As the gateway city to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. Pickering is an affluent community that is steeped in history, natural beauty and small town charm with all the amenities and services that a big city has to offer.
Our downtown is undergoing a dramatic transformation - highlighted by a $23-million landmark pedestrian bridge that links our downtown to the Pickering GO station. In recent years, our downtown has seen a new and exciting dynamic emerge with the advent of our LEED-Gold office tower, and the Durham College/Centennial College Joint Learning Centre.
I take pride in the journey we have made in thrusting our City to the forefront of major players in local economic development. A recent survey has indicated that Pickering has the most jobs in all of Durham Region. As such, we are dedicated to business and as a city of opportunity, committed to helping businesses succeed and thrive.
With the future community of Seaton coming on stream, the announcement of the Pickering airport, and development of the Durham Live entertainment complex, we are expected to lead the country in economic development and growth over the next 20 years.
As such, I believe in sustainable growth through responsible development, and Pickering is making great progress in becoming one of the most sustainable communities in Ontario through our award-winning efforts. The City of Pickering received the FCM-CH2M Sustainability Award in Planning for its nation leading work in sustainability and the environment; and Alive Magazine has previously recognized me as 'One of Canada's Greenest Mayors.'
Pickering is one of the most diverse municipalities in the nation. In fact, we are a microcosm of the world. We don't just promote diversity - we embrace it. Over the years, we've hosted numerous cultural festivals, flag raisings, and foreign delegation visits. The resulting economic and friendship ties that we have nurtured over the years positions Pickering very well in the global economy.
As Mayor, I am a staunch advocate for open and transparent government. Since 2007, I have held town hall meetings to meet face-to-face with residents. To become more sustainable and accessible, I now hold virtual town hall meetings over the phone. As well, I've introduced my "Coffee Chat with the Mayor" series which has brought the town hall format to local cafes and establishments across the city. Please remember that my door is always open to you and feel free to send me an email anytime.