I hope you had a good week and are looking forward to a restful weekend ahead. I’m writing you at the end of a long, 3-day City Council meeting with 167 items on the agenda. I want to highlight three significant decisions propelling Toronto forward: introducing a new small business property tax class to lower the tax burden on our local businesses by 15%, making CafeTO patios permanent in the summer, and introducing inclusionary zoning so that new developments are required to include affordable housing.
I’ve shared more on each of these important initiatives below but want to give a very big thank-you here to all of you who’ve been in touch with me to share your views. All three initiatives are in their early stages. With thoughtful and energetic input from community members like you they’ve already been enhanced and will continue to be improved over time. I’m so grateful for all of the time and energy you give to making that possible.
This Council meeting was also busy for an important local priority: road safety. After incredible advocacy from members of the community following the tragic death of a senior citizen at Pape and O’Connor on October 19th, my colleague Councillor Fletcher and I joined forces to lower the speed limit on O’Connor Avenue from 50km/h to 40km/h. I’d already worked with City staff to lower the speed limit on O’Connor from St Clair to Victoria Park back in May. With the latest round of changes, the lower speed limit will now apply on O’Connor from Broadview all the way to Victoria Park which spans our Ward 19 (Beaches-East York) and Councillor Fletcher’s Ward 14 (Toronto-Danforth).
Road safety continues to be my top local priority and there’s still work to do. Please see here for a list of streets with active and past polls for new road safety measures. Reach out if you’d like measures to be considered on your street and my office can help.
After a long wait, it’s exciting to see the City starting to mobilize our vaccination strategy for kids aged 5 to 11-years. We’re expecting vaccines for this age group to be approved and delivered by the end of the month. This will be another leap forward as we get over the worst of the pandemic. The plan uses an equity-based approach to prioritize areas of the city based on vaccine uptake among young people, incomes, racialized groups, and crowded housing conditions. Full details on the plan are below.
Thank you to everyone who helped organize and attended Remembrance Day Services yesterday. This year’s services were even more moving after the time we’ve spent apart. Despite all that’s changed, we remain constant in our gratitude for the incredible sacrifices made by all who served and still serve in Canadian uniform, especially Indigenous, Black and visible-minority members of our forces whose roles have not historically been recognized as fully as they should be. If you don’t already, please consider supporting one of the four Royal Canadian Legion branches in our community, find out more here.
P.s. On a personal note, a very big thank you to everyone who supported me in being named NOW Magazine’s readers’ choice for best City Councillor 2021! There’s no shame in coming second to Councillor Gord Perks who has tirelessly served his community over 15 years!
There was great representation for Beaches-East York with Nathaniel Erskine-Smith being named best MP and Fearless Meat, Beach Metro News, Beach Hill Smokehouse, Lazy Daisy’s Cafe, Limon Restaurant, Bodega Henriette, Len Duckworth Fish & Chips, Ed’s Real Scoop, Red Tape Brewery, Kyouka Ramen Beaches, Muddy York Brewing Co., and lots of other East End institutions also being recognized!
This work’s only possible thanks to the incredible leaders and community cheerleaders like you! And a special thank you to my team who help make all of this work possible.
In This Issue
- Introducing a new property tax class to support small businesses ?
- CafeTO – Made Permanent
- New policy to require affordable housing in development projects is approved ?
- Team Toronto Kids COVID-19 vaccination plan released for five to 11 year-olds ?
- EV Pilot Pushes Forward ?
- Transformed & Improved 311 Services ?
- Women4ClimateTO Mentorship Programme – Call for Applications ?
- A note on new disc golf ‘holes’ at Ashbridges Bay Park ?
- PollinateTO Grants – New Deadline of November 19th
- Update on Vaccine Clinics – Shop & Vax ?
- Toronto Senior’s Housing Unit Launching Integrated Service Model
- Leaf Cleaning Reminder ?
- Do your bit to cut out cigarette butts and litter
- Dogs in the City Campaign: Keeping dogs on leash and enjoying the outdoors safely
- Metrolinx work behind Little York Road and Norwood Terrace ?
- Munroe Park Avenue Stairs Closed for Construction ?
- Williamson Ravine Upgrades
- Portland Flood Protection Upgrades
- Road Restoration on Main and Lumsden
- Toronto Hydro – Woodbine Heights Upgrade ?
- 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
- The return of Winter Stations! Call for submissions?
- Danforth Planning Study ?
- Red Embers Indigenous art installation to be displayed at Ashbridges Bay Park?
- 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
- Grant AME Church – Kitchen Renovation
- Community Centre 55’s November/December Senior Schedule ?
- 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
- 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
- Toronto East End (virtual) Christmas Market?
- BCS Presents – Fighting Misogyny & Stereotypes against Racialized Women and Girls in Toronto?
- Upcoming Heritage Talks – The Beach & East Toronto Historical Society ?
- Dawes Road Library & Community Hub Consultation – December 13th ?
- Toronto Fringe’s Primetime Festival
- Thursday Trivia Happy Hour with Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships
- Remembrance Day Ceremonies ?
- Toronto Public Library’s Main Street Branch turns 100! ?
- Glen Stewart Ravine Clean-Up ?
- Community Walk – City of Toronto’s Active & Safe Routes to School Pilot Project ?
- Pumpkin Parades ?
- Smoke Alarm Event at Fairmount Park ?
- Story Stick Project Installation ?
- Women’s Cycling Network – Successful Event?
- 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
- Orange Paper Flowers for Reconciliation
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 City Council 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. Eligible businesses be able to receive a 15% property tax reduction starting in 2022. No application is needed and the reduced rate will automatically be applied to property tax bills.
To qualify, businesses located in the downtown, on the central waterfront, in designated growth centres or avenues in the City of Toronto’s Official Plan must:
- 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 – City Council approved a plan to make the CafeTO program permanent and waive the application fee in 2022. 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. This is a testament to the best of what city government can accomplish. Permanent program status provides a guaranteed option for restaurants and small businesses on the road ahead. Plus, we’re waiving permit fees in 2022 to keep #smallbiz recovery and vibrant Main Streets moving forward. Catch you on a patio next summer! 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 adopted by Council ?
This week, Toronto took the historic step of becoming Ontario’s first city with Inclusionary Zoning. The adoption of this new policy is a critical tool available to us to help address the affordable housing crisis and build strong, vibrant communities in the years ahead. We’re moving ahead on requiring up to 22% affordability in areas across the city in the coming years. 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 reflects 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.
Team Toronto Kids COVID-19 vaccination plan released for five to 11 year-olds ?
Toronto is getting ready for the expected approval and delivery of vaccines for kids aged 5 to 11-years later this month. For more than six weeks, Toronto Public Health and Team Toronto partners have been preparing to vaccinate this population. The plan is needs-based, data-driven, and equity-focused which will provide access to COVID-19 vaccinations to more than 200,000 eligible five to 11 year-olds living in Toronto.
Team Toronto will place every available resource into a multi-pronged clinic delivery model once the vaccine is approved and delivered by the province. This model includes large fixed-site clinics – including the five City-run immunization clinics – school-based clinics, hospital and community-based clinics, more than 450 pharmacies and a number of pediatric and family physician practices.
Through a needs-based and equity data analysis, Toronto Public Health has identified 30 neighbourhoods for the first roll-out of the school-based clinics. The analysis included COVID-19 case rate during wave four of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination rates in the 12 to 17 year-old population as a proxy for anticipated vaccine uptake in five to 11 year olds. The analysis also included the percentage of residents in each neighbourhood who fall below the low income measure, the proportion of racialized individuals, and the percentage of people living in crowded housing. More details on the plan can be found here.
EV Pilot Pushes Forward ?
An exciting week for Toronto Parking Authority – we’re moving ahead on the EV Pilot! 32 new chargers were approved for parking facilities across the city. As demand for EVs continues – we’re responding with the infrastructure to keep Toronto reducing emissions and hitting our net-zero targets. Vital progress for a cleaner, greener future ahead!
Transformation of 311 – New & Improved ?
This month, the City of Toronto launched an improved 311 online portal, making the service easier and more convenient to use, which includes providing real-time status updates from start to finish. The City continues to rapidly evolve and modernize service delivery to improve access to services while providing a consistent service experience that builds trust & confidence in municipal services. With the launch of this new service, all of the approximately 600 services that 311 offers are now available online, including requests for snow plowing and tree maintenance, overflowing catch basins, dogs off leash and inadequate heat in apartment buildings. Residents, businesses and visitors now have the option of calling in to speak with an agent, live online chat or submitting a service request online. Users will be able to track the status of their request from start to finish and can opt-in to receive real-time status updates via text (SMS) or email notification. For more information and how to create & track a service request, visit here.
Women4ClimateTO Mentorship Programme – call for applications ?
The City’s Women4ClimateTO Mentorship Programme empowers and supports women working on innovative projects to help address the climate emergency. Participants will
receive mentoring, training and networking opportunities to help them take their climaterelated project or business start-up to the next level.
Following the mentorship program, the City and its partners will host a pitch competition with the chance to win cash awards and other supports to help you further advance your project.
Applications will be accepted until Nov. 28, 2021. Learn more and apply!
A note on new disc golf ‘holes’ at Ashbridges Bay Park ?
My office has heard from a handful of community members about the additional disc golf locations that have been installed at Ashbridges Bay Park. Initially there were some concerns because they were new and there wasn’t a lot of information about how or why they were put in. Understandably residents wanted to know if there was due diligence and careful planning before they went in. There wasn’t a lot of communication before the installation, this is something the City can do better as a whole and something I’m working hard to bridge every single day.
I’m sharing this information this information in case it’s helpful and you notice the new disc golf ‘holes’. The City’s constantly looking for ways to improve services and amenities for residents. These disc golf holes are a popular amenity in the park and just add to the list of long activities you can enjoy down at the waterfront. Making this changes to the area will also help ensure there’s a regular user-group in the area to help maintain the park and keep it safe.
To be clear, the area where the holes have been installed is part of the natural beach landscape at Ashbridges Bay Park, and is neither protected nor off-limits to anyone. It’s already a well-used section of the allowable off-leash dog area that exists from November 1st to March 31st.
To install the 9 baskets and tee signs that comprise this disc-golf course, no plants or trees were removed and existing desire-line pathways were utilized. The eventual maturation of younger plantings were taken into consideration during all phases of course design and installation.
Disc golf doesn’t exclude the park space being used by others or for other passive enjoyment of the space. It doesn’t need booking and is really no different than putting down some bags and jackets for a game of frisbee in the park. The area is still open for dog-walkers, pedestrians, birders and everyone who currently enjoys the space. There are no plans, and never will be any plans, to fence off or restrict the place. There’s no plan to mow or remove any of the naturalized environment and the course was designed to allow the area to continue to naturalize. The newly planted trees in the area can mature without any interference.
For anyone who hasn’t been down to the area, the entire eastern section of this area closest to the lake (divided by the sand access road) was left completely alone. City staff teams have been clearing out the collection of beer cans, liquor bottles and general refuse while the course was being installed. Overall, the disc golf community will help keep the area cleaned up and leave it in a safer, cleaner condition than before.
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.
Update on Vaccine Clinics
Shop & Vax clinics in the City are offering first, second and third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents.
As part of the City of Toronto’s latest Shop And Vax campaign, dozens of mall and neighbourhood clinics across Toronto will be offering COVID-19 vaccines from Thursday, November 11 to Sunday, November 14.
Clinics will be operating out of the following malls in the area:
- Eglinton Square
- Gerrard Square
- Shoppers’ World
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
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
Leaf cleaning reminder
It’s that time of year when the leaves begin to fall! For several years in the past, the City has only been doing scheduled mechanical leaf collection in Scarborough and Etobicoke. This is where crews would come through, rake excess trees off the boulevard portion of a property and into the street, with the bucket truck behind picking everything up.
In our part of the City, crews have only been going out as part of the regular street sweeping which is meant to happen on local roads every two months. In general, if there’s a big accumulation of leaves outside of Scarborough and Etobicoke, 311 takes requests for a sweeper to come by and clean-up.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.
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
Metrolinx work behind Little York Road and Norwood Terrace ?
Munroe Park Avenue Stairs leading to Silver Birch Beach Closed for Construction ?
Please be advised that the Munro Park Ave stairs leading to Silver Birch Beach will be off limits for construction starting this morning. The existing wood and brick staircase is being removed, and concrete steps with a metal handrail are being installed. Weather permitting, this is expected to take approximately 2 weeks (end of November)
The cancellation of another project allowed Parks Construction to quickly prioritize this important work, hence the last-minute nature of this advisory.
Access to the Beach can be gained from Neville Park Blvd and Nursewood Rd to the east, and Silverbirch Ave and Willow Ave to the west.
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 – Woodbine Heights Upgrade ?
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.
The Return of Winter Stations – Call for Submissions ?
JUST LAUNCHED – Winter Stations design competition for 2022! We’re so excited to welcome the annual Winter Stations back to the Beaches in 2022 after some creative pivoting in COVID times! The 2022 competition theme is Resilience, in recognition and celebration of the strength, courage, and resilience people have shown over the last 20 months. It’s been a challenging time for everyone, and events like this bring people together to celebrate art and community. A big thank you to the organizers who work incredibly hard every year to make this the fantastic experience it is. The design competition is open until November 25, 2021 – get your submissions in!
Danforth Planning Study ?
The City of Toronto is undertaking a Complete Street and Planning Study of Danforth Avenue, one of the most recognizable and major avenues in the City.
The full study area will span a six kilometre stretch of Danforth Avenue between Broadview Avenue and Victoria Park Avenue. Within that stretch, there will be three types of studies undertaken including:
- Complete street study (Broadview Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue) to examine the roadway width and review options for a complete street design and the potential for on-street protected bike lanes in order to improve road safety.
- Economic and retail study (Broadview Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue) to provide an understanding of the economic environment of the area and issues faced by retailers along Danforth Avenue in order to support and promote economic vitality.
- Planning study (Broadview Avenue to Coxwell Avenue) to identify future city-building opportunities, guide new development, and enhance the public realm and quality of place.
Great e-turnout at the Danforth Study meeting. Keeping our Main Streets thriving is key to vibrant communities – your input will help shape the future of our much loved avenue! More information here.
Red Embers Indigenous art installation to be displayed at Ashbridges Bay Park?
Formerly on display at Allen Gardens downtown, the Red Embers art installation is now being prepared for display at Ashbridges Bay Park. Red Embers pays tribute to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA community members.
The installation features 13 large banners supported by wooden poles to form a pathway which people can walk through, around and under.
The 20-foot high poles supporting the banners were being anchored into the ground on Monday, Nov. 8, in anticipation of the official opening of the Red Embers art installation later this week in Ashbridges Bay Park.
You can find more information here.
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
Some great highlights on the work over the past few months from our local Community Police Liaison Committee in their most recent newsletter. There are a lot of initiatives underway to help keep Beaches-East York safe.
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.
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@example.com or by mailing cheques to 2029 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON, M4E 2B3 with “Kitchen Renovation” in the memo line.
Community Centre 55’s November/December Schedule?
CC55 has a great set of Senior activity classes scheduled for November and December. Check out their calendar and find a class right for you. For more information and a summary of classes, visit their website.
Pop-up Vaccination Clinics – East Toronto Health Partners & MGH?
Dawes Road Library will continue to host Toronto Public Health pop-up vaccine clinics on Fridays from 3:00 – 7:00 pm on the following days:
- November 12
- November 19
- November 26
Visit 416 Dawes Road to get your vaccine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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@example.com 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.
Toronto East End (virtual) Christmas Market ?
Join the East End Market on the weekend of December 3-5 to discover and connect to over 50 local small businesses at the Toronto East End (virtual) Christmas Market. Get all your holiday shopping done locally from the comfort and safety of your home. Find gifts for every member of your family and enjoy some music from an incredibly talented local singer/songwriter Ally Cribb.
Find the market by following both of Toronto Virtual Market’s social media accounts. Just search Toronto Virtual Market on Facebook and @torontovirtualmarket on Instagram. We are also very excited to announce that Toronto Virtual Market will be donating the proceeds of the market to Community Centre 55’s Share A Christmas Program. Last year we donated $1800 and we would like to beat that so let’s get together (virtually) and show our city what COMMUNITY is all about.
BCS Presents – Fighting Misogyny & Stereotypes against Racialized Women and Girls in Toronto ?
Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services (BCS) are hosting the event Fighting Misogyny & Stereotypes against Racialized Women and Girls in Toronto – an initiative funded by the Women and Gender Equity (WAGE) of the Government of Canada.
If you’re interested, the virtual event is taking place Tuesday November 16 @ 7pm.
To register, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Heritage Talks – The Beach & East Toronto Historical Society?
Mark your calendars! The Beaches & East Toronto Historical Society have two heritage talks coming up in November & December:
Tuesday November 16 7 – 8:30 pm
Author Jim Sanderson will present: From Wards Island to Balmy Beach: Growing up in Toronto in the 1950’s & 60’s
Tuesday December 14, 7-8:30 pm
A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Main Street Branch Library with library historians Fiona Smith and John Puusa + a history of the Main & Gerrard neighbourhood with Barbara Myrvold.
Due to Covid restrictions both events will be Zoom virtual presentations.
Dawes Road Library & Community Hub Consultation – December 13th ?
Please join us for a consultation on the Dawes Road Library & Community Hub construction project.
To access meeting login information:
BOLT Charitable Foundation is hosting their SpeakOut event on November 16 at 5 pm. The virtual event will feature stories from BOLT youth alumni, an overview of the construction industry, and a panel discussion with industry professionals that will discuss the different career opportunities and answer questions from the audience. If you are interested, you can register for the event here. This session is ideal for:
- Youth curious about or interested in a career in the construction industry
- Students applying to college or university
- Parents, teachers, and youth case workers
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.
Thursday Trivia Happy Hour with Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships
Remembrance Day Ceremonies across Beaches-East York?
There were several special Remembrance Day services that took place yesterday, Novemeber 11, across Beaches-East York to honour the brave veterans who served their country and sacrificed for our freedoms.
I attended a moving service at Kew Gardens hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 1/42 in the morning, and was very grateful I was able to visit Branches 11, 22 and 345 throughout the rest of the day. Many are still bravely serving beyond our borders helping bring peace and stability to other parts of the world – and to continue fighting for our freedoms. Thanks to all the Remembrance Day ceremony organizers in Beaches-East York and across this great city. I am grateful to have been able to pay my respects in person, and felt the love and support our community had for our veterans. Thank you to the incredible individuals who worked tirelessly to make these special ceremonies happen. Remember to support your local legion. In Beaches-East York, we have four:
- Royal Canadian Legion Branch 11
- Royal Canadian Legion Woodbine Heights Branch 22
- Royal Canadian Legion 1/42
- Royal Canadian Legion 345
Toronto Public Library’s Main Street Branch turns 100!?
Glen Stewart Ravine Clean-Up?
Thank you to the Friends of Glen Stewart Ravine for hosting an incredible clean-up event last week in the ravine. It is so important to keep our Parks and Ravines clean and healthy – so a big thanks to these great leaders in our community who continue to stand up to protect to help us protect these fragile spaces.
Community Walk – City of Toronto’s Active & Safe Routes to School Pilot Project ?
A big thanks to CultureLink Toronto who hosted a great community walk last week around George Webster Elementary to talk about the City’s Active & Safe Routes to School Pilot Project.
Road safety is incredibly important, and collecting feedback from kids and parents on this program is crucial to how we can keep improving.
Learn more about what we’re doing to make it safer for kids to walk & bike to school.
Pumpkin Parades Across Beaches-East York ?
There were several fantastic Pumpkin Parade events that took place around Ward 19 on November 1. From Dentonia Park, to Moncur Park – East Lynn Park to Stephenson Park, there were many creative pumpkins which turned into a beautiful, fun and creative art show. After a long time, it was great to see the community come together to celebrate art and creativity.
Thank you to all the organizers of the Pumpkin Parades this year who worked tirelessly to make sure they ran smoothly.
Fairmount Park – Smoke Alarm Event ?
There was a great turnout at Fairmout Park this week where we were handing out new fire alarms and encouraging residents to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re working & to change the batteries.
Thanks to our friends at Toronto Fire Service for talking fire prevention & answering fire safety questions.
We still have more smoke alarms – connect with my office at email@example.com to pick one up.
Story Stick Project Installation?
The Story Stick Project involved a series of intergenerational and youth workshops online and in person in August & September. East End and Scarborough residents learned to wrap natural tree sticks with textured and colourful yarns, a simple yet powerful artmaking process to represent, reflect, and tell their life stories and experiences.
The Story Stick Project Exhibit was co-created with local residents and gives form to personal stories, collective hopes, and visions for social change. Each stick in the installation has one to three different stories wrapped on it.
Story Stick Project is a form of climate change art. It is about nurturing care and commitment to positive change, for the earth and community we live in.
Visit the Story Stick Exhibit located at Fontbonne Ministries’ Mustard Seed Site, at 791 Queen St East, Toronto, ON M4M 1H6. You can view the exhibit until December 14. Visiting hours are 8:00am – 9:00pm daily.
Women’s Cycling Network Hosts Sucessful Event?
The Women’s Cycling Network’s bike match program was able to deliver 65 bicycles to those who needed them.
A big thank you to the many people who donated bikes and made this such a success. See you next year, #BikeMatchWNC!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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