E-News: Important Deadline Approaching and Recap of Recent Events

ByBrad Bradford

Hi Friend,

Although the snow has come and gone (for now at least!), I hope that some of you had the chance to take a toboggan run last weekend.

It’s been a busy two weeks with our special Council meeting to vote on Mayor Chow’s Budget, as well as lots of community events. 

Read on below for highlights of some of the great community events that have happened over the past two weeks, and more highlights about what’s coming up around Toronto and #BEY.

One important reminder: February 29th is the deadline to file for the City’s Vacant Homes Tax. All homeowners need to declare, including if you have lived in your house all year or just moved in. Click here to declare online.  

Calvary Baptist Church: Grace Pascoe Food Bank

I stopped by to thank this incredible team who provides food hampers every Thursday evening from 6pm-8:30pm. All volunteers who are eager to help out their neighbours in need, with generous donations from Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest.

If you’d like to donate your time or non-perishable goods to this Food Bank, you can visit Grace Pascoe Care Centre for more information.

Food donations are accepted on all weekdays at Calvary Baptist Church, located at 72 Main St. 

Special shout out to Kelley and her team for serving 413 neighbours this past Thursday night. While it’s hard to process that many of our neighbours are in need of extra help these days, we are so grateful for what you are doing for our Beaches-East York community.

Happy International Mother Language Day

We gathered on Tuesday evening to celebrate International Mother Language Day at the Shaheed Minar in Dentonia Park.

This is an important annual tradition in the heart of Toronto’s Bangladeshi community. This year was a special celebration, as the first IMLD since we officially recognized Banglatown along this stretch of Danforth.

 I am honoured to represent and serve alongside the Bangladeshi community in #BEY. Thanks to the neighbourhood police officers and MLS staff who helped manage the event and ensure it ran smoothly and safely.

Winter Stations 2024 

Winter Stations 2024 officially opened last weekend. Come down to Woodbine Beach to check them out, and visit the extra installations up along Queen St E.

For more information, visit: https://winterstations.com/

Which station is your favourite?

Ted Reeve Family Day Skate

I was glad to see so many folks come out to Ted Reeve for our Family Day Skate.

Hope you enjoyed the ice and the hot chocolate from Red Rocket Coffee! Stay tuned for details on our March Break Skate Day at East York Memorial.

Happy Lunar New Year

I enjoyed a wonderful evening last weekend celebrating the Year of the Dragon at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto.

Happy Lunar New Year! 🧧


Toronto Vacant Home Tax Occupancy Deadline is February 29th

Owners of properties in Toronto that are classified within the residential property tax class are required to declare the occupancy status of their property every year, even if they reside there. However, the tax does not apply to:

  • properties that are the principal residence of the owner
  • properties that are the principal residence of a permitted occupant or occupied by a tenant (including business tenants)
  • properties that qualify for an exemption

Declarations of occupancy status can be submitted through the online portal or by mail, either by the property owner or an authorized representative acting on their behalf.

Owners of properties subject to the tax will be issued a Vacant Home Tax Notice at the end of March and payment will be due in three instalments in May, June and July.

You do not have to declare if:

  • your property is not yet assessed
  • the property is classed as multi-residential, commercial or industrial
  • the property is classified by MPAC as vacant land, parking space or a condominium locker

Declare the 2023 occupancy status of your residential property. Owners of properties in Toronto that are classified within the residential property tax class are required to declare occupancy status every year. The deadline to declare is February 29, 2024.

To declare online, visit: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/property-taxes-utilities/vacant-home-tax/ 


 – Brad

In This Issue

Updates & Announcements from City Hall

  • City Hall Updates 🆕

Small Business Spotlight 

  • Black-owned Restaurants in #BEY 🆕

Local Events 

  • Planning Committee Members Needed – 2024 East York Canada Day Festival 🚨
  • Seniors Active Living & Lifestyles Fair 🆕
  • Sunday Funday at Legion Branch 11 🆕
  • 60s Music Night featuring Fraser/Daley and Skylark 
  • Jersey Nights 
  • Light It Up – Lantern Program 
  • February Seniors Market 
  • Annual Soup Tasting Competition 
  • Kingston Rd Village – Concert Series 
  • Members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) in Recital 

Community Programs & Employment

  • SING! 
  • Access Alliance – Snow Removal Services  
  • Queer Youth United 
  • WoodGreen Community Services: Need for Volunteers 
  • SCHC – Fall Bereavement Support Groups 
  • The Neighbourhood Group – Job Assistance 
  • Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) Program 
  • Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub 

Neighbourhood News

  • By-law Enforcement: Dogs Off-Leash Parks 
  • Scarborough Bluffs West Revitalization Study 

Work in the Ward

  • O’Connor Construction Update: February 2024 
  • Toronto Hydro Overhead & Underground Civil & Electrical Upgrade; Project Danforth 
  • Coxwell Subway Station Stairway SOGR  
  • Toronto Hydro Overhead Electrical Upgrade; Dentonia Park Avenue Overhead Rebuild Phase 1A 
  • Toronto Hydro Overhead & Underground Civil & Electrical Work: Glen Manor Drive 
  • REVISED: Hydro Work – Danforth Overhead Rebuild Phase 2A 

City Wide News/Events

  • Heritage Register Review: Information Session 🆕
  • One Fare Programs Begins February 26! 
  • Celebrate Black History Month 
  • Toronto Public Health – Community Clinics  
  • Toronto Community Champaign Award 2024 
  • CafeTO 2024: Apply by March 1st!
  • TD Park People Grants: Apply by Feb 27th!

Additional Information

  • Make the right call! 

Thanks for taking the time to read my bi-weekly newsletter! If you have any events, news, or ideas to share for our next one – please reach out to my office. Send me an email at [email protected] and we can get you included in our next issue. 

Updates & Announcements from City Hall

City Hall Updates 🆕

On February 14th, City Council finally had a chance to debate and discuss Mayor Chow’s 2024 Budget. At the tune of $17.1 billion, it represents the largest budget in our city’s history given both the increased spending and the failure to identify any significant savings. And despite the Mayor’s promise to protect renters, if you and your family rent a condo unit or an apartment building built after 1998, you will also be hit with the same 9.5% property tax increase as any homeowner. 

In an effort to ensure that our city remains the economically strong and culturally diverse city that it’s known to be, I moved a number of motions in an effort to provide increases to funding provided to our arts sector and reduce the tax burden on our small business community. Unfortunately, Mayor Chow voted against both these motions. 

I will continue to fight for our artists, entrepreneurs, and everyone who is fighting to afford to build a life in Toronto. 

In the fight to make our city more affordable, there are a number of important reports coming to the City’s Planning and Housing Committee next week. This includes a report back on the legalization of Garden Suites city-wide. As a result of motions I moved back in 2022, Beaches-East York remains the easiest place in the City of Toronto to build a Garden Suite and there’s likely something to be learned from the experience here in our community when it comes to unlocking more housing. 

Small Business Spotlight 

Black-Owned Restaurants in #BEY 🆕

In honour of Black History Month, our office wanted to give recognition to and highlight some of the great Black-owned restaurants in Beaches-East York. Take the time to visit the local businesses below! 

  • Beach Hill Smokehouse: 172 Main St. 

Texas is known world wide for excellent barbecue and loads of southern hospitality. If you’re in the mood for some authentic Texas-style BBQ, look no further. Beach Hill Smokehouse is recognized on a city-wide scale for having some of the best BBQ in Toronto. With the combination of flavours from all across Texas to their southern hospitality, you must check them out at 172 Main St. 

For more information, visit: https://beachhillsmokehouse.com/.

  • Classic Juice Co: 287 Coxwell Ave.

This black-owned business is striving to make a healthy lifestyle easier and more adventurous. With their 48 different flavours of cold-pressed juice, smoothies and delicious snack wraps, you’ve got to try out their expansive and fresh menu. 

For more information, visit their Instagram page Classic Juice Co.

  • Mofer Coffee Danforth: 1577 Danforth Ave. 

This coffee shops has several locations across the City as they serve organic coffee from Ethiopia. They service raw beans and prepare well-roasted products. Visit them at their Danforth location at 1577 Danforth Ave. 

For more information, visit: https://www.mofercoffee.com/.

  • Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant: 1690 Danforth Ave.

Looking to try Ethiopian cuisine? Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant is a family-run business located at 1690 Danforth Ave and they’re serving classic dishes such as Doro Wat, Tibs and Shiro. There is something to try for everyone! 

For more information, visit: Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant

  • Vegan I Thali: 2768 Danforth Ave.  

Vegan I Thali is offering a wide selection of Afro-Caribbean flavours. The term ‘Thali’ means a variety of dishes and this lovely establishment is serving exactly that! Try their Thali plate, which gives you a taste of their vegan Caribbean dishes. From Injera Jerk and Caribbean Tofu to Curry Chickpeas and Rasta Pasta – you will not want to miss out. 

For more information, visit: Vegan I Thali

Local Events

🚨 We need YOU to help Plan the 2024 East York Canada Day Festival 🚨

We need your help organizing the 67th East York Canada Day Parade and Festival for 2024. This event is run entirely by volunteers and requires community members to serve on the organizing committee – we need your help to make sure the event can take place in 2024 and beyond.

If you can provide organizing assistance, or have new ideas to bring to the event, please reach out at [email protected] for more information. 

More information on the event can also be found at www.eycdc.ca

EY Canada Day meetings are open to all. Our next committee meeting is on February 28, 2024 at 7 p.m. at Stan Wadlow Clubhouse.

This is a much beloved event and it’s counting on our community to keep this family fun, long standing event going.

Seniors Active Living & Lifestyles Fair 🆕

Centre 55 is excited to be hosting another Seniors Active Living & Lifestyles Fair this year on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at Beaches Sandbox (see address below). This FREE event will be a day full of workshops, active classes, exhibitors and refreshment.

No registration required.

All classes, workshops and presentation will be on a first come basis. Looking forward to seeing everyone there! 

Sunday Funday at Legion Branch 11 🆕

Sunday Funday is back this Sunday, February 25, 2024. Doors open at 1pm and the fun doesn’t end before 7pm. 

Tickets will be sold in-person on the day of! Check it out.

60s Music Night featuring Fraser/Daley and Skylark 

Join Beach United Church for a night of fantastic live 60s music, dancing, cash bar, raffles, and more with headliners Fraser/Daley (Alec Fraser and Mike Daley) and openers Skylark. 

The tickets are $50.00 and proceeds will go towards Beach United’s year-round community programs.

If you’re interested in learning more and/or buying tickets, please visit: https://www.zeffy.com/en-CA/ticketing/afc76e4e-2c59-4232-81ef-d1ce1e81069e.

Jersey Nights 

Join Centre 55 for a fabulous night out that will include a gourmet dinner followed by a spectacular performance of Jersey Nights celebrating the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at the Georgian Theatre.

If you’re interested in learning more and/or buying tickets, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/jersey-nights-celebrating-the-music-of-frankie-valli-and-the-four-seasons-tickets-808043308287

Light It Up – Lantern Program 

Calling all East Enders! You’re all invited to join East End Arts, Shadowland Theatre, Workman Arts and the Crescent Town Club for the fourth annual Light It Up Lantern Celebration! Together, let’s celebrate the Spring Equinox by filling the east end with lanterns of light and love!

The steps to participate are easy:

Step 1: Make your own paper lantern at a free lantern-making workshop. These workshops will take place on Thursdays from February 1, 2024 – March 14, 2024 at Crescent Town Club. 

Step 2: Bring your completed lanterns to the Light It Up Lantern Parade to Dentonia Park to share some light with the east Toronto community ❤️ The event will take place on Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 7:15pm. 

If you’re interested in learning more and/or signing up for the lantern classes, please visit: https://eastendarts.ca/light-it-up-2024/ 

February Seniors Market 

Centre 55 continues to support the fresh food market initiative at a Toronto seniors housing building at 828 Kingston Road. This Market runs on the first Wednesday of every month and is a great opportunity for residents to purchase fresh produce at a reduced rate onsite.

They are looking for a few volunteers to assist with selling the food and assisting the seniors. This is a great opportunity to earn volunteer hours or just to be a part of a great program that benefits seniors in our community.

If you’re interested, please contact Jade Maitland at 416-691-1113 ext. 224. 

Annual Soup Tasting Competition 

Join Centre 55 for their Annual Soup Tasting Competition. Please see the flyer below for more details. 

No reservations are required! 

Kingston Rd Village – Concert Series 

The Kingston Rd Village is back with two exciting and affordable concerts!  These two side-by-side concerts are organized by Toronto Symphony bassist Timothy Dawson and violin star and U of T professor, Mark Fewer.

Professionals and senior U of T students will perform two Orchestral Suites of J.S. Bach, the E major violin concerto (soloist Mark Fewer) and the Concerto for Oboe and Violin (Mark Fewer and TSO principal oboist Sarah Jeffrey). ‘

For the first time, we’ll be welcoming members of the University of Toronto Graduate Oratorio Ensemble and vocal faculty to perform two gorgeous cantatas. It’ll be a musical feast!

The concerts are an amazing opportunity for these gifted students to perform side-by-side with their teachers from the Toronto Symphony and the University of Toronto. Come witness performances by the next generation of exceptional music-makers!

To learn more and/or buy tickets, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/back-two-bach-feb-10th-tickets-776298488677?aff=ebdssbdestsearch&keep_tld=1.

Members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) in Recital 

Kingston Road United Church is hosting a series of monthly recitals featuring Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians in brief, informal recitals. Each recital features different instruments from the orchestra. 

For more information, visit: TSYO Recitals.

Community Programs & Employment Events


SING! is back and they are open for Winter and Spring 2024 sessions. If you’re interested in learning more, visit: https://www.theredwoodtheatre.com/

Access Alliance – Snow Removal Services  

Need help with your snow shovelling? As the season gets colder and snowier, Access Alliance has organized a snow shovelling service. 

For more information, please contact Shaheda at 416-699-7920 ext. 4226 or Access Alliance Snow Removal at [email protected].

Queer Youth United  

Queer Youth United (QYU) at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Ave. every Thursday from 4-7pm.

QYU is is a 2SLGBTQ+ youth group for ages 15-29, where you can come and engage with others in a safe space within the community, while sharing meals, finding support and resources. 

You are welcome to drop-by at any time during the 4pm-7pm time period!

For more info: instagram.com/QueerYouthUnited or beachunitedchurch.com

WoodGreen Community Services: Need for Volunteers 

WoodGreen Community Services runs a free tax clinic and are seeking volunteers to assist them in this meaningful initiative.

Their clinic helps low-income individuals navigate the complexities of tax preparation, ensuring they receive the refunds and benefits they are entitled to. However, the demand for their services has grown considerably each year, and they are struggling to meet this increased demand due to a shortage of volunteer tax preparers. 

If you’re interested in volunteering with WoodGreen, please contact Ansley Dawson at [email protected] or 416-645-6000 ext. 1331.  

SCHC – Fall Bereavement Support Groups 

Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities is a not-for-profit organization that provides a variety of holistic programs to support the health and well-being of the community. One of the programs offered is the Bereavement Peer – Support Groups. They provide several different types of virtual and in-person options. 

For more information, please visit: SCHC – Bereavement Care.

The Neighbourhood Group – Job Assistance 

The Neighbourhood Group is offering FREE Employment Services to help you prepare for and find work. Whether you’re out of school and looking for a job, new to Canada and want your first Canadian work experience, looking to change your career, or trying to get back into the workforce, they have various training programs, work placements, workshopsonline job board, and resource centres.

For more information, visit The Neighbourhood Group.

Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) Program

The Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) program has been organized to support the seniors community with services ranging from garden and yard work to light housekeeping. 

If you or anyone you know is looking for more assistance around their home, contact Kevin at 416-531-8447 or email [email protected] for more information.

Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub 

We’re thrilled to share that in-person services are available at the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub, a new welcoming space at East York Town Centre that provides health, wellness, employment and other services for youth and young adults! To access services, come by the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub during its drop-in hours: Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It is located at East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd. (Please use mall Entrance 6; the Youth Wellness Hub is located beside Dollarama). All services are free and open to everyone aged 12 to 25. Youth and young adults do not need a health card, family doctor or medical referral. Services include wellness counselling, peer support, employment services, settlement services, food support, primary care and more. No matter what you might be dealing with, their team can help.

For more information, please visit Thorncliffe Youth Club or follow them on Instagram @ThorncliffeYouthHub.

Neighbourhood News

By-law Enforcement: Dogs Off-Leash Parks 

Bylaw is relying on complaint data to focus higher levels of enforcement on the following dogs off-leash parks where a large number of issues have been raised, with the hope that education and escalated enforcement will encourage responsible dog ownership: 

  • Dentonia Park 
  • Fairmount Park 
  • Woodbine Beach Park 
  • Woodbine Park 

We understand the importance of exercise for your beloved pet. However, it is important to practice Responsible Dog Ownership and keep your dog on leash in areas that are not marked off as official dog off-leash areas. 

Please take the time to visit the following dogs off-leash areas in Beaches-East York by visiting the interactive map.

Be a good neighbour and be mindful of your surroundings! 

Scarborough Bluffs West Revitalization Study 

The City of Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) have initiated an Environmental Assessment for the Scarborough Bluffs West Revitalization Study (SBW). 

The SBW study will explore the renewal of and improvements to approximately 4.5 km of Lake Ontario shoreline, from Balmy Beach at Silver Birch Avenue to Bluffer’s Park. The study will explore opportunities to preserve and enhance the Bluffs’ natural features and minimize hazards such as erosion, while improving how the public access, move through, and experience the waterfront. Please see the attached Notice of Commencement for more information.

The public will have opportunities for input at key stages throughout the project. Consultation will start in the coming weeks, and opportunities will be advertised on the project website, by email, in local newspapers, on social media pages, and through mail to households and businesses in the area. More information, including details about the first round of public consultation, will be shared at toronto.ca/ScarboroughBluffsWest.

To ensure you receive project updates including information about consultations, register for the project mailing list.

Work in the Ward

O’Connor Construction Update: February 2024 

The contractor is onsite to complete the water main and sewer work on the west side of O’Connor Drive. My office has requested the contractor have TWO crews working in each direction to finish this work quicker. Crews will be beginning at Curity Ave, with one crew going north to Bermondsey and one crew going south to Sandra to complete this work.  

Crews worked overnight on February 7, 2024 to February 9, 2024 to complete the St Clair E intersection as to not disrupt traffic during the day, especially during rush hours.

The water main and sewer infrastructure is the first phase of this work, with the major streetscape reconstruction to begin in late Spring 2024. This means the asphalt that is being put down now, is TEMPORARY until the entire streetscape is able to be reconstructed.

Building a great city takes time, and we thank you for your ongoing patience during this critical infrastructure work.  

This work is projected to be complete by early Fall 2024.

If you have any concerns or suggestions, please reach out to my office.

Toronto Hydro Overhead & Underground Civil & Electrical Upgrade; Project Danforth 

Toronto Hydro is pleased to inform you they will be improving the electricity system in our ward. 

The boundaries for the project include Dentonia Park Avenue (North), Victoria Park Avenue (East), Danforth Avenue (South), and Eldon Avenue (West). We expect the work to begin March 2024.

Coxwell Station Stairway SOGR  

As a part of the network-wide Subway Station state of good repair program, The TTC will repair stairs inside Coxwell Subway Station from Jan 15 to the end of March 2024. One set of the stairway and the escalator will remain open to customers.

Toronto Hydro Overhead Electrical Upgrade; Project Dentonia Park Avenue Overhead Rebuild Phase 1A 

Toronto Hydro is hard at work to improve the electricity system in Ward 19. Please see the detailed graphic below for more information.

The boundaries for the project include Rosevear Avenue (North), Victoria Park Avenue (East), Dentonia Park Avenue (South), and Dawes Road (West). 

Toronto Hydro Overhead & Underground Civil & Electrical Work: Glen Manor Drive 

Toronto Hydro will be conducting further infrastructure upgrades in our community. Please see the detailed graphic below for more information.

The boundaries for the project include a section of Glen Manor Drive between Duart Park Road (North) and Queen Street East (South). 

REVISED: Hydro Work – Danforth Overhead Rebuild Phase 2A 

Toronto Hydro is currently doing some upgrades on Danforth. The boundaries for the project include Dentonia Park Avenue (North), Thyra Avenue (East), Danforth Avenue (South), and Avonlea Boulevard (West). Staff expects the work to begin in February 2024.

City Wide Events

Heritage Register Review: Information Session 🆕

On Monday, February 26, 2024, Toronto residents are invited to an online Public Information Session to learn about the City’s Heritage Register Review project. The purpose of the meeting is to share information about the project and answer questions.

This project has been initiated to develop a strategy for responding to amendments made to Section 27 (Heritage Register) of the Ontario Heritage Act that came into force on January 1, 2023.

The Heritage Register Review project is focused on developing an ongoing strategy to prioritize the designation of properties that are currently listed on the Toronto Heritage Register before they are removed from the register on January 1, 2025

One Fare Program Begins February 26! 

On February 5, 2024, the Ontario government announced that they are keeping costs low for transit riders with the launch of the “One Fare Program”, which will save transit riders an average of $1600 a year.

Starting February 26, 2024, customers who are paying with a PRESTO card, PRESTO in Google Wallet, debit or credit card, will be able to transfer for free between the TTC and Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay and York Region Transit within the two-hour transfer window.

Also, TTC customers paying single-ride fares connecting to and from GO Transit within a three-hour transfer period will benefit from a fare discount, making their TTC fare-free.

Celebrate Black History Month 

The City of Toronto is proud to produce and support events during Black History Month. Explore and celebrate the heritage, traditions and culture of Black Canadians through exhibits, events, public art and more across Toronto.

To enjoy Black History Month events and activities, please visit: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/black-history-month/.

Toronto Public Health – Community Clinics  

Toronto Public Health is hosting community clinics to help students catch-up on their school-based vaccines. The clinics will provide vaccines against the following nine designated diseases under Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), in addition to the HPV and Hepatitis B vaccines:  

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Meningococcal
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Varicella (chickenpox) – only applies to students born on or after 2010.

ISPA requires that all students be vaccinated against the above nine designated diseases or have a valid exemption. Parents or guardians must submit their child’s vaccination information to Toronto Public Health. 

The Toronto Public Health community clinics are by appointment only and residents are encouraged to book an appointment online through the Toronto Public Health Appointment Booking System. An OHIP card is not required. 

Vaccination is important for the health of each student and the school community. More information is available on the City’s Required Vaccines for Students webpage

Q: What are Toronto Public Health’s community clinics?     

A: Toronto Public Health is hosting community clinics for students who live or study in Toronto to help them stay up-to-date with their school-based vaccines. The clinics will provide vaccines against nine designated diseases students are required to be vaccinated against under Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), unless they have a valid exemption. These clinics are appointment based and residents are encouraged to book an appointment at TPHBookings.ca. 

Q: Who is eligible for these vaccines?     

A: Before booking a vaccination appointment, find eligibility information on the City’s Toronto Public Health – Student Vaccines webpage

Book an appointment now: TPH Bookings

Toronto Community Champaign Award 2024 

The City of Toronto, in partnership with United Way Greater Toronto, has opened nominations for the 2024 Toronto Community Champion Award! The annual award recognizes the extraordinary contributions community organizations make to support the health and solidarity of Toronto residents, particularly those from Black, Indigenous and other equity-deserving communities. The award is an opportunity for residents to shine a spotlight on organizations that are known for their community collaboration. 

Nominations are open until Sunday, February 11 at 11:55 p.m. The nomination process and eligibility criteria is available on the City’s Toronto Community Champion Award webpage

Q: Who is eligible to be nominated for the Toronto Community Champion Award? 

A: To be eligible for the Award, priority will be given to organizations that:  

  • Are community-focused by adapting services and approaches to respond to the needs of a geographical location, identity, interests or other demographic characteristics of the neighbourhood/community.
  • Demonstrate an inclusive and innovative approach to their work.
  • Serve Indigenous, Black and/or equity-deserving groups and communities and areas.
  • Provide community service as their primary focus, rather than fundraising or grant making.
  • Have not been recognized previously for the same initiative with a Toronto Community Champion Award.

 Q: How will recipients be honoured for the Toronto Community Champion Award? 

A: The City will announce award recipients in May, when they will be honoured at an award ceremony. 

The #CityOfTO 2024 Toronto Community Champion Award is open for nominations! This is a great opportunity for Toronto residents to shine a spotlight on, and nominate, a local organization making a difference 💙 Find details and nominate: toronto.ca/CommunityChampion

CaféTO 2024: Apply by March 1st!

The improved CaféTO curb lane program is now open for applications! Curb lane cafés are outdoor dining areas located on the street, directly adjacent to a curb, that provide expanded temporary outdoor dining space.  

 Local restaurants and bar owners and operators interested in expanding their dining space outdoors can apply online for 2024 curb lane café permits. Applications will be accepted until March 1, with the expectation that at least 90 per cent of approved curb lane cafés will be installed by Victoria Day weekend. New operators must submit an application online. City staff will contact 2023 operators with instructions on how to renew their permit. Submit online and find more information available on the City’s CaféTO Program webpage

 Made permanent last year, the curb lane CaféTO program has transformed Toronto’s main streets, revitalized neighbourhoods and supported hundreds of local restaurants while helping to protect thousands of jobs during a challenging time for the hospitality industry. 

  Q: What are the key dates for the 2024 CaféTO curb lane season? 

A: The program timeline for CaféTO curb lane cafés summer season:  

  • Permit application and renewals open online from January 15 to March 1.
  • Temporary accessible platform designs are due from March 15 to April 15.
  • At least 90 per cent of curb lane cafés are installed by Victoria Day weekend, May 17 to 20.
  • Deadline for temporary accessible platform installation is June 1.

  Q: What improvements can business operators expect this season? 

A: Key improvements to the CaféTO curb lane program this year include: 

  • Earlier installation of traffic safety equipment needed to operate curb lane cafés so that at least 90 per cent of participating restaurants can open their curb lane patio by the Victoria Day long weekend
  • A more user-friendly permit application process for new restaurant operators.
  • Enhanced City of Toronto staff support to accelerate permit application and platform review processes for restaurant operators.
  • Opportunities to improve the “look and feel” of curb lane cafés by painting or wrapping barriers and concrete blocks.

Curb Lane Café applications and renewals are now open! Restaurant, café and bar owners can apply to request expanded temporary outdoor dining space. Applications close March 1.  

Get patio season ready! ⛱️ Learn more and apply: CaféTO

TD Park People Grants: Apply by Feb 27th!

Exciting news! The TD Park People Grants Program launched earlier this week. The $2,000 grants will support 70 groups hosting park events in 21 urban areas across Canada. Successful applicants will use the grant to host two events supporting the ongoing care and protection of green spaces through environmental education, sustainability and stewardship initiatives. 

The application deadline is Tuesday, February 27, 2024. 

Additional Information

Make the right call! 

The City of Toronto, in partnership with the Toronto Police Service, unveiled the “Make the Right Call” social media campaign.

The campaign aims to increase awareness among Toronto residents about when to call 311, 211, 911, the police non-emergency line or when to file an online police report.

The five-week campaign will highlight a different service number weekly, accompanied by compelling real-life scenarios that illustrate precisely when to make that specific call. 

Learn more and see a few campaign graphics on the City’s “Make the Right Call” webpage: www.toronto.ca/home/311-toronto-at-your-service/make-the-right-call.

Thanks for taking the time to read my bi-weekly newsletter! If you have any events, news, or ideas to share for our next one – please reach out to my office! Send me an email at [email protected] and we can get you included in our next issue.

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