This month there has been quite a few exciting developments for our Davenport community and for the City of Toronto.
This week we had big news for Ward 9 at the 440 Dufferin Street development. For nearly a decade, I have fought to protect historic employment lands on this site to ensure we keep local jobs in our community. Through the advocacy and work done with local residents and organizations like Active 18, we secured a good settlement at the OMB to keep industrial uses on site and the development is now moving forward as an innovative mixed-use building. Built on historic employment lands, this site will embrace its manufacturing roots while opening opportunities for the 21st century. In a partnership between the City of Toronto, George Brown College, MaRS Discovery District and Refined Manufacturing Acceleration Process, the lands are being transformed into a purpose built residential rental development combined with a light-manufacturing space and manufacturing incubator. Incubators of this kind are workspaces that offer access to all the resources innovative startups and small businesses need, all under one roof. This will not only the project add 400 units to Toronto's rental housing stock, but will also include 60,000 square feet of light-manufacturing space. I worked hard with local residents and Active 18 to secure a below market rent agreement community benefit for 14,500 square feet of this space to create this incubator and am glad to see it moving ahead. The manufacturing space will secure local light-manufacturing and employment opportunities in the core of our city and help create a community where people can live, work and play. Through this incubator, entrepreneurs will have access to space, technologies and tools that will allow them to accelerate the development of their projects and they can collaborate with experts in other fields. This complex is scheduled to finish construction in July of 2020.
This long weekend, we will all be celebrating the 152nd birthday of Canada. I am happy to let you know that I will be co-hosting the Earlscourt Park Canada Day Barbeque on July 1st from 1pm to 4pm along with the JJP Advisory Council, Police Community Partnership 12 Division, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and myself. Join me and your neighbours for a day of food, fun and sunshine.
Canada Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and reflect on our great country, our diversity and the contributions our families have made to our community. This is a unique country built by people pursuing the dream of creating a better life for all of us. By working together we have all built strong communities that our families are proud of. I am privileged to represent a community that has a long history of contributing to arts and culture, the economy and identity of Canada. Canada's history is found throughout Davenport, in the factories and rail lines that literally shape our community and through the stories of indigenous peoples and the generations, new and old that have given so much. If you would like to register for this event, you can do so here. I hope to see you there!
In housing news, we have achieved two significant milestones this month. In June 2018, I worked with the City of Toronto to implement laneway housing in Toronto and East York. With nearly 90% of laneway suites in Toronto and East York and a heavy concentration in Ward 9, this has added a creative and effective tool to address housing needs literally in our backyards. Hundreds of inquiries and building applications have been made to since. Over the last year, we have conducted extensive review and consultation across the City. Yesterday, the City Planning office submitted recommendations to extend the laneway suite program to Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough as well, showing a strong endorsement of this program. This expansion will further add to Toronto's housing stock and will play an important role in addressing affordable housing concerns in the City.
In other housing news, I am proud to have worked with the City's Housing Secretariat on an aggressive and targeted strategy for supportive and transitional housing in Toronto through the recommendation for the City to create a modular housing supply. Modular housing offers a more flexible, cost-effective and responsive housing option that we cannot achieve with conventional brick and mortar builds. If these proposed measures are adopted by City Council, they will allow the City to be more effective in addressing the changing housing needs, including shelters shortages and transitional housing. On July 3, I look forward to reviewing both of these items at the Planning and Housing Committee.
In closing, there have been a lot of amazing community events throughout the spring and early summer. I feel so fortunate to live in a community that is so engaged and values spending time with one another. As we progress through the summer, I look forward to attending many more events in your neighbourhood.
Councillor, Ward 9 – Davenport
Table of Contents
- Davenport Today and Tomorrow
- Federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund
- Pelham Park and Symington Park Community Meeting
- BIG on Bloor Festival
- MacGregor Playground Fieldhouse Opening
- Earlscourt Park Playground Renovation
- Harvie and St. Clair District Station and Partnership Proposal
- Traffic and Parking on Sousa Mendes St
- Bert Robinson Splash Pad Opening
- Carleton Village School Student Pick-up and Drop-Off
- Shirley Street School Playground Improvements
- 1200 Dundas St W Development Approved
- 871-899 College St Development Approved
- City Updates
- News Clippings
- Important Notices
- Council Highlights
Davenport Today and Tomorrow Town Halls - July 8 and July 11 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
The Davenport Today and Tomorrow Town Halls are underway with four already completed. I have received great feedback from many residents in different communities on what improvements they would like to see in their neighbourhoods. Focusing on three key areas -'Transit and Transportation', 'Housing, Community and Economic Development' and 'Parks, Forestry and Recreation' I will work with residents on the ideas and concerns they brought forward.
There are still two meetings to attend where you can share your thoughts and help shape the future of your neighbourhood:
St Helen's Catholic School
Can't attend or want to share your ideas in advance? Feel free to fill out our survey.
On July 10, I joined Minister Ahmed Hussen, MP Dzerowicz, Mayor Tory and Councillor Nunziata, to announce a $73.2m federal commitment to Toronto Water's Fairbanks-Silverthorn Trunk Storm Sewer System and the Combined Sewer Overflow Reduction System. This is an ambitious project that will benefit communities across four Wards. It came in response to the devastating flood last year, which damaged many homes in the area. During the campaign, I made a promise to move this issue forward and provide yearly updates.
In 2018, I worked with Toronto Water to ensure that the new stormwater tank in Charles Caccia Park was connected to the stormwater grid to help provide additional capacity in the stormwater system. It is now fully operational. This May, I organized a meeting between residents of Caledonia Fairbank and Toronto Water to discuss the project progress. While Toronto Water had quickly resolved some immediate issues, it was clear that the community required more support. To move forward on a solution, I requested an update on measures that could be taken in the short-term to provide support sooner, as the project continued to be implemented. In addition, I sent a letter to the General Managers of City of Toronto, Transportation Services and Parks, Forestry, and Recreation requesting increased grate cleanings and a cleaning schedule provided to the community, to prevent future debris blockages.
This Federal commitment is welcomed and appreciated as it will help provide relief to communities across Toronto. As we deal with more frequent storms, these investments will help ensure that our communities are sufficiently protected.
On Tuesday, July 9, 2019 I will be hosting a town hall at the Davenport Perth Neighbourhood & Community Health Centre located at 1900 Davenport Road at 6:30pm to discuss what we have been doing to make improvements in the Pelham Park and Symington Place buildings and discuss with residents what improvements are most important moving forward.
Something BIG is coming to Bloor! On Saturday, July 20, BIG on Bloor returns for their 12th annual pedestrian takeover. This year is looking better than ever. To RSVP, or for more details check out their Facebook event page.
I am happy to share that construction on our MacGregor Playground Fieldhouse is nearly complete! To celebrate, we're holding a Grand Re-Opening event on July 20th during BIG on Bloor so stay tuned for all the details!
The major renovation project updated the space, added added winter-ready heating and a community kitchen to transform this space into a year round hub of activity for the community. Botanicus Arts Ensemble will be returning to the space in partnership with the City to re-activate the park and Fieldhouse with engaging, family friendly and community-based programming. I can't wait to see you there!
I am pleased to announce that the Earlscourt Playground renovations will be completed and open by the Canada Day BBQ on Canada Day, July 1. This is a great addition to the growing community of families in the area!
The existing Enbridge station near Harvie Avenue and St.Clair Avenue W has been identified for replacement in 2019. The Corso Italia BIA has been working with Enbridge and the City to beautify the property by providing greenery and a potential vinyl wrap for the building. This project is expected to be completed in Spring 2020.
This month at Community Council, we enacted parking and traffic regulation on Sousa Mendes St. The regulations will move all parking to the West side of Sousa Mendes St, enact stop signs along the road and limit speeds to 30 km/h to ensure the safety of residents and patrons visiting the local community centre and businesses.
This month I was happy to officially open the new Bert Robinson Splash Pad with the Caledonia Fairbank community. This addition will give local families a means to keep cool and have fun throughout the summer!
At Toronto and East York Community Council, I passed a motion to create designated pick-up and drop-off zones on Osler Street, for parents to safely drop their children at Carleton Village School. This came as a result of speaking with concerned parents residents, school staff and personally visiting the site one busy morning. After hearing concerns from residents of Osler Street about impacts to the tight parking supply, I worked with City staff to modify the designated-drop off exclusive to preserve additional on-street parking spots. The pick-up and drop-off will be fully implemented for the beginning of school in September.
At Council, I secured additional funding to allow the Shirley Street Junior Public School playground to meet their construction timelines and to begin building their new playground. As this community lacks a City playground in the surrounding area, the Shirley Street School playground serves the wider community and as such is too small for the demand. This additional funding will provide much-needed improvements to the playground for everyone to enjoy.
At City Council we recently approved a development at 1200 Dundas St W on the site of the current Beer Store. The original application to the City was appealed by the developer to the Ontario Municipal Board and I have been working with City staff and local residents to address concerns regarding neighbourhood shadowing, massing and density. The City and developer reached an agreement to address these concerns and the approval mid-rise building will be composed of 99 units, 28 parking spaces and retail at grade. in order to address concerns of parking supply in the community I also moved at City Council to restrict future building residents from obtaining on-street permit parking spaces in the area. Thank you to the many residents who have contacted me about this development.
At City Council, the development proposal for 871-899 College St (formerly Azores Car Sales) was approved. The approved mid-rise proposal includes 112 residential units, 61 parking spaces and street level retail. As part of the approval, the developer will be required to replace 13 rental dwelling units at a range of rent levels to ensure this rental stock is maintained. To ensure construction of the replacement units take place quickly, the developer is required to complete the building within 3 years or be subject to fines from the city. I have also secured $600,000 dollars for local park improvements and an additional $35,000 from the developer to install a mural on the eastside wall of the building.
I also worked with residents and City staff to require the developer create a Construction Management Plan, in order to mitigate impacts in the surrounding community. These mutual agreements and community benefits are how we shape good development and I appreciate the hard work of local residents City staff and the developer to get us here.
TTC Transit Responsibility Review
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has been hosting a series of public consultations in regards to the province's introduction of Bill 107 - Getting Ontario Moving Act, which enables a series of changes to how transit is planned, designed and delivered in Toronto. In order to keep the public informed, the City of Toronto has launched a consultation and public information campaign to keep you informed on what is happening. To keep up to date and provide your thoughts, please visit here.
My Local Government Resource
Ever wonder how your local government works? Some find it complicated and overwhelming to navigate. In order to make government more accountable, accessible and transparent, the City of Toronto has launched the My Local Government, It's For Me campaign that explains how government works, where to find information and how to get involved. You can find more information on their website and information booklets which can be provided in 24 languages.
With summer and warmer weather here, Toronto Water is running a multi-faceted public education campaign to remind residents and industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential facilities that they can track their water use online with the MyWaterToronto online tool. This tool can be used to identify leaks and look for ways to save water and money.
Request a Mobile Watch Your Speed Sign
Under the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, the City of Toronto is accepting recommendations for new Mobile Speed Signs. Each sign will be rotated to locations within the ward on a monthly basis and includes built-in radar that measures and displays to drivers the speed of their vehicles. In 2018, nearly 200 signs were installed to help remind motorists of their speed and discourage speeding. If you have a recommendation for a Mobile Watch Your Speed Sign, please make a request.
Please Slow Down Campaign
The "Please Slow Down" campaign, a public awareness initiative that aims to encourage drivers to slow down on residential roads using temporary lawn signs, is well underway.
The City of Toronto is developing a new Action Plan to address housing issues in Toronto for the next decade. The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan will set out clear actions the City and housing partners will take over the next 10 years to address the full spectrum of Toronto’s current and future housing needs.
Complete the City's questionnaire and help find the right solutions for housing in Toronto! For more information and ways to be involved visit:www.toronto.ca/housingplan
Public Consultation on Toronto's Governance
The City of Toronto is inviting Torontonians to participate and to share their thoughts on recent changes to City Council governance and how to support Council's local and city-wide decision-making.
Input from the consultation will help to inform staff's recommendations to the Special Committee on Governance established by Toronto City Council. The Committee mandate is to consider the impacts of a smaller Council on the City's governance and recommend any further changes to its interim structure.
A dedicated website has launched with information about the Committee, the City's governance, upcoming public sessions, an online survey and a toolkit for residents and organizations to host their own meetings. The survey and the toolkit will be available from June 1 to July 26, 2019.
This month, City Council voted in favour of the Toronto Biennial of Art's 72-day visual arts program starting on September 21, 2019. This event has been in the works for five years and i have been a strong supporter of it.
The 72-day Toronto Biennial of Art presents local, national, and international contemporary art in a citywide event as culturally layered and connected as Toronto itself. The event takes place every two years, offering accessible and transformative visual art exhibitions, installations, talks, learning opportunities, and happenings in new and unexpected spaces along the shores of Lake Ontario.
The Biennial’s goal is to galvanize Toronto and nearby cities, connecting communities around art and culture, and contributing to global conversations from a distinctly Canadian perspective. The event reflects the specific context of the region and its unique standard for inclusion and openness.
Cultural Hotspot Initiative - From May through October 2019
The City of Toronto's Cultural Hotspot initiative shines a spotlight on arts, culture and community in the York and north Etobicoke areas; inspiring new ideas about where culture thrives in Toronto. A big part of celebrating creativity, community and culture in this area is highlighting delicious and diverse food and that's what HOT Eats is all about. HOT Eats encourages people to experience local restaurants, cafés and bakeries. Sign up to participate in this promotional opportunity, including a gift certificate giveaway campaign (partnering with Star Metroland Media), an online interactive directory, print advertisement and a social media advertisement campaign, and inclusion in a printed and online guide book of your area. For more information, or to sign up: toronto.ca/culturalhotspot/eats
Submissions open: May 1, 2019
Deadline to apply: June 17, 2019
Contact: [email protected] or Emma Ward at 416-392-1214
Fairbank Village BIA Films on Shortt - July 19 to September 13
Please join Fairbank Village BIA for their free outdoor movies on Friday nights on Shortt street, north of Eglinton. Be sure to bring your chair or blanket!
Arts + Puppetry Summer Camps at George Chuvalo Community Centre - July 2 - August 6 at George Chuvalo Community Centre
The George Chuvalo Community Centre is hosting Arts + Puppetry Summer Camps for kids in grade 4-6! For more information and to register, please contact Julia Gonsalves at 416-668-3492 or [email protected] or visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/GChuvaloCentre/
Community Environment Day - Sunday, July 14 at Dufferin Mall, 900 Dufferin St from 10am-2pm.
Safely dispose of electronics, hazardous waste, medication and paints, and donate items in good condition. You will also be able to pick up a free leaf compost bag.
Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club 2019 Summer Camp - July 2 - August 23 at Dovercourt and Junction Triangle Clubhouse
Registration details below for a variety of educational and activity programs.
Figment Interactive Art Festival - August 17-18 in Dufferin Grove Park
Join Figment for their third annual free interactive arts festival in Dufferin Grove Park on the August 17 weekend. If you are interested in volunteering for their Core Team and to help plan the event, please contact [email protected].
For more information or an application form, please visit here.
Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) Subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program
LEAF offers a Subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program which helps you enjoy the many benefits of trees by planting the right tree in the right place. You will get an arborist consultation at your property, a 5 to 8 foot native tree and full planting service, all for $150-$220 (approximately half the full cost!). Houses, multi-units and business/industrial properties all qualify. LEAF also has a Do-It-Yourself option, for those who like to get their hands dirty! For more information, visit LEAF or call 1-888-453-6504.
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]
Toronto Hydro - Emerson-Bloor Construction
From June 2019-December 2019, Toronto Hydro will be conducting overhead and underground construction in the Emerson-Bloor Neighbourhood to accommodate the GO Expansion Electrification Program. Crews may require access to your property to install an underground duct from the property line to the meter base located at your home or business. For further information, please call Toronto Hydro at 416-542-3366 and reference project X18126.
In addition, Toronto Hydro will be conducting a powerlite switch replacement in the Bloor St West, Sterling Rd neighbourhood to help improve the electricity system in Ward 9. For further information, please call Toronto Hydro at 416-542-3366 and reference project X18127.
Realignment of transit responsibilities
Council adopted several motions after discussing the current status of City-Ontario government discussions about the realignment of responsibilities for Toronto public transit between the City and the provincial government. The motions include asking City staff to report on the possibility that the realignment process, including questions about the technology involved, will delay construction of the City-planned Relief Line. Council also requested information about plans for dealing with overcrowding of the Yonge subway line that would result from a Relief Line delay. Another motion pertains to making sure new public transit is fully accessible.
City as a construction employer
Council voted to maintain the City of Toronto's status as a "construction employer" for contracting with trades on many of the City's major construction projects. For many years, the City has been considered a construction employer bound by province-wide collective agreements applicable to trades in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector. The City only uses unionized sub-contractors for construction work involving that trades sector. Council's vote on this matter came as a result of Bill 66, which gives Ontario cities an opportunity to terminate their construction employer arrangements.
City's 2020 budget process
Council supported including City agencies in a review of City operations and programs in preparation for the 2020 budget process. A related report to Council says the City must be prepared to address financial challenges that may arise from provincial funding changes and proposed legislative changes for 2020 and beyond. Ontario announced in late May it would not go ahead with its earlier announced retroactive 2019 funding cuts that would have affected child care, public health and ambulance/paramedic services immediately.
Federal funding for disaster mitigation
Council authorized the City to apply for funding under the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to help pay for eligible Toronto capital projects. To date, the City has received approval in principle under the fund for the Midtown Toronto Relief Storm Sewer project, which will address basement flooding, reduce disruptions caused by surface flooding and reduce combined-sewer overflows. Several other Toronto flood-protection projects are to be included in the City's next application for funding under the program.
Collaboration with other Ontario municipalities
Council asked the City Manager to explore options for the City to participate in the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) more formally while retaining Toronto's direct government-to-government relationships and ability to enter into direct intergovernmental agreements. Council wants the City to collaborate with AMO on issues of mutual interest. The City of Toronto has not been a member of AMO since 2004.
Council supported a motion calling on City Council to “institutionalize resilience" in the City’s decision-making and take leadership on resilience in line with the City's new Resilience Strategy. The strategy calls on City leaders to make climate-change considerations and sustainability practices a part of "how we do things" in Toronto.
Regulation of firearms
Council decided to reiterate its requests to the Government of Canada to ban the sale of handguns in Toronto and take various additional steps to address the availability and use of guns. Council is also reiterating requests for the Ontario government to ban the sale of handgun ammunition in Toronto, and to legislate for suspending the liquor licences of establishments where police have evidence of multiple gun-related offences occurring on the premises.
Addressing loss of rooms for rent
Council approved an Official Plan amendment to address the loss of rooms in rooming houses as a form of shared, affordable housing in Toronto. The loss is occurring as a result of redevelopment. When rooming-house rooms are lost to development, tenants often need support services and financial assistance to find and maintain new affordable housing, as they are often unable to afford the rent for a self-contained unit.
Council authorized the addition of 28 frontline paramedics this year – subject to the confirmation of anticipated provincial funding – to Toronto Paramedic Services to help address workload tied to increased emergency-call demands. A report with this item says the main drivers of the rising demand include an aging and growing population, an increasing need to transport patients to specialized facilities, and increases in Toronto's vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Local implementation of national inquiry
Council supported a motion calling for City officials to consult on the municipality's role and responsibilities for implementing the recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. It was noted that the City has a responsibility to act and collaborate in implementing recommendations within the City of Toronto's purview.
Survivors of human trafficking
Council adopted recommendations to ensure that relevant City programs and services are able to assist survivors of human trafficking. The recommendations focus on increased staff training as well as the creation of a specialized support team to provide outreach to people who may be at risk of human trafficking or who may have other vulnerabilities related to sex work. The report considered by Council notes the importance, in this context, of understanding the difference between human trafficking and consensual sex work.
Clothing drop boxes in Toronto
Council adopted a series of recommendations to strengthen the City's bylaw governing the operation of clothing drop boxes. This action follows a staff review that looked at improving the safety of the containers, other ways to collect clothing donations, rules guiding the location of clothing drop boxes, and enforcement. As of April, there were almost 600 clothing drop-box permits held by licensed operators and charitable organizations in Toronto.
Flight paths and noise levels
Council asked for a report on aircraft flight paths over Toronto. The request was prompted by concerns that Don Mills residents have raised about their exposure to high noise levels from aircraft. Work on the report will include public consultation and a comparison of flight-path noise levels in different parts of the city.
Digital rights and safety
Council authorized the City Manager to pursue arrangements for the City of Toronto to sign and support the declaration of an international initiative called the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. Staff will also pursue related actions, such as creating new programming in partnership with the Toronto Public Library to further digital safety and literacy among Torontonians.
Designation of Raptors Way
Council voted unanimously to ceremonially dedicate a section of Bremner Boulevard near Scotiabank Arena as "Raptors Way" in honour of the Toronto Raptors and the team's recent NBA championship. Street-name signs on Bremner Boulevard between York Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West will identify both the official street name and the ceremonial street name – Raptors Way.