September 2016 E-Newsletter

Dear Neighbours,

Earlier this month, many of us gathered with our neighbours across the city to celebrate the history and achievements of workers across Canada and around the world. With the Labour Day long weekend over, Ward 18 students have returned to school to start a new year of learning and growth. Over the summer, I worked with residents, transportation staff and some of our schools to add new safety features to some of the roads and sidewalks our students use daily. I wish all parents and students a joyous and enriching school year.

On September 7, 2016, we gathered at City Hall with the Consul General of Brazil and Toronto's Brazilian community to raise the Brazilian Flag in celebration of the 194th Brazil Independence Day. Celebrating our multicultural heritage is a hallmark of our city and I wish all of our Brazilian community a Feliz 7 de Setembro!

There are number of important community meetings and events coming up this month including the Railpath Run, a West Queen West Corn Roast, consultations on Lisgar Park, a Dufferin/Waterloo Community Safety meeting and many more. A full list of events is included in this e-newsletter and I hope you can join me and your neighbours at some of them over the next month. 

Sincerely,

Ana Bailão
City Councillor
Ward 18, Davenport

Local Updates

Dufferin Bridge Closed for Metrolinx Bridge Widening Work

Metrolinx is carrying out work to expand the north side of the Dufferin Street Bridge at Queen Street which carries the Kitchener GO Transit Corridor. Expanding the bridge will support the ongoing work to bring electrified SmartTrack and GO Regional Express Rail transit service to the West Queen West community. This work will also accommodate the space required for the proposed southward extension of the West Toronto Railpath. Metrolinx expects to complete the bridge project project by June 2017.

In order to ensure the safety of the public and construction crews, and to complete the bridge expansion in a timely manner, Dufferin Street will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians from Queen Street West to Peel Avenue from September 12, 2016 to December 31st, 2016. During this closure, traffic will detour via the old "Dufferin Jog" route of Peel, Gladstone and Queen.

During this work, residents and businesses in the area can expect an increase in noise and construction activity. Crews will also need to conduct work in the evening and overnight periods when trains are not operating for safety concerns. Overnight lighting will be focused away from homes when possible and noisier work will be undertaken during the daytime to reduce evening disruptions. This accelerated work schedule aims to mitigate community impacts and reduce the duration of work.

Metrolinx will be hosting a community drop-in session at the Carnaby Condominium at 10 Minowan Miikan Lane (formerly 11 Peel Avenue) on September 29, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm with representatives present to answer your questions about this project. You can read the complete project notice for this project by clicking here.

As this work is carried out, I will keep our community informed of any updates to this work. As this is a Metrolinx project, I encourage you to contact Jennifer Capan, Community Relations and Issues Specialist at Metrolinx for any questions or concerns via telephone at 416-202-4732 or through email at jennifer.capan@GOtransit.com

Federal Funding Secured for Railpath Extension

Through the Federal Government's recently announced investment of $840 million dollars into Toronto's public transit and active transportation infrastructure, our community secured the necessary money to cover up to 50% of the cost of extending the West Toronto Railpath, our much loved multi-use trail for walkers, runners, cyclists, and nature lovers.

This funding builds on the work Metrolinx and the Provincial government are undertaking to widen the Dufferin Street bridge in order to accommodate future SmartTrack/GO RER service and the space needed for the Railpath extension.

Over the years, I have been working hard to build support for the expansion of the Railpath among all levels of government and these recent announcements help to advance our efforts. There is still more work to be done and I will be continuing my efforts to ensure that the Railpath gets extended for the benefit of our community and city. I look forward to providing your further updates on this important topic in the coming months.

Bloor-Dufferin School Lands Update

As you may be aware, The Toronto District School Board is in the process of selling the Bloor-Dufferin School Lands. You may have noticed a for sale sign on the property recently. The Toronto Lands Corporation (the real estate arm of the TDSB) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), during which interested buyers can submit offers on the site. Through the efforts of the City, School Board & the Province through the Bloor-Dufferin Working Group, 30,000 sq ft is required to be set aside by whoever the successful bidder is for the purposes of a community hub. As this process continues, I will continue to advocate for the following community building goals:

  • The preservation of as much green space as possible;
  • The preservation and expansion of child care spaces;
  • The need for affordable housing to be included as part of any development on the site;
  • That any proposed development fits with the character of the neighbourhood;
  • The preservation of the heritage aspects of the site; and
  • The need for community services, uses, and a community hub to be created on the site itself

I will continue to keep your informed of any updates on this important issue. To review my previous updates and a summary of the consultation feedback and information session from this past summer, please click here.

Seeking a Flexible Approach to Inclusionary Zoning

As the Chair of Toronto's Affordable Housing Committee, I led the City's submission to the Province of Ontario's recently introduced Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016. This provincial legislation seeks to provide municipalities with the tools to leverage new affordable housing units from ongoing private sector construction activity. The City's response advocates for a flexible approach which allows municipalities to responds to the local needs and dynamics of the housing market. As the Chair of Toronto's Affordable Housing Committee and the lead on the City's response to the Act, I look forward to working with our provincial partners, residents, & housing stakeholders to develop legislation that addresses the needs of our municipalities and encourages the creation of new affordable housing. 

To read the City's complete response to the Act, please click here. You can read the cover letter to our response by clicking here.

Canadian Pacific Train Derailment

Since my election, I have been a strong advocate to improve rail safety in our community and for the removal of dangerous being transported through our densely populated urban centers. On August 21, a Canadian Pacific Train collided and derailed with another train along the CP rail corridor near Dupont and Spadina. As a result of the collision, approximately 1,100 litres of diesel fuel from the colliding locomotive was spilled onto the track area. Crews worked quickly to clean the spill and thankfully there were no serious injuries. This incident reinforces the need to make meaningful improvements in rail safety now.

We must continue to work with our Federal and Provincial governments to improve protections for communities living along rail corridors. I welcome the announcement from the Provincial Government this summer to begin stakeholder consultations to advance the "Missing Link" freight rail bypass. This project provides an unprecedented opportunity to move Canadian Pacific Rail's freight traffic off the CP tracks that run through Toronto. I also welcome Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau's expressed openness to enhanced rail safety measures and his detailed outline of current federal rail safety enhancements underway in response to the open letter that many City Councillors and Mayor Tory sent earlier this year calling for federal action. You can read the Minster Garneau's full response here.

While these measures represent a decisive start towards establishing sufficient protections for communities along rail lines, I will continue to advocate for further action on this important issue.

Expanding Opportunities for Small Business through Social Procurement

The City of Toronto is implementing its Social Procurement Program to expand opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses and non-profit companies who do social good in our city. This program is part of the City's Poverty reduction Strategy known as TO Prosperity which seeks to provide opportunity and resources to our most vulnerable residents. I am proud to have been a strong advocate in helping to advance this important new direction the City is taking.

This program improves access of diverse suppliers and business to compete on a equal level for City contracts and city business. Creating these partnerships allows us to maximize the public benefit received from the work our contractors and divisions carry out by directly working towards the goals in our Poverty Reduction Strategy. By 2018, the City is aiming to ensure one-third of all procurement contracts over $5 million in value and 25 per cent of all direct suppliers have or are incorporating community benefits into their business with the City.

You can read more about the Social Procurement Program and the Poverty Reduction Strategy by clicking here.

Events

Toronto Railpath Run - Henderson Brewery (128A Sterling Rd) - Saturday September 24, 2016, registration begins at 8am

See how fast/far you can run in a set time, set a new personal best, or take a lovely stroll with your family on the West Toronto Railpath with the family in support of a good cause. Everyone is welcome!

McCormick Park Fall Festival - McCormick Park (66 Sheridan Ave) - Saturday September 24, 2016 from 11am to 3pm

Lisgar Park Community Meeting - The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen St W) - Monday September 26, 2016 starting at 7pm

Waterloo/Dufferin Safety Improvements Community Meeting - Alexander Muir/Gladstone Avenue Junior Public School (108 Gladstone Ave) - Tuesday September 27, 2016starting at 7pm

As we welcome our children back to school, we are reminded of the importance of road safety, especially around a school zone. I previously asked City staff to undertake a review to install a pick-up/drop-off area on Waterloo Avenue, investigate the feasibility of installing a lay-by, create a safe cycling connection across Dufferin, as well as changing the cross walk on Dufferin Street to a signalized traffic signal.

I am hosting a community meeting with City of Toronto Transportation Services staff and Toronto District School Board staff to present these findings and to gather community feedback as we work to improve the safety of our community. I hope you can join me on Tuesday September 27, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Alexander Muir/Gladstone Avenue Junior Public School (108 Gladstone Avenue) for this important community meeting.

If you have any questions or are unable to attend this meeting, please do not hesitate to contact my office via telephone at 416-392-7012 or via email at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca to share your feedback. 

Metrolinx Drop-In Session - The Carnaby Condominium (10 Minowan Miikan lane, formerly 11 Peel Ave) - Thursday September 29, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm

Metrolinx is holding a drop-in information session where representatives will be available to answers questions about the work being carried out in the area.

West Queen West Corn Roast - Lisgar Park (60 Lisgar Street) - Saturday October 1, 2016 from 1pm to 3pm

Galleria Mall Open House - Galleria Mall (1245 Dupotn Street) - October 15, 2016 from 11am to 3pm

The owners of Galleria Mall will be holding their 3rd open open house to discuss the the redevelopment of the site and share their updates with our community. I look forward to seeing you there. For my previous updates on the Galleria Mall redevelopment, please click here.

News Clippings

Bike Spotting on the West Toronto Railpath - dandyhorse magazine

The Top 33 Iconic Buildings in Toronto by Neighbourhood - BlogTO

City Pushing for Diverse Companies to Bid on City Contracts - Toronto Star

Inclusionary Zoning Debate Continues as City Opposes Bill 204 - UrbanToronto

Public Consultations

City of Toronto seeking advice for Poverty Reduction Lived Experience Advisory Group

City staff are inviting residents and communities to participate in the creation of the Lived Experience Advisory Group in support of the City's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy, was unanimously approved by City Council on November 4, 2015. A copy of the Council decision and report is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2015.EX9.5.

This decision included approval of a Lived Experience Advisory Group comprised of Toronto residents with lived experience of poverty to contribute their expertise to the effective development, measurement and monitoring of poverty reduction initiatives.

Before the Lived Experience Advisory Group is created, input from residents who understand poverty is needed. City staff will host a community meeting to hear from residents who have lived experience with the conditions and impact of poverty, particularly those with ideas on how to include underrepresented voices. Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale) will be in attendance.

The community meeting will take place on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Lawrence Heights Community Centre, 5 Replin Rd. (near Lawrence West Subway Station). Tokens, food and child care will be provided for the day. Registration for the meeting is available online at http://prs-leag.eventbrite.ca.

The day will focus on gathering input on how the Lived Experience Advisory Group should work: composition and terms of membership; frequency and location of meetings; communication frequency, audiences and tactics; supports required; and more.

For more information visit: http://toronto.ca/toprosperity.

The Poverty Reduction Strategy is known as TO Prosperity. Through this 20-year plan, Toronto is addressing issues, creating solutions and driving systemic change in an effort to create a city where everyone has access to good jobs, adequate income, stable housing, affordable transportation, nutritious food and supportive services. Visit http://www.toronto.ca/toprosperity to see how the City is working toward that vision.

Toronto Ward Boundary Review

The Toronto Ward Boundary Review includes numerous opportunities for Council members, stakeholders and the public to give their opinions on the size and shape of Toronto’s wards as well as on the options for any new ward structure that will be proposed. The Toronto Ward Boundary Review Team (TWBR) is seeking comments from the public, stakeholders and Members of City Council on two items, which are described in detail in the Additional Information Report:

  1.  A revised Option 2 (44 wards) that incorporates the refinements suggested during the TWBR public consultation process in August - November 2015;
  2. A ward option that is consistent with the boundaries of the 25 federal and provincial ridings.

THERE ARE 3 WAYS TO PROVIDE COMMENTS: 

  1. Online: Fill in your answers directly through the online survey.
  2. Print this form and send it in:
    a)   By mail (To: Toronto Ward Boundary Review; 30 St. Patrick Street, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON, M5T 3A3)
    b)   By email info@drawthelines.ca

     3. Attend a Public Meeting.  Four public meetings are being held across the City in September, from 7pm-9pm:  

  • Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016 – Etobicoke Civic Centre – Meeting Room 1

Important Notices

Dufferin Bridge Widening Transit Diversions

Metrolinx is carrying out work to expand the north side of the Dufferin Street Bridge at Queen Street which carries the Kitchener GO Transit Corridor. Expanding the bridge will support the ongoing work to bring electrified SmartTrack and GO Regional Express Rail transit service to the West Queen West community. This work will also accommodate the space required for the proposed southward extension of the West Toronto Railpath. Metrolinx expects to complete the bridge project by June 2017.

In order to ensure the safety of the public and construction crews, and to complete the bridge expansion in a timely manner, Dufferin Street will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians from Queen Street West to Peel Avenue from September 12, 2016 to December 31st, 2016. During this closure, traffic will detour via the old "Dufferin Jog" route of Peel, Gladstone and Queen.

During this work, residents and businesses in the area can expect an increase in noise and construction activity. Crews will also need to conduct work in the evening and overnight periods when trains are not operating for safety concerns. Overnight
lighting will be focused away from homes when possible and noisier work will be undertaken during the daytime to reduce evening disruptions. This accelerated work schedule aims to mitigate community impacts and reduce the duration of work.
Metrolinx will be hosting a community drop-in session at the Carnaby Condominium at 10 Minowan Miikan Lane (formerly 11 Peel Avenue) on September 29, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm with representatives present to answer your questions about this
project. You can read the complete project notice for this project by clicking here

As this work is carried out, I will keep our community informed of any updates to this work. As this is a Metrolinx project, I encourage you to contact Jennifer Capan, Community Relations and Issues Specialist at Metrolinx for any questions or
concerns via telephone at 416-202-4732 or through email at jennifer.capan@GOtransit.com

501 Queen Streetcar Diverting Until October

Streetcars on the 501/301 Queen route are diverting due to City of Toronto watermain work on Queen St. W. between Shaw St. and Spadina Ave.

Streetcars will divert both ways via Spadina Ave., King St. W. and Shaw St. Shuttle buses will run on Queen St. W. between Shaw St and University Avenue to assist customers and local businesses in the area.

Regular service will resume Sunday, Oct. 9.

For any inquiries about this work, please contact the TTC via telephone at 416-393-3030, online at www.ttc.ca or @TTChelps on Twitter.

Watermain Work on Lansdowne to Require Cycling and TTC Route 47 and 506/306 Diversions

The City of Toronto is replacing the watermain and the City-owned portion of substandard water services on Lansdowne Avenue from south of Dundas Street to Rideau Avenue, and on the Lansdowne Avenue East Branch up to Shirley Street. The road of Lansdowne Avenue from south of Dundas Street West to Rideau Avenue will also be reconstructed as part of the project. The project will continue until September 30, 2016. In order to accommodate this work, Lansdowne Avenue will be closed in the southbound direction from Dundas Street West to Rideau Avenue for the duration of the project. For more project information, please click here. You can find a fact sheet with more information about replacing lead service pipes by clicking here.

During these infrastructure projects, the TTC's Route 47 bus will be diverting via Dundas, Dufferin & Queen.  The TTC's 506/306 route will be diverting via Dundas and Dufferin and will continue to operate with buses in the western portion of the route and Streetcars on the eastern portion of the route. The map below includes more information. For cycling detours in the area, please click here.

I will keep you informed of further route changes over during these infrastructure renewal projects and encourage you to consult the TTC via www.ttc.ca or @TTCHelps on Twitter for further updates on this work.

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