to personally walking numerous roads with City staff to show them exactly where a sewer needs repair or a sidewalk is sinking to arguing for more funding to fix roads during the budget process. Glenn is proud that more than $13 million has been spent in our community resurfacing local roads in the last few years and that the worst roads in our area (such as Ellesmere Road and Markham Road) were repaved in 2016!
Replacing a pedestrian bridge that’s been damaged by a major flood sounds easy, until you try to do it! Glenn found this out when the Farmbrook pedestrian bridge was damaged several years ago during a major flood. The old bridge was deemed unsafe and had to be replaced—not only the bridge, but also the concrete footings—and this project was one of more than 100 bridges needing repair that were waiting on a list. Glenn gently called and called the good people at the Conservation Authority just to ensure his community was not forgotten during the budgeting process and, after two years of urging, the Conservation Authority installed a strong, new beautiful bridge over the creek, just north of Farmbrook Road and east of Bellamy. To some, it may be a small bridge, but it’s an important bridge if you use it to get to school or to Cedarbrae Mall!
Hakim Optical founder Karim Hakimi has strong Scarborough roots, and Glenn helped to ensure that Mr. Hakimi’s significant contributions to Scarborough will be recognized by naming a new LRT stop after him!
At the TTC meeting on November 23, 2015, Glenn moved—and the TTC Board unanimously agreed—to support naming a stop after Mr. Hakimi. Then, Glenn and Councillor Michael Thompson sent a formal request to Metrolinx, which is in charge of the LRT line and the naming of all stops. It’s been decided that, when the LRT opens in 2020, one of the stops will be called Lebovic-Hakimi, in honour of two Scarborough citizens who contributed much to our community.
Karim Hakimi has created hundreds of jobs in Scarborough and across the country and has helped many local charities. Read More…