Happy Friday! I hope you’re keeping warm – as well as safe – as the weather begins to cool. With the fall fully underway, City Council is back to a busy schedule of meetings and there’s a lot happening in the community for you to participate in. Like many of you, I’ve been enjoying being out in the neighbourhood appreciating the fun and creative Halloween decorations. They’re not just a good reminder that we’re nearly at the end of October but also a daily example of the many ways we each contribute to make this community a little brighter and a little more like home. Thank you.
I’ve been busy in the last couple of weeks working with my colleagues on the Executive Committee and the Planning & Housing Committee to make some important policy moves for Toronto. Last week I joined Mayor Tory to announce that the City is doubling down on supporting local businesses by making the CafeTO patio program permanent and creating a new property tax class for small businesses. I’ve been working with City staff to develop a new tax class since before the pandemic but the impacts of COVID make the need for new policy even more urgent. The new classification will mean our main street businesses aren’t being taxed based on real estate speculation but to reflect the realities of the hard work local business owners pour into their livelihoods and their communities day-in, day-out. The CafeTO patios have been a lifeline for local businesses and our communities. Extending the program will only add to the vibrancy and energy we’ve seen them bring back to our main streets.
At Planning and Housing Committee yesterday I helped move forward new policies that will require new developments to contain affordable housing. The policy (called inclusionary zoning) will eventually see up to 22% of new units built across Toronto being affordable. This policy has been developed over many years of careful analysis and discussion. Given the scope and scale of these kinds of new measures the City will be monitoring the impacts of the policy very closely. Over the next decade, inclusionary zoning is expected to deliver tens of thousands of new affordable homes. All three of these measures – permanent CafeTO patios, a small business tax class, and inclusionary zoning – are expected to get final approval at the City Council meeting on November 9 & 10 – more details on each are below.
At the more local scale, there are lots of events in the community this weekend and beyond. On Saturday from 2-4pm I’ll be at Fairmount Park with the Toronto Professional Firefighters’ Association to give away 200 fire alarms. Later that night, be sure to come out for one of the last performances of this summer’s amplified music on patios pilot at the Stone Lion on Queen Street East from 4pm-9:30pm. And if it’s already too cold for you to sit on a patio, you can get active and join me with the Friends of Glen Stewart Ravine for their autumn clean-up on Sunday morning from 10am-12pm. I’m also excited to share that our local favourite Pumpkin Parades are back on November 1st with full details of the events at Stephenson Park, East Lynn Park, Moncur Park, and Dentonia Park below. A big thank you to all of the organizers and everyone who’ll be participating!
I hope you have a restful weekend. Please don’t forget to test your smoke alarms when you set your clocks back on Sunday. For everyone who’s enjoying a long-awaited return to trick-or-treating, stay safe and have fun!
In This Issue
- Introducing a new property tax class to support small businesses ?
- CafeTO – Made Permanent?
- New policy to require affordable housing in development project moves forward ?
- Update from the Toronto Music Advisory Committee
- Our Plan Toronto – Municipal Comprehensive Review
- City of Toronto’s construction noise regulations are back in effect as provincial regulations expire
- Automated Speed Enforcement devices issue more than 36,700 tickets in July and August 2021
- City launches interactive webpage to view apartment building evaluation results
- City Council Updates – A New Framework for Multi-Tenant Housing
- PollinateTO Grants – New Deadline of November 19th?
- Update on Vaccine Clinics – Vax and Treat?
- Vaccine webinar on vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11?
- Campaign to diversity representation on City organizations #TamilsonBoard
- Toronto Senior’s Housing Unit Launching Integrated Service Model
- Do your bit to cut out cigarette butts and litter
- Dogs in the City Campaign: Keeping dogs on leash and enjoying the outdoors safely
- Williamson Ravine Upgrades
- Portland Flood Protection Upgrades
- Road Restoration on Main and Lumsden
- Toronto Hydro – Danforth 4kv Conversion Work
- Toronto Hydro – Bartley and O’Connor Upgrade
- Construction Notice – Parkview Hills
- Construction Notice – Hale Court, Leander Court and Stag Hill Drive
- Moncur Park Naturalization Project
- New Mural for #Destination Danforth?
- A New Headquarters for 55 Division?
- 55 Division Community Report?
- Opening a new Toronto Community Housing Tenant Hub ?
- Trenton/Cedarvale Construction Update
- 11 Macey Tour
- Accessible Pedestrian Crossings
- Grant AME Church – Kitchen Renovation
- Pop-up Vaccination Clinics – East Toronto Health Partners & MGH?
- Seniors Snow Removal Program?
- Community Centre 55’s 40th Annual Christmas Hamper Program?
- Community Centre 55 Community Fridge
- The Big Social
- Community Centre 55 Classes – October Schedule
- Updates to Older Adult Community Centre Programming
- Kick-start Virtual Tutoring Program
- Kick-start After-school Program
- Get your vaccine proof printed for free at Toronto Public Library
- Volunteers needed: In-home Hospice program
- Call for Blood Donors
- East Toronto Food Program
- Toronto District School Board – Essential Skills Upgrading
- Seniors Coffee N’ Mingle – Access Alliance
- EarlyOn Family Programs
- Seniors Cleaning Service
- Free Smoke Alarms – Stop by Fairmount Park?
- Pumpkin Parades – Stephenson, East Lynn, and Dentonia Park?
- Toronto Fringe’s Primetime Festival?
- EcoFair Toronto – November 4th – 7th?
- Glen Stewart Ravine Clean Up – October 31st ?
- StrollTO in Beaches-East York
- Thursday Trivia Happy Hour with Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships
- East York Meals on Wheels supporting True Davidson Acres ?
- Scott Mission – Mask Delivery?
- Vaccine Engagement Team Appreciation?
- Sarah Allen retires after 27 years with Community Centre 55?
- Celebrating Hometown Hero Penny Oleksiak and supporting The Daily Bread Foodbank
- Senior’s Lunch at Community Centre 55
- National Literary Poster Winner
- Toronto’s Tiniest Honey Store
- Beach Citizen of the Year Award Winner – Barbara Myrvold
- Orange Paper Flowers for Reconciliation
- Rocky the Rock Snake
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
Introducing a new property tax class to support small businesses ?
Since before the pandemic, I’ve working right alongside our local businesses and BIAs to support our main streets. A key policy change we’ve heard for many years is the excessive property tax pressures on many small businesses with a mom and pop being taxed like a condo. This week Council’s Executive Committee approved a plan to create a new tax class so small businesses face a lower tax burden and can go into COVID-recovery with every available support from the City.
During my time as the small business lead on the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Taskforce, I’ve been able to work closely with the small business community to shape the supports and advocacy our businesses need. This new tax class will ensure the preservation of our diverse Main Streets as they continue to work through the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic. I joined the Executive Committee meeting this week to share my support for introducing this new tax class. The proposal was approved by the Executive Committee and will go to City Council next month. If it passes, small business will be able to receive a 15% property tax reduction starting in 2022. To qualify, businesses located within the City of Toronto’s Official Plan will need to:
- be classified within the commercial or new commercial tax class (with certain property types excluded)
- have a Current Value Assessment (CVA) less than or equal to $7 million
- be 7,500 square feet or less, or for commercial condos a gross floor area of 2,500 square feet or less
Businesses located elsewhere in the City must:
- be classified within the commercial or new commercial tax class (with certain property types excluded)
- have a CVA less than or equal to $1 million
This new tax class is about creating fairness for small businesses within our commercial property tax class. Local mom and pop shops shouldn’t be taxed at the same rate as the large commercial businesses. This step forward is about levelling the playing field for the small businesses who have struggled significantly during the pandemic. We need to continue the work to support them into a strong recovery.
CafeTO – Made Permanent?
There’s more good news in terms of ways we’re supporting small businesses – the Executive Committee also approved a plan to make the CafeTO program permanent and waive the application fee in 2022. This will be voted on as well at City Council next month for final approval. During this past season, the CafeTO program saw a 51% increase in participating restaurants from 2020. The program has involved over 1,200 restaurants and sixty-nine of the City’s Business Improvement Areas have had at least one restaurant participating in the program. We know this program was a lifeline for these restaurants during the pandemic when indoor dining was not permitted, or only allowed at a limited capacity. Having these outdoor patio spaces let restaurants open their doors to guest and showed us how we can reimagine the design of our City streets. The full staff report on the 2022 program and recommendations for future iterations can be read here.
New policy to require affordable housing in development project moves forward ?
Yesterday, Toronto took one step closer to becoming Ontario’s first city with Inclusionary Zoning. As a member of the Planning & Housing Committee, I was able to help bring forward new policies that in the years ahead will see up to 22% of new units built in condos be affordable. The policy goes to City Council for a final decision in two weeks. Getting here has been years in the making and is a win – for housing and for the future of our growing city. More details on the program are here:
Beginning in 2022, Inclusionary Zoning will secure five to 10 per cent of condominium developments as affordable housing, increasing to eight per cent to 22 per cent by 2030. The amount of affordable housing required would vary depending on the area of the city, with the highest requirements in the Downtown.
Toronto’s proposed Inclusionary Zoning framework proposes foundational requirements for affordable housing in new development that will ensure affordability is maintained for 99 years. In the City’s policy, rents and ownership prices would be based on proposed new income-based definitions of affordable housing, targeting households with an annual income of between $32,486 and $91,611.
Inclusionary Zoning is already used in more than 800 jurisdictions in the U.S., Australia and Canada. While no two cities have the same Inclusionary Zoning policy, each one is tailored to the municipality’s local housing market and needs. Toronto’s proposed policy was developed based on detailed financial impact analysis, including a peer review, and input received through extensive consultation.
The policy will be closely monitored and reviewed after one year to allow for adjustments based on evolving market conditions and opportunities to expand its implementation to broader areas of the city.
The introduction of this policy tool represents a shift in how the City treats new developments. It will ensure affordable housing is incorporated in new developments on a consistent basis rather than being negotiated on a site-by-site basis, providing clarity for all parties from the very beginning. The policy proposes a balanced, forward-looking and equitable framework that will help the City achieve the HousingTO Action Plan target of approving 40,000 affordable rental homes and 4,000 new affordable ownership homes by 2030.
Update from the Toronto Music Advisory Committee
Earlier this month I chaired my third meeting of the Toronto Music Advisory Committee (TMAC). TMAC is made up of music industry stakeholders from across Toronto involved in all aspects of the industry. Our third meeting focused on updates for the Amplified Music on Patios (AMP) pilot launched in three wards this summer, including Beaches-East York. While the economic data is still being collected, we’re hearing from musicians, business-owners and community members that the program has been an incredible success in helping bring our main streets to life. If you have feedback to share, please send it to [email protected].
The committee also heard updates on our efforts to advocate for safe and consistent rules to reopen live music venues. Last Friday, the Province announced that most capacity limits and distancing requirements were being removed for concert venues. These changes only applied to seated venues, and TMAC is working on efforts to coordinate a full lifting of restrictions for general admission in a way that meets public health needs and addresses the challenges venues have faced over nearly two years.
For a full review of the agenda and reports, please visit the committee page here.
Our Plan Toronto – Municipal Comprehensive Review
The City of Toronto is reviewing our Official Plan, which is Toronto’s road map for land use. It sets out our long-term vision, shared values, and policies that help guide decision-making on land development, economic growth, the environment, and more. It’s important to keep the Official Plan up to date to accommodate growth. Toronto is expected to grow by a minimum of 700,000 people and more than 450,000 jobs by 2051. Join the conversation on October 20, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (register at this link) or from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (register at this link).
City of Toronto’s construction noise regulations back in effect as provincial regulations expire
As of October 7th, the provincial regulations that limited the City of Toronto’s ability to regulate construction noise during the COVID-19 pandemic are no longer in effect. As a result the City’s Noise Bylaw provisions for construction activity are in effect. As a reminder, the noise bylaw restricts construction noise from:
- 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. of the next day, except until 9 a.m. on Saturdays
- All day Sundays and on all statutory holidays
In April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Province introduced Ontario Regulation 130/20, which removed the City’s authority to regulate or prohibit construction noise during certain time periods. Under this regulation, noise from construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector was permitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Noise from other construction activity was permitted from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. These are the provisions that have now been lifted.
More information about the City’s Noise Bylaw is available here
Information about Noise Exemption Permits for construction noise required outside the allowable hours, including for continuous concrete pouring and large crane work, is available here.
Automated Speed Enforcement devices issue more than 36,700 tickets in July and August 2021
The City has 50 Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) devices (two in each ward) that rotate around to different locations every six months. They issued a total of 18,619 tickets in July and 18,114 tickets in August for a total of 36,700 speeding tickets in just two months.
It’s a staggering amount of speeding on our streets and reinforces why road safety is my top local priority, and the community’s. In fact, in July the device on Victoria Park Avenue, near Tiago Avenue, issued the most tickets of any device in the city at 2,645, or 14 per cent of all tickets. This only reinforces what I hear from community members in Topham Park about road safety concerns in and around Selwyn Public School and the neighbourhood in general. The school safety zone installed before back-to-school is just one of many measures we’re taking to keep everyone on our streets safe.
By way of background, ASE devices are expected to start enforcement at the fourth round of locations in November. The total payable fine amount includes a set fine, which is determined by Schedule D under the Provincial Offences Act, a victim fine surcharge and applicable court costs. ASE tickets do not incur any demerit points and do not affect a person’s driving record.
More information about the program, how to settle fees and a map of all current and planned locations is available here.
City launches interactive webpage to view apartment building evaluation results
On October 6th, the City launched a new interactive webpage that the public can use to view and download evaluation results for apartment buildings registered with RentSafeTO.
RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards is a bylaw enforcement program that ensures owners and operators of apartment buildings in Toronto meet building maintenance standards. Building owners and operators of rental properties that have three or more storeys and 10 or more units are required to register with RentSafeTO and comply with the Apartment Standards Bylaw.
The new interactive webpage RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards can be found at RentSafeTO.
The City evaluates RentSafeTO buildings at least once every three years. During evaluations, staff inspect and score the condition of common areas, mechanical and security systems, parking and exterior grounds. Buildings that receive an overall evaluation score of 50 per cent or less must then undergo a comprehensive inspection and audit of all common areas. During audits, staff also engage with tenants to educate them on RentSafeTO and document concerns they may have regarding property standards issues within their unit or the common areas of the building.
The new webpage will help improve access to information for both existing tenants and those looking for a new home. Making evaluation results more accessible increases transparency on the quality of apartment buildings across Toronto and makes building owners and operators more accountable to current and prospective tenants.
There are more than 3,400 buildings registered with RentSafeTO. Between 2017, when the program began, and the end of 2020 the City has responded to close to 25,350 complaints, of which 24,670 (or 97 per cent) have been addressed.
Since 2017, the City has also completed more than 7,500 evaluations and 119 audits. During this time, the average evaluation score across all buildings has gone from 65.5 per cent in 2017 to 77 per cent in 2020.
To help raise awareness of RentSafeTO with apartment building tenants, the City has launched a public education campaign that will run over the next six weeks. The campaign will include advertisements on screens in elevators in rental apartment buildings, the TTC and the PATH, on social media, in multilingual newspapers and on several popular podcasts and websites.
City Council Updates – A New Framework for Multi-Tenant Housing
At City Council meeting today, we returned to the motion from our July meeting to introduce a new regulatory framework for multi-tenant housing. Currently, there are about 350 licensed multi-tenant homes, which is far few than the actual amount of these dwellings that exist in the City. They’ve been here for generations and they’re a vital form of housing affordability here in the city – I lived in one during my undergrad at York University in the village.
By expanding the zoning permissions we can permit more MTHs across the City. At the same time, we will ensure that minimum health and safety standards are met, by requiring annual inspections. Floor plans will be required to be posted in order to ensure compliance with zoning and RentSafeTO so that all tenants in MTH housing can feel safe and secure in their home.
The demand for affordable housing is growing across our City, and while we need to build more housing, we also need to bring existing housing into conformity, we need to make them safer, and we need to provide a pathway to compliance for what’s already here today.
PollinateTO Grants – New Deadline of November 19th?
The City is now accepting applications for it’s PollinateTO Grants program! Many native pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are under threat from climate change and habitat loss. You can help by creating pollinator and rain gardens. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support community led projects that will benefit native pollinators. Deadline for applications is November 1st.
Supreme Court Rules that Cut to City Council is Constitutional
Today, the Supreme Court of Canada, in a narrow 5-4 decision, ruled that the government of Ontario’s Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act, 2018, which reduced the number of electoral wards in the City of Toronto from 47 to 25 mid-election in 2018, is constitutional. This decision therefore dismissed the City’s appeals. The City Solicitor and her staff are reviewing the Court’s decision.
As many of us remember, May 1, 2018 was nomination day for City Council election candidates in the 47-ward structure that was planned for the October 22, 2018 election. On July 30, 2018 the government of Ontario introduced the Better Local Government Act, 2018 which which reduced the boundaries in City of Toronto electoral wards from 47 to 25 which directly impacted the election.
While this a matter for the courts to rule on it’s unfortunate to see that a lack of acknowledgement throughout the appeal processes of the impact this legislation has had on our City’s democracy.
If you’re interested in more information about the decision, here are some resources:
City of Toronto’s Memorandum of Argument to the Court: 9739-Memorandum-of-Argument-of-the-Applicants.pdf (toronto.ca) .
Supreme Court of Canada Decision: Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General) – SCC Cases (scc-csc.ca) .
Supreme Court of Canada Case in Brief: Supreme Court of Canada – 38921 (scc-csc.ca) .
Update on Vaccine Clinics – Vax and Treat?
We’ve hit some more major milestones in the City with our vaccination rates. Nearly 80% of Toronto residents are now fully vaccinated. Close to 90% have received a first dose. Reaching this milestone has truly been a Team Toronto effort, and our east-end health partners have been instrumental in making sure doses are available in Ward 19.
This weekend the City will be running ‘Vax and Treat’ to reach those final community members who are still in need of their first and second dose. All clinics will be walk-in, and you can see the full details here.
For those who are unable to visit a vaccine clinic, our fantastic east end health teams are now offering in home vaccination appointments for those over 65 with mobility issues. You can book an appointment and see full eligibility requirements here: https://tehn.ca/covid19/covid-19-vaccine/covid-19-vaccine-east-toronto-workplace-visits
Vaccine webinar on vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11?
COVID-19 vaccinations are expected to be approved for children in Canada between the ages of 5 and 11 years old soon. In preparation for this roll out, Toronto Public Health (TPH) invites staff and volunteers from agencies serving children and their families to attend a webinar about COVID-19 vaccines. The webinar will cover information on COVID-19 vaccines and children, facts about vaccines and fertility, COVID-19 vaccination and schools, and tips and approaches to vaccines hesitancy.
There are two sessions being offered (each will cover the same content):
Campaign to diversity representation on City organizations #TamilsonBoard
Congratulation to Nirosha Balakumar who joined my office over the last three months as a Tamil Youth Fellow. Nirosha is leading a campaign to diversify representation on City agencies, boards and commissions through the public appointments process.
Please help share Nirosha’s #TamilsonBoard campaign. It’s important work with Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action. Find out more at their post here: https://www.facebook.com/TamilCivicAction/posts/1241224386379937
Toronto Senior’s Housing Unit Launching Integrated Service Model
The City of Toronto has partnered with Toronto Community Housing and Home and Community Care Support Services – Toronto Central (formerly known as the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network) to develop an Integrated Service Model for the Seniors Housing Unit. The model brings about new ways of supporting senior tenants so they can age in place with dignity and in comfort.
Tenant information session are being held on November 16th and on December 8th. For more information, you can visit their website at torontohousing.ca/ISM
Do your bit to cut-out cigarette butts and litter
As our communities reopen, my office has been receiving a growing number of complaints about litter, especially cigarette butts outside local establishments. The City has increased the number of places for people to put out cigarette butts in public places across the ward, including the boardwalk but we all have a role to play. Business and property owners are encouraged to please remember that cigarette butts should be picked up and not swept into the street. Consider providing a safe vessel for patrons to use and sweep/clean the butts every day from the sidewalk and street, including alongside patios. We’ve learned so much through this pandemic, many of us have broken old habits and started new hobbies. As we re-open, let’s go back to a cleaner community! Thanks to everyone already doing their part!
Dogs in the City Campaign
With more people outdoors enjoying Toronto, the City has launched a public education campaign to remind residents about responsible dog ownership. From July 26th, online and on social media ads will run to remind resident that they need to:
Keep dogs leashed in public, unless in designated dogs off-leash areas: Dogs must be kept on a leash no more than two metres long.
Stoop and scoop: Residents need to pick up after their dog and put dog waste in a Green Bin. The City has Green Bins for organic waste in all dogs off-leash areas in parks, other select locations in parks and a few street litter bins that accept dog waste across the city.
Respect the natural environment: Dog owners should respect the natural environment in parks and trails. Dogs should be allowed off-leash only in dogs off-leash areas so that they don’t trample plants or chase wildlife.
More information is available at toronto.ca/DogsInTheCity
Work in the Ward
Williamson Ravine Upgrades
Urban Forestry is proposing to plant native trees and shrubs this fall in Williamson Ravine. These plantings are intended to increase the urban tree canopy, improve biodiversity, restore the native plant community, and to prevent soil erosion, following invasive vegetation management. This work is being done as part of the City’s Ravine Strategy.
Portlands Flood Protection Upgrades
In addition to the information I provided above, here is the detailed construction notice relating to the work happening in the Port Lands which relates to the Gardiner East ramp closure and improvements to Lake Shore Blvd East.
My website also has a two pager and other links you can access for fuller details.
Road Restoration on Main and Lumsden
Toronto Hydro – Danforth 4kv Conversion Work
Toronto Hydro – Bartley and O’Connor Upgrades
Construction Notice – Parkview Hills
Construction Notice – Hale Court, Leander Court, and Stag Hill
Moncur Park Naturalization Project
It was great to be out in Moncur Park with Toronto Forestry and Rain Gardens United for the annual tree planting event. Each year, along with a dedicated team of over 4,000 volunteers, they plant over 15,000 trees across Toronto. 125 trees and shrubs were specifically selected for the boggy conditions and planted in Moncur Park. Work like this is all part of the City’s Ravine Strategy that aims to protect these spaces and improve their overall ecological health.
New Mural for #DestinationDanforth?
East End Arts, City of Toronto Culture, and Transportation Services partnered up to deliver a new mural on the Sobey’s property at 2451 Danforth. The artists, Lara Lucretia, Xuan-Yen Cao, & Caitlin Taguibao, have done a magnificent job on this project. We’re so fortunate in the east end to have a wide array of murals being painted as part of the #DestinationDanforth pilot project. The artists have shared the following statement about their artwork:
“Our mural is meant to show how racism is prevalent in our communities, and how we need to collectively band together to dismantle it. A Red-Tailed Hawk swoops down and breaks apart the many cogwheels that are part of a greater system of oppression. Behind its wings, the mural features designs and messages of acceptance, anti-discrimination, anti-racism, and love that were created by community members from the 2019 program, #EastEndLove. Images included in the cloud bubbles were created by Triangle Program, Toronto Indigenous Business Association, Hijabi Ballers, Muslim Girls Taking Initiative, Kennedy House, and attendees of public workshops, and each one has its own story. This mural, appropriately titled “Resilience!”, is about the resilience of the community coming together to collectively address and combat racism; it’s about hope for the future, as this is an ongoing fight and we will not stand for racism”.
A New Headquarters for 55 Division?
55 Divisions will be getting a new station at 1627 Danforth Avenue to replace the existing station and sub-station at 101 Coxwell/41 Cranfield Road. Toronto Police Services approved the project in 2018, and City Council approved it in 2019. Once designed, the construction of the new headquarters is expected to take 3 years. The project is in the early stages, but community consultations are scheduled to begin in first quarter of next year. You can see the slides from the Community Resource Group presentation this week here.
55 Division Community Report?
Construction on the 59 new studio apartments at Trenton/Cedarvale is going to begin on October 25th. When the fence goes up at the site, public access to the parking lot will no longer be available. I have worked to secure 62 new parking spaces with 33 new parking spots at Parkside Elementary School (available on evenings, weekends, and school holidays), 14 new parking spots at the Taylor Creek parking lot at the end of Haldon Avenue, and 15 new spots on Cedarvale and Ventnor Avenues, through on-street parking changes. I’m working with the City to have more spaces added on Halton in the spring of next year as well. After fencing has been erected on site, equipment mobilization, asphalt break up and excavation work is targeted to begin in late October through November. t, Builders and their trades are expected to be mindful of the adjacent neighbourhood during the construction period. Efforts to reduce impacts include:
– The contractor will coordinate deliveries and pick-ups to reduce disruption to the street,
and has obtained the student drop-off and pick-up
– The contractor will provide flagmen/traffic officers for more impactful periods of
construction. This includes major deliveries to and from the site for excavation,
foundation pouring, and module delivery and craning. Other than these times, the
majority of the work is contained within the site fencing, particularly after the modules
have been craned into place.
– The contractor will generally abide by the City of Toronto Construction Noise By-law and
work Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 7:00pm, Saturdays 9:00am to 7:00pm, and no construction on Sundays or statutory holidays. However during periods of heavier construction activity, such as craning of modules, the contractor may need to work outside of these hours. This will be done to prioritize safety and minimize disruptions for the community and the school.
In advance of this work, I had the chance to take a community safety walk. Getting housing built sometimes means going outside of our comfort zone. When cities are doing that they also have an opportunity to do the work on the ground, side by side with residents to build understanding, support, and positive change. The people who live and work in the community are in the best position to know the details about what’s going to work and what won’t. As construction starts later this month, I’m eager to continue engaging with community-members, facility operators, and new tenants alike to make this a success for everyone.
Opening a new Toronto Community Housing Tenant Hub ?
Earlier today I joined the official opening of Toronto Community Housing’s new Tenant Service Hub on Kingston Rd. The new Hub model is a “one-stop shop” – improving tenants’ access to service and supports.
With 20 Hubs now open, TCHC plans to have 70 more open across Toronto by the end of 2021, making it easier for tenants to stay connected with their building and the broader community. Thanks to the residents, CEO Jag Sharma, COO Sheila Penney, and the great TCHC staff team for responding to tenant input in the community and helping to deliver the services that will make a difference in the daily lives of our local families.
11 Macey Tour
I had the chance last week to take a tour of 11 Macey along with the Community Laision Committee for the modular housing project happening in Ward 19.
Through projects like Macey and the modular housing we’re building at Trenton and Cedarvale, we’re creating homes for our community’s most vulnerable residents and addressing the most urgent housing needs in the city. It’s not an easy journey to build housing, but we have to move these projects forward so we can start to fill in gaps in our housing system. I’m committed to keeping up the engagement with community-members, facility operators, and new tenants alike to ensure this new housing is a success for everyone.
Accessible Pedestrian Crossings
It was great to see that the accessible pedestrian crossing has been installed at the intersections of Woodbine Avenue and Danforth Avenue. I’ve had a few people reach out with concerns that’s it’s not working properly. I’ve spoken with Transportation Services and they have let me know that The APS are push button activated (push button must be depressed for at least three seconds) and adjust to ambient sound levels.
Grant AME Church – Kitchen Renovation
The Grant AME Church and it’s members have been incredible throughout the pandemic, working tirelessly to improve food security in the community. As they look to renovate their kitchen space to improve their ability to provide meals for the community, they’re looking for donations to assist in this effort.
If you’re in a position to donate, you can do so through e-transfer to [email protected] or by mailing cheques to 2029 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON, M4E 2B3 with “Kitchen Renovation” in the memo line.
Pop-up Vaccination Clinics – East Toronto Health Partners & MGH?
Find the latest information on vaccine clinics in our east end here.
You can also book a vaccine appointment at Shoppers World Danforth here.
Seniors Snow Removal Program?
Community Centre 55’s 40th Annual Christmas Hamper Program?
Community Centre 55 Community Fridge
Community Centre 55 operates a community fridge where community members are encouraged to donate food to keep it from going to waste and to help those who may be in need. The fridge is located at Community Centre 55 at 97 Main Street at the south side of the building. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9:15am-3:45pm. You can donate fresh produce, dairy, bread, proteins, and frozen meals in the fridge/freezer section or non perishable goods in the pantry section. For safety reasons, the Centre asks that you don’t leave any opened items or items set to expire in the next 48 hours in the fridge. If the fridge or pantry are full, bring your donation inside and the volunteer team will make sure it’s stored appropriately. If you have any questions you can reach out to them at 416-691-1113 or [email protected].
The Big Social
Harmony Community Food Centre is participating in the Big Social this year! The Big Social raises funds to help people in low-income communities access healthy food with dignity and funds programs that promote food skills, connection, and advocacy. The Big Social runs until the end of the month and donations will be accepted up to November 15th. You can participate here: https://cfcc.bigsocial.ca/20361/the-big-social/121164/harmony-community-food-centre?fbclid=IwAR0neUCnHAtJpw6WmbpgwZ1W5BkWLtbh2g_d_hmYClAC42jc7Dugk6RylF4
Community Centre 55 – October Schedule
Doors to Community Centre 55 remain open to the public! Classes will continue to be held virtually for the month of October to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
If you are in need of equipment to participate in the fitness or ball classes, Community Centre 55 has the following available for purchase:
Pilates ball $10, fitness wand $10, light resistance bands $15, and ankle/wrist weights, 2 or 3lb $25/pair. To purchase equipment, please email Cameron Boyle at [email protected].
Updates to Older Adult Community Centre Programming
Our community centres are places where people can come together to build community and to play. The City is committed to providing inclusive and accessible programming at little to no cost for older adults. There are updated practices at City run Community Centers starting this month which are:
- Proof of full vaccination and personal identification may be required for participants, visitors and spectators entering indoor areas of some facilities for activities like sports, dance and fitness.
- When entering the facility you will be asked to submit information to assist in contact tracing and complete a health questionnaire on symptoms of COVID-19.
- Physical distancing, wearing of masks and other safety measures, including frequent cleaning of the facility and hand sanitizing stations are in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Card games will be played without wagering or entry fees, in order to ensure our programs are accessible and welcoming to all. Wagering is not permitted under the law.
- Bingo will be available with non-monetary prizes once games resume in October.
Card, food, music, fitness and other social programs previously suspended can resume with some restricted capacities and enhanced cleaning protocols. Equipment used for these activities will be rotated through and rested between uses in accordance with health guidelines.
Kick-start Virtual Tutoring Program
Kick-start After-school Program
Get your vaccine proof printed for free at Toronto Public Library
Volunteers needed: In-home Hospice program
Call for Blood Donors
There is an immediate need for new and returning blood donors to fill open appointments. As COVID-19 restrictions gradually ease and we move into a new normal, the need for blood is rising due to increasing demand and unfilled appointments.
There are three permanent Canadian Blood Service centers in Toronto: 2 Bloor Street East, 67 College Street, and 163 King Street West. If you’re in good health, please visit blood.ca to book an appointment.
East Toronto Food Program
The pandemic has been tough for all of us, but it’s impact hasn’t been equitable. Our most vulnerable are feeling the worst impacts as many of the critical supports they rely on have been strained over the past year. Thankfully, we’ve had countless community organizations and residents step up in inspiring ways to help out.
The East Toronto Food Program purchases ~100 meals from local small businesses each week and donate them to people in need. If you’re in a position to support this work, they have a GoFundMe available to collect funds that will be directly used to feed those who need it in our community. You can find their page online here.
Toronto District School Board – Essential Skills Upgrading
Seniors Coffee N’ Mingle – Access Alliance
Every Friday at 4pm, seniors have a chance to connect, hear each other’s voices and exchange and share their experiences during this difficult and unprecedented time while we deal with COVID -19. Seniors enjoy their virtual tea/coffee with other participants while chatting on different topics. Email [email protected] to register
Seniors Cleaning Service
Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) program provides assistance to seniors, as well as disabled and convalescing individuals, who need work done in and around their homes and apartments. Work includes garden and yard work, snow removal, light housekeeping and odd light jobs. These services enable individuals to direct their own care while living safely and independently in their own homes longer. For additional information or to register click here.
Free Smoke Alarms – Stop by Fairmount Park?
I’ll be at Fairmount Park this Saturday, October 30th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with free fire alarms you can collect. With fire safety week having been earlier this month, take this opportunity to check your exist smoke alarms or grab a new one to make sure you home and family are protected. Members of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association will be at the event to answer any questions.
Pumpkin Parades – Stephenson Park, East Lynn Park, Moncur Park, and Dentonia Park?
Don’t toss your pumpkins after Halloween – bring them out to one of the local pumpkin parades!
Toronto Fringe’s Primetime Festival?
Tickets are on sale for Toronto Fringe’s Primetime Festival! Catch interactive sketch comedy, go on an adventure with a genie, or enter a magical portal! The Festival will run from November 3rd to November 28th. Tickets are Pay What You Can. Check out the full details of the festival here.
EcoFair Toronto – November 4th – 7th?
StrollTO in Beaches-East York
Explore Toronto neighbourhoods through StollTO’s guided walks. On select weekend dates in September and October, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions. Walks will highlight points of interest off the beaten path and showcase Toronto’s hidden gems and stories. You can also download soundtracks and poems to listen to on self-guided strolls. Check out what’s offered in Beaches-East York here.
Glen Stewart Ravine Clean Up – October 31st
Thursday Trivia Happy Hour with Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships
East York Meals on Wheels supporting True Davidson Acres ?
Thank you to the incredible organizers and volunteers at East York Meals on Wheels for the work they do every day to support our seniors getting access to good food and much more. It was a pleasure joining them earlier this week and, slowly but surely, getting back to in-person activity.
Scott Mission – Mask Delivery?
I stopped by The Scott Mission today to donate 5,000 cloth masks generously donated by Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network. The Scott Mission is dedicated to providing crucial services like shelter, childcare, food and clothing to the community. They are accepting food and clothing donations for their foodbanks which currently run on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Vaccine Engagement Team Appreciation?
We knew that the way to get more people vaccinated was to bring vaccines to people; to go into communities to administer doses. The City of Toronto announced $5.5 million in funding allocated for local engagement teams to administer doses within their communities, by people who live there, by people who know their neighbours, by organizations who know how and where to connect with residents. You worked hard to make the program a success. It’s thanks to the tireless work of these organizations, and volunteers that we were able to vaccinate so many people. I had the chance to recognize 8 local organizations, Afghan Women’s Organization, The Neighbourhood Organization, Working Women community Centre, WoodGreen, The Neighbourhood Group, Access Alliance, BCS, and MGH, as well as 35 volunteers for their tremendous efforts throughout the pandemic.
Sarah Allan retires after 27 years with Community Centre 55?
I’m wishing Sarah Allen, Children’s Licensed Programs (CLP) manager, all the best as she retires from her role after 27 years. When Allen joined Community Centre 55 back in 1994, as a early childhood educator the program served 8 children. Today program reached over 250 families and 400 children. Thank you Sarah for all the work you’ve done for the community through the Centre, and hoping you enjoy your retirement with friends and loved ones!
Celebrating Hometown Hero Penny Oleksiak and supporting The Daily Bread Foodbank
Thank you Penny Oleksiak for turning the community’s energy to celebrate our hometown hero into an incredible opportunity to give back to those in need A big shout out to The Beach BIA team and our convener Gene Domagala for making it happen, and to everyone who came down to Kew Gardens and donated so generously to the Daily Bread Food Bank! Anecdotally we’ve all seen stories about the demand for – and use of – food banks growing through the pandemic – the facts back that up too with Daily Bread Food Bank research showing that foodbank use is now up to similar levels as we saw during the 2008-09 global financial crisis, with a 22% increase of visitors in June and a staggering 51% increase in August. But today’s event was about hope and inspiration in the face of incredible challenges, and Penny embodies those values fully. She’s not only a local hero but has inspired people across Canada and around the world. She is Canada’s most decorated Olympian with 7 Olympic medals under her belt. She’s someone who’s been around the world competing at the highest levels of her sport but has stayed grounded right here in the east end in the Beach community where she grew up. When we reached out to ask if we could celebrate Penny and her incredible accomplishments she showed incredible humility and generosity and asked that we put our time and energy to support a worthy cause instead. Thank you again Penny!
Senior’s Lunch at Community Centre 55
Thank you to the wonderful staff and team at Community Centre 55 for having me as a guest at for the Senior’s lunch earlier this week. It was the perfect day and great to be back out being able to get together safely as a community as we head into the colder fall and winter months.
Toronto’s Tiniest Honey Store
Buying honey straight from a local beekeeper? What a sweet deal! East York’s own Ando Kass started his apiary in 2015 to give the local community a taste of his labour of love. You can find Toronto’s Tiniest Honey Store in front of their home at 74 Ferris Road – simply leave your money in the locked box and take your delicious honey! Help support local business and get a sweet treat for your weekend. Check them out on Instagram, @taylorcreekhoney!
Beaches Citizen of the Year Award Winner – Barbara Myrvold
Congratulations to Barbara Myrvold on receiving this year’s Beaches Citizen of the year award! I had the pleasure of attending the wonderful ceremony held by Community Centre 55 back in September.
Barbara had a long career with the Toronto Public Library and has been an integral part of many local organizations including the City of Toronto Ward 9 Sesquicentennial Coordinating Committee, Beach Metro Community News board of directors, Kew Cottage Advisory Board, and The Beach and East Toronto Historical Society. Our community is fortunate to have benefitted from her tireless efforts and years of service. Thank you Barbara for all you have done, and all that I have no doubt you will continue to do.
Orange Paper Flowers for Reconciliation
A local resident, Margot Rockett, is making and selling orange paper flowers to raise money for Reconciliation Canada and raise awareness for Truth and Reconciliation Day later this year. Margot will make at least 215 of these flowers to honour the 215 lives lost at the Kamloops residential school.
The large flowers are $10 each, with smaller flowers available for $4 each or $10 for 3. For information on ordering the orange paper flowers, please send a text to Margot at 647-208-5388 or email her at margot[email protected].
Rocky the Rock Snake
If you’re heading down to the beach this summer, make sure to check out Rocky Smiles the rock snake! Started by local resident, Lucas Walker, Rocky now stretches for nearly 3/4 of a kilometre and is made up of almost 9,000 individual rocks. Put your creative skills to work on a rock and add it to the rest down on Kew Beach this summer. Follow Lucas and Rocky’s adventures on Instagram @lucas.explores!
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!