October 2019 E-Newsletter - Climate Action, Affordable Housing, Gender Equity and More!

Dear Neighbours,

I hope everyone has been enjoying the last few warm days and have had a safe and easy back to school transition. As we move through October, we begin preparing for Halloween, winter and the holiday season. It has been a great month, and I have been meeting with many of you to discuss projects that we will be moving forward within the new year. It is always great to have strong engagement and community input to make sure the needs and wishes of our community are reflected in the City's work. 

On September 27, many of you joined with your neighbours and participated in a climate protest to raise awareness and encourage action to meet this global challenge. At Toronto City Council, we recognize that we need to take more drastic and quicker action. That is why we voted unanimously in support of Mayor Tory's motion for a more aggressive climate strategy, building off the existing TranformTO. This new strategy will endorse a net-zero greenhouse gas emission target in line with keeping global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius and immediately strengthen Toronto's goal of becoming net-zero before 2050. As one of the City's top priorities, City staff will be investigating all possibilities to accelerate high priority emission reduction areas already set in TransformTO, including building retrofits and transportation in time to be included in the 2020 budget. Beyond that, we will also engage with job-seekers, workers, unions, relevant sectors, and social service agencies in the creation of a low-carbon jobs strategy that supports a decent work agenda, career pathways for equity-seeking groups, and the expansion of green industry sectors across Toronto and also investigate amendments to exclude fossil fuels from the City's investment portfolio and actively invest in clean energy and climate solutions. This is a bold and aggressive strategy that is needed to properly address the climate crisis and I am proud to support this new approach. 

This month, City Council also voted in favour of the Open Doors Program Incentives, which will help facilitate the creation of 651 affordable rental homes throughout the City. These homes will offer both affordable and deeply affordable options, ensuring that they are realistic options for all people. 

At City Council, we also recognized the systemic issues surrounding gender equity and voted to create a Gender Equity Strategy and Gender Equity Office. I am a strong supporter and advocate for both of these initiatives and was pleased to see it pass at Council. As government is here to represent all people, it is important that we reflect on our own biases and blind spots to make sure our policies are inclusive and provide proper support to those who need it most.

I hope that through the creation of this office, it will allow the City to rely on experts that will help us deliver our services more fairly and efficiently and capitalize on the benefits and opportunities we are trying to create for our communities. This motion is a big step toward creating true equality and ensuring that all perspectives are considered and included in City Hall decisions.

As a board member of CreateTO, I reviewed the City's office portfolio optimization plan as the first phase of the City-Wide Real Estate Portfolio Strategy. This is a new approach to optimize the City’s real estate assets while helping the City modernize its office space and save money. City offices house more than 15,400 employees across 3 million square feet of office space, including 52 owned and leased locations. The report notes that this is a large, outdated and inefficient office footprint. Pending Council approval, this 5-year plan would reduce and revitalize the City's office footprint through the elimination of third-party leases and the co-location of staff to generate long-term cost savings. By identifying underused office spaces, we can repurpose the properties to unlock city-building opportunities including for affordable housing. 

At a community level, Toronto Police Services are expanding their Neighbourhood Officer Program from its 12 Division pilot. This program will have specific officers operating in our communities, building relationships and proactively working to improve safety in neighbourhoods. These officers will be committed to the neighbourhoods they serve and will operate in their communities for longer periods than traditional officer roles allow. This program is currently running in all 16 Toronto Police Divisions and operating in 35 neighbourhoods. 

In community,

Ana Bailão
Deputy Mayor
Councillor, Ward 9 – Davenport


Table of Contents

  1. Local Updates
    1. West Toronto Railpath Realignment Public Meeting
    2. Turnberry Parkette Public Meeting
    3. Davenport Diamond Public Realm Improvements Update
    4. Pelham Park Youth Room
    5. Light Up the Laneway
    6. St. Clair/ Silverthorn Library Grand Opening - NEW DATE
    7. Sistering Update
    8. Nitta Gelatin Proposed Traffic Changes Meeting
    9. Cavaliere Gino Cucchi Laneway Naming
    10. Dovercourt Road Reconstruction
    11. Queen Street Towing Pilot
  2. City Updates
  3. News Clippings
  4. Events
  5. Council Highlights
  6. Important Notices

Local Updates

 West Toronto Railpath Realignment Public Meeting
I am pleased to have secured a public meeting for Wednesday, October 23 at 6:30PM at the George Chuvalo Community Centre hosted by Metrolinx to update the community and answer questions on the realignment of the West Toronto Railpath. In order to protect this important community park and move it forward quickly, I have been meeting regularly with the Metrolinx project team and City staff to secure the realignment project and include additional improvements to the path. I look forward to meeting with you all to discuss the project and make sure it reflects the wishes of the community. 


 Turnberry Parkette Public Meeting
On Tuesday, October 15, at 7:00PM, please join me at St Matthew Catholic School, 18 Lavender Rd to discuss proposed improvements for Turnberry North Park. We want to hear your thoughts about what is needed by the community and share the next steps. 


Davenport Diamond Public Realm Improvements Update
As you know, Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency has made significant public realm commitments as part of the Davenport Diamond project. In late August, there was some concern that they appeared to reduce their commitment to these public realm improvements. I contacted the president of Metrolinx, Mr. Phil Verster and made it clear that we are committed to ensuring that they honour the commitments they have made to our community. In response to this letter, Metrolinx have written back to recommit to this meeting and I will continue to apply pressure for this meeting to make sure the community's wishes are heard and accounted for. 


 Pelham Park Youth Room
In September, I was pleased to announce the grand opening of the Pelham Park Youth Room. This space is an important addition to Pelham Park and the surrounding community, offering after school care where kids will learn coding, cooking, homework help and have recreational services. This was made possible through a unique partnership between Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, Toronto Community Housing, Ubisoft and my office. We Are glad that by bringing these partners together, we were able to make something so meaningful for the community. 

 


 Light Up the Laneway 
This month, the Laneway Project unveiled a brand new mural in coordination with Bloordale CIA and my office. It allowed us to light up the laneway between Pauline and Brock north of Bloor! Not only did we bring light to the laneway through a great new laneway mural, we installed lights throughout the alley as a safety measure for local residents who utilize it every night. 


 St. Clair/ Silverthorn Library Grand Opening - NEW DATE
On Saturday, November 2, I hope you can join me at 11:00 AM at 1748 St. Clair Avenue West for the official opening of the St. Clair Silverthorn Library. This modernized and refreshed space will offer the community a state of the art facility to replace the existing library. Be one of the first people to see this great new community building.

The Toronto Public Library has lots of great programs and classes available in Davenport. From learning how to code, to day-programs for parents, there is something for everyone. You can browse the full list here.


 Sistering Update
Sistering is an important agency that provides support for some of the most vulnerable women in the City of Toronto and I am proud to be a part of a community that is so supportive of their efforts. The services that they provide are essential to those who need them.

Because their work is so essential and due to a lack of similar providers, there are also many issues that Sistering faces on a regular basis. I have been working closely with Sistering and City staff, the community and Toronto Police to address these concerns to ensure that these women receive the care they need and the community feels safe and that any community concerns are addressed. A few of the improvements we have made to date are:

  • Secured $100,000 in funding from the City's City's Shelter Support and Housing Administration Division (SSHA) to provide additional staff and other supports
  • Working with Toronto Police 11 Division's new neighbourhood officers to build relationships with Sistering clients and being proactive with concerns.
  • Working with Sistering and City staff to develop better transitional support for their clients who require shelter space
  • Through coordination with the BIA, there will be regular sidewalk cleanings and additional garbage bins located outside the agency 
  • Working with SSHA to secure additional homes and partnerships to provide longer-term supportive housing

 Nitta Gelatin Proposed Traffic Changes Meeting 

On October 22 at 7:00PM, Nitta Gelatin will be hosting a community meeting at Propeller Coffee, 50 Wade Avenue to discuss changes they require for their truck loading arrangement given Metrolinx track work expected in 2020 and concerns expressed by residents and businesses in the area about parked trucks. We want to make sure that members from the surrounding community come out the hear what is being proposed and share any ideas and concerns they have.  


Cavaliere Gino Cucchi Laneway Naming
Gino Cucchi has given much to the Corso Italia community. Gino came to Toronto from Italy in 1958. He settled in the St. Clair Community and became an entrepreneur, opening a clothing shop which was an important fixture for the Italian community. Gino was instrumental in the formation of the Corso Italia BIA in 1984 and served as an active member from 1979 to 2004. As a former business owner, Gino gladly passes on his knowledge to new businesses in the Corso Italia neighbourhood, working to keep the community diverse and vibrant. Beyond business, Gino is also heavily involved in philanthropic works and has arranged functions in support of The Canadian Cancer Society, The Hospital for Sick Children, the Thalassemia Association, and, most recently, the After Breast Cancer Society. He has also been involved with international fundraising to provide support to
peoples In Uganda, Ghana, and Mexico. 


Dovercourt Road Reconstruction
This week, I met with residents along Dovercourt south of Dundas to discuss traffic calming measures and neighbourhood improvements that we can do in conjunction with road reconstruction scheduled for next year. These improvements will slow cars on our roads and make safety improvements for pedestrians. You can find out more and provide your feedback by visiting here.


Queen Street Towing Pilot
Traffic congestion caused by illegally stopped vehicles can be dangerous and frustrating for everyone, especially during peak travel periods on rush hour routes. Relocating/towing illegally stopped vehicles keeps traffic moving, including transit vehicles, maintains emergency vehicle access and helps make roads safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

The Queen Street Towing Pilot began on October 7 and will last approximately six to eight weeks, during peak traffic periods in p.m. rush hour only. During the pilot, tow trucks will relocate/tow vehicles that are parked along Queen Street between Fallingbrook Road to the east and Roncesvalles Avenue to the west, to either designated side streets or to other no-parking/open locations.

City Updates 

New Noise Bylaws
The City of Toronto bylaws have received a much-needed modernization. As our City continues to grow in density, we need to make sure we have strong noise pollution policies in place to remove unnecessary noise. These new bylaws update definitions to reflect modern, urban noise, quantifies acceptible levels of noise, adds provisions for unreasonable and persistent noise that wasn't previously captured and creates a more streamlined exemption permit process. 

These changes will allow for stronger enforcement of common annoyances including loud vehicle noises, construction noises and blaring music from a residence, meaning we can all enjoy some more peace and quiet.


Daily Bread Food Bank
In September, I kicked off the Daily Bread Food Bank's Annual Food Drive at Fire Station 323. Did you know that the Daily Bread Food Bank receives one million visitors each year? That is why they have launched their annual campaign to get one million pounds of food donated. Donating is easy, bring what you can to any Toronto Fire Station, or visit the Daily Bread Food Bank website


Climate Action Grant
The City has launched a pilot grant program to support climate action projects at the neighbourhood level. Through the program, grants of up to $7,500 per project are available for resident-led projects in the City's Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. The grants, totalling $100,000, support the City's TransformTO climate action strategy and are included in the 2019 operating budget.

Applications opened on September 1, 2019 and close on October 31, 2019. Projects approved for funding may start on or after January 1, 2020. For more information or to apply, please visit www.livegreentoronto.ca.


City-Wide Study on Existing Dog Off-Lease Areas
The Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division is leading an interdivisional study to examine how the City’s Off-Leash Areas can be reimagined to better harmonize with existing park uses and provide a more satisfying user experience. The study is a follow-up to the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan recommendation to develop criteria for improving existing dog off-leash areas.

project web page has been launched which will provide regularly updated information on the project and will also provide further information on how residents can participate in the project. 


TransformTO - Get Involved

Have ideas on how the City can transition to become low-carbon and reduce greenhouse gases?

The City’s Environment and Energy Division is currently coordinating the preparation of the TransformTO Implementation Plan 2021- 2023. The plan will build on the actions currently underway as part of the first set of short-term climate actions for 2017 to 2020, and recommend climate actions within key sectors to support the achievement of the City’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Plan will be presented to City Council in spring 2020.

Opportunities for residents and stakeholders to provide input continue throughout October. Want to get involved? You can attend a public meeting or complete an online survey.


TTC Transit Responsibility Review
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has been hosting a series of public consultations in regard to the province's introduction of Bill 107 - The Getting Ontario Moving Act, which enables a series of changes to how transit is planned, designed and delivered in Toronto. In order to keep the public informed, the City of Toronto has launched a consultation and public information campaign to let you know what is happening. To stay up to date and provide your thoughts, please visit here


My Local Government Resource
Ever wonder how your local government works? Some find it complicated and overwhelming to navigate. In order to make government more accountable, accessible and transparent, the City of Toronto has launched the My Local Government, It's For Me campaign that explains how government works and where to find information or how to get involved. You can find more information on their website and information booklets which can be provided in 24 languages.  


MyWaterToronto
With summer and warmer weather here, Toronto Water is running a multi-faceted public education campaign to remind residents and industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential facilities that they can track their water use online with the MyWaterToronto online tool. This tool can be used to identify leaks and look for ways to save water and money.


Request a Mobile Watch Your Speed Sign
Under the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, the City of Toronto is accepting recommendations for new Mobile Speed Signs. Each sign will be rotated to locations within the ward on a monthly basis and includes built-in radar that measures and displays to drivers the speed of their vehicles. In 2018, nearly 200 signs were installed to help remind motorists of their speed and discourage speeding. If you have a recommendation for a Mobile Watch Your Speed Sign, please make a request


Please Slow Down Campaign
The "Please Slow Down" campaign, a public awareness initiative that aims to encourage drivers to slow down on residential roads using temporary lawn signs, is well underway. If you would like to request a sign, please contact my office by phone at (416) 392-7012 or email at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca.


Toronto Biennial of Art
In July, City Council voted in favour of the Toronto Biennial of Art's 72-day visual arts program starting on September 21, 2019. This event has been in the works for five years and I have been a strong supporter of it.

The 72-day Toronto Biennial of Art presents local, national, and international contemporary art in a citywide event as culturally layered and connected as Toronto itself. The event takes place every two years, offering accessible and transformative visual art exhibitions, installations, talks, learning opportunities, and happenings in new and unexpected spaces along the shores of Lake Ontario.

The Biennial’s goal is to bring together Toronto and nearby cities, connecting communities around art and culture, and contributing to global conversations from a distinctly Canadian perspective. The event reflects the specific context of the region and its unique standard for inclusion and openness.

News Clippings

New Green Line park will connect 45 open spaces across Toronto - TRNTO.com, September 25

Ahead of election, civic leaders say they want gas tax funding permanently doubled to help with infrastructure, transit - The Star, September 12

Council to consider spending $12M on the creation of 651 affordable homes - CBC, September 10

How to build a low-rise apartment building - Spacing.ca, September 10

The massive redevelopment of Galleria Mall is poised to begin - CBC, September 8

Events

St. Clair/Silverthorn Library Stuffy Sleepover - St Clair/Silverthorn Library, 1748 St. Clair Avenue W October 24 from 7-8pm

On October 24, leave bring your favourite stuffy to have an exciting sleepover adventure at the new St. Clair/Silverthorn Library, located at 1748 St. Clair Ave W.

Pumpkin Parades - November 1, various times and locations

On November 1, there will be a series of pumpkin parades across Ward 9. Please refer to the poster below for a full listing. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our office at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca or (416) 392-7012.


Council Highlights

Declaration of climate emergency  
Council voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency and adopted a stronger target for emissions reductions – aiming for "net zero" emissions for Toronto by 2050. In recent years, Toronto has experienced more frequent flooding and other severe weather events. The weather is expected to get "hotter, wetter and wilder" in the years ahead. With the declaration of a climate emergency, Toronto joins hundreds of other cities in acknowledging the gravity of the world's climate crisis. 

Biodiversity strategy          
Council adopted a biodiversity strategy intended to support healthier, more robust biodiversity and increased awareness of nature in Toronto. The strategy envisions a Toronto with flourishing natural habitat and an urban environment that supports a great diversity of wildlife. Created through extensive consultation, the biodiversity strategy complements the City's ravine, pollinator and resilience strategies, and aligns with the City's plan for forest management.

Promoting reusable food serviceware 
A motion that Council adopted requests a report on the feasibility of the City requiring all dining establishments in Toronto to provide reusable food serviceware for eat-in customers, reducing their use of single-use plastics in Toronto restaurants. The notice of motion points out that many quick-service restaurants in Toronto are already providing reusable food serviceware, eliminating disposable dishes, take-out containers and plastic cutlery that can end up in landfill.

Vision Zero in school safety zones     
Council adopted a motion to direct the General Manager of Transportation Services to investigate and report on ways to improve timing and co-ordination of construction (such as road work and sidewalk repaving) to prioritize safety in school zones. The motion also calls on staff to present options, in time for the 2020 budget process, for accelerating the roll-out of Vision Zero in school safety zones.

Toronto's school crossing guards  
Council supported a motion calling on Transportation Services to work with the two companies that deliver the City's crossing-guard service to provide ongoing training to all crossing guards involving their duties for safety around schools. Toronto's school crossing guard program serves more than 700 locations.

Cameras in school zones    
Council voted to support a motion to immediately ask the Ontario Minister of Transportation to permit the City to deploy automated speed-enforcement cameras at all of Toronto's school zones and community safety zones to make them safer. A separate motion that was adopted urges the Minister of Transportation to expedite the implementation of regulations (under Ontario's Highway Traffic Act) for the effective use of cameras on school buses' mechanical stop arms.

Heavy trucks in the city  
A motion adopted by Council directs staff to expand the scope of the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan to target heavy trucks and active construction sites. The notice of motion says a recent analysis found that 35 pedestrian deaths in Toronto between 2007 and 2017 involved trucks, including a recent death involving a cement truck that struck a pedestrian.

Response to gun violence    
Council voted to provide additional funding to support the Toronto police response to increased levels of gun violence. The funding is the City's share of $4.5 million from all three orders of government to assist with Toronto police efforts. Among other recommendations and motions adopted pertaining to gun violence, Council voted to make another request to the federal government to ban handguns nationally and adopted a motion calling on the federal government to approve tighter bail restrictions and tougher sentences for people charged and convicted of gun offences.

Addressing causes of violence  
A motion calling for City funding to help address youth violence received Council's support. The funding will establish a program called TO Wards Peace, which involves a gang intervention model with community-based "violence interrupters" working with nurses and family support workers as teams in designated neighbourhoods. 

New affordable rental housing     
Council authorized City funding to facilitate creation of the 651 affordable rental homes through the City's Open Door Program in a eight non-profit and private-sector developments at locations across Toronto. Five other non-profit groups have plans in the works that could yield hundreds of additional affordable housing units. The Open Door Program was approved by City Council in 2016 to support the City's efforts to deliver new affordable homes and help meet housing targets.

Electrical systems in TCH buildings   
In response to a report on electrical systems in Toronto Community Housing (TCH) buildings, Council adopted a motion to direct TCH to adopt nationally sanctioned electrical maintenance standards for its buildings. Toronto Community Housing has a 10-year capital plan that is in effect to address its aging infrastructure, including upgrades to electrical systems. 

Use of e-scooters in Toronto  
Council adopted a series of recommendations to prepare for the City's future oversight and management of e-scooters in Toronto. The City is planning for the provincial government's anticipated introduction of regulations for e-scooters in Ontario. At present, the use of e-scooters on City sidewalks and pedestrian ways remains prohibited, and e-scooters may not be parked or left on streets and sidewalks.

Licensing of payday-loan establishments   
Council directed staff to stop issuing any new licences to payday-loan establishments in Toronto. The City will immediately require all payday-loan outlets that are operating to give their customers information about credit counselling services, including supports available to help people manage their financial situations so as to avoid cash shortfalls and cyclical debt. Council also voted to prohibit payday-loan establishments, pawnshops and cash-for-gold vendors from advertising on City property.

Budgeting for accessibility      
Council agreed to ask staff for a report on the feasibility of exempting all costs related to the City complying with, and undertaking initiatives connected with, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act from any efficiency savings guidelines that are set out for the City's 2020 budget process. Staff are to determine the feasibility of establishing a centralized budget/fund for all accessibility-related accommodations and initiatives.

Protecting local health-care services    
Council supported a motion calling on the Ontario government to "halt the closures of, mergers of, and cuts to" Toronto's local health care services, including public health units, land ambulance services, hospitals and long-term care homes. Cities and towns across Ontario are adopting similar motions to protect their local health-care services.

Diversity in the Toronto Public Service  
Council endorsed a Workforce Equity and Inclusion Plan designed to foster diversity in the makeup of the Toronto Public Service. Specifically, the plan aims to accelerate progress toward the City's goal of having a public service whose diversity reflects that of Toronto's population. Council also requested a report on strategies for achieving better diversity in Council-appointed staff positions.

Gender equity at the City     
Council directed staff to develop a gender equity strategy for the City and report to City Council with the strategy in the fourth quarter of 2021. Council also supported establishing a gender equity unit within People and Equity (formerly the Human Resources division) at the City to develop that strategy. Creating the unit will provide dedicated resources to ensure the creation of a robust strategy.

TTC fares - post-secondary students  
Council approved a motion to ask the Toronto Transit Commission board to explore options for discounted post-secondary student single-fare and monthly passes, taking into account provincial government changes to university and college fee systems. The TTC will be asked to report on this matter during the City's 2020 budget process.

Important Notices

Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) Subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program
LEAF offers a Subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program which helps you enjoy the many benefits of trees by planting the right tree in the right place. You will get an arborist consultation at your property, a 5 to 8 foot native tree and full planting service, all for $150-$220 (approximately half the full cost!). Houses, multi-units and business/industrial properties all qualify. LEAF also has a Do-It-Yourself option, for those who like to get their hands dirty! For more information, visit LEAF or call 1-888-453-6504.


Sewer Rehabilitation - O'Leary Avenue
The City of Toronto will be conducting sewer rehabilitations from 8 O'Leary Ave to 50 O'Leary Ave. The project is expected to be completed by January 2020. Residents may experience odours from flushing activities. For questions or concerns, please contact the Field ambassador at 416-475-4424 or fieldambassador@aecom.com


Toronto Hydro - Emerson-Bloor Construction
From June 2019 to December 2019, Toronto Hydro is conducting overhead and underground construction in the Emerson-Bloor Neighbourhood to accommodate the GO Transit Expansion Electrification Program. Crews may require access to your property to install an underground duct from the property line to the meter base located at your home or business. For further information, please call Toronto Hydro at 416-542-3366 and reference project X18126.

In addition, Toronto Hydro will be conducting a powerlite switch replacement in the Bloor St West, Sterling Rd neighbourhood to help improve the electricity system in Ward 9. For further information, please call Toronto Hydro at 416-542-3366 and reference project X18127.


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.


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.


Dafoe – Strachan Phase 4 Overhead Civil and Electrical Upgrade

Please be advised that Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the ageing 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 near your lot. The project area includes Argyle Street (North), Shaw Street (East), Sudbury Street (South) and Dufferin Street (West).

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