New Ward 18 councillor has plans for Dundas parking problems

Ana Bailao accepts applause for winning the council seat in Ward 18 in Monday’s Toronto municipal election. (DAVIES_BAILAO_PICEDIT)

The new councillor for Ward 18 plans to take her new responsibility to the streets of the constituency.

Monday night, voters in Ward 18 chose Ana Bailão as their new councillor. She defeated Kevin Beaulieu, former assistant to Coun. Adam Giambrone, by 1,366 votes.

Giambrone left his Davenport seat to run in the Toronto mayoral election, but then dropped out in April. Bailão, who came second to Giambrone in 2003, says her first priority is to help local businesses that have suffered due to reduced parking along Dundas Street West and the diverting of the 505 streetcar.

“I am still hoping that my first motion in council is going to bring parking (back) to Dundas,” she said. “The decision to reduce the number of parking spots along the Dundas retail strip was made despite protests from local businesses and the BIAs in the area. This is an important issue because it impacts the bottom line for our local businesses.”

Bailão is a Portuguese immigrant with a history of volunteer work in Davenport. She promised greater transparency and community consultation, something she said many voters feel they did not receive under Giambrone.

“It’s having somebody that is going to be listening to them and has a track record of community involvement in this community,” she said. “People were really upset at the last seven years (and) felt disconnected from City Hall.”

Bailão plans to create a development and planning council and to hold weekly open office hours in community centres; she said a council will give residents a forum to discuss solutions to the issues in their neighbourhoods.

“While maintaining the character of our neighbourhood, we want our arteries to thrive, our streets to become more efficient and safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers; to have well planned developments with good design that will attract more jobs to Davenport,” she said.