By Sarah Larke, Katia Sist and Cassandra Turco
As voters head to the polls today, residents in the Etobicoke-Lakeshore area have voiced concerns about issues in their community.
“Lakeshore is a mess,” said resident Daniel Pacitto. “They need to clean up the waterfront.”
Pacitto, who lives in Mimico, has already cast his ballot for Ward 3 during the advanced polls. Polls close at 8 p.m. on election night, Monday Oct. 22.
Each election presents a fresh set of issues for the new councillors to address. This race is of particular interest due to the new council set-up, with the reduction of the city’s 47 wards to 25.
Some residents, such as Pacitto, support the boundary changes.
“I love it,” he said. “I think the City of Toronto has been in a standstill for many years because of ‘too many cooks in the kitchen.’”
Pacitto said the current system does not allow council to make progress.
“One of the biggest issues with Toronto is ‘analysis paralysis.’ They can’t make a move or decision without doing research,” he said.
The number of wards, however, does not change the current problems residents have.
Financial planner Jaclyn Dawson said her primary concern is car congestion due to limited parking.
“New business are opening up in the area, and the big issue is that there is not adequate parking for these establishments,” she said. “Cars park illegally all over the streets, and it causes lots of traffic and nightmares for patrons trying to go to these stores.”
Apart from the congestion, issues about property are making some residents boiling mad.
“These huge homes on small lots not only look out of place but are overbearing to neighbours,” Pacitto said. “They should not allow these houses to be built so big and so close to the property lines.”
As for the Ward 3 councillor, incumbent Mark Grimes is competing for his fifth term in office alongside nine new candidates.
Pacitto is hopeful this election will bring a new city councillor to the ward to create change.
“Fifteen years is long enough and he hasn’t really done much to improve the community,” Pacitto said. “I think it’s time for new blood.”