I am bringing you a second newsletter this month to highlight some important changes that have taken place over the last few weeks. At City Council last week, I moved a motion to review the issue of cigarette butt litter outside of businesses. No matter where you are in the city, we see cigarette butts littering the sidewalk in front of businesses, bars and restaurants. This issue is compounded when the snow melts and the accumulated litter is exposed, resulting in an unsightly streetscape. With patrons continuing to smoke outside of these establishments, this issue will persist until action is taken. That is why I put forward a motion recommending we review options for a regulation that would require business owners and operators to ensure that cigarette butt litter is removed from in front of their property as a condition of their licence. This small increase in responsibility of care for businesses will provide a cleaner and more pleasant environment for the public and their customers.
After an extensive review of the impact of the King Street Pilot project, Toronto City Council voted to make it permanent. Having King Street serve as a priority transit corridor for commuters, cyclists and pedestrians has proven to have a positive impact on commute times, commuter safety, as well as adding vibrancy to the King Street community, while having a negligible negative impact on businesses and vehicle travel times. As we work toward further improvements to the public realm, I am sure King Street will continue to grow as an important people-focused public space in the centre of our city.
On April 10, the provincial government announced their $28.5-billion transit plan for Toronto and committed $11.2-billion in funding. While provincial commitment to help alleviate the growing stresses on Toronto's transit system is both welcomed and needed, much remains uncertain. As the province moves to upload certain parts of our City's transit system, we must work hard to ensure that the wishes of our community are heard and respected in the decision-making process. Equally as important is that we ensure this does not cause further delay to our transit planning efforts. As the City was not consulted in the planning of this project, I have great concern that they do not have Toronto's best interests at heart. At Toronto City Council, we have requested further details from the province in order to properly understand the changes being proposed and how it will affect the City's current plans. Their responses will provide us with the information needed to take an informed position and truly understand how it will impact our communities.
On the heels of this announcement, the province also decided they will be removing Toronto's provincial gas tax funding, which was given in compensation by the previous government for cancelling toll roads on the Gardiner Expressway. This will have a significant impact on public transit in Toronto, as much of this funding was already budgeted for TTC repairs, as well as important transit infrastructure projects.
In another concerning announcement, the provincial government announced that they were going to be cutting $1 billion from public health spending over the next 10 years. In the case of our City, some of these cost-sharing programs will drop significantly to just 50% provincial funding. Public health funding is critical as it deals with everything from disease prevention, health inspections, health education, overdose prevention and much more. The province's decision to so dramatically reduce public health spending will have a direct impact on many residents, community support groups and City programs that keep us safe and healthy.
In other news, I am happy to announce Davenport Today and Tomorrow, a series of Town Halls across Ward 9, where we will get together as a community to discuss issues big and small that affect your day-to-day life, such as transit, development, and parks and recreation. To find the Town Hall closest to you, please view this map and click on the number closest to your home and click the registration link, or visit www.anabailao.com/events. If you can't attend or want to share ideas in advance, you can take our two-minute survey to share your ideas at www.anabailao.com/DavenportSurvey.
As our community continues to grow, we are often faced with new challenges. Vehicle traffic has been a concern I often hear about when meeting with residents across the Ward. In order to help keep your community safe, I wanted to note two resources to help our community. The City of Toronto is accepting requests for new school crossing guard locations. If you know of an area that requires a crossing guard, please make a submission here. Through the Watch Your Speed Program, you can also request that an electronic speed sign be installed to remind motorists to slow down.
Thank you to everyone joined me for our annual Easter Egg Hunt! Despite the rain, hundreds of residents come out for a great time with arts and crafts, dancing, place painting and of course our egg hunt. Many residents also came out to discuss improvements to Dufferin Grove Park and give their feedback on the design concepts shown. If you were not able to attend, you can view the design proposals online by clicking here. I encourage you to take a few minutes to share your comments on how we can make them better by completing the online feedback survey by clicking here.
Councillor, Ward 9 – Davenport
Supporting Vulnerable Women with Sistering
I am proud to share that as part of our transformation of Toronto Community Housing, we approved an initiative at City Council this month to work with Sistering on the potential transfer of two current vacant TCH properties to enable Sistering to respond to the growing demand for homelessness services. Earlier this year, I was also able to work with them to secure additional funding to make improvements to their current facility in order to better serve those seeking services there. I look forward to continuing these efforts to ensure we are supporting vulnerable individuals in our community.
Mary McCormick Recreation Centre State of Good Repair Project
The City of Toronto will be carrying out major State of Good Repair work on the Mary McCormick Community Centre later this year. This work will include important updates to the ageing infrastructure in the centre to ensure continued enjoyment of the facility for years to come. As part of this work, the City will need to close the community centre in the fall, following the end of summer programs and will be phasing its reopening to ensure that next years summer programs are able to take place, while remaining work is completed.
The City will be hosting a public information meeting next Monday April 29, 2019 at Mary McCormick Recreation Centre (Youth Lounge), 66 Sheridan Ave from 7:00pm-8:30pm to discuss the project plans, timelines and next steps for the Mary McCormick Rec. Centre improvements. For more information on this project, please contact the Project Coordinator Ed Hanna at [email protected]. You can also visit the project website at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/construction-new-facilities/mary-mccormick-community-centre/
Davenport Today and Tomorrow Town Halls - May 6 to July 8 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
Please join me to share your thoughts on how we can make a meaningful impact in our community. I want to talk with you about the big and small issues that effect your day-to-day life, such as transit, development, and parks and recreation, and work to see how we can make a positive change. To register for your local meeting, please visit www.anabailao.com/events. Don't know which meeting is closest to you? Check out our interactive map and click on each location for more details.
Can't make it or want to submit ideas in advance? Please consider taking two minutes to complete our survey.
Fairbank Trunk Sewer Update Town Hall - Monday May 13 at Fairbank Memorial Community School from 6:30pm-8:30pmAs we move through the wet spring months, I wanted to provide our community with an update on the flooding prevention program. We will be holding the Fairbank Storm Trunk Open House in conjunction with Davenport Today and Tomorrow, at Fairbank Memorial Community School on Monday, May 13 from 6:30pm-8:30pm.
At this meeting, an update will be provided on the Charles Caccia Park stormwater tank as well as the new storm trunk sewer system.
Compost Days - May 4 - June 6 at various locations
Spring is here and a new season of greening and growing is kicking off in gardens across our community! Please see this map and click the blue pins for upcoming community compost days where we are offering free freshly composted soil for your garden.
Please bring your containers, a shovel and your green thumbs.
Regal Road and Springmount Avenue Intersection Modifications Consultation - Tuesday, May 7 at Toronto Public Library, Davenport Branch, 1246 Shaw Street from 6:00pm-8:00pm
Following the installation of a pilot project in June 2018 bat the corner Regal Rd and SPringmount Ave, residents have been sharing their feedback on the modifications. In order to discuss the project and design options for the future of the intersection, the City is hosting a public drop-in event to share information about the project, show draft design options and answer any questions that residents have. I hope you can join us to discuss this important local matter.
Bloordale Spring Cleanup - Saturday, April 27 from 10am-11:30am at Susan Tibaldi Parkette
Beautify Bloordale on Saturday, April 27th with the Bloordale Community Improvement Association. Meet up at Susan Tibaldi Parkette, don't forget your gloves!
DPNCHC Repair Cafe - Tuesday, April 30 from 5:30pm-8:00pm at Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Centre (1900 Davenport Rd)
Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Health Centre is hosting a Repair Cafe. Bring in your broken appliances for them to be fixed. Consider yourself handy? They are also looking for volunteer repair people. For more information, please contact DPNCHC at [email protected] or 416-656-8025 x377.
The Treasure Book Workshop - From May 9, 16, 23 and 30 to June 6 and 13 at 533c Gladstone Ave, 9:30am-11:30am
This free 6 week workshop teaches illustration techniques and storytelling to help new Canadians share their story through creative channels. To register, please visit www.bit.ly/2G2DpPL
Cultural Hotspot Initiative - From May through October 2019
The City of Toronto's Cultural Hotspot initiative shines a spotlight on arts, culture and community in the York and north Etobicoke areas; inspiring new ideas about where culture thrives in Toronto. A big part of celebrating creativity, community and culture in this area is highlighting delicious and diverse food and that's what HOT Eats is all about. HOT Eats encourages people to experience local restaurants, cafés and bakeries. Sign up to participate in this promotional opportunity, including a gift certificate giveaway campaign (partnering with Star Metroland Media), an online interactive directory, print advertisement and social media advertisement campaign, and inclusion in a printed and online guide book of your area. For more information, or to sign up: toronto.ca/culturalhotspot/eats
Submissions open: May 1, 2019
Deadline to apply: June 17, 2019
Contact: [email protected] or Emma Ward at 416-392-1214
Beyond Gross: 2019 Laneway Summit - May 7 from 6:30pm-9:30pm at MOCA Toronto, 158 Toronto
The Laneway Project will be hosting a public summit to launch a brand new set of public planning resources that will help transform Toronto laneways into shared places that enhance our densest and fastest-growing neighbourhoods. For more information, please visit the Facebook event page here.
DPNCHC Community Singing Drop-In - Thursdays from March 21-May 9 from 6pm-7:30pm at Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Centre (1900 Davenport Rd, The Sanctuary)
Davenport Perth neighbourhood health Centre is holding Free Community Singing Drop-Ins from March 21st to May 9th 2019. For more information, please contact Gabrielle Langlois at 416-656-8025 or [email protected].
Regal Heights Village BIA Art Competition - Registration deadline June 7
Regal Heights Village BIA is hosting its first ever art competition for their banner design and community identity beautification initiative. They are encouraging all artists in Toronto, regardless of their experience, age or education in art to participate. For more information and to register, please visit their website.
Community Environment Day - Saturday, May 11 at Galleria Mall, 1245 Dupont St and Sunday, July 14 at Dufferin Mall, 900 Dufferin St. Both events run from 10am-2pm.
Safely dispose of electronics, hazardous waste, medication and paints, and donate items in good condition. You will also be able to pick up a free leaf compost bag.
Fairbank Village BIA Films on Shortt - May 17 to September 13
Please join Fairbank Village BIA for their free outdoor movies on Friday nights on Shortt street, north of Eglinton. Be sure to bring your chair or blanket!
Arts + Puppetry Summer Camps at George Chuvalo Community Centre - July 2 - August 6 at George Chuvalo Community Centre
The George Chuvalo Community Centre is hosting Arts + Puppetry Summer Camps for kids in grade 4-6! For more information and to register, please contact Julia Gonsalves at 416-668-3492 or [email protected] or visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/GChuvaloCentre/
Figment Interactive Art Festival - August 17-18 in Dufferin Grove Park
Join Figment for their third annual free interactive arts festival in Dufferin Grove Park on the August 17 weekend. If you are interested in volunteering for their Core Team and help plan the event, please contact [email protected].
Are you an artist looking to submit a work for this event? please contact [email protected]
HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan Consultations
As we work to build a strong foundation on housing, we need to plan for the future. The City has launched it's public consultations on a new housing action plan called HousingTO. We are looking to set clear and measurable targets for the City based on your ideas and input.
The City will be hosting four public meetings and is conducting an online survey to hear from residents and housing stakeholders. We need your ideas and I encourage you to participate! You can find links to the questionnaire and more information at toronto.ca/housingplan and find upcoming meeting dates below
Metro Hall - Thursday - Tuesday April 30, 2019, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
55 John Street, 3rd Floor, Room 308
North York Civic Centre - Wednesday May 1, 2019, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
5100 Yonge St, Council Chambers
For more information or to provide feedback, please contact 311 or [email protected].
Retail Main Street Study
The Toronto Business Improvement Association Office has launched a study of Toronto's retail main streets and want input from both residents and businesses on the challenges and issues facing independent businesses across Toronto. By providing your feedback before May 20, you will help ensure that the unique challenges of your community are understood and accounted for.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to take the online surveys listed here, Resident Survey | Business Survey. You can find more information about the City’s Retail Main Streets study is available at: http://www.toronto.ca/retailmainstreetsTO.
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. If you have a recommendation for a Mobile Watch Your Speed Sign, please make a request.
Changing Lanes: Community Consultations on Laneway Suites
A laneway suite is a separate residential unit in a building located on the same lot as a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse, but generally in the backyard, and next to a public laneway.
As of August 2018, the City of Toronto has allowed the construction of laneway suites in the Toronto and East York areas of the City, subject to some criteria.
The City is now reviewing the possibility of allowing laneway suites across the City.
The City is hosting a series of drop-in consultation meetings where you can learn more, ask questions and talk to City staff about your ideas for laneway suites.
City of Toronto Official Transportation Plan Review
City Planning staff are currently reviewing transportation policies related to the transit, cycling, street related maps and schedules and automated vehicles (AVs) and shared mobility services.City Planning staff are consulting with the public on proposed draft transportation policies. Four public meetings will be held from May 1, 2019 to May 7, 2019. All meetings will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, please visit the City's Official Plan Review website.
Toronto city council makes King Street Pilot permanent in landslide vote - Daily Hive, April 16
Toronto council should open the door to ‘gentle density’ - Toronto Star, April 22
Series of local town halls planned by Coun. Ana Bailao for Davenport - Toronto.com, April 25
City offers grants to support the creation of pollinator gardens
Through its new PollinateTO Community Grants, the City is offering grants of up to $5,000 to support community-led projects that:
- create pollinator gardens and rain gardens on public and private lands, including residential streets, neighbourhoods and school yards
- enhance or expand existing gardens with native pollinator-friendly plants
Native pollinators are under threat from climate change, habitat loss and other stressors. You can help! Learn more and apply by May 1st by visiting livegreentoronto.ca.
Pre-Construction Notice - Watermain Cleaning and Relining on Westmoreland Ave and Shanly St
Watermain cleaning and relining will be taking place starting in April on Westmoreland Ave and Shanly St. Construction is expected to be completed by November 2019. Questions can be directed to the City of Toronto Field Ambassador team at 416-508-3164 or [email protected] from 7:00am-7:00pm, Monday to Friday.
King Street transit
Council decided to make the features of the King Street Transit Pilot project permanent, with King Street between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets operating as a corridor that gives public transit priority over private vehicles. Ridership on the TTC’s 504 King streetcar during the recent two-year pilot rose significantly, to about 84,000 riders a day, and efficiency increased. Statistics have indicated minimal impact on vehicle travel times on streets paralleling or intersecting with King Street. The repositioned transit stops on King will be kept in place and improvements will be made to street furniture and patios along the corridor.
Transit expansion plans
Council approved staff recommendations addressing Ontario’s recently announced new transit plan for Toronto and region – including four projects that the provincial government identifies as transit priorities. The province’s proposal assumes cost-sharing by the federal government, the City of Toronto and other municipalities and authorities. The recommendations that Council adopted include requesting a detailed assessment of the province’s proposed changes to Toronto’s transit expansion program.
Toronto’s share of gas tax
A motion concerning the provincial gasoline tax received Council’s unanimous support. The motion requests that the Ontario government reinstate a provincial gas tax commitment made in 2017 that would double municipalities’ share from two cents a litre to four cents a litre. The Toronto Transit Commission relies on the gas tax revenues for its state-of-good-repair expenses. The TTC funding anticipated from the pledged increase amounts to an estimated $1.1 billion over 10 years.
Housing and settlement
Tenants First and seniors housing
Council adopted recommendations to move ahead promptly with the Tenants First project that is transforming Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), in part by addressing the work of TCHC’s interim seniors housing unit and the City’s role in delivering services to seniors. A related change approved by Council is the expanded scope of the City’s Long-Term Care Homes and Services division, now to include a seniors housing and services entity. The division’s name becomes Seniors Services and Long-Term Care.
Refugee capacity plan for Toronto
Council adopted a plan for handling surges in refugee populations arriving in Toronto and needing support services. The plan aims for the seamless, efficient mobilization of the City’s resources when the need for greater capacity arises. Toronto welcomes about 50,000 new permanent residents a year, but the number of refugees and refugee claimants can vary widely from year to year, such as when almost 7,000 Syrian refugees arrived on relatively short notice in 2016.
Public health in Ontario
Council voted to affirm its support for Toronto Public Health and agreed to ask the Ontario government to stop its planned reduction of Ontario’s public health units from 35 to 10 and its planned budget reduction of $200 million from public health. Council is requesting the province to instead undertake consultations with municipalities and public health agencies on the public health system in Ontario.
Services addressing opioid overdose crisis
Council supported asking the Ontario government to reinstate funding for supervised consumption services at Toronto’s Street Health and St. Stephen’s Community House and to maintain funding for Toronto Public Health’s The Works. The provincial government announced on March 29 that, under new regulations, funding for supervised injection and overdose prevention was not approved for six Ontario sites, three in Toronto and three in London and Ottawa. Coroner’s statistics indicate that hundreds of people in Toronto have died as a result of opioid overdoses in recent years.
Review of dementia care
Council requested the preparation of a business case for a multi-year hiring and staffing plan, along with technological enhancements, to address the complex-care needs of people, including those with dementia, who live in the City’s long-term care homes. Staff were also asked for an implementation strategy to ensure that all 10 long-term care homes provide emotion-centred approaches to care. Sixty-nine per cent of the 2,641 residents in the City’s long-term care homes have moderate to severe cognitive impairment and 65 per cent have dementia.
Amendments to the noise bylaw
Council approved amendments to the City’s noise bylaw after a comprehensive review of the standards for noise in Toronto. The changes simplify the bylaw and address specific noise issues such as amplified sound/music and noise from power devices (such as leaf blowers), motor vehicles (including motorcycles) and construction. There is a provision allowing for various exemptions from noise prohibitions and limitations.
Council decided to ask the Ontario government to direct the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to suspend or revoke liquor licences at any licensed establishment that has been the scene of gun violence, where patrons have been in the possession of handguns, or where the police have found handguns on the premises.
Planning and public realm
Damage from Eglinton LRT work
In response to a motion that Council adopted, the City will communicate Council’s expectations that Crosslinx and Metrolinx should pay for damage caused to roads by construction work on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT (light rail transit) line. Crosslinx Transit Solutions is a design and construction consortium established to build the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Ontario agency Metrolinx owns and oversees the project.
Toronto’s street furniture
Council authorized staff to enter into an amending agreement that will result in changes to the City’s street furniture program, which is delivered as a public-private partnership with Astral Media. With the City’s 20-year agreement with Astral now in its 12th year, various installations are being addressed. One innovation under consideration is providing heaters in selected transit shelters. Increased cleaning of litter bins in business improvement areas is another priority for the City.
Council agreed to ask for a report from staff on establishing regulations that address the issue of cigarette-butt litter. The regulations will require business owners and operators to ensure that cigarette butts are removed from in front of their premises as a condition of the City issuing a business licence. Staff are also to report on the enforcement of existing regulations that require the installation and maintenance of receptacles for cigarette butts in front of business establishments, including restaurants and bars.
Alternatives to single-use plastics
Council adopted a motion aimed at having the City of Toronto eliminate single-use plastic waste in all City facilities, as well as at City events and campaigns where feasible and practical. Staff are to report back with a detailed plan. The report will include options for replacing single-use plastic products with reusable and alternative products.
Plans for Don Mills Crossing
Council approved Don Mills Crossing, a secondary plan that advances a vision of a distinct, complete community that is centred at Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East (situated on the Crosstown LRT). Through implementation, the plan will create a vibrant, mixed-use community, connect new development with the area’s natural heritage, enhance mobility choice and support new community facilities and affordable housing. The Don Mills Crossing study included extensive consultation with the surrounding community and stakeholders.
Appointment of a Photo Laureate
Council officially approved the appointment of Michele Pearson Clarke to the position of City of Toronto Photo Laureate for the three-year term until April 2022, or until a successor is appointed. Toronto’s Photo Laureate, the first and only position of its kind in Canada, began in 2016 when Council appointed Geoffrey James the first Toronto Photo Laureate.
Recruitment of swim instructors
Council adopted a motion requesting that recreation staff take steps to bolster recruitment to address a shortage of swim instructors for some City aquatic programs. Members of Council also want to make sure there is a process in place for notification when a program is cancelled, including information about options to transfer to other available swimming instruction programs offered by the City.
Support for Rohingya people
A motion concerning Myanmar and its Rohingya population received Council’s support. Council is urging the Canadian government to invoke the Genocide Convention and, with other governments, engage with the International Court of Justice on holding Myanmar to its obligations. The motion also addresses topics including reparations, the plight of journalists jailed in Myanmar, and the needs of Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh.
Freedom of religion and expression
Council voted to reaffirm its support for freedom of religion and expression, and to state its opposition to any legislation that would restrict or prohibit those freedoms. Council’s action comes in the context of the Quebec provincial government’s recent proposal of legislation (Bill 21) that would prohibit public employees from wearing visible religious symbols, including items such as turpans, hijabs and crucifixes, in the workplace.