Davenport Community Briefing - November 4th 2021

Dear Neighbours,

Local Updates & Local Public Meetings


COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic - November 5th 

Join us tomorrow (Friday, November 15th) from 6:00-9:00pm at the Casa das Beiras Community Centre (34 Caledonia Rd) for a pop-up vaccine clinic! Portuguese language services will be available. All are welcome, no health card is required. Call to book your shot, or join us for walk-in!


Ontario Outlines Eligibility for Third Dose (Booster) Vaccinations

Yesterday, the provincial government announced that they were following the recommendations of federal health officials by expanding the eligibility criteria for third dose, or booster, vaccinations. Beginning November 6th, selected residents will be able to secure third dose vaccinations. These include persons over 70 years of age, health care workers, those who received two AstraZeneca vaccination doses and Indigenous adults. These third dose boosters can be booked through the provincial vaccination portal. The province indicated that eligibility for third doses would expand to all those over 12 years of age in the coming months. See the Province's news release here.


Earlscourt Centennial Anniversary & Plaque Unveiling

Despite having had to delay celebrations because of the COVID-19 pandemic and public health guidelines, we have all enjoyed organizing the unveiling of this Heritage Toronto plaque. This beloved public space has been an integral part of our community for over 100 years now, and is become host to so many public events and celebrations. The plaque unveiling was followed by a number of events to celebrate the anniversary - including a guided walking tour and art installations around the park. We are all looking forward to organizing future events as we continue to celebrate our wonderful Earlscourt Park's Centennial Anniversary.

I want to thank all those who have helped us bring these celebrations forward -- specifically those from the Earlscourt Centennial Committee, made up of members from Heritage Toronto, Theatre Direct, MuseArts, the Friends of Earlscourt Park, the Joseph J. Piccininni Community Recreation Centre Advisory Council, and the City's Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Department. I would also like to thank the team at Tre Mari Bakery for providing treats for the community at this event - it was much appreciated by all!

 


Pumpkin Parades and Halloween Festivities 

One of the last celebrations for Halloween in our community are the annual Pumpkin Parades that take place in our community and across the City. I am proud to say that Davenport had FIVE of the City's parades this year -- and they were as busy as I have ever seen them. This display of community creativity helps us celebrate Halloween and brightens our neighbourhoods every year. As always I, along with my staff, were pleased to assist local community organizers as the hosted their Halloween celebrations.

It was also a pleasure to see community staples such as the Halloween Hullabaloo and the Night of Dread take place again this year. The pandemic may have changed how we are able to hold events -- but it has certainly not changed how our community comes together to create these unique experiences for our residents and particularly the kids.

I want to thank everyone across Davenport who contributed to these events at Wadsworth Park, Earlscourt Park, Carlton Park, MacGregor Playground, and Dovercourt Park -- whether you organized spaces, provided food and drinks, put your creativity on display, or just came out to participate. All of your efforts make these events very special and we all cannot wait until next Halloween to celebrate with you again!

 


Geary Avenue Parkette Playground Improvements (Survey November 15th-29th)

The City of Toronto is improving the playground at Geary Avenue Parkette, located at 15 Geary Ave between Dovercourt Rd and Ossington Ave and they want to hear from you. The City's survey will open on November 15th, and run until November 29th. For more information on this project, visit toronto.ca/GearyParkettePlayground.

 


Cosmos Nature Lane Cleanup

Cosmos Nature Lane is ready for winter! 18 neighbours came out, cut down and cleaned up the cosmos, asters and sunflowers that brought birds, butterflies and bees to their laneways this summer. Fun (and pizza from Bloordale's very own Chito’s) was had by all!

Make your own laneway a Nature laneway! Begin with a small pollinator patch and see what life and beauty is possible just outside your own back yard. Join Cosmos, Monarch and Waxwing Nature lanes and let’s transform Bloordale Laneways!

For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NatureLaneways 


Upcoming Local Events:

A Tonic for Desperate Times - November 3rd to 14th

Emerging from a global state of isolation and uncertainty, Theatre Gargantua presents a vital exploration of hope: A Tonic for Desperate Times. This world premiere, two years in the making, investigates our instinct for optimism, and the surprising places hope can be found — in the fractal patterns of nature, the swing of a pendulum, the murmuration of starlings in flight. Merging dynamic physical movement with sound and video installations, this live and in-person performance is at the forefront of Toronto’s return to theatres.

Running in-person November 3rd - 14th in the heart of Toronto’s vibrant west end at Historic St. Anne’s Parish Hall - 651 Dufferin Street, A Tonic for Desperate Times is a communal experience of resilience and courage. A balm for injured souls.

Tickets available here.


Cultural Hotspot Community Connect Information Session: Little Jamaica - November 16th

The annual Cultural Hotspot program will continue its 9th consecutive year of celebrating and shining a spotlight on arts, culture and communities outside-the-core through workshops, exhibits, activities, and experiences. The 2022 Cultural Hotspot adopts a new hyperlocal / neighbourhood model, focusing on the communities of the Little Jamaica and Golden Mile areas.

The City is holding an in-person Community Connect information session for arts and community organizations, residents, not-for-profits, BIAs, artists and artist collectives based in or experienced working in the Little Jamaica area. Learn more about the program, how to get involved and about funding opportunities. 

When: Tuesday, November 16 from 6 – 8 p.m.
Where: Reggae Café, 1653 Eglinton Avenue West M6E 2H1
RSVP through Eventbrite or emailing [email protected]

**PROOF OF VACCINATION IS REQUIRED FOR PARTICIPATION** Attendees must present POV or a valid exemption note from a physician to a City of Toronto Cultural Hotspot staff member upon arrival.


Community Notices & Consultations

RapidTO: Bus & Streetcar Priority – Phase 1 of Consultation has Launched! - (Until November 28th)

The TTC and City of Toronto are developing a RapidTO: Bus & Streetcar Priority plan to deliver safe, efficient and equitable bus and streetcar service improvements through transit priority solutions over the next ten years. Transit priority can make bus and streetcar service more reliable, reduce delays and shorten travel times on congested roadways.

You may be wondering about the roadways identified as part of TTC's 5-Year Service Plan & 10-Year Outlook. The Eglinton East Bus Lanes were installed in 2020. Jane Street is being studied and is expected to begin public consultation in 2022. Dufferin Street in our community and Steeles Avenue West, Finch Avenue East and Lawrence Avenue East will be evaluated and prioritized as part of RapidTO: Bus & Streetcar Priority. The complete list of roadways identified for evaluation and prioritization is available on the project web page.

Find all details at toronto.ca/RapidTO. The comment deadline ends on November 28, 2021, at 11:59pm.

 


Bloordale Village RFP Open Call for Facilitator(s)

The Bloordale Village Business Improvement Association has released an Request for Proposals (RFP) open call for facilitators for an Anti-Racism project supporting our City's main streets. They will be accepting applications until November 15th at 5:00pm. Further information can be found here

 


5 & 43 Junction Road Community Consultation Meeting - November 17

While it is outside of Davenport's boundaries, community members may be interested in attending the Community Consultation Meeting for 5 & 43 Junction Road on Wednesday November 17th from 7:00-9:00pm. Information can be found on the notice provided below:


City Updates and Consultations

Planning and Housing Committee Reports

On October 28th, I chaired a special meeting of the City's Planning and Housing Committee to discuss four very important items that will expand our City's delivery of housing affordability as well as allowing us to meet our goals outlined in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. Considered at the meeting were the City's new Inclusionary Zoning Policy, Housing Now Phase 3 Sites, new definitions on Housing Affordability, and the New Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) Program. I am proud of the work we have advanced at the City.

Inclusionary Zoning

Inclusionary Zoning is one of the policies that the City is implementing to facilitate the creation of affordable rental and ownership housing in Toronto. If adopted by City Council at next week's meeting, Toronto will be the first city in Ontario to implement this tool which will make it mandatory for certain developments to include affordable housing. Beginning in 2022, Inclusionary Zoning will secure 5 to 10 per cent of condominium developments as affordable housing, increasing to 8 per cent to 22 per cent by 2030. The amount of affordable housing required would vary depending on the area of the city, with the highest requirements in the core of the City. The Inclusionary Zoning framework proposes foundational requirements for affordable housing in new developments that will ensure affordability is maintained for 99 years. In the City’s policy, rents and ownership prices would be based on proposed new income-based definitions of affordable housing, targeting households with an annual income of between $32,486 and $91,611. It will ensure affordable housing is incorporated into new developments on a consistent basis rather than being negotiated on a site-by-site basis, providing clarity for all parties from the very beginning. The policy proposes a balanced, forward-looking and equitable framework that will help the City achieve the HousingTO Action Plan target of approving 40,000 affordable rental homes and 4,000 new affordable ownership homes by 2030. More information about the City's Inclusionary Zoning Policy can be found here

Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) Program

The Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) Program is also an exciting initiative that the City will advance based on my October 2020 motion to amend directing staff to form this program. The primary objectives of the MURA Program are to remove properties from the speculative housing market and create permanently affordable rental homes; improve housing stability for current and future tenants; improve the physical conditions of buildings; increase capacity in the non-profit and Indigenous housing sectors; and ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the homes. The Program will provide grant funding and Open Door Program incentives to qualified non-profit and Indigenous housing groups to support their purchase, renovation and operation of market rental properties to create permanently affordable rental homes for Torontonians with low-and-moderate incomes. The Program will also support the City's acquisition of at-risk affordable rental housing that non-profit and Indigenous organizations will operate long term. Under MURA, eligible properties will include small apartment buildings (up to 60 units) and multi-tenant houses (also known as rooming houses) that are either vacant or occupied and at-risk of being lost due to conversion. Through the 2021 proposal call, it is anticipated that between 50 and 67 rental apartments and/or dwelling rooms will be converted to permanently affordable rental homes. More information about MURA can be found here

Housing Now - Phase 3 and Beyond

The Housing Now Initiative was approved by City Council in January 2019 to activate City-owned lands to stimulate the development of affordable rental housing within transit-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use, complete communities. This signature program is a key component of the City's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan and is central to enabling the City to meet its target of approving 40,000 new affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive homes, by 2030. The total 17 sites across Phases One and Two are currently in various stages of development. Seven sites have progressed through the re-zoning process, three of which have development partners selected with construction estimated to begin by early-to-mid-2022. 

This report provides Council with an update on the Housing Now Initiative including progress to-date on advancing the 17 sites. It also recommends Council approval to expand the program to add four additional sites as part of the third phase of the program ("Phase Three"). The Phase Three sites  are estimated to yield between 1,150 and 1,400 new homes, including between 450 and 600 affordable rental homes. To support delivery of the Phase Three sites plus the additional units achieved in Phases One and Two, this report also recommends Council's approval of an estimated $90.61 million in Open Door Program incentives. In addition to the Phase Three sites, this report recommends Council approval to create a pipeline of five sites which, subject to satisfactory feasibility assessments, can be added to future phases of the Housing Now Initiative. The creation of a pipeline of sites will enable staff to undertake early due diligence work, including identify risks and mitigation strategies, to ensure that sites can more rapidly move through planning approval and development stages. Creating a pipeline of sites will also enable the City to take advantage of any future federal and provincial funding opportunities, should they become available, to support the development of new housing.

Further information and reports on Phase 3 can be found here

Updating the Definitions of Affordable Rental and Ownership Housing

This report recommends an Official Plan Amendment which proposes to revise the following housing definitions in Section 3.2.1 of the Official Plan:

(1) affordable rental housing and affordable rents (affordable rental housing);

(2) mid-range rents, including adding two new mid-range rent tiers; and

(3) affordable ownership housing.

The recommended definitions are intended to better respond to the needs of low and moderate income households by establishing definitions of affordable housing that are aligned with incomes instead of solely on market rents/prices. The development of the definitions has been informed by extensive public and stakeholder consultation throughout 2020 and 2021 as well as through consultations on Inclusionary Zoning and the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan ("HousingTO Action Plan") in 2019. During those consultations, participants felt that the City's current affordable housing definitions, which are based on average market rents/prices, had left many low-income residents unable to afford housing and that this problem would continue to worsen over time given average market rents have grown faster than incomes over the past decade.

This report, which proposes updates to the Official Plan's housing definitions, is the first step in moving towards an income-based approach for affordable housing, as directed by Council through adoption of the HousingTO Action Plan in December 2019. In addition to revising the Official Plan definitions, the HousingTO Action Plan provides direction for the City to adopt a new income-based approach in the administration of affordable rental housing programs. In accordance with this direction, a future report to Council will be brought forward by staff in 2022 recommending changes to City programs and support implementation of the revised definition of affordable housing.

Further information and reports can be found here


Discover The New 311 Toronto Service Experience

The City continues its progress in rapidly evolving, modernizing and digitizing service delivery to improve access to City services, provide a consistent service experience, optimize cost-efficiencies and build trust and confidence in City services.
As part of this commitment to improve access to City services, 311 Toronto is now offering a new service experience with more choice than ever before. Here is what is changing for 311:

• Connect the way that is best for you! Phone, live online chat, or submit a service request online for all 600 self-service requests options.
• Stay up to date on your service request with start to finish service tracking of requests via text (SMS) or email notifications.
• Get the information you are looking for fast and simple with an improved knowledge base.
• Speak your language. Connect in 51 languages online and 180 languages over the phone

Visit toronto.ca/311 or call 311 to experience the new and improved 311 Toronto experience today.

 


Expanded Public Washroom Access During the Winter Months

Over the course of the last few years, many of you have reached out to my office regarding access to public washrooms in City parks during the winter months. This need to expanded hours and access was made clear through the pandemic, when more people began to utilize our public recreation spaces in accordance with public health guidelines. As a result, the City's Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Department is looking to expand on last year's program to clear pathways of ice and snow, and keep more park washrooms operating during the colder months. Access to park washrooms, or lack thereof, is one of the biggest barriers to park use in the winter and making sure pipes don't freeze is the main challenge to keeping facilities operational in freezing temperatures. I look forward to discussing this item at the November 9th City Council meeting with my Council Colleagues in an attempt to make our city spaces more open, accessible, and enjoyable for all. The full report on this can be found here.


Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods Public Survey - (Until December)

From now and until December 2021, the City is looking for your feedback on expanding permissions for multiplexes across the city. Fill out a short survey and have your say!

Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods is a City of Toronto initiative I have supported to facilitate more low-rise housing in residential neighbourhoods to meet the needs of our growing city. The City is working to expand opportunities for “missing middle” housing forms in Toronto, ranging from duplexes to low-rise walk-up apartments. All of these housing types can be found in many parts of Toronto today, but they are also limited in where they can be newly built. Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods is one solution among a range of City initiatives to increase housing choice and access and create a more equitable, sustainable city.

 


UHN NORC Ambassadors Program

The NORC Ambassadors program is an initiative of University Health Network’s OpenLab that aims to partner with senior residents to transform their high-rise buildings into vibrant communities that support healthy aging in place. They are currently recruiting new groups to work with in early 2022, and are looking for residents who are interested in forming an 'aging in place' group in their own building.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Giselle at 437-290-8033 or via [email protected] Check out their website: https://norcambassadors.ca


MusiCounts Music Instrument Grant

As you may know, Toronto will again be hosting the JUNO Awards in May 2022. The City's partnership with the JUNOS is helping to advance the Toronto Music Strategy by advancing key shared goals. MusiCounts is the JUNOS' affiliated charity, focusing on making music education accessible for youth across Canada by providing musical instruments, equipment, and resources. One of MusiCounts' annual pillars is the Band Aid program, through which under-resourced schools can apply for grants of up to $15,000 that they can spend on musical instruments and equipment at their discretion -- including "non-traditional" instruments and equipment used in contemporary genres. Applications are now open until November 25th, 2021. 


Davenport Construction Notices

Toronto Hydro: Dufferin Streetlight Replacements (Bloor St West to Dundas St West)

Through the month of November, Toronto Hydro will be replacing aging street light infrastructure on Dufferin Street between Bloor Street West to Dundas Street West. Work hours for this project will take place Monday to Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm.


Metrolinx: Davenport Diamond Parking Restrictions on Paton Rd and Wallace Ave (Nov 1st - 8th)

Between November 1st and 8th, there will be daytime and overnight parking restrictions (i.e., no parking) on the south sides of Paton Road and Wallace Avenue to allow for the transport of a 600-ton crane and steel girders. 

No parking as per the following:

• Tuesday, November 2 (1 p.m.) to Wednesday, November 3 (5 p.m.): south side of Paton Road (between Lansdowne Ave and Wade Ave)
• Wednesday, November 3 (1 p.m.) to Thursday, November 4 (1 p.m.): south side of Wallace Avenue (between Lansdowne Ave and rail corridor)
• Thursday, November 4 (7 a.m. – 1 p.m.): south side of Paton Road (between Lansdowne Ave and Wade Ave)
• Thursday, November 4 (10 p.m.) to Friday, November 5 (6 a.m.): south side of Wallace Avenue (between Lansdowne Ave and rail corridor)
• Monday, November 8 (7 a.m. – 6 p.m.): south side of Paton Road (between Lansdowne Ave and Wade Ave) & south side of Wallace Avenue (between Lansdowne Ave and rail corridor) *for removal of the crane
Please note that some of these restrictions last for 24 hours or more

 


Metrolinx: CP Bridge Girder Delivery and Installation at CP Diamond - Overnight Work (Nov 4th-8th)

From November 4th to 8th, crews will be delivering and installing the girders for the new CP bridge that will allow GO trains to travel above the CP Rail tracks. This will happen overnight over the course of four nights. In advance of the overnight girder delivery and installation, crews will be bringing equipment and material, including two cranes, beams, and other parts, into the rail corridor. This will take place during the daytime over the course of the week leading up to the overnight work. Following the girder installation, crews will remove the equipment, most notably the large crane, from the rail corridor. 

 


Metrolinx: CP Bridge Girder Installation: Bolting and Tensioning at CP Diamond - Overnight Work (Nov 8th-12th)

From November 8th to 12th, Crews will be finishing up the current overnight work required for the girder installation for the new CP bridge over the CP Rail tracks. The work involves installing any remaining floor beams, followed by bolting
and tensioning everything together. Work will take place overnight from roughly 11:00pm to 6:00am.

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City Hall Address:

Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Suite C42
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Open: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 4:30PM

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 416-392-7012

Fax: 416-392-7957

Constituency Office:

1240 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M6H 1N5

Open: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
1pm - 6pm

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