The provincial government has announced significant and deeply impactful funding cuts that will directly affect services and supports provided by the City of Toronto to its residents.
These cuts were announced months after the City's budget was already completed and approved. There was no consultation, no warning and no consideration given with respect to the impact these mid-year cuts will have on the City and its residents. Indeed, like Toronto, municipalities across the province are facing the same challenges due to these provincial cuts although our City has been particularly impacted.
With one announcement after another these provincial government cuts are far reaching, affecting public health services, child care, transportation and public transit and many more programs and services.
Because they were announced mid-year and are retroactive, they remove nearly $200 million of already budgeted 2019 funding from the City's services and programs. From across the political spectrum, observers point out how unfair it is to make these significant retroactive cuts months after the City's budget process was concluded.
For example, by eliminating $1.1 billion in already committed Gas Tax Funding over the next ten years, the province is effectively cutting state of good repair work and improvements for the TTC, resulting in more crowded, slower and less reliable commutes.
Among the most concerning provincial funding cuts announced to date are those affecting public health services for municipalities across the province including Toronto. These will impact a wide range of public health services and prevention programs including dental care for low-income children, student nutrition programs, disease prevention and subsidies for child care. In terms of child care, these cuts will eliminate over 6,000 subsidized child care spaces.
In addition to these funding cuts, the province has also announced in early May that they will be dramatically altering planning and development regulations across Ontario. Their proposed legislation removes strong protections for municipalities and communities and leaves developers less accountable from the impact of the growth they create. While we await the specific regulations that will accompany this legislation, we know that it will restore the former Ontario Municipal Board (under the name Local Planning Appeals Tribunal – LPAT). With additional changes planned to development charges (fees designed to cover the impacts of new development on public infrastructure) and Section 37 funding (fees charged to create community benefits including parks around new developments) financial impacts for the City and communities will be significant.
On Monday, May 27, I will be co-hosting a Town Hall on this issue with my fellow Toronto and East York Councillors and Toronto's Chief Planner Gregg Lintern. Here, we will discuss how Bill 108 will impact your community and the City. This event is open to the public and I encourage you to attend.
Monday, May 27 at 7:00pm
Council Chambers, Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Proper management of public funds is an important responsibility for any municipality and it is necessary to keep the City accountable. As our City develops, it is important to monitor how our programs are funded and the understand the value-for-money spent. Under the previous Mayor's administration, the City conducted an outside review of city spending which found that 90% of the City's services are classified as core services. Under the City's Audit Committee, over 2,300 findings have been acted upon to deliver financial and non-financial benefits. Prior to the approval of the 2019 Budget, staff identified nearly $36 million in savings. As the City works to find future efficiencies, it makes strong financial sense to do so in a manner that does not remove existing structures without proper alternatives in place. With the provincial government's cuts being retroactive, the City of Toronto does not have adequate time to develop these alternatives, which results in the impact being felt more strongly by communities.
In an attempt to keep the City from having to cut services or raise property taxes, Mayor Tory and City Council have launched a petition to 'Stop the Cuts' for all Torontonians to sign, to show the province that Toronto does not support these unfair and inappropriate retroactive cuts. Please consider signing the petition to show the province that you do not support their unfair budget cuts.
In our community, I have been hosting my Davenport Today and Tomorrow Town Halls as well as Compost Days while moving forward on a number of community initiatives. As the weather gets warmer, there are many exciting community events I encourage you to explore. More information is contained below for your review.
Councillor, Ward 9 – Davenport
Table of Contents
- Davenport Today and Tomorrow
- Compost Days
- Dufferin Grove Park Improvement - Public Consultation
- Oakwood Rosemount Traffic Light - Public Meeting
- Public Meeting on the Implementation of On-Street Permit Parking
- Public Consultation on Oakwood Cycling Connection
- Toronto Community Housing Repairs in Ward 9
- StreetPLAY Toronto 2019
- Harvie/St.Clair District Station and Partnership Proposal
- Craft Beer Zoning By-Law Public Consultation
- 861 St. Clair Avenue W
- Keeping Geary Avenue Vibrant
- City Updates
- News Clippings
- Important Notices
- Council Highlights
Davenport Today and Tomorrow Town Halls - May 27, June 17, June 24 and July 8 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
The Davenport Today and Tomorrow Town Halls are underway with two already completed. We have received great feedback from many residents indifferent 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' we will work with residents on the ideas and concerns they brought forward.
There are still four meetings to attend where you can share your thoughts and help shape the future of your neighbourhood:
991 St Clair Ave W
St Helen's Catholic School
Can't attend or want to share your ideas in advance? Feel free to fill out our survey.
Spring is here and a new season of greening and growing is kicking off in gardens across our community! Please see this map and click the blue pins for upcoming community compost days where we are offering free freshly composted soil for your garden.
On Thursday, June 6, CycleTO Ward 9 will be on site with cargo bikes to help transport compost to homes nearby.
Please bring your containers, a shovel and your green thumbs.
Friday, May 31 at 3:00pm
Dovercourt Public School
228 Bartlett Ave
Tuesday, June 4 at 5:00pm
Bert Robinson Park
400 Caledonia Rd
Thursday, June 6 at 5:00pm
Perth Square Park
350 Perth Ave
The City is investing in improvements in the clubhouse and north-west corner of Dufferin Grove Park. The next community meeting will be on June 5, 2019 at St. Helen's Catholic School (1196 College St) with an open house at 6:30pm and structured meeting starting at 7pm. The Project Team will be sharing the preferred design strategy for the improvements in the clubhouse and rink area and the City needs to hear your feedback. There will be open Q & A, group discussions and feedback forms and I hope you can attend to share your comments and ideas. I hope to see you there!
Wednesday, June 5
Open House at 6:30pm, Structured meeting starting 7pm
St. Helen's Catholic School, 1196 College St
For more information on the project please visit https://www.dufferingrove-northwestrevitalization.ca/ and you can share your comments with the team by emailing them to alavasid[email protected]
Wednesday, May 29 at 6:30pm
Regal Road Junior Public School, 95 Regal Rd
I have been hearing some concerns from the community on this issue, so I am holding a public meeting to discuss the proposed traffic light at the Oakwood Ave and Rosemount Ave intersection. At this meeting you will be able to share your thoughts as well as hear from Toronto Police 11 Division and City of Toronto Transportation staff. Together, we as a community can find a solution that will provide a safe and convenient environment for everyone.
Tuesday, June 4 at 6:00 p.m.
F. H. Miller Junior Public School, 300 Caledonia Rd
On Tuesday, June 4, I invite you to join Toronto Permit Parking staff and me for a community meeting to discuss the harmonization of permit parking in the Toronto and East York communities. Currently, over 90% of on-street parking is permit parking in Ward 9. This initiative will harmonize the remaining 10% in order to have a consistent model across Toronto and East York.
Tuesday, June 18 at 6:30pm
St. Clare Catholic Elementary School, 124 Northcliffe Blvd
The City of Toronto is holding a public meeting to hear from residents on a proposal to install cycling lanes along Northcliffe Blvd and Rosemount Ave. I hope you can come to the meeting to share your views on this proposal.
As Toronto's largest landlord, it is our responsibility to set the highest standard of service. In 2019, I worked hard to meet that standard, and have secured over $4.5 million in Capital Building Repairs for 13 buildings in Ward 9. These repairs will provide a better quality of life for the residents of our Toronto Community Housing communities.
Looking to close your residential street for a community event? Apply by June 1 for a permit to do just that! Dates are between September 1 and October 31. More information at www.streetplay.ca
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.
Wednesday, May 29 from 7pm-9pm
Henderson Brewing Company - 128A Sterling Rd
The number of local breweries in Toronto has grown considerably over the last decade, during which time they have become an increasingly important part of the City’s economic and cultural identity. On May 31, 2017, City Council requested that staff review Zoning By-law permissions for breweries, restaurants, and related uses and make recommendations to help support and grow the local brewery industry.
On Wednesday, May 29, the City will hold a community consultation meeting where you can learn more about the proposed Zoning By-law amendments, ask any questions you might have, and share your comments with City staff.
Today, the Committee of Adjustment approved the Minor Variance proposals for a midrise building at 861 St Clair. The building will include 76-condominium units with retail units fronting St Clair Ave W. As part of this development I secured from the developer $235,000 in funds to be directed to local community benefits, improving our local parks, school grounds, and recreation amenities. In response to concerns about a lack of on-street parking from the local community, I moved a motion to restrict residents at the building from obtaining on-street parking permits to ensure the new development does not overburden local street parking. Thank you to all the residents who contacted me, attended the public meeting in March and took the time to share their comments with the Committee on this project.
At the Planning and Housing Committee on April 30, my motion to initiate a comprehensive study of the Geary Ave corridor was adopted. This was an important first step to finding a solution to support this community through the rapid growth it is experiencing. We need to ensure that through these changes, we protect the culture and businesses of the community that has played a vital role in its identity. Thank you to the artists, businesses and community advocates who have reached out to share their stories and concerns. I look forward to working closely with everyone on this important initiative.
Planning and Housing Committee
At the Planning and Housing Committee, we heard from the United Nation's Special Rapporteur on Housing, Leilani Farha, who spoke about the importance of the right to adequate housing. As the City is currently undertaking a 10-year housing strategy, I moved a motion which was passed unanimously at Council to integrate Ms. Farha's research into our planning, as well as to look at housing through a rights-based lens.
Secured Social Housing
I was pleased to support Councillor Gord Perks, City staff and community partners to secure a rooming house that was on the market for sale in order to protect affordable housing for the community. This is an important example of the steps we can take as a city to make Toronto accessible and affordable for everyone, regardless of income.
Green Bins in Dog Off-Leash Areas
In April 2018, I moved a motion to place Green Bins in our off-leash dog areas to decrease the amount of dog waste being put in garbage and recycling bins. Shortly after, Solid Waste Management Services piloted this proposal.
Upon review of the pilot, it was found that 98% of waste being put in the green bins was organic and there was a substantial reduction of organic waste found in the garbage and blue bins. As a result, Green Bins are now being put in all parks with off-leash areas. Solid Waste Management Services staff are currently installing the bins and full installation should be completed by the end of June.
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.
Changing Lanes: Community Consultations on Laneway Suites
A laneway suite is a separate residential unit in a building located on the same lot as a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse, but generally in the backyard, and next to a public laneway. As of August 2018, the City of Toronto has allowed the construction of laneway suites in the Toronto and East York areas of the City, subject to some criteria. The City has been reviewing the possibility of allowing laneway suites across the City.
Throughout May, the City has been hosting a series of drop-in consultation meetings where you can learn more, ask questions and talk to City staff about your ideas for laneway suites. On May 23, there will be the final consultation at the North York Civic Centre.
Monday, May 27 from 7pm-9pm
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St
City's Official Plan Review - Transportation Consultations
Throughout May, City Planning staff held a series of consultations on proposed draft transportation policies, as directed by the Planning and Housing Committee, which I chair. With consultations completed and the Official Plan Amendment being finalized, it will be presented at a public open house
Tue. June 25, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
55 John Street, Room 310
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
Homelessness ‘unacceptable’ in a rich city like Toronto, UN official says - The Star, April 30
The Treasure Book Workshop - From May 23, 30 and June 6 and 13 at 533c Gladstone Ave, 9:30am-11:30am
This free 6 week workshop teaches illustration techniques and storytelling to help new Canadians share their stories through creative channels. To register, please visit www.bit.ly/2G2DpPL
Happening Community and Identity Multicultural Festival - From May 29 to June 1
From the May 29 to June 1, join the Happening Multicultural Festival at the 918 Bathurst Centre to engage with immigrant, newcomer and refugee artists to promote love for the arts, inclusion, solidarity and community-building!
Bloorcourt BIA: Support local, shop Bloorcourt - Monday May 27 to Sunday, June 2
For the week of May 27, The Bloorcourt BIA encourages you to shop local. Check out this map for a list of participating businesses.
Regal Road Spring Fair - Thursday, May 30 from 5pm-8pm
Join the Regal Road community for their Spring Fair at Regal Road Jr. Public School, 95 Regal Road. There will be great activities including live music, bike classes and a dance party!
Dovercourt Public School Spring Fling - May 31 from 3:30pm-8:30pm
Join Dovercourt Public School at 228 Bartlett Ave for their Spring Fling on May 31 for arts and crafts, food and much more!
Wallace Emerson Community Block Party - Saturday, June 1 from 12pm-4pm
On Saturday, June 1 join the Wallace Emerson Community for their Block Party Fun Day, located at Hale Coffee, 300 Cambell Ave
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
Regal Heights Village BIA Art Competition - Registration deadline June 7
Regal Heights Village BIA is hosting its first ever art competition for their banner design and community identity beautification initiative. They are encouraging all artists in Toronto, regardless of their experience, age or education in art to participate. For more information and to register, please visit their website.
Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club Spring Festival - Tuesday, June 11 from 4:00pm-7:00pm
On Tuesday, June 11, the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club will be hosting their annual spring fling in the Dovercourt Teaching Garden. Join then for games, activities and food.
Perth Avenue Jr. Public School Annual Neighbourhood Fun Fair - June 13 from 3pm-7pm
On June 13, join the Perth Avenue Jr. Public School at 14 Ruskin Avenue for their annual neighbourhood fun fair. Enjoy bouncy castles, games, face painting and more! Free admission.
Fairbank Village BIA Films on Shortt - June 14 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.
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 help plan the event, please contact [email protected].
Are you an artist looking to submit a work for this event? please contact [email protected]
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.
Laneway Reconstruction - North of Rosecliffe Avenue East of Lauder Ave
Expected Start Date: April 29, 2019
Expected End Date: June 13, 2019
The City of Toronto is reconstructing 50m of laneway and installing a new storm sewer.
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.
Impact of the provincial budget
Council supported a motion to request the Province of Ontario to reverse its announced retroactive cuts that result in the loss of about $178 million that was included in the City of Toronto’s balanced budget for 2019 as adopted in March. Council will also convey the willingness of City officials to meet with the province to discuss both governments’ budgets and the impact the province’s retroactive 2019 funding cuts will have on the residents of Toronto. A series of actions approved with this item includes a public information and education campaign.
Funding of Toronto Public Health
Council voted to express its strong opposition to funding cuts to Toronto Public Health for this year as communicated by the Ontario government, and to urge the province against making the proposed cuts. In addition, Council agreed on using advertising locations to inform Torontonians about the health impacts if the funding cuts to Toronto Public Health proceed.
Ontario government’s Bill 108
Council adopted a series of recommendations and motions addressing the Ontario government’s Housing Supply Action Plan and proposed Bill 108 (More Homes, More Choice Act). Council is asking the province to extend the June 1 timeline for comments from municipalities and other stakeholders. An initial assessment indicates that changes associated with Bill 108 would significantly affect the City’s finances, its ability to secure parkland and its capacity to provide community facilities, as well as significantly affecting the evaluation process for development applications.
Housing and buildings
Affordable housing opportunities
Council asked staff for a report on whether more affordable housing units should be required in future Toronto Community Housing revitalizations, based on a site-by-site evaluation. That is one of several recommendations adopted as part of an agenda item involving an audit that produced recommendations to help achieve broader city-building objectives and improve accountability in Toronto Community Housing’s revitalization projects.
Adequate housing as a right
Council agreed to ask the City’s Affordable Housing Office, as part of current public consultation on Toronto’s housing plan, to include a rights-based approach to housing (as advocated by the United Nations) in policy areas that fall within the City’s jurisdiction. Staff are to report on possibly making “adequate housing” a basic right in the Toronto Housing Plan that is now in the works.
Apartment building maintenance
Council approved amending the Toronto Municipal Code to require building owners/operators, under the RentSafeTO program, to develop an electrical maintenance plan with a licensed, certified electrical contractor and to maintain records showing compliance with that plan. Among several other requirements, building owners/operators will now need to maintain a list of volunteered contact information identifying tenants who may need assistance during building evacuations or temporary shutdowns of vital services.
Ontario Place and Exhibition Place
Council directed staff to work with the Ontario government on a strategy for the future of Ontario Place and Exhibition Place. The undertaking is to involve consultation with all stakeholders and focus on the original goal for the two sites – that is, providing attractive settings for festivals and other events for all Ontarians. A series of guiding principles that Council adopted for Ontario Place’s revitalization presents the principles in the context of the City’s Central Waterfront Secondary Plan. Work already taking place on a master plan for Exhibition Place continues in line with guidelines and a study framework that Council approved.
Rallies promoting hate
Council voted to reaffirm its unwavering opposition to hate speech, and directed staff to inform organizers of events that occur in Toronto regularly without a permit of the City’s policies on hate speech and hate activities. In addition, where possible, the City is to issue trespass or trespass warning letters to identifiable participants engaged in hate activities at rallies taking place on City property. The response to such activities also involves the police.
Security at places of worship
Council voted to ask the Toronto Police Services Board to consider and report back on the feasibility of creating a task force to examine security and public safety in Toronto’s places of worship. The report is to include terms of reference for working with City divisions and agencies as well as with the federal government and the Ontario government on this matter.
Tree planting and maintenance
Council adopted recommendations aimed at improving contract management, customer service and operational efficiency in the City’s tree planting and tree maintenance programs. A recent audit indicates there is room for improvement, notably in overseeing work carried out by contracted tree service companies.
Bike lanes on Richmond Street
Council directed staff to investigate all options to ensure the safety of cyclists along Richmond Street from John Street to Bathurst Street for the duration of watermain reconstruction work along Richmond. Transportation Services was also asked to investigate safe detour routes and improve alternative cycling routes that parallel Richmond Street.
St. Lawrence Market project
Council approved the awarding of a contract for the construction of the new St. Lawrence Market North building at 92 Front St. The City is redeveloping the property with a new, multi-story building that will include a ground-floor market space, Court Services offices and court rooms, and an underground parking garage. The former one-storey market building at the site has been demolished and an archeological assessment conducted.