This Friday & Saturday, experience a wonderful time Downtown Oshawa at this year's BRIGHT & MERRY EVENT with a variety of fun activities, music, midway, food & shopping with igloos & tents, Christmas Tree Lighting & Santa's Parade of Lights
... including vendors from: 7th Fashion; Ash Creations; BeaverTails (Food); Century Delight Catering (Food); Concentrix; Contagious Designs; Costco; Crazy Dough Inc. (Food); Eastend Vegan (Food); Expressions by Lavindi; Fantastic Face & Body Art and Mr. Bazinga's Balloon Twisting; Ganesh Naturals; Hong Kong Gift; Idec Sense; iOrganic Green; Kaye's Kandy (Food); Los Vietnamita (Food); Mustache Burger (Food); Oils and Things; On Third Thought; Gelato (Food); Orangtheory Fitness; Oshawa Generals; Pips Real Chocolate; Refined Finds; Sweet Legs Ajax; The Beauty Room; The Bent Willow...
sponsored by the Downtown Central Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the City of Oshawa, along Centre St. and Bagot St and in the Civic Square in front of City Hall...Event starts Friday at 5:00 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting at 7pm at City Hall; Parade starts Saturday at 6pm at the Oshawa Centre 419 King St. W. (Note: Centre St. will be closed beginning 1:00 pm Friday for event set up)
76 war veterans from Oshawa who served their country are on the Oshawa War Veteran Streets list.
The ceremony this morning at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 43 was to announce and give tribute to the 12 Oshawa war veterans whose names are being added to the special street name list today.
In attendance were two war veterans being honoured: Jim Brewster and Doug Finney
Their streets: Jim Brewster Circle will be located west of Fleetwood, and Doug Finney Drive located west of Townline Rd. north of Shankel Dr.
The other 10 veteran named streets will be located in a Sorbara subdivision north of Conlin Rd. west of Harmony.
Attending this special event, I was most fortunate to sit at the same table and have a pleasant conversation with Don White, who lives in Oshawa and was featured last week in a CBC memorial video, reading a letter he'd sent home to his mother in Oshawa in 1945: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1637898819661/
"Now 96 years old and living in Oshawa, Ont., Trooper Donald White was just 16 when he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Dragoons in 1939. He served in the Second World War, fighting in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.
A prolific letter writer, he chose to read a portion of a letter he sent home to his parents on April 17, 1945 — just a few days after he took part in the liberation of Leeuwarden in the Netherlands.
In his letter, he talks about the euphoria of entering the town after liberating it"
At last week's Special Council meeting, members of Council reviewed the proposed update to the Oshawa Strategic Plan, first deciding on the title "OUR PLAN FOR SUCCESS". Next were line-by-line suggestions and votes, Council members making amendments with many word changes, deleting some and adding other lines and phrases. At the end of the meeting I added a direction to staff that was unanimously supported: that the public be encouraged to provide pictures forming part of the document, which will be printed and online in the new 2020-2023 Oshawa Strategic Plan. Here's a link to the 2015-2019 where you can see the pictures that formed part of that document, which might help generate ideas for ones to submit for the 2020-2024 Plan. https://www.oshawa.ca/.../resources/OSP_Access_2015_2019.pdf
Below is a copy of the cover of the current 2015-2019 Oshawa Strategic Plan. Consider, with the upcoming call out to the public for new photos to be included in the updated 2020-2023 Oshawa Strategic Plan a recent picture you have taken, or may want to take, could be on the cover or published inside the soon to be revised to "OUR PLAN FOR SUCCESS" document.
Standing among the over 1,000 Oshawa residents who attended Memorial Park on the 11th hour, the 11th day, the 11th month, to pay tribute to Canada's war veterans.
Although a cold morning, with wet snow falling throughout the ceremony, the hour long event was a very HEARTWARMING experience...with fine speeches from guest speakers from the 193 Ontario Regiment Cadets, the Salvation Army and Oshawa Mayor Carter, Deputy Mayor Chapman, Oshawa MP Carrie, MPP French, Regional Councillor Marimpietri on behalf of the Region Chair, Reverend Parker from the Columbus Community United Church, all honouring the memory of those who 'gave up their tomorrows for our todays'...and the Salvation Army band; and the Cadet band, the Bugle Taps solo; the rifle volley.
At the conclusion, it was touching to witness up close the wreaths laid at the Cenotaph and the many people on their way home, who paused to add their own poppy pins on the boxwood hedge and on the wreaths and pay personal respect.
Oshawa staff presented their proposed 2020 Budget to Council yesterday morning. With a $3.16 million increase in the tax levy over the 2019 approved budget, it represents a proposed 2.16% tax levy increase on the City's portion of the Oshawa property tax bills.
Taking time from going over pages in the Operating and Capital Budget binders to try drafting info-graphics of some details. See my first info-graphic below:
Durham Region Non Profit Housing Corporation (DRNPHC) new pilot mircohome container in Oshawa, is in the parking lot on Albert St. between King St. E. and Athol St. E....Patti Bell , Executive Director gave me and a couple acquaintances a tour. Ms. Bell would like to raise awareness of the project and would like to give all interested a tour. The DRNPHC currently manages 19 affordable dwellings in various sizes across the Region.
The microhome is something new, a 320 sq.ft... 40 x 8 foot container with 9 foot ceilings. The DRNPHC bought it and finished the interior. Pictures of the interior are posted below. The containers can be stacked up to 9 units high. The one on display has an accessible washroom, an accessible ramp, and a combo clothes washer/dryer. If you would like to schedule a walk though email firstname.lastname@example.org
This one container is a pilot project to gauge the public's response. There is no commitment where they would go...and if DRNPHC were to go ahead with this project they would be rentals. Below is the DRNPHC breakdown of costs.
The interior has many upgrades that would not be standard. It is very narrow...consider 8 feet wide -take away say 6 inches for insulation and drywall....7 1/2 feet..
By the way that is Hubert Schillings of the White Feather Farms in a couple of the pictures...he had just finished dropping of chickens at the nearby St. Vincents Durham Outlook for the Needy, which he regularly does ...we got to talking on the sidewalk and then I invited him to come along on the tour, with Jeff Davis too who I'd run into at the Downtown Oshawa BIA Annual General Meeting just beforehand...so with the DRNPHC Executive Director, there were four of us inside. It seemed kind of tight...long, but narrow. I believe the expectation is they are only expected to be living quarters for one person. The patio door cutout at the side helps to make it feel more open. Behind the white door in the picture is the washroom.
HOPA - Hamilton & Oshawa Ports: Ian Hamilton, President and CEO of the amalgamated Port Authorities made a presentation to a City of Oshawa Working Group yesterday.
He and Larissa Fenn, Director of Public Affairs, both spoke with sincerity and passion and about the plan:
to develop what has been an underutilized Port in Oshawa into one which Oshawa residents can be proud of;
to collaborate with economic and development teams at the City and Region of Durham to ensure not only HOPA's operations in Oshawa are transparent, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and a huge vibrant economic driver for the area; but also to ensure commitment to communication and have the best Port-City relationship in the Country!
They spelled out priorities moving forward, the need to invest $15 - $20 million out of the gate, with focus on:
1. Road access
2. Extending the dock wall to allow two ships to load or unload concurrently
4. Improve lighting
Beginning this week a survey of the Oshawa portlands
and an facility maintenance audit are underway..
After outreach in the past couple months to many City staff, Council members, agriculture and industry stakeholders, and private citizens knowledgeable about the harbour and its history, they stated their understanding of what issues are important to stakeholders:
HOPA has applied for funds split on a 50-50 basis between the Federal government and the Hamilton Port Authority's own reserves.
The Solio agricultural grain silo/elevator at the Oshawa harbour is the next big development for the Durham agricultural community. Crop farmers will no longer have to truck grain to Hamilton or Port Colborne.
In Hamilton they started with a single Silo ten years ago and have seen it grow to a Billion dollar agricultural industry.
The also spoke of engaging the community, having walking tours, boat tours, announced they will have a display at the upcoming Oshawa Downtown Business Improvement Area 'Merry and Bright' festival November 15 and 16th. Also they showed pictures of the interface where the portlands come right against the city of Hamilton parkland, where they have done landscaping, fences and murals 'to soften the interface'. They plan to introduce such measures here, so the public can see and appreciate living in a Port city.
For anyone to think there are CHALLENGES building a new home with these basic accessible/visitable features 1) level front entry (no steps/ramp is needed 2) wider doorways 3) accessible washroom Think Again!...The CHALLENGES faced by those who live with a disability are Far Greater....Consider suddenly not being able to live in your own home or not being able to visit family because of barriers to entry and getting to a washroom.
Why are there no accessible new houses built-ready on the market? Why are they only available if you can wait and pay for one to be customized?
The fact is, all new houses being constructed in our City today are "inaccessible". This is a problem and action addressing it is long overdue.
Some key statements copied from the attachments included in the handout to the Building Industry Liaison Team (BILT) yesterday are:
"Designers and builders must talk to and work with as many people with disabilities as possible. ..Visitable housing is an approach to house design that promotes the inclusion of a basic level of accessibility into all housing, and enables everyone to get in and out of the house and be able to use a bathroom on the entrance level.The concept of "visitability" is one of the simplest and most economical approaches to universal design that can address homeowners' and community needs over time, contributing to a more flexible and sustainable built environment."
"Single-family housing is largely unaffected by accessibility requirements. Building codes include barrier-free design requirements for public buildings, however, they do not force barrier-free requirements on single-family homes. If we build visitable housing today, the future economic benefits will be vast. Given the statistical information that we already know, what an incredible waste of resources if we build homes today, only to have them undergo unnecessary costly modifications IO years later to make them accessible for persons with disabilities."
If you want to understand the issue, I invite you to read some of the attachments presented to BILT members in Oshawa yesterday.
Good meeting today, details below. But a thank you first goes out the Hon. Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility who sent this message in support: "I applaud the work of the Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee in helping us on our journey towards achieving accessibility in Ontario. Everyone in Ontario deserves to live in accessible communities and homes. Removing accessibility barriers is good for everyone – and it means that people with disabilities and seniors can participate in everyday life.”
It's time to find Build-In Accessibility Champions to help new home construction move in this direction. The City of Oshawa is the place to start! Time to tip the first domino!
Oshawa City Hall's lower committee meeting room was packed for the special meeting today between Oshawa City Staff, the Building Liaison Team (BLT) members, and the Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee (OAAC). Pictured here are five OAAC committee members including Chair Lisa Hart, and back left; OAAC policy advisor Lynda Lawson and Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter.
This meeting to discuss building in accessibility features in a portion of new home development projects came about when, at the Sept 30, 2019 Development Services Committee meeting six Council members (being both all members of the Committee, and a majority of Oshawa's 11 member Council) supported the direction by Deputy Mayor Bob Chapman that staff arrange a meeting with BILT
The OAAC is behind the Build-In-Accessibility initiative 100%. Hats off to the Committee members for their commitment to making our community more liveable. Also hats off to developer/builders members of the Building Industry Liaison Team (BILT) attending who tuned in to the opportunity advanced and accessibility goals being promoted for the new housing market in Oshawa
Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee (OAAC) Chair Lisa Hart spoke from the heart to the members of the Building Industry Liaison Team - starting the conversation with builders and developers in Oshawa to raise awareness of the need to build more accessible and visitable housing (new homes with level entrances (no steps, or with ramps) and wider doorways.
It is troubling the lack of awareness of the provincial legislation to remove barriers for people with disabilities, considering that the AODA, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was unanimously passed in 2005! Time to start paying attention.
As Hon. David Onely, Ontario's Lieutenant Governor wrote this year in his Review of the AODA "Every day, in every community in Ontario, people with disabilities encounter formidable barriers to participation in the vast opportunities this province affords its residents – its able-bodied residents ...For most disabled persons, Ontario is not a place of opportunity but one of countless, dispiriting, soul-crushing barriers." https://www.ontario.ca/.../2019-legislative-review...