Focus on Our Forest. Please share your thoughts on London's Urban Forest by completing the survey,


There are 14 different advisory committees seeking new members. You can make a difference! Link here



Civic Planning Ecological

There are rules but mostly it’s left to members of city council to decide when they might be touching the line in regards to their honour, ethics or integrity. Some cities have gone farther, actually hiring outside ethics commissioners. It’s time for London to review this question again.

“I sit on a lot of boards and I know an awful lot of people.” Those are the words of Mayor Joe Fontana in defense of his connection to a charity whose relationship to a tax shelter has come under scrutiny.

Mayor Joe Fontana apparently thinks reports in The London Free Press citing concerns about his ethics are worth joking about. Perhaps, though, given the relatively soft nature of his community support he might consider taking the whole subject of our interest more seriously.

Fontana's connections draw scrutiny GIVING: Foundation chaired by mayor founded by old friend facing securities charges

THE BAD, THE GOOD AND THE HOPEFUL OF CIVIC GOVERNANCE. An address to the annual meeting of the Urban League of London, June 7, 2012 By Philip McLeod, author of The McLeod Report,

NEW! Guide to City Hall for the Municipality of London, Ontario

Reservoir Hill

Council plays the Gong Show The McLeod Report More

When planner Linda McDougall displayed an artist's rendering of the building, the crowd of about 60 gasped. She quickly noted the drawing was without landscaping added. London Free Press

Are we doomed to mediocrity? Last year the so-called new brooms – and given the tale we’re about to tell, what an apt description of them it is – that swept into city council decided, in one fell swoop, to undo 10 years of consistent effort to fight development on historic Reservoir Hill in west London. Faced with administrative staff reluctance to sanction a 12-storey, 165-unit apartment complex that met neither the intent nor the conditions established by the Ontario Municipal Board, council stripped them of approval authority. The McLeod Report

It all ended so badly – the tone perhaps worse than the ultimate decision. Following 10 years of diligent effort and compromise, a citizen’s group from London, Ontario learned in harsh finality that, for all the trumpeting of the need for citizen engagement, politicians with private agendas have little time for it. Glen Pearson

At the council meeting of September 19, 2011 Judy Bryant predicted, “We are in for a shock.” She was referring to the reaction of Londoners when they realized the magnitude of the structure that the current council seems prepared to be allowed to be built there. When an artist’s rendering was presented at the public site plan meeting on Tuesday evening, reports on Twitter have it that the audience “gasped”. London Civic Watch

Once again city council’s Investment and Economic Prosperity Committee couldn’t raise a quorum Tuesday. It’s chairperson concedes among the problems is that council now has too many committees, but there are also questions about a lack of commitment

Real creative cities would probably say they support culture, really mean it and do it, and leave it at that. Culture is not something you manage; it manages you.

Nancy Branscombe was appalled. “Why do we have statutory meetings if we're not going to listen to the public anyway?” she asked. Her question remains unanswered.

It’s both disappointing and discouraging to witness the zeal with which some members of city council, the mayor in particular, seek to run roughshod over public attitudes in their enthusiasm to press their own ideas.

Electoral Campaign Report The Role of Corporate and Union Funding in the 2010 Mayoral Race in the City of London, Ontario Prepared by: Chris Rastrick, on behalf of the Urban League of London

Others who had embraced the tax freeze concept and campaigned on it had no suggestions to offer. Nothing from VanMeerbergen, nothing from Polhill, nothing from White, nothing from Orser.

Dale Henderson, the rookie councillor for Ward 9, seems to have a particular aversion to taking the time to find out what the public thinks. Twice last night he tried to circumvent community engagement events and just do things his way.

Some flaws in public participation

Rippers indeed. One guesses more than a few Londoners who looked forward to watching this baseball team now feel something else: Ripped Off.

Civic engagement is an art form which involves meaningful dialogue.

London Mayor Joe Fontana explains why they took down the tents. Protestor, Eric Shepherd offers his perspective

Downtown vision

Can this council can walk and chew gum at the same time?

And are we out of sync with a world which is moving much faster than us?

Progressive Conservatives skip first debate

Friday was the last day for candidates in the 2010 municipal election to file their financial statements with the city clerk.

Guide to City Hall

Thames Valley Corridor Plan will soon head to council for approval in principle

Tampering with LTC budget could jeopardize its future.

The mayor who rode into city hall vowing to freeze taxes is now doing the unexpected — mulling a new tax on Londoners in 2012.

Residents of the Kipps Lane area want to showcase “the bright side” of their little pocket of the city’s northeast, so filled with children, energy and untapped creativity.

Election 2010: Public Candidates Meetings

London winning bidder for Creative City summit

Stephen Turner of the Urban League of London said voters should demand to know why council voted against an offsetting rollback in residential water rates that would have shifted more of the burden to businesses. “Is it appropriate for us to continue to subsidize industry on the backs of residents?” he said.

Veteran London city councillor Joni Baechler is running for Ward 5 — where she claimed a whopping 87% of the vote in 2006. Baechler has earned a reputation for keeping a close eye on city spending, and has been particularly outspoken on issues relating to development and London’s skyrocketing policing costs. There are no other declared candidates yet in Ward 5.

Phil McLeod, editor-in-chief of The London Free Press from 1987 to 1998, announced Monday he’s running for a council seat in Ward 7, held since 2006 by Walter Lonc.

The long-time editor-in-chief of the London Free Press, Paul Berton, is leaving his position to take up the same job at the Hamilton Spectator. The Free Press has no plans to fill this position.

London’s civic election this October might be its most important in decades. Certainly the newly elected council will be dealing with the most sweeping changes in the city’s governance model in 50 years. That alone argues for new leadership around the council table.

What this town needs is more gritty.

'He sees the big picture' NEIGHBOURHOOD: Greg Thompson, who moved to the Old East area because he was sold on the potential, wants to sell everyone else on it.

Developers, business leaders and the building industry have launched a joint web-based effort they say is aimed at sparking voter interest in London's civic election and backing "strong" ward candidates.

  • Their website.
  • Mayor corrects postings. She does live in London! Questions why they are anonymous.

City council last week approved a new list of terms and committees that will take effect when the new gang is sworn in this December. It’s only taken 14 months since the Governance Task Force made recommendations that led to these changes, and we still have a very long way to go.

Vancouver City Council passed a motion (PDF) to endorse the principles of “making its data open and accessible to everyone where possible, adopting open standards for that data and considering open source software when replacing existing applications.” CBC's Spark interviewed Andrea Reimer, the Vancouver city councillor behind the open city motion. They talked about the costs and benefits of open data, how it can affect civic engagement, and the privacy and security concerns Vancouver will have to consider as it opens up its municipal data.

A move to strengthen council's code of conduct was presented by Councillors Susan Eagle and David Winninger, following what they consider a recent increase in personal attacks in the media by some council members. The Eagle-Winninger request was approved by a 14-5 vote.

23-year-old Jared Zaifman, whose father, Bernie, is president of Z Group, hopes voters in Ward 14 recognize his priorities extend beyond issues of London growth, though he acknowledges city prosperity remains his focus.

Few, including the mayor herself, would not understand the benefits of a robust mayoralty race, with as many credible candidates as possible.

Barber elects to run in Ward 9

Some students, a contractor and an appliance store owner are making sure east London children have a place to skate outdoors this winter.

Hardcore political junkies and concerned citizens have a new forum on which to vent about who should be London's next mayor. The website has only been up a couple of weeks, but already there've been 383 votes cast and dozens of comments posted.

"The United Way of Greater Toronto takes the lead, drawing up a plan to get the doors back open and the lights back on. It makes the case that Ontario's schools belong to the citizens who paid for them. It proposes that the province's education funding be broadened to recognize that schools are more than teaching factories.The coalition scores its first victory in 2004. Ontario's newly elected Liberal government announces a $20 million community-use-of-schools fund. By 2005, most school boards are lowering their user fees. Non-profit groups are moving back in. But access varies from region to region. The coalition keeps lobbying. In 2008, the current education minister, Kathleen Wynne, boosts the fund to $33 million and promises to raise it to $66 million over the course of the Liberal mandate."

A billboard put up by London mayor-wannabe Nancy Branscombe has raised the eyebrows of some politicians, who wonder if she's run afoul of election spending rules.

Civic election day is 12 months away. Or is it 11? That uncertainty is one of many as members of London city council turn their gaze toward the next civic election.

Walter Lonc urging council to back a proposal to push the province for a ban on corporate and union election campaign donations.

Expert sounds alarm over OMB

Summary of Recommendations for Fixing the Ontario Municipal Board Dr. Barry Wellar, Policy and Research Advisor Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods

Letter to Premier McGuinty re OMB

Council votes to scrap board of control.

Why hasn’t council joined internet age?

Philip McLeod: All this and more for only $992,600,000

London is in poor fiscal health and its taxpayers among the most burdened in Ontario, a new study suggests.

Task force recommends scrapping board of control

Cheryl Miller and Bud Polhill one of 11 council members who opposed taking immediate steps to hire an auditor general.

"Growth, growth, growth -- that's what's being pushed now . . . . We can't stop growth . . . but we are making a mess and we can't get out of it anymore," says Carlo Altenberg, May 13, 2006.

Join the HANDS OFF LONDON HYDRO Facebook Group

London Hydro's future in hands of taxpayers.

London's board of control is a dead duck

City of Vaughan's new code first step toward integrity on council.

Philip McLeod
"Important events already escape the attention of readers and viewers. Well here’s one radical solution."

Chamber says scrap board of control

F.U.N. Asks Premier McGuinty to Reform the Ontario Municipal Board

Position Paper. FIXING THE ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD: A STRATEGIC APPROACH FOR CITIZEN GROUPS Dr. Barry Wellar, Advisor Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods, Department of Geography, University of Ottawa

His leadership questioned for the first time at London city hall, top manager Jeff Fielding defended his record and laid out plans to improve a worker absenteeism rate nearly double the national average. More and still more.

Instead of creating fancy new jobs, maybe city managers should make sure staff are doing the old jobs well

Skills development centre expands to city's northeast

Scene Magazine posed five questions to Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best; Controllers Gina Barber and Gord Hume; and Councillors Roger Caranci, Joni Baechler and Judy Bryant.

Gosnell ousted from post

Gosnell suggested Bryan stop talking so much about problems in Old East London.

Club manager Rob Bazinet is demanding the city put video cameras in East London.

London Hydro has been run well, keeping costs below the average for utilities of its size. Why does Controller Gord Hume and Coun. Cheryl Miller want to sell it?

Learn About Your Choice In the October 10th Ontario Referendum

A nine-member task force will be asked to report back in a year on options to reduce the size of London's city council.

London City Council - - 2006 Election Campaign 
Contributions and Expenses

Lessons learnt on campaign contributions by former Hamilton Mayor Dilanni

Give voters the facts. London Free Press Editorial

London council does not record its votes. Ottawa's does.

Younger candidates add fresh perspectives

Best Practice: Complete Communities, the Better Way To Build a City

Corporations accept responsibility for excessive campaign donations. More

2006 Budgets for the City of London

Cash pleas fall on deaf ears

Community groups fear impact from budget cuts

Put lid on spending, residents tell council

Growing concern that city council members aren't declaring conflicts of interest.


It is important to recognize the difference between growth forecasts and growth targets. Growth targets are aspirational goals of desired rates of growth. They provide motivating outcomes for initiatives to stimulate the economy and to attract population. However, growth forecasts are based on an informed estimate of the future…. Forecasts provide a baseline for anticipated growth and can inform growth targets

“However, growth forecasts are based on an informed estimate of the future. Forecasts provide a baseline for anticipated growth, and can inform targets.” Not to the Joes. They seem to believe it you set a forecast high it will become reality. “I’m not prepared to accept such pessimistic numbers,” Mayor Fontana told the committee.

The main reason a city does a forecast is not to impress potential investors but to develop its capital spending plan for the next 20 years. And that plan is used to calculate the development charge. The development charge is a levy that ensures that growth pays for growth.

This transportation master plan is just the thing to make London a very different kind of city – more compact, more environmentally conscious, more people oriented. But the plan requires two key decisions. First, to direct as much growth as possible to locations inside the existing built areas of the city instead of on the periphery. Second, to make the financial investments necessary to ensure “significant improvements” to public transit service at the expense of road construction.

In the understated words of the city’s planning department, which did not support the application: “The suggested amendment to the Official Plan is not consistent with the goals and objectives of the Hyde Park Community Plan, which included a comprehensive community and business association participation process. The addition of new commercial land use along this corridor is not justified and will not support the Hyde Park Village Core. “

Shouldn’t the community be deciding what it wants to transform into before we start evaluating proposals that might determine what we become instead?

More farmland lost to development

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Dundas St. through downtown London is going to get better. No, really! It’s going Dundas St. looking west towards Talbot as it appears today. to happen! Soon!

Appalling, shocking – and approved: For years folks in the Uplands neighbourhood of north London have been attending public meetings to air their views on development and integrity in the planning process. None of that seemed to matter last night as city council’s planning committee brushed it all aside.

Members of the community who had come to have a look at the revised Southwest Area Plan (SWAP) got a big box full of surprises. Five White Oaks Malls? Four Hyde Parks? Four Exeter and Wellington Roads?

It’s not just the ever-narrowing attitude on the part of some councillors about the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships which will be held here. It’s a growing list of examples where London, now the self-described City of Opportunity, shows signs of failing to understand what its slogan actually means.

City council has agreed with its planning department that the next Official Plan review, about to start, will be driven by Londoners’ vision for the future, not special interest groups. Let’s hope that’s a promise the politicians plan to keep.

As City Hall prepares plans for the future development of a huge chunk of southwest London should we blight our future for the benefit of the present? Or should we have a long-term view of how this city grows?

Time London put money where mouth is on river

The City of London is currently reviewing pathway and trail opportunities though the Medway Valley Heritage Forest in conjunction with the Trail Planning Advisory Committee.

Residents living along Veterans Memorial Parkway in east London have to fight to get fair tests done of noise levels from the highway. Along soon to be rebuilt Hyde Park Road in west London the noise barriers will be up before the road is finished.

Public engaged, EPCOR jilted

One reason Mayor Joe Fontana was so keen to see a deal between London Hydro and Edmonton-owned EPCOR was that he needs the money.

The mayor backs off and backs up.

Heated debate reaffirms London Hydro not for sale

City council will have its chance tonight to debate a proposed ‘partnership’ arrangement with EPCOR, the multi-billion-dollar energy company owned by the City of Edmonton. 

Good news at Finance and Administration Committee last week. The city has retained its AAA credit rating. No wonder it attracted the attention of an Edmonton Company with an A low and BBB+ rating.

A bold vision for downtown
And More
And More

Sandy Levin's thoughts on the report entitled City of London Highway 401 East Employment Land Corridor Planning and Economic Impact Analysis / Justification Report. 

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against hearing an appeal by a consortium of city developers, who since 2006 had sought to overturn city hall policy that toughens safeguards on hundreds of hectares of trees.

Developers vs Woodlands: The last battle

Overview on Land Use Planning Bruce Curtis, Manager, Community Planning and Development Municipal Services Office

If London's neighbourhoods are strong, the city is strong. Could they be stronger?

Presentation from Civics 101. Macro Level Transportation Planning

More than 100 Old Stoneybrook residents packed council chambers for the second straight week to protest the 18-unit apartment complex on Fanshawe Park Rd. that, despite some spirited arguments against it, was approved by a 12-3 vote. Only Councillors Nancy Branscombe, Harold Usher and Joni Baechler, whose ward includes the project, voted against it.


Fontana's contentious bid to spend $300,000 studying extending Veterans Memorial Parkway beyond Hwy. 401 into rural lands passed 8-5. For Baechler, the $300,000 environmental study could be a waste of money, considering the province hasn't yet committed money to an upgrade of the Parkway-401 interchange that would be crucial to the extension's success.

Sandy Levin on development charges and growth

London’s Western Fair Association (WFA) has some big ideas. Unfortunately, those big ideas could jeopardize the big ideas that Mayor Joe Fontana has for the downtown. This city may not be big enough to hold both of them.

Committee votes 3 to 2 to extend sewer service to Arva, a town of 550 and home of Mayor Joe Fontana. See Comment

City backs $20M core campus plan. Fanshawe’s proposed School of Applied and Performance Arts is envisioned as a downtown campus spread among several as-yet-unpurchased buildings within an “education and arts” district.

If the Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear the case, it would continue a lengthy legal battle that has seen developers lose each step of the way, most recently in November, when Ontario's top court sided with city hall and environmentalists who want to protect London's forests.

The lawyers for the LDI and others have asked for leave to the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal the decisions of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Ontario Divisional Court and the Ontario Municipal Board which supported the city's passage of OPA 403. OPA 403 provides greater protection for London's remaining woodlands. It is unclear at this time as to when the Court will rule on whether or not to hear the appeal.

The future home of the historic steel-truss Sarnia Rd. bridge, a century-old landmark, is still unclear — and it could yet be headed for a scrapyard — as city officials continue planning its replacement.

London’s landlords are taking the city to court to quash a bylaw meant to ensure decent conditions in rental units.

Canasia Power Corp., a Toronto-based developer of green energy projects, is scouting London for sites to locate a 125,000-square-foot manufacturing plant to churn out solar panel parts early next year, Ashok Dhillon, its chief executive, confirmed Friday.

There’s a lot London could learn from studying what is happening in other cities. One very attractive model, says reader Darren Chapman, is the city of Calgary, a place that is surprisingly similar to London – except, that is, for the walkways, the LRT and the sense of community.

A report released yesterday says seniors generally have high praise for London, but they have a long list of things they’d like improved too. All of which has ramifications for the future direction of the Forest City, concerns about which every citizen should take an interest.

An $8-million building proposal, at the intersection of Wortley Rd. and Bruce St., has withdrawn its request for variances, including one to build a few feet beyond the height limit. The move negates a Wortley resident’s appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, which would have delayed the start of construction until a ruling was made, said Dave Tennant Jr. of Hampton.

London Transit’s smart bus technology program was announced Friday, with passengers now able to access real-time information — from their computer or a cellphone — about a bus’s location.

A building site at Richmond and Victoria Street which has been purchased by the Hampton Group. They plan to build adult lifestyle condos which will consist of three four storey buildings.

London Strengthening Neighbourhoods Strategy London Strengthening Neighbourhoods Strategy

Kipps Lane Initiative - A Neighbourhood with Potential

An Old East intersection described by nearby residents as a “ticking time bomb” needs several traffic-calming improvements, city staff recommend.

The province has apparently opened the door to help pay for the demolition of South Street hospital, sparking optimism among city officials aiming to redevelop the prized piece of property.

Old East development taking shape. The old Hudson’s store on Dundas St is set to be demolished, clearing space for a $12-million residential development.

Fact Sheets: London 2030 Masterplan.To be successful, a transit system has to be supported by concentrations of people and jobs that generate ridership at strategic locations along it.

Fact Sheets: London 2030 Masterplan. By 2026, the City of London’s population will have grown by approximately 65,000 people, to a total population of 420,000 people. As the population grows, it is projected that 37,900 new residential units will be required.

Developer Shmuel Farhi isn’t the first person to have called for the removal of public transit buses off downtown London’s Dundas St. That recommendation was one of the cornerstones of a report submitted by the Downtown Task Force more than two years ago. Since then, nothing has happened. And nothing probably will until the city steps in and orders London Transit to rework its routes.

After two decades of attempting to buy the property, London developer Shmuel Farhi has acquired the historic Market Tower building on Dundas St. The Market Tower Building is a strategic purchase for the company, giving Farhi control of the west side of Richmond between Dundas and King Streets.

A move by Westmount Shopping Centre to demolish a large chunk of space is pushing some retailers out of the south end mall. The mall has applied to tear down up to 80,000 square feet to make way for more parking.

Vic Cote, city administrator, who stickhandled London's role in developing a downtown Fanshawe College campus could take on similar duties with the school after he retires in March.

Should the federal government consider investing billions of dollars in a high-speed rail network along the Windsor-Quebec City corridor? ?8% voted yes!

An $8-million "marquee" luxury-condo development planned for Wortley Village

The Piccadilly Area Neighbourhood Association wants the city's planning department to deny a request by Auto Zone Service Station, at Adelaide and Piccadilly streets, to expand.

TVO's public affairs show will discuss what it takes for recovery in a broadcast from London

When other cities were erecting warehouse-style retail outlets in the hinterlands, Vancouver built its Costco right downtown -- the first urban Costco in the world, with four 40-story residential towers rising from the top.

For more than 10 years, Ron Wickman has been a leading advocate for barrier-free design in buildings and landscapes. As an architect, his commitment to accessible housing and his award-winning practical and functional designs have earned him national recognition as an expert in accessibility and barrier-free design.

A decision looms this year that could propel London to become a global economic force or banish it to the boondocks. Politicians in Queen's Park and Ottawa will receive in 2010 a $3-million study on the feasibility of high-speed rail between Quebec City and Windsor. Londoners who commute to Toronto on Via trains figuratively take a back seat to the freight on lines owned by CN. Cunningham said she's been late to meetings because passenger trains were pulled aside to allow freight trains to pass them.

Finding ways to make city age-friendly

Developer lawyer Barry Card will file a formal appeal to a lower court ruling to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The divisional court of Ontario recently dismissed an appeal by the developers unhappy at an Ontario Municipal Board ruling that backed city hall's changes to the way trees are to be protected from development pressure.

A legal challenge by several London developers relating to city hall's protection of trees was struck down yesterday, ending the latest round of the fight over forests in the Forest City. The three judges who heard yesterday's arguments ruled the OMB was correct in its decision to turn down the developers' appeal. They also granted costs of $7,000 to Sandy Levin and $10,000 to the city, who argued against the challenge.

Ottawa mayor intends to advance a motion at council asking Premier Dalton McGuinty to clarify Bill 51, the law that was meant to restrict the OMB's power

London city hall may soon clamp down on the building of "snout houses" whose prominent garages dominate some London streetscapes.

Supreme Court dismissed an appeal of lower court decisions upholding Oshawa's zoning bylaws, which prohibit commercial lodging houses in residential areas.

Edge Effects within Municipal Forests: Are Municipal Policies Effective in Limiting Residential Encroachment into the edges of Suburban Wooded Parklands? W. J. McWilliam, P. F. J. Eagles, M. L. Seasons, School of Planning, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Final Report CMHC External Research Grant August 2008

SoHo -- a neighbourhood just south of downtown that's gaining renewed prominence at city hall -- has all the components to enjoy a major renaissance during the coming decades.

Disabled denied sidewalk snow removal A representative for the city's disabled community may challenge the city for failing to respect the rights of the disabled.

The half-tonne blue heron sculpture that will adorn Renaissance tower downtown is a link to the nearby Thames River, helping connect the building to the city's natural geography and its traditions and history, says its creator, London artist Ted Goodden.

Grand residential vision unveiled for South St. The hospital facilities south of the street may soonbe gone, replaced by residential buildings with ground-floor cafes and stores that open to a promenade that restores the connection between community and river.

'Turning London into a cargo hub has a few flaws

Smart meters to help build London’s new power habits

Canada’s best and worst run cities.

How did London become one of Canada’s best-run cities?

What are London’s transportation needs?

New UWO engineering building has highest energy efficiency

Residents of a south London neighbourhood want the city to continue a pilot project that cleared their pathways last winter.

A lawyer acting for the City of Ottawa argued Thursday that the courts must decide who makes development decisions in Ontario: elected city councils or the Ontario Municipal Board.

"Taxpayers have been paying more than their fair share," of development charges said Sandy Levin of the Urban League.

Stimulus cash should be used to build a new economy, not toilets. More vacuous ides on how to spend your tax dollars. Roundtable suggests London use the money to begin developing the 401 / 402 corridor from the airport to the new Southside sewage treatment plant.

London can lead Ontario into a new economy.

Future communities need expert planning

Developers win the right to challenge city rules on protecting woodlands

The Ruling

Developers don't like a decision that's aimed at protecting the city's remaining woodlands

OMB backs city's move to protect more woods.

The OMB decision is out! The LDI's appeal was dismissed!

Former city councilor Sandy Levin has staked as much as $70,000 of his own money to hire Guelph lawyer Peter Pickfield to help defend the city's policy. PDF of Poster

Battle lines drawn over trees Letters1, 2, 3, 4

Developers go to the OMB to threaten London’s woodlands

More on the OMB

The fate of hundreds of hectares of London woodlands challenged by developers. "(Our challenge) has often been misinterpreted . . . as an attack on trees" developers claim."

The Thames Valley Corridor planning process. Most of us want something between an unremarkable and nearly invisible stream, advocated by nature purists, and a Disneyfied, over-commercialized watercourse, such as the River Walk in San Antonio,

Fleming calling for city growth guidelines that integrate natural features such as hills and trees rather than bulldoze them.

Coun. Judy Bryant, chairperson of the planning committee, said the guidelines would create healthier and more attractive neighbourhoods. "This encourages children to play together. It means more eyes on the street. It will create a much richer public domain."

Residents near London's Meadowlily Woods have won a major battle with the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart.

Demise of The Brunswick Hotel.

After demolition Brunswick protectors plan boycott of the Richmond Hotel, the second bar owned by Dan Dencev.

Join "Save the Wick!" on Facebook

Facebook helps keep 'the Wick' standing

High-speed rail network would be environmentally friendly and improve Ontarians' quality of life.

Transportation overhaul essential for trade

Leading transportation and infrastructure experts map out strong infrastructure plan

Mayor backs vision for river area. More

After years of fairly standard policies guiding the land along the Thames River and fairly standard ideas about development on that land, everything is changing.

Asphalt costs skyrocketing

London city hall wants developers to shoulder more of the cost of expanding roads

Moving forward on public transit

Born from the ashes of history, new Springbank Gardens opens Sunday

Public art: Illustrating London’s unique identity

Disabled citizens deserve the same service as others

Potters Guild site renews hopes

Performing arts centre is worth a harder look

Community building: the world is watching

The One Cent NOW! campaign requests that the federal government share the equivalent of one cent of the GST with cities to meet our infrastructure needs. Sign the City of London's Online petition.

The Town and Gown Association of Ontario (TGAO)

THE NEXT LONDON: Let's put people ahead of cars

City receives a failing grade from Conference Board of Canada.

The London Transit Commission is set to get a $8.9-million boost from the Ontario government's gas-tax program, so it can expand services

Subdivision of the future looks more like the past

Designing suburbs for people, not cars

Light rail system for London is overdue

Metal trees and murals helped turned downtown London into a more creative space this year, says the head of the London Downtown Business Association. LDBA will also contribute $10,000 to the planting of real trees.

To draw residents downtown, London should create a safe, vibrant place for people to walk, enjoy life and access key services such as pharmacies, day cares, schools, parks and community centres.

Centennial Hall is not real performing arts centre.
The Londoner

We’re with Controller Barber in believing utility companies provide an essential public service and should, therefore, be publicly owned.
The Londoner

New $26 million morth end facility will have a library, swimming pool, gymnasium, indoor track and YMCA child care, ans it will be the third LEED green certified building in London.

City's finance chief says it's time industry picks up it's tax share.

London's arts centre must be world-class

Massive mural brightens up core streetscape

Car Free Day is just one of the ways that Bogata has been transformed from a city once infamous for narco-terrorism, pollution and chaos into a globally lauded model of livability and urban renewal.

Calgary awarded the CH2M Hill Sustainable Communities Award

Kaplansky has applied for a severance to build a fourth "tower of spite". "In any other Canadian city, you build things that are consistent with the character and spirit of the neighbourhood. Clearly, that didn't happen here."

Sifton tower plans rejected by committee

Sifton agrees to look at swap , may get land elsewhere instead of building at Riverside and Wonderland.

Residents rally in fight against Sifton development.

Oakridge Acres residents openly hostile to Sifton plans for the five-storey complex.

Sifton Properties Ltd. seeks to build a five-storey office building on “open space.” by the ThamesMore

Drivers should pay to ease congestion.

Province to restore the former Monsignor Feeney Centre, the "jewel" of London's heritage buildings.

Breaking ground on Downtown Markham, North America's largest environmentally sustainable mixed-use development.

Ontario is committed to stopping sprawl.

Curb Put on Future Sprawl in Guelph

Award-winning film RADIANT CITY explores issues surrounding suburban sprawl in Canada

North Talbot plan disappoints. Coun. Joni Baechler was among the minority of council last year that voted against the project because of concerns about the revolving fund. Now it's too late, Baechler said.

How do you plan to promote high quality intensification and smart growth? Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton:

Higher development charges may control growth

Some U.S. suburbs import urban features

Developers and city hall at odds over growth. More

Heritage group lobbies for Capitol

Subsidized core parking challenged

LTC pitches big overhaul

LTC plan reduces the need of parking lots downtown.

With courage, strong planning and lots more people, London's core could be Ontario's envy.

City to give as much as $10,000 per parking stall to developers.

Same tried four years ago in Windsor with disastrous results.

Council votes to seek a private firm to build a parking garage at a city-owned lot on Queens Avenue near Richmond Street

Strong planning and urban design principles could make London the envy of Ontario cities

Downtown London is getting some public art. Thirty metal trees.

Farhi, owner of 70-plus downtown buildings, says he'll raze them. More, And More

Farhi wants Capitol leveled for parking

London should scrap a troubled development fund

Developer Samuel Farhi plans to turn the downtown landmark, the Capitol theatre, into a parking lot. More

City told to scrap parking plan

Downtown has too many lots? London parking a bargain.

Transit plan at odds with city downtown lot  building strategy.

London can no longer afford uncontrolled development

Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell leading push to have city-owned park land rezoned for a high rise. More.

Development dilemmas


Oh Thames, how we (sort of) love thee

Toronto Dominion Bank branch in London, Ontario is intended to generate as much energy as it uses

From carpooling to conservation and education, the 13-part series gives Londoners the tools to be more environmentally friendly. Join host and community producer Maryanne MacDonald, founder and editor of EcoVox magazine and learn about programs and initiatives in the Forest City that can help you to reduce your carbon footprint

Nortel Networks is arguing it’s bankrupt and can’t afford the $10-million cost to stop compounds linked to cancer from spreading from its property near Hwy. 401 — even though Nortel could rake in $900 million from selling its patents.

Last week, Mayor Fontana led the charge to freeze water and sewer rates for 2011 cutting money from a budget used in part to stop sewage from flooding into the river.

Ever wondered what pollutants are floating in the air above your neighbourhood?
Click here to find out.

The roof at Fanshawe College's new transportation and technology building is covered with lush vegetation and looks like a meadow.

A new website gives Londoners a glimpse into the nutritional information of meals at their favourite local restaurants.

Cash-strapped London Transit has scaled back plans to buy costly hybrid buses, floating a proposal that may spark a fiesty debate this week between those who champion the environment against those who champion the bottom line.

London’s leaf cover (24.7%) bests such cities as Calgary (7.2%), Toronto (19.9%), San Francisco (11.9%) and New York City (20.9%). A U.S. group, American Forests, recommends cities hit 40%.And its woodland cover — the percentage of ground occupied by woodlots and forested areas — is 7.3%, far below Environment Canada’s 30% recommendation.

Urban League honours UWO biologist

The University of Western Ontario swept this year's Urban League of London's annual Green Brick and Green Umbrella Awards.

Urban League honours, UWO biologist, building

The London transportation director unveiled a new system of bike route road markers Friday on Dufferin St.

ReForest London celebrated its 5th anniversary with a tree planting at Gibbons Park Saturday. Over 100 London Life employees and their families, community volunteers and ReForest London staff planted 20 varieties of trees and bushes in a newly naturalized area at the north end of the park near the tennis courts.

Scouts Canada, working with non-profit groups, veterans, businesses, and hundreds of volunteers were sprucing up Veterans Memorial Parkway Saturday by planting thousands of trees along the major east-end corridor.

Thanks to London companies like Purifics and Trojan Technologies, Ontario is poised to capture the growing worldwide demand for clean water and more efficient water systems, McGuinty said, beginning a day-long Earth Day tour in the city.

Car Free Sunday a major success

As the city — along with many around the world — gears up for Saturday night's Earth Hour, students across the London district will honour the Earth Friday with school-based events.

Earth Hour. As far as energy use is concerned, last year when London participated in the yearly event, power consumption dropped by a remarkable 10.6 per cent in one hour.

Single-file dirt trails that twist and turn, strewn with rocks and exposed roots, sometimes slippery with mud – these are not places for people with mobility difficulties. The result is they get shut out of places such as the Medway Heritage Forest in north London or The Coves in south London. Is that fair? People with mobility difficulties are just as likely as their able-bodied neighbours to have a keen interest in the environment. And they are just as likely to be taxpayers who feel as entitled to visit all parts of the civic domain as the next person.

Public crowds the Landon branch library in Old South Friday for the unveiling of 14 solar voltaic panels. Installed on the roof, the panels are already helping to power the building.

London city council has voted to go ahead with a $22-million recycling plant to be built by Miller Waste Systems Inc. of Markham.

The skyline is studded with rooftops filled with small wind turbines sitting atop highrise apartment towers and office buildings, the tops of many other smaller buildings and homes are covered in solar panels; vision of Vinay Sharma, chief executive of London Hydro.

China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines and solar panels, and is poised to expand even further this year.

Neighbours of a proposed solar farm just east of London are gearing up for a red-hot public meeting about the project Wednesday night in Belmont.

Zerofootprint London Personal Carbon Manager.

London air pollution worst in Ontario

A leading supplier of high performance, cost-effective solar electric solutions, announcs that it has entered into a supply contract to provide a total of 5.1 megawatts (MW) or 23,000 modules to Ontario's Hybridyne Power Systems.

Some oppose Belmont solar farm

The London District Catholic school board wants to cash in on the solar power movement.

The City of Calgary and ENMAX have signed a long-term electricity agreement to supply The City with renewable electricity. Seventy five percent of The City’s electricity will be supplied by renewable energy through 2011. Beginning in 2012, the amount of renewable electricity that The City will purchase will increase to 100%.

Toronto's inaugural 2009 CitiesAlive! World Green Roof Infrastructure Congress. It has the most progressive greenroof policy in North America.

The City of Vancouver is developing a green building strategy

Since the initial Green Fleet Implementation Plan (phase one) was approved by Council in 2005, Hamilton has been recognized as a leader in the use of advanced vehicle technology that reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. It has the second-largest fleet of hybrid and other clean and efficient vehicles in Ontario

City of Cambridge's new Civic Administration Building will be a one-of-a-kind environmental marvel. The building will position Cambridge as an environmentally friendly and sustainable community.

Provinces unimpressed by modest emission-reduction targets set at Copenhagen

Quebec premier says provinces could ignore Fed's climate change plan

CANADA VENTURE: Every Breeze Counts At Catch The Wind

California's largest wind power projects has been approved by Kern County 17 The wind farm would include up to 320 turbines and generate up to 800 megawatts.

Edison International is spending billions to bring more renewable power to customers in Southern California

The fourth edition of MFN’s Guide to the Natural Areas of London & Vicinity is on sale from Novacks, Oxford Book Shop, Wild Birds Unlimited, and Featherfields.

Get newsletters from the York Region Environmental Alliance

Train derailment leads to massive diesel spill. A CN train is derailed and has its fuel tank punctured leading to a massive diesel spill near Highbury Ave.

Reforest London held a tree planting on Saturday, Oct. 17, in Briscoe Woods, a small park located in the west end of Briscoe Woods West, west of Highwood Avenue, in the Coves.

Londoners plant trees in Briscoe Woods as the federal government announces a $65,000 grant to ReForest London.

Announcing the best trees in the Forest City 10 trees were selected as winners in the Amazing Tree Quest

City's land purchase ends neighbours' fight

London city council has given staff the go-ahead to offer Sifton Properties up to $800,000 for land next to a wetland where the developer had planned to build two estate homes,

UWO/Gibbonswetlandsan environmentally significant area. Coun. Nancy Branscombe, chair of council's planning committee, said. "Not every piece of land in the city should be developed, especially when it's wetland or woodland. There's precious little of it left. It's our duty to protect it."

London Amazing Tree Quest

London lags behind other cities when it comes to curbside restrictions

City of London's Bike & Walk Map

Jay Stanford, London's environmental director , taking City Hall to new heights.

Help find the city’s stand-out trees. Londoners invited to join hunt in the Amazing Tree Quest

Why does CN treat London like trash?

Earth Hour: The Greatest Show on the Planet It never felt so good to be left in the dark: At 8:30pm on March 28, more than 1000 cities in over 80 countries will turn out the lights to protest against climate change.

US trains green workers of the future

LTC still gets much less from the taxpayer than its counterparts in almost every other city in the province

We allow developers to cut down trees for new subdivisions, but our rules about replacing those trees after the houses are built aren’t very tight.

Work starts on $63.5M-cleanup of PCB dump

Raw sewage in Thames enough to fill 700 pools


Defining the river that defines us

Re: Sifton's application to build a private road through a provincially significant wetland/woodland. Council votes unanimously to reject Sifton's request.

City politicians vow court action to protect wetland

Trees breathe new air into community

Blackfriars Garden attractive hideaway

nestled by Thames

City buys four hectares of environmentally sensitive floodplain along the Coves

Friends of the Coves buoyed by land deal.

Developers don't like a decision that's aimed at protecting the city's remaining woodlands

OMB backs city's move to protect more woods.

The OMB decision is out! The LDI's appeal was dismissed!

London Tree Trunk Tour

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle This Blog By David Gough. Covering green matters across Southwestern Ontario.

Where to find local organic farms in the London area.

A River: Videos about the Thames

Forest City getting greener

Renewed funding good news for Clean Water Program

Coves land deal nears

Coves development deserves a hard look

Environment officials to skip citizen meeting on clean up of PCBs in the Westinghouse Canada transformer plant in East London

Five great London places to buy a used book.

Urban League of London Honoured with gift from the Estate of Beryl Ivey.

Thousands join in cleanup campaigns

If you think wind power should be a significant part of Ontario's energy mix, we encourage you to visit the site and register your support.

Lush targets plastic bag ban

Earth Hour. Londoners set a good example.

But cut power by only 2%

The Thames Valley District School Board would like to encourage all staff and students to take part in EARTH HOUR 2008.

Over the last 40 years, the oil sands industry has disturbed far less land than was lost to the urban sprawl of Toronto during that same period of time.

The Free Press spot audit of schools, city hall, libraries and other public buildings in London, checking to see how brightly lit they are long after their closing hours.

Former city councillor Sandy Levin has staked as much as $70,000 of his own money to hire Guelph lawyer Peter Pickfield to help defend the city's policy. PDF of Poster

Battle lines drawn over trees Letters1, 2, 3, 4

Developers go to the OMB to threaten London’s woodlands

More on the OMB

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.

Tree carving to celebrate Thames trips

Make Earth Hour Happen In Your Town

Toronto is the first Canadian city to join the Earth Hour

Bradley pushing Sarnia 'Earth Hour'


OMB hearing threatens London’s woodlands

Woodlands deal falters. More

Water quality in the region’s creeks and rivers improving because the forests have kept their cover.

The drive-through recommendations -- to be debated Nov 12 by the city's planning committee at 7 p.m., with public input invited.

A graffiti-covered wall on a strip mall on Aldersbrook Road was transformed from an eyesore to artwork, titled Youthful Nature.

Massive maple carving to honour Thames River

Vito Frijia has told the city he wants to cut down the Sprucedale Woods and convert it into a driving range.

London council is on the verge of passing tough, new rules to crack down on those who improperly clear woodlots

Farm energy getting greener

Ontario Community Sustainability Report — 2007. London ranks 7th.

What if you could add $2.6 billion annually to your local economy?

Toronto Community Housing Corp, has sights set on LEED gold.

Urban league honours Sisters of St. Joseph by becoming the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building to warrant a Gold Rating in London

An estimated 140,000 tonnes of e-waste are discarded annually in Canadian landfills. E-wastes contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury, arsenic and chromium.

Suburban design breeds fat citizens, but gov'ts reluctant to step in.

Latest news on Adelaide- Sprucedale forest.

Woodlot facing risk of removal. More

The series, Dying to Live Here, probes the links between the region's higher than average rates of death and disease, and the environment.

Bad air, chemicals, and UV a deadly mixture for London

Thames Valley board honoured for energy savings

Study shows that urban sprawl and its characteristic low-density, automobile-reliant suburbs are associated with higher body fat in Canadian men

The emerald ash borer has been found in four more trees - three in Carriage Hill Park.

Dam is the focus of an ongoing controversy

Launch Successful for Lambton County Factsheet

World's largest solar farms will soon rise on Sarnia's outskirts.

New tool in war on ash borer

Gearing up for Earth Day weekend

Upper Thames Conservation Authority goal: Plant trees to eliminate the emissions of 2,880 cars.

Developer Faces Court Proceedings for Cutting Woodlot

Coves condo deal nearing completion

Water quality in the Thames River is improving, despite recent reports of high E. coli levels by an area angling group, says the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. A major contributor of E. coli is the city's Greenway Pollution Control Plant.

Too soon for ban? Greenhouse gases produced by vehicles in drive-through lineups in Edmonton amounted to 23.5 tonnes a day.

"The public wants drive-throughs. They're using drive-throughs. They're being built," Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnel

Woodlot protection meets opposition

City considers seeking fines for clear-cutting by South Winds Development Co.

Drake Landing Solar Community.

A former paint factory that has long haunted neighbours of the Coves soon may be cleared for development.

Emerald ash borer found in city lot

Make trees priority, city told.

Woodlot battle: Neighbours, groups hope the city can save this urban forest area

With an election looming and a gallery full of voters cheering them on, London city council last night approved a policy to protect its dwindling woodlands. More.

Trees could become election issue

Council meeting on September 18, to amend the Official Plan that establishes the threshold for determining a significant woodland. More. And More. And still More. Background

Help reclaim Forest City label

G.M. and a small but growing number of other companies and municipalities are getting solar energy from systems installed by others.

Community of London Environmental Awareness Reporting Network

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

The Oxbow - Friends of the Coves Newsletter - Fall Issue


Ongoing Issues
Pesticides Imagine London Creative Cities

Gosnell echoes the lawn-care industry's position, but pesticide ban finally passed. More

MP urges city to move ahead with pesticide ban

Sign the petition

Pesticide battle ready to explode. More

Public asked to attend meeting and spend no more than five minutes addressing nothing in particular. More

Five years ago the pesticide by-law issue was brought before City Council.

London's lawn care industry, spending thousands to defeat  potential by-law.


Election 2006

Industry opposition to a ban on pesticide use to battles Imagine London

City ordered to pay Imagine London's legal  costs

Board of control gives up ward fight. More. And More.

City's top gun loses appeal.

Appeal may cost taxpayers as much as $100,000

Editorial London Free Press


City's brightest young minds gather to brainstorm London's future. More. 150 Great Things About Our Neighbourhoods

"Smart CityTM is a weekly, hour-long public radio talk show hosted by Carol Coletta, who has been pioneering innovative strategies to improve cities for 30 years.

City seeking creative ways to celebrate 150th birthday. More.

Creative cities plan lauded by consultant. More. The Plan.

Arts as infrastructure. More. Opinion from AltLondon.

Building a creative city. More. More. And more. And still more.

OMB Big Box Boom Forest City?
A Proud Member of FUN