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PG 13

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012

Affordable housing, youth shelter proposed

Richmond Hill dad Alexes Barillas Zuniga talks about struggles to find connections and balance while raising children in Canada at a new parenting program aimed at fathers and grandfathers.


An application to build a new 10-storey, 225-unit affordable housing project has been brought to the town. To be located on Yonge Street, just north of Crosby Avenue, the application by Housing York Inc. asks council to permit a mixed-use, high-density residential development, which would include facilities for Pathways for Children, Youth and Families. If approved, the Pathway facility would feature a youth centre, emergency and transitional housing, plus administrative offices. While in its early stages and with two public meetings on the project set for this fall, two councillors gave thumbs up to the plan. “We have a desperate need for affordable housing across York Region,” Regional Councillor Brenda Hogg said. “This development is a good step toward meeting those needs, but it will barely scratch the surface. There are now about 6,500 families on the region’s affordable housing waiting list, she added. “Richmond Hill is a great place to raise a family and more people should have that opportunity,” said Ward 2 Councillor Carmine Perrelli, in whose ward the project is to be built. A previous Pathways youth shelter, also in Ward 2 on Centre Street East, was rejected because it was too far from public transit, he said. “This location is far superior to the original residential location,” Mr. Perrelli said. “The See ‘COMPATIBILITY’, page 5.

905-881-3373 881-3373


Partnership Parenting hones in on dads BY KIM ZARZOUR

There’s nothing like pizza and parenting to bring folks together. Ed Bader, a parenting educator and Thornhill grandfather, has just placed a platter of pizza in the middle of the meeting room and the cheesy goodness seems to have opened the floodgates. Fathers, mothers and grandparents tuck into the slices while they tap into shared experiences raising children. Clara Mazanegos, a newcomer from Guatemala, talks about how she deals with isolation, raising her two-year-old in a city

without friends or extended family. Markham resident Paul Au compares child-rearing in Canada to Hong Kong, where multiple generations are involved. Nellie and Amin Jutha, of Aurora, share the struggles they’ve encountered trying to parent as a team with each other and their own parents. And Alexes Barillas Zuniga, of Richmond Hill, recalls the time he lost his daughter in the mall and, later, after she was home, safe and asleep, weeping with remorse, wondering if he was doing this whole parenting thing right. It’s something most parents wonder and

Mr. Bader hopes this parenting program will help, especially since he will be tapping into an increasingly important resource: the experience and wisdom of grandparents. Partnership Parenting is his unique new program offered free across York Region to help families — newcomers, fathers and grandfathers in particular. And it begins with Mr. Bader’s theory, “if you feed them, they will come”. It’s only partly tongue in cheek. In these busy, scattered times, he has found food is often the thing that draws a community See MEN, page 13.


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It’s time to put up or shut up about electric cars. I admit I am a skeptic about pure electric cars as the road to the future. In certain circumstances such as inner city environments – yes; but in the real world of regular daily commutes — no. Tested here is the 2012 Ford Focus Electric or more properly BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), which is just like any other Focus except there is no engine, gas tank and zero, and I mean zero, emissions. Outwardly, it is identical to a standard Focus and so is most of the standard equipment. Instead of an engine and gas tank, it has a 107-kW electric motor and a 23-kWh lithium-ion battery and a 6.6 kW onboard charger. The battery is both heated and cooled to cope with weather extremes. Ford in Michigan makes the battery in partnership with LG Chem. Together, power is rated at 143 hp and 184 lb/ft of torque. Ford claims it has a range of up to 160 km and top speed is 136 km/h with a one-speed transmission driving the front wheels. It comes equipped with a special hand-held five-prong plug and a 10-foot electric cord with a grounded three-prong plug at the other end that goes into any standard 110-volt outlet. Located on the left front fender, the charge port activates a light ring that illuminates the port twice when plugged in. Flashing quadrants rep-

Jim Robinson resent charge in progress and solidlit quadrants show stages of charge completion. The Electric was delivered to my home on a flatbed truck, a rather dubious beginning, but the rationale being it was fully charged and ready to go as a courtesy. On the main instrument cluster there is a depiction of the battery showing full at the top and empty at the bottom. As power is consumed, the level goes down and shows roughly how many kilometers remain based on the way the car is being driven at the time. You can add kms by braking and, as I was to find out, by coasting downhill. The big issue with pure electric cars is “range anxiety”, which simply means do I have enough juice to make it to where I’m going or will I be stranded in the middle of nowhere or on a busy street? The other issue is charge time.


Outwardly, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric looks the same as any other Focus, but inside is a battery-charged electric motor that — with careful driving — lets you drive right by fuel pumps. On at standard 110-volt system 12 hours or more is common. Ford does offer a 240-volt charging station that is claimed to lower the charge time to something like four hours, but costs $1,599 and has to be installed by the Geek Squad from Best Buy. On my first trip around town I covered 80.1 km and used 12.7 kW. The display showed the battery down about 40 per cent. According to the supplementary readout, it was going to take 8.1 hours to recharge. Plugging in inside our Richmond Hill garage at 8 p.m. to take advantage of off-peak power rates,

it was fully charged when I went out to check at 8 a.m. the next day. That was quite acceptable, as getting around town and having it ready to go the next day is probably the main use this car will see. But what about going to the limit, ergo about 141-145 km as shown on the battery graphic when fully charged? The next day I drove north on primarily two-lane highways averaging about 70-80 km/h which was the rate of the flow of traffic. With 71 km remaining, I decided to turn around and return. As I drove south, it showed 58 km left in the battery. To my horror,

I realized I was probably still about 45-50 km away from home. The longer you brake, not how hard, puts more regenerative power in the battery. I was recapturing 1-2 km this way but it still looked like it was going to be close. Being in a hilly moraine region, I’d gingerly accelerate up hills and then coast down the other side. This was good for another 1-2 km. I probably irked a lot of drivers behind me but it sure worked. By the time I got home there was still 21 km in the battery. My combined total driving that day was 124.0 km. I was shocked to see the summary readout say it was going to take 18.9 hours to recharge. I plugged in at 8 p.m. and at 8 a.m. the next day three quadrants were solid and the fourth was flashing. Six hours later, it was all topped up. I’m guessing it took about 13 to 14 hours to fully charge. The Canadian price is $41,199. Provincial rebates of up to $8,500 in Ontario lower the price to $32,696. That’s still pretty pricey for a car that can’t get you realistically beyond 130-140 km in 24 hours. On the other hand, judicious use makes the Ford Focus Electric a practical family car that never needs to stop for a fuel pump again. With fuel costs ever rising, that alone makes the Focus Electric a viable motive alternative and me much less skeptical.

3, The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012

The shocking truth about Ford’s Electric Focus

CAA car charging station gives electric vehicles jolt BY KIM ZARZOUR

CAA South Central Ontario has installed the vehicle charging post in the parking lot of the association’s head office at 60 Commerce Valley Dr. E. in Thornhill.

Cars that are emission-free just got one step closer to being worry-free in York Region with a new charging station located in Thornhill near Hwy. 7. CAA South Central Ontario has installed the vehicle charging post in the parking lot of the association’s head office at 60 Commerce Valley Dr. E. Electric vehicle owners can charge up at no cost on the dual level II charger installed this summer by Siemens Canada. Teresa Di Felice, the CAA director of government and community relations, hopes it will reassure those considering buying an electric car that the infrastructure will be there to keep the vehicles on the road. “Alternative fuel vehicles help reduce the impact of driving on the environment. Having our own electric vehicle shows our members we are leading the way in accepting new technologies,” Ms Di Felice said. Located in an business industrial area near Hwy. 404, the charger will provide peace of mind to drivers who attend meetings in the area, she said.

There are about seven publicly available chargers in York Region, she said. A map provided by Plug’nDrive Ontario, which is in process of being updated, includes locations at Maple Nissan in Vaughan, Richmond Hill town hall, Markham Mitsubishi, Richmond Hill Mitsubishi, Windfall Ecology Centre and NewRoads Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC. An app is being created to help drivers find locations across the country with the help of the CAA, Plug’nDrive and Electric Mobility Canada. The South Central Ontario head office has also added a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle to its corporate fleet to be used by employees for corporate events, conferences and off-site meetings. A blog, Life-side Connections on the association’s website, helps electric car drivers understand what it’s like to drive an alternative vehicle, while CAA Insurance offers a 5-per-cent discount to policy holders who own an electric vehicle or a hybrid. For more information on electric vehicles and a map showing publicly available charging stations, visit

Your community. Your choice. The Richmond Hill Liberal is on the lookout for the top businesses in Richmond Hill, and once again, you’re going to help us find them. Every year, our readers cast their votes for their favourite businesses. From restaurants to travel agencies, pet grooming to private schools, grocery stores to landscaping companies, and everything in between, this is your opportunity to let Richmond Hill’s diverse business community — as well as every household — know which local retailers and service providers are leading the pack. Our annual roster of winners will be showcased in a special edition of the newspaper in January, 2013.


Voting begins soon Look for the ballot in your Richmond Hill Liberal.







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The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 4

Attend breakfast of champions for commuting tips Smart Commute Markham, Richmond Hill presents the second annual Breakfast of Champions Sept. 12. Interested in sustainable transportation solutions for your business and employees? Already part of the Smart Commute program and want to kick it up a notch? Come to the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel, Markham Room, for a morning breakfast meeting of networking and idea sharing. The free event runs from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and includes a hot breakfast, guest speakers sharing success stories and ways to solve challenges, plus tips on saving money and engaging employees in commuting programs.

Smart Commute Markham, Richmond Hill is a not-for-profit sustainability program of the municipalities of Markham and Richmond Hill, York Region and Metrolinx. It helps local employers and commuters explore different commuting choices such as carpooling, cycling and transit. The goal is to ease gridlock, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making everyone’s commute less expensive and more enjoyable. The hotel is at 600 Hwy. 7 E. in Richmond Hill. Register by e-mail to

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RICHMOND HILL THE LIBERAL your community newspaper since 1878



Speed limits likely to drop on regional roads Slow down, York Region drivers. A total of 19 regional roads will have new, mostly slower, speed limits, if a new set of revisions proposed Wednesday get the green light from council Sept. 20. Aside from one recommendation, to increase the speed limit along one stretch of Mount Albert Road in East Gwillimbury, all revisions will see reduced speeds across the region’s road network. According to a staff report, the changes are a result of routine investigations, which are generally initiated by requests from the public, members of council or proactively as part of ongoing monitoring of roadways. The changes are:

RICHMOND HILL • Leslie Street: reduced to 60 km/h from 70 km/h, John Street to Elgin Mills Road and 19th Avenue to Stouffville Road • Yonge Street: reduced to 60 km/h from 70 km/h, Devonsleigh Boulevard to Gamble Road • Yonge Street: reduced to 60 km/h from 80 km/h, Gamble to Old Colony roads.

VAUGHAN • Jane Street: reduced to 60 km/r from 70 km/h, Steeles Avenue to Major Mackenzie Drive • Keele Street: reduced to 60 km/h from 70 km/h, Langstaff Road to Alberta Drive • Langstaff Road: reduced to 60 km/h from 70 km/h, Keele to Dufferin streets • Weston Road: reduced to 60 km/h from 70

km/h, Steeles Avenue to Rutherford Road • Weston Road: reduced to 60 km/h from 80 km/h, Major Mackenzie Drive to Teston Road.

MARKHAM • Major Mackenzie Drive: reduced to 70 km/h from 80 km/h, Glenbourne Park Drive to Hwy. 48 • McCowan Road: reduced to 60 km/h from 70 km/h, Steeles to 14th avenues and Carlton Road to 16th Avenue • McCowan Road: reduced to 60 km/h from 80 km/h, 16th Avenue to Major Mackenzie. AURORA • Wellington Street: reduced to 70 km/h from 80 km/h, Bayview Avenue to Hwy. 404 • Yonge Street: reduced to 60 km/h from 80 km/h, Bloomington Road to Industrial Parkway. EAST GWILLIMBURY • Mount Albert Road: increased to 60 km/h from 50 km/h, Leslie Street to 305 metres east of Leslie Street • Mount Albert Road: reduced to 60 km/h from 80 km/h, 656 metres west of Woodbine Avenue to Woodbine Avenue. GEORGINA • Black River Road: reduced to 70 km/h from 80 km/h, Queen Street to Park Road. KING • King Road: reduced to 50 km/h from 60 km/h, Hwy. 27 to 8th Concession Road. - Tiffany Hsieh



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This former car lot on Yonge Street just north of Crosby is the site of a proposed affordable apartment building and Pathways youth shelter. Genesis Place apartments can be seen in the background.

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cost to build was not affordable and the operational costs were not sustainable. “I look forward to working with Pathways and the region on the details of operating the shelter, to ensure safety for the youth and compatibility with the neighborhood.” That neighbourhood houses car dealerships and commercial uses, with Genesis Place non-profit apartments just east of the proposed site. The Yonge location has access to transit, shops, parks and schools, Ms Hogg noted. “We need to integrate affordable housing into our community if it is

COUNCILLOR CARMINE PERRELLI: ‘Far superior to original residential location’.

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REGIONAL COUNCILLOR BRENDA HOGG: ‘We need to integrate affordable housing into community’. to help families and singles build their lives and contribute to everyone’s quality of life,” she said. “This apartment building will accommodate a range of needs, including employment counselling and training.” The first public meeting is Sept. 26, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Richmond Hill Central Library, hosted by York Region. The town’s public meeting is Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers, during which you can address council about the project. No final decision on the project will be made at either public meeting.

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EDITORIAL 905-881-3373 Fax: 905-881-9924 DISTRIBUTION 905-660-9887 50 East Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON, L4B 1G6

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York Region Media Group community newspapers The Liberal, published every Thursday and Saturday, is a division of the Metroland Media Group Ltd., a whollyowned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation. The Metroland family of newspapers is comprised of 100 community publications across Ontario. The York Region Media Group includes The Liberal, serving Richmond Hill and Thornhill, Vaughan Citizen, Markham Economist & Sun, Newmarket Era, Aurora Banner, Stouffville SunTribune, Georgina Advocate, Bradford-West Gwillimbury Topic, North of the City, beingwell and

LETTERS POLICY All submissions must be less than 400 words and include a daytime telephone number, name and address. The Liberal reserves the right to publish or not publish and to edit for clarity and space. Write: Letters to the Editor, The Liberal, 50 East Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON, L4B 1G6 or e-mail to Ontario Press Council


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Don’t mess with LCBO success CLASSIFIED

Serving Richmond Hill and Thornhill since 1878

Re: It’s time for corner store liquor, editorial, Aug. 16. I found your arguments for putting liquor and beer in corner stores to be short-sighted and narrowly conceived. Yes, the province makes a profit from the LCBO. However, the province has a $15-billion deficit. To kill the LCBO would add $1.5 billion annually, leading to an increase in taxes for everyone. Secondly, the argument that corner store owners are responsible is pretty weak. We have seen how responsible some stores have been in scamming the lottery corporation for decades and now you want to give them alcohol? They can hardly police the selling of tobacco to minors. The LCBO is the one of the largest purchasers of alcohol in the world. As such, it can leverage suppliers for lower rates on spirits. It has some of the lowest purchasing costs in the world. Having individual stores and chains trying to negotiate with suppliers will lead to less choice at higher prices. You state there has been no increase in sales of alcohol to minors in Alberta. You fail to mention the increase in crime and number of armed robberies of convenience stores selling alcohol. The Fraser Institute reports Calgary witnessed an increase in shoplifting and

commercial robberies corresponding with the privatization of liquor stores, along with an increase in drinking and driving offences and alcohol-related domestic disputes. The institute noted: “The bulk of empirical studies generally support our hypothesis that unrestricted free markets increase alcohol consumption while public monopolies restrict consumption.” Finally, the LCBO does a fantastic job managing this business. Limiting the number of stores limits options for people with drinking problems and both Brewers and the LCBO have demonstrated an efficacy in this area. Their stores are clean, well stocked with a great variety of products, offer good hours and friendly and knowledgeable staff. Privatization will lead to higher prices, less choice, more taxes, greater availability for people at risk, a probable increase in drinking and driving and domestic disputes and sketchy operators in charge of a potentially harmful drug. But we’ll be able to buy our potato chips at the same time.


Editor’s note: The editorial didn’t advocate for the demise of the LCBO, but that convenience stores should also be permitted to sell beer and wine.

Compassion can stop more from falling behind t’s amazing how many people think there isn’t poverty in our region,” says York Region anti-poverty advocate Kristine Carbis. “Making people aware there are people without life’s basic needs is part of what keeps me going.” The single mother volunteers with unrivalled passion and optimism to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty, even though she, herself, struggles to get by on a meagre disability allowance. She’s right, too many aren’t aware of the need in our community. I’m not suggesting we don’t know times are tough for some families and individuals; but what we don’t know is the depth — the starkness — of the real poverty in our communities and province. But a report released last week by the province’s unions and more than 90 community groups and non-profit organizations may have popped the bubble in which some of us had been living. Thousands of Ontarians spend sleepless night knowing if they pay the rent or mortgage, they won’t be


Debora Kelly able to feed their children. Nearly 400,000 Ontario children live in poverty, while 40 per cent of Ontarians struggle to get by with incomes that have stagnated or declined for more than a decade. Our province ranks dead last in Canada for equality and social welfare. The Ontario Common Front report, called Falling Behind, documents the devastating impact of government cuts to jobs and public services by tracking indicators such as the wage gap, hours of work, hospital beds,

tuition fees, poverty rates, support for seniors, access to affordable housing, disability support and wait lists for community services. During the Liberal government’s reign, Ontario Disability Support and Ontario Works recipients have seen the spending power of their subpoverty income decline nearly 60 per cent. In its last budget, the Dalton McGuinty government increased social assistance rates by less than the rate of inflation and cut programs. The report criticizes the federal and provincial governments for policies that have pushed so many citizens to the edge of the poverty line in favour of corporate tax cuts. Any political agenda aside, the report underlines the message that people like Kristine have been telling us: If we work together to make a difference, we will be stronger and healthier — as a community, as families and individuals. We need to elect governments that won’t wastefully spend our tax money or use it to benefit corporations over hungry children and adults. And while our governments have a

responsibility to help citizens unable to access the necessities of life without assistance, despite the economy, so, too, do we. We need to continue to volunteer and try to dig a bit deeper to support our community charities. It doesn’t take much for me to realize how much I have to be grateful for these days. A man sits on the sidewalk outside my bank branch, begging for coins. At the grocery store, I bump into a friend who tells me her husband has lost his job after decades with the same company. There but for the grace of God go I. And I think of Kristine, who, despite her own challenges that would bow most others, thinks only of the people who are worse off than she is. “I love people and if there is any way I can help make their lives better, I’m going to do it,” she says. “I love what I’m doing and hope I can inspire others to take on a cause.” We may be dead last in Canada for equality and social welfare, but being first in compassion and caring for those in need is the way to stop more of us from falling behind.

A Kadampa Buddhist Meditation program will start Monday, Sept. 10 in Richmond Hill with a focus on stress. For five weeks, every Monday night from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the non-profit organization will present meditation programs to promote stress-free living. Learn to identify the inner causes of


The final witness in the 12-day Ontario Municipal Board hearing on the observatory mediated settlement was heard Thursday Planner Lindsay Dale-Harris, retained by Corsica, which owns the David Dunlap Observatory lands, which are north of 16th Avenue along Bavyiew Avenue, was grilled at length by a lawyer for the Richmond Hill Naturalists, the only group opposing a multi-party settlement hammered out in April through OMB mediation. Ms Dale-Harris was questioned by Virginia MacLean on her areas of expertise, past experience with any heritage properties and even on the definitions of planning documents and procedures.

THICK STACK OF PAPERS However, when Ms MacLean’s line of questioning seemed to imply that public submissions from residents objecting to the development of the observatory property were ignored and showed a stack of papers about one inch thick, Corsica lawyer David Bronskill showed his impatience. “I have an issue with the tone [of the questioning] suggesting there is something deliberate and we have done something wrong,” said Mr. Bronskill. “I have no problem with this evidence being admitted, but these are comments made before the mediated settlement.” He was referring to the April deal agreed to by the Town of Richmond Hill, Corsica, the David Dunlap Defenders and two other parties, which would see 530 homes built on the property instead of the initial 830, and also the western portion of about 99 acres donated to the town by Corsica. PUBLIC PROCESS When Ms MacLean asked Ms Dale-Harris if members of the public were attending Thursday’s hearing, Ms Dale-Harris said there were and noted, “I know the whole process has been public and in newspapers and on

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websites”. When Ms MacLean asked about a specific letter concerning traffic concerns written in January 2011, Mr. Bronskill again objected. “I have been very tolerant, but I will be objecting,” he warned, stating the letter referred to issues on the old development proposal, not the current settlement. Even the chairperson of the OMB, Karlene Hussey, spoke up, noting that “the public procedure is set out, I want to make clear — the public is certainly not excluded”. Ms MacLean asked Ms Dale-Harris numerous questions concerning Corsica’s promise to maintain the heritage buildings, including the famed telescope. “Is maintenance required for the administration building and the other buildings including the telescope?” asked Ms MacLean. “The settlement agreement talks about preservation ... and best efforts to maintain and repair them in good condition,” replied Ms Dale-Harris, reading from documents.

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LIGHT POLLUTION Light pollution from new homes to be constructed on the observatory site was also a line of questioning. “Is it good planning to put subdivision homes north of the telescope knowing there is an impact?” asked Ms MacLean. “Yes,” replied Ms Dale-Harris, “given controls that can be imposed through a subdivision agreement”. When cross-examined by Corsica lawyer Mr. Bronskill about the terms of settlement and what lands would be granted to the town and what will be developed for housing, Ms Dale-Harris summarized, “at the end of the day, 40 hectares will be public land as compared to the original plan”. The Naturalists object to the settlement, saying it does not comply with provincial conservation and heritage policies and the site should be preserved in its entirety. Final summations will be heard when the OMB hearing reconvenes Monday morning at 9:30.

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stress, how we can practically calm our mind and start to experience the life without stress we long for. Classes are held at the Richmond Hill Central Library, 1 Atkinson St. Training in meditation will be provided at the beginning and the end of the discussion; nominal fee of $10 per session or $40 pass for five. For more information visit or call 416-762-8033.

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The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 8

Youth inject new blood into Thornhill festival Richmond Hill organizer brings modern tools to job BY KIM ZARZOUR

It’s 9 p.m. on Tuesday night and Dustin Bevin is knee-deep in documents. Five local maps are open on his desktop along with 15 spreadsheets, a stack of email messages, web pages and “all the latest, greatest tools” for community event planning. Not far away, also in Thornhill, his buddy Shawn Sussman is also home from work, wading through festival emails and text messages, arranging for aerial photos and eco-friendly transit options. In his Richmond Hill condominium, Michael Shalit is fine-tuning the event’s new content management system and responding to Facebook queries. Welcome to the new and improved Thornhill Village Festival. This is not your Gramma’s town fair. Nine days from now, Thornhill’s popular annual event gets under way on Yonge Street with the usual marching bands, pony rides, midway, food and fun. But chances are, you’ll notice some changes. You’ll be able to buy tickets online, for example, park your bike for free, or check out happenings on Facebook or the brand new web page. The festival, which nearly died a few years ago due to lack of volunteers and scheduling difficulty, has been reinvigorated with a

new group of volunteers with a new group of ideas. Publicity chair David Rawcliffe considers them “young’uns”. That’s because Mr. Rawcliffe, like most of the festival’s organizers, have been around a long time, and he is thrilled to see the festival getting a new lease on life with help from “the younger folk”. It’s time, he says, to turn over the reins. “We’re getting old. It’s as simple as that,” he says with a laugh. Mr. Rawcliffe, who has helped with the festival since 1984, said the event, a project of the Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill, has been held together for many years by a core group of volunteers, “really great people who worked very hard”, but those organizers are making way for the next generation. “At some point, we need to be passing over the reins,” he says. “This is the youngest infusion in many a long year. “They have an eagerness and we want to channel it. It will change the tone, help the event evolve, and that’s what you want.” Leading the vanguard is Shawn Sussman, a 29-year-old audio engineer and newly appointed committee chairperson. He was in a band that performed at the festival and when he read a story in The Liberal outlining the precarious future of the event, he decided to help with music and staging. “I just wanted to make sure we had a good

gig,” he recalls. But as time went on, he helped out more. “I realized I had my opportunity, played there for years. Now it was time to give others the opportunity.” When his friends started talking about how they’d like to improve the festival, he suggested they put their ideas to work, too. “It was the beer garden they were interested in, to be honest with you,” he laughs. Word spread and last year, for the first time in many, the festival was not scrambling for volunteers. Today, there’s a core committee of about two dozen people, as well as a contingent of volunteers who help on the day of the event, and a sense that the beloved old festival has new legs. Dustin Revin, 35, came on board in May. He helped arrange for tickets to be sold online in advance, at a discount through WagJag, and is in charge of entertainment on Yonge Street. He has attended the event since 1986 and his band, the Brittannia Pub House Band, will perform this year at the CIBC parking lot beer garden. He says volunteering with the festival is a welcome, happier activity to balance out his sometimes “heavy” duties as a bailiff, or repo man, that is his full-time job. “It’s a feel-good thing, a nice contrast for me,” he says. “No matter who you speak to, everyone has been to the festival.” Michael Shalit, 29, is the festival’s webmas-

GOOD TO KNOW WHAT: 36th annual Thornhill Village Festival WHEN: Sept. 15, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. WHERE: on both sides of Yonge and side streets of historic Thornhill (near Yonge and Centre Street) COST: $5 adults, $3 seniors, $3 teens, free children 12 and under or anyone in full heritage costume INFO: or on Facebook ter and helps with operations. He’s hopeful more young people will lend a hand to ensure the event will be around for the long run. With the new “youthful” outlook comes new, modern ideas, more social media and young, local bands; there’s even talk, for next year, of incorporating a Taste of Thornhill to showcase the variety of food available in old Thornhill. This is not just a fall festival that highlights the history of a venerable village, but a way to bring the whole community together, Mr. Sussman says. “In your youth, you’re preoccupied with friends and your own life and don’t necessarily think much about the community,” he says. But when you head to the beer garden or to watch the festival parade, “all of a sudden, the sense of community is front and centre.”

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The annual meeting of the Learning Disabilities Association of York Region aims to



help and inspire families coping with learning disabilities. The free meeting with guest speaker Melissa Rowbotham will take place Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the association’s Richmond Hill offices. Ms Rowbotham will discuss links between mental health and learning disabilities, including risk factors and resiliency. As manager of community education and engagement of the Integra Foundation, she is dedicated to helping children and adolescents who experience social, emotional, and behavioural problems related to their Learning Disabilities. The workshop will explore possible areas of overlap between learning disabilities and mental health issues such as anxiety, mood issues, ADHD/executive functioning deficits and behavioural challenges. She will outline strategies to boost selfesteem and promote wellness for youth with learning disabilities. The workshop and 36th annual general meeting will be held at 11181 Yonge St., Richmond Hill. For more information, visit or e-mail or phone 905-8847933 ext. 23.

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The latest Queen for a Day winner is Donna Houle, a longtime resident of Richmond Hill and a dedicated elementary school secretary in the area for many years. She was nominated by Marina Di Girolamo who wrote: “She has put on countless bandaids, wiped a million tears, applied thousands of ice cubes on bruised knees, always with an infectious smile and comforting words. “Donna is the first one called when lunches are forgotten, clothes are soiled and tummy aches erupt. She has touched the lives of thousands of children and their families over the years and she is so deserving of the wonderful recognition” through the Queen for a Day countdown contest. As part of her prize package, Ms Houle will receive tickets to the Queen for a Day; The Musical, running Sept. 26 through Oct. 7 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Based on the first-ever reality show of the 1950s and 1960s, it’s a musical comedy inspired by true stories and filled with songs, laughs, and the original charm of reality TV. Most shows will star Canadian Alan Thicke. To nominate someone deserving in the Queen for a Day countdown contest or order tickets to the show, visit


9, The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012

Queen contest winner ‘touched lives of thousands’


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The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 10 NS

Driving me crazy - coping with teen behind the wheel What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done as a parent? For me, it’s adapting to being a passenger or observer to my daughter behind the wheel of a car, nervous about her driving on roads alongside drivers who may not be quite as vigilant as she is. On a general rather than personal level, I’ve always been bewildered by the fact 16-year-olds are eligible to operate a potentially dangerous piece of machinery. With one small distraction or error, lives can be lost. In fact, motor vehicle crashes, according to American stats (found at, are the number one killer of teenagers. At 16, an age when the brain is still developing, the law dictates teenagers are capable of making split-second, life-and-death decisions while driving, but are still years away being allowed to vote. And how is it that the same law makers consider it best for teenagers to wait until 19 to consume alcohol? I have heard rumours that the age for driving may jump to 18, and I’d welcome this, but the cynics among us may wonder if car manufacturers and insurers might

Sara Dimerman Parenting column fight this change. After all, 16 year olds, or their parents, pay high insurance premiums for the privilege of driving a car. When my daughter turned 16, I was relieved that she wasn’t all that eager to jump into driving. In fact, even though she obtained her G1 at 17, and completed her in-class lessons soon after, she continued with a slow, steady and sporadic series of incar lessons for years until she felt completely confident behind the wheel. Last month, at 20, she was granted her G2. I think with all her training, she is a technically bet-

ter driver than me. She has even pointed out a few things to me I had forgotten. However, through no fault of her own, and despite reminders that she wouldn’t have been granted her licence if she wasn’t competent, I still have my right foot on an imaginary brake when she is driving me anywhere, I still grip the handle above the window and feel the urge to close my eyes as she is turning left at a busy intersection. Guiltily, I know I am more of a hindrance than a help. I know that when I’m nervous and giving off those vibes in the car, she is going to feel tense, too, but I can’t seem to help myself. I have reminded her on several occasions that this has nothing to do with her – she has persevered and earned her rightful position behind the wheel. But give me a break – after all, wasn’t it only yesterday she was learning how to ride a bicycle? Despite my emotional reaction, I am thrilled that she has learned how to drive – and at an age when she is more mature, less of a risk taker and better at deci-

sion making. Driving is an important life skill and will make her life easier when she one day has kids to car pool or simply wants the luxury and independence of getting from one place to another without relying on us. Mostly, I appreciate her patience as I work towards becoming a better passenger. It can’t be easy for her to under-

stand how hard it is for me, as her parent, to watch the car that she is driving turn the corner and drive away until it is no longer in my sight. Thornhill’s Sara Dimerman is an individual, couple and family therapist and the author of three books - ‘Am I A Normal Parent?’, ‘Character Is the Key’ and ‘How can I be your Lover when I’m too Busy being your Mother?’ Visit

Columnist panelist at play premiere On Thursday, Sept. 27, Liberal parenting columnist Sara Dimerman will participate with other guest panelists at a Nightwood Theatre special event, hosted at Tarragon Theatre. Following the 8 p.m. performance of the world premiere of the play Between the Sheets, written by Jordi Mand and directed by Kelly Thornton, panelists including CBC parenting columnist Diane Flacks will participate in a discussion and question and answer session on many of the hot button issues in the play.

These include infidelity, relationships, parenting and stressors on women, in particular. The play focuses on an ordinary parent teacher interview and leads to a confrontation between two women; one fighting to protect her family, the other fighting for the family she has always wanted. Tickets range from $13 to $40; for more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 416- 531-1827.

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Gas pipeline to expand through southern York BY L.H. TIFFANY HSIEH

Plans for a proposed gas pipeline south of Hwy. 407 in Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan are moving ahead. Enbridge Inc. announced a $600-million financial commit-

ment for the new GTA pipeline project Thursday. The 22-kilometre pipeline crossing York Region and south to Scarborough is part of two sections totalling 47 km. The expansion will upgrade the existing system that delivers natu-

ral gas to the three southern York municipalities as well as Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga. The last time Enbridge expanded its system in the area was 20 years ago. Since then, the company’s customer base has doubled to 1.9 million.

The company received positive input from residents following three public open houses in York Region earlier this year, said Malini Giridhar, who heads up the project. Despite natural gas leaks and damage to pipelines, Ms Giridhar said most people have no issues with the location of the proposed pipeline after learning a significant portion will be built in a utility

corridor to minimize construction issues. An environmental report is to be completed at the end of the month, she said. Construction is to take place in 2014 and 2015, subject to approval by the Ontario Energy Board. For more information, visit enbridgegas. com/gtaproject

Politicians discuss The Big Move


This diagram shows the portion of proposed gas pipeline to be constructed through Vaughan, Richmond Hill and Markham.

A round table discussion about transportation issues in York Region and the GTA takes place in Richmond Hill Sunday. Organized by Civic Engagement Canada, a volunteer community group, the public event will feature municipal politicians as panelists. Among the participants are Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath and Regional Councillor Gord Landon, Richmond Hill Councillor Godwin Chan, Vaughan Councillor Sandra Rocco and Toronto councillors Chin Lee and Mike Del Grande. The forum will focus on Metrolinx’s regional transporta-

tion plan, known as The Big Move, and the investment strategy that is scheduled to be delivered next year. Discussions will cover municipal transportation development and challenges, investment options, parking surcharges, toll roads, regional sales tax, public-private partnerships, property taxes, capital value assessment and development surcharges. The event is at the Richmond Hill council chamber, 225 East Beaver Creek Rd., from 2 to 4:30 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, e-mail

From page 1.

together. Conversation follows naturally after that. Many new parents, especially those new to Canada and without extended family, feel isolated and overwhelmed, he says. Mothers are more inclined to share those concerns, but dads and grandfathers, not so much. “Women do better than men at talking about these things,” he says. “In fact, women know when they meet another woman, within an hour, whether they have children, etc. A man may be with a guy for months and not even know they’re married. They talk about everything else but that.” And that’s not good, he says. Fathers and grandfathers are taking on stronger family roles in modern times, no longer seen as back-up child care, but as key sources of learning and nurturing, studies show. In some immigrant cultures, several generations live under one roof and that can lead to conflict, he says. In others, young parents are missing support of grandparents back home. That’s why Paul Beka, a Thornhill father from Eastern Europe, whose wife is from South America, takes part in the parenting class. “A couple generations back, parents learned from each other. Now, we are completely separated and it takes time to build relationships. We don’t have opportunity to learn from each other. Courses like this are really important.” Partnership Parenting began with a six-week pilot program at the Early Years Centre in Thornhill this summer and, with funding from York Region, will expand this fall to centres in Woodbridge and Newmarket, a mosque in Stouffville and the Markham Community Hub, which will also house family physicians.

In the new year, Mr. Bader plans to add a pre and post-natal component aimed at fathers and grandfathers. He calls it “anticipatory guidance”. “Fathers are often unsure what they’re getting into in the pre-natal period,” he says. The program will include four sessions before the baby’s birth, four sessions after birth and another four between ages nine and 18 months. “If parents can talk about what’s ahead, they won’t feel like they’ve fallen off the track when things happen.” Mr. Barillas Zuniga has seen the success first hand. The Richmond Hill dad, who comes from El Salvador, says he learned a lot when he began attending Mr. Bader’s program. Now, he is taking a leadership role. “The very concept of some guys getting together and talking about how to discipline and manage illnesses with children is a new concept to me. The important thing is the opportunity to meet other people and realize you’re not alone. There’s other people in exactly the same situation, as much confused as you are and as much frustrated as you are. We’ve all been there.” The Juthas are also taking leadership roles in the parenting course. “The child needs to know, no matter what the age, that you work as a team,” Ms Jutha explains. Mr. Barillas Zuniga agrees. “There are times when you’re gonna hit rock bottom, but that only makes you stronger and drives you in the right direction. You are all taking great steps being here. This is a good place where you can actually discuss things, one of few places where you can share.” To learn more, e-mail partnershipparenting@ or contact at 905-940-7864.

13, The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012


Men taking on bigger family role

CANADA GAMES MEDALS Three Richmond Hill badminton players earned medals at the recent Cape Breton-Canada Games. Ann Choi and her husband, David Goldshaw, won silver in mixed badminton competition, while Goldshaw and mens doubles partner Kanji Patel won bronze in their contest. Choi also competed in the ladies badminton event with partner Lynn Thompson from London, Ontario and won gold at the national event, held every two years.

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The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 14

call: 905-884-1105

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Office/ Administration

Office/ Administration

Health Care/Medical

Health Care/Medical

Health Care/Medical

Health Care/Medical

General Help

General Help

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General Help

OFFICE CLERK Busy office in Vaughan is seeking someone with property management experience to assist in general office duties including reception. Must be proficient in Word and Excel. Email resume: RECEPTION/ CUSTOMER SERVICE Markham based medical distributor requires a well spoken, organized individual with: Customer service exp, computer skills, excellent written and oral English. French is an asset. Competitive salary & full benefits. Email resume: Sales Opportunities

Sales Opportunities

Seeking a mature, part-time SALES ASSOCIATE with some decor/colour experience. Some evenings & weekend shifts. Email resume to: Technical/ Skilled Trades

Technical/ Skilled Trades

Glass & Aluminum Installer Minimum 2 years experience for growing glass company in Richmond Hill. Top wages paid. Great benefits. Dental, Medical, Life Insurance. Boots & Uniform supplied by company. Start Immediately. Please email resume to or call for an interview 905-773-5203 INJECTION/BLOW MOLD MACHINE MAINTENANCE MECHANIC Large Plastic Bottle Company requires experienced mechanic. Full time, 404 and 16th Fax/email: 905-764-3784, HEAVY EQUIPMENT MECHANIC Experienced. Licensed. Qualified applicants may fax resume to 905-939-4082 or Call 416-410-3839 For more information

Technical/ Skilled Trades

Full Time/ Part-Time AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICIAN wanted for busy auto shop in Richmond Hill area.

Please call 416-727-5222 General Help

Veterinary Help

Veterinary Help

Full Time Receptionist/ Veterinary Assistant Needed in (401/ Jane St. area). We are seeking an exceptional communicator to liaison between Doctors and clients with the skills and ability to work both independently and as a team player.

Please forward your resume to Restaurants/ Hospitality

Restaurants/ Hospitality

SECURITY ALARM INSTALLER Exp. preferred with security, CCTV & Access Control or related cabling/ communication field. Clean driving record/ valid driver's license.

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Oak Ridges location Now Hiring MANAGERS and ASSISTANT MANAGERS Experience required. Call 416-889-4233 for interview Teaching Opportunities

Teaching Opportunities


Holy Spirit Child Care Centre (located in Holy Spirit C.E.S.) requires a R.E.C.E. Part time split shift, Monday to Friday. Please email resume to: amongfriendsdaycarecentres

General Help

New School Year Approaching! We require school crossing guards in Thornhill for September •Baythorn & Royal Orchard •Simonston & Bucks Green •John & Henderson •Baythorn & Inverlochy *We also require paid stand-by guards*

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Join our NEW team! Be part of this new & innovative concept in sushi, one of the first of its kind. Located in the heart of Vaughan at Bathurst & Rutherford, mysushi provides fresh, great tasting sushi and other hot Japanese foods, all in one convenient location. Our first location is opening soon and we're looking for customer focused teammates that enjoy preparing great food, having fun at work and delivering an amazing guest experience.

Full-time & Part-time positions available. Sushi Chefs & Guest Experience Teammates (Cashiers) Qualifications: • Previous sushi making exp. is preferred but not necessary (training will be provided). • Customer service exp. in a retail, restaurant or hospitality environment is an asset • Fluency in English is required We offer competitive wages and benefits. Email resume to: or fax resume to: 1-866-241-1559

CARRIERS NEEDED Door to door delivery Flexible hours while working in your community Interested Candidates Call (905)660-9887 Richmond Hill ext.305 Thornhill ext. 311 Maple Downs Golf & Country Club Greens Department is currently seeking full and part time employees for the fall golfing season. Please reply to and indicate if applying for F/T or P/T

Up to $1500 CASH Weekly Direct Sales Job NO Door to Door! Apply Online

EXPERIENCED SERVICE ADVISOR Must be a team player no nights or weekends please E-mail service manager at d-dupui5@ Technical/ Skilled Trades INDUSTRIAL TECHNICIAN Looking for experience in industrial trade and will also train. Physical work, computer knowledge helpful. Must have driver licence, DZ an asset. Send resume to: Fax: 905-940-1711

Classified Hotline: (905) 884-1105

Apartments for Rent

Apartments for Rent

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MAJOR MACKENZIE/ Bayview- Beautiful 2 bedroom basement apartment. Available immediately. $850. everything included. No smoking, no pets. (905)787-8979 RICHMOND HILL- 1 bedroom basement walkout facing forest/ lake, separate entrance, parking. Suit single. $850 inclusive. WiFi, cable. Immediately. 416-728-1440 YONGE/ 16TH Ave- 1 bedroom basement. Parking, laundry, separate entrance. Near Hillcrest/ transit. $790. inclusive. October 1st. 647-722-4672 YONGE/ ELGIN MillsLarge 1 bedroom basement, parking, separate entrance. No pets/ smoking. Immediately. $800+ partial utilities. 647-669-5870

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BATHURST/ ELGIN Mills1 bedroom basement, separate entrance, laundry, parking, large livingroom with fireplace. Non-smoking/ pets. October 1st. $800. 905-508-9348 HILLCREST MALL- Large 2 bedroom basement apt. RICHMOND HILL- Bay- Separate entrance. Launview/ Major Mackenzie dry, cable, parking. Suit building. 1 & 2 bedrooms single. $900. inclusive. available October/ Novem- Non-smoking/ pets. Immediate. 416-543-3037 ber. 905-883-0544

Articles for Sale (Misc.)

Decks & Fences

HOT TUB (Spa) Covers- DECKS, Shed, Concrete/ Best Price, Best Stone walkway. Quality. All Shapes & Col- Hardwood/ Laminate floors ours Available. Call 25 years experience. 1-866-652-6837 416-522-8034, 905-787-0236 newspaper http://fifieldconstruction. HOT TUB/SPA 2012 model, fully loaded, Home Renovations full warranty. New in plastic. COMPLETE RENOVACost $8,000 TIONS- Additions. BaseSacrifice $3,900. ments. Medical Clinics: Call: 416-779-0563 Dentistry; Vet Clinic; Chiropractic. Professional. Low price. (416)427-2308 Vehicles Sean.

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Mortgages/Loans Houses for Rent

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General Help

15, The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012

General Help

OAK RIDGES - 2 bedroom bungalow for rent. $1400+ utilities. Laundry. 6 car parking. Available immediately. Please call 416-400-2340/ 905-773-4206 RICHMOND HILL- 4 bedroom detached house, near Jefferson Sdrd./ Bathurst St. close to all amenities. $1850+ utilities. 905-237-1603

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The Liberal, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 16

Buy and Sell with one of the most successful brokers in Canada WITH OVER 23 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE PRESTIGIOUS MILLPOND, $ 938,000 Gorgeous custom home. Premium pie shaped lot with a rear of one 97 feet. Breathtaking treed backyard, renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, renovated bathroom, wainscotings, hardwood floors, finished basement. Close to finest schools, centre of Performing Arts, transportation, hospital, library and entertainment.

ELEGANT NEW 2+1 BEDROOM LOWER PENTHOUSE CONDO, $795,500 This luxury 2+1 bedroom Penthouse, has over $120,000 in upgrades. It features: high ceilings, elegant mouldings, breathtaking unobstructed ravine views, 2 large balconies, 2 extra large parking, locker, hardwood and porcelain floors, top of the line stainless steel built-in appliances, built-in espresso machine, 24 hours concierge and a magnificent lobby. Conveniently located near Jane/Rutherford Shopping mall, Transportation, future subway and all amenities. The top choice for residence of many dignitaries.

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Beautiful 2 bedroom corner unit with breathtaking unobstructed views from 2 balconies and large picture windows, very bright, fully loaded with upgrades, hardwood and ceramic floors, large upgraded kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Steps to shopping, transportation, entertainment and more.


Charming 3 bedroom bungalow in the finest area, walking distance to Yonge St among multi million homes. Large treed lot, available immediately. Close to shopping areas, Yonge, GO Station, HWY 7, and school and all amenities.

FABULOUS INVESTMENT PROPERTY $599,900 This fantastic legal Duplex is consisting of 2 (1 bedroom and 2 bedroom) units with their own separate entrance plus a finished basement apartment. It is completely renovated and presently generates $3200 of rent per month. It is situated on a beautiful corner lot of 51.37 x 125 and has a commercial/office zoning potential. It is located just steps to Yonge St. and Center for Performing Arts in Richmond Hill.


Fabulous property located in most prime York. On a premium lot of 40x143 feet. finished basement, with ample parking Located adjacent to TTC for an office or

area of North All renovated, in the back. business use.


This beautiful 3 bedroom bungalow Near yonge/north of Finch is situated on a huge premium private pie shaped lot of over 10,200 sqft of land in a beautiful quiet court. It features a very large breathtaking private treed backyard with beautiful gardens. the bungalow has a partially finished basement and features hardwood floors, new roof. In the heart of North York, perfect for builders to build a new home on this large and Unique property, or you just move in to this spotless home. Must be seen to be appreciated.

OFFICE SPACE FOR LEASE $2000 PER MONTH Fabulous office space in the heart of North York on Sheppard Ave. Just steps to Subway station. Available Immediately.

UNBELIEVABLE INVESTMENT $1,988,800 Gorgeous property of 700 Acres, just 138 km North of Toronto, near Muskoka. Over 4 kilometers of frontage on major highway with access throughout the whole year with 2300 sqft of brick bungalow, 2 private lakes. Perfect for future development or use it as a cottage.

101 ACRES OF LAND UNBELIEVABLE INVESTMENT $2,550,000 This property is situated just 40 kilometres north of Toronto. It is situated on a premium corner lot in the most desirable area by developers. It has 3 road frontages, including Hwy 400 frontage. Best development potential.

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