Davenport Community Briefing - February 17



COVID-19 Updates

Province Announces Next Phase of Reopening

On Monday February 14th, the Ontario Government announced the next steps in the provincial reopening plan. This announcement includes changes to mask requirements, proof of vaccination requirements, and changes to capacity limits.

Effective today, February 17th, the province will be:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors;
  • Increasing organized public event limits to 50 people indoors, with no limit outdoors;
  • Removing capacity limits in certain indoor public settings like restaurants, bars, cinemas, and other food & drink establishments, where proof of vaccination is required;
  • And more

The Ontario government also announced that, effective March 1st, it will be lifting capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings, as well as lifting proof of vaccination requirements for all settings. The announced changes are significant, and I encourage community members to read more about these changes in detail here.


City of Toronto Reopening City Hall and Civic Centres for Counter Services

On Wednesday February 16, the City of Toronto announced details of its plan to reopen City buildings to residents and staff. The phased plan will begin with the reopening of select in-person counter services at Toronto City Hall and civic centres on Tuesday February 22.

In-person counter services will include:

  • Payments for property taxes;
  • Utilities and parking violations;
  • Construction permits;
  • Tree removal permit applications;
  • and COVID-19 rapid screening kits for small and medium-sized businesses.

Some of these in-person counter services will require booking an appointment in advance, while other services will be made available on a first-come first-serve basis.

Residents can click here to learn more.


City Immunization Clinics Now Offering Walk-in Third Dose Vaccinations To Youth Ages 12 to 17

On Tuesday February 15th, Toronto Public Health announced that all five City immunization clinics will now start offering walk-in third dose COVID-19 vaccinations for youth aged 12 to 17.

Residents ages 12 to 17 years are eligible for a third dose if approximately six months (168 days) have passed since their second dose.

Information on City immunization clinics can be found here.


Walk-ins Continue At Any City Clinic

City Immunization Clinics continue to accept walk-in visits for COVID-19 vaccinations while continuing with booked appointments. All five City-run clinics are open Monday to Friday from 2 – 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (for appointments and walk-in). Adjusted days/hours may occasionally apply.

Residents can also book an appointment online or call the Provincial booking system at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). First, second and third doses are available for eligible groups.


City Continues to Reopen Community Centres and Indoor Rec Services

On January 31st, the City began reopening community recreation facilities for drop-in programs and rentals in accordance with the Province of Ontario’s plan to gradually end public health restrictions.

Proof of vaccination will continue to be required for those age 12 and older entering indoor sports and recreational facilities, and capacity restrictions of 50 percent will be in place for now.

City staff continue to monitor provincial regulations closely, and information about impacted City services will continue to be available on the City’s COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage. Residents can more about the reopening of recreational facilities here.


City of Toronto launches spring recreation program listings

On Wednesday February 16th, the City announced that the City of Toronto’s spring recreation program listings are now available online to help residents prepare for registration dates next month. Registration for City spring recreation programs will open on Saturday, March 5 and Monday, March 7 for programs beginning the week of April 4.

Click here to learn more.


City's COVID-19 Dashboard Continues To Be Updated

The City of Toronto maintains an updated dashboard of statistics and reports on COVID-19 numbers in our City, including a case count map.  It is easy to review information on the dashboard which outlines what is occurring in our City during the pandemic.  The data is updated regularly. 

The dashboard can be found at this link.



City & Local Updates

Press Conference with Councillor Filion In Support of Modular Housing Project at 175 Cummer Ave

On February 15th, Councillor John Filion and I heard from residents of Ward 18 - Willowdale, who spoke passionately in support of the 59-unit modular housing project at 175 Cummer Ave. This important housing development has Council’s support, but has faced delays due to the province.

We've been waiting months for an MZO from the province so that this project could proceed, and more residents in our city could be housed. Although the fastest course of action continues to be an MZO, we can't keep waiting for the province to act while housing remains unbuilt.

This is why Councillor Filion and I submitted a recommendation to the Planning & Housing Committee to initiate a municipal zoning process to allow this project to move forward.


Joined Toronto Community Housing & Enbridge Gas in Celebrating 10 Year Partnership

On February 10th, I joined Minister of Energy Todd Smith, Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) President and CEO Jag Sharma, and Enbridge to recognize and celebrate the 10 years of partnership between Enbridge Gas and TCHC. 

This decade-long partnership has resulted in reductions to TCHC's carbon footprint, increased comfort for residents, and more TCHC savings which has allowed funds to be used elsewhere. The resulting decrease in TCHC emissions is also helping our city reach its emissions target.


Open House for Park at 261 Nairn Ave on February 22nd

A new park is coming to 261 Nairn Ave!

The City will be hosting an open house on February 22nd for residents to see the preferred concept design! I encourage community members to join this open house to ask questions, and see the results of this engagement process!

Community members can visit this link to register.


Earlscourt Park Pathways Virtual Open House on February 23rd
The City is proposing pathway improvements to Earlscourt Park, pathways at the west side of Earlscourt Park (1200 Lansdowne Ave).

These pathway improvements were initiated by local residents, which I fully support. The new pathways will connect to the existing park pathways, entrances, and amenities and will improve accessibility and connectivity throughout the park.

The City will be hosting a Virtual Open House on February 23rd from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm to present the proposed plan, and answer questions from community members. Community members can register through this link.


Keele-St. Clair Local Area Study Public Open House on Thursday March 3 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
The City will be hosting a public open house for the Keele-St. Clair Local Area Study. City staff  conducted the Keele-St. Clair Local Area Study as part of the Growth Plan (2019) conformity exercise in response to the planned GO/Smart Track station near Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue West and additional transportation, transit and infrastructure improvements approved through the St. Clair Avenue West Area Transportation Master Plan.
I encourage community members to join this open house, where City staff will present the draft Keele-St. Clair Secondary Plan and potential changes based on early feedback, and provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the draft Official Plan Amendments.
Residents can learn more and register here.

Consultation on Single-Use & Takeaway Items Underway Until March 4th

The City's is conducting a round of public consultations on reducing the use of single-use and takeaway items in Toronto. The objective of the consultation is to gather public feedback on the implementation timing for the Single-Use and Takeaway Item Reduction Strategy, proposed mandatory measures, additional items to be addressed through the Reduction Strategy, and more.

Residents are encouraged to share their feedback through the online survey by March 4th. The City will also be hosting virtual public events on February 15th and 16th as well.

Visit this webpage to learn more and take the survey.

TTC Begins Restoring Transit Service to Pre-Pandemic Levels

On February 9th, the TTC has announced that it will begin to restore transit service to 100% of pre-pandemic levels.

The TTC has started increasing service to 17 routes across Toronto, including the 168 Symington bus, the 161 Rogers Rd, and the 300 Bloor-Danforth overnight bus!

Visit this link to learn more about the increase in transit service!


City Continues Black History Month Celebrations
As Black History Month continues, the City of Toronto is providing programming and celebrations in recognition of Black history and Black Canadian contributions. Residents can visit this link to see the City's various activities during Black History Month.

Among these efforts, the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division has displayed a poster series at a number of locations, including the City’s outdoor rinks. These posters, like the one above, feature notable Black figures, and their contributions in engineering, computer science, public service, anti-racism advocacy and activism, sports, and technology.

The posters were designed by local youth artists Brandon Baghaee and Taliyah Barham, and residents can download the posters here.



Local Planning, Development, and Road Improvement Updates

Geary Avenue Stop Controls Approved

At the January 16th Toronto & East York Community Council (TEYCC) meeting, the Committee approved recommendations to create four all-way compulsory stop controls on Geary Ave. These stops will help enhance pedestrian safety for community members and park users.

These all-way compulsory stop controls will be at the intersections of:

  • Geary Avenue and Salem Avenue North
  • Geary Avenue and Westmoreland Avenue North
  • Geary Avenue and Delaware Avenue North
  • Geary Avenue and Somerset Avenue

These stop controls will take effect following the completion of construction of the Geary Avenue extension of the Green Line park system.

Click here to learn more about the Green Line.


Speed humps approved at Cosmos Lane and Stonehouse Crescent

During the February 16th TEYCC meeting, the committee approved my traffic calming motions to improve safety in Davenport.

The Committee approved my motion, TE31.96, which authorizes the installation of speed bumps in Cosmos Nature Lane, bounded by Bloor Street West, Margueretta Street, Wallace Avenue and Brock Avenue.

The Committee also approved my motion, TE31.97, which authorizes the installation of speed humps on Stonehouse Crescent, between Dufferin Street and Gladstone Avenue.


Galleria Mall Site (1245 Dupont St) Parking Variance Nets $1.5m Community Benefit Contribution for Affordable Housing and Shinny Rink

The developer of the Galleria Mall site at Dufferin and Dupont applied to the Committee of Adjustments to legalize and maintain a parking space deficiency under the zoning by-law.

I took this opportunity to engage on behalf of the community and request a community contribution from the developer. Through a section 45 agreement the City secured a contribution of $1.5m to the City for community benefits.

In light of recent community calls to ensure a full sized shinny rink with boards is rebuilt as part of the complete renovation and renewal of Wallace Emerson Park, I set aside up to $250k of these funds to look into the design or construction of a larger skating pad. The remaining of the funds will be allocated to affordable housing in the community.

This is a contribution on top of what was secured when the development was first approved which included 150 units of affordable housing, a new and bigger community centre, a larger park and a daycare.


Final Approval of Development Application at 72 Perth Ave

A final report on the development application for 72 Perth Ave was approved by Community Council this week. This application proposed to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a ten-storey (37.95 metres, inclusive of the mechanical penthouse) residential building at 72 Perth Avenue with 108 residential units and an on-site parkland dedication that would support the widening of the West Toronto Rail Path. The revised proposal includes a ten-storey residential building, inclusive of a mezzanine, with 9,608 square metres of GFA and 108 residential units, including three live-work units.

The developer Castlepoint Numa Inc. and WoodGreen Community Services announced on National Housing Day, a strategic partnership to deliver and manage 10 to 15 affordable apartments at 72 Perth Avenue. It is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The affordable units – which will be priced at about 80 percent of average market rent (AMR) in Toronto – are being delivered without any direct government subsidy. Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Castlepoint Numa and its partners will retain ownership and leverage WoodGreen’s experience to assist in the delivery and management of the affordable units.

I believe that collaboration is critical to effectively addressing housing challenges in our city and the partnership between Castlepoint Numa and WoodGreen is the kind of cooperative approach that brings together experience, innovation and commitment as we all work together to deliver affordable housing.


Request for Expressions of Interest in 390-440 Dufferin Incubator

The City of Toronto's Economic Development and Culture (EDC) Division is seeking a qualified not-for-profit partner or academic institution to implement and operate an Incubator site at 390-440 Dufferin Street. The incubator will be focused on fostering the growth of Toronto-based start-ups.

The City of Toronto will sublease 1,350 Sq. M (14,750 Sq. Ft.) of space to the Operator for up to 20 years at below-market rates. There is also an additional 4,200 Sq. M. (45,500 Sq. Ft.) of contiguous commercial space available for lease through the developer.

Details are available through this link.


Preliminary Report on Development Application at 2, 4 and 80 Union Street

Staff provided Planning and Housing Committee with a preliminary report containing information on the subject development application and identified a preliminary set of issues.

The applications propose the conversion of lands designated Core Employment Areas to Mixed Use Areas to permit a development with three mixed-use buildings, ranging in height between 39- and 49-storeys, containing commercial, office, retail, and residential uses. Staff are currently reviewing the applications. They have been circulated to all appropriate agencies and City divisions for comment. Review of the applications will also be informed by the Keele-St. Clair Local Area Study (the "KSC LAS") and the property acquisition process for the future St. Clair-Old Weston SmartTrack station.

A community consultation meeting will take place in the spring.


Preliminary Report on Development Application 0-200 Benny Stark St &116-122 Turnberry Ave

Another preliminary report tabled by City Planning in response to the developer’s application to amend the Official Plan to redesignate the subject site. The applications would permit three blocks of three-storey townhouses, three mid-rise buildings, with heights ranging between eight and ten storeys, and four tall buildings, with heights of 22, 24, 38, and 46-storeys, all inclusive of base buildings that would range in height from one to eight-storeys.

The site is currently designated Core Employment Areas and is under study to Mixed Use Areas and Parks and Natural Areas. Review of the applications will also be informed by the Keele-St. Clair Local Area Study (the "KSC LAS"). A community consultation meeting will take place in the spring.


Heritage Designation of 221 Sterling - Deferred until April

As part of the Bloor Study process that I initiated to help manage development pressures in the lower Junction Triangle community, a Planning Framework report was tabled at Toronto and East York in June.

I moved that Committee direct Planning staff to work with the my office, Heritage Preservation Services and Economic Development staff, the local arts community, and the residential and commercial tenants at 221, 225, and 227 Sterling Road on means of retaining arts and culture and maker spaces throughout the study area. This was approved.

We formed the Arts and Culture Working Group with area residents groups and many of the tenants of the Sterling Lofts in late-2021 for an in-depth consultation on the cultural heritage resources in and around the building. As follow up to this work, Staff produced a report indicating notice of intention to designate the building to Toronto Preservation Board. I supported Staff and the Working Group by providing a letter to the Board in support of this work.

The report was then added to the agenda of the February 15th Planning and Housing Committee. City Planning advised that they required more time to give us opportunity to continue the dialogue with the developer on how to deliver on these heritage requirements. I worked closely with the community in considering this; hosting a meeting with the local residents last week regarding Staff’s recommendation for a deferral. I look forward to receiving this report in April and having a full discussion once staff and the applicant have had the chance to move forward on improvements to the application.

 

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