Milton Haunted House a HUGE Success

This past weekend at the Milton Mall was another edition of the Milton Haunted House.  Hundreds of children, young and old, made their way through a maze of ghouls n ghosts with surprises around every corner.

The Haunted House originated from Ward 7 Councillor Rick Di Lorenzo’s garage in Hawthorne Village.  People used to come from all over town to visit his home during Halloween to take part in his ghoulish creation.  Just last year, Rick along with others held this event at the Pirate Festival and raised over $5,700 for Milton District Hospital Foundation.

This years goal was $10,000 and even though the donations are still being counted, we are confident we either hit or surpassed our goal.  On behalf of the team (which included a LOT of people) I want to thank Miltonians for their generosity.  Our donation boxes were filled to the brim over the course of the two days and we were blown away by the enthusiam of the residents of our town.

To Rick and his even more enthusiastic mother 🙂 , Zeeshan, Jennifer, Kim, Ed, and the MANY volunteers, actors, face painters, greeters, raffle ticket sellers and everyone who took part in the event….THANK YOU!

Another big THANK YOU goes to the sponsors of the event who helped us out.  MinMaxx Realty, Milton Canadian Champion, Mattamy Homes, SST Group, Milton Nail Spa and of course without the help and space from Milton Mall, this couldnt have happened.

Taking Miranda around trick or treating last night I had the chance to hear directly from people who did come to the haunted house and the reviews were fantastic and they cant wait for next year.  There are a bunch of volunteers who are pretty tired and who also have the fun task of taking down the scary structure in the mall but Im sure theyll be ready to go for next year.

I was happy to help out this weekend and it was great to see all the smiling faces and the kids who came back more than once to get the full effects of the haunted house.  Some didnt make it through all the way and had to turn back but Im sure next year they will be back again.

Thanks again to Rick for the concept of the haunted house and thanks to his wife Nicole who is expecting their second child any day now.  Thanks for letting Rick do this.

We will see you next year.  Stay tuned for the final total … all in support of the Milton District Hospital Foundation.  Our community needs this hospital expanded and the community showed just how much this weekend.  Thank you! 

Budget Input Session 2012

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Smith via Twitter

Last night was the first of hopefully many budget input sessions that myself, Rick Di Lorenzo, Zeeshan Hamid and Sharon Barkley put on for residents in wards 1, 6, 7 & 8. 

We were also lucky enough to have fellow councillor Rick Malboeuf and Region Councillor Colin Best attend as well.  That’s 6 sets of ears listening to peoples input on important issues that Milton faces in this years budget talks.

As I mentioned when we started the meeting opportunities for residents to provide input to town councillors have come few and far between in the past.  The last session I remember happening in this format was back on a rainy night in November of 2009 held by Colin Best. 

Last nights session was nothing short of great.  As we were ending the discussion between people continued…which is awesome. I hated to cut it off at that point.

There were a number of topics discussed from Fire, Transit, Parks, Roads, Taxes etc that we could have a full town hall meeting on its own but we were limited to only 2 hours.

Thanks to everyone who came and for those who didn’t come who sent me and other councillors feedback that we will incorporate into a report we will send to staff. These comments and concerns will be included in the budget discussions for the 2012 year and I cant thank you enough for having your say.

I know I’d like to have another one sometime soon as we get closer to November and items from other departments come out in reports and garner more discussion. The only difficulty I see is that the provincial election is gearing up and I don’t want this to fall by the wayside (plus I’ll be going around bugging party leaders with my GROW MILTON HOSPITAL signs Smile )

Thanks to my colleagues who came out to answer questions, get involved in discussions and helped make it truly a team effort last night.

Intensification strategy to go before council in January

With many of us still braving the malls and the roads rushing out to get the last of the Christmas presents for under the tree, our thoughts arent usually on things like “intesification” of Main Street.  It is important to know that town council will be reviewing a study on how a large portion of our town will look in the coming years.

I know I havent really talked about it here, other milton bloggers like Jennifer Smith, have taken up that cause, but here is a news story from Tim Foran at the Milton Canadian Champion outlining what the study might find and what the next steps are.

Being at one of the town meetings on this, I have to echo the comments from some of the councillors including the Mayor when we ask “HOW are we going to pay for all of this?”  The provincial government has come up with guidelines for growth and the town is responsible for getting us there.  The province wants it done by a certain time, but the thing that will drive the debate is cost!

Intensification strategy to go before council in January
By Tim Foran, Metroland West Media Group

An intensification strategy outlining which of Milton’s numerous strip malls, parking lots and low-density commercial and industrial properties are prime spots for offices and condominiums is expected to go before councillors for approval next month. The strategy is the result of the Town’s intensification and infill study, which was received for information by council recently.

According to materials prepared by Meridian Planning Consultants, hired by the Town to do the study, most of the growth would be accommodated in what the Province has designated as Milton’s urban growth centre (UGC), one of 25 such areas in the GTA. This UGC generally straddles Main Street between Martin Street and Thompson Road, but also dips south to include the industrial land along Nipissing Road. The strip of Main between Ontario and Thompson, around the GO train station, is a prime candidate for future intensification, according to the consultant’s materials.

Meridian’s Nick McDonald told the Town’s planning committee at a recent meeting Milton’s UGC is unique in that it doesn’t encompass the historic downtown core. The UGC is about 135 hectares in size and must be planned to accommodate a density of 200 jobs and residents combined per hectare, equivalent to about 27,360 people, according to Provincial legislation. On paper, Milton’s 1997 Official Plan already allows for a density of 170 in the area, but the reality of what exists on the ground is far different. Currently, the UGC has only 7,300 people and jobs in an area characterized by low-density commercial units, vacant lots, light industrial buildings, and large surface parking lots.

“All we can do is plan and encourage and provide (allowances),” McDonald told the committee when questioned on the likelihood of being able to meet the intensification targets. “We can’t build, we can’t compel anybody to build.”

While the UGC is expected to be the centre of Milton’s intensification, the Town’s consultant has also identified 187 hectares of potential intensification sites in other areas of the town, mostly concentrated along Bronte and Ontario Streets and Steeles Avenue. About 30 per cent of this area is currently designated for employment uses, leaving 70 per cent, or 144 hectares, for potential residential and mixed-use development. The consultant has identified less than three hectares of potential intensification sites in Milton’s historic downtown core.

Town Planning Director Bill Mann has previously said he’d like to see employee-intensive offices included in the plan rather than just residential condominiums. Indeed, at this point, the Town is only planning to add 5,300 residential units — about 12,500 people — within its entire built boundary, an area generally bounded by the borders of the town as of 2006. The majority of those people could be housed in the UGC, according to the consultant’s materials. That’s a small percentage of the new residents Milton is expecting over the next 22 years. Current municipal plans project the community’s population to jump from the 85,000 it’s at now to 238,000 by 2031.

Of that amount:

• About 27,500 people are still to come over the next few years to the Bristol and Sherwood Survey areas that have been under construction for much of the past decade.

• Another 50,000 people would be housed in the Boyne Survey area, which is the area of land south of Louis St. Laurent Boulevard to Britannia Road, between Tremaine Road to the west and James Snow Parkway to the east. The Boyne, Bristol and Sherwood Survey areas were the three phases of residential growth identified in Milton’s 1997 Official Plan.

• Between 2021 and 2031, Town and Regional plans currently identify another 63,000 people to be housed in future residential areas to the east and south of the town. This new growth would see urban Milton extend close to the borders of Mississauga and Oakville.

Tim Foran can be reached at tforan@miltoncanadianchampion.com