While it has been several months since my last email update to you, our Town publication, Let’s Talk Oakville, was delivered to each Oakville household in early July containing news from Councillor Bird and me regarding Ward 3, as well as updates from Mayor Burton and the other wards. If you did not receive a copy, please let me know and I will be happy to deliver one to you. I would also appreciate your feedback on the magazine.

This email update is being sent to the five Residents Associations in Ward 3 as well as other residents. Please feel free to forward it to your friends and neighbours.

Small World
As I meet residents on an ongoing basis at various meetings and events, I am often reminded of what a small Town we really live in. Several times recently I have struck up conversations at local parks and events, only to find that we have been corresponding for some time over issues of concern!

Burnt Out Street Lights
I receive calls from residents on a regular basis about street lights. Oakville Hydro is responsible for the repair of all Town streetlights. To report a malfunctioning or broken streetlight, please contact Oakville Hydro at 905-825-6354, by email at http://www.oakvillehydro.com/ohedi/electricity_services_streetlight.aspx, or let me know and I will pass your concern along to them.

Emerald Ash Borer
Having made its way from Asia in 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a metallic green-coloured beetle that has eaten its way through tens of millions of indigenous ash trees in Canada and the United States. Its presence in Oakville was first confirmed in July 2008 in the vicinity of Eighth Line and Falgarwood Drive.

With almost 180,000 ash trees at risk, the Town of Oakville is pushing forward with its campaign to battle the invasion of the EAB. The Town’s goal is to protect 75% of the ash canopy cover on the public road allowance and active parks. Of Oakville’s treatable ash tree canopy, 80% are located on private property. Healthy and structurally sound trees can be saved if residents choose to treat them. According to Oakville’s management strategy, 25% of them will be removed because they are so heavily infested and cannot be saved.

The town plans to replace dead or dying trees with a new tree species to meet Oakville’s canopy cover objective of 40 per cent by 2057. To date, Oakville has ceased new plantings of ash trees; implemented an EAB trapping project; executed canopy conservation by under planting new tree species; treated select municipal ash trees with TreeAzin; performed leading-edge EAB research with several partner organizations; become the first Canadian municipality to comprehensively define the distribution of EAB throughout a community; and undertaken a tree inventory project.

In June, Toronto announced that its policy would focus on tree removal and replacement rather than treatment, resulting in the loss of about 860,000 ash trees. Some 450 “high-value” trees are being treated with TreeAzin. In the 1960’s, ash trees were planted to replace the elms that succumbed to Dutch elm disease. Now that they, too, are dying, it’s clear that biodiversity is key to replacing diseased trees.

In Time magazine, the EAB ranks No. 9 in the “Top 10 evil animals” list having destroyed 60 million trees in the United States. Oakville has placed more than 100 neon-green traps in trees to track the spread of the insect plague — another factor residents can monitor online. For full details, maps, and identification methods, please visit  www.oakville.ca/eab.htm.

Do you have an Ash tree on your property? If you (or your child) have an iPhone, there is an app, Leafsnap, available to help identify the leaves of trees: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/leafsnap/id430649829?mt=8

Ward Boundary Review
An Oakville ward boundary review is currently underway to plan for the 2014 municipal election. Oakville’s current six ward system has been in place since 1990. Two councillors are elected in each ward, a local councillor who sits on town council, and a regional councillor who serves on both the town and Halton Regional councils.

As a result of population growth, Oakville’s existing wards vary significantly in population and in the number of electors. Projected growth, particularly in north Oakville, will increase the current discrepancies. A ward boundary review is both timely and important to local democracy in Oakville. Your feedback on this issue is critical, and the Town encourages you to submit your comments as part of the public consultation process. In addition to our public input email, wardboundary@oakville.ca, public information meetings will take place on:

  • Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7 p.m., Committee Rooms 1 and 2, Town Hall
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7 p.m., Committee Rooms 1 and 2, Town Hall

Based on the comments received, a preliminary report addressing ward boundary options will be presented to the Administrative Services Committee on November 15, 2011.

Community Watch
While we are enjoying a great summer, I have received ongoing concerns from a number of Ward 3 residents regarding vandalism and inappropriate/dangerous activities in our area. Homes and schools have been vandalized, often even during the day. Drinking and ‘bush parties’ have resulted in broken bottles, bonfires, and large volumes of trash in the playgrounds, parks, and pathways of our neighbourhood.

The Town’s Parks and Open Space Department is aware of these problems and will be on the look-out for trash and broken glass. The Halton Regional Police Service is also aware of our concerns and has increased its presence in the area.

If you or your neighbours see or hear anything that looks or sounds like trouble brewing, the best course of action is to contact the police non-emergency number immediately (905-825-4747) to request that an officer come by the area and deter the activities before they get started. The importance of making this call cannot be overemphasized. If you do not phone, then the behaviour will continue or may even escalate. Please post this number next to your home telephone and make the call. Any effort to assist our police service in the identification of vandals would be greatly appreciated by the community. 

Oakville Historical Society
The following information is from The Oakville Historical Society (OHS) website, www.oakvillehistory.org. The OHS has been discovering, preserving, promoting, and sharing Oakville Ontario’s historical heritage for over 55 years and offers four separate guided walking tours:

  • Heritage Houses of Old Oakville
  • Heritage Main Street of Old Oakville
  • Historical Walk of Trafalgar Road
  • Ghost Walks

Full details of available dates may be found on the society’s website. These tours offer a fascinating look into our past and an opportunity to develop an even greater appreciation of Old Oakville.

Thomas House – Built in 1829 as the original home of the Merrick Thomas family, the Thomas House is furnished and presented as a pioneer home of the 1830 – 1840’s. Originally located west of Sixteen Mile Creek on a site now occupied by St. Jude’s Cemetery and St. Thomas Aquinas High School, it was moved to its present location in Lakeside Park in 1955 through the efforts of Hazel Chisholm Mathews and the OHS who now operates it. This home is open during the summer months when OHS volunteers act as guides. Admission is free, but donations of any amount to help sustain the house is much appreciated. Due to its old and fragile structure, the Thomas House requires regular care and attention, provided by OHS volunteers, with associated costs borne by OHS’s limited resources.

Visiting hours are 1:30 to 4:00 P.M. as follows:

  • Victoria Day Weekend to Labour Day – Saturday, Sunday & Holidays
  • August: Tuesday through Thursday inclusive
  • Closed after Labour Day (except for Harvest Festival)

The Old Post Office, Oakville’s first post office (1835 to 1856), stands beside the Thomas House and is operated by the Oakville Museum. This building was moved by Mrs. Mathews from the east bank of the Sixteen Mile Creek (SW corner of Navy and Lakeshore) in 1952.

Seats finally filling up on Oakville Transit (Toronto Star – July 15, 2011)
CLICK here for article

GO Transit Parking Lot
I have received a number of phone calls regarding the construction of a new parking garage underway at the northwest corner of Cornwall and Trafalgar Road. According to GO transit authorities, the following are the reasons behind this project.

  • Oakville GO Station is located at the core of the area identified by the Town of Oakville as “Midtown Oakville”.
  • There is demand for more GO parking. After 7:30 am, it is difficult to find a parking space.
  • GO Transit envisions eventual service increases along the Lakeshore line to train trips every 15 minutes during rush hour and 30 minutes for off-peak service.
  • GO Transit’s long-term plans, in cooperation with the Town of Oakville, see this area developing into a mobility hub.
  • Six-level, open-air parking structure will provide a net gain of approximately 1,200 parking spaces and will feature the following: tunnel with elevators from the structure to the platforms; covered kiss-&-ride facility; new landscaping to enhance the site; fully signalized intersection from the station to Cornwall Road; pedestrian and bicycle accessibility to and within the station site, including a dedicated bicycle locker on the ground floor; and rooftop photovoltaic panels. 

Kidney Foundation Gift of Life Walk – Sat., Sept. 10 starting at 1444 Cornwall Rd., Oakville

Ron Newman has called Ward 3 home for over 33 years. He has been involved with the Kidney Foundation of Canada for some 14 years as a volunteer in peer support and as a patient. Ron has recently teamed up with the Kidney Foundation to organize the first annual Gift of Life Walk in Oakville to raise funds & awareness for patients & their families dealing with the day to day situations resulting from kidney failure: inability to function in a regular capacity, the need for several medications; and travel to and from the hospital 3-4 times a week for dialysis and clinic appointments, all of which can be very stressful on the patient as well as the family.

Ron is seeking supporters for the Kidney Foundation to Walk, Run, Sponsor, volunteer, or just to cheer others on. If you would like form a team, be part of a team, or just come with a friend or on your own everyone is welcome.

For more information, please contact Ron Newman at (905) 845-9838 or by email at newman2@sympatico.ca.

Tour de Halton New Oakville Hospital Fund Raiser – Sat., Sept. 24 starting at the new 16 Mile Sports Complex at Dundas and Neyagawa Boulevard.

The Tour de Halton is a family-friendly bike event in support of the New Oakville Hospital. The event is comprised of three distances through the rolling scenic countryside of our beautiful Halton Region. Distances will include 25, 50 and 100 km routes along with fun, prizes and entertainment for participants and their families. Minimum fundraising is quite reasonable and is 100% tax deductible.
For more information and registration, please visit the website at www.tourdehalton.com
Please spread the word and come participate in what will be one of the beautiful Fall season closing rides in support of our community hospital. 

Jeff & Bonnie Flemington and Christine Hardy
Co-chairs, Tour de Halton