Skip to content

Affordability, growth, planning all challenges facing Innisfil in 2024

Here's what Innisfil's councillors feel are the biggest challenges facing the community in the coming year
2022-2026 Innisfil Council

On Dec. 7, Innisfil councillors officially celebrated one year in office. To commemorate the occasion, we asked the deputy mayor and each ward councillor to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year to come. Today is second of a two-part series. Click here to read Part 1.

While she wasn’t included in this piece, we aren’t letting Mayor Lynn Dollin off the hook that easily. Be sure to check out our year-end interview with the mayor, which will be published later this month.

Below are their answers to the following question:

What is the biggest challenge facing the town in 2024?

Deputy Mayor Kenneth Fowler

Hands down I would say it's the short-term accommodation issue. It hinders the ability of many who seek full-time rentals and plays a major factor in creating a housing shortage, which we are attempting to tackle on multiple fronts. Innisfil is growing and we want to welcome people to our blossoming community.

Ward 1 Coun. Kevin Eisses

Looking ahead to 2024, Innisfil will be reviewing its Official Plan with the biggest challenge will be continuing to balance the needs of residents along with the pressure to find more homes and jobs in a growing region of the province.  

Ward 2 Coun. Grace Constantine

The town may encounter its greatest challenge in a single word: affordability. Many families are struggling with affordability, whether it's for housing or food insecurity. The council is aware of this and is doing its best to aid in any way possible. Several community initiatives are assisting in reducing food insecurity. The Innisfil Community Church is responsible for sponsoring the Innisfil Food Bank. The community has contributed to the funding of three community fridges.

Another challenge is to establish a transportation system that will be able to serve Innisfil, which is among the fastest-growing communities. Furthermore, we understand that climate change has an impact on both big and small cities. It is important to work towards protecting the earth for years to come.

Ward 3 Coun. Jennifer Richardson

The biggest challenge facing this council will be to continue to fight and advocate for the residents and businesses of Innisfil while maintaining and growing our sense of community. 

There are real issues which could cause some serious diversity in our growing community and those which could cause some significant points and moments for us all to come together and be unified. I am hoping for the latter.  

I am hopeful that there is a give-and-take mentality that takes over and pulls us all together for the greater good of our community and its growth in the next 12 months. I hope everyone feels heard and validated despite some of our differences.  

I think our biggest challenge will be maintaining our sense of community and remembering the main reason we all love living here.

Ward 5 Coun. Linda Zanella

I think the biggest challenge for 2024 will be to accommodate the growth we are anticipating. We are on track to fulfil our pledge to build 6,300 new homes by 2031.

This growth will require us to look at our transportation plans for the future. I am very anxious to get the Go Station built because I think that will encourage people to move to Innisfil.

 I am also really hoping the RVH south campus in Innisfil will be built sooner rather than later. I hope that in 2024 we can acquire some local doctors for our community as it is one of the biggest problems we currently face and with more residents moving to Innisfil, health care is a priority.

Ward 6 Coun. Robert Saunders

The biggest challenge facing the town next year is how the council will have to keep on track with the two-year budget that we approved last year and keep up with the planned growth and housing plan set out by the provincial government.

Ward 7 Coun. Fred Drodge

On a larger scale, things like traffic safety and managing growth effectively are top priorities. There is no doubt that Innisfil is growing and my voice at the council table is important to make sure we get this right.

Meeting our new housing targets as outlined by the province is going to be a big focus for all of us to ensure growth happens in the right areas with the right infrastructure in place so that we don’t overburden residents from a taxation point of view. 

Ward 4 Coun. Alex Waters did not provide his responses before publication deadline.