Last month, many of you braved the early rain with your families and joined me and your neighbours for our annual Ward 18 Easter Egg Hunt! It was great to see so many kids hunting for easter eggs, dancing, participating in arts and craft activities and having fun! Thank you to everyone who came and I look forward to continuing this annual Ward 18 community tradition with you next year!
This month there are a number of events coming up including Jane's Walks and the Major Minor: Bloordale Music & Arts Festival this weekend. There are also Community Compost Days taking place later this month! I am pleased to share with you that the Bloor-Dufferin Community Hub Visioning Group's vision for the new community hub will be presented by their facilitator at a meeting hosted by the City of Toronto on Monday May 15, 2017 at 6:30pm at the New Horizons Tower (1140 Bloor St W). This meeting will continue the my strong commitment to public engagement by summarizing the community hub visioning group process and providing a brief overview of the next steps to create a community hub. I hope to see you and your neighbours there!
As the wet weather continues, the City of Toronto is working hard to address flooding and weather related issues across our community parks, our roads and our sewer systems. If you experience any flooding, please call 311 for immediate assistance. City crews are available 24/7 to respond to flooding calls. For more information about how the City is responding to the wet weather and for tips to prevent flooding and protect your homes, please click here.
I look forward to seeing you at some of the events and meetings throughout our community this month.
Ward 18, Davenport
Bloor-Dufferin Community Hub Visioning Group Meeting - Monday May 15, 2017 at 6:30pm at the New Horizon's Tower (1140 Bloor St W)
As you may be aware, on December 8, 2016 the Province of Ontario announced $20 million in funding support for a new school and community hub at the Bloor-Dufferin TDSB Redevelopment Site. To support the community to identify priorities and goals for a Community Hub, the City and Province invited community based organizations to form an independent, voluntary, and time limited "Community Hub Visioning Group". The Bloor-Dufferin Community Hub Visioning Group process is being run by an independent facilitator and is being supported by City and Provincial staff. The Visioning Group was established to meet the following objectives:
- Ensure that community groups are meaningfully engaged in the planning for a potential Bloor-Dufferin community hub; and
- Develop a vision and governance and service framework for a potential community hub at Bloor-Dufferin.
I am pleased to share with you that the Bloor Dufferin Community Hub Visioning Group's vision for the new community hub will be presented by their facilitator at a meeting hosted by the City of Toronto on Monday May 15, 2017 at 6:30pm at the New Horizons Tower (1140 Bloor St W). This meeting will continue the my strong commitment to public engagement by summarizing the process and providing a brief overview of the next steps to create a community hub. I hope to see you and your neighbours there!
You can view background materials and a meeting summary from the March 7, 2017 Community Hub Visioning Group meeting by clicking here. To view my previous updates on the Bloor Dufferin TDSB Lands please visit: http://www.anabailao.com/bloor_dufferin_school_lands
Lansdowne Station Public Art Installation
As part of the Lansdowne Subway Station accessibility upgrades scheduled to begin in late 2018, new public artwork will be added in the station's design. As a strong advocate for the inclusion of public art in major projects across our community, Lansdowne Station will be an opportunity to showcase our neighbourhood to the city. The TTC will issue an open call for artist proposals later this year and I will be providing updates through my e-newsletter. Please contact Denise Jayawardene at [email protected] for more information.
Lisgar Park Update
Following our community meeting last year, I brought together local residents, businesses, and arts organizations to establish the Lisgar Park Stewardship Committee to help animate this central community space. The committee is now developing a framework to support the community in facilitating and promoting programming and events at Lisgar Park.
I am also happy to share, that construction on the next phases of Lisgar Park has begun. Major works are scheduled to wrap up in June and this phase includes, a new children's playground, wood decking, additional seating and new trees!
Ward 18 Jane's Walks in 2017
Each year, the annual Jane's Walks festival brings together residents and visitors from across Toronto to celebrate the legacy of urban pioneer Jane Jacobs and do what she loved best, sharing and embracing the unique qualities of our neighbourhoods. In Ward 18 and across Toronto, numerous Jane's Walks are being held by everyday citizens and community leaders to uncover and share the hidden stories of our neighbourhoods.
I encourage you to get out and explore Toronto to find new stories, new places and new perspectives during the annual festival! I have included a full list of upcoming Ward 18 Jane's Walks here and you can find more information and more walks across Toronto at www.janeswalk.org/canada/toronto/.
Appeals of Local Land-Use Decisions
The City has established a Toronto Local Appeal Body to replace the Ontario Municipal Board's function in adjudicating appeals of land-use decisions made by Toronto's Committee of Adjustment on minor variance and consent applications. The new tribunal began its work adjudicating local appeals effective May 3. To learn more about the new Toronto Local Appeal Body, please click here.
City of Toronto Infrastructure Renewal Projects Underway
With warmer weather here to stay, the City of Toronto is undertaking various infrastructure renewal projects, including on our roads, bridges, sewers and basement flooding protections. Some of this infrastructure is nearly 100 years old and must be upgraded and repaired. The City is coordinating this work to help minimize impacts and conduct this work efficiently. An interactive map and more details on the numerous infrastructure projects happening across Toronto can be found by visiting TO INView. To avoid construction detours and plan your trip accordingly, you can find a complete list of road restrictions and closures by clicking here.
Community Compost Days
Spring is here and a new season of greening and growing is kicking off in gardens across our community! Join me at my upcoming community compost days where we are offering free freshly composted soil for your garden. Please bring your containers, a shovel and your green thumbs. You can find below complete list locations and upcoming dates. I look forward to seeing you there!
Location: Perth Square Park (350 Perth Ave)
Date: Tuesday May 16, 2017 at 5:30pm
Location: MacGregor Playground (346 Lansdowne Ave)
Date: Wednesday May 17, 2017 at 5:30pm
Location: McCormick Park (66 Sheridan Ave)
Date: Thursday May 18, 2017 at 5:30pm
Location: Dovercourt Junior Public School (228 Bartlett Ave)
Date: Friday June 2, 2017 at 3:30pm
Major/Minor: Bloordale Music and Arts Festival - Various Locations across Bloordale - Friday May 5 to Sunday May 7, 2017
Major/Minor: Bloordale Music and Arts Festival is an inclusive community festival envisioned by the Bloordale Business Improvement Association and the Bloordale Community Improvement Association. The goal of the festival is to create family-friendly programming through the weekend of May 5-7, 2017. All of the concerts and workshops are all-ages and pay-what-you-can, creating an opportunity for all residents to participate in a broad range of activities. Bloordale is fortunate to have an active and engaged business community eager to create workshops ranging from mixtape parties and DIY hair styling, to bike tune-ups and collage art projects. Concerts will feature local Bloordale and Toronto acts, as well as some international artists. In addition, the “Teen Night” and “Girls Rock Camp” showcases will highlight some incredible local emerging talent. We hope you’ll join in for the inaugural year of Major/Minor!
Find all the details at https://www.facebook.com/MajorMinorFestival/
Arbour Day Festival - Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club (180 Westmoreland Ave) - Saturday May 6, 2017 from 10am to 2pm
Celebrate the season with neighbours and friends at the Arbour Day Festival! With arts and crafts, facepainting, a community barbeque and much more, this is sure to be a great family event!
Jane's Walk - Bloordale Tour: How to Stand with Your Muslim Neighbours - Meet at Opal Dental Care (1115 Dufferin St) - Saturday May 6, 2017 starting at 11am
Jane's Walk - THE GREEN LINE (EAST WALK): FROM COMMUNITY VISION TO CITY IMPLEMENTATION - Meet at Bartlette Parkette (160 Geary Ave) - Saturday May 6, 2017 starting at 1pm
Jane's Walk - Parking Lots & Parking Spots: Galleria Mall & Beyond - Meet at Galleria Mall Parking Lot Pillar (1245 Dupont St) - Saturday May 6, 2017 starting at 2pm
Jane's Walk - Here's the Thing: A Creative Writing Walk (Part 2 / Downtown) - Meet at Dufferin Subway Station (Northwest Corner of Dufferin St and Bloor St W) - Sunday May 7, 2017 starting at 3:30pm
Identities: Musical Stories of Canada - St. Anne's Anglican Church (270 Gladstone Ave) - Sunday May 7, 2017 starting at 3:30
St. Anne's Spring Concert, "Identities," will feature music from various cultures of Canada, including Indigenous, Filipino, French, Celtic, and Afro-American, and will be a collaboration with Singing Out, Toronto's premier LGBTQ choir, and Young Voices Toronto Children's Choir. Accompaniment by a chamber orchestra, and special guests include Naulaq LeDrew, an Indigenous throat singer, to provide meditative music.
Book your tickets: The link is www.eventbrite.ca/e/identities-tickets-33506779680
For more information visit, www.saintanne.ca/events/identities-concert
Bloor-Dufferin Community Hub Public Meeting - New Horizons Tower (1140 Bloor St W) - Monday May 15, 2017 starting at 6:30pm
The Bloor Dufferin Visioning Group's vision for the new community hub will be presented by their facilitator at a meeting hosted by the City of Toronto on Monday May 15, 2017 at 6:30pm at the New Horizons Tower (1140 Bloor St W). This meeting will continue the my strong commitment to public engagement by summarizing the process and providing a brief overview of the next steps to create a community hub. I hope to see you and your neighbours there!
How We Live In Cities PLACE & PLACEMENT Exhibition - Re-Imagine Galleria Space (1245 Dupont St)
Opening Reception: Thursday May 17, 2017 from 6:30pm to 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 18 to July 15, 2017
Exhibitions, workshops and discussions towards an art and garden corridor in the Wallace-Emerson neighbourhood. All events are free and all are welcome! For more details, please visit: civicstudies.ca/place-and-placement/
Perth Ave Junior Public School Fun Fair - Perth Ave Jr PS (14 Ruskin Ave) - Thursday June 1, 2017 from 3pm to 7pm
With Bouncy Castles, BBQ, Games & Prizes, Silent Auction, Raffle, Entertainment & More! All are welcome! This is a school fundraiser with proceeds going to class trips to cultural and significant landmarks, in class guests such as authors & scientists in the classroom and in class technology.
Becoming A Board Member Workshop - Various Locations and Dates
Are you a professional interested in volunteering in a leadership role? Volunteering as a non-profit board member may be the role for you. Come to one of Volunteer Toronto’s upcoming workshops to find out what's involved and meet non-profits who are actively looking for volunteers to join their board. Upcoming dates: Monday May 15, Saturday May 27, Saturday June 3, Wednesday June 21 , Thursday June 29. More dates and information can be found at: www.volunteertoronto.ca/BoardMember
Women's College Hospital Foundation's Community Events Program
Women's College Hospital Foundation encourages you to participate in a new program, allowing community members the opportunity to host fundraising events in support of the foundation. The foundation's work supports a better future for the health of women and their families in the GTA and beyond by funding vital programs and initiatives like the Women’s Mental Health Program, the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre or The Crossroads Clinic, Toronto’s first hospital-based health clinic specifically serving refugees – a majority of whom are women. You can find more information at www.womenscollegehospitalfoundation.com/Get-Involved/Events
Investing in Toronto's Future: Long-Term Financial Plan Consultation
The City of Toronto is reviewing the Long Term Financial Plan and wants to hear from residents about their vision for the future of Toronto. An online survey is available to share your ideas to shape the city we want, and the long-term plan to pay for it. To learn more about this initiative and for more ways to get involved, please visit www.investinginto.ca
King Street Pilot Study Public Meeting
The King Street Pilot Study is about exploring bold, transformative ideas for how to redesign King Street in order to move people on transit more efficiently, improve placemaking and the public realm, and support business and economic prosperity.
At this public meeting, the City will be seeking feedback on a preferred pilot design that has been developed for the corridor. Consultation and engagement is a critical part of the King Street Pilot Study, and a variety of community and neighbourhood groups, businesses and BIAs, and other key stakeholders will be involved throughout the study.
You're invited to a public meeting on Thursday, May 18th, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, Ballroom at 225 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2X3
You can also participate online by signing up for email updates at www.toronto.ca/kingstreetpilot, using the hashtag #KingStreetPilot or by emailing [email protected]
Dufferin St Watermain Work
The City of Toronto and its Consultant, WSP | MMM Group, have contracted FER-PAL Infrastructure to structurally reline the watermain using a process called cured-in-place piping (CIPP). CIPP is a trenchless construction method which uses several small access pits to clean and line the watermain. Through this process the amount of excavation is limited, helping to lead to less disruption to the community.
Work will be completed into two Phases, as follows:
- Phase 1: Dufferin Street (Fisher Street to Bloor Street West) and Sylvan Avenue
- Phase 2: Bloor Street West to Geary Avenue
In order for this process to occur, the Contractor will need to book an appointment with each resident along the watermain in order to install a temporary water system. This system will provide water to each property connected to the main during the course of construction. Any time the contractor needs this access, a notice will be placed in your mailbox further detailing the cause and reason for the appointment.
Throughout construction, some temporary road closures may occur. The Contractor will do everything they can in order to notify residents before these closures occur.
Should you have any questions regarding this project please feel free to contact the Program’s Field Ambassador at 647-923-3430 or [email protected] . If you have any questions for FER-PAL Infrastructure, please feel free to contact Geoff Britnell at 416-742-3713 ex 236.
Toronto City Council met on April 26, 27 and 28, 2017. Council Highlights is an informal summary of a selection 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.
Growth strategy for child care
Council approved a 10-year strategy for expanding child care and early learning programs in Toronto and authorized staff to meet with federal and provincial representatives in pursuit of a tri-government agreement on expanding child care and early learning. The City's vision is a licensed child-care system serving 50 per cent of Toronto's children up to age four by 2026. Council confirmed its commitment to the City funding 20 per cent of child-care operating costs.
City's tendering process
Council adopted recommendations and motions, including confidential instructions to staff, pertaining to an audit that identified ways to strengthen efforts to detect warning signs of potential bid rigging in the competitive tendering process for City contracts. One of the motions addresses the code of conduct for construction contractors and other suppliers, and specifies that any companies that act inappropriately will lose the privilege of bidding on City contracts.
Crime and evictions – Toronto Community Housing
Council supported asking the Ontario government for legislation that gives providers of social housing such as Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) discretion to refuse to house a tenant who has been previously evicted for serious criminal activity. In addition, Council asked staff to provide advice on pursuing legislative amendments aimed at helping with the security of TCHC residents, including through the work of TCHC's special constables.
Actions on affordable housing
Several proposals that pertain to the preservation of existing, or support the creation of new, affordable housing at various locations were adopted by Council. One of the proposals, for example, involves the City entering into agreements with the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) to fund pre-development work for converting a building at 389 Church St. into self-contained, affordable rental housing.
Support for refugees and other newcomers
Council adopted several recommendations tied to the City's role related to refugees, refugee claimants and undocumented Torontonians. Among the actions adopted is a request for the Canadian and Ontario governments to provide more funding to the City, including for the Toronto Newcomer Office and various municipally delivered social services that face increased demand for their services.
Provincial cost-sharing on housing and transit
Council voted in support of a motion by Mayor Tory to ask the federal government to require the Province of Ontario to contribute to a 40-40-20 cost-share model pertaining to the second phase of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the National Housing Strategy. The motion expressed concerns about the 2017 Ontario budget's lack of clarity on the province's anticipated matching of federal funding for transit and housing infrastructure.
Toronto Community Housing properties
Council approved a proposal from Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) to close two of the three blocks of townhouses in a complex at Firgrove Crescent in North York. TCHC is to provide a plan for relocating tenants from the deteriorating buildings. In a separate item on the agenda, Council approved a funding arrangement for TCHC to undertake full energy retrofits at nine of its residential buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat rising utility costs.
Fire chief appointment
Council appointed Matthew Pegg as Toronto's new fire chief following a North America-wide recruitment search. Pegg, who served as Toronto's interim fire chief from May 2016 until now, assumes the position of Fire Chief and General Manager, Toronto Fire Services. Chief Pegg heads Canada's largest fire service.
Community consultation on emergency shelters
Council adopted a new community engagement process that sets out how the City will engage with the public concerning new or relocated municipal shelters to serve homeless people. As part of the same agenda item, Council authorized staff to introduce a new service model to apply at four new shelter programs operating on a pilot-project basis.
Protection of heritage buildings
Council adopted motions requesting reports on protecting heritage buildings, including by creating a "heritage survey" of all the buildings/structures across the city that have potential heritage value. Heritage buildings or areas identified as being under threat of demolition for development would be afforded some protection under the Ontario Heritage Act and through the City's process for demolition permits.
Review of holiday shopping bylaw
Council considered the subject of holiday shopping in Toronto and approved a plan for the City to hold public consultations on the impact if retailers that serve prepared meals were allowed to operate on public holidays. Restaurants in Toronto are already allowed to operate on holidays because of their exemption from the holiday shopping bylaw that the City enacted in 2006. The bylaw requires retail stores that are not exempt to be closed on nine public holidays each year.
Closure of Branson's urgent-care service
Council decided to ask the medical officer of health to convene a roundtable meeting on the matter of medical services in the area of North York General Hospital's Branson medical centre on Finch Avenue West. Council also asked the city manager to write to Ontario's health minister requesting continued funding of necessary medical services in that area. A recent announcement said the urgent-care service at the Branson Ambulatory Care Centre will close in June.
Shark finning and sale of shark fin
Council agreed to ask Premier Kathleen Wynne to consider banning the sale of shark fin and shark fin food products in Ontario. In addition, Council will urge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to support a bill now under consideration to ban importing into Canada shark fins harvested through shark finning. The practice of finning, long illegal in Canadian waters, involves cutting off a shark's fins and tossing the still live shark overboard.
Home-visit municipal voting program
Council authorized the establishment of a home-visit program to serve home-bound electors in the City's municipal and school board elections. The home-visit service will be provided to electors who are unable to attend a voting place because of illness, injury or disability.
Next step for Open Data initiative
Council agreed to ask staff to prepare a master plan on Open Data at the City of Toronto for consideration by the Executive Committee later this year. Research and engagement with stakeholders have set the stage for a master plan in support of the City's commitment to open government. That commitment entails improving the delivery of services, making information more accessible and undertaking initiatives that help build trust in government.
Advisory committee on accessibility
The City's advisory committee on accessibility issues has a new name. Council approved changing the former name – Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee – to the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee.
European gypsy moth outbreak
Urban Forestry staff received Council's authorization to implement a pest management program to control a European gypsy moth infestation in several wards on the west side of the city. The program will include spraying a biological control agent and mechanically removing egg masses from individual trees. The City has been working to control gypsy moth caterpillar populations for many years while acknowledging that the pest, which defoliates trees, cannot be fully eradicated.
Support for City manufacturing
City Council directed the City Manager to investigate options – in consultation with stakeholders and Business Improvement Areas – to support the City's manufacturing industry, including the provision of property tax relief if "Buy American" legislation is passed in the United States.