I hope you are enjoying a pleasant March Break with family and friends! It's been a busy month with numerous community meetings and together we've made progress on a number of initiatives to make our community even better.
My annual Easter Egg Hunt at Dufferin Grove Park (375 Dufferin St) is coming up later this month on Saturday March 31st 2018 from 1pm to 3pm! This is a great family oriented community event where I encourage you to bring your kids to hunt for easter eggs in the park. With chocolates, arts & crafts, dancing, face painting and more, this egg-citing Hunt is a great way shake off the winter chills and have some fun with the kids! Please RSVP by clicking here.
The City is also moving forward with the Changing Lanes initiative to study how the City might allow and regulate laneway suites on the numerous laneways within the Toronto and East York District. City Planning staff have been incorporating feedback recieved from residents into their work and they have prepared a set of draft policy changes and regulations. A public meeting is being hosted to present and gather additional feedback before making recommendations to City Council on Thursday March 29, 2018 from 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM in Room 203 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (222 Bremner Boulevard). I hope to see you there!
I also Co-Chaired the first Middle Housing Working Group Meeting as part of the GTA Housing Action Lab, bringing together passionate city builders to develop a comprehensive strategy for increasing housing options in Toronto. Housing continues to be a priority for our City and our 2018 budget more than doubles repair funding for Toronto Community Housing, from $128 million in 2014 to $300 million this year.
Earlier this month, the City of Toronto and Metrolinx hosted a community meeting to share updated designs for the new SmartTrack/GO RER stations which will bring more transit service at 5 stations to move and connect Davenport. New details and designs were also shared for the bridge to Earlscourt Park & the extension of a multi-use path from Bloor to Dundas to connect to the Railpath, which our community secured as part of the environmental assessment process for the Bloor-Lansdowne GO Station. You can find more information about these projects below. Metrolinx is also holding a public meeting to share more details about the the new artwork and Davenport Diamond Project on Tuesday March 27, 2018 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Casa da Madeira Community Centre (1621 Dupont St).
We also celebrated International Women's Day on March 8th and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with so many engaged women in our community and across our city to build a brighter future! By working together, breaking down barriers and growing the conversation around gender equity at home and in the workplace, I know we can create an inclusive and equitable society for all.
There are a number of important updates and community events in this edition of my E-Newsletter below and I hope to see you at some of these and in our community throughout the month!
Councillor, Ward 18 - Davenport
Lansdowne Bus and TTC Improvements Coming to Our Community
As a daily transit rider, I know firsthand the challenges and frustration many residents face on their commutes. That is why I have been working to improve transit here in our community. Earlier this year, I wrote to the TTC Chair about the Lansdowne Bus and the need to improve service due to the increased population and ridership experienced as a result of developments.
I am happy to share that in April 2018, more service will be added on Lansdowne in the afternoon peak period to reduce crowding and improve frequency.
With major accessibility upgrades at Lansdowne Station starting in 2019, I have been advocating for the installation of an overhead canopy on the east side of Lansdowne Ave. This will add better weather protection for the thousands of daily northbound bus riders waiting to finish their journey home.
I am pleased to let you know that the TTC has responded to our request to bundle these important projects together and has now included this overhead canopy in their project.
We also approved in the 2018 Budget funding for more bus service on Dupont and Dufferin St to address growing ridership, development and residents' crowding concerns along the route. The TTC is also buying new buses and building a bus garage to support the approved Dufferin Express Bus Service coming in 2021.
These TTC service enhancements will build on our efforts to expand our rapid transit network with 5 approved SmartTrack/GO RER Stations to service Davenport. We need to continue this momentum to invest and find ways to improve service. I look forward to sharing further updates with you!
Davenport Diamond Design Visuals and Public Open House Meeting
Metrolinx recently unveiled the winning art concept for the Davenport Diamond Guideway. Created by Canadian Artist Alex MacLeod, the mural when complete will be the largest digitally printed image in the world. You can find more more images and information about the artist and design by visiting: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/projectsandprograms/integratedart/artwork/secret-park-gate.aspx.
Metrolinx is also holding a public meeting to share more details about the the new artwork and Davenport Diamond Project on Tuesday March 27, 2018 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Casa da Madeira Community Centre (1621 Dupont St).
This new public art is the result of the incredible work done together with residents, organizations and stakeholders and I look forward to continuing this work to ensure our community's vision for a strong public realm and community space is realized!
Update on the Old Orchard TDSB Property
I am pleased to share with you that pending a final vote by the Toronto District School Board of Trustees later this month, the Old Orchard property located at 375 Dovercourt Rd will not be sold off. This is good news and means that the West End Parents Daycare and the Orchard Montessori will be able to stay on the site to provide child care and educational services in our community.
Ever since it emerged that this site could potentially be sold off by the TDSB in 2014, I worked closely with neighbouring Councillor Mike Layton in order to retain the existing uses on the site. This included the motion I moved at Executive Committee which directed City staff to work with us, the Toronto Lands Corporation (the TDSB's real estate arm), and the current tenants in order to identify ways to secure increased parkland and preserve 200 child care and after school program spaces.
You can read more about the recommendation made by TDSB staff in their report by clicking here.
SmartTrack/GO Stations Update
The City of Toronto, Metrolinx and the TTC are undertaking planning and design work as part of the SmartTrack and GO Regional Express Rail Transit expansion program. This project will add enhanced service at 5 stations to move and connect our community, including 3 SmartTrack stations at West Queen West/Liberty Village, Bloor GO/UP Station and St Clair West-Keele, in addition to the new GO Stations at Bloor-Lansdowne and at Caledonia & Eglinton.
Earlier this month, a series of public meeting were held to present revised station designs and an update on this important transit expansion project. I am also happy to share that at the meeting, a preliminary concept for the bridge connecting the Davenport Diamond Greenway and Earlscourt Park was also presented. You can view the complete slide deck and images from the West stations meeting by clicking here.
Community Clean Up Registration is Open
It's time for some spring cleaning! Gather your friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to clean a park, laneway, or any other public space that needs your help. Registration is now open for Clean Toronto Together community cleanup events in April!
You can learn more, register your event and find out when and where to get your free GLAD® garbage and recycling bags at livegreentoronto.ca! Here's to a cleaner, greener Toronto!
If you have any questions about either of these events, please don't hesitate to contact me at 416-392-7012 or [email protected].
St. Helens Avenue Toronto Hydro Upgrade Work
Toronto Hydro is carrying out infrastructure upgrades to ensure the reliability of our electricity system. Work is underway on St Helen's Ave and the driveway entrance on St. Helens Ave north of Dora Ave will be temporarily occupied during construction. Residents are asked to use the alternate driveway entrance located on Dora Avenue for access during this time.
Toronto Hydro expects to complete this upgrade work in early June 2018 and if you have any questions or would like further information about this work please visit www.torontohydro.com or call 416-542-3366.
What’s On at Library Branches in Ward 18
There are a number of events taking place from April-June at our Bloor/Gladstone and Perth/Dupont Toronto Public library locations! You can find a complete list of programs and activities by clicking here
You can also stay up-to-date with the latest library news and upcoming programs by signing up for the "What’s On at the Library" e-newsletter at http://tpl.ca/enews
International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Wednesday March 21, 2018 from 7pm to 9pm- Hallelujah Fellowship Baptist Church (425 Pacific Ave)
Join with Toronto Police 11 Division as well as friends and neighbours to mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. For more information, please contact Staff Sergeant Sharon Davis at 416-808-1183.
Lower Junction Community Meeting - Thursday March 22, 2018 starting at 6:30pm - Lower Junction Gallery (213 Sterling Rd)
The Lower Jct. development project group is hosting a community update meeting to on March 22, 2018 at 6:30pm, taking place at the Lower Junction Gallery at 213 Sterling Road.
Dufferin Grove Farmers Market Season Opening - Thurday March 22, 2018 from 3pm to 7pm - Dufferin Grove Park (875 Dufferin St)
The Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market will be celebrating the official beginning of a new season on March 22nd from 3-7pm! Some of the featured activities include maple syrup tastings with silver dollar pancakes, visits from Island Oysters and Windswept Cider, live music, a campfire, free samples and more! All are welcome! For more information, click here.
Davenport Diamond Project and Artwork Public Open House - Tuesday March 27, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Casa Da Madeira (1621 Dupont St)
Metrolinx is holding a public meeting to share more details about the Davenport Diamond Project and new public artwork on Tuesday March 27, 2018 at 6:30pm-8:30pm at Casa Da Madeira (1621 Dupont St). You can learn more about the the project and public artwork by clicking here.
Easter Egg Hunt 2018 - Saturday March 31st 2018 from 1pm - 3pm - Dufferin Grove Park (375 Dufferin St)
I hope you can join me for my annual Easter Egg Hunt at Dufferin Grove Park (375 Dufferin St) on Saturday March 31st 2018 from 1pm - 3pm! This is a great family oriented community event where I encourage you to bring your kids to hunt for easter eggs in the park. With chocolates, arts & crafts, dancing, face painting, and more, this egg-citing Hunt is a great way shake off the winter chills and have some fun with the kids!
Please RSVP before March 26, 2018 at the link below and if you have any questions, please contact my office me 416-392-7012 or email me at [email protected].
Youth Job Search Workshop - Monday April 9, 2018 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm - Bloor-Gladstone Library (1101 Bloor St W)
The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library are co-hosting a Youth Job Search Workshop at Bloor-Gladstone Library on April 9th from 3:30pm-4:30pm to share information about job opportunities and give helpful tips on resume writing and job interviews for youth.
Laneway Suites Community Consultation Meeting
As many of you know, Changing Lanes is a City of Toronto initiative studying how the City might allow and regulate laneway suites on the numerous laneways within the Toronto and East York District. The City hosted their first public meeting as a result of my motion with Councillor McMahon in late 2017 to solicit your feedback on what laneway suites should look like in Toronto. I would like to express my appreciation for everyone who has contributed so far.
The City is now hosting a second community consultation meeting in order to present a set of draft policy changes and regulations to allow the construction of laneway suites in the Toronto and East York District. City Planning staff are seeking your feedback before they make their final recommendations to City Council.
The community consultation meeting is taking place on Thursday March 29, 2018 from 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM in Room 203 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (222 Bremner Boulevard). I hope to see you there!
Affordable Housing Champions Awards
Recently, Mayor John Tory and I recognized 18 housing organizations as Toronto's 2018 Affordable Housing Champions. The awards were presented at the City's Affordable Housing Committee meeting to non-profit and private sector organizations with rental and ownership affordable housing developments currently under construction.
The organizations awarded are delivering 1,094 affordable homes in 20 developments in 12 wards across the city. These homes will be ready for occupancy starting in 2018 through to 2020.
As the City's Housing Advocate, I want to thank our non-profit and private sector partners for their dedication to building quality, affordable housing in Toronto. It is only through these strong and ongoing partnerships that the City can succeed in providing new affordable rental and ownership housing for Torontonians.
More information about the Open Door Affordable Housing Program is available by clicking here.
Ontario Bans Certain Door-to-Door Sales
I am pleased to share with you that the Province has banned the unsolicited door-to-door sales of certain household appliances. This is an important measure which will help to protect residents from predatory, high pressure and unsolicited sales tactics by sales representatives from the home services sector.
I am proud to have gained the support of City Council on a joint motion I moved with Councillor Frances Nunziata to request the Province to ban the door-to-door sales of furnaces, water systems, air conditioners, water heaters and HVAC equipment so that we can put an end to this predatory practice. I am happy to see that our motion supported the province's efforts in addressing this issue along with the private members bill that MPP Yvan Baker previously moved in the Ontario Legislature.
City of Toronto expands Latin American business opportunities
I am happy to share the City of Toronto has entered into two new business relationships that will help create opportunities for companies in Toronto, Mexico and throughout Latin America.
On 22 February in Mexico City, the City of Toronto and Mexico City signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes the intention to collaborate in trade, environment, life sciences, information technology, culture, tourism and education among other sectors, while encouraging trade and investment exchanges between both jurisdictions.
In Toronto, an MOU was also finalized between the City and LatAm Startups, with the aim of supporting LatAm's success in bringing Latin American tech startups to the city.
In 2018, LatAm Startups aims to bring 20 tech companies from various Latin American countries to be part of its program which supports their market entry for three months. The 2018 program will have two cohorts and four boot camps in the city looking for the best Latin American tech companies to go global from Toronto.
LatAm Startups is a not-for-profit accelerator that brings the best startups from Latin America to Toronto and scales them globally. More information is available at latamstartups.org.
This work will broaden and build upon the work we have done to expand the City of Toronto's business profile throughout Latin America, including through previous agreements with Uruguay and the work I am proud to have been a part of to establish Partner City relationships with Rio de Janeiro, and Investe São Paulo.
The future of waste management in Toronto: Open House and Consultation
The City of Toronto is holding a public meeting on March 21, 2018 from 2-5pm at City Hall Council Chamber (100 Queen St W) for an update on various City programs and initiatives and to learn more about what will be considered when determining whether or not to accept new materials into the Blue Bin recycling and Green Bin organics streams. Participants will be able to provide feedback that will help inform future policies. The event will also provide a look at what the new provincial Waste Free Ontario Act and current market changes could mean for Toronto. You can RSVP for the meeting by clicking here.
Dundas West-Little Portugal Proposed BIA Merger Consultation
The Business Improvement Areas of Dundas West and Little Portugal are proposing to merge together to create a larger BIA to better serve both communities.
The strategic partnership aims to build on previous projects that have successfully supported area beautification, safety and economic development. The larger BIA will have a unique brand image, making a greater economic impact for existing businesses to compete with malls, big box outlets and online shopping. The proposed BIA will stretch from Shaw Street to the CNR tracks, just west of Lansdowne Avenue.
An Open House/Community Consultation will take place on March 26. The morning consultation will take place from 7:30 am to 9 am at IC Savings (1168 Dundas Street West). The evening consultation will run from 6 pm to 7:30 pm at the Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas Street West).
The results of the March 26 Consultation will be unveiled at a Public Meeting on May 7, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at 14 Division (350 Dovercourt Road). Members will then vote on the merger of the BIAs.
Later this summer, the City of Toronto will conduct a poll of all BIA members. The first AGM for the merged BIA would take place in early 2019. For updates and more information please contact [email protected] or [email protected].
Payday Lender Consultation
The Province of Ontario governs payday lenders and alternative financial services such as cheque-cashing, installment loans and rent-to-own services. Ontario Bill 59 (Putting Consumers First Act) now provides municipalities with tools to regulate payday lenders through business licensing. As of January 1, 2018, the City has authority to restrict the number and locations of payday loan establishments.
The new rules that are being considered include:
- the creation of new business licence category for payday loan establishments
- placing a cap on the number of establishments in Toronto, and
- a requirement that establishments be licensed by the Province prior to applying for a City-issued licence
This proposed interim approach will provide the City with a mechanism to mitigate the proliferation of these establishments while staff conduct a comprehensive review of the industry and develop final recommendations for regulation of payday loan establishments. The review will include continued research and broad public and stakeholder consultations to better understand the best approach for the City.
The consultation will be held Wednesday, March 21st at North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The City invites the public and stakeholders for a presentation on the topic and an opportunity to provide input. The input received at this consultation will inform a report on payday loan establishments to the Licensing and Standards Committee on April 10, 2018.
Materials from this meeting will be posted at https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/get-involved/public-consultations/#item/449
Input and feedback can also be sent to: [email protected]
Hi-RIS Financing through the City's Tower Renewal Program
Do you own an apartment building with three or more storeys in Toronto? Are you planning to increase energy efficiency, lower utility costs, and enhance tenant comfort? If so, the City of Toronto’s Hi-RIS program is for you.
Funding is available for a range of improvements including:
- upgrades and replacement of mechanical systems
- lighting and water conservation retrofits
- building envelopment improvements and;
- renewable energy technology
Building owners can access low-cost, fixed rate financing with terms of up to 20 years. This is a limited time offer. Act today!
Contact [email protected] or 416-392-9688 for more information.
A Message from the Toronto Police 11 Division Crime Prevention Office
The first two months of 2018 recorded a number of record low temperatures in the city as well as some significant snow falls. Unfortunately the cold temperatures were not a deterrent to those who commit break and enter. In fact we have seen a marked increase in break-ins, in comparison to January and February of 2017.
Despite the marked increase we do have some good news to report. Recently, an arrest was made and a male was subsequently charged with 7 counts of break and enter. Unfortunately, he is not responsible for all of the entries that have occurred. We continue to investigate entries where a suspect is checking for unlocked doors. When one is found the home is entered and items which are close at hand are taken. With this in mind we cannot stress enough the need to lock our homes. It remains our first line of defence in the prevention of break and enters.
A significant amount of police resources go into crime prevention. 11 Division has dedicated officers whose role is to educate the community. We provide a number of resources available through our social media accounts, twitter @TPS11DIV as well as Facebook – 11 Division-Toronto Police Service. Crime trends, tips as well as our quarterly newsletter can be found there. In addition we have recently developed an 11 Division Crime Prevention Toolkit containing a variety of crime prevention pamphlets. These toolkits are available at your City Councillor's office or directly from 11 Division.
We invite you to contact our office to request a home security audit. Officers will attend your home or business and do a walk-through of the property, discussing options available to guard against potential break and enters.
We have a motto at 11 Division, “Make Crime Prevention Your Intention!”
|PC Jan Barr #978511 Division – Crime Prevention Officer416-808-1108||PC Steve Moniz #6551811 Division – Crime Prevention Officer416-808-1108|