Last Wednesday, City Council approved the 2020 budget after a thorough review. I am pleased to share that this year's budget invests in our communities. We are investing $73 million in new funding for initiatives ranging from public safety programs, seniors care to emergency services. Included in these investments is $8.8 million to hire more police officers and nearly $9.3 million to improve Toronto Transit Commission service delivery. It is important to note that 73% of property tax bill revenue is invested in public safety, transportation and city building. These investments provide direct benefits to you, your families and your neighbourhoods every day.
The City of Toronto provides over 150 services to residents each day ranging from snow removal to police services to road construction and maintenance. These basic services affect all of our daily lives and require the kind of investment that keeps them both sustainable and growing where necessary to meet the needs of our communities. We are investing in our communities to keep them safe and vibrant as we also work to encourage our businesses to grow and flourish. We recognize and take seriously our responsibility to ensure that all of these services, along with required infrastructure work is delivered as efficiently as possible. Every year as we work on the City's budget, we seek to balance the requirement to ensure that services are delivered efficiently with the need to avoid placing a burden on the families who live in our City.
We are always working to identify how we can deliver services more efficiently. This year alone, we have managed to identify $135 million in efficiencies and other savings, helping us keep tax increases at the rate of inflation. Looking across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region, residential property taxes in Toronto remain lower than surrounding municipalities. As a City, it is important that we never stop working to keep life affordable for everyone who lives here as well as ensure that we continue to provide the necessary services to maintain a healthy and inclusive city.
This budget takes important steps to invest in long-term needs and challenges facing our City, particularly with respect to transit and housing. As our City continues to grow, we need to be sure that people can afford to live here and are able to get to their places of employment, grocery stores and community centres. As the Chair of Planning and Housing Committee and the City's Housing Advocate, I have worked diligently with City staff to develop new 10-year housing plan, which was approved by Council last December. This plan includes strategies to address pressing housing issues, including affordability, the diverse housing needs of seniors and the creation of housing supports for women and girls. This plan aims to help 341,000 households and keep our neighbourhoods vibrant, livable and affordable.
This budget also commits to the largest ever investment in the Toronto Transit Commission for state of good repair work. After difficult but successful negotiations with the Provincial Government, the City has secured $30 billion in Provincial and Federal funding for transit expansion, which has allowed us to reallocate $5 billion to invest in new subways, streetcars, station upgrades and signal systems. These projects will directly benefit all of us who live and work in the City.
At Council, I was pleased to have support for several important services and policies, including providing increased support for the Eviction Prevention Intervention in the Community program and the Vacant Homes Tax. As the percentage of available housing on the market is small, the success of a vacant homes tax would mean that the City does not collect revenue from this tax, but rather bring as many as 15-28 thousand homes back into the market. By bringing this stock into the market, we could add the equivalent of an entire year of housing production.
This 2020 City Budget is responsible as it invests in services that help you, your families and your neighbours without putting too great of a burden on families in our community.
Councillor, Ward 9 – Davenport
Table of Contents
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Davenport Easter Egg Hunt
The Davenport Easter Egg Hunt is an annual community event that brings together people from neighbourhoods across Ward 9, to join in the celebration and appreciation of the great community we share. This year's Easter Egg Hunt promises once again to be a fantastic event, with music and dancing, arts and crafts and of course, the much anticipated annual Easter Egg Hunt.
Please note that this year's Easter Egg Hunt will be held the weekend prior to the Easter long weekend.
Please RSVP below and let us know how many guests you wish to bring, as we want to ensure we have enough chocolate for the children.
I look forward to seeing you on April 4.
Saturday, April 4
Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin Street
West Toronto Railpath Extension Public Meeting
The West Toronto Railpath is one of the most distinctive and loved multi-use trails in the City of Toronto and a project that I care deeply about. This trail serves not only as an important, people-focused trail that helps residents commute safely and conveniently through the City, but it is also a cherished green space that reflects the history of our community. We are all pleased that progress is being made so we are able to provide the community with a meaningful update that reflects the ideas of the people in the communities along the trail. With the extension being planned to continue to Abell Street, this will open up this great community asset to many more residents and neighbourhoods.
Wednesday, February 26
Museum of Contemporary Art, 158 Sterling Road
Coffee with the Councillor
As your representative at City Hall, I am always glad to hear from you. It is important that I hear the broad range of perspectives from all of Davenport's neighbourhoods. That is why I am hosting a series of coffees across the Ward throughout January and February, to sit with you, one-on-one, and discuss what is important to you. You can find the details of the final meeting of this series below.
Saturday, February 29
10:00 AM -12:00 PM
Balzac's Powerhouse, 29 Powerhouse Street
Oakwood Cycling Neighbourhood Connection Public Meeting
As we continue to look for opportunities to create safer streets, we have identified a potential neighbourhood cycling connection that would provide both cyclists and drivers safer routes to travel from Vaughan Road to Davenport Road. After receiving helpful input from the local community last year, we want to re-engage residents with a plan that incorporates the wishes of the local community. If you wish to learn more about this project, you can view all the public meeting material, complete an online form and learn about history of the project here.
Thursday, March 12
Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre, 341 Oakwood Ave
Queen St Town Hall
Queen Street West is a growing and vibrant community. In order to keep residents informed about everything happening in the community, we will be hosting a town hall to discuss everything from transportation initiatives to parks and recreation and more. With so much positive change coming to the community, it is important that we take time to connect on what is being done and discuss any questions you might have.
Wednesday, March 11
East Art Amenity Room, 68 Abell Street
Charles Caccia Sewer System Community Meeting
As part of the City's climate change mitigation work, major sewer upgrades have been underway in the Caledonia Fairbank neighbourhood to prevent future floodings.
When elected as the representative of this area, I committed to providing residents with regular updates on the progress of this multi-year project. Last year, Toronto Water staff and I met with residents to discuss the progress that was made to provide immediate protection to the community as the larger project continued to be executed. At that meeting, residents raised some additional recommendations that would help protect the community further, such as more regular clearing of storm drains and providing the community with the drain cleaning schedule. Our office has also been actively working to ensure the City is taking all preventative measures possible during large rainstorms throughout the year.
This work is part of larger sewer rehabilitation work. In June of 2019, the Federal government committed $73.2m to the Fairbanks-Silverthorn Trunk Storm Sewer System and the Combined Sewer Overflow Reduction System projects, which will help move these works forward at the scale and speed needed.
As we head into Spring, I want to make sure that the community is provided with an update on the project, to not only inform them of the progress that has been made, but also give everyone an opportunity to share experiences and see if there are additional measures we can take to support this community.
Tuesday, March 10
7:00 - 8:30 PM
St. John Bosco Catholic School, 75 Holmesdale Rd
Sam Ciccolini Laneway Naming
This month it was my pleasure to join friends, family and neighbours at the Sam Ciccolini official laneway naming event. Sam has been an active member of the Corso Italia community for decades, founding one of the largest specialized insurance brokerages in Ontario with his brother, back in 1966. Sam generously gave back to the community, founding the Westwood Young Generation Soccer and Hockey Club which created programs and teams for neighbourhood children. Sam remains committed to supporting communities, volunteering for charities such as Sick Kids, Villa Charities and several churches. You can learn more about all Sam has accomplished here.
On behalf of the Corso Italia community, I want to extend my deepest thanks to Sam and the Ciccolini family and congratulate them on this meaningful recognition.
Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization Dinner
Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization (OVCO) and Unison Health and Community Services are hosting a community dinner and discussion on community safety. This goal of this meeting is to bring together the Caribbean community in the Oakwood Vaughan neighbourhood to decide which grassroots initiatives they should advocate for to the City, Province and Federal governments. At this community dinner, we will come together to discuss how we can create a safer community.
Child care will be provided for those who need it. Please bring your reusable mugs if you have one.
Monday, March 9
529 Vaughan Road
Public invited to provide feedback on apartment building rating system
The City of Toronto invites tenants, landlords and residents to provide feedback on a draft rating system for apartment buildings registered with the RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards program.
Monday, February 24
Open for drop-in between 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
City Hall, Committee Room 2, 100 Queen St. W.
This consultation will focus on the design of the draft colour-coded rating system. The City will then use the feedback to improve the building evaluation system and outline the implementation details of the rating system.
The draft apartment building rating system will be similar to the City’s DineSafe rating program and will require landlords to visibly post a colour-coded rating provided by the City, based on their building evaluation results.
Participants can drop in between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. to discuss the draft rating system with City staff, ask questions and provide feedback.
Anyone not able to attend the drop-in consultation may also share feedback through an online survey. The survey closes on March 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
More information about the drop-in consultation and the link to the survey is available at toronto.ca/community-people/get-involved/public-consultations/#item/792.
More information about the RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards program is available at toronto.ca/rentsafeTO.
Feedback from the drop-in consultation session and the online survey will be used to inform a staff report expected at the March 23 Planning and Housing Committee meeting.
City of Toronto partnering with Urban Land Institute on tower resilience
The City of Toronto is partnering with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), along with the Tower Renewal Partnership, to host an advisory panel meeting that will explore scaling up retrofits of Toronto’s aging apartment towers. Experts from across North America who form the advisory panel will visit Toronto next week to learn about Toronto’s challenges, meet with stakeholders and host a discussion.
The advisory panel will review the lessons learned from the last 10 years of work on tower renewal and share their reflections. Panel members will focus on solutions that encourage broad investment in improving private apartment towers while maintaining affordability.
Members of the advisory panel will host a discussion at a free event on Friday, February 28 at Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place. The event will be moderated by Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Ward 9 Davenport). Torontonians are encouraged to attend, registering in advance at toronto.uli.org/events/detail/B874834F-BCD8-42A4-B27C-CD6749FFA74A.
The discussion will drive future work on tower renewal in Toronto and the results will be shared at ULI's global spring meeting, which will be held in Toronto in May.
Toronto scores an ‘A’ for climate leadership
The City of Toronto is being recognized as a global leader on environmental action and transparency, achieving a place on the "CDP Cities A List" for the second consecutive year.
CDP, an environmental impact non-profit organization, runs the global environmental disclosure system that helps companies, cities and regions measure and manage their risks, as well as opportunities, on climate change, water security and deforestation.
Toronto is being recognized for its actions over the past reporting year to develop robust climate change strategies, track and act to reduce emissions, assess and mitigate climate risks, and transparently report the information in its 2019 disclosure to CDP.
To score an A, a city must have established a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target, have published a climate action plan, and have completed a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards. A total of 105 cities globally received the "A" designation. Details are available at cdp.net/en/cities/cities-scores.
Toronto’s TransformTO climate action strategy, which City Council adopted unanimously in 2017, identifies a series of short- and long-term actions to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, transportation and waste.
In 2019, City Council voted to declare a climate emergency and adopt a stronger emissions reduction target: net zero by 2050 or sooner.
Since 2017, the City has implemented and expanded several key initiatives, including the launch of neighbourhood climate action grants, the issuance of Toronto’s first Green Bond, the completion of energy retrofits to 21 Toronto Community Housing buildings, the installation of solar panels on 100 City-owned properties and the adoption of Toronto’s first electric vehicle strategy.
More information about Toronto’s TransformTO climate action strategy is available at toronto.ca/services-payments/water-environment/environmentally-friendly-city-initiatives/transformto.
City of Toronto outlines plan to create new supportive housing
Earlier this month, the City of Toronto released the Plan to Create Supportive Housing Opportunities report, which will be brought to the Planning and Housing Committee for consideration on February 12, 2020.
The Plan to Creative Supportive Housing Opportunities report identifies the current initiatives underway for 2020 and highlights a number of strategies that will be pursued to reach the target of creating 18,000 units of supportive housing over the next ten years.
City staff have outlined a series of approaches that, if approved by City Council, would create 600 units of supportive housing this year.
The proposed multi-pronged approach includes layering supports that will enable people experiencing chronic homelessness to achieve housing stability in private market rental units through existing supports such as the Home for Good program. It also includes the renovation and conversion of existing housing units into supportive housing opportunities and innovative pilot projects such as conversion of shelter sites into supportive housing for long-term shelter stayers and use of modular housing. These opportunities will be further developed as part of the HousingTO implementation plan that will be brought to the Planning and Housing Committee for approval in June 2020.
The full Plan to Create Supportive Housing Opportunities report is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.PH13.5.
The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, approved by City Council in December 2019, established a target of 40,000 new affordable rental homes approvals including 18,000 units of supportive housing over the next ten years. The HousingTO plan identified that achieving this supportive housing target is critical to addressing homelessness and the housing needs of vulnerable residents in the city.
Il Budget di Toronto 2020 investe nelle nostre comunità - Corriere Canadese, Feb 21
Three Ways for Waste-free Take-Aways
Monday, March 2, 2020, 7:00-9:00 PM
St. Matthew's United Church, 729 St. Clair W
Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club - Jump Into Spring March Break Programing
Monday, March 16- Friday, March 20
Dovercourt Clubhouse, 180 Westmoreland Avenue
Monday Evening, January 13 - March 30, 2020, 5:30-7:30 PM
DPNCHC Sanctuary Room, 1900 Davenport Rd
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 2019.
TTC Utility Chamber Rebuild - Dundas Street West and Dovercourt Road
February - April 2020
TTC will be rebuilding an existing underground utility chamber at the north-east corner of the Dundas Street West and Dovercourt Road intersection. The chamber is part of a network in the
city that provides access to electrical and communication cabling for TTC as well as for other utility companies.
Toronto Hydro - Bloor-Brock Phase 2 Work
February 2020 - August 2020
Please be advised that Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the aging underground electrical system in your community to help improve service reliability. The rebuild includes the replacement of existing electrical cables within the city-owned property near the below indicated lots.
Overhead Electrical Upgrade - Lauder - Holland Park Phase 2
February - December 2020
Please be advised that Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the aging overhead electrical system in your community to help improve service reliability. The rebuild includes upgrading overhead electrical cables and replacing hydro poles on city-owned property between Holland Park Avenue (North), Oakwood Avenue (East), Earlsdale Avenue (South) and Glenholme Avenue (West).
Watermain Replacement on Kitchener Avenue from Gilbert Avenue to McRoberts Avenue
The City of Toronto is planning to replace the watermain and the City-owned portion of substandard water services on Kitchener Avenue from Gilbert Avenue to McRoberts Avenue.
The water service is the underground pipe that brings water to your water meter and is owned by you and by the City. The part you own is from your house to the end of your property, the part the City owns is from the end of your property to the watermain.
This project is part of the Council-approved 2020 Capital Works Program to renew our aging infrastructure, improve water distribution and reduce the risk of watermain breaks.