HELP STOP a bad decision that hurts our seniors, destroys our green space and fails Toronto’s homeless.

On March 10th Toronto City Council surprised everyone by choosing the front lawn of WILLOWDALE MANOR at 175 Cummer Ave (at Willowdale Avenue) as the location for a permanent homelessness project.


• The City plans to destroy almost two dozen mature trees from Willowdale Manor’s parkland.

• The City plans to place 64 small pre-built single-person living units on the front lawn to house primarily homeless men from across Toronto.

• The City wants a special order from Ontario (an “MZO”) to avoid the normal land use development process and prevent public scrutiny.

• The City says this is an “emergency response” requiring a “fast-track” process. However, the units are PERMANENT, not TEMPORARY.


We are proud of the fact that we live in a very multi-cultural community. Our VoW Flyer has been translated into Simplified Chinese, Farsi, and Korean”.



Over 600 senior citizen residents of Willowdale Manor and Cummer Lodge, their families and staff, enjoy these parklands. No consideration has been given to their wellbeing. Nor to neighbourhood Tai Chi and other users.


The City wants to cut down dozens of large mature trees that are decades old. Not 1 or 2, but a full stand of trees.


City of Toronto claims to have evaluated thousands of potential sites across Toronto. This evaluation was done in secret. City plans were revealed just hours before City approval. NO SIGNS were placed on the Willowdale Manor site until AFTER City approval.


The site is in an interior quiet residential neighbourhood, in the northernmost part of Toronto. The site is far from parole offices, safe drug injection sites and major mental health programs. The site is over 1 KM from major arterial roads, Yonge Street, Bayview, Steeles and Finch Avenues. 64 hastily placed units will not have any effect on Toronto’s 18,000 waiting list for supported housing,


The City wants an “MZO”. MZOs are for projects of such exceptional Provincial significance that the public’s rights to receive information, participate in a public hearing and to appeal the City’s decision to an independent appellant board are completely suspended. An MZO will allow the City to completely avoid the democratic process, including basic requirements such as a “planning justification report”.

Even the City Councilors who voted for this say MZO’s remove our rights!

“MZO stands for Ministerial Zoning Order, a special legislative tool which poses a real threat to your right to provide feedback on matters of the environment and urban design…MZOs however remove these citizen rights”:
Shelley Carroll, City Councilor, Ward 17 Don Valley North, March 11, 2021

Councilor attacks residents who dare question this secret decision

“[ they] attempted to dehumanize the homeless to justify doing nothing for them.”
John Filion, City Councillor, Ward 18, Willowdale, March 12, 2021

About Us

Join our effort to ensure fairness and good decisions that benefit our community

VOW is a grassroots non-partisan organization of community members  from the  Willowdale Ward 18 neighborhood of Toronto.
We are ”People who Care”. We  care about our neighbors, our community and our environment.
We believe our elected officials and governments should respect the community and act on behalf of all the residents of Willowdale.
We are committed to bring important issues and facts to your attention so that your voices, the “Voices of Willowdale” are heard.


Peter Durrant

This is going to cause huge density considering the development that is taking place across the street and the development that will soon be taking place on the North side of Cummer from Yonge westward half way to Willowdale Avenue. Also, it is going to rob the seniors at Cummer Lodge of a place they use for leisure in the warm weather. I sold construction for eight years and I know that modular homes are cheap and are not well built. It’s just another dumb idea that is destroying the fabric of Willowdale where I have lived for almost my entire life.

Roberta Casalinuovo

This photo of land is full of matures tress that provide a space for the seniors and their families to sit and enjoy. It is a much needed green space for the co.munity and the existing facilities at this corner. Why is it Ok for the city to clear cut over 60 trees? It seems that hypocritical to cut trees and then provide a tree planting program. Please find a plot of land with direct access to the subway line and more amenities such as grocery stores.

King Mei Chan

The promise to keep the neighbourhood safe is simply not possible. My niece works as a support staff for the homeless in Vancouver, and she was assaulted by the people she helped. Like all good christians, she refused to press charges against those simply could not help or control themselves. So the statistics NEVER reflect what truly happens in the area with homeless shelters. There is no doubt Toronto needs housing for homeless, but to place it in an family neighbourhood with no adequate support (such as mental and safe drug injection) is simply wrong.

Michael Tynan High School Mathematics Teacher at Toronto Catholic District School Board

While we all need to concern ourselves with the plight of the homeless, the plan to erect modular housing on essentially what is the front lawn of Cummer House is illconceived, poorly thought out, and an affront to all the residents of North Willowdale. There are virtually no supporting services near this area to cater to the specific needs of homeless, and it will have a very negative impact on the seniors currently residing at Cummer House. This project must be put on hold to allow more discussion and analysis to unveil it’s true impact on the residents in the area.

Catherine Maugeri-Schuck Paul Dwyer Catholic High School

I am concerned about this location and how it was decided. It is nowhere near any conveniences and smack dab in the middle of vulnerable people. There seems to be a lack of common sense when it came to deciding the location of this structure. Let’s hurt our seniors even more by taking away their green space–after all they’ve been through this year, let’s add more injury. This structure should be in an area within metres of conveniences not in the middle of a seniors home and taking away their greenspace. Why and HOW was this decision made. A decision that directly impacts the seniors. Why is there no consultation when these things happen. It would make sense to have EVERYONE work together to make decisions that would benefit all and I know this was not done in this case. Very sad


I’ve lived nearby to this facility in north york all my life until quite recently. It is quite a walking hike from this location to any nearby stores for basic purchases or a coffee. Let alone in the winter. Seriously? This idea is irresponsible. These residents are elderly, at the later stages of their life. So now you plan to purposely add more stress and fear to their lives? What happened to respect for the elderly?

Derek Callop

After a year in which seniors have suffered the most with the pandemic, we kick them when they’re down and build a homeless shelter at the foot of their doorstep. Who cares about seniors in nursing homes. They can’t vote, so the politicians figure they can take advantage of them. Welcome to the new Canada… work hard your whole life, pay your taxes, contribute to society, and at the end of it all you get kicked to the curb like a piece of trash. Whatever happened to dignity. These politicians should be ashamed! Embarrassing!

Yu Lan

We have 3 senior homes, one rehab complex within the range of 1km in this neighbourhood. Many families have volunteered for these public services and to attack us saying that we dehumanize the homeless and isn’t willing to carry social responsibility is incredibly ignorant. The space is tiny, and right on the front lawn of the senior home and makes it a non-sensical decision to insert 64 permanent units for the homeless in a low-density residential neighbourhood without sufficient amenities. There is only 1 non-major busline that grants access to a single grocery store. Let alone this whole process was done without consulting the community.

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