February 2020 E-Newsletter - Budget Town Hall, Coffee with the Councillor and West Toronto Railpath Meeting

Dear Neighbours,

This month, we are moving forward with many important projects in the community and at City Hall. At this time each year, we review and finalize the City's budget for the coming year. City services impact our lives every day, so it is important that all of us stay informed and get involved in the budget process. To make this easier, you can find details about my annual Davenport Budget Town Hall below. If you would like to learn more on your own or get involved in the process, I encourage you to do so by visiting here

This past month we had many meetings in the community on a variety of subjects from road safety to Bloor Bike Lanes to community development. It is important to recognize the fantastic effort by members of our community, taking the time to share their ideas to make our great community even better. I understand that people have busy lives and sometimes it is difficult to find the time to connect on ideas you care about. To make this process easier, I have launched my "Coffee with the Councillor", where I visit coffee shops throughout the Ward on Saturdays, from 10am-noon. With two already completed, they have proven to be a helpful way for us to connect at times convenient for you. You can find more details in the local updates below. As we look forward this month, we will also be having a public meeting to provide an update on the West Toronto Railpath extension, which is almost finished the design phase.

Citywide, I joined Mayor John Tory at the offices of theScore, a popular sports app based in Toronto, to announce the findings of the 2019 Employment Survey. This survey looks at economic performance across all sectors in the City. Last year, we saw strong economic growth, with employment increasing 3.1% and adding nearly 47,000 jobs. This is good news for our City, but it is important that we make sure this growth translates in a meaningful way to the people of Toronto. By directing employment growth to not just the city core, but the suburban centres, mixed-use areas and employment areas across Toronto, we can help create complete communities that reduce travel times and congestion and create economic growth across Toronto.

This month I was also pleased to host the first steering committee meeting of the Urban Economy Forum at Toronto City Hall, which will be organizing a conference in Toronto this fall, where issues of the urban economy, finance and urbanism will be discussed. This will be done in the context of moving Toronto's Regent Park United Nations Habitat Urban Pavilion forward - an open access knowledge hub within our City. In addition, I participated in a panel discussion at the Toronto Region Board of Trade on the issue of "Housing a Generation of Workers," where we discussed the need to ensure that people who work in this City can afford to live in it and how we can address issues of affordability in Toronto.

At City Hall, the Planning and Housing Committee, which I chair, endorsed the key directions of the Christie's Planning Study for the former Mr. Christie's cookie factory site, which will feature upgraded transit facilities, a minimum of 98,000 square metres of non-residential uses as well as affordable housing units. This initiative will help protect historic employment lands in Etobicoke Lakeshore and create affordable and complete communities.

As we move through the year, I look forward to meeting with you and your neighbours to help create an even safer, more livable and affordable City. 

In community,


Ana Bailão
Deputy Mayor
Councillor, Ward 9 – Davenport


Table of Contents

  1. Local Updates
      1. Davenport Budget Town Hall
      2. Coffee with the Councillor
      3. West Toronto Railpath Extension Public Meeting
      4. Dupont Community Meeting
      5. Addressing Road Safety on Brandon Avenue
      6. Earlscourt Centennial Logo Competition
      7. Turnberry Park North Update
      8. 158 Sterling Road Update
      9. Traffic Light at Dundas Street West and Lisgar Street/ Rusholme Road
      10. Bloor Bike Lane Public Consultation
      11. Tenant Town Hall
      12. MacGregor Park Baseball Diamond Update
      13. Improving Pedestrian and Road Safety in the Silverthorn Neighbourhood
      14. Regal Heights Traffic Management
      15. Geary Works Planning Study Update
      16. T.O Infrastructure Viewer
      17. Park People Grants
      18. Davenport Toronto Public Library Events
  2. City Updates
  3. In The News
  4. Events
  5. Council Highlights
  6. Notices Board

Davenport Budget Town Hall

Saturday, February 8
2:00-4:00PM
Bloor Gladstone Library, 1101 Bloor St W
RSVP HERE

Through January and February, the City will be presenting its 2020 Budget. This budget will dedicate funding towards the City services that impact our lives every day. Each time we visit a recreation centre, borrow a book from the library, have our garbage or recycling picked up, drink clean water from the tap, or ride the TTC – we are using a City of Toronto service. 

To help understand this year's budget, I will be hosting a Davenport Budget Town Hall. This gives our community an opportunity to come together, share budget details and discuss our vision for how the budget can serve our community.

If you would like to be more involved in the budget process or want to learn more about it, you can do so by visiting here


Coffee with the Councillor 
As your representative at City Hall, I am always glad to hear from you. It is important that I hear the broad range of perspectives from all of Davenport's neighbourhoods. That is why I am hosting a series of coffees across the Ward throughout January and February, to sit with you, one-on-one, and discuss what is important to you. I encourage you to attend the session closest to you so we can connect and work to build a better community. You can find the details of the meetings below. All meetings will be from 10am-12pm.

Saturday, February 22
Tre Mari Bakery, 1311 St Clair Avenue W

Saturday, February 29
Balzac's Powerhouse, 29 Powerhouse Street


West Toronto Railpath Extension Public Meeting

Wednesday, February 26
6:30-8:30 PM
Museum of Contemporary Art, 158 Sterling Road

The West Toronto Railpath is one of the most distinctive and loved multi-use trails in the City of Toronto and a project that I care deeply about. This trail serves not only as an important, people-focused trail that helps residents commute safely and conveniently through the City, but it is also a cherished green space that reflects the history of our community. We are all pleased that progress is being made so we are able to provide the community with a meaningful update that reflects the ideas of the people in the communities along the trail. With the extension being planned to continue to Abell Street, this will open up this great community asset to many more residents and neighbourhoods. 


Dupont Community Meeting
This month, the Dupont community held a fantastic grassroots meeting on ways to improve safety and beautify the neighbourhood. It was great to see so many in our community engaged and volunteering their time to make our great community even better. At this meeting, there was meaningful discussion about improvements that can be made, from more public art to creative bike rings. A special thank you goes to Kevin Putnam who led efforts to organize this meeting. If you would like to attend the next meeting, you can find the details directly below.

Wednesday, February 12
6:45 PM
George Chuvalo Community Centre, 50 Sousa Mendes Street


Addressing Road Safety on Brandon Avenue
Last year, I met with residents to discuss concerns around speeding and traffic volume on Brandon Avenue. As our City changes, it is important that we work together as a community to identify opportunities to improve safety in our neighbourhoods. In order to address these concerns, we are arranging a public meeting for the residents on and close to Brandon Avenue. At this meeting, we will have Traffic Operations staff present, who will discuss traffic calming options and suggest changes that will improve road safety in this community. Once consultations are completed, we will be working to bring these proposals to Toronto and East York Community Council in the fall of 2020.

Monday, February 10
6:30-8:30 PM
Wallace Emmerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin Street


Earlscourt Centennial Logo Competition
The Earlscourt Centennial Celebrations are coming together thanks to the dedication and hard work of the local volunteers, made up of residents, business owners, artists and community activists. Looking to hold events throughout the year, this committee is really looking to give Earlscourt a centennial to remember! If you are looking to get involved, the committee is always happy to welcome new members. You can email our office at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca to find out about future meetings. 

Many fantastic community artists have submitted their works for the Earlscourt Centennial celebrations. It is great to see so many people -from graphic designers to students- being invested in community initiatives. In keeping with the grassroots spirit of the Earlscourt Centennial celebration, the committee wants you to decide which logo we should move forward with. You can vote for your preferred choice here. Voting closes Sunday, February 9.

 


Turnberry Park North Update
In 2018, when I began to represent the north part of Ward 9, Davenport, I heard from residents of Silverhorn about the challenges they have with Turnberry North Park, a soccer field in the middle of a residential street. Given this field's proximity to residential homes, it created challenges with noise and safety concerns such as broken windows and littering. The soccer field  This field was largely used by people from outside of the community and did not offer local residents with the type of space needed by them.

Having met with residents to hear their concerns, we have been working collaboratively to implement changes to this park to provide the local community with a green space more appropriate for their needs. The City has hired a consultant to develop a concept plan for the park based on the feedback received from the public last year, which includes more benches, picnic tables and an area for children to play. 


With the design scheduled for this winter, we plan for construction to take place over the course of this year. Throughout the process, I will keep the community informed and I look forward to creating an enhanced space for the local community.


158 Sterling Road Update
Castlepoint Greybrook Sterling Inc. recently announced that Hines Canada and Marlin Spring have acquired the remaining development blocks in the Lower Junction project at Sterling and Perth.

In 2015, the site was rezoned for 1.1 million square feet of mixed use development, of which approximately 55% is allocated to commercial uses and approximately 45% to residential uses. The Lower Junction project will include a number of community improvements, including a new park and open spaces, a new daycare facility, and affordable housing. With the addition of Hines and Marlin Spring to the community, these improvements will now be accelerated.

Over the past 10+ years there have been many milestones:

  • The Tower Automotive building was restored and reimagined. This landmark historical building opened its doors almost two years ago and welcomed the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to its new home
  • Construction of 32 townhomes along Perth Avenue,
  • Finalized the Plan of Subdivision approval, which ensures orderly development of the site and secures both hard and soft infrastructure delivery i.e. new park, daycare, affordable housing and street improvements, and
  • with Rio Tinto Alcan addressed and remediated the environmental legacy of the site.

As highlighted in the enclosed key map, Hines will build out three commercial office buildings and Marlin Spring three residential buildings. A joint development agreement amongst Castlepoint, Hines and Marlin Spring has also been entered into to ensure the smooth delivery of key infrastructure to support the approved master plan including the realignment of Perth Avenue, the delivery of a future park and permanent access to the West Toronto Railpath immediately south of the completed townhomes.

I will continue to work in the interests of the community to ensure development takes place here in a coordinated, orderly way and work with the City and all development partners to minimize disruption and maximise community benefits. I have heard residents concerns about the ongoing challenges of parking in the area and we will be working together in the coming months with the community and developers to address this issue.


Traffic Light at Dundas Street West and Lisgar Street / Rusholme Road
Dundas Street West is a vibrant community, home to many young, active families who walk or bike through in their neighbourhood every day. Recently, residents have expressed some concerns regarding crossing Dundas Street using the existing pedestrian crosswalk. In order to reduce conflicts at this intersection, I initiated a study with Transportation Services which showed a traffic light is warranted. 

With the traffic audit completed, I will be bringing this traffic light installation forward for approval this spring at Toronto and East York Community Council. As we work to get this light installed, we are initiating additional measures to provide more immediate relief during the interim period. Toronto Police 14 Division has agreed to increase patrols of this area, in order to provide a stronger and more visible enforcement presence at this intersection. In addition, we have placed a request for a crossing guard at this intersection to provide extra safety for individuals looking to cross Dundas Street. I look forward to continuing to work with local residents to make our streets safer for them and their families.


Bloor Bike Lanes Public Consultation
Last week, I met with residents from the communities along Bloor Street to discuss the Bloor Bike Lane proposal, which we are looking to implement on an accelerated timeline. This project will add 4.5KM of protected bike lanes from the existing lanes at Shaw Street across to Runnymede Rd, beyond High Park. This project will utilize flex-post bollards mounted on pre-cast concrete curbs as well as paint markings to further separate vehicle and cycling traffic. With designated parking and incorporating ride-sharing pick-up drop off and delivery data, we are also working to accommodate all modes of transportation throughout the route. 

If you would like to learn more about this process or wish to share your thoughts, you can do so here until February 14.


Tenant Town Hall
Last month, MPP Stiles and I hosted a Tenant Town Hall to provide residents with helpful information on the supports offered to tenants by the City and Province. With City staff from multiple departments having attended, we had helpful discussions about the resources and tools Toronto has available for tenants, including on building tenant associations and the rent bank subsidy. I want to especially thank the residents of 394 Dovercourt for attending the meeting and sharing their renoviction story. If you are interested in learning more about resources available to you, I have listed some helpful links below. 

Emergency Housing Help - The Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) provides money for emergency housing needs to people receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works or income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the city of Toronto. HSF is intended to prevent homelessness and help obtain and retain housing.

Toronto Rent Bank - Eligible households facing eviction may access one-time interest-free loans for overdue rent.

Housing Stability Service System - The housing stability service system overview groups services into related categories. 

Federation of Metro Tenants' Association - The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations (FMTA) is a non-profit organization which advocates for better rights for Tenants.

West Toronto Community Legal Services - West Toronto Community Legal Services (WTCLS) is a non-profit community legal clinic and housing help service for low income people in Toronto’s west end.

Parkdale Community Legal Services - PCLS plays a pivotal role in helping to build and mobilize an ever-increasing community movement for social change and to create social and economic conditions to eradicate poverty and oppression.


MacGregor Park Baseball Diamond Update
Last summer, I heard concerns from both residents from the Enigma tower and local baseball leagues regarding a need to improve park infrastructure in order to create a safer environment for residents and park users. Last year, we began working to provide a solution to these concerns and took the first steps by planting trees between the building and the diamond. As these trees grow, they will not only add greenery to the park, but also provide additional protection for the facade of the building. In order to further enhance safety, City workers have installed tall netted fences to prevent baseballs from hitting the building. I am happy that we could secure these improvements before the start of the baseball season, so everyone can enjoy the park safely this year.


Improving Pedestrian and Road Safety in the Silverthorn Neighbourhood
Over the last several months, Silverthorn residents have been working with my office regarding concerns about road and pedestrian safety in this neighbourhood. There were several concerns raised including cars speeding on residential streets, particularly adjacent to schools, a lack of signalized pedestrian crossings and the need to make other intersections safer. 

The community and I have been working to address these concerns and we have taken several steps toward addressing them, which I have listed below. 

Location and Type of Improvement

Status

Expected Completion  Date

Review of intersection: Old Weston Road and Rogers Road

Currently under review by City staff

No date yet

Installation of traffic light: Old Weston Road and Rockwell Avenue

December 2019 – approved at City Council

Late 2020 to early 2021

Speed hump feasibility study: Rosethorn Avenue, Turnberry Avenue and Rowntree Avenue

Currently under review by City staff

No date yet

Speed limit reduction to 30 km/h: Rosethorn Avenue, Turnberry Avenue and Rowntree Avenue

Motion to be approved at February 5, 2020 Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC)

April 2020

Speed limit reduction to 40 km/h: Old Weston Road, Westport Avenue to Rogers Road

Approved at December 2019 and January 2020 TEYCC

April 2020

Installation of Pedestrian Crossover: Intersection of Rogers Road and Chambers Avenue –

Approved at December 2019 Toronto and East York Community Council

Summer 2020

I would like to thank everyone who brought these community safety issues to my attention and I am looking forward to having these improvements implemented as soon as possible.


Regal Heights Traffic Management
My office has been actively engaging with residents in the Regal Heights neighbourhood area on traffic management issues. We have been working not only to respond to immediate concerns, but also to take an overall look at the changes we can make to benefit the whole community.

While work is being done to create a comprehensive, long-term traffic management solution, we recognized a need for implementing more immediate measures to address more pressing safety concerns. Specifically, the intersection of Oakwood Avenue and Rosemount Avenue sees a high amount of foot and vehicle traffic and is in close proximity to Oakwood Collegiate School. While there is already a signalized pedestrian crossover at this intersection, over the holidays I worked with City Staff to secure a crossing guard for this location, who assisted with managing traffic for students in time for the start of school.

In order to make further traffic safety improvements in this community, I have also been working closely with the Regal Road Public School Parent Council regarding safety around the school. At this meeting, we discussed the need for more enforcement of traffic rules and we have begun working together on pedestrian safety concerns.

In order to coordinate efforts between these groups, I hosted a joint meeting, bringing together residents and City Staff from the newly formed Area Transportation Planning division. As a result of this meeting, the community decided to organize a one day traffic management workshop, which will take a holistic look at transportation issues in the neighbourhood and create a plan for implementation.

This committee is working on planning their next meeting this spring. If you would like more information on this initiative or would like to get involved, please contact Nicholas Gallant in my office.


Geary Works Planning Study Update
Geary Avenue is a vibrant area of Ward 9 that has evolved into one of the most interesting employment, creative and cultural hubs in the City of Toronto. In order to address development pressures that have begun mounting and to ensure the long-term vibrancy of this area, I initiated the Geary Works Planning Study.

Our first Community Consultation meeting was held on January 28th at St Mary of the Angels Catholic School. This meeting had great representation from the community, with one hundred residents, businesses, local property owners having participated. Interactive stations on major topics provided participants with opportunities to discuss the inter-related topics of: Land Use, Urban Design & Heritage, Transportation & Public Realm, Economic Development & Culture.

City Staff from each of these departments collected public input and summarized what was discussed at the conclusion of the meeting. A summary document will be prepared by staff, posted on the project website and distributed to participants. I will keep everyone updated through my e-newsletter and social media feeds.

Couldn't make it to the meeting? There will be another Community Consultation meeting in the coming months. In the meantime, you can provide feedback through the following surveys:


T.O Infrastructure Viewer
It takes a lot of work to keep a City running. Now, it is easier for you to keep on top of work being planned in your community, through the City of Toronto's web-based system that shows all planned construction projects taking place across the City, particularly construction that will affect roads and streets. By using the T.O. INview mapping tool, you can quickly and easily see what type of work is occurring. 

You will be able to navigate the map-based system to learn about projects that the City, utilities, and other agencies including Metrolinx and the TTC, plan to construct this year and next.

In addition to providing details about individual projects, the system will be used to improve coordination, with the goal of more efficient capital expenditures and reduced inconvenience to you and your neighbours.


 Park People Grants
The TD Park People grant program was created to help community groups host events in urban parks or public green spaces. This grant aims to connect more people to parks in order to support ongoing care and protection of our green spaces. Successful applicants will receive $2,000 for three events throughout the year. Applicants should either have an environmental focus or commit to having environmental sustainability or protection built as an element in your park events. Applications must be submitted by March 2.

LEARN MORE AND APPLY HERE


Davenport Toronto Public Library Events
The Toronto Public Library offers an impressive variety of programs and resources for kids, seniors, new Canadians and more. Over the next few months, I encourage you to check out the list of all the programs happening in Ward 9 until the end of April. From professional development courses to art courses and book clubs, there truly is something for everyone.

You can also stay up-to-date with the latest library news and upcoming programs by signing up for Toronto Public Libraries "What’s On at the Library E-Newsletter".

2019 Toronto Employment Survey reports strong economic performance and job growth
The results of the 2019 Toronto Employment Survey point to strong economic performance over the past year, with total employment in Toronto growing by 3.1 per cent compared to 2018. This is a year-over-year increase of 46,920 jobs for a total of 1,569,800 jobs in Toronto.

These and other results were discussed today by Mayor John Tory, Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Ward 9 Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee, and Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, following an office tour of mobile-app developer, theScore, on King Street West.

This year's Toronto Employment Survey undertook additional analysis of Toronto's technology sector. Total employment in this sector for 2019 was 60,408 jobs, which represents an increase of 16.6 per cent from 2018, and 84.6 per cent from 2014. There were 1,729 tech establishments in 2019, representing 2.0 per cent of all establishments in the city. This is an increase of 15.5 per cent from 2018 and 85.7 per cent from 2014.

Other key survey findings include:

Since 1983, the City has conducted this annual survey of Toronto businesses to monitor economic activity, provide information for policy and decision-making and offer additional context for the planning of municipal infrastructure and services.

The 2019 Toronto Employment Survey collected data from 76,560 businesses, an increase of 920 (or 1.2 per cent) from 2018. This represents an 89 per cent response rate from businesses contacted through the program. The program contacts approximately 99 per cent of Toronto's public-facing business establishments, excluding home-based employment. The survey is conducted from May to August of each year.

More details about the survey – including the 2019 Employment Bulletin which summarizes and provides analyse on the complete results, as well as additional information on the rise of Toronto’s technology sector – can be found at toronto.ca/city-government/data-research-maps/research-reports/planning-development/toronto-employment-survey.



Winterlicious reservations have begun at more than 200 restaurants

Reservations for Winterlicious began mid-January at more than 200 participating Toronto restaurants. Up until February 13, foodies can step up to the plate and explore Toronto's food culture at the 18th annual Winterlicious, created by the City of Toronto.

Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made online or by telephone directly with the restaurants. Three-course prix fixe lunch menus are priced at $23, $28 and $33, and dinner is priced at $33, $43 and $53. The list of participating restaurants, and their menus, are available at http://www.toronto.ca/winterlicious.

Culinary event series

Tickets are on sale for the Winterlicious 2020 Culinary Event Series. The series includes a wide range of events, some suitable for the adventurous food explorer, others suitable for the cautious explorer. Some of the culinary events are already sold out, but there are still eight eclectic food experiences from which to choose:

  • David Gibson's Favourites: A Farmhouse Supper, Gibson House Museum on February 11
  • Edible History – Taste Where Toronto All Began, St. Lawrence Market on January 31, February 2, 7, 8 and 9
  • The Pleasure of Survival, Palais Royale on February 1
  • Feast by the Fire, Babel on February 4
  • Dinner with the Mackenzies, Mackenzie House on February 5, 12 and 13
  • The Austins Entertain, Spadina Museum on February 6
  • Hungry for Comfort: Surviving a Canadian Winter, Fort York National Historic Site on February 9
  • Scotch Tasting Dinner, David Duncan House, February 10 and 12

More culinary event details and tickets: https://www.toronto.ca/winterlicious


Full PRESTO payment available on Wheel-Trans sedan taxis 
Both pay-as-you-go and monthly pass customers who travel in a Wheel-Trans sedan taxi can now use a PRESTO card or a one-ride, two-ride or day pass PRESTO Ticket to pay their fare.

Up until now, only customers with a monthly pass loaded onto their PRESTO card have been able to use their card to pay their fare in a Wheel-Trans sedan taxi. With the introduction of full PRESTO payment in Wheel-Trans sedan taxis, all Wheel-Trans customers can now seamlessly use PRESTO to pay their fare across the TTC. Whether they are solely using Wheel-Trans or transferring between the subway, bus, streetcar and Wheel-Trans service, PRESTO is the easiest and most convenient way to pay a fare on the TTC.

PRESTO customers can also take advantage of the TTC’s two-hour transfer, which enables a person to enter and exit the TTC as much as they’d like within two hours of their first tap, without being charged another fare.

Customers can also pay their fare by cash, or with any remaining TTC tickets, tokens or day passes they have, but they won’t be eligible for the two-hour transfer.

PRESTO cards are available for $6 and can be loaded with money for pay-as-you-go travel or a monthly pass for unlimited travel each month, at:

  • Fare Vending Machines at all subway stations
  • All Shoppers Drug Mart locations
  • Online at prestocard.ca, or via the PRESTO mobile app
  • The TTC Customer Service Centre, above Davisville Station

PRESTO cards are set to deduct an adult fare. Youths, seniors and post-secondary students must have their card reset to deduct a youth, senior or post-secondary fare. Customers must take their government issued identification or TTC post-secondary photo identification card to any Shoppers Drug Mart location or the TTC Customer Service Centre, above Davisville Station to have their card reset.

One-ride, two-ride and day pass PRESTO Tickets, which are ideal for infrequent travellers or visitors to the city, are available at:

  • Fare Vending Machines at all subway stations
  • At all Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Toronto
  • The TTC Customer Service Centre, above Davisville Station

Each person over the age of 12 requires their own PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket. This also applies to the day pass PRESTO Ticket. Group/family day passes are not available on PRESTO.

To learn more about PRESTO on the TTC visit ttc.ca/PRESTO.


Free new exhibit showcases Toronto’s world class street art and artists
Toronto is home to some of the best mural, street and graffiti artists and art in the world. A free public exhibit called “StreetARToronto You've Changed” will be on display at the Market Gallery, located on the second floor of the St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front St. E. (at Jarvis Street), starting today until April 19. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The exhibit features videos, special displays and photographs that showcase more than 100 StreetARToronto (StART) murals completed between 2012 and 2019. Special events and lectures will also be scheduled during the exhibit.

"StreetARToronto You've Changed" tells the story of how local street artists, through StART, have transformed Toronto's streets, laneways and parks into a city-wide art gallery and have taken the Toronto street art scene to a level of international attention and appeal. Many of the artists highlighted entered the StART Program at a grassroots level and through skill development and mentorship opportunities are now acclaimed graffiti artists whose talents are recognized around the world.  Many of these former mentees are now mentors helping to develop the next generation of Toronto-based artists.

StreetARToronto (StART), delivered by the City of Toronto, is a suite of innovative programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces. Initiated in 2012 as an integral part of the City's Graffiti Management Plan, StART has reduced graffiti vandalism and replaced it with vibrant, colourful, community-engaged street art.  StART programs encourage active transportation (walking and cycling), make streets more beautiful and safe, showcase local artists, mentor emerging talent and reduce overall infrastructure maintenance costs.

The Market Gallery animates the second floor of the St. Lawrence Market South building, which encloses all that remains of Toronto’s original 19th-century Front Street City Hall council chamber, operating from 1845 to 1899. The historic site presents a variety of changing exhibits related to the art, culture and history of Toronto.

Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City that bring Toronto's history to life for residents and visitors. The museums include Market Gallery, as well as Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Montgomery's Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse. More information about the museums is available at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/museums/.

More information about StreetARToronto is available at http://www.toronto.ca/streetartoronto. A video about StreetARToronto is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2U5OyDZqRQ&feature=youtu.be.

More information about the Market Gallery is available at http://www.toronto.ca/marketgallery.


Applications now being accepted for City of Toronto's waste reduction community grants
The City of Toronto is now accepting applications for its waste reduction community grants. Grants of up to $25,000 are available to support innovative community-based projects that reduce residential waste and increase participation in the City's waste diversion programs such as Blue Bin recycling and Green Bin organics.

The Waste Reduction Community Grants program, launched in 2018, has awarded more than $188,000 in funding. The program is part of the City’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy, which identifies the need to support community, grassroots initiatives that reduce or divert waste from landfill. The program also supports the City’s TransformTO climate action strategy and targets for greenhouse gas reduction.

Priority for funding will be given to ideas that promote waste reduction in apartment buildings and condominiums, or that involve multilingual communities, equity-seeking groups and Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.

Groups should be incorporated non-profit organizations or could partner with one. Eligible groups include resident, tenant and neighbourhood associations, condominium and apartment boards, business associations, service clubs, community organizations, registered charitable organizations, environmental organizations, school groups, clubs and councils.

The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest application for a 2020 grant is March 9. 

More information about the Waste Reduction Community Grants, past funding recipients and the application process is available at http://www.toronto.ca/wastegrants.

More information about the Long Term Waste Management Strategy is available at http://www.toronto.ca/wastestrategy.


Frozen Pipes public education campaign
Toronto Water's annual Frozen Pipes public education campaign, which aims to educate residents on the steps they can take to help prevent drinking water pipes from freezing in their homes or thaw their water pipes if they suspect them to be frozen, will run throughout the months of January and February.


Frozen pipes can leave you with no water or cause your pipes to burst. If your pipes are prone to freezing, consider contacting a plumber for advice.

  • Here are some tips from the City of Toronto to help prevent frozen water pipes in your home:
    Consider leaving a tap open enough for a pencil-thin stream of flowing water, so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing. Leave a pencil-thin stream 24 hours a day, until daytime and nighttime temperatures have returned to normal seasonal averages.
  • Open kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around plumbing.
  • Outdoor faucets are the first to freeze. Unscrew any hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and let those taps drain.
  • Insulate pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, attic and a garage.

Steps to thaw frozen pipes:

  • Turn on a tap in the basement, preferably the cold-water faucet in the laundry room.
  • Apply heat to the suspected frozen pipe by warming the air around it or applying heat directly to the pipe. You can use an electric heating pad, hair dryer, space heater or warm towel or rag.
    • Do not leave electrical devices unattended, or use kerosene or propane heaters, charcoal stoves or any open flame to thaw a frozen pipe.
  • Depending on the outside temperature and the extent of freezing within the pipe, the thawing process could take between one and six hours.
  • Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.

If the steps above do not resolve the issue, residents may wish to contact a licensed plumber for advice. They can also call 311 or submit a service request online at toronto.ca/311 and City staff will come to investigate.


Learn more about preventing or thawing frozen pipes at toronto.ca/frozenpipes.

Proposal for more real estate taxes is expected to heat up Toronto's budget debate - The Star, Jan 10

Toronto should put a tax on vacant homes - The Star, Jan 14

Toronto’s 2020 budget would be improved with a tax on vacant homes - The Star, Jan 14

City Councillor favours tax on vacant homes in Toronto - MetroMorning, Jan 21

Major employers can be part of solving Toronto’s housing crisis, report says - The Star, Jan 24

The population of the Toronto area will hit 8 million in the next 10 years. It’s make or break time — are we ready? - The Star, Jan 31

Hangout Cafe
Monday Evening, January 13 - March 30, 2020, 5:30-7:30 PM
DPNCHC Sanctuary Room, 1900 Davenport Rd



Plan for implementing the ravine strategy
Council unanimously adopted an implementation plan for the Toronto Ravine Strategy guiding the cleanup and protection of the city's extensive ravines. The plan addresses the need for enhanced services for litter collection and control of invasive species in ravines. Among several amending motions that were adopted with this agenda item is one calling for the 2020 Clean Toronto Together campaign to place an emphasis on ravine cleanup, and one proposing discussions about having schools adopt their local ravine and help support ravine sustainability and protection.

Toronto's growing tree canopy 
Council adopted recommendations and amendments concerning the city's tree canopy, informed by a recent study that includes data indicating Toronto's urban forest increased from 10.2 million trees in 2008 to 11.5 million trees in 2018. The City is committed to pursuing partnerships and policies that will help protect growing space for Toronto's urban forest. Council also adopted recommendations in two related agenda items, one about the role of City bylaws in protecting trees and another about federal funding to support the City's goals for the tree canopy. 

Next step for Rail Deck Park
Council unanimously adopted recommendations to continue negotiating to acquire 1.2 hectares of air space above the Union Station rail corridor as part of an envisioned eight-hectare park the City wants to create between Bathurst Street and Blue Jays Way in downtown Toronto. Council authorized the use of expropriation if needed to move forward with securing the 1.2 hectares of air space. The park's creation is to be phased to help manage the project's anticipated cost and complexity.

Toronto and Ontario transit partnership
Council adopted an update on discussions with the Province of Ontario regarding four priority transit projects known as the Ontario Line, Line 2 East Extension (three-stop expansion of Line 2 into Scarborough), Yonge North Subway Extension and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. In addition to adopting the update report, Council supported a series of amending motions, such as one presenting three principles to guide any agreements between the City and the province related to the approval process for transit-oriented development.

Private construction blocking roadways
Council adopted recommendations to address the issue of private construction projects closing a lane of the adjacent road (public right-of-way) to traffic, affecting pedestrians, motorists, transit users and cyclists. A motion adopted with the item calls on staff to report later this year on options for enhanced enforcement measures to deal with builders unnecessarily closing lanes, fencing-off parking spots and using active lanes as parking zones.

Delivery of Ontario Building Code services
Council adopted recommendations concerning proposed changes to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's services related to the Ontario Building Code. The province administers the code and the City is responsible for enforcement within Toronto's boundaries. Council is requesting that the ministry conduct further consultations directly with the City. While supportive of some of the proposed changes, Council does not support a proposal that would allow builders to hire designers for their plan review and inspection, now done by municipal staff.

Future of St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts
Council endorsed pursuing the replacement of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts at 27 Front St. E. with a new version of the centre that will be a state-of-the-art cultural and civic hub for the city’s creative communities, particularly not-for-profit performing arts organizations. Moving ahead with this project is subject to the completion of several steps, including consultations and a funding plan. The current centre, built in 1967 as Toronto's Canadian centennial project, first opened its doors in 1970.

Promoting independent live theatre
A member motion that Council adopted asks staff to explore actions that can be taken to support the sustainability and continued viability of independent theatrical spaces in the downtown west area. That undertaking is to include consultation with the independent live theatre sector. The motion notes that City action is needed as start-up theatres, storefront spaces, incubators and rehearsal rooms close due to high commercial rents and a lack of supports for emerging artists and performance spaces.

Air quality in the subway network
Council agreed to ask the Toronto Transit Commission's board to implement mitigation measures that can be delivered in the short term, along with longer term measures, to improve air quality in the subway system. Line 2 is identified as a priority for mitigation measures. At the request of the Toronto Board of Health, staff of Toronto Public Health recently oversaw an independent study of air quality in the subway system, which included identifying beneficial measures that could be pursued. The study also highlighted various positive health aspects of subway use as part of the public transit system.

Support for move to electric vehicles
Council approved an electric vehicle strategy and provided direction on implementing it as a critical component in transitioning Toronto to a low-carbon city as articulated in the City's climate action strategy, TransformTO. That strategy sets the goal of all Toronto transportation using zero-carbon energy by 2050. Increasing the adoption of electric vehicles, or EVs, is a necessary part of that change. A projection indicates Toronto will need to accommodate more than 220,000 plug-in electric vehicles (about 20 per cent of all personal vehicles) within the next 10 years.

Keeping Smart Commute rolling
Council authorized staff to continue the delivery of the Smart Commute program, subject to available funding, to Toronto employers and communities. Metrolinx withdrew its funding support for the program last year. The City is negotiating a new agreement with its regional municipal partners to collaboratively continue the program. Begun in 2004, Smart Commute has helped reduce commuter single-occupancy vehicle trips while easing traffic congestion, improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Enhanced security at City Hall    
Council approved the recommended implementation of visitor screening for entry to Toronto City Hall using walk-through metal detectors on the building's ground floor. Holders of City access cards will use their card for entry. Currently, baggage screening is conducted for everyone who does not have a City access card, with a more thorough screening for people entering the Council Chamber for City Council meetings. The enhanced security measures are intended to maintain an accessible Toronto City Hall while providing a reasonable level of protection from foreseeable threats.

Digital infrastructure plan
Council adopted a series of working principles and a vision statement, along with other directions, to guide work on a digital infrastructure plan for the City. Digital infrastructure includes physical structures, cabling and network systems, software systems, data standards and protocols, as well as the data itself.

Surveillance cameras on private property
A member motion that Council adopted calls on staff to assess the feasibility of prohibiting or restricting surveillance cameras from recording video footage of any residential property beyond an individual's property. The motion says the City is increasingly receiving complaints about privately owned surveillance cameras capturing images of residents on their own property, such as their back yard, their front porch or even inside their home.

Watermain Replacement on Cariboo Avenue and Osler Street from Cariboo Avenue to Dupont Street
The City of Toronto will replace the watermain and the City-owned portion of substandard water services on Cariboo Avenue and Osler Street from Cariboo Avenue to Dupont Street starting in October 2019.


Dufferin and Dundas Underground Civil and Electrical Upgrade
Please be advised that as a result of construction to your neighbour’s residence on Dufferin Street, Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the ageing underground electrical system. The rebuild includes the replacement of the existing electrical cables within the city-owned property near your lot. Please note that Toronto Hydro may require access to your property to install an underground pipe that connects the meter at your home to the main electrical line.


Lane Reductions at Fairbank Station
January 6-10 & 13-17

As early as Monday January 6, 2020, for approximately two weeks, crews at Fairbank station will be connecting the dewatering wells to the header pipes. To complete this work, the eastbound lane on Eglinton Ave W, west of Dufferin St, and the southbound lane on Dufferin St, south of Eglinton Ave W will be closed. One lane on Dufferin Street and one lane on Eglinton Avenue W will remain open, and two-way traffic will be controlled by traffic control personnel and Paid Duty Officers. From January 6-10, lanes will be reduced from as early as 10:00am – 2:00pm, and from January 13-17, lanes will be reduced from as early as 10:00am – 2:00pm, with a possibility of extending working hours from 8:00pm – 11:00pm.


Watermain Replacement on Kitchener Avenue from Gilbert Avenue to McRoberts Avenue
Spring-Winter 2020

The City of Toronto is planning to replace the watermain and the City-owned portion of substandard water services on Kitchener Avenue from Gilbert Avenue to McRoberts Avenue.

The water service is the underground pipe that brings water to your water meter and is owned by you and by the City. The part you own is from your house to the end of your property, the part the City owns is from the end of your property to the watermain.

This project is part of the Council-approved 2020 Capital Works Program to renew our aging infrastructure, improve water distribution and reduce the risk of watermain breaks.


Overhead Electrical Upgrade - Lauder - Holland Park Phase 2
February - December 2020

Please be advised that Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the aging overhead electrical system in your community to help improve service reliability. The rebuild includes upgrading overhead electrical cables and replacing hydro poles on city-owned property between Holland Park Avenue (North), Oakwood Avenue (East), Earlsdale Avenue (South) and Glenholme Avenue (West).

Do you like this post?

Pulse

  • Kai Ethier
  • Aggie Creole
  • Carly Chamberlain
  • Alexander Duncan
  • Suzanne Jangda
  • Amelia Cumming
  • Katharine Neale
  • Marnie Mark
  • Sarah Bradley
  • Elisa Oliveira

Kai Ethier just joined.

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.