Metrolinx held their final Community Advisory Council (CAC) Meeting for the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation Project in November. The CAC is comprised of local stakeholders and has been providing feedback to Metrolinx on the project. At the meeting, Metrolinx presented updates on their Integrated Art and Public Realm Plans, provided a preliminary construction management overview, in addition to receiving feedback and answering questions from CAC members. I encourage you to review the Meeting Presentation, download the Public Realm Plan and look at the Meeting Minutes by going to Metrolinx's Davenport Diamond project website at http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rer/davenport.aspx. It is anticipated that Metrolinx will be holding a public meeting about the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation Project in the new year.
I'm happy to share that upgrades to Symington Park are underway! City crews recently installed an accessible pathway for the community gardens and a new pergola in the park. These are part of a complete set of enhancements which will also include additional seating, shaded gathering areas, an improved baseball diamond, new plantings and a dog friendly water fountain. Thank you to everyone who shared your feedback with me on these new upgrades to Symington Park.
I am happy to share that the upgraded splash pad in Perth Square Park is now open, providing a safer, more comfortable and family friendly place to cool off and have some fun with the kids! The new rubberized surface has a softer "bouncy" feel and helps to prevent scrapes and bruises for children in the case of slips and falls. Thank you to all the parents and community members who have worked together with me and shared your feedback on the upgrades made at Perth Square Park.
This week, I joined with Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, Melanie Joly and Davenport Member of Parliament, Julie Dzerowicz to welcome a $5.1 million grant allocation to the Museum_of_Contemporary_Art_Canada (MOCA) through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This funding will help to catalyze the revitalization of the former Tower Automotive Building (Auto BLDG) heritage-designated building in the Junction Triangle into a new forum for contemporary art. Construction is well underway inside the building and outside to create the new museum, artists working spaces and community space which will anchor the revitalization of former industrial lands into a mixed use neighbourhood.
I am pleased to share that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) is donating approximately $20,000 worth of skating equipment and materials to three City of Toronto ice rinks in Ward 18. The Dufferin Grove Park skating rink, Campbell Park skating rink and Wallace Emerson Park skating rink will receive new helmets, skates and hockey sticks to support the fantastic programming at these rinks. In addition, MLSE will also be donating a new skate sharpening machine for use at these three rinks, ensuring every step on the ice is the sharpest.
I would like to thank MLSE for this generous donation to our community and for all their continued support of active and inclusive sports programming across Toronto.
I also invite you to join me, your neighbours and MLSE in Campbell Park on Monday February 20, 2017 starting at 11am for a Family Day Skating Celebration! The City of Toronto is co-hosting the event at the park with MLSE who will be joined by Maple Leafs legend Daryl Sittler, Maple Leafs Mascot Carlton the Bear, gourmet chefs, decorations, skating activities and more for a great day of fun! I hope you can join me and your neighbours for some great winter fun in our community!
New GO Barrie Line Station Announced for Bloor and Lansdowne, Davenport Diamond Petition Gains 2,000 Signatures, New City Staff Report Release
As many of you are now aware, I have been working alongside a coalition of 9 different community groups and other elected representatives in advocating for the best possible community outcome from Metrolinx's proposed Davenport Diamond project. On Tuesday it was announced by the Province that a GO Train station at Bloor and Lansdowne on the Barrie GO Line is a part of their new station plans.
This is a strong victory for our community and it wouldn't have been possible if not for the work of many community members who came together and helped to advocate for our community. Thank you to everyone who has engaged on this issue and to the Province for making this announcement. While a station has finally been committed, there is a lot more work to do in order to ensure that our community fully benefits as part of this project.
Through our collective efforts over three weeks in May and June, my office alongside these 9 community groups managed to collect over 2,000 signatures in support of a petition that calls on the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx to:
- develop a comprehensive vision that includes a design competition;
- address noise, vibration, and safety issues and concerns;
- create a multi-modal station at Bloor;
- establish cycling and walking connections throughout including connections to the West Toronto Railpath, the Green Line, and an elevated connection to Earlscourt Park;
- devise a long-term maintenance plan and endowment fund for community programming;
- resolve concerns relating to Dupont St;
- provide the community with a date commitment to electrify the corridor; and
- guarantee that no more than the proposed 36 trains per day will be in use until electric trains are operational on the corridor.
MPP Cristina Martins has read the petition in the Ontario Legislature and added her name to it as well. You can read the petition in full by clicking here.
A new City staff report on the Davenport Diamond has also been released and it contains the following staff recommendation that City Council will be debating and voting on:
That the City continue negotiations with Metrolinx to secure a new multi-modal GO Station at Bloor Street, a Community Improvement Plan for the study mitigation area, a multi-use path and connection south to the West Toronto Railpath, a design solution and mitigation strategy for the rail corridor intersection at Dupont Street, and to participate in the project Community Advisory Committee.
The report can be viewed in full detail here: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-94293.pdf
Finally, the 30-day review period as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed on June 27, 2016. As part of this process Metrolinx has released their Environmental Project Report (EPR). The EPR and more information on the 30-day review period can be found on the Metrolinx project website here: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rer/davenport.aspx
Once again, thank you to all of the community groups for working with me and so many others in presenting a real and achievable community vision for this project. I truly believe that when our community comes together, we can accomplish so much. I look forward to updating you on our work in the near future.
In late April, Metrolinx hosted a community meeting about the proposed Davenport Diamond Rail Grade Separation project as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP). At the meeting, Metrolinx provided new project data and renderings of the proposed guideway and berm. It was great to see engaged and passionate residents attend the meeting to learn more about the project, to ask questions and provide comments. To view the presentation and materials from the meeting, please click here.
A coalition of nine different community groups have come together and wrote an Open Letter to Metrolinx outlining the issues and concerns that they have with the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation project. Prior to the letter being written, I convened a meeting between them and City staff to discuss this project and to see what issues and concerns are in alignment. The letter articulates a strong and united community voice on this issue and you can read it by clicking here.
Additionally, a petition has been created which is addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario calling for the Province and Metrolinx to meet the requirements of the Davenport community as outlined in the Open Letter. The petition presents a clear community vision for this project. MPP Martins will be reading the petition in the Legislature. Community groups will be collecting petitions across our community over the next few weeks and I encourage you to sign it when you have the opportunity. I also have a copy of the petition at my office that you are able to sign. To view the petition, please click here.
As Metrolinx continues to move forward with this project, I will continue to work with local residents' groups, elected representatives, City staff, and Metrolinx to advocate for our community and to ensure that our community receives the best possible outcome from this project.
Toronto City Council has voted to name the new 7,000 square foot community centre being built as part of the 362 Wallace Ave development the George Chuvalo Neighbourhood Centre. Community members have played a major role in defining this centre, from its layout, to the type of programming that will be offered once it opens, and now the name of the centre itself! Many Junction Triangle residents suggested that the building be named after a famous local, and the idea of naming it after legendary Heavyweight Boxer, George Chuvalo was the predominate choice. Hundreds of petitions were collected in the surrounding area and I brought forward a motion to Toronto City Council to officially name the centre after George Chuvalo. You can watch Chuvalo's heartfelt reaction to this initiative here. You can learn more about how this came to be and some history on Chuvalo by clicking here.
In my recent response on the Scarborough Subway debate, I said:
"I am now working to turn Council's attention to the downtown relief line and addressing the local circumstances and preferences of downtown west.