Last week we came together in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters to denounce the horrific attack in Quebec City and support the communities and families of those who tragically lost their lives. Across Toronto and around the world, we joined together to raise our voices and demonstrate our support for a caring and inclusive society. At City Hall we reaffirmed Toronto's commitment as a place of inclusion and as a Sanctuary City welcoming all who live together in Toronto as neighbours and friends regardless of origin or immigration status.
Last month, I was pleased to co-host the Davenport New Year's Levee with my fellow provincial, federal and municipal Davenport colleagues. It was great to see so many of you there with us sharing and celebrating what you love about our Davenport community and your ideas for how we can make it an even better place for all of us. All that makes Ward 18 an amazing place comes from the hard work we do together to support real progress on the issues that matter to our community.
I also recently held my annual Ward 18 Budget Town Hall, where we had an engaging conversation about the investments that Toronto's budget is making and about how we can improve it to better serve Torontonians. Thank you to everyone who joined us for bringing your engaging ideas and providing me with your feedback. City Council meets to discuss the budget later this month, and your input and feedback will be important to informing my decisions.
I recently voted to ensure our City's services are strong, effective, efficient and serve the needs of Torontonians by opposing the privatization of garbage collection east of Yonge. The existing situation clearly creates a competitive environment for the City to negotiate with both the private and public sectors, continues to develop opportunities for sharing best practices, and avoids a race to the bottom. I also voted at executive committee this week to maintain childcare occupancy grant funding and expand affordable childcare to better meet the needs of Toronto families.
As Family Day comes up on February 20, I invite you to join me, your neighbours and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) for a Family Day Skating Celebration at Campbell Avenue Park. Together with MLSE chefs, Toronto Maple Leafs mascot Carlton the Bear, and Toronto Maple Leafs legend Daryl Sittler, our community will be hosting a great day of family fun, skating and celebration. I hope to see you there!
Ward 18, Davenport
Bloor-Dufferin Community Hub Information Session Meeting Update
On December 8, 2016, the Province of Ontario announced $20M in funding to support a new high school and a community hub at the Bloor-Dufferin TDSB Redevelopment Site. To support the community to identify priorities and goals for the Community Hub, the City and Province invited community based organizations to form an independent, voluntary, and time limited "Community Hub Visioning Group" that will:
- Ensure that community groups are meaningfully engaged in the planning for a potential Bloor-Dufferin community hub; and
- Develop a vision and governance and service framework for a potential community hub at Bloor-Dufferin.
The visioning group process is being run by an independent facilitator and is being supported by City and Provincial staff. I have highlighted the importance to them that there needs to be robust public consultation with residents and underrepresented community groups including small not-for-profit arts organizations.
At my urging, the City of Toronto hosted a public information session earlier this week on next steps for envisioning a Community Hub for the Bloor-Dufferin Revitalization Site. The meeting was an opportunity to hear about and discuss:
- The process and next steps for developing a community hub vision for Bloor-Dufferin, and how the local community will be engaged;
- Residents' initial ideas about the community hub and how it should work.
There was some great discussions and City staff are currently preparing a meeting summary for public distribution. I will be sharing that summary with you once it is ready. If you have any questions about the site, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 416-392-7012.
Bloor-Emerson Pedestrian Safety Improvements Community Meeting
Many residents have contacted my office regarding safety concerns at the intersection of Bloor St W and Emerson Ave. In response, I have asked that Traffic Operations staff look into improving safety at this intersection. City staff have since reported back and have recommended the installation of a traffic light at this intersection.
I am hosting a community meeting on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 6:30pm, at the Bloor Collegiate Institute Auditorium (1141 Bloor St W) to gather your feedback on the possibility of a traffic light at Bloor/Emerson. Staff from the City's Traffic Operations Division will be in attendance to answer any questions/concerns you may have.
If you have any questions or are unable to attend this meeting, please do not hesitate to contact my office via telephone at 416-392-7012 or via email at [email protected] to share your feedback.
Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club Garden Proposal
The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club is proposing to build a new community garden to be integrated with their clubhouse and neighbouring Dovercourt Park. The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club will lead the development of this project including the design, building, funding and maintenance work. The new teaching gardens will be an opportunity to include sustainable gardening practices and learning into the rich programming already offered at the Club.
The gardens will be located at the southwest corner of the Club's site and will transform a currently underutilized plot of grass into a dynamic and engaging community gardening space with opportunities to integrate fresh food markets and other community activities. The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club will be responsible for carrying out ongoing maintenance, programming and care of the gardens as part of their regular programming.
This proposal will help to improve the already engaging and well used facilities at Dovercourt Park and add to the park's capacity as a true community hub for neighbours, learning and activity. Several residents have provided their input and feedback on this proposal and I encourage you to do so as well by by calling my office at 416-392-7012 or by emailing me at [email protected]
Improving Skating Equipment in Ward 18 With MLSE
I am pleased to share that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) is donating approximately $20,000 worth of skating equipment and materials to three City of Toronto ice rinks in Ward 18. The Dufferin Grove Park skating rink, Campbell Park skating rink and Wallace Emerson Park skating rink will receive new helmets, skates and hockey sticks to support the fantastic programming at these rinks. In addition, MLSE will also be donating a new skate sharpening machine for use at these three rinks, ensuring every step on the ice is the sharpest.
I would like to thank MLSE for this generous donation to our community and for all their continued support of active and inclusive sports programming across Toronto.
I also invite you to join me, your neighbours and MLSE in Campbell Park on Monday February 20, 2017 starting at 11am for a Family Day Skating Celebration! The City of Toronto is co-hosting the event at the park with MLSE who will be joined by Maple Leafs legend Daryl Sittler, Maple Leafs Mascot Carlton the Bear, gourmet chefs, decorations, skating activities and more for a great day of fun! I hope you can join me and your neighbours for some great winter fun in our community!
MOCA Federal Announcement
This week, I joined with Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, Melanie Joly and Davenport Member of Parliament, Julie Dzerowicz to welcome a $5.1 million grant allocation to the Museum_of_Contemporary_Art_Canada (MOCA) through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This funding will help to catalyze the revitalization of the former Tower Automotive Building (Auto BLDG) heritage-designated building in the Junction Triangle into a new forum for contemporary art. Construction is well underway inside the building and outside to create the new museum, artists working spaces and community space which will anchor the revitalization of former industrial lands into a mixed use neighbourhood.
Tree For Me Spring 2017 Grant Opportunity from the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation
As a key part of its Every Tree Counts Campaign, the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation has launched its spring 2017 Community ‘Tree For Me’ partnership opportunity. The Foundation is inviting groups and individuals to host tree matching and planting events in the city of Toronto. Eligible participants will be awarded with $500, up to 150 trees, and hands on support from TPTF staff.
The Tree For Me Program carefully matches residents with a native tree from local seed stock, and educates them on tree planting and seasonal care. The program is delivered by the community in partnership with TPTF. It is geared toward Toronto homeowners or anyone who has permission to plant a tree on private land. Tree For Me aims to increase canopy in Toronto’s least treed neighbourhoods.
Download the full application package here. Applications will be accepted online via torontoparksandtrees.ca until Friday, February 17th, 2017 at 5pm. Successful applications will be announced March 1st, 2017.
Dovercourt Park Neighbourhood Safety Meeting - Safehaven Project for Community Living (1173 Bloor St W) - Saturday February 11, 2017 from 11:30am to 12:30pm
In response to concerns from local residents about worrisome activity in the Dovercourt Park neighbourhood, I have organized an urgent community meeting with Toronto Police to address resident's concerns.
Bloordale Dance Party - Bar Neon (1226 Bloor St W) - Saturday February 11, 2016 from 1pm to 5pm
Bloordale CIA is hosting a kids' dance party on Saturday, February 11 from 1 pm - 5 pm at Bar Neon. Drink and food specials! Door prizes for the kids! Dance contests for great prizes from The Emerson, Dead Dog Records, Yoga Yoga and the Bloordale BIA!
Still only $2 entry for the kids (includes a juice box) and parents/caregivers get in free! Do you have a song request? Email [email protected]!
Family Day Kid Friendly Brunch - D-Beatstro (1292 Bloor St W) Monday February 20, 2017 from 10am to 3pm
The Bloordale CIA is hosting a special Family Day kid-friendly brunch at D-Beatstro on Monday, February 20 from 10 am - 3 pm. Special kids menu and *live music* from 11 am - 1 pm!
Bloor-Emerson Intersection Safety Improvement Community Meeting - Bloor Collegiate Institute Auditorium (1141 Bloor St W) - Tuesday February 21, 2017 starting at 6:30pm
Please join me at this community meeting to share your feedback on the possibility of installing a traffic light at Bloor and Emerson to improve pedestrian safety. Staff from the City's Traffic Operations Division will be in attendance to answer any questions/concerns that you may have.
Bloordale Movie Night Presents Minions - D-Beatstro (1292 Bloor St. W.) - Saturday February 25, 2017 at 4pm
Join with neighbours for a free screening of Minions hosted by the Bloordale CIA at D-Beatstro! Snacks for the kids, food specials and free fun prizes for everyone!
Public Meeting to Discuss College Street Construction - College Shaw Library (766 College St.) - Tuesday February 28, 2017 from 7pm to 8:30pm
In October 2016, the City terminated its contract with the contractor delivering streetscaping work on College Street between Havelock and Shaw. I will be co-hosting a community meeting with City staff and neighbouring Councillor Mike Layton to discuss the remaining work and the next steps for this contract.
CALL FOR READERS FOR A COMMUNITY READING OF THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION'S REPORT (TRC Report) - Community Office (1240 Bloor St W) - Friday March 24, 2017 from 11am to 2pm
I invite you to take part in a community reading of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Report at my Community Office on March 24, 2017 between 11am and 2pm. The reading will be facilitated by local resident claude wittman and Adam Herst. You can find below more information on the reading and this project below.
Background: In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada published a long report on the residential schools that children of Indigenous ancestry were forced to attend in the beginning of the 20th century and sometimes even until the 1990s. The schools were meant to westernize the mind and body of the children and they were often extremely traumatic while politically justified. The Commission interviewed survivors of these schools, wrote their history and also composed a series of 94 recommendations for us so that we start to work towards an equal relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.
Our Action: Your City Councillor Ana Bailão, together with facilitators claude wittmann and Adam Herst, are calling for 18 community members who would like to join us to read from the TRC report. We will read out loud, each for about 10 minutes and the readings will be live-streamed on an Internet radio and recorded for later playback. We will not worry about mistakes. We will even welcome them as they will be signatures of our presence with the text. Our focus will be to learn and feel what happened in the past, nothing else. Everybody is invited to read or to sit with us to witness the readings. This action is part of a larger project entitled 2894. It is about Truth, before (Re)Conciliation.
The Internet radio where the readings are broadcast can be found at http://claudewittmann.ca/stream/2894.html
To sign up to read: If you would like to be one of the 18 readers, please RSVP asap to [email protected] and choose one of the following windows of time during which you would like to read: 2-3pm, 3-4pm or 4-5pm. Your RSVP will be used to create a reading schedule that will be sent to you a few days before the reading.
Responding to the Province's Decision on Road Tolls
Last year, the Mayor and City Council sent a very clear message to the Province. We came together as a mature order of government with a much needed plan to finance infrastructure projects in Toronto through road tolls. This money would have gone directly towards Toronto's transit and transportation needs, easing our financial pressures on other important capital needs to make our city a better place to live, work and play.
The Province's rejection of this plan places Toronto in a difficult position to address some of our long-term infrastructure priorities. The City of Toronto cannot be expected to fund vitally important infrastructure projects on the property tax base alone. Toronto is the sixth largest government in Canada, larger than some provinces, and it is time that either the City of Toronto be treated and respected as the mature order of government it is or that the Province of Ontario return to table to address the profound and pressing transit, housing and child care needs of our city.
Childcare Occupancy Grant and New Subsidies
I have been working hard here at City Hall to advocate for you on this very important topic. I am pleased to inform you that earlier this week Mayor Tory, alongside Budget Chief Crawford announced that the City will not eliminate the childcare occupancy grant. (http://www.cp24.com/news/tory-city-will-continue-to-fund-child-care-occupancy-grants-in-2017-1.3272443)
This is an important victory for parents and the Mayor expressed his thanks not only to myself for advocating to him but to the many people who have advocated on how important it is to keep the child care occupancy grant. This announcement is in addition to the 300 new child care subsidies that are now included in the City's proposed budget.
As part of the announcement, the Mayor wrote to the Premier requesting provincial assistance to help address child care affordability by increasing subsidies and providing greater base funding. The full letter can be found by clicking here.
I want to thank you for being part of this important victory for families, and I hope that we can continue this conversation in the future.
The City's Municipal Licensing and Standards Division are undertaking a review of existing sidewalk café and marketing display bylaws, including permit fees for licensed patios, in order to harmonize standards consistently across the city. They will be reporting to City Council in April on this topic.
As you may have heard in the media, City staff had considered significant increases to patio licensing fees. The increases proposed for discussion were so high that they would threaten the vitality of businesses with patios, and the vibrancy of our neighbourhoods.
Outdoor patios breathe life into our main streets – they offer a pleasant al fresco dining experience, as well as an opportunity to boost pedestrian traffic and increase revenues for local businesses during the warmer months. I will not be supporting the fee increases that were discussed as they will threaten the livelihood of the small businesses which reflect our uniquely diverse neighbourhoods and form a vibrant part of our cityscape.
Following an informed and important debate at City Council, I am pleased to let you know that City Council has voted not to privatize garbage collection east of Yonge Street and instead seek more information and analysis.
In late 2015, a report commissioned by the City and independently reviewed by Ernst & Young LLP clearly outlined that there are no financial advantages to privatizing garbage collection east of Yonge Street. In fact, the report showed that a 50/50 public/private model creates a situation where we can continuously compare performance, costs, and provide flexibility for Toronto's curbside waste collection system.
The existing situation clearly creates a competitive environment for the City to negotiate with both the private and public sectors and continues to develop opportunities for sharing best practices and improve the delivery of services to residents.
I also have the utmost respect for the solid waste collection workers who provide quality service and value for money with our tax dollars, according to the data the City has collected. I believe that we should not be spending our energy as a City on a race to the bottom by contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street. We need to continue to ensure that the City provides strong, effective and efficient public services.
Bike Cafe for a Bike City - Toronto Sun
Parkdale and Queen West health centres approve merger - Parkdale Villager
Study coming for future 5K 'Green Line' park in Toronto - Bloor West Villager
Toronto's Green Line linear park inches forward - Metronews Toronto
An attack on Canadian Muslims is an attack on Canada - Globe and Mail
Focus on road tolls misses the bigger picture: Crombie - Toronto Star
Moca gets $5 million from feds - Toronto Star
Improving Access to the Committee of Adjustment
Beginning January 16, 2017 applicants to the Committee of Adjustment for Minor Variance and Consent Applications will be able to submit documentation in digital format in person at any Toronto Building Customer Service Counter.
Harmonizing the application intake process across the city is an important part of making municipal government accessible and transparent. Increasing the digital submission options available to applicants allows the City to move towards a paperless submission system. The City will also be rolling out an email option for application submission in the coming weeks further improving access and customer service.
For more information on this and other planning initiatives in Toronto, please visit www.toronto.ca/developing-toronto.
Applications for the StART Toronto 2017 Partnership Program Are Now Open
StART's mission is to revitalize and engage communities through street and mural art. StART provides up to $50,000 in funding for partnership projects that meet the following objectives:
- Enhance and promote Toronto's vibrant street and graffiti art
- Revitalize communities through physical enhancements and community events
- Counteract graffiti vandalism
- Engage emerging and established local artists
The application deadline for StART Toronto's 2017 Partnership Program is Monday, April 3, 2017 at 4:30p.m. - http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=b33498b613412410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
StART values projects that are aligned with broader neighbourhood revitalization efforts and target areas of graffiti vandalism. Specifically, StART is interested in partnering on projects that:
- are innovative in terms of design, delivery and message;
- enhance community heritage and neighbourhood identities;
- are intrinsically valuable to the community and are site-specific in design;
- demonstrate a strong community engagement component and foster expanded partnerships within the arts community;
- provide mentorship or training opportunities for youth or emerging artists;
- are located in previously unserved areas;
- build upon existing relationships between the City, artists and arts organizations, and community members in order to improve the opportunities for citizens to participate in the arts in the course of their daily lives, encourage civic discussion about street art, and make possible the expression of a variety of cultural voices; and
- help promote Toronto as a nationally and internationally recognized creative city and a destination for cultural tourism.
Applicants are encouraged to contact StART program staff to discuss their submission prior to applying.
View the 2017 Information Session Package for program overviews and other helpful information.
Please email us at [email protected] or contact:
Lilie Zendel, Manager: 416-392-0855
Catherine Campbell, Project Lead: 416-338-2951
Toronto Hydro Utility Upgrades Taking Place in Bloordale
Toronto Hydro will be carrying out infrastructure upgrades in the area of Bloor and Lansdowne. This work will include upgrades to existing cabling and transformers and is part of their state of good repair work. Throughout the project, there may be power interruptions and Toronto Hydro will notify residents prior to any planned interruptions. You can view Toronto Hydro's complete notice for this work by clicking here.
Toronto City Council meeting of January 31, 2017
Council Highlights is an informal summary of decisions made by Toronto City Council. The City Clerk's formal documentation of all the meeting's decisions is available at http://www.toronto.ca/council.
Waste collection east of Yonge Street
Council considered the matter of curbside waste collection service east of Yonge Street and voted to refer the matter to staff for further study and a later report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. The current curbside collection system is split between contracted collection west of Yonge Street and in-house collection by City workers east of Yonge Street.
Support for arts and heritage spaces
Council adopted a motion to ask the Ontario government to work with municipalities to explore ways to support non-profit arts organizations and incubators, and to help conserve heritage properties through property assessment measures. Background information with the motion says Toronto heritage assets such as the building at 401 Richmond St. W. in the King-Spadina area – and the creative organizations inside it – are under threat from development pressures.
Modernizing Ontario's municipal legislation
Council adopted motions that will be part of the City's input for changes the Ontario government is considering for modernizing its legislation governing municipalities. If passed, Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, 2016, will amend the City of Toronto Act, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, the Municipal Elections Act and other municipal statutes.
Appointment of Medical Officer of Health
Council approved the appointment of Dr. Eileen de Villa as Toronto’s new Medical Officer of Health, as recommended by the Board of Health. The new Medical Officer of Health is scheduled to start work at the City on March 27. Dr. Barbara Yaffe will continue to serve as the Acting Medical Officer of Health until the end of March.
Appointment of City Solicitor
Council approved the appointment of Wendy Walberg as Toronto’s new City Solicitor, effective February 15. Walberg, a long-time member of the City's Legal Services division, takes over the City Solicitor position from Anna Kinastowski, who retired last year. Brian Haley has served as interim City Solicitor for the past eight months.
Resources for review of development applications
Council asked staff to prepare a report on the City's development approval process, including improvements for identifying buildings of heritage significance that may be under threat of demolition. The City is increasing staff resources to handle increased development applications. Applications in City Planning have increased by 27 per cent over the past three years, with a total of 4,790 applications submitted in 2016.
Sponsorship of Syrian refugees
Council supported asking the federal government to ensure that Syrian refugee families, as well as families from other countries, are processed and travel arrangements made so sponsorship groups ready to host families can welcome them to Canada within three months. Council is also asking the government to reconsider its current cap on the maximum number of privately-sponsored refugees and to review Canada's refugee resettlement plan for 2017.
Toronto as a Sanctuary City
Council voted to re-affirm Toronto as a Sanctuary City where all residents have full rights to access municipal services without fear regardless of their documentation status. The motion that was adopted also urges the federal government to uphold a Canadian immigration and refugee policy that is based on the values of inclusion, acceptance and non-discrimination.
Charter for inclusive communities
Council endorsed the National Council of Canadian Muslims' Charter for Inclusive Communities, which commits signatories to promote inclusive, just and respectful communities. The motion that was before Council said the charter "not only acknowledges that Islamophobia presents real dangers to certain members of our community, it asserts that, as a community, we have a duty to work towards eliminating the hate."
Transit fare inspection and enforcement
The Toronto Municipal Code will be amended toallow members of the Toronto Transit Commission's transit enforcement unit to tag and tow vehicles that disrupt transit service. Council approved the measure in the context of a report on a new transit fare inspection and enforcement model recently adopted by the TTC.
Parking options for commuters
Council agreed to direct staff to consult with stakeholders and report back by April on the parking needs of commuters using the Spadina-University subway line in the northern part of the city. The objective is to consider circumstances that have reduced commuter parking in the area and recommend options for more commuter parking.
Safety at electronic dance events
Council voted to ask staff to undertake a review of the City's policies and regulations on the operation of electronic dance music venues, particularly those that attract large crowds. Staff are to report back with a strategy and recommendations on ways to enhance public health and safety at such venues.
Donation of public art and monuments
Council adopted a new policy on donations of public art and monuments to the City, replacing the old policy on donations. The updated policy will help to ensure that works donated to the City clearly show their relationship to Toronto and reflect the diversity of its public spaces. The City currently has about 200 pieces in its public art collection, of which about a third are monuments and other commemorative pieces.
Commemoration - Afghanistan conflict
Council approved accepting a donated monument for Toronto to recognize the contributions and sacrifices of Canadian soldiers during the 2001-2014 Afghanistan conflict. A charitable organization called Canada Company has proposed donating a decommissioned light-armoured vehicle as a monument. Some veterans of the conflict are Toronto residents. Details such as the monument's location still need to be worked out.
College Street Bar
Council adopted a motion calling for actions to address concerns involving the operation of College Street Bar, 574 College St.
Signs at Yonge-Dundas Square
Council authorized Yonge-Dundas Square's board of management to negotiate a 10-year agreement with Outfront Media Canada for a new signage program on the downtown square. Current signs will be replaced by co-ordinated signage for visitors to the City-owned square.
Recognition of family caregivers
Council supported establishing Family Caregiver Day in Toronto, marking the day on the first Tuesday in April each year. The intention is to recognize the social and economic contributions made by family caregivers and offer support as a municipality.