I hope everyone is enjoying the fall season with kids back in school, and many people back to more familiar working environments. While the pandemic continues to present challenges, it is comforting that many aspects of life are more familiar and normal than in the past year. With the Thanksgiving weekend nearly upon us I hope that you will be able to safely spend time enjoying friends and family and that we all take the time to recognize all of the things for which we are thankful. Please do enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend.
For the first time, September 30th marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It was a day for deep reflection and recognition of the sad and often tragic history that has been the experience of Indigenous people. Much of this history has been very difficult and we recognize in particular this year the enduring trauma caused by residential and day schools and the terrible and deeply sad impacts these institutions had on those who experienced them and in especially the survivors and their families. While September 30 is now a designated day for reflection and recognition, every day must be an opportunity to commit and re-commit to the process of truth, reconciliation and justice with First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Toronto and across Canada
This day proposed in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which under Action 80 called upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, to establish a statutory holiday "to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process." This year and for years to come this day will hold special significance for the truth and reconciliation process.
While the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation may only come once every year - we as settlers on this land must continue to commit to the process of Truth, Reconciliation, and Justice every day. With City Council's approval of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, the City moves forward to support the creation of 5,200 new affordable rental and supportive homes for Indigenous residents across the city. This includes advancing the City’s objective under the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan to increase the supply of new affordable and supportive housing opportunities “For Indigenous, By Indigenous.” This is one step towards advancing the City's commitment to truth, reconciliation and justice with Indigenous Peoples.
Housing remains an important item on City Council's agenda - with this month's meeting addressing implementation of Phase Two of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). RHI is a federal capital funding program which aims to create new affordable rental housing within a 12-month timeframe for vulnerable and marginalized people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Toronto’s allocation for Phase Two of RHI is approximately $132 million under the “Major Cities” stream, which will create a minimum of 233 new affordable rental homes by the end of 2022.
Although there has been positive news regarding the housing file in Toronto, I am disappointed that the New Regulatory Framework for Multi-Tenant Houses has been delayed once more. I am committed to expanding our City's tools to provide affordable housing across Toronto, and I will continue to advocate for this matter - but I cannot help but share my disappointment in Council's decision.
This week also saw a number of important announcements from the City of Toronto that will be of interest to our community. On October 5th, the City announced that it will continue to waive fees for businesses providing outdoor fitness programs in City parks and greenspaces until December 31st as part of the ParkFitTO program. Additionally, the City has launched a new interactive webpage that the public can use to view and download evaluation results for apartment buildings registered with RentSafeTO. The new interactive webpage RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards can be found at RentSafeTO. These two announcements provide important community information that has long been requested by residents in our city.
As noted above this is Thanksgiving Weekend so I encourage you again to follow public health guidelines as you see your friends, family, and loved ones. The City has launched the VaxGiving initiative to reach as many individuals as possible with the vaccinations that will continue to move us forward from this pandemic. Please do get your vaccination if you have not already done so.
Finally, if you are able, please consider those who may be struggling this weekend. Organizations such as the Oasis Dufferin Community Centre are requesting that members of our community help with a local food drive. More information on this can be found below.
As always, if we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at [email protected] or by phone at 416.392.7012.
Table of Contents
Local Updates & Local Public Meetings
- Little Portugal Rooster of Barcelos Unveiling - September 25th
- Dovercourt Park Chess Table Unveiling in Memory of Kye Andreopoulos - October 6th
- Davenport Community Movie Night - October 2nd
- Geary Art Crawl - October 2nd & 3rd
- Tree Planting at Earlscourt Park
- Cultural Hotspot 2022 - Little Jamaica
- RapidTO: Bus & Streetcar Priority – Phase 1 of Consultation has Launched!
- Upcoming Local Events:
- Oasis Dufferin Community Centre Thanksgiving Food Drive
- McGregor Park Harvest Festival - October 16th
- Earlscourt Park Centennial Celebration & Plaque Unveiling - October 23rd
- Hallowe'en Hullabaloo - October 30th
- Community Pumpkin Parades - November 1st
- Community Notices
- Basement Flooding Protection Project Fairbank-Silverthorn Storm System – Phase 1 Storm Trunk Sewer and Local Storm Sewers
City Updates and Consultations
- A New Regulatory Framework for Multi-Tenant Houses - Deferred
- Automated Speed Enforcement & Noise Radar
- Supreme Court of Canada Decision on the Reduction of Toronto City Council by the Ontario Government
- MusiCounts Music Instrument Grant
- PollinateTO Grants
- Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions Program
- Official Plan Review - Public Meeting (October 20th)
- Community Environment Days at City Drop-Off Depots
Recent Municipal Announcements
- Toronto Public Health gets ready to vaccinate Toronto children 5 to 11 years of age against COVID-19
- City of Toronto releases COVID-19 vaccination policy for City contractors
- City of Toronto observes first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Supreme Court of Canada rules Bill 5 is constitutional
- City Council to increase the supply of affordable and supportive housing and strengthen partnership with Indigenous communities
- Toronto City Council approves extension of the City’s mask bylaw into 2022
- City Council approves first Black Food Sovereignty Plan
- City Council requests further public consultation on new multi-tenant housing regulatory framework
- Get Loud! and “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™”
- City Council extends free ParkFitTO outdoor fitness permits for businesses impacted by the pandemic
- City launches interactive webpage to view apartment building evaluation results
- City of Toronto launches VaxGiving to promote long weekend COVID-19 vaccination clinics
- City of Toronto’s construction noise regulations back in effect today as provincial regulations expire
The ShowLoveTO initiative is continuing to take place in Davenport and across the City! The initiative is an effort to show the best of what Toronto has to offer - whether that is supporting our local businesses, exploring our vibrant neighbourhoods, enjoying the incredible and free public art installations that are located across the city -- and more! This initiative aims to help ease the City into our pandemic recovery, and I encourage you all to take part in whatever way you can, there are activities and events of interest to all. You can find the LoveTO installations across Toronto - or right in front of Joseph J. Piccininni Community Centre right here in Davenport.
Last weekend I visited local businesses in our community as part of my effort to ShowLoveTO. Local businesses have faced incredible hardships over the course of the pandemic, and it is important that we support our community members in this time of recovery. Visiting and supporting local shops and businesses is a benefit to our whole city and community. For more information, including how you can support these businesses - visit here.
Davenport has an amazing and vibrant arts and culture scene. ShowLoveTO has a variety of different ways to experience free art in our community - whether it is through BigArtTO, ArtworxTO, or more. You can find a full list, including maps, here. There will be a BigArtTO installation at Joseph J. Piccininni Community Centre from October 27th to October 30th!
Do you enjoy live music? ShowLoveTO includes the Live Music on Patios Pilot that I have helped to implement this summer and fall right here in Davenport! If you haven't had the opportunity already, enjoy a CafeTO patio with live music in our community.
Are you new to a neighbourhood in Davenport, or are you looking to learn more about our community? The StrollTO self-guided walking tours might interest you! You can find a full map of our City's tours here.
Little Portugal Rooster of Barcelos Unveiling - September 25th
Over a year ago, my office began organizing a public art project that would see a 9 foot rooster gifted by the City of Barcelos put up in one of our local parks. My office, alongside the Little Portugal BIA and other members of our community initiated a public contest to select the design for this exciting project.
On September 25th, I was pleased to join with members of the Little Portugal community to officially unveil the long-awaited Rooster of Barcelos art project in the Lakeview Avenue Parkette. This project was publicly unveiled and celebrated as we enjoyed Julia Prajza's artistic talent reflected in the traditional Rooster of Barcelos.
I am grateful for all who have participated and dedicated time to this process, from our exceptional artist, to those who organized these events. I am also grateful for the attendance of so many of you in a COVID-19 safe environment - including Mayor Tory and Minister Ahmed Hussen.
Dovercourt Park Chess Table Unveiling in Memory of Kye Andreopoulos - October 6th
On Wednesday October 6th, I joined Christine Andreopoulos and members of our community to officially open Chess Tables at Dovercourt Park in memory of her son Kye Andreopoulos.
Kye Andreopoulos was an exceptional person to all who were fortunate enough to know him. He was a beloved son, a great friend and an amazing chess player. Kye was known for his kindness and wonderful smile. He was always there for those who were in need and this approach to life led to him helping to build houses for the most vulnerable in our society. Kye is remembered for his creativity and continues to have an impact on the many people who knew him. The pandemic created additional vulnerabilities for many people and has had significant mental health impacts as it did with Kye who passed away on December 29, 2020. We are grateful that these chess tables will be enjoyed in his memory in Dovercourt Park. Thank you Christine.
The importance of raising awareness surrounding mental health can not be understated. Concerns around mental health supports and programs have been raised long before the pandemic began - but there is no denying that the isolation that those in our community have felt over the course of the past year and a half has brought this conversation into light for many. Advocates like Kye's mother Christine have been essential to public education on these issues, and for that I cannot thank her enough. Our governments need to do more, and we must all ensure that this essential form of health care is provided to all who request it.
Davenport Community Movie Night - October 2nd
Thank you to all who came out to enjoy our Davenport Community Movie Night on October 2nd - the weather held up, and it was great to be able to speak to so many of you again after such a long time.
We are all looking forward to being able to host and attend more events in the coming weeks -- I hope to see you all soon!
Geary Art Crawl - October 2nd & 3rd
It was a pleasure to assist with the first Geary Art Crawl organizers on their efforts to put together and assemble this incredible event! The first Geary Art Crawl that took place on October 2nd and 3rd - and was a huge success! The festival was filled with public art installations, live music performances, food, pop-up vendors, and local businesses along Geary Avenue between Ossington and Dufferin. The possibility of rain didn't hold the community back from coming out in support of this great event in Davenport.
Geary Avenue is an amazing street with a bright future thanks in part to the incredible community that has formed around it. The Geary Works Planning Study has recognized this in its final report, and my office is working to assist with the development and exploration of designating Geary Avenue as a cultural corridor, and the potential creation of a Business Improvement Area.
I want to thank all of the artists, performers, organizers, and visitors for ensuring that this inaugural event was as successful as it was. I want to especially thank Alex and the Uma Nota Culture team who put this together for us all to enjoy.
Tree Planting at Earlscourt Park
I am pleased to inform the community that the City's Urban Forestry's Tree Planting Program is proposing to plant an additional 26 trees in Davenport's Earlscourt Park this Fall in an effort to increase the urban forest canopy cover, increase biodiversity, and reduce storm-water flows.
This is a big step for the improvement of parks like Earlscourt, and we are looking forward to these additional trees in our beloved public space.
Cultural Hotspot 2022 - Little Jamaica
Cultural Hotspot is back for another annual celebration! By connecting and investing in Toronto’s diverse outside-the-core neighbourhoods, Cultural Hotspot shines a spotlight on East York/East End, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and York with new community-based public art projects.
The 2022 Cultural Hotspot, which runs June through October will be focused on two communities: Little Jamaica and Scarborough's Golden Mile. The Cultural Hotspot will be delivered in partnership with arts and community organizations, and will offer opportunities for youth employment and mentorship.
The City be hosting a series of Community Connect sessions where we invite arts and community organizations and artists to join and learn more about the program, how to get involved and about existing funding opportunities. Additional dates will be announced in the near future.
RapidTO: Bus & Streetcar Priority – Phase 1 of Consultation has Launched!
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, 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.
Upcoming Local Events:
Oasis Dufferin Community Centre Thanksgiving Food Drive
Thanksgiving is on Monday! We would like to invite you and your community to host a Thanksgiving Food Drive for the food bank at Oasis Dufferin Community Centre. Any and all support will make such a difference in the lives of those they serve. This is such a beautiful time of year to give thanks and give back - THANK YOU for taking the time to bring hope to the many people who count on Oasis each week to help feed themselves and their families.
A food drive could be as simple as asking your community members to host a food drive in their neighbourhood, or with their family and friends over the holidays. It can be as easy as leaving a box on your porch and asking people to donate!
If you require more information, visit their website at www.oasisdufferin.org or email at [email protected]
McGregor Park Harvest Festival - October 16th
Join us for the Harvest Festival at McGregor Park (346 Lansdowne Ave) on Saturday, October 16th from 11:00am to 2:00pm to celebrate the final harvest of 2021 at this new community garden!
My office has been in partnership with the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club in order to bring this event to you, as well as ensuring that this community garden is a space for active learning in our neighbourhood. I am looking forward to celebrating this achievement with the community!
Earlscourt Park Centennial Celebration & Plaque Unveiling - October 23rd
Did you know that 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of Earlscourt Park?
To celebrate the Earlscourt Park Centennial anniversary, we are inviting the community to join us for the unveiling of a plaque to mark the occasion, as well as a variety of celebratory activities with members of our community. This event will continue to follow COVID-19 and Toronto Public Health guidelines.
When: October 23rd, 2021
Start time: 2:30pm
Where: By the entrance at the northwest corner of Earlscourt Park on St. Clair Avenue West
1939 Site Map of Earlscourt Park
Courtesy City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 724, Item 55
Hallowe'en Hullabaloo - October 30th
Theatre Direct's free HALLOWE'EN HULLABALOO for kids is back!
SATURDAY OCTOBER 30, 2021 at Earlscourt Park!
Sign up to receive a FREE kids craft kit full of items to design a Halloween-themed box at home that will then be incorporated into a Haunted Castle. The installation will be unveiled at the Earlscourt Park Gazebo as part of the Hullabaloo festivities on Saturday October 30th!
THIS IS HOW IT WORKS:
Sign up to receive a free kids craft kit from Theatre Direct. Pick up the kit from our studio on the Thurs/Fri before Thanksgiving and take it home.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend your child paints and designs their Halloween box. Then return it to the studio and we will build it into a big art installation that will be on display in Earlscourt park on Saturday, Oct. 30th.
Come with your family, in costume, and see how your art has been incorporated in the installation!
There will be puppet shows, treats and a whole lotta fun!
This free event is intended for kids aged 5-12 years old. Pre-Registration is required.
KIDS CRAFT KIT PICK UP AND DROP OFF INFO
Pick-up and drop-off at the Theatre Direct Office (1 Wiltshire Avenue Unit 127, Toronto ON, M6N 2V7).
Pre-Registration is required.
PICK UP DAYS: Thursday October 7th AND Friday October 8th
DROP OFF DAYS: Wednesday October 13th TO Friday October 15th.
FOR MORE INFO AND/OR REGISTER HERE: https://theatredirect.ca/halloween-hullabaloo-2/
Community Pumpkin Parades - November 1st
Join with your neighbours on November 1st to enjoy the artistic expression of our community's Halloween Jack O'Lanterns and Pumpkins! There will be events at Dovercourt Park, Carlton park, MacGregor Park, and Earlscourt Park. All pumpkins will be properly disposed after the event has concluded.
The City of Toronto will begin construction of the Fairbank-Silverthorn Storm Trunk Sewer System. This project is part of the City Council-approved 2021 Basement Flooding Protection Program, and is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. Work will be carried out in two phases. When both phases of construction are complete, the new infrastructure will help to reduce sewer backups and basement flooding in the Fairbank-Silverthorn area.
A New Regulatory Framework for Multi-Tenant Houses - Deferred
It was disappointing this week at City Council that the New Regulatory Framework for Multi-Tenant Houses was deferred once again until 2022.
The regulation and standardization of Multi-Tenant Houses across the City of Toronto is an important piece in our City's long-term housing strategy. Multi-Tenant houses, sometimes referred to as rooming houses, are a deeply affordable option for new residents in our city -- whether they have recently arrived in Canada, have moved to our city to begin a new career, or are here to study at one of our many world-class colleges and universities. These individuals often have limited options as the cost of housing can be beyond their means and these multi-tenant houses provide an affordable place to live.
The reality is that Multi-Tenant Houses exist across Toronto - not just in the areas where they are currently legal, safe, and regulated. It is not helpful to delay the implementation of a standardized regulatory frame work across the City as it is crucial that all such spaces in the City are normalized and regulated for safety reasons.
I am looking forward to the process moving forward and I will continue to support tools such as this to create more affordable housing in our City
Automated Speed Enforcement & Noise Radar
Safety in our neighbourhoods remains a primary concern, and in particular with respect to vehicle traffic and driver behaviour. At this week's City Council Meeting motions were passed that look to expand automated enforcement tools.
With respect to Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras, I moved a motion with Councillor Fletcher to expand the use of this enforcement method which has had success on roads where it has been installed. These cameras are having an effect, for example between July 2020 and October 2020 for example, the City seen a 75% reduction in the number of tickets being issued – people were slowing down.
Alongside the support for expansion of Automated Speed Enforcement, members of our community and residents across the City have expressed concern about vehicle noise - especially since the beginning of the pandemic. Many cities across the world recognize, as we do in Toronto, that this is a problem that requires more innovative and effective solutions. In 2019, the City of Paris commenced testing a "noise radar" system that was automated. They have been joined by other French municipalities. The proposed automated testing system would automatically detect, identify and then issue fines/tickets to vehicles making excessive noise in residential communities.
Because of this, I have successfully moved a motion to explore the use and implementation of these "noise radars" across the City, and a report will be coming to the City's Executive Committee within the first quarter of 2022.
Supreme Court of Canada Decision on the Reduction of Toronto City Council by the Ontario Government
As you may know, the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the Government of Ontario's intervention in the 2018 Toronto City Council Election. Although the "Better Local Government Act" - also known as Bill 5 - was passed in the middle of Toronto's 2018 election, the Supreme Court has deemed this intervention constitutional.
As I stated in 2018, I categorically opposed how this decision was made in the middle of an election without any fulsome public debate and consultation. This undermined the electoral process that was underway, creating unnecessary chaos and confusion. I have always believed that residents must be at the heart of local decision making. This belief has guided me as your City Councillor since my first election, where we have worked together to improve our community in so many ways. The way the decision was made by the Premier does not respect local decision making but has raised the question on how we can defend, improve and strengthen our democracy to increase local decision making and how to better serve you.
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.
Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support community-led projects to create or expand pollinator habitat in Toronto. Projects eligible for funding through PollinateTO include those that:
- create pollinator gardens and rain gardens on public mand 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 by creating a pollinator garden! Learn more and apply by November 1, 2021 at www.livegreentoronto.ca
Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions Program
Residents and community leaders are invited to help inspire climate action in Toronto by becoming Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions. Participants will receive training and assistance to empower them to support residents in developing innovative climate action projects that reflect the needs and values of their communities. Learn more and apply by October 25 at Toronto.ca/livegreen
Official Plan Review - Public Meeting (October 20th)
The Official Plan is Toronto’s road map for land use. It sets out our long-term vision, shared values, and policies that help guide decision-making on land development, economic growth, the environment, and more. It’s important to keep the Official Plan up to date to accommodate growth and changing realities in our City. Toronto is expected to grow by 700,000 people and see the creation of more than 450,000 jobs by 2051.
Please join City of Toronto staff on October 20, 2021 from 1pm to 3pm or from 5pm to 7pm for a city-wide conversation on how we can plan to address the most pressing challenges facing our city over the next 30 years. Please register prior to the event, and watch this short video for an introduction to Our Plan Toronto.
For more information on the Official Plan Review, visit the City website.
Community Environment Days at City Drop-Off Depots
September 27 - Toronto Public Health gets ready to vaccinate Toronto children 5 to 11 years of age against COVID-19
September 29 - City of Toronto releases COVID-19 vaccination policy for City contractors
September 30 - City of Toronto observes first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
October 1 - Supreme Court of Canada rules Bill 5 is constitutional
October 1 - City Council to increase the supply of affordable and supportive housing and strengthen partnership with Indigenous communities
October 1 - Toronto City Council approves extension of the City’s mask bylaw into 2022
October 1 - City Council approves first Black Food Sovereignty Plan
October 4 - City Council requests further public consultation on new multi-tenant housing regulatory framework
October 5 - Get Loud! and “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™”
October 5 - City Council extends free ParkFitTO outdoor fitness permits for businesses impacted by the pandemic
October 6 - City launches interactive webpage to view apartment building evaluation results
October 6 - City of Toronto launches VaxGiving to promote long weekend COVID-19 vaccination clinics
October 7 - City of Toronto’s construction noise regulations back in effect today as provincial regulations expire