Hussen skips second debate, others follow

Incumbent Liberal candidate Ahmed Hussen declined to attend the debate hosted by the Mount Dennis Community Association. Last week, he skipped the debate hosted by Friends of Smythe Park—meaning he has not attended any debates this election.

According to the MDCA, after Hussen decided to not attend, the other invited candidates cancelled. The MDCA said, the NDP and Conservatives “both felt that their candidates time was better spent at other activities.” (The PPC candidate was not invited to attend.)

Nicki Ward, the Green candidate, did attend, and answered questions as part of a town hall. Though I had to miss the first hour (kids had homework), it was quite a nice meeting. Ward was irreverent, knowledgeable and frequently funny. She also showed some of the research she did on hyperlocal inflation in the riding she’d like to represent, which I thought was quite interesting (though I am an economics nerd).

NDP candidate Hawa Mire said

… Less than 24 hours before the debate we had not been provided with any of the usual information – format, questions, or attendees. We were also informed the Liberal and Conservative candidates had dropped out of the event.

We went back and forth with the organizers to determine a format. Nothing was confirmed.

As a result of these discussions with organizers we withdrew from the event. Some hours later, we were informed it was to become a townhall and candidates were to get further information.

Unfortunately this did not happen.

I recognize that a 35 day election makes debates challenging to schedule, and understand the toll it takes on organizers of such events.

What I must be clear about was my intention to attend from the very beginning.

Our democracy relies on the opportunity to engage with and hold those seeking public office to account. This is a value I hold close to my heart…

(Capitalization corrected, otherwise as written)

I haven’t heard back from Ahmed Hussen, nor from Sajanth Mohan, the Conservative candidate.

All-candidates debate on Wednesday

The Mount Dennis Community Association has organized an all-candidates debate for this Wednesday, September 15 at 7 p.m.

The debate will be online, but you should register in advance to be sure to get a virtual ticket.

They are also soliciting questions:

 If you have a question to ask, please send it to [email protected] , and indicate if it is aimed primarily at a particular candidate, or at all.

Community Council votes to send lawyers to fight tall building appeals

Etobicoke York Community Council approved a motion to send lawyers to the Ontario Land Tribunal to argue against building the proposed tall buildings at 1821–1823 Weston Road and 8–16 Locust Street.

The owners of 1821 Weston are proposing a 38-storey, 446-unit building that would, according to city staff, violate:

  • The Provincial policy statement
  • The Growth Plan
  • Toronto’s official plan
  • “Area specific and city wide guidelines”

City planners say it does not fit the local built form, is too close to property lines, and is “out of scale to its surroundings”, and will “negatively impact adjacent lands—among many other complaints.

Staff say,

Development on this site could be supported, if it provides appropriate setbacks, separation distances, massing, building height and density, as directed in the Official Plan, the Weston Urban Design Guidelines, and the City-Wide Tall Building Design Guidelines in cooperation with adjacent property owners.


City staff also oppose the 35-storey, 372-unit proposed building on Locust Street.

They say it violates:

  • The Provincial Policy Statement
  • The Growth Plan
  • Mount Dennis’ urban design guidelines

It is also, they say, too tall, too close to the property line, and out of context with the neighbouring buildings, again, among other complaints. “Given the existing and planned context for the subject property and the surrounding area, the proposed density, height and massing proposed in its current form cannot be supported by staff.”


In both cases, staff recommended “that City Council direct the City Solicitor, together with appropriate City staff, to oppose the current proposal at the OLT and continue discussions with the Applicant to resolve outstanding issues.”

Mount Dennis campus meeting this week

The Toronto Community Benefits Network will be hosting a meeting on creating attracting a post-secondary campus to Mount Dennis.

Since 2020, the Mount Dennis Community Association’s ecoNeighbourhood Initiative has been working with government and local partners to define a community vision statement for attracting a city-recommended post-secondary campus institution into the Mount Dennis neighbourhood.

The potential location for the campus is envisioned by members of the local community as part of the area across from the Mount Dennis LRT/bus/UP Express station south of Eglinton Avenue West and west of Black Creek Drive. Choice Properties, owners of a large part of that land, has recently submitted a district development proposal including 7 high towers for this area, and community benefits discussions are beginning to take shape…

The session will include introductory words from local City Councillor Frances Nunziata and TCBN Executive Director, Rosemarie Powell and a presentation by Rick Ciccarelli from the Mount Dennis Community Association’s Eco Neighbourhood Initiative.

Map of campuses in Toronto. There is no campus near Mt Dennis
Image from the TCBN

The meeting will be September 13 starting at 6:30 p.m. They ask that you RSVP.