Welcome to our Conversations in the Community page!  This is your one-stop destination to learn more about some of the topics generating interest in our community.

More importantly, the City of Pickering is dedicated to fostering an informed and involved community, actively engaged in municipal affairs. We value the significance of accurate information that provides clarity and context. Our aim is to ensure residents have municipal information readily available!

Universal Change Room | Casino Revenues |Pickleball |15-Minute Cities | Smart Cities | Protecting Frenchman's Bay | Integrity Commissioner

Universal Change Room

We've heard a lot of social media chatter this year about our universal change room, located in the Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex (CHDRC). We decided to clear up some misconceptions by going behind the scenes and taking audience members on a tour of the amenities. Check it out for yourself and get the facts!

Our facility’s universal change room provides a safe, inclusive, and accessible space for all facility users. Accommodations to use the membership change rooms will be considered upon request at the CHDRC front desk.

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Casino Revenues

Staff work to seek out additional funding opportunities to help relieve the residential tax load - the Casino is one of them! 

Since opening in July 2021, Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation (OLG) has issued non-tax gaming revenue payments, totaling $34,751,439 (up to September 30, 2023), to the City of Pickering for hosting the facility, as part of its Municipal Contribution Agreement with OLG. Pickering also shares a portion of this revenue with the Region of Durham. 

People often wonder why these casino revenues can't be used to offset the property tax bill for residents. We sat down with the City's Director, Finance & Treasurer to explain. Jump to 46:47 of the video for more - watch on YouTube

To summarize, if the casino funds don't materialize one year for whatever reason, the City would be left with a deficit. OLG's recommendation for spending the funds is to bank them in Year A and spend in Year B - providing adequate time for strategic planning to meet the City's needs. In 2024, a significant portion of the casino revenue is going towards capital projects, to reduce the City's debt, to support community grants, and to make up the development charge shortfall from Bill 23. View page 6 of the Staff Recommended Draft 2024 Draft Capital Budget and 2025-2027 Forecast for a breakdown. 

 

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Pickleball

As Pickering's love for Pickleball continues to grow, the City has identified a number of current and proposed outdoor and indoor pickleball courts to suit user needs.

Outdoor Courts

Existing

There is one existing dedicated court at Amberlea Park, and shared courts at Claremont Memorial Park (4), Rick Hull Memorial Park (1), Village East Park (2), and Diana, Princess of Wales Park (3). The shared courts mean that others sports, like tennis, basketball, and ball hockey, can also be accommodated.

Proposed Courts

  • Dave Ryan Community Park (4) – Dedicated Courts – Construction 2024/2025
  • Beechlawn Park (2) - Shared with Basketball – Construction 2024
  • Shadybrook Park (4) - Shared with Tennis – Construction 2024
  • Stonepay Village Green (2) - Shared with Basketball – Construction TBD

Indoor Pickleball Programming

There are a number of dedicated hours per week for Pickleball at the following locations:

  • East Shore Community Centre (Drop-in)
  • Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex (Drop-in)
  • Dr. Nelson F. Tomlinson Community Centre, East Shore Community Centre, George Ashe Community Centre (Registered)
  • Dunbarton High School (Drop-in and Registered)

Proposed indoor Pickleball programming

  • Pickering Soccer Centre (6 courts) – 2024: Staff are exploring more suitable flooring options for Pickleball. Staff have arranged for various flooring options to be tested by the Pickleball Club.
  • Indoor Warehouse Space (6-8 courts) 2024-2025: Staff are investigating the option of a warehouse space on Sandy Beach Road.
  • Seaton Interim Program Space - Taunton Rd & Peter Matthews Drive (3 courts) 2025: Staff are investigating a commercial plaza space for interim recreation programming.
  • Future Seaton Community Centre (6 courts) 2028 - Based on community consultation, this new community centre will include multi-sport courts suitable to accommodate Pickleball.

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15-Minute Cities

There are some falsehoods circulating on the Internet about 15-minute cities, including claims of government restrictions and limitations placed on resident movement, travel, activity and more. 

For planning and developing new communities, 15-minute cities simply means being able to access many of the essential services one might need, all within a 15-minute commute of home. Think pharmacy, grocery, retail, transit, and other basic services.

While the City is committed to advancing service delivery and citizen experience that is accessible, trustworthy, and convenient and supports our diverse population and growth, it has not had any discussions or entered into any formal agreement with any external agencies or senior levels of government with respect to becoming a 15-minute city.

Ultimately, we want to make Pickering a more livable City where residents can have easy access to the facilities and services they rely on! 

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Smart Cities

Some theories claim that smart cities involve government misuse of data and tracking, restrictions and limitations placed on resident movement, travel, activity and more. 

When really - smart city technology speaks to the world’s ever-expanding network of connected devices to collect, share and analyze real-time data on urban environments. The data gathered can help cities combat crime, reduce pollution, decrease traffic congestion, improve disaster preparedness and more. Essentially, improving human wellbeing through technological advancement.

The City is committed to advancing digital service delivery and citizen experience that is accessible, trustworthy, and convenient and supports our diverse population and growth. These efforts are being driven internally, and not by external agencies or senior levels of government. 

The City of Pickering is demonstrating its commitment to digital advancement by advocating for increased broadband accessibility and providing free public Wi-Fi, ensuring seamless connectivity for residents. Simultaneously, initiatives such as implementing energy-efficient LED street lights and modernizing online service processes exemplify the City's dedication to sustainability and citizen-centric convenience.

While the City aims to create a more connected community, it acknowledges concerns about privacy and security and is committed to the safe and ethical collection of data for all of its municipal government service delivery, activity, and decision making.

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Protecting Frenchman’s Bay

The City of Pickering is committed to preserving the unique character of its waterfront, and most recently has announced its efforts to pursue opportunities to buy the bay and return the treasured asset back into public ownership.

It is important that Frenchman’s Bay and the surrounding lands be in public ownership in order to safeguard from aggressive and overly ambitious development proposals; maintain public access and recreational use; and enhance environmental stewardship of the Bay and surrounding lands. Despite the land owner rejecting our proposals to purchase Frenchman’s Bay, the City will continue to seek opportunities to return this treasured asset back into public ownership. Learn more.

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Pickering’s Integrity Commissioner – what you need to know!

Did you know that the City of Pickering is mandated to have a Council Code of Conduct and has the authority to appoint an Integrity Commissioner under the Municipal Act?

The Integrity Commissioner is an independent and impartial official who provides advice, education, and complaint resolution pertaining to the ethical conduct of municipal council members.

The Integrity Commissioner conducts inquiries into requests made by a member of the public, Council, or a Member of Council, into whether a Member of Council has contravened any applicable code of conduct.

This supports our commitment to transparent and accessible government, and we want you to be informed on the process! Find out more at pickering.ca/integrity.

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