gathering with your friends and families for the holidays. Community plays an essential role in Davenport and I am always amazed at the level of commitment our neighbours show to building up our community. This year, I hope you can join me at the Davenport Holiday Party, taking place this Thursday, December 5 from 6-9 PM at 211 Geary Avenue. This is a great holiday event we hold each year to come together as a community to enjoy some food and entertainment and celebrate all the amazing things we were able to achieve together. If you wish to attend, please take a moment to RSVP here. I also encourage you to bring non-perishable food items for donation, which will be donated to Oasis Dufferin Community Centre.
This month, we have been meeting and taking action on a number of important initiatives to keep our City and community safe, vibrant and growing. Below, you will find information about many of the meetings and events that have occurred over the last month, including the Bloor Dufferin development, significant road safety and community improvements, actions being taken to prevent renovictions and more.
It has been a busy few weeks with respect to issues concerning housing at the City and we have made significant progress on initiatives to keep our City affordable for all residents. Today, I joined with Mayor John Tory to announce the 2020-2030 Housing Plan which provides a comprehensive blueprint to assist more than 341,000 Toronto households over the next decade. In addition, we have doubled funding for the Toronto Community Housing Corporation and have given them predictable and reliable funding which will allow them to better plan the way forward and provide tenants with a higher standard of living and care. We have approved the first Housing Now site at 777 Victoria Park Avenue, leveraging City-owned sites for the development of affordable housing within mixed-income, mixed-use communities. In addition, we have extended protections to residents through more robust RentSafe regulations, which will keep residents more informed on the conditions of their buildings and add significant safeguards for events that force residents from their homes. At a local level, a significant agreement has been reached with respect to the Bloor Dufferin TDSB Lands, creating a $17m Land Trust for affordable housing. You can read more about this agreement and the history of this site through the Habitat for Humanity GTA press release.
We have had many important community events recently and I hope you can take a moment to read about them and what is happening in your community so you can provide your input as well.
Councillor, Ward 9 – Davenport
Table of Contents
- Bloor Dufferin Development Update
- Old Weston Road Street Safety Improvements
- Geary and Dovercourt Streetlight Activation
- Oakwood Vaughan Safety Meeting
- Peel Gladstone Reconstruction
- Geary Works Planning Study
- Dundas and College Intersection Improvements
- BIA AGMs
- Ubisoft Performance Studio
- Davenport Diamond Grade Separation
- City Updates
- News Clippings
- Council Highlights
- Important Notices
Bloor and Dufferin Development Update
As you may know, in 2013 the Toronto District School Board decided to essentially relocate Bloor Collegiate Institute to the former Brockton High School site on Croatia Street. Since the TDSB's decision to sell their land and the subsequent choosing of a successful bidder in 2016, I have been actively engaged with residents, a local community group, the developer, non-profit housing stakeholders and City staff to ensure that this site moves forward in a manner that best serves our community and those who will eventually reside there. Through a long and involved process over the past few years, we have succeeded in securing affordable housing on this site, numerous community benefits and a unique and visionary agreement with the developer that includes a major affordable housing partner, Habitat for Humanity. If you wish to learn more about this agreement, all the details and history can be found here, and review the Staff Report discussed at today's Toronto and East York Community Council meeting here.
I understand that high vehicular speed along Old Weston Road is a serious ongoing safety concern for area residents. That is why I have been taking several steps towards addressing this issue. One of the first things I have done was to work with 12 Division Police Services officers to arrange for speed enforcement on both Old Weston Road and Rosethorn Avenue.
Upon assuming office in December 2018, I requested a signalized pedestrian crossing point on Old Weston Road, between St. Clair Avenue West and Turnberry Avenue. The purpose of this request was twofold. First, to have somewhere safe for pedestrians to cross between Turnberry Avenue and St. Clair Avenue West and second, to help slow traffic. Traffic Operations staff have since reported back in support of a traffic light at this intersection. This matter will be considered for approval at the Toronto and East York Community Council on December 3, 2019 and it is my intent to vote in favour.
At the same time, I have advocated for a speed limit reduction on Old Weston Road, from the current 50 km/h to 40 km/h, between Westport Avenue and Rogers Road. Despite not having Traffic Operations staff support, I will be moving a motion at the upcoming Community Council to have this change implemented. In addition, in the adjacent streets such as Rosethorn Avenue, Rowntree Avenue, and Turnberry Avenue, I have requested Traffic Operations staff to undertake a speed hump feasibility study.
Because traffic safety is not limited to a single community, I also supported the speed limit reduction (to 30 km/h) on all residential streets in Toronto, which was approved by City Council this July. Given that there are hundreds of streets to be updated, I have asked City staff inform me on when we can expect the speed limit on these streets to be reduced.
In response to a tragic incident this past Friday where a young boy was struck by a van at Rogers Road and Old Weston Road, Councillor Nunziata and I have submitted a recommendation for consideration at Infrastructure and Environment Committee to review the design of the intersection and report on any alterations that could be implemented to improve safety for pedestrians.
Finally, I have been informed by City staff that General Mercer Junior Public School will be designated as a Vision Zero "School Safety Zone" in 2021/2022. Given this length of time, I have reached out to the School Principal and School Parent Council in order to meet on-site in January 2020 (with Traffic Operations staff) and identify other possible safety improvements to the school (in addition to the pending speed limit reductions).
Geary and Dovercourt Streetlight Activation
This month we have had much-needed activation of the streetlight at Geary Avenue and Dovercourt Road. These lights will help improve safety along this stretch by calming traffic, giving pedestrians safe crossing points. I am glad to see these lights are now active.
Oakwood Vaughan Safety Meeting
This year we have unfortunately been experiencing a higher level of gun violence in the great neighbourhood of Oakwood Vaughan. While this gun violence occurred outside of Ward 9, it is important that we support those who live in the surrounding community. In order to do this, I attended a community meeting hosted by Councillor Josh Matlow with the attendance of Toronto Police Services, 13 Division, to talk about community initiatives that will help to address these safety concerns. Our office takes these acts very seriously and will continue supporting community efforts to combat gun violence and to work with local organizations to bring this to an end.
I am always impressed to see our community come together in these times and work positively to make meaningful improvements to our neighbourhoods. By looking into youth hubs, employment opportunities and other means to lift these individuals out of high-risk lifestyles, we are working toward improving our community with a well-rounded and compassionate approach. With future meetings being planned, I look forward to seeing the results of the initiatives started at this meeting.
As many of you will know the increased frequency of so-called "renovictions," where landlords use a loophole within provincial landlord and tenant laws to evict tenants on the pretext of completing renovations only to re-rent their properties for higher rents, is of growing and serious concern to the City. As Chair of the City's Planning and Housing Committee I was pleased to support and facilitate the creation of the Sub-Committee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing to make recommendations to the main Committee on how to protect tenants as well as affordable rental housing in our City. On November 20th, 2019 the Sub-Committee held a public meeting at which a significant number of tenants and stakeholder groups made deputations outlining their experiences with "renovictions" as well as their recommendations on how to combat this growing problem. The recommendations from the Sub-Committee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing will be coming forward to the Planning and Housing Committee on December 10th, 2019. The recommendations of the Sub-Committee can be found at this link; http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewPublishedReport.do?function=getMinutesReport&meetingId=17308
Yesterday, residents of Peel and Gladstone Avenue met to discuss options on a road reconstruction project in their community. Peel Ave and Gladstone Ave were last reconstructed
70 years ago in 1949. The lifespan of a road is usually around 50– 70 years, at which time, the road needs to be reconstructed. The upcoming road reconstruction is a great opportunity to
revise the road layout, improve mobility options and safety.
At this meeting, two options were presented to the community.
Option A would include:
- two-way motor vehicle traffic on Peel Ave and Gladstone Ave from Queen St. W to Peel Ave (cyclists and cars would share the lane)
- wider sidewalks
- potential of up to ±50 street trees
- on-street lay-by parking and
- green street features
Option B would include:
- two-way motor vehicle traffic on Peel Ave
and Gladstone Ave from Queen St. W to Peel Ave
- bike lanes
- wider sidewalks
- potential of ±25 street trees (to be confirmed in detail design)
- on-street lay-by parking and
- some green street features (but not as many as Option A)
The two options and the history of this project can be seen in detail here.
City staff presented residents with these two options. Both options include a contraflow bike lane for Gladstone Avenue between Peel Avenue and Argyle Street. As well, both options will see wider sidewalks and additional greenery. This project has had great community input to make sure it reflects the needs of current residents and we welcome your feedback via phone, e-mail or the website above. Our team can be contacted by phone at (416) 392-7012 or [email protected].
Geary Works Planning Study
Geary Avenue is a vibrant area of Ward 9 that has evolved into one of the most interesting employment, creative and cultural hubs in the City of Toronto. Many have described the energy here as similar to Ossington in its heyday, but with a more industrial flavour. With land price, development and growth pressures moving quickly into the area, the continued viability of many of these small businesses and local artists is of concern. Many businesses, property owners, residents and others in the Geary Avenue neighbourhood agree that we need to address these pressures. That is why I have moved a motion at Planning and Housing Committee and organized stakeholder meetings and broader public consultation in the area.
The first of two public consultation meetings is scheduled for Tuesday, January 28th, 7PM. Keep tabs on the City Planning website for meeting location and any further information.
Dundas and College Intersection Improvements
Dundas and College is a challenging intersection for all commuters. That is why past week, I met with residents of Brockton Triangle to discuss proposed improvements to the intersection which will make traffic flow much more predictable and safe. These changes include the installation of a traffic signal, curb bump-outs, crosswalks and a bicycle box for signalized left turns. This work will be done in conjunction with TTC track work repair at the intersection. It is important that we have your input on this project. To learn more please visit http://www.toronto.ca/collegedundas/. To share your ideas and concerns, please complete this online feedback form. This work is scheduled for Fall 2020.
In the last few weeks, we have had numerous BIA AGM's across Ward 9. It is always great to see our local small businesses being invested in our communities. BIA's do more than just support businesses, they enhance our communities by beautifying our neighbourhoods, foster diversity in local good and services, support local entrepreneurs and engage with local residents. With 14 BIA's operating in Ward 9 alone, we certainly are showing strong, supportive and vibrant local business networks. Congratulations to all the board members and I look forward to working with you in the new year.
Ubisoft Performance Studio
This month, I joined Ubisoft for the grand opening of their new performance studio. This is an exciting new space for one of the largest employers in Ward 9, employing over 800 workers including hundreds of local artists, and game developers. Ubisoft is working to give back to our community, including through partnering with Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club to donate computers for coding courses for the kids of Pelham Park Gardens and the surrounding community.
Davenport Diamond Grade Separation
Metrolinx held a public consultation to provide the community with an update on the Davenport Diamond project. I attended this meeting to reiterate the community's concerns, especially around the public realm improvements. With construction scheduled to begin in 2020, we need to make sure that this project does not treat our community as a throughway. Metrolinx has stated that they remain committed to public realm improvements and I will continue working with the Junction Triangle community to advocate for these improvements to reflect their needs.
If you missed the meeting and are interested in more details, you can find project information at: metrolinx.com/davenport
HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan
Today, Mayor John Tory and I announced the City's 10 Year Action Housing Plan. This plan provides a comprehensive blueprint to assist more than 341,000 Toronto households over the next decade.
The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan provides 13 strategic actions addressing the full continuum of housing from homelessness, social housing, rental housing, long-term care, and home ownership. The Action Plan builds on the City's historic partnership with the provincial and federal governments in addressing the housing needs of residents.
Implementation of the full plan over 10 years will invest $23.4 billion with the City's commitment through current and future investments being $8.5 billion – the City has already committed to about $5.5 billion in operating, capital investments, and other financial tools demonstrating its leadership and commitment to improving the housing situation in Toronto.
The Action Plan calls for new housing investments for the federal and provincial governments in particular to support households who are struggling to pay the rent and stay housed, and to assist in the development and operation of new supportive and affordable rental housing. It also calls for enhanced partnerships and collaboration with residents, the housing sector, community groups and people with lived experience to jointly deliver solutions.
To address these issues the Action Plan calls on the federal and provincial governments to step up with their own investments in housing to assist Toronto households at a cost over 10 years of $14.9 billion.
The Action Plan contains 76 separate actions to address the needs of people across the housing continuum. Key highlights of the actions include:
- Adopt a revised "Toronto Housing Charter: Opportunity for All".
- Enhance measures to prevent evictions and people becoming homeless.
- Preserve the rental homes that currently exist.
- Adopting a new program definition of affordable housing based on income.
- Create a multi-sector land bank to support the approval of 40,000 new rental and supportive homes.
- Engage the federal and provincial governments to implement the new Canada Housing Benefit and support the creation of supportive and affordable rental homes.
This plan would not be the same without the input from 6,000 residents and stakeholders from across the City who share their time and thoughts to make sure this plan is comprehensive and addresses the multitude of housing challenges people are facing in Toronto.
City Hall Toy Drive
This week, Mayor John Tory kicked off the annual City's Holiday Toy Drive with the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Daily Bread Food Bank. This year, I encourage you to look into donating to those in need, so every family can have an enjoyable and fulfilling holiday season. For where to donate, please visit here.
This month, Toronto City Council has taken a historic step in recognizing its responsibility as Canada's largest landlord. Since social housing was downloaded by the province, the City has struggled to manage its responsibility for this file. As Chair of Planning and Housing, I have been working hard to change this and to have the City provide the support the tenants of Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) need and deserve. The approval of this item at Council is significant for two main reasons, it provides substantially more funding for TCHC, which allows them to be more aggressive in their efforts to make repairs and improvements to existing buildings and units. In addition, as this will be funding provided annually, it gives TCHC a predictable budget, allowing them to properly plan strategies to make improvements, without concern about future funding becoming available. This is going to have a significant impact on the lives of TCHC residents and I am happy that Toronto City Council unanimously recognized and supported this meaningful initiative.
At Council, we also approved amendments to RentSafeTO, strengthing protections and increasing access to information for tenants across the City. These amendments take several significant steps to achieve this: The RentSafe program came into effect July 1, 2017 and applies to all apartment buildings with three or more storeys and 10 or more units, which accounts for 30% of Toronto's residents who live in approximately 3,500 apartment buildings across the city.
- Require landlords to display a copy of the building evaluation result document, received by the City following their last evaluation, on the tenant notification board, and provide copies to any persons who request it.
- Require landlords to post information on the RentSafeTO program, including contact information for 311, on the tenant notification board.
- Require landlords to post information related to any violations of the Ontario Fire Code, as identified by Toronto Fire, on the tenant notification board.
- Require landlords to provide information directly to tenants on the RentSafeTO program annually and on signing of a lease agreement.
- Amend the requirement that landlords post information on the tenant notification board about air conditioned spaces in the building to include information about other places on the property that offer relief from uncomfortably warm indoor temperatures, including a cooling room or shaded area.
In addition, amendments were made to have landlords of large buildings cover the cost related to emergency social services in instances of vital service disruptions, fire, floods or other significant occurrences.
You can read about these and other protections added for tenants here.
Housing Now Update
I am pleased to announce that we have officially received City Council approval on the first Housing Now site at 777 Victoria Park Avenue, providing affordable housing within this mixed-income community.
The Housing Now Initiative represents a new city-building approach to the disposition of City-owned lands. The Initiative will stimulate the creation of complete communities with a range of new housing where residents can afford quality homes near transit. Over the last decade, the costs of housing in Toronto and residents’ housing choices have become increasingly restricted. The cost of both rental and ownership housing has increased significantly, while incomes have not kept pace.
The first phase of Housing Now is expected to deliver over 10,000 new residential units, including market ownership units, market rental units and approximately 3,700 new affordable rental homes. The affordable units created through Housing Now will, on average, rent for 80% of Toronto’s average market rent. These homes will be affordable for households earning between $21,000 and $52,000 per year.
Housing Now is one component within the City of Toronto’s emerging HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan to address the full spectrum of housing issues in Toronto.
Considering Ranked Ballots
At City Council, I was pleased to support Councillor Shelley Carroll's motion to have City staff to initiate the process to pass a by-law allowing for a ranked ballot election in 2022. Staff will begin preparing the required information about costs, voting procedures, technology and the impacts on election administration. In order to be sure we truly capture the electoral reform wanted by Torontonians, a series of open houses will be organized to ensure a thorough public consultations process is conducted. An update on this process and next steps are expected before the end of 2020, which will provide City Clerks adequate time to prepare for a ranked ballot election.
Poverty Reduction Strategy
City Council unanimously approved the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy 2019-2022 Term Action Plan. This is the second plan developed as part of the 20-year lifecycle of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2015-2035).
The report considered by City Council noted that the first Poverty Reduction Strategy Term Action Plan (2015-2018) led to approximately $181 million (net) in new and enhanced programs and services as part of the City's investments. These investments were made to stabilize and strengthen programs and services supporting low-income Torontonians, and to create a foundation for further systemic change.
Over the term of the new action plan, the City will carry out 31 term actions and 89 activities, aligned with the 17 Council-approved recommendations, to achieve the strategy’s objectives of addressing immediate needs, creating pathways to prosperity and driving systemic change for those living in poverty in Toronto.
Like the previous term action plan, this updated plan’s actions will fall under the six core themes of food access, housing stability, service access, transportation equity, systemic change and quality jobs/livable incomes. The plan includes developing an Indigenous-led Poverty Reduction Strategy Action Plan, advancing the City of Toronto's commitments to reconciliation, fully implementing the Fair Pass Discount Program and continuing implementation of the 10-year Child Care Growth and Capital Strategy.
In addition, the report includes a progress report on what was achieved through the 2015-2018 Term Action Plan, including:
- stabilizing funding for the 110,000 tenants of Toronto Community Housing, and advanced the development of the Tenants First Implementation Plan
- expanding the number of centres in low-income neighbourhoods where recreation programs are free to 18
- increasing transit affordability for over 68,000 low-income residents by implementing the first phase of the Fair Pass Program
- improving access to nutritious food for children by expanding funding and adding new participating schools to student nutrition programs, achieving the City's 20 per cent funding target
- implementation of an award-winning social procurement program with over $4 million of contracts awarded to certified diverse suppliers
- embedding lived experience into 20 City-based and external service planning and decision-making processes through the creation of the Lived Experience Advisory. Group currently accepting applications for the next term (February 2020-January 2023).
The Poverty Reduction Strategy 2015-2025 is available at toronto.ca/toprosperity.
City Council endorsed a new city-wide Parkland Strategy which will provide strategic direction on current and future parks planning, land acquisition, and investment.
Toronto’s parks system is integral to its identity as a global, livable city, and it greatly contributes to its health, quality of life, social cohesion and ecological sustainability. Toronto has more than 1,500 parks, which cover approximately 13 per cent of the city’s land base (totalling more than 8,000 hectares or 19,768 acres).
The Strategy’s vision was developed through extensive engagement with stakeholders and the public and reflects how the City’s parks system should evolve over the next 20 years. It is led by guiding principles of expand, improve, include and connect. These principles reflect the need for a multi-faceted approach to how Toronto will continue to enhance its parks system in the face of different challenges and opportunities across the city.
In-station sales of TTC tickets, tokens and passes to end on Nov. 30, 2019
The TTC will stop selling tickets, tokens and passes (GTA Weekly and the Day Pass) at collector booths on Nov., 30, 2019. Customers will still be able to buy tickets and tokens at some third-party retailers.
While customers will be able to continue using previously purchased tickets, tokens and passes to pay their fare, those people who do not have large quantities of tickets, tokens and passes remaining, are encouraged to move to a PRESTO card now to avoid potential line ups for cards on Dec. 1.
PRESTO cards are available for sale at Fare Vending Machines in all subway stations, all Shoppers Drug Mart locations, online at prestocard.ca and through the PRESTO App, or at the TTC Customer Service Centre at Davisville Station.
PRESTO card customers have access to many benefits, including:
- paying the lowest fare by default;
- being able to hop on and off the TTC within a two-hour period without being charged a second fare;
- the ability to set up auto-renew and auto-load so they never have to worry about not having enough money or a monthly pass on their card;
- balance protection for cards registered on a My PRESTO Account; and,
- the ability to use one card to pay a fare across 10 other transit agencies that use PRESTO.
The TTC has not set a date as to when it will stop accepting tickets, tokens and day passes. Since refunds will not be provided, customers are encouraged to use their remaining tickets, tokens and passes as soon as they can. GTA Weekly Passes can be used until Dec., 1, 2019.
The TTC will continue limited sales of tickets and tokens to agencies and organizations like school boards and social service agencies until a new bulk sales program for distributing PRESTO cards and PRESTO Tickets is available.
Customers who travel in Wheel-Trans sedan taxis will be required to pay with exact cash, use any remaining tickets or tokens they have, or with a monthly pass on their PRESTO card. Full fare payment using PRESTO will be available on sedan taxis before the end of the year.
Infrequent travellers or visitors to the city can purchase one-ride, two-ride or day pass PRESTO Tickets from a Fare Vending Machine at all subway stations, Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Toronto and from the TTC Customer Service Centre at Davisville Station.
City unveils new $24 billion plan to help Toronto handle housing issues - The Star, Dec 5
Toronto’s smart plan to fix long-term care homes - The Star, Dec 1
Toronto council votes to beef up RentSafeTO - Toronto Sun, Nov 27
Toronto Welcomes $17M Affordable Housing Land Trust - Toronto Storeys, Nov 26
Historic $17 million affordable housing land trust launched in Toronto - Habitat for Humanity GTA, Nov 26
Northcliffe Village Residents' Association and Regal Heights Residents Association Holiday Celebration
Thursday, December 5, 6:30 PM
Fox and Fiddle, 1085 St. Clair Avenue West
16th Annual Holly's Toy Drive
Saturday, December 7, 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club (Gym), 180 Westmoreland Avenue
Oakwood Village Festival of Lights
Saturday, December 7, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Oakwood Fire station, 555 Oakwood Avenue
Fairbank Village BIA Light up the Holidays
Saturday, December 7, 5:45 PM-7:30 PM
Shortt St at Eglinton Ave
Junction Triangle Craft Show
Saturday, December 7, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Perth Avenue Public School, 14 Ruskin Avenue
JJP Gymnastics Show
Monday, December 9, 6:00 PM
JJP Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Avenue West
JJP Dance Show
Tuesday, December 10, 6:30 PM
JJP Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Avenue West
St Anthony Catholic School Christmas Market
Thursday, December 12, 5:30PM - 8:00PM
130 Shanly Street
Northcliffe Village Residents Association and Ontario Ballet School Winterfest
Saturday, December 14, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Santa Chiara Parkette, 1114 St Clair Avenue West
Davenport Perth NCHC Seniors Holiday Party
Tuesday, December 17, 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
DPNCHC, 1900 Davenport Rd
JJP Christmas Dinner
Wednesday, December 18, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
JJP Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Ave W
Budget Town Hall 2020
Saturday, February 8, 2020, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Bloor/Gladstone Library, 1101 Bloor St W
Green Line Public Meeting
Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 7:00 PM
Wallace Emerson Community Centre Centre, 1260 Dufferin Street
Funding model for Toronto Community Housing
Council unanimously approved a new funding model for Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), detailed in a report called Implementing Tenants First: A New Funding Model for Toronto Community Housing. The new funding model provides stability and increases the overall funding provided for TCHC's operating and capital needs. The rent-supplement-based model approved for implementation starting in 2020 is designed to bridge the gap between what a tenant can afford to pay and the actual cost of the housing.
Plan to create new supportive housing
A motion adopted by Council calls for a report with a plan to create 600 units of supportive housing on an annual basis starting in 2020. That goal is to be achieved through a combination of converting existing units, using housing units in the private market and designating units in new construction, including Housing Now projects. In addition, the City will make detailed requests to the Ontario provincial government and the federal government for their assistance with addressing Toronto's growing homelessness crisis.
Housing Now project
Council approved a zoning amendment as the next step in a plan to develop a portion of the City property at 777 Victoria Park Ave. (near Victoria Park Subway Station and Dentonia Park Golf Course) as a Housing Now initiative. The project will transform a commuter parking lot, resulting in two buildings providing a total of about 500 new residential units, half of them affordable rental units. The project also involves retail and community uses, including a child-care facility.
Apartment buildings and RentSafeTO
Council approved various amendments to the section of the City's municipal code pertaining to apartment buildings. Among the amendments, the City will require landlords to inform their new tenants about Toronto's RentSafeTO program when signing lease agreements. RentSafeTO was established in 2017 to help protect tenants and promote preventive maintenance in apartment buildings. A motion adopted as part of this agenda item requests a report on the feasibility of requiring landlords and/or tenants to obtain insurance that covers the costs of temporary accommodations in the event of an apartment building becoming uninhabitable.
Social and health issues
Strategy for reducing poverty in Toronto
Council unanimously approved the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy 2019-2022 Term Action Plan. It is the second plan for the 20-year lifecycle of the strategy that began in 2015. The first action plan invested in programs and services supporting low-income Torontonians, establishing a foundation for the new action plan. Over the term of the new action plan, the City will implement various measures to address immediate needs and drive systemic change to benefit people living in poverty in Toronto.
Community violence and health
Council adopted recommendations stemming from the observation that incidents of community violence have physical and mental health impacts on victims, perpetrators, families, friends, neighbours and the entire city. With firearm-related violent crime in Toronto increasing, Council voted to urge governments to take steps including a federal prohibition on the sale, possession and use of handguns, assault rifles and semi-automatic military assault weapons in Canada, and Ontario government legislation to ban the sale of ammunition in Toronto.
Council adopted a series of agenda items pertaining to food, including actions connected with the 2019 annual report of the Toronto Food Policy Council, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the City's food procurement, and matters involving Canada's Food Guide. Concerning the food guide, Council voted to ask the federal government to take steps that include developing a protocol for "food costing" to standardize the way governments across the country monitor food affordability.
Vaping ads on bus shelters
Council voted to adopt a motion calling on staff to review the City's street furniture agreement to ensure that all advertising under that agreement complies with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. The act prohibits selling/supplying vapour ("vaping") products to minors. The motion notes that ads promoting vaping have been observed on Toronto bus shelters near schools.
Urban noise as a health concern
Council adopted a Board of Health recommendation for the City to take steps to mitigate (provide relief from) urban noise, such as noise from transportation projects and operations, among other sources. In that context, the City will consider noise mitigation when planning state-of-good-repair work on roads. Health impacts of loud environmental noise have been found to include hearing loss, sleep disturbance, annoyance/irritation and cardiovascular problems.
Findings of governance committee
Consideration of a report from the Special Committee on Governance resulted in Council adopting several recommendations and motions, including a motion to start the process to allow for a possible ranked-ballot municipal election for Toronto in 2022. In addition, Council supported taking steps to improve public engagement with Council and committees, and to expand the role of community councils. Among other matters to be explored is the financing Toronto's municipal elections.
Parks and facilities
Strategy for future parks
Council approved a long-term strategy for enhancing Toronto’s park system through the creation of new parks and the expansion and improvement of existing parks. The Parkland Strategy, which was informed by extensive consultation, will help shape how Toronto's parks system grows over the next 20 years. The strategy is intended to ensure the parks system remains sustainable in the face of an evolving urban environment characterized largely by increased development.
Assistance for youth centre
Council supported a motion directing staff to evaluate the Cabbagetown Youth Centre's programming and finances, and to report on options for interim funding to support the centre's core programs in 2020. Budget projections indicate the centre will not be able to sustain its core programming next year without an increase in financial support. The possibility of transforming the youth centre into City community centre is also to be explored.
Non-profit fundraising in City facilities
Council adopted a revised policy on displays and fundraising efforts in City facilities, with the intention of providing more flexibility in the criteria for granting permission to non-profit fundraising in the City's corporate facilities. The amended policy, which takes effect March 1, 2020, maintains the requirement for all displays and fundraising activities to align with the City's values and mandates.
Cannabis for personal medical use
Council adopted a motion to request Health Canada to amend regulations under the Cannabis Act as it pertains to cannabis production for personal medical use. Specifically, Council wants Health Canada to take steps to make sure cannabis production facilities adhere to municipal zoning regulations before a registration certificate is issued, and to consider setting limits on the maximum number of plants per premise for personal-use medical cannabis production. The motion was prompted by experiences that have included "pungent odours" in some Toronto neighbourhoods.
Truck driver licensing
A motion that Council supported urges the Ontario government not to adopt a private member's bill that is calling for the elimination of a periodic written test on air-brake systems, now part of truck operator licensing. The member motion that Council considered notes that given the work the City is undertaking with Vision Zero and related road-safety measures intended to slow down motorists, it is not helpful to contemplate easing regulations involving brakes on large trucks.
Online portrayal of Scarborough
Council adopted a motion to request the Mayor to write to Google Canada about its search engine having recently featured a "demeaning and misleading" photo to represent Scarborough, and to ask Google to replace that image with one that is in keeping with the positive images shown for other municipalities. In addition, the motion proposes that the City establish a photo project or contest that will result in an exhibition of photographs featuring scenic places and communities in Scarborough.
Designating a City of Toronto Day
A motion that was adopted calls on City Council to officially declare March 6 “City of Toronto Day” and, in an appropriate way, to recognize March 6 as the date the City of Toronto was incorporated. Now in its 185th year as a municipality, Toronto was incorporated as the Town of York on March 6, 1834. The motion that Council supported says declaring March 6 City of Toronto Day will provide an opportunity "to honour our City, reflect on its past and feel optimistic about its future."
Sewer Rehabilitation - O'Leary Avenue
The City of Toronto will be conducting sewer rehabilitations from 8 O'Leary Ave to 50 O'Leary Ave. The project is expected to be completed by January 2020. Residents may experience odours from flushing activities. For questions or concerns, please contact the Field ambassador at 416-475-4424 or [email protected]
Watermain Replacement on Cariboo Avenue and Osler Street from Cariboo Avenue to Dupont Street
The City of Toronto will replace the watermain and the City-owned portion of substandard water services on Cariboo Avenue and Osler Street from Cariboo Avenue to Dupont Street starting in October.
Dufferin and Dundas Underground Civil and Electrical Upgrade
Please be advised that as a result of construction to your neighbour’s residence on Dufferin Street, Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the ageing underground electrical system. The rebuild includes the replacement of the existing electrical cables within the city-owned property near your lot. Please note that Toronto Hydro may require access to your property to install an underground pipe that connects the meter at your home to the main electrical line.