I'd like to begin by reminding everyone about the return of the Davenport Easter Egg Hunt which will be taking place on April 16th, 2022 at Dufferin Grove Park! After the challenges of the past two years, we're all looking forward to having our community come together in person and reconnect for this well-loved annual event. In order to ensure that we have enough treats for all, I encourage everyone to RSVP here. We all look forward to seeing you at the Easter Egg Hunt!
Over the past few days, the City of Toronto, in partnership with the TTC, has been hosting pop-up vaccination clinics at subway stations across the City, including at Dufferin Station. This is a part of the City's Vax and Ride imitative, to make access to the vaccine as easy and convenient as possible for residents in our City. This great initiative is another way the City is working to ensure the vaccine is as accessible to residents as possible. I encourage everyone to get their vaccination or booster shot.
Similarly, with support from my office, the Abrigo Centre will also be hosting a vaccination clinic on April 7th from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Casa das Beiras Community Centre at 32 Caledonia Road. Residents can also continue to book a vaccine through the provincial portal here, or by visiting one of the City-run clinics.
We all know that housing affordability continues to be a major concern for many people in our City. On Friday, March 25th, I joined Mayor John Tory, Minister Ahmed Hussen, and others, to announce that the City of Toronto had received $201.2 million under Phase Two of the federal government's Rapid Housing Initiative and will create more than 400 new affordable and supportive homes in Toronto. This important investment by the Government of Canada will help our City build much-needed affordable housing, and brings us one step closer to meeting our objective of ending chronic homelessness in Toronto. During this announcement, we broke ground at the modular housing site at 150 Dunn Avenue, that will provide affordable homes for more than 50 people while supporting their health and well-being, in partnership with the University Health Network. I have provided more information about this announcement below.
To further support housing access, earlier today, I joined Habitat for Humanity GTA, Diamond Corp, and the Kilmer Group to break ground on 20 new affordable homes at 423 Old Weston Rd in Davenport! While there, I had the pleasure of meeting two of the families who will live in these homes when the development is complete! Moments like these are special because they illustrate the real world positive impact that building affordable housing can have for people in our communities!
This past Monday, along with Mayor John Tory and other guests, I visited "The Baby G" in our Davenport community to recognize the resiliency of Toronto's music industry, and announce the return of live music in our City! Musicians and music venues contribute immensely to our City's culture, but over the past two years they have faced enormous challenges during the pandemic. We are all pleased to see that live-music venues will begin opening their doors once again, and I encourage residents to go to a live music show and support our local musicians and artists as well as our music venues.
On Tuesday, March 29th, the Infrastructure and Environment Committee received a report on the City's Cycling Network Plan, which included the Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Cycling Connections Project. During the Committee meeting, we heard from a number of residents, some of whom expressed their reservations about the plan. To respond to some of the concerns, I asked the Committee to move a motion to recover a number of the parking spaces along Gladstone Avenue between College Street and Lindsay Avenue that were proposed to be removed. My motion was based on the ongoing community feedback that we received during and after the public meeting held on February 10th. As always, I welcome the community's comments and feedback on this and any other initiative taking place in our community, and I sincerely thank all of you who shared your views. Below, I have provided information on the consultation process. I also want to note that the City has committed to monitoring the project on an ongoing basis to determine if additional modifications to improve safety should be recommended.
Yesterday, the City's Executive Committee, of which I am a member met to deal with a number of important items including the City's Actions to Advance Truth and Justice for Indigenous People through the Reconciliation Action Plan. While the City of Toronto has made efforts over the past 10 years to improve relationships with Indigenous People, including statements of commitment to advance the calls to action and calls to justice from key inquiries, the City must do more to advance truth and reconciliation. The City must take concrete actions, and have concrete processes in place that ensure accountability to Indigenous community members and organizations, and commit resources to achieve these goals. The Reconciliation Action Plan is intended to do just that. You can learn more about the Action Plan here.
I would also like to remind residents that on April 13th the City will be hosting a community consultation for the planning application at 0, 119-125, 160 & 200 Benny Stark Street and 116-122 Turnberry Avenue. I have provided more information.
As always please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can be of any assistance. You can contact my office by email at [email protected] or by phone at 416.392.7012.
Table of Contents
- Upcoming Community Vaccine Clinic on April 7th from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm
- Walk-ins Continue At Any City Clinic for Youth and Adults
City & Local Updates
- Don't Forget to RSVP for the Davenport Easter Egg Hunt
- Rapid Housing Initiative Announcement and Ground Breaking At Modular Housing Site at 150 Dunn Ave
- Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking In Davenport
- City Launches Call for New Multi-Unit Residential Housing Acquisition Program
- Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Update
- RapidTO Phase 2 Bus & Streetcar Survey
- City Launches 2022 Clean Toronto Together Spring Cleanup Campaign
- Cherry Blossom Viewings at High Park to Return This Year
- Announcing The Return of Live Music in Toronto
- Community Arts Programming at Cultural Centres and Galleries Are Returning
- Provincial & Federal Governments Sign Early Learning & Childcare Agreement
- Toronto Biennial Of Art Continuing Until June 5th
- Virtual Community Consultation on April 13th for Benny Start Street & Turnberry Avenue Planning Applications
- Dupont Street To Be Closed Overnights Between Campbell Avenue and Lansdowne Avenue from April 4th to 17th
- Bloor Street between St. Helens Avenue and Ruttan Street to be closed overnights until April 2nd
Recent Municipal Announcements
- March 25 - Toronto’s screen production industry sets record with more than $2.5 billion in direct spending in 2021
- March 25 - City of Toronto and partners receive Government of Canada funding to create more than 400 new affordable and supportive homes
- March 28 - Team Toronto launches Vax And Ride to bring 75 vaccine clinics to TTC stations
- March 28 - Mayor Tory celebrates Toronto’s music industry and the return of live music across the city
- March 28 - Community Environment Days return to every ward in Toronto
- March 29 - City of Toronto springing into new season of cherry blossoms
- March 29 - Toronto’s Poet Laureate teams up with League of Canadian Poets to create “Lost Launches” – a new, live poetry series
- March 29 - City of Toronto launches new Toronto Community Crisis Service in two pilot areas
- March 30 - City of Toronto announces return of community arts programming at cultural centres and galleries
- March 30 - Governor General Mary Simon to pay an official visit to Mayor John Tory
Upcoming Community Vaccine Clinic on April 7th from 3:00pm to 9:00pm
On Thursday, April 7th from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the Abrigo Centre with support from my office will be hosting a community vaccine clinic at the Casa das Beiras Community Centre at 32 Caledonia Road!
The clinic will be offering first, second, and third doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and will also have pediatric doses available for children ages 5-11, as well as booster doses available for anyone over 12.
This clinic is by appointment only, and walk-in availability is dependent on supply, so I encourage all interested residents to register.
Walk-ins Continue At Any City Clinic for Youth and Adults
The Health Canada approved vaccines are safe and effective. If you have not yet received your vaccine, the City Immunization Clinics continue to accept walk-in visits for COVID-19 vaccinations while continuing with booked appointments. All five City immunization clinics are also offering walk-in third dose COVID-19 vaccinations for youth aged 12 to 17.
Don't Forget to RSVP for the Davenport Easter Egg Hunt
I want to remind residents of the upcoming annual Davenport Easter Egg Hunt on April 16th at Dufferin Grove Park from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm! This well-loved annual event returns in person this year and I encourage you to come out and celebrate with your friends and neighbours.
This event will feature family-friendly activities, hot chocolate, and the much anticipated Easter Egg Hunt in the playground at the southeast section of the park! In order to ensure we have enough treats for all, please be sure to RSVP through this link!
Rapid Housing Initiative Announcement and Ground Breaking At Modular Housing Site at 150 Dunn Ave
On Friday, March 25th, I joined Mayor John Tory, federal Minister Ahmed Hussen, and others to announce that the City of Toronto will receive $201.2 million under Phase Two of the Rapid Housing Initiative and will create more than 400 new affordable and supportive homes in Toronto! This is in addition to the $238 million our City received in Phase One of the RHI to create more than 600 new affordable rental homes across the City!
This specific supportive housing initiative at 150 Dunn Ave, which will provide more than 50 supportive homes will also include wrap-around health care and social services, delivered in partnership with the University Health Network and United Way Greater Toronto. Partnerships with the non-profit sector, like this one, are critical to achieving our shared objective of ending chronic homelessness here in Toronto. You can learn more about this announcement here.
Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking In Davenport
Earlier today, I joined Habitat for Humanity GTA, Diamond Corp, and the Kilmer Group to break ground on 20 new affordable homes at 423 Old Weston Rd in Davenport.
The best moment was meeting two of the families who will be living in these new homes, and welcoming them to our community! Meeting two of the families was special, and illustrates the important positive impact that building affordable housing can have for people in our communities.
City Launches Call for New Multi-Unit Residential Housing Acquisition Program
The new Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) program is designed to create permanently affordable homes by converting properties from the speculative market. Today, the City of Toronto announced it is launching a request for proposals (RFP) for the MURA program to protect affordable housing for Toronto residents.
This request for proposals will provide $20 million in grant funding and City Open Door Program incentives to qualified non-profit housing providers, including Indigenous agencies, housing cooperatives and community land trusts.
Residents can learn more about this here.
On Tuesday, March 29th, The Cycling Network Plan: 2022 Cycling Infrastructure Installation – First Quarter and 2021 ActiveTO Cycling Network Expansion Project Updates staff report went before the Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC). The report outlined eight projects, including the proposed Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Cycling Connections.
Stakeholders, including local schools, businesses and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), residents and community members were asked to provide feedback on the Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Cycling Connections project As part of the consultation, two different design options were proposed between Dewson Street and College Street. The report recommends Option 1, which was the preferred option through the lens of safety.
Close to 14,000 Notices were delivered by Canada Post to the entire project area and 175 people participated in the virtual public meeting on February 10. Public comments and feedback were collected from 667 online survey submissions, 10 phone calls, and 72 emails.
My office also shared information about the proposed project and public meeting through my e-newsletter, social media channels, Facebook groups, my paper community newsletter, as well as through an e-blast to the area.
From the subsequent survey, 85% of respondents strongly supported the proposed changes on Havelock Street from Bloor Street to Dewson Street; and 75% strongly supported Option 1 while only 23% strongly supported Option 2 for Dewson Street to College Street. Based on the evidence, staff concluded that the community is generally in support of the proposed road safety measures and the addition of cycling infrastructure.
That said, my office has heard from some concerned residents about the project. While the report was adopted at IEC, it was adopted with amendments, as I introduced a motion to recover parking spaces that were going to be removed on Gladstone Avenue between Lindsey Avenue and College Street. The number of parking spaces being removed – seven – seemed too significant to many residents in the neighbourhood, but given the preference for Option 1, my office reached out to Transportation Services staff to see if a compromise could be reached regarding parking without affecting safety.
City staff indicated that the request was feasible and as a result, I moved a motion to amend the necessary traffic and parking by-laws in order to minimize the impact to on-street permits while accommodating a safe cycling connection along Gladstone Avenue.
Subject to Council approval, Transportation Services will monitor the project following the installation to determine if additional modifications are recommended to improve safety. A similar approach was taken on Shaw Street, where contra-flow bike lanes were initially installed in 2013, and later in improved in 2019-2020.
RapidTO Phase 2 Bus & Streetcar Survey
The City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) are studying and implementing transit priority solutions that improve service reliability in our City! As a part of this process, they want to hear feedback from residents on which roadways to prioritize for future transit priority solutions.
You can share your feedback by completing this online survey by April 20th, or by registering for the city-wide virtual public meeting on April 11, 2022 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m here. Visit here for more information.
City Launches 2022 Clean Toronto Together Spring Cleanup Campaign
Also returning in full this year is our City's Clean Toronto Together Campaign. I know some of you have reached out to me about the spring clean-up in our community and across the City. The City's Clean Toronto Together Campaign encourages residents, schools, businesses and community groups to take part in the annual spring cleanup from Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24. On Friday, April 22, Toronto schools and businesses can participate by cleaning around their properties.
On Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24, residents are encouraged to host community cleanups to remove litter from public spaces such as parks, ravines, laneways and beaches in their neighbourhoods. Participants are asked to register their cleanups online here. Registration helps the City to arrange special litter pickups, avoid duplicate cleanups and measure results. The deadline to register is Friday, April 15. Further details can be found at this link.
In another sign that things are returning to more familiar times, the City is preparing to welcome residents back to viewing cherry blossoms up close and in person at High Park for the first time since 2019!
I know for many of us this is a time-honoured Toronto tradition and it is wonderful to see it return. The peak blossom period last between 4 to 10 days and details about the cherry blossoms can be found here.
Announcing The Return of Live Music in Toronto
On Monday, March 28th, I joined Mayor John Tory, Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, and Councillor Brad Bradford as well as Allan Reid, President and CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and The JUNO Awards at The Baby G in Davenport to recognize the resiliency of Toronto's music industry and celebrate the return of live music across our City!
Toronto's music industry is central to our City's vibrancy and economic development. After the challenges of the past few years, where artists and musicians have been limited in their ability to perform, it's great to see live music venues like The Baby G open their doors once again to the public!
I encourage all residents to support our local music scene, and enjoy local live music! Learn more here.
Community Arts Programming at Cultural Centres and Galleries Are Returning
I am pleased to let residents know that community arts programming will be returning to the City's cultural centres and galleries. Programming was announced for the spring and summer months at Assembly Hall, Cedar Ridge Creative Centre, Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery and the soon-to-open Clark Centre for the Arts.
Further details can be found here.
On Monday, March 28th, the Provincial and Federal governments announced that they have reached an agreement to include Ontario in the Canada-wide Early Learning & Child Care system!
I welcome this investment in the licensed child care system that will make child care more affordable and accessible to families, as well as elevate and support early childhood educators. You can click here to learn more about the announcement.
The Toronto Biennial of Art continues to take place until June 5th! This 10 week-long event includes free exhibitions, artistic performances, learning opportunities, and much more! I continue to encourage residents to learn more about the Toronto Biennial of Art, and visit these exciting exhibits in Davenport and across the City! Residents can click here to learn more and register.
Two of the major venues in our Davenport community are at the 72 Perth Avenue event space and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The City will be hosting a community consultation on April 13th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm for the planning application at 0, 119-125, 160 & 200 Benny Stark Street and 116-122 Turnberry Avenue.
Residens will be able to learn more about this proposed development from City staff, and provide feedback.
To complete the girder erection of the west side of the Dupont Street bridge, Dupont Street will have full road closures overnight from 9:00pm to 6:00am from Monday, April 4 to Sunday, April 17.
I encourage residents to learn more about these coming overnight closures, and plan accordingly. Click here to learn more.
Bloor Street between St. Helens Avenue and Ruttan Street to be closed overnights from March 29th to April 2nd
Bloor Street between St. Helens Avenue and Ruttan Street will be closed overnights from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am from March 29th to April 2nd. This closure is to complete the girder erection on the west side of the Bloor Street Bridge.
As a result, during these times, all through traffic under the bridge on this portion of Bloor Street will be prohibited, including for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Detours will be in place via Lansdowne Avenue and Symington Avenue to Wallace Avenue and Dupont Street.
Residents can read the full notice here.