Last week our community was transformed into a hive of activity and celebration. It was great to be joined by so many of you in the annual Portugal Week festivities at Thursday's Portugal Day Flag Raising at City Hall and as we broke ground on Pessoa Park, Ward 18's newest park! On Saturday, thousands of residents, artists, and volunteers joined the festivities in the Portugal Day Parade, transforming Dundas St W into hub of cultural vibrancy and celebration. Our community also celebrated the launch of a new mural, painted during the dynamic 5th Annual Dundas West Fest, with help from students and residents across our community. Thank you to everyone who joined the celebrations and showed once again, that Ward 18 is uniquely special place in our city!
Our neighbourhoods are defined by the cultural and artistic vibrancy that fill our shopfronts, studios, galleries and halls. However, as our city grapples with rising property values and new development pressures, new challenges have emerged in retaining and creating new spaces to cultivate the creative energies that our city is renowned for.
I am hosting a Ward18 Talks panel discussion and evening social on this important issue on Thursday June 22, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Henderson Brewery (128A Sterling Rd). I invite you to join me and panel members from arts organizations, and the City's Community Planning and Economic Development & Culture divisions for an engaging conversation to share ideas and expertise on how we can enrich our city's artistic vibrancy. We will also be having an evening social after the panel to mix and mingle starting at 8pm at the Henderson Brewery. Please RSVP for Ward18 Talks by clicking here or the link below.
At City Hall, I have been working hard with my colleague Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon to bring laneway Suites to Toronto and I am excited to share that the performance standards and summary of the community feedback and ideas laneway Suites has been released! Yesterday, community Council voted to adopt our recommendations with amendments and City Council will be voting next week on directing the Chief Planner to conduct a formal review of City regulations and undertake consultation to hopefully make laneway suites a reality in the first quarter of 2018.
There are a number of important community updates and a list of events and meetings coming up this month included in this edition of my e-newsletter. I encourage you to review them and I hope to see you throughout the month!
Ward 18, Davenport
Update on the New Park at 158 Sterling Rd
Last week, I held a community meeting to discuss the next steps for the new park space to be built as part of the community benefits we secured at the 158 Sterling Rd revitalization site. A preliminary concept for one of the potential park sites is shown below.
At the meeting, City Planning staff provided an update on the next steps for the new park space and the two potential locations for the park. City staff will now be incorporating your feedback and will continue to evaluate the park locations as they develop concept park designs. The decision will be made in the very near future and we will share it with you. I look forward to continuing to work with you as we create another new park space for Ward 18. You can view the complete presentation from the meeting by clicking here.
Breaking Ground on Pessoa Park, Ward 18's Newest Park!
I am excited to share that we have broken ground on the construction of Pessoa Park, Ward 18's newest park! I was pleased to be joined by Mayor John Tory, Active18, the Alliance of Portuguese Clubs and Associations of Ontario and neighbours to launch a new park for our community! Local residents voted earlier this winter to name the park at the corner of Dufferin St and Peel Ave. Pessoa means person in Portuguese, highlighting the park's role as a community gathering space and the neighbourhood's rich Portuguese heritage. Pessoa is also the name of one of Portugal's most famous artists, the poet, Fernando Pessoa.
Construction is expected to begin in early July and the park is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard together with me to reach this milestone. I can't wait to join you in enjoying our new park!
College Streetscaping Improvement Project Update
The College Promenade Business Improvement Area (BIA) approved a streetscape project that broke ground in early July 2016. The project included replacing the existing curb and sidewalks with decorative pavers on College St. between Shaw St. and Havelock St; TTC accessibility improvements; new side-street parkettes; light fixtures; additional trees; plantings; bike rings; and public art.
In October 2016, the City terminated its contract with the contractor following several issues associated with the project. Earlier in May, City Council voted to ban the contractor from any City of Toronto tender calls as a General Contractor or Sub-Contractor, until February 8, 2020. The City of Toronto, hired a new contractor and will re-start the streetscape improvements on College Street West between Shaw Street and Havelock Street this month on June 19, 2017. Work is expected to be completed by October 2017.
Unlike 2016, this work will be staged into blocks to allow for on-street parking in areas where work is not taking place and to minimize disruptions to residents and businesses. Pedestrian access to businesses and residences will remain open at all times, with some adjustments around work areas. College St will be limited to one lane only in work areas only and the TTC streetcar service will be replaced with buses through the work area.
Waterloo-Dufferin School Safety and Cycling Connection Update
As part of the Dufferin-Waterloo school safety and cycling connection improvements, City Council approved the reversal of traffic flow direction on Waterloo Ave to become Westbound-only and the installation of an Eastbound contraflow bike lane between Dufferin St and Gladstone Ave. The new road layout will provide significant important safety improvements through the creation of a curbside pickup and drop off zone, enabling students enter and exit Alexander Muir/Gladstone Ave Public School school safely, without having to cross in front of traffic.
In addition to these safety improvements, the new layout will optimise local cycling infrastructure through a future off-street boulevard connection along Dufferin St between Florence St and Waterloo Ave, which will help to further complete our network of safe cycling infrastructure.
West Toronto Railpath Extension Update
As you might be aware, last summer we secured federal funding for up to 50% of the costs of the West Toronto Railpath Extension. Since then, Metrolinx is making progress on completing the Dufferin Bridge expansion project (just north of Queen), which is being built to accommodate an additional track on their Kitchener Corridor. The bridge expansion project will also help facilitate the future extension of the Railpath into the West Queen West community and will feature a connection to the new Pessoa Park.
City staff are working closely with Metrolinx to move forward on the completion of 100 per cent detailed design for the extension of the Railpath from Dundas St W to Abell St. Following the completion of detailed design, City staff will work with Metrolinx on capital coordination for the construction of this important piece of community recreation and cycling infrastructure.
This is necessary because Metrolinx presently owns much of the property in the preferred alignment for the Railpath extension and any work would need to be coordinated with Metrolinx's Regional Express Rail project. As a result of this reality, I moved a motion at last month's City Council meeting that would authorize City staff to enter into agreements with Metrolinx for the design and future construction of the Railpath extension. I will be sharing further updates with you as they become available.
Lisgar Park Market and Construction Update
Since my last update, the Lisgar Park Stewardship Committee has been hard at work animate this central community space and create new programming at the park. I am happy to share that starting on Saturday June 24, 2017 - and running every Saturday until October 28, 2017 - the Lisgar Park Market will transform the park into a vibrant neighbourhood market with artisans and vendors animating the space! If you are interested in participating in the market, please click here or the poster for the application and information page. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions.
As you may have noticed, construction on the next phase of Lisgar Park is well underway with the new playground, landscaping, plantings and benches coming along quickly! Major construction works on the park expansion project is anticipated to wrap up this Summer.
Settlement Agreement Reached for 1181 Queen St W
I am happy to share that a settlement agreement has been reached for the proposed development at 1181 Queen St W. The new proposal includes a 15-storey mixed-use building with retail uses along the ground floor., a significant reduction our community secured in comparison to the 26-stories originally proposed.
The new proposal also addresses massing and loading issues and includes better building step backs. The new proposal greatly mitigates shadowing impacts on Queen St W and the heritage-designated Gladstone Hotel. As part of the development, our community also secured new funding for public art to be installed in Lisgar Park and in the West Queen West neighbourhood. Thank you to everyone who worked together to help shape this proposal and secure these important benefits!
Ward18 Talks: Artist and Cultural Spaces
Toronto's neighbourhoods are defined by the cultural and artistic vibrancy that fill our shopfronts, studios, galleries and halls. However, as our city grapples with rising property values and new development pressures, new challenges have emerged in retaining and creating new spaces to cultivate the creative milieu that our city is renowned for.
As part of my Ward18 Talks speaker series, I will be hosting a panel discussion on this important issue on Thursday June 22, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Henderson Brewery (128A Sterling Rd). I invite you to join me and panel members from arts organizations, and the City's Community Planning and Economic Development & Culture divisions for an engaging conversation to share ideas and expertise on how we can enrich our city's artistic vibrancy. We will also be having an evening social after the panel to mix and mingle starting at 8pm at the Henderson Brewery. Please RSVP for Ward18 Talks by clicking here or the link below.
I hope to see you there!
New Mural Unveiled in Dundas West
Dundas West is now home to two new murals! Chilean artists Paula Ferrer and Aner Urra together with the producer Rodrigo Ardiles crafted two vibrant new murals with sponsorship from the Lula Music and Arts Centre, in collaboration with residents and visitors during the Dundas West Fest and with the help of students from Alexander/Muir Gladstone Ave Public School. The two projects honour the life of singer-songwriter and activist Violeta Parra and celebrate the contributions of First Nations people and communities with roots in South America to the artistic and cultural life in Dundas West.
The mural located at 1615 Dundas St W (southwest corner of Dundas St W & Brock Ave) is titled "Violeta's Gardens" (Top). The second mural at 1532 Dundas St W, (just east of Brock ave) is titled "3 Sisters" (Bottom). Thank you to the artists and everyone everyone who helped to create this beautiful work of public art!
St. Sebastian Family BBQ - St Sebastian Catholic School (717 Brock Ave) - Wednesday June 14, 2017 from 4pm to 7:30pm
Bloor Dundas Proposal Open House - 2280 Dundas St W (former Zellers space) - Wednesday June 14, 2017 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
BikeMonth: HENDERSON BREWING + SWEET PETE'S BIKE DAY - Henderson Breweing Co (128A Sterling Rd) - Saturday June 17, 2017 starting at 12 noon
Henderson Brewing and Sweet Pete's Bike Shop are partnering to host a Bike Day in the brewery parking lot at 128a Sterling Road in Toronto!
Sweet Pete’s brings everything bike to the parking lot at Henderson Brewing for a Bike Month celebration. There will be demo trucks for rides on the West Toronto Railpath, an obstacle course, spring tune ups, food trucks, delicious beer and more! This event is free, open to the public, and runs from noon until 6pm.
Click here for more information.
Wild Urban Plants of the West Toronto Railpath/Community Stewardship Tours - Tuesday June 20, 2017 starting at 6pm
To register for the tours, please click here.
Bloor Street West Planning Study Community Meeting - Bloor Collegiate Institute (1140 Bloor St W) - Tuesday June 20, 2017 at starting 7pm
Join with City of Toronto Planning staff and your neighbours to discuss the character of Bloor Street West, and develop guiding principles for future development and street improvements.
Ward18 Talks: Artist and Cultural Spaces - Henderson Brewing Co. (128A Sterling Rd) - Thursday June 22, 2017 starting at 6:30pm (Social at 8pm)
Toronto's neighbourhoods are defined by the cultural and artistic vibrancy that fill our shopfronts, studios, galleries and halls. However, as our city grapples with rising property values and new development pressures, new challenges have emerged in retaining and creating new spaces to cultivate the creative milieu that our city is renowned for.
As part of my Ward18 Talks speaker series, I will be hosting a panel discussion on this important issue on Thursday June 22, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Henderson Brewery (128A Sterling Rd). I invite you to join me and panel members from arts organizations, and the City's Community Planning and Economic Development & Culture divisions for an engaging conversation to share ideas and expertise on how we can enrich our city's artistic vibrancy. We will also be having an evening social after the panel to mix and mingle starting at 8pm at the Henderson Brewery.
I hope to see you there!
Ward 18 Community Environment Day - Saturday June 24, 2017 from 10am to 2pm
Pickup some free compost and drop off your use electronics and hazardous household wastes for safe disposal by the City our Ward 18 Community Envirinoment Day! City crews will be on hand to answer you questions.
The Bloorcourt Hurly-Burly - Various Locations in Bloorcourt - June 25, 2017 starting at 6pm
Join in on Bloor between Dufferin and Christie Pits for the first summer Hurly Burly; an evening of art and entertainment!
Clay and Paper Theatre spins the history of our local theatres, The Doric, The Kenwood and The Paradise, in front of their original locations along Bloor Street. Follow the storytelling sequentially, from theatre to theatre, as history unfolds in this 3-act street performance. Witness the unveiling of a unique commemorative sign for The Doric, presented by art collective DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC MEMORY. Then parade to the Pits with our troupe of puppeteers for the Opening Night of the Christie Pits Film Festival’s 7th Season. See the silent comedy The Freshman with live musical score by The Holy Gasp. The Hurly Burly is supported by the Ontario 150 Community Celebrations programme and is made possible through the generous support of The Paradise, Working Women Community Centre, Main and Main, and Bloorcourt BIA.
Portraits of Davenport - Erin Stump Projects (1558 Dupont St) - June 27, 2017 from 3pm-8pm, Opening Remarks at 5:30pm
Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre (DPNCHC) is a multi-service agency with a long history of working with local residents, artists, and businesses to promote a more caring, connected, and healthy community.
DPNCHC believe that photography is an excellent medium to build immediate and lasting connections between people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Their latest initiative, the DPNCHC Photo Project, is an inter generational art project that brings together community members aged 13 to 80 to learn about photography in an inclusive, expressive environment.
GO Transit Electrification TPAP Public Meeting - Metro Hall (55 John St) - June 29, 2017 starting at 6:30pm
Metrolinx is hosting a public meeting to discuss the electrification of the GO Transit rail corridors. For more information please click here or the notice below.
BIG on Bloor Festival of Art and Culture - Bloor St W between Lansdowne Ave and Dufferin St - July 22 & 23, 2017
Save the date for the BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture, July 22 & 23 2017 when Bloor Street transforms into a hub of art, food and fun! Between Dufferin and Lansdowne, Bloor St will be filled with care-free, car-free fun! BIG on Bloor welcomes up to 100,000 people to Bloordale and celebrates arts, culture, community & small business. Share our unique community and city-building festival featuring hundreds of events, activities and exhibitions. Click here for all the details!
Advancing Laneway Suites in Toronto
I am excited to share that the groundbreaking report on laneway suites developed by Lanescape and Evergreen with support from myself and my colleague Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York) has now been released! The report includes a draft set of performance standards and a summary of the community feedback we heard at meetings we held across in Ward 18 and across the city. You can download the complete report by clicking here.
At the June 13, 2017 Toronto East York Community Council meeting, Councillor McMahon and I moved a joint motion to implement a laneway suite initiative in the Toronto and East York District. The motion seeks the support of City Councillors to request Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat to review the Laneway Suites Report, consult with appropriate City staff, undertake further community consultation and report back in the first quarter of 2018 with respect to any recommended changes required to implement a laneway suites initiative in the Toronto and East York District. The motion passed with amendments and will now be voted on by City Council
Laneway suites can help address the need for more "missing middle" housing by adding gentle density to our neighbourhoods, in addition to establishing more rental stock and creating multi-generational living opportunities for families.
The newly released report recommends actions including the establishment of an as-of-right planning framework for laneway suites alongside a set of recommended performance standards that will provide a strong foundation for the future of laneway suites in Toronto. The report was based on an extensive consultation process that engaged with over 3,000 Torontonians through an online survey, written feedback, and in-person consultations in Wards 18, 32 and at the Evergreen Brick Works.
The motion we moved at Community Council also requests the Chief Planner to provide an implementation strategy for laneway suites in the Toronto and East York District which may include, but is not limited to, cost, incentives, application review processes and timelines, and comparable actions from other municipalities that have implemented laneway suites.
I look forward to continuing to work with our community throughout the next steps as we make laneway suites a reality in Toronto. That you to everyone who has been involved. If you have any questions about this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact my office or email me at [email protected]
Putting Tenants First at Toronto Community Housing
Some of you will recall that back in 2012, I led the charge against the mass sell-off of Toronto Community Housing single family homes, keeping a large majority of them in public ownership and helped propose solutions to put TCH on a stronger financial footing than ever before. As part of this work, a 10-year $2.6 billion capital repair plan for TCH was developed and capital repair spending has increased from $70 million in 2013 to $250 million today.
As part of that plan, we requested that the upper levels of government each fund a 1/3 share of capital repairs. Since then, the City has fully committed its 1/3 share and have called on the upper levels of government to also be active partners with the City in addressing this important shared responsibility.
However, addressing the capital repairs backlog is only one of the critically important parts of placing TCH on the path to long-term success. We must also ensure the organisation is more responsive to tenants and ensure the services provided are best equipped to ensure the long term prosperity and sustainability of our communities. Over the past two years, the City has been engaged in extensive work, first through the Mayor's Task Force on TCH and now the Tenants First Implementation Plan, which will be in front of City Council in July.
The Tenants First report proposes changes to transform TCH and bring it closer to the needs of tenants. The report has been informed by the input of tenants who have shared their lived experience, knowledge and advice as part of this plan.
The report recommends the creation of a new Seniors Housing and Services entity that would be responsible for the management of 83 TCH seniors buildings, better connecting long-term care needs with our Local Health Integration Networks and healthcare services.
In addition, there are recommendations around decentralizing TCH, seeking non-profit, co-op and land trust partners to operate TCH's portfolio of single family homes, creating a new TCH focused on providing housing to families, individuals, youth and vulnerable tenants including seniors, a new funding model to address both short and long term needs, and more. You can read the full report and recommendations here.
This work being undertaken is not easy, but it has the potential to place TCH on the path to long-term sustainability and ensure the 110,000 tenants living in TCH buildings are better served for years to come. I look forward to continuing this important transformative work in consultation with tenants, staff, my colleagues and many community stakeholders.
Maximizing Mixed-Income Housing as part of the Relief Line and Yonge Subway Extension
In May, City Council voted to advance planning and design work on the Relief Line and the Yonge North subway projects. As part of this work, Council approved a motion I moved at Executive Committee to direct staff to report back to Council with strategies to maximise the potential for mixed-income residential development as part of the planning and design of stations for the Relief Line and Yonge Subway Extension.
As we build out our transit network, it is critically important that we maximize the opportunities available to create new transit-integrated housing and communities for everyone in our city.. This means ensuring that we are taking advantage of the station lands and the surrounding areas and are working with our public and private partners to create inclusive communities.
For more information on advancing the Relief Line and Yonge Subway Extension Project, please click here.
Nominations open for Toronto's annual Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards
Residents are encouraged to submit nominations for the City of Toronto's 2017 Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) Awards – the City's highest honour to recognize people or programs that have made a difference in Toronto by working to eliminate discrimination and break down barriers to equality.
Nominees must be Toronto residents, groups or programs. It is easy to submit a nomination with both online and mail-in options. More information, including past recipients, is available at http://toronto.ca/civicawards. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 4 p.m.
The five AEHR Awards are: Indigenous Affairs Award; Access Award on Disability Issues; Constance E. Hamilton Award on the Status of Women; Pride Award for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Two-Spirit Issues; and the William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award.
Nominations are made by the public and recipients are selected by a panel of community members with expertise and knowledge of issues pertinent to the awards. Recipients will be announced in the fall and an awards ceremony will take place at City Hall in December.
City of Toronto launches third photography contest celebrating "Our Common Grounds"
Today, the City of Toronto launched its third Snap & Share photo contest, led by Parks, Forestry and Recreation and presented by Nikon Canada. From May 15 to July 31, shutterbugs are invited to snap and share photos of "Our Common Grounds" – the parks, ravines and recreation programs where Torontonians come together as a community.
The expert panel of judges for the contest includes Nikon Ambassadors Kristian Bogner and Neil Ever Osborne, and Toronto-based freelance photographer Taku Kumabe. Osborne and Kumabe will also provide coaching sessions to the winners of the photography tour category of the contest.
Judges will review short-listed photos and winners will be notified in September 2017. Prizes include a Nikon D5600 kit with body and an 18-55mm lens, three COOLPIX L840 cameras with 38x optical zoom, eight Nikon COOLPIX A10 cameras with 5x optical zoom and weekly prizes.
Winning images will be exhibited at City Hall and other civic centres, featured on the City's website and used in various publications and communication materials. Previous year's entries have been featured on TTC shelters, the City's social media feeds and the Toronto.ca website. More information about the contest is available and submissions can be made to http://www.toronto.ca/photocontest.
Don't let social housing crumble: Editorial - Toronto Star
Toronto's hot real estate market puts affordable housing at risk - York Guardian
Councillor wants MPPs up to speed on social housing repair - Toronto Star
Garage suites create ‘voluntary affordability’ in Edmonton - Globe and Mail
Toronto needs more housing to keep top talent - Toronto Star
TTC plans to enhance express bus network - Toronto Star
7 Reasons why laneway houses might be the future for Toronto renters - Parkdale Villager
Inaugural Hurly Burly festival to reveal Bloorcourt's cinema history - Bloor West Villager
Public input invited on guidelines, rules and fees for sidewalk cafes and displays
Municipal Licensing and Standards and Transportation Services are reviewing application and permit fees, as well as bylaws that govern sidewalk cafés and displays operating on the public right-of-way. This includes looking at the space required for walking and movement for persons with disabilities, and how this will impact existing café and marketing permit holders.
Public meetings are being held to provide an opportunity for residents and businesses to view proposed changes, speak with staff, and provide feedback on the proposed fees. Information presented at these consultations will build on the recent "Framework for Harmonization" report that was considered by the Licensing and Standards Committee.
The next meeting will be held on:
- Tuesday, June 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers, 5100 Yonge St.
Livestreaming of the June 13 meeting's proceedings will be available at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCch85CnI_WEYnicVpC22E0A
A report recommending a revised sidewalk café bylaw, updated guidelines and fees is expected to be submitted to a joint meeting of the Licensing and Standards and Public Works Committee in fall 2017. For more information, click here, or contact Hamish Goodwin at 416-338-5763 or [email protected]
Residents invited to participate consultations for multi-tenant houses
Municipal Licensing and Standards and City Planning staff are holding a series of public consultation meetings on proposed regulations for multi-tenant houses – commonly referred to as rooming houses. In October 2016, a three-year pilot project was endorsed by Council to introduce a temporary zoning bylaw to allow multi-tenant houses in five areas of the city where they currently are not permitted.
Two different sets of meetings will be held. The first set of meetings will be held in five "pilot" areas where multi-tenant houses currently are not permitted, while the second set will take place in areas of the city where multi-tenant houses are permitted. At the meetings, members of the public will learn about the proposed zoning approach and licensing strategy and will be asked to provide input on: proposed definitions; the maximum number of rooms allowed in a multi-tenant home; and what licensing requirements multi-tenant operators will need to comply with (such as cleaning plan, waste management plan and parking plan).
The closest meeting to Ward 18 will be taking place on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at Toronto Public Library, Parkdale Branch, 1303 Queen St. W., 6 to 8 p.m.
Residents unable to attend a meeting are invited to fill out an online survey to provide their views on the proposed regulations 7 take the survey by clicking here. For more information please visit toronto.ca/mlshaveyoursay or contact Mohamed Shuriye, via [email protected]
Multi-Year Accessibility Plan Public Consultations
The City of Toronto is updating its Multi-year Accessibility Plan and wants input from the public. The City would like to understand the source of barriers faced by people with disabilities, and what we could do differently to reduce the impact of that barrier. All feedback, from people with disabilities, disability advocates and the general public, is welcome.
Individuals can participate by attending one of the public consultation sessions at Civic Centres across the city (registration is required) or by completing the online survey at http://bit.ly/2r9mjoW. Each consultation will include an overview of the City's Accessibility Framework; the City's approach to identify barriers, and plan for their prevention and removal; and group discussions on key barriers. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and will be open until 5 p.m. on June 30, 2017.
Each location has accessible facilities and washrooms. Please register in advance, and let us know if you require any accommodation. For more information, please contact Nicole Cormier at [email protected] or 416-397-5251.
Toronto Pearson International Airport wants to hear from you
This spring and summer, the Toronto Pearson International Airport is launching a series of initiatives to talk to local communities about the airport’s growth and the impact of its operations, so it can better understand the concerns and priorities of its neighbours as it plans for the airport’s future.
They are hosting multiple upcoming workshops to share your thoughts and opinions about the future of Toronto Pearson International Airport. For more details and a full list of upcoming workshops please click here. You can also complete and online survey by clicking here.
Toronto Public Health provides Lyme disease prevention tips
With warm weather arriving, Toronto Public Health reminds the public to protect themselves against blacklegged tick bites and Lyme disease. These ticks are the only type of tick in Ontario that can transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
"The overall risk of acquiring Lyme disease in Toronto is considered low," said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health. "While we encourage everyone to enjoy the nice weather and explore the outdoors, it's important that everyone is aware of the locations where ticks can be found in the city and know how to prevent Lyme disease."
Ticks can be found in bushy or wooded areas with lots of leaves on the ground or where there are tall grasses. When enjoying outdoor activities in these areas, residents can reduce their risk of getting bitten by a tick by following these tips:
- Use insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin, which are safe and effective for avoiding tick bites. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.
- Wear long pants and long sleeves. Light-coloured clothing may make ticks easier to spot.
- Take a shower to remove ticks before they become attached. Check your full body and head for attached ticks.
- Remember to also check your children and pets for ticks.
- If you find a tick on your body, it can be removed with fine-tipped tweezers by pulling the tick away from your skin gently but firmly.
Blacklegged ticks are usually not found on lawns, mowed grass, sports fields or paved areas. Toronto Public Health has posted signs where blacklegged ticks have been found in the city in areas including Algonquin Island, and Morningside and Rouge Parks. Ticks found in other parts of Toronto can be submitted to Toronto Public Health for identification and testing, which is useful for tracking locations in addition to those already known.
Prompt removal of ticks from the skin will help prevent infection, as transmission of the Lyme disease-causing bacteria usually requires the tick to be attached for at least 24 hours. Early symptoms of Lyme disease usually occur within one to two weeks after a tick bite, but can occur as soon as three days or as long as a month after a bite. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, fatigue and a circular rash (also known as a bull's eye rash).
If you develop any symptoms of Lyme disease within 30 days of removal of the tick and the tick was attached for 24 hours or more, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred and where you most likely acquired the tick.
More information is available at http://bit.ly/1T3z54G.
Community Projects & Events Grant Program (deadline for Letters of Intent – June 19, 2017)
At the end of March, 2017 City Council approved the new Community Investment Funding (CIF) framework. The new framework merges the previous five grant streams into three new grant programs that will better support new and emerging groups, support sector resilience, and encourage resident engagement and leadership development. Applications for Community Projects and Events Grants is now open with $1 M in grant funding will be allocated. For more information and and application guidelines, please click here.
Deadline and Application Form: The deadline for submitting a completed online Letter of Intent is Monday, June 19 at midnight (11:59 PM). Click here for the online Letter of Intent (LOI) Application Form.
Metrolinx: Milton Rail Corridor Second Track Reinstatement
Metrolinx is conducting overnight track work in the Milton/Kitchener GO Transit Rail Corridor throughout June. The work must be done during the overnight hours when there is minimal train activity to ensure safety. if you have any quesiton about this work, please contact Ryah Kazman at 416-202-4422 or [email protected]
Contacting the Toronto Police Service
Emergencies or Crimes in Progress: If you require emergency assistance, or want to report a crime in progress, please call 9-1-1. An emergency is any situation where people or property are at risk. (including but not limited to fires, crimes in progress or medical emergencies.)
Non-Emergency: If you require Police assistance, but are not in an emergency situation (e.g. Reporting thefts, vandalism, fraud) or for other situations where no person or property is in immediate danger, please call our non-emergency telephone number 416-808-2222.
Crime Stoppers: If you have information about a crime that you would like to report anonymously, please call Crime Stoppers toll-free: 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), visit their website: http://www.222tips.com/ or text: TIP312 and your message to CRIMES.
E-mail: Personal Internet email addresses within the Toronto Police Service take the format [email protected]
Toronto Hydro Work in Junction Triangle
Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the ageing overhead electrical system in the community to help improve service reliability. The rebuild includes upgrading overhead electrical cables and replacing hydro poles within the City of Toronto’s public property allowance in front of or adjacent to the lots.
Throughout this project, planned outages may be necessary to switch from the old to the new electrical system and Toronto Hydro intend's to provide the community with advance notice. Toronto Hydro crews and contractors will take extra care and precautions around the properties. Please be advised that as a result of the project, our contractor may be trimming a number of the overgrown trees on the public road allowance in order to accommodate new hydro infrastructure. Upon project completion, affected areas will be restored.
The civil and electrical portions of this project are expected to begin by early June 2017 with an approximate completion date of late January 2018. The boundaries include Cariboo Avenue (North), Campbell Avenue (East), Ruskin Avenue (South) and Dundas Street West (West). If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Operations Communications Office at 416-542-3366 or [email protected].
Toronto City Council met on May 24, 25 and 26, 2017. Council Highlights is an informal summary of some of the decisions Toronto City Council made at its recent business meeting. The City Clerk's formal documentation is available at http://www.toronto.ca/council.
Next steps for transit projects
Council voted to proceed with planning work needed to advance design of a relief subway line in the east downtown area, with the section between Queen Street East and Gerrard Street East to be aligned under Carlaw Avenue. Council also supported preparing a business case for extending the relief line farther north. In addition, planning work was authorized for extending the Yonge Street subway line north from Finch Station to Richmond Hill. Several related motions were adopted concerning Toronto's transit network, including on financial matters.
Guidelines for City's 2018 budget process
Council approved a schedule and guidelines for preparation of the City's 2018 operating and capital budgets. The guidelines specify that all City programs and agencies must keep their operating budgets at the 2017 level of spending through cost containment, service efficiency, modernization, service level strategies and revenue strategies. The schedule calls for completion/adoption of the 2018 budget in February.
Funding of stormwater management
Council voted to receive as information a staff report about options the City could pursue to establish a new way of funding stormwater management. As a result of Council's decision, the existing method will remain in effect, with stormwater management funded from the water rate – the City's charge for municipal water consumption. Stormwater is runoff that occurs when rain or melting snow flows off hard surfaces instead of soaking into the ground.
City-wide real estate transformation
Council approved a new delivery model that centralizes all City real estate activities, including real estate strategy and portfolio planning, major building projects, developments, real estate transactions and facilities management. A new City agency called the Toronto Realty Agency will manage the City's real estate portfolio, develop City buildings and lands for municipal purposes and deliver client-focused real estate solutions to City divisions, agencies and corporations.
Ward 44 councillor vacancy
Council declared a vacancy in the office of Toronto City Councillor, Ward 44 Scarborough East, and decided to fill the vacancy by appointment for the duration of the current City Council term (to November 2018). The vacancy resulted from the recent passing of Councillor Ron Moeser. Details about the appointment process: http://ow.ly/34nW30c8l8o
Overdose action plan
Funding was approved for three temporary staff needed to implement Toronto Public Health actions in Toronto's Overdose Action Plan this year. Council asked the City's Medical Officer of Health to continue discussions with the Ontario government about funding to continue the work in 2018 and beyond.
Rental affordability in Toronto
Council adopted recommendations that address the issue of affordable rental accommodation in Toronto by calling for steps to increase private-sector investment in rental housing, protect existing single-room occupancy units and increase the stock of accessible units in the City's affordable housing programs. Council also asked staff to assess and report on the local implications of Ontario's recently announced Fair Housing Plan.
City funding of cultural organizations
After extensive discussion and debate about the City's funding of Pride Toronto, Council approved 2017 funding to support 10 major not-for-profit cultural organizations, including Pride Toronto and nine others. Most of the $7.9 million in total funding for the 10 organizations will go to the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto International Film Festival.
Review of accessible parking permits
Council agreed to ask the Ontario government to review all aspects of the issuance, renewal and use of accessible parking permits with the intention of improving the provincial program. At the same time, a City working group will address the subject in the Toronto context. A Toronto Police Services Board report indicates use of a permit by someone other than the permit holder is the main way accessible parking permits are misused.
City employee health benefits
Council adopted a series of recommendations that resulted from an audit of the City's employee benefits plan. The aim is to improve controls and design of the plan, prevent and detect misuse, and reduce costs while providing a reasonable level of benefits coverage. The City provides health benefits coverage to its employees and retirees, as well as to their spouses and eligible dependants, in accordance with collective agreements and City policies.
New policy on multilingual information
Council adopted a new policy called the Multilingual Information Provisions Policy that will replace the City's current policy on August 2. The new policy establishes clear principles and criteria for the translation and interpretation of information about City services, programs and engagement activities in languages other than English. In addition, responsibilities for compliance with the policy are clarified.
Temporary suspension of contractor
Council voted to declare contractor Four Seasons Site Development Ltd. ineligible to bid on or be awarded any City of Toronto tender calls as a general contractor or sub-contractor from now until February 2020. The suspension decision is based on the company's unsatisfactory performance on two recent Toronto contracts for utility-related road work.
New bike lanes
Council authorized the installation of bicycle lanes this year at several locations, among them Renforth Drive between Eglinton Avenue West and Rathburn Road, and Davenport Road eastbound between Spadina and Madison Avenues.
Rock walk on Spadina Avenue
Council adopted a motion that will result in City staff working with the owner of the El Mocambo tavern to prepare a plan for a "Spadina Rock Walk" similar to King Street's Walk of Fame. The Spadina walk is envisioned as a public art installation honouring Canadian musicians who have contributed to the Toronto music scene and performed in venues on or near Spadina Avenue, such as Grossman's Tavern, the Silver Dollar Room, the Horseshoe Tavern and the El Mocambo.