Happy New Year, I hope that you had a fantastic holiday season! I look forward to working together with you to make our community an even better place to live, work and play in 2018.
During the holidays, I was pleased to join with the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club for their annual Christmas Hamper Program that collects and delivers food items to families in our our community. Thank you to all the volunteers and supporters who shared their generosity and helped to add some holiday cheer for over 400 families in our community!
The 2018 City of Toronto Budget process is currently underway and you can learn more about the budget by visiting www.toronto.ca/budget. There you will find an overview of the budget, the budget schedule, infographics, briefing notes, facts/figures, and much more! I will also be hosting my annual Ward 18 Budget Town Hall on Saturday January 27, 2018 from 1pm-3pm at the Bloor Gladstone Library (1101 Bloor St W). This town hall is a great opportunity to provide your feedback to me on this year's budget and learn about the various services, programs and projects the city is undertaking this year. I hope you can join us and share your feedback.
Earlier this month, Toronto's first female Mayor June Rowlands passed away. June's years of service to our city spans from 1976 to 1994, and she was both an inspiration and trail blazer as the first woman to serve as TTC Commissioner, Budget Chief, Executive committee member, Chair of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, and as mentioned, elected Mayor in 1991. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with June's family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
Last week, we kicked off the community consultation process to determine the design and programming of the new Junction Triangle Library. This 10,000 square-foot library will be located on the ground floor of the 299 Campbell Ave development, which will replace and significantly expand the existing Perth/Dupont Toronto Public Library branch. At the meeting held last week, residents shared their feedback, met with the architects and learned more about TPL's newest projects. You can find out more about this project, how to provide your input and learn about other community initiatives and upcoming events in this month's edition of my e-newsletter.
Councillor, Ward 18 - Davenport
Shelter System Update
Over the past year, there has been a 30% increase in the average nightly use of shelter beds. The City has strived to meet this unprecedented demand by opening over 1,000 spaces during this period. In advance and during this winter, the City opened a number of 24/7 Winter Respite and Warming Centres to ensure that there are homelessness supports for anyone seeking them during and after the extreme cold weather that Toronto experienced.
An Open Letter that I worked on with City Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam, Joe Cressy, Paula Fletcher, Gary Crawford, James Pasternak, Joe Mihevc and Mayor John Tory was also released last week. The Open Letter recommends a series of actions that should be taken to address the pressures in Toronto's shelter system. Please click here for a copy of the letter for more information. This letter was approved at Community Development and Recreation Committee and will now be brought forward for final City Council approval.
You may recall that I previously worked together with Councillor Fletcher to develop the First Step Housing initiative to transform our shelter system to include wrap around supports and social services to help people overcome challenges and lead successful lives. The First Step Housing Report that was created also outlines a overhaul of how and where we locate shelters in order to better engage with and support local communities. You can find a link to the First Step Housing Report by clicking here.
I look forward to continuing to work together with my Council colleagues to help create new shelter and housing opportunities for Torontonians. I would also like to once again express my appreciation to the hardworking City staff, community partners and volunteers for their work to provide homeless services during the winter months and throughout the year.
Community Ideas Help Shape Our New Junction Triangle Library
I have been working hard with our community and the the Junction Triangle Library Expansion Committee since 2011 to expand and improve library services in our community. As a result of our tireless efforts, we secured a brand new 10,000 sq. ft. Toronto Public Library branch that will be built in our community at the corner of Campbell Ave and Dupont St as part of the 299 Campbell Ave development. This new branch will relocate and significantly expand our small, but well-loved Perth/Dupont Toronto Public Library Branch.
Earlier this January, Toronto Public Library held its first community meeting to determine the design and programming of this new library with ideas from local residents. Over 50 residents came out on a cold January night to learn more, provide their input and ask questions.
It was exciting to see so many engaged people who want to shape the future of our new library in our community. Residents brought forward lots of ideas and suggestions ranging from innovation, technology, programming for all ages, children’s spaces, seniors activities, expanded meeting rooms, more books, and so much more!
The community also thought that the design of the branch should also reflect the rich history of our community. I share that view and believe it is extremely important that the library reflects the makeup of our proud heritage. There was a lot of excitement at the meeting for what this new library branch could mean for our community and I believe it is a strong symbol of what we have accomplished together to make our community a better place for everyone. You can review the slide deck from the presentation by clicking here.
There will be focus groups and additional meetings to obtain more feedback on what the new library should do in our community and I look forward to keeping you updated throughout the process. If you have any ideas on the programming that you would like to see, please contact my office at 416-392-7012 or by e-mail at [email protected]
Watermain Cleaning and Structural Relining Project on Dufferin Street
The City of Toronto has now completed the cleaning and structural relining of the watermain on Dufferin Street. Thank you very much for your patience during this more than six-month construction project. The City has relined 2.3 kilometers of the watermain on Dufferin Street (from Fisher Street to Geary Avenue) and Sylvan Avenue (from Dufferin Street to Havelock Street). The work was part of the Toronto City Council-approved 2017 Capital Works program.
The cleaning and structural improvements will help to reduce the risk of watermain breaks, extend the life of the watermain by at least 50 years and ensure the delivery of safe and reliable drinking water. Now that work is completed, the sidewalks, roadways, driveways and boulevards will be restored. Temporary asphalt to restore the roadway has been installed and will be replaced with permanent paving starting in April (weather permitting). The landscaping and replacement of topsoil and sod will take place during ideal planting season from April through June.
Toronto Police 11 Division Reminds Residents to Keep their Homes Secured
Toronto Police are reminding residents to keep their homes secured to prevent break and enters where suspects are gaining entry from front and rear doors. Officers have observed cases where people are also leaving doors unlocked and valuables in plain view. Toronto Police remind residents to secure your home by locking doors, consider installing a home alarm system and video cameras. You may also contact the 11 Division crime prevention unit for a free home security assessment by an officer. To pick up a free Crime Prevention Toolkit, with valuable crime prevention information and for more information, please contact the crime prevention office at 416-808-1188, or email [email protected].
2018 Ward 18 Budget Town Hall - Bloor-Gladstone Public Library (1101 Bloor St W) - Saturday January 27, 2018 from 1pm to 3pm
Join me at my Ward 18 Budget Townhall to learn more and share your feedback about City of Toronto's 2018 Budget, this Saturday January, 27, 2018 from 1-3pm at Bloor-Gladstone Public Library. For more information including budget overview, presentations, infographics and much more, please visit toronto.ca/budget2018
Bloor-Dufferin Redevelopment Community Meeting - Wednesday February 7, 2018 starting at 6:30pm - Bloor Collegiate Institute (1141 Bloor St W)
As part of the City of Toronto's formal development application review process, the City's Planning Department will be hosting a community meeting on Wednesday February 7, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm to share details about the applicant's proposal and to gather community feedback. City Planning staff will also be on hand to answer questions you may have. I hope to see you there and if you are unable to make it, you can share your comments with the City Planner, Kirk Hatcher, by emailing [email protected] or by contacting me at [email protected]
Bloordale Kids Dance Party - Saturday February 10, 2018 from 1pm to 4pm - Bar Neon (1226 Bloor St W)
Join in at the Bloordale Kids Dance Party and shake off your winter chills!
Bell Let's Talk - Wednesday January 31st, 2018
Bell Let's Talk Day 2018 is fast approaching! This year, BLTD is Wednesday January 31, 2018 and as you may be aware, this important initiative aims to increase awareness and reduce the stigma regarding Mental Health. I encourage you all to show your support and join the conversation. For every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and for every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk Day image at facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs. You can learn more about this initiative by clicking here.
City of Toronto Proposed 2018 Budget and Ward 18 Budget Town Hall
The 2018 City of Toronto Budget process is currently underway and you can learn more about the budget by visiting www.toronto.ca/budget. There you will find an overview of the budget, the budget schedule, infographics, briefing notes, facts/figures, and much more! I will also be hosting my annual Ward 18 Budget Town Hall on Saturday January 27, 2017 from 1pm-3pm at the Bloor Gladstone Library (1101 Bloor St W). This town hall is a great opportunity to provide your feedback to me on this year's budget and learn about the various services, programs and projects the city is undertaking this year. I hope you can join us and share your feedback.
Protégée Program and Pam McConnell Award to Recognize Outstanding Young Women in Leadership Roles
Last week, the City of Toronto launched the Protégée Program which provides mentorship opportunities for young women. Now in its 6th year, the Protégée program has mentored approximately 50 young women between the ages of 19 and 26. This year, nine young women will take part.
We also launched the Pam McConnell Young Women in Leadership Award which recognizes young women's exceptional leadership in memory of former Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell.
The Award will be open to young women residing in the City of Toronto, between the ages of 19 and 26, who have:
- demonstrated exceptional leadership skills through a proven track record of volunteer and/or paid work in the community-based sector
- shown a commitment to social justice work by creating or leading community-based programs or services for vulnerable youth or residents in Toronto
- inspired other young women through formal or informal mentorship.
Applications for the award are now open and are due by midnight on February 16. For more information on the Pam McConnell Young Women in Leadership Award is available at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/awards/.
City of Toronto 3R Ambassador Program
Have an interest in helping to reduce waste in Toronto? If so, the 3R Ambassador Program is looking for volunteers living in apartments, condos, or co-op buildings to get involved in reducing your community residence waste. Ambassadors will be involved in organizing events that inform and educate residents of the 3Rs, as well as organizing outreach and spreading awareness. Each ambassador will be supported by The City of Toronto with training and promotional items to assist in making the program a success in your community! Learn more and find our how you can get involved at toronto.ca/3rs.
Smart City Challenge
The City of Toronto is competing for $50 million in the Federal Smart Cities Challenge and we need your help to come up with an ambitious and unique idea.
Using data and technology, smart cities have the potential to improve all aspects of livability and opportunity in a city– from transportation, the environment, economy, communities, engagement and social services. We want to know your ideas for how data and technology can make a meaningful impact to life in Toronto.
Think big and share your ideas by February 2, 2018 by completing an online survey or through a hardcopy form at a local Toronto Public Library branch.
For more information including how you can share your idea and get involved, visit the Smart Cities Challenge page on toronto.ca.
Zero Emissions Building Framework
The City of Toronto has updated the Toronto Green Standard to include stepped performance targets to approach zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030. This update represents a critical step toward achieving City Council's low-carbon goals established in TransformTO, Toronto's Climate Action Strategy.
The Toronto Green Standard sets out the requirements for new development in Toronto to do its part to improve air and water quality, reduce energy use and waste, and enhance tree cover and wildlife habitat. Introduced in 2010, the made-in-Toronto green development standards program was the first of its kind in North America to combine mandatory with incentivized, voluntary targets.
To date, more than 1,300 planning projects have been subject to these standards, resulting in the removal of more than 115,205 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to taking almost 30,000 cars off the road. Twenty projects certified as Tier 2 high performance buildings (the City's highest level of sustainable design) are profiled on the City's website at http://ow.ly/Q9eq30hHFGC.
The updated Toronto Green Standard comes into effect May 1, 2018. The new standard supports Toronto's Zero Emissions Buildings Framework developed in partnership with The Atmospheric Fund and guided by local building industry stakeholders. The framework provides Toronto's approach to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, while ensuring their construction remains safe and durable. The framework outlines Toronto's approach to long term energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions from buildings. View the Toronto's Zero Emissions Buildings Framework at http://ow.ly/udUN30hHFPG.
The City of Toronto is also targeting zero emissions for its own new facilities designed and built by 2026, starting with the Mount Dennis childcare centre, which will be designed to meet zero energy and emissions standards.
The updated performance measures directly support the goals of TransformTO and the 100 Resilient Cities initiatives and reflect the objectives of the proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code and the Province of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan.
More information about TransformTO, Toronto's Climate Action Strategy, is available at http://ow.ly/yeA330hHFYJ.
"Community Weighs in on Design of New Junction Triangle Library" - Inside Toronto
Public Consultation on Toronto's Development Charges
The City is reviewing its development charges bylaw, and has released a background study and the proposed bylaw for consultation, which can be viewed at http://www.toronto.ca/devcharges. The background study determines the maximum development charge rates that the City can levy under the provincial Development Charges Act.
Development charges are fees collected from developers at the time a building permit is issued. The fees help to pay for the cost of infrastructure required to provide municipal services to new development, such as roads, transit, water and sewer infrastructure, community centres, fire and police facilities.
Most municipalities in Ontario use development charges to recover the cost of providing infrastructure to service new development rather than recovering the costs from existing residents and businesses in the form of higher property taxes.
More information about the City of Toronto's 2018 Development Charges Bylaw Review is available at http://www.toronto.ca/devcharges.
Toronto Police Service wants your input!
Toronto Police Services is conducting an assessment of their organizational culture. These are the values and behaviours that shape how TPS members conduct themselves and interact with the community. To evaluate both the strengths and possible areas of improvement a professional firm has been hired to conduct the organizational culture assessment. An important part of this assessment is also gathering feedback from the public. To do so, 8 roundtable discussions are being held around the city, as well as an online survey that is being conducted. I encourage you all to share your feedback, more information is available below.
To participate in the online survey please use the following link:
Community Projects and Events Funding Application
Community Projects and Events Funding Applications are Now Open! The strength and vibrancy of our community is built through the incredible programming, initiatives and events undertaken by organizations and groups. The City of Toronto has now launched its Community Projects and Events Funding Streams for 2018. These funding opportunities help support short-term projects to develop products or tools as well as funding for community activities and events. Applications are now open for funding and you can find more information, helpful contacts and more on how you can apply by clicking here.