May your days be merry and bright!
December 22, 2022 – Newsletter & Holiday Wishes
Wishing all those who celebrate a Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice yesterday on December 21, Merry Christmas on December 25, Happy Kwanzaa from December 26 to January 1, and a very Happy New Year as we welcome 2023!
It’s hard to believe another year is coming to an end. Following another incredible year together, I am honoured to be serving this community for the next four years.
We’ve accomplished many great things together in 2022 like working through ways to tackle housing affordability, make our roads safer and support our thriving businesses here in Beaches – East York. I know 2023 will bring even better things for this community as we work together.
My City Hall and Constituency offices will be operating on reduced hours from December 24th to January 4th after a hectic year.
Thank you in advance for your patience with receiving a response to non-urgent items. For any urgent requests that can’t be dealt with through 311, don’t hesitate to reach out via email to [email protected] or by calling 416-338-2755.
As we head into 2023, let’s stay focused on supporting small businesses, protecting our vulnerable, and keeping each other safe and healthy. Take care of yourselves and know your community is here to support you.
Have a happy, safe, and restful holiday season,
In This Issue
- Council Recap 🆕
- Vacant Home Tax – Begins 2023 🆕
- Winter Service Program Updates
- Registration for Winter Rec Programs Now Open
- Vaccine & Health Updates 🆕
- Christmas at Hope United Church– Dec 24 🆕
- Agnes Mcphail Award, Nomination Deadline – Jan 5 🆕
- Annual New Year’s Levee – Jan 8 🆕
- CC55 Book Club – Jan 9 🆕
- SCHC Volunteer Open House – Jan 14 🆕
- Snow Shovellers Wanted
- Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance Program Running Again
- CC55 Share a Christmas Program Volunteers Needed
- SCHC Hospice Palliative Care Volunteers Needed
- SAHM Program is Hiring
- CP Planning Job Posting
- Stan Wadlow Playground Survey 🆕
- New EV Charging Station
- Ivan Gardens Construction Complete
- Toronto Giving Machine
- Reminder: No Dogs Allowed on TDSB property
- BEY Food Banks
- Watermain Replacement on O’Connor Drive from Northline Road to Sunrise Avenue 🆕
- Toronto Hydro Underground Electrical Upgrade; Project Yardley – O’Connor
- O’Connor Drive Improvements
- Intersection Improvement Works at Coxwell Avenue and Dundas Street East
- Notice of Road Closure – Stephenson Avenue
- Toronto Hydro Overhead Electrical Upgrade; Queen St. E.
- Toronto Hydro Underground Electrical Upgrade; Project Kingston – Waverley
- Watermain Replacement and Road Resurfacing on Denvale Road
- Toronto Hydro – Overhead Civil & Electrical Upgrade; Project Danforth
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
Council Recap 🆕
Last week my colleagues and I participated in the final council meeting of 2022. With the holidays around the corner and the new year on the horizon, we made some incredible progress, particularly on the housing front. Read below to learn more some key files that were discussed at Council.
Toronto’s 2023 Housing Action Plan – Approved!
Last week, Mayor John Tory and I introduced Toronto’s 2023 Housing Action Plan, which represents the first step to building more homes for more people across our city. The Plan contains several key items that I’ve been working hard to address over the past four years and even before I ran for office, during my time in the Chief Planner’s Office.
From approving as-of-right zoning to allow more affordable housing forms, bringing an end to exclusionary zoning, incentivizing forms of co-operative and purpose-built rental housing, or making it easier to build sustainable, mid-rise apartments on our main streets, we now have a plan sets us up for making real change to how we as a city, approve, build and plan housing. It will even include a post-secondary housing strategy developed in partnership with universities to address the unique challenges students face.
The Plan is already making headway. Council’s approval of this landmark proposal at our final meeting of the year means we’ve now approved one of its most crucial components, and one that’s been 14 years in the making: permitting multi-tenant housing across the city.
I’m looking forward to using this momentum to go beyond simply removing barriers to housing and ramping the City’s active role in saying yes to housing opportunities.
Bill 109: More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022
This past week at Council we made some changes that better align our municipal processes with provincial legislation set out by Bill 109. Changes include the addition of 150 new planning staff that will support application and project review, and meet the new 90 day turn around for development review decisions recently mandated by the Province. While these changes were thrust upon us, the City has utilized this situation to look for business improvements that will help us unlock more much-needed homes, faster.
Bill 39: Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022
In one of the most hotly-debated decisions in council this year, I joined a majority of Council members asking the Province to rescind Bill 39. You can find that vote here.
Whether it’s Bill 109, Bill 23, or Bill 39, when the Government at Queen’s Park develops legislation that impacts municipalities absent consultation, the outcomes can be damaging. The Bill 39 powers are intended and scoped to help the Mayor move housing initiatives forward. In the same meeting where I saw the majority of Council get behind our historic Housing Action Plan, I saw other votes that would suggest there are still some who aim to obstruct, delay and limit new housing opportunities – not dissimilar from what I witnessed over the past four years. The first batch of work on housing will be undertaken at the Planning and Housing Committee and will come back to Council in the spring, where my colleagues and I will have another opportunity to show we are united in a ‘pro-housing for all’ agenda once again – but until then – there has only been one vote on housing this term. The point remains that it’s equally important to make decisions as a majority of Council and that it’s important to advance housing solutions to address the housing crisis. Both things can be true. What’s clear is that we have more work to do together to ensure that local voices and representation, and our city-wide objectives on key issues, both have room to be heard and advanced.
Vacant Home Tax Begins 2023 🆕
An annual tax will be levied on vacant Toronto residences, payable beginning in 2023. Click here to submit your declaration.
A property is considered vacant if it has been unoccupied for a total of six months during the previous calendar year or is otherwise deemed to be vacant under the bylaw.
The goal of the City of Toronto’s Vacant Home Tax (VHT) is to increase the supply of housing by discouraging owners from leaving their residential properties unoccupied. Homeowners who choose to keep their properties vacant will be subject to this tax.
Revenues collected from the Vacant Home Tax will be allocated towards affordable housing initiatives.
Winter Service Program Updates
What’s New This Winter Season? The 2022-2023 Winter Services Program has many new elements that will be rolled out for the first time in Toronto:
New Winter Contracts for first time in 7 years
Modernizing Processes for Work Orders, Services Requests and
Leveraging Technology to Increase Accountability
Heightened Coordination with Councillors and City Partners
New Communications Strategy
Registration for Winter Rec Programs Now Open
Registration for Toronto Parks winter recreation programs and March Break CampTO is now open for all City locations.
Explore the more than 11,200 fun, active and educational programs on offer for Torontonians of all ages and abilities at Toronto.ca/WinterRec
Vaccine & Health Updates 🆕
Vax the Holidays
For the second year in a row, Team Toronto’s Vax The Holidays campaign is bringing COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinics to Toronto malls and popular community hubs. Vax The Holidays features mobile and pop-up vaccine clinics and is focused on making sure locations are easily accessed and in areas where large groups of people will be gathering in the coming weeks, including busy holiday shopping locations.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is strongly encouraging people to receive the vaccinations during this month-long campaign to guard against serious illness at a time when hospital emergency departments are packed with people struggling with respiratory illness.
More information, including clinic locations, is available in this City-issued announcement: www.toronto.ca/news/vax-the-holidays-kicks-off-with-flu-and-covid-19- mobile-vaccination-clinics-in-malls-and-community-hubs/
How to Help Keep Your Family Safe This Cold and Flu Season
Flu season is upon us and there is no better time to get vaccinated! Getting you Bivalent COVID-19 Booster and Flu Vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones with holiday season.
In response to the very high demand for urgent, acute health services hospitals and healthcare organizations across Ontario are facing, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is sharing tips that will help protect your loved ones this cold and flu season and, in the event that you need care, ensure you get it in the right place at the right time. Learn more about how to keep your family safe and healthy this season.
In addition, MGH is supporting community pharmacies in East Toronto by ensuring they have reliable emergency access to infant and children formulations of this medication where possible. If your family needs infant or children’s liquid Tylenol for pain and fever relief, you may be able to find supply at one of our pharmacy partners. You and your child do not need a prescription for these medications. See the full list of our pharmacy partners at tehn.ca/PharmacyPartners.
Health Access Taylor-Massey (HATM) Now Open in Crescent Town!
Health Access Taylor-Massey (HATM), a new healthcare, community and social services centre, is now open in Crescent Town! It offers connections to services and resources, including COVID-19 supports, to people who live in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood and surrounding areas.
The goal is to improve the health and well-being of local residents by making it easier for people to find the care they need in one place that is close to home. The diverse team of healthcare providers includes family doctors, nurses, mental health counsellors, a resource navigator and others.
Local appointments can be booked in advance at www.tehn.ca/covid19/covid-19-vaccinecineAppointment. You can also use the provincial booking system online or at 1-833-943-3900.
Christmas at Hope United Church 🆕
Please join Hope United Church this Christmas! You’re invited to attend any and all of their Christmas events, including…
December 24th at 4:30pm – A Jazzy Family Christmas
December 24th at 7:30pm – Lessons and Carols
December 25th at 11:00am – Christmas Day Service with Cheryl Stenson
January 1st at 11:00am – New Years Day Service with Cheryl Stenson
Agnes Macphail Award – Call for nominations 🆕
The Agnes Macphail Award is open for nominations for 2023. The deadline date is midnight on Thursday, January 5, 2023. For more information including the nomination form, click here.
Annual New Year’s Levee 🆕
CC55 Book Club 🆕
Whether you’re an avid reader or simply falling back in love with books, the Centre 55 Book Club is for you! Happening the first Monday of every month, 7pm at 97 Main Street.
SCHC Volunteer Open House 🆕
Many of our programs are based on a peer support model and are led by our dedicated volunteers. We are currently seeking compassionate, reliable, and caring individuals who are willing to share the end-of-life journey with our clients and their families.
There is comfort in being able to speak in one’s mother tongue, especially at the end of life. We are specifically searching for people who can speak various languages, such as Greek, Tamil, Mandarin, English, and Cantonese, to name a few.
If you are interested in becoming part of our volunteer team, please contact Jacklyn Malik, Hospice & Friendly Visiting Volunteer Outreach and Training Coordinator at [email protected] or call
416-949-8132 or come join us on Saturday, January 14th to hear more about our volunteer opportunities and how you can make a difference in the life of someone else. You are welcome to check out our website https://www.schcontario.ca/ for more information on programs, services, and other volunteer opportunities.
Community Programs & Employment
Snow Shovellers Wanted!
Access Alliance is recruiting Snow Shovellers for their 2022-2023 snow removal program. This program serves seniors in the Toronto Danforth, Don Valley West, Beaches- East York and Scarborough South-West areas. See the flyer below for more information.
Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance Program Running Again
Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community is offering their Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance Program again this winter. Do you or a senior in your area need assistance with outdoor tasks around the home like snow removal? Contact Kevin at 416-531-8477 ext. 1 or email [email protected] for more details.
SCHC Hospice Palliative Care Volunteers Needed
Did you know that volunteering is good for your health? Please consider volunteering for Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities and make a difference in someone’s life and improve your health through the next three steps.
- Improves physical and mental health
- Provides a sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills
- Nurture new and existing relationships
For details, please see attached flyer for the Open House and Palliative Care volunteer recruitment.
SAHM Program is Hiring
The Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community, Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance program is seeking community-minded individuals to help seniors with snow removal and other outdoor maintenance tasks. Check out the poster below for more info!
Stan Wadlow Survey
The City is improving the playground in Stan Wadlow Park! Share your thoughts on the features and equipment for the new playground in Beaches-East York via an online survey, open now until January 29, 2023.
Have your say by clicking here.
New EV Charging Station in #BEY
Beaches-East York got a little more electric this month! Great to see our work for more electric vehicle chargers continue with two new stations added at Queen St. E. and Rainsford Rd
Ivan Gardens Construction Complete
Thrilled to have seen the newly completed Ivan Forrest street scape enhancements in person! These improvements include additional pathways, seating, improved entrance to the park, and planters. If you’re in the area, make sure to check out the improvements for yourself!
Toronto Giving Machine
Looking for ways to give back this holiday season? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Toronto area recently launched an amazing initiative called the Toronto Giving Machine.
The giving machine is a virtual vending machine that dispenses charitable items and volunteer opportunities that support members of our local communities. For example, a person can go to the site and see things like “20 pairs of warm socks – $20” and when they click on the item they are re-directed to the donation page of a charity called Socks 4 Souls that donates socks to homeless shelters across the GTA. If a person does not have money to donate but would like to find volunteer options there is a page for volunteer vending items. On this page users can choose a volunteering option that looks interesting to them, click on it, and they are re-directed to a page with all the information for the organization and the person to contact to set up the volunteering. The site is just a simple way for people to connect to local organizations and help our neighbours around us.
The site does not collect any money, names, data, or anything else, it’s simply just a way to link people and vetted organizations together. Click here to visit the Toronto Giving Machine website!
Reminder: No Dogs Allowed on TDSB property
The Beaches has a well-earned reputation for being a dog-friendly neighbourhood. Once the snow fence goes up, I love seeing residents get together with their dogs and enjoy the ‘pop up’ dog park for the duration of the winter.
I was disheartened to read a recent letter to the editor of the Beach Metro from a group of parents, which shared two recent incidents in which children were bitten by dogs in the beaches, one at a school.
We’re so fortunate to have many dog parks in our ward. Please make good use of them, and leash your dog outside of off-leash parks (and it goes without saying, please clean up after your dog).
When it comes to using schoolyards as places to exercise your dog, please don’t. Dogs do not belong in schoolyards explicitly designated for children. It does not matter whether your dog is friendly, old, a puppy, calm or has impeccable recall: your dog is not welcome at a school. Dogs are not to be on school property, regardless of whether or not school is in session.
Here is a map of dog parks in our area.
BEY Food Banks
Thanks to the incredible devotion of community volunteers and organizations, as well as generous donations, Beaches-East York is proud to offer several food banks for those in need of support.
The Grace Pascoe Care Centre has been a ministry of Calvary for more than 60 years and serves the catchment area from Victoria Park Ave. to Woodbine Ave. and from Danforth Ave. to the lake.
In collaboration with Community Centre 55, food hampers are provided on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 9 pm.
For more information on the program and how to donate, email [email protected] or call 416-691-2899
The mission of this ministry is to meet the needs of those in the community experiencing food insecurities by providing groceries, a warm meal and as much as we are able to, provide the much needed essential personal items to anyone in need. Soup Kitchen & book bank hours are Fridays from 4pm – 6pm.
For more information on the program and how to donate, email [email protected] or call 416-690-5169.
FBC offers a meal service every second Wednesday of the Month. The next meal will be on July 13th from 9:30am to 11:00am. For more information on how to participate or donate, call 416.699.7156 or email [email protected].
Work in the Ward
Watermain Replacement on O’Connor Drive from Northline Road to Sunrise Avenue 🆕
Toronto Hydro Underground Electrical Upgrade; Project Yardley – O’Connor
O’Connor Drive Improvements
Intersection Improvement Works at Coxwell Avenue and Dundas Street East
Notice of Road Closure – Stephenson Avenue
Toronto Hydro Overhead Electrical Upgrade; Queen St. E.
Toronto Hydro Underground Electrical Upgrade; Project Kingston – Waverley
Watermain Replacement and Road Resurfacing on Denvale Road
Toronto Hydro – Overhead Civil & Electrical Upgrade; Project Danforth
*Work is expected to begin January 2022.
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.
Have questions, comments or concerns? Just hit reply to this email and get in touch with me.
For real-time updates on the local issues that matter to you most, please follow any of my social media accounts!