I hope that summer has been treating you well. It’s been a busy and exciting time in our beautiful part of Toronto.
This past week, I joined the official ground-breaking on the first Housing Now site, out at Bloor and Kipling in Etobicoke. Years in the making, the first phase of this project will deliver more than 700 new rental homes. It was an exciting announcement, with two more Housing Now projects expected to break ground before the end of the year.
Also this week, Mayor Chow and City Council made changes to the membership of Council committees and board appointments. As always, I will continue to work with all of my colleagues to implement the solutions that our city needs.
In addition to my important work every day for the residents of Beaches-East York, I’m looking forward to contributing as the Chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council and as Vice-Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee. I will continue serving on the boards of CreateTO, Toronto Parking Authority, and the Toronto Arts Council, while joining the boards of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Read on for more information on some of the great initiatives and events happening around our community. My team and I are always here to help answer your questions and address your concerns, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
See you out there,
In This Issue
Updates & Announcements from City Hall
- City Hall Updates🆕
- Harmony Good Food Market
- Main Street Terrace Celebrating 50 Years Anniversary
Community Programs & Employment
- Centre55 Seniors Summer Courses
- Beaches Sandbox Summer Senior Drop-in Program
- Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) Program
- TTC Summer Student Initiative 🆕
- Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub 🆕
- Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) 🆕
- FREE Vocal Workshops for Ages 14 – 21 🆕
- Bob Acton Park Improvements – Aug 10th Consultation 🆕
Work in the Ward
- East-end Transit Changes, including 501 and 503 service
- COMPLETED: Coxwell and Gerrard St E/ Eastwood Rd 🆕
- Main Street Subway Station: Bus Loop Rehabilitation 🆕
- Staircase Repair at Coxwell Subway Station 🆕
- Transit riders will be able to use debit and credit cards to pay fares! 🆕
- Noticing Increased Streetcar Traffic at the Kingston/Queen St Loop? 🆕
- Outside the ward: Traffic restrictions at Broadview and Danforth Ave Intersection for Streetcar Track Replacement 🆕
- O’Connor Construction
- Hydro Work
Thanks for taking the time to read my bi-weekly newsletter! If you have any events, news, or ideas to share for our next one – please reach out to my office. Send me an email at [email protected], and we can get you included in our next issue.
Updates & Announcements from City Hall
City Hall Updates 🆕
At yesterday’s Special Council Meeting, Mayor Chow announced the appointment of her new executive team, including changes to Committee Chairs. Under the new Mayor, the City will be going in a different direction on housing. It is important for Mayor Chow to have a Chair that is aligned with, and supportive of, her direction.
As always, I will continue to work for solutions that our city needs to tackle the challenges facing us. There’s still a lot of work to do. In my new role as Vice-Chair, I will remain laser focused on making the planning and approvals reforms that are needed to deliver more housing for the people of this city, and the thousands who are moving here every single day.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee over the past year. When I was appointed, I committed to treat the housing crisis with the urgency it deserves, and usher in an era of reform to make a profound impact on Toronto’s ability to deliver more affordable housing and desperately needed supply.
In only a matter of months, we proved that big change is possible. The 2023 Housing Action Plan outlined 20 areas where focused reform is needed. At long last, Council legalized multi-tenant housing and multiplexes city-wide, and we made zoning reforms to make building housing easier.
With my professional planning background and generational perspective, I will always be a champion for more housing for more people in this city. Our future success and prosperity depends on it.
Harmony Good Food Market
Harmony Good Food Market is organizing an affordable and fresh produce market from now until October 2023. This great initiative, led by Harmony CFC, is promoting an affordable farmers market to shop for fresh local produce and a space to socialize and meet others in the neighbourhood.
This summer, visit the Harmony Good Food Market on Tuesday afternoons from 3pm-5pm! You definitely do not want to miss it.
Main Street Terrace Celebrating 50 Year Anniversary
Main Street Terrace Long Term Care Home has been serving the elderly and vulnerable population of The Beaches-East York for 50 amazing years! They marked their 50th anniversary this month – congratulations on the milestone and thank you for your many years of care.
Community Programs & Employment
Centre55 Seniors Summer Courses
Don’t let the summer heat get you down. Centre 55 is offering two courses for Seniors running from July to the end of August. Contact info below!
Beaches Sandbox Summer Senior Drop-in Program
Beaches Sandbox is offering some great services to assist the seniors community in Beaches-East York!
If you or someone you know needs tech help, look no further. Beaches Sandbox has organized appointment based tech help sessions on Tuesdays between 10am – 12pm.
Beaches Sandbox is also hosting socializing afternoons on Thursdays from 12pm – 2pm. Take some time to drop by this summer!
For more information, email at [email protected] or call 416-928-0755.
Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) Program
The Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) program has been organized to support the seniors community with services ranging from garden and yard work to light housekeeping.
If you or anyone you know is looking for more assistance around their home, contact Kevin at 416-531-8447 or email [email protected] for more information.
TTC’s Summer Student Cleaning Initiative 🆕
For the second year in a row, customers may notice students working at their local subway stations as part of TTC’s Summer Student Cleaning Initiative; a program aimed at enhancing the cleanliness of stations across the network.
Over 100 students are working through the summer to help ensure transit customers experience clean and safe stations. Since the start of the program in May, over 30 stations have been completed with the balance, planned over the summer.
Below are photos of students working at your local station. Check out their Twitter that provides a snapshot of the student efforts.
Thank you to all the students who are contributing to making a difference in creating cleaner and safer subway stations – we appreciate your hard work!
Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub 🆕
We’re thrilled to share that as of July 19, 2023, in-person services are now available at the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub, a new welcoming space at East York Town Centre that provides health, wellness, employment and other services for youth and young adults! To access services, come by the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub during its drop-in hours: Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
It is located at East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd. (Please use mall Entrance 6; the Youth Wellness Hub is located beside Dollarama). All services are free and open to everyone aged 12 to 25. Youth and young adults do not need a health card, family doctor or medical referral. Services include wellness counselling, peer support, employment services, settlement services, food support, primary care and more. No matter what you might be dealing with, their team can help.
Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) 🆕
The Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) is providing legal services to tenants living in Toronto. CCHR is Canada’s leading non-governmental organization working to advance the right to housing in Canada. They do this by providing rights-based housing services, delivering education on human rights and housing law, and advancing rights-based housing policy through research, policy development, and advocacy.
CCHR has had a long history of providing legal services to Toronto-based tenants. Their services support renters who face various legal challenges in their housing including maintenance applications, evictions due to renovation or demolition, above guideline rent increases, evictions for landlord’s own-use, and other miscellaneous legal issues.
This resource is available for constituents who may need legal support to stabilize their housing in Toronto. The eligibility criteria to access services is below:
CCHR is committed to providing a safe work environment that is free of abuse, discrimination and harassment, and that respects the dignity, self-worth and human rights of all staff, students and volunteers. CCHR will not tolerate acts of abuse, discrimination or harassment perpetrated against any employee, student or volunteer, including the use of abusive, threatening, harassing or discriminatory language or communications of any kind.
FREE Vocal Workshops for Ages 14 – 21🆕
Are you a youth ages 14-21? Head over to Redwood Theatre at 1300 Gerrard Street East Saturdays 1 – 3 pm, July 8 – August 26 for free vocal workshops with Canada’s top vocal coaches. Register at www.singtoronto.com Don’t miss out!
Bob Acton Park Improvements – Aug 10th Consultation 🆕
At yesterday’s Bob Acton Park consultation, residents were able to attend and give their feedback on the improvements and new playground coming to Bob Acton Park! We had an opportunity to learn your thoughts on the preliminary park master plan as well as three playground design options. We want to improve the park to meets the needs of the community to ensure that we can all continue enjoying it for years to come.
If you were unable to attend the pop up, you can submit your thoughts on the three playground options by taking this online survey. The survey closes August 18th, 2023.
Stay up-to-date with the project website: Bob Acton Park Improvements – City of Toronto
Work in the Ward
East-end Transit Changes
In response to customer feedback, the TTC has restarted 503 replacement bus service along Kingston Road and Queen Street East. This takes the place of the 501 replacement bus service. 501 streetcar service continues to operate.
Currently, the 503 service is running every 10 minutes seven days a week until 8 p.m. After July 30, this route will return for all day service seven days a week. As of July 30, these vehicles will appear on your transit apps or the service schedule.
As of May 2023, the City of Toronto and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) started work on infrastructure upgrades at the intersection of Coxwell Avenue and Lower Gerrard Street East/Eastwood Road. As of May 7, the bus/streetcar loop at Main Street Station will be closed for construction to repair structural pavement and the concrete bus platform on the south side of the station. Beginning June 18, several construction projects in the east end of the City will affect TTC bus and streetcar service including the 504 King and 505 Dundas. Starting June 29, sidewalk replacement and road reconstruction will begin on O’Connor Drive from St Clair Avenue East to Bermondsey Road. The TTC is working hard to ensure that customers have as many options as possible to get to and from their destinations.
Coxwell Avenue and Lower Gerrard Street East/Eastwood Road Construction
Main Street Station Service Changes
COMPLETED: Coxwell and Gerrard St E/ Eastwood Rd 🆕
This watermain replacement and track work has been completed as of late July. The #22 Coxwell bus has been back in operation since July 30, 2023. Thank you for your patience during this important infrastructure upgrade!
Main Street Subway Station: Bus Loop Rehabilitation 🆕
Since May 7, 2023, the bus/streetcar loop at Main Street Station has been closed for infrastructure upgrades. Main Street Station remains open for subway service.
Bus and streetcar routes will be changed accordingly:
- 62 Mortimer, 64 Main/87 Cosburn, 113 Danforth/135 Gerrard will continue to serve Main Street Station. Temporary stops located on-street.
- 20 Cliffside will be shortened to Victoria Park Station
- 62 Mortimer will be extended to Victoria Park Station
- 23 Dawes will be extended to Eastdale Avenue
- 506/306 Carlton
In August 2023, replacement buses will operate between Queen St E/Coxwell Ave and Victoria Park station.
Work includes: concrete and asphalt pavement rehabilitation within the bus loop, concrete bus platform rehabilitation, which includes tactile walking surface indicator and fencing replacement throughout the loop.
Staircase Repair at Coxwell Subway Station 🆕
As part of the TTC’s state of good repair program, they will be conducting repairs to one of the staircases at Coxwell Station between July 24, 2023 and October 2023. Coxwell Station has two sets of stairs and an escalator taking customers up to bus platform level/street level. During this work, only one staircase will be closed for repair – the escalator, second set of stairs and elevators will remain open for customers. All work will take place behind construction hoarding.
EXCITING NEWS: As of August 15th, Transit riders will be able to use debit and credit cards to pay fares! 🆕
Transit riders in Toronto will be able to use their credit or debit cards, including cards on smartphones or smartwatches to pay for fares starting on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. This will make riding transit more convenient, as riders no longer have to wait to load their presto cards and can use other payment options. This upgrade required hardware updates to 8,700 payment devices throughout the TTC.
Noticing Increased Streetcar Traffic at the Kingston/Queen St Loop? 🆕
With construction this summer affecting alternative routes on Broadview, Gerrard, and Coxwell, TTC is limited in end-of-line and turnback/looping options. The routing of the 506 Carlton streetcar to the Kingston Road/Queen Street loop is temporary and the 506 streetcar will be routed back to Main Station as soon the construction at Main is completed – this is scheduled in September, 2023. Similarly, the 505 Dundas streetcar will be returned to Broadview Station following major construction completion by the City and TTC. As mentioned previously, Kingston-Queen Loop is one of very few loops in the east-end TTC can use currently to turn streetcars back westbound. With that being said, Coxwell Loop just west of Kingston-Queen Loop is also being used by 506 streetcars. 501 Queen streetcars are utilizing Neville Park Loop regularly. The majority of streetcar loops in the city are residential. The high-pitched noise you have observed is wheel squeal caused by the steel wheel interacting with the top and/or sides of the steel rail. Most commonly, this squealing/screeching sound occurs on curved sections of track, turns or loops and cannot be fully eliminated in all operating scenarios.
Resources will continue to be deployed to Kingston/Queen loop as a priority, given the temporary high volume of streetcars that need to use the loop to provide effective service – during the major City/TTC infrastructure upgrades.
Our office is in touch with the TTC regularly to ensure they are lubricating the tracks 3x daily, in order to mitigate some of this additional noise being noticed by residents.
Outside of the ward: Traffic restrictions at Broadview and Danforth Ave Intersection for Streetcar Track Replacement 🆕
The City of Toronto’s work to replace TTC streetcar tracks and improve critical infrastructure continues this summer on Broadview Avenue. The City is advancing to the next phase of streetcar track replacement, which will require traffic restrictions at the intersection of Broadview and Danforth Avenues to complete the work safely.
Beginning Monday, August 14, 2023, City crews will work to replace tracks on the north side of the intersection, which is expected to be complete by late August. During construction, motorists and cyclists can expect the following impacts:
- Only one shared eastbound lane will be available.
- No westbound traffic on Danforth Avenue through the intersection and no southbound traffic on Broadview Avenue.
- One northbound lane will be maintained on Broadview Avenue from Gerrard Street East to Danforth Avenue.
- On-site signage will mark a detour route for cyclists travelling westbound.
Following the completion of track replacement on the north side of the intersection, work will begin on the south side from late August through the Labour Day weekend. During construction, motorists and cyclists can expect the following impacts:
- One shared eastbound and one westbound lane for people driving and cycling on Danforth Avenue through the intersection.
- No left or right turns will be permitted at the intersection.
- One northbound lane will remain open on Broadview Avenue, from Gerrard Street East to Danforth Avenue, which will permit people to turn right onto Danforth Avenue for eastbound travel only.
Track replacement at the intersection is expected to be completed by Monday, September 4; however, the intersection will need to be fully closed for one day following this work for paving. More details on the timeline for the full-day closure will be available in the coming weeks. People traveling in the area should use alternate routes and allow extra time to get to and from their destinations. Alternate routes to consider include Pape, Donlands and Greenwood Avenues for north/south travel; and Dundas Street East, Gerrard Street East, Mortimer Avenue and Cosburn Avenue for east/west travel.
Starting June 29, sidewalk replacement and road reconstruction will begin on O’Connor Drive from St Clair Avenue East to Bermondsey Road. As part of the work, the contractor will replace sections of damaged sidewalks, excavate the road, and install a new concrete road base. Work will begin on the west side of O’Connor Drive and move over to the east side afterwards. This will see Pedestrian Improvements, Vehicular Traffic Improvements, Sustainability/Green Features, and Underground Infrastructure Improvements.
Hydro Work: Danforth Overhead Rebuild Phase 2A
Toronto Hydro is currently doing some upgrades on Danforth. The boundaries for the project include Dentonia Park Avenue (North), Thyra Avenue (East), Danforth Avenue (South), and Avonlea Boulevard (West).
Thanks for taking the time to read my bi-weekly newsletter! If you have any events, news, or ideas to share for our next one – please reach out to my office! Send me an email at [email protected] and we can get you included in our next issue.
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