With Coucillor Gary Crawford
By Gary Crawford
The holiday season is finally upon us and it will certainly be unlike anything we’ve seen before. It has been a challenging year to say the least, but for so many of us this is a time for reflection and gratitude. We may not be able to participate in the usual festivities, but we can still look forward to spending time with loved ones, albeit in the socially distanced capacity to which we’ve all become so accustomed.
Around this time last year, my team and I were working diligently to organize our annual tree lighting ceremony at McCowan District Park. Our efforts paid off as we got to gather with so many of you for a wonderful night of skating, good food and, of course, the lighting of the tree. Unfortunately, we will have to put this tradition on hold until next year, as it just wouldn’t be feasible under the current circumstances. With that being said, outdoor skating will resume at McCowan District Park on November 28th with the necessary health and safety precautions in place.
In lieu of the annual tree lighting, my office has come up with the next best thing. Instead of illuminating McCowan District Park, we have set out with the goal of making the whole ward a lot brighter, but we need your help. I challenge you to wear your Christmas spirit on your sleeve with my first annual holiday house decorating competition. If you think you have what it takes, please send a photo of your house, decorations and all, to email@example.com. We will be accepting nominations until December 11th and will begin collecting votes between December 14th and December 23rd. Prizes will be awarded to the merriest and brightest houses in Scarborough Southwest.
Another socially distanced holiday event not to be missed is the Bluffs Winter Wonderland. This multifaceted drive thru experience offers guests the chance to escape to various North Pole locales, such as Santa’s Workshop and the Enchanted Forest, all in the close proximity of our very own Bluffers Park. This luminous experience runs from November 27th to December 20th, with tickets priced at $25 per vehicle. The event is hosted by Toronto Beaches Lions Club and proceeds will support Feed Scarborough’s four food banks and mobile healthy meal program. For further information on the Bluffs Winter Wonderland, please visit the following webpage: https://www.bluffswinterwonderland.com/
A top of mind issue this season, which my office has already received a few calls about, is the matter of snow removal services. Although the City provides sidewalk snow removal services in Scarborough, many residents also require assistance with removing snow from their private property. I realize it can sometimes be difficult to secure such assistive services and that is why I am glad to share that Access Alliance will be offering a snow removal program to various parts of the City, including Scarborough Southwest. The program will run from November 15th to March 31st at a cost of $20 per hour.
The aim of the program is to support independent living for seniors and individuals who are living with disability through the provision of snow removal assistance. If you require such assistance, please contact Access Alliance by telephone at 416-693-8677 or online at https://accessalliance.ca/contact-us/. This great program would not be possible without people to perform the actual snow shovelling, so if you or someone you know would be willing to support this worthy cause please reach out to Shaheda by telephone at 416 699 7920 Ext.4226 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a more serious note, there has been talk of a prospective second wave for quite some time and now that we are in the midst of such a resurgence we need to take the necessary precautions to minimize its impact. Although COVID-19 may not impact you or your loved ones beyond the inconveniences incurred to your daily lives, it has had a devastating and detrimental effect on so many others. Our collective actions will determine the severity and duration of this second wave, so please remember to be empathetic and considerate of those individuals in the choices you make.
As always, please feel free to contact my office with any issues or concerns. We are always happy to help.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!