E-News: Protecting Winter Fun, End the Tobogganing Ban Now

ByBrad Bradford

Hi Friend,

As a father, I love the chance to introduce my daughters to all the ways we can enjoy winter, like skating, playing in snow, and tobogganing.

Although we’ve been a bit short on snow this year, I know that many families share the same priorities. That’s why, like many of you, I was surprised and frustrated when City staff threw up “no tobogganing” signs at East Lynn Park, and didn’t set up hay bales or other protection like they have in years past. 

I made repeated attempts to convince parks staff to reverse the ban and treat East Lynn as the much-loved tobogganing destination that it is, but they wouldn’t budge. Thankfully, many media outlets covered the story, and the vast majority of folks in Toronto and across the country agree that we should let the kids go sledding – and that we don’t want Toronto to be a “no-fun city”.

At the next Council meeting in early February, I’ll be presenting a motion to end the ban at the 45 parks across the city, and use common-sense signage and precautions so that families and kids can make informed decisions. To help ensure this passes, please sign this petition to end the tobogganing ban and let kids play.

Read on for more details of what’s going on in our community, important updates from City Hall, and more. But first I wanted to highlight a few key events that have happened since our last newsletter:

Winter Welcome – Skating Party 

We laced up the skates and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon last Saturday down at Kew Gardens, celebrating the winter season with family and friends in #BEY. 

Thank you to MPP Mary-Margaret McMahon and MP Nate Erskine-Smith for organizing this event! 

Tamil Youth Excellence 

The community hosted a great celebration at City Hall for the 15th Annual Tamil Heritage Month. A huge turnout, with excellent performances and food to mark the occasion.

Congratulations to the 30 Under 30 winners and thank you for all of your contributions to Toronto and to the Tamil community. 

East York Levee 

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Annual East York Levee. We loved hearing from everyone who stopped by to voice their concerns and offer their suggestions. 

Thank you to EY Hall of Fame and East York Foundation for putting together this event. 

It was the perfect way to start 2024 and celebrate 100 years since the founding of East York 🍾

Stay warm, and look forward to seeing you on the East Lynn slopes as soon we get some more snow.


 – Brad

In This Issue

Updates & Announcements from City Hall

  • City Hall Updates 🆕

Small Business Spotlight 

  • Ethical Local Market (ELM) 🆕

Local Events 

  • St. Luke’s Anglican Church – A Pancake Supper 🆕
  • Super Bowl Food Drive 🆕
  • Music for the Soul with Opera Revue 🆕 
  • Jazz & Reflection with Paul Novotny & Friends 🆕 
  • Valentine’s Day High Tea 🆕 
  • Sunday Funday 🆕 
  • Planning Committee Members Needed – 2024 East York Canada Day Festival 🚨
  • Danforth Multifaith Commons – Forum on Youth Mental Health 
  • Documentary & Discussion Fundraiser to Help Sponsor an Afghan Refugee 
  • Members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) in Recital 
  • Christmas Organ Concert with Manuel Piazza

Community Programs & Employment

  • Access Alliance – Snow Removal Services 🆕 
  • SING! 
  • Queer Youth United 
  • Aerospace Structural Assembly Training Program 
  • 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

  • Neighbourhood Climate Action Grants 
  • Toronto Community Crisis Service Expansion 
  • Scarborough Bluffs West Revitalization Study 

Work in the Ward

  • Coxwell Subway Station Stairway SOGR  
  • Access to Broadview Station Restored  
  • O’Connor Construction Updates
  • TTC Service Changes 
  • 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

  • CampTO 🆕
  • Toronto Public Health – Community Clinics  🆕
  • Clearing Toronto’s Roads & Sidewalks 🆕
  • Toronto Community Champaign Award 2024 🆕
  • CafeTO 2024 🆕
  • Toronto Vacant Home Tax Occupancy Deadline 🆕
  • TD Park People Grants  

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 🆕

City Hall is focused on approving our 2024 Budget. Thank you to everyone who has written in to share your feedback – a vast majority of you have told me that you are very concerned about the impact of Mayor Chow’s historic double-digit tax increase, and alarmed that there doesn’t appear to have been any real effort to find savings and efficiencies in the city’s $17 billion budget (nearly a billion dollars higher than the 2023 Budget).

Mayor Chow will present her revised version of the Budget on February 1st. I’m hoping that she hears the many Torontonians who have said that a 10.5% tax increase is too high, and who are concerned about the impact to public safety of cutting funding from the Toronto Police budget as approved by the Police Service Board.

I will be hosting a Budget Town Hall to hear your feedback directly, and for you to have the opportunity to ask questions to understand the Budget better. We will be joined by Steven Conforti, the Chief Financial Officer of the City of Toronto, as well as Budget Chief Councillor Shelley Carroll. The Town Hall will be at the East York Civic Centre on Thursday, February 8th from 6-8pm. To RSVP, please reply to this email; we’ll send out additional information next week.

While there’s more information further down in this newsletter, I want to remind everyone to please declare your house occupancy status for the Vacant Home Tax. You need to file a declaration, even if you live in your home, to make sure you don’t get charged. To declare online, visit: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/property-taxes-utilities/vacant-home-tax.

Small Business Spotlight 

Ethical Local Market – 1628 Queen Street East 

I want to highlight a really special local business, Ethical Local Market, located at 1628 Queen Street East. 

It’s a great place to buy some locally made gifts for friends and family! Business owner, Nurjahan, wanted to create a social enterprise where local artisans could sell their goods within the community.

Take the time to check this place out on the weekend, you will not regret it! 

Local Events

St. Luke’s Anglican Church – A Pancake Supper 🆕

St. Luke’s Anglican Church is hosting a fundraising event, A Pancake Supper, on February 13, 2024 from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

Come and support their fundraiser by indulging in some delicious pancakes and meet others in the community.

Super Bowl Food Drive 🆕

Feed Scarborough’s Super Bowl Food Drive is happening on February 10, 2024. Please consider supporting Feed Scarborough and our neighbours in need by donating non-perishable goods – several grocery stores in our community will be collecting donations (see list in the flyer below). 

Music for the Soul with Opera Revue 🆕 

They are excited to present the hit opera show that everyone is talking about! Opera Revue aims to take away the exclusive nature of opera, and make it accessible for all audiences. 

Tickets are pay-what-you-can, and support Beach United’s year-round community programs. 

If you’d like to purchase a ticket, please visit: Music for the Soul with Opera Revue

Jazz & Reflection with Paul Novotny & Friends 🆕

Join celebrated Canadian jazz bassist Paul Novotny, guitarist David Occhipinti and pianist Amanda Tosofffor an afternoon of jazz originals & favourites! 

Tickets are pay-what-you-can, and support Beach United’s year-round community programs. 

If you’d like to purchase a ticket, please visit: Jazz & Reflection with Paul Novotny & Friends

Valentine’s Day High Tea 🆕 

Join Centre 55 for a Valentine’s Day High Tea on Sunday, February 11, 2024 from 2:30pm-4pm at Centre 55.

Please contact Tamara at [email protected] or call 416-691-1113 to reserve a spot. Payment is due before or by February 7, 2024.

Sunday Funday 🆕 

Looking for a Sunday FunDay? Legion Branch 11 is hosting their Sunday FunDay on January 28, 2024. DJ Lester will be performing from 2pm-6pm! 

Buy your tickets by tonight (Friday, January 26, 2024).  

Planning Committee Members Needed – 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.

Danforth Multifaith Commons – Forum on Youth Mental Health 

On February 6th, 2024 at 7pm, at the Eastminster Campus of East End United Regional Ministry, 310 Danforth Avenue, there will be a Forum on Youth Mental Health.

This Forum is part of the annual speakers series on social justice issues hosted by Danforth Multifaith Commons which includes Danforth Jewish Circle, East End United and Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The speakers will be very informative about issues being faced by our youth today and the resources available in the Toronto East community:

  • Adina Hauser and Riyan Visram, Michael Garron Hospital
  • Vanessa Wu, WoodGreen Community Services 
  • Asante Haughton, Stella’s Place 
  • Rod Cohen, Blake Boultbee Youth Outreach Service 

For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/share/imKaTDiXopxMa3HC/?mibextid=9VsGKo 

Documentary & Discussion Fundraiser to Help Sponsor an Afghan Refugee  

Visit the Royal Canadian Legion for an unforgettable evening viewing “The Perfect Story,” followed by the brilliant Anna Maria Tremonti taking the stage to interview filmmaker Michelle Shephard about the story’s creation.

Beyond the cinematic journey, this event carries a cause. Make a difference by supporting our mission to bring an Afghan refugee to Canada.

To find out more information about the initiative, visit: Help bring an Afghan refugee to Canada 

To buy tickets for the show on January 31, 2024, visit: Fundraiser: enjoy a documentary + interview with the filmmaker 

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

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].


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/

Queer Youth United  

Queer Youth United (QYU) at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Ave. every Thursday from 4-7pm starting January 18, 2024.

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

Aerospace Structural Assembly Training Program 

Did you know? There is a huge demand for skilled workers in the aerospace industry.

This hands-on Aerospace Structural Assembly Training Program will provide you the knowledge and skills needed to perform complex structural assembly, as required by the aviation manufacturing industry. 

You will receive a Centennial College certificate upon completion, making you attractive to prospective employers. Hiring partners include Bombardier, MHI Canada Aerospace Inc., Fleet Canada, and others!

This program is in partnership with the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR) consortium and with the financial support of Upskill Canada (powered by Palette Skills) and the Government of Canada.

Please note, the program is tuition free; however, accepted students are required to pay a $300 program fee prior to course start date.

The program begins on Monday, February 5, 2024. 

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

Toronto Community Crisis Service Expansion 

Last month, Toronto City Council approved a plan to expand the Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS) city-wide by the end of 2024. Following a successful first year of TCCS operations in 64 per cent of Toronto, the city-wide expansion of the community-based service will continue to contribute to the well-being of Torontonians and community safety.

TCCS connects those in crisis to community-based, client-centered, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support. The service provides crisis intervention, follow-up care and support and case management. 

The TCCS reduces police engagement and increases community-based solutions that connect people in crisis to much-needed mental health and well-being programs and services. This community-based service prioritizes the community safety and well-being of Toronto’s most vulnerable populations.

For more information, visit: www.toronto.ca/CrisisService

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

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.

Access to Broadview Station Restored  

Good news – at long last, access to Broadview Station has been restored and all regular bus services have resumed. Streetcar service is expected to resume in mid-February. Thank you for your patience in supporting necessary infrastructure and road work improvements.

O’Connor Construction Update 

All lanes along O’Connor between Sandra Rd and Bermondsey are now open and will remain open until mid-January 2024. There will be no work happening on this stretch of road during the holidays. The contractor will continue with watermain replacement in January 2024.  We thank you for your ongoing patience during this critical infrastructure work.

The project is projected to be complete by early Fall 2024.

My office continues to monitor the ongoing construction, which we know has been very disruptive for anyone attempting to travel through the area. We have continued to request additional notice for any closures that are required, and to maintain as many lanes for travel as possible. 

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

TTC Service Changes 

501 Queen

The 501 Queen route will generally operate along the following sections until further notice, unless a temporary diversion is required such as upcoming work at Queen and De Grassi (see below).

  • West-end: 501 Queen streetcars will operate between Roncesvalles Avenue and McCaul Loop (Queen and McCaul). Once construction along The Queensway is completed, streetcars are anticipated to resume travel as far west as Long Branch Loop.
  • Downtown: 501B Queen replacement buses will continue to operate between Queen Street/Bathurst Street and Broadview Avenue/Gerrard Street, diverting around the Queen Street closure due to Ontario Line work.

501D Queen buses are currently operating in the east end on Queen Street between Church Street and Neville Park Loop.

Starting October 8 until further notice, the 501D Queen route will convert into a streetcar service.

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 expects the work to begin January 2024.

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). Toronto Hydro expects the work to begin later this month (December 2023).

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

CampTO 🆕

With more than 30 types of camp programs at more than 140 locations, residents can now better prepare for next month’s city-wide registration by viewing the City of Toronto’s summer CampTO program list online.

CampTO will be available from early July to late August in neighbourhoods across the city, helping children and youth stay active, learn new skills, make friends and create fun memories. 

Counsellor-In-Training (CIT) programs are also available, providing participants between 13 and 16 years of age an introduction to the fundamentals of being a Camp Counsellor. 

Registration for CampTO opens at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, February 7. The fastest and easiest way to register for CampTO is online. Residents can find program and registration information at toronto.ca/campTO.

Registration online or in-person

Residents who need help preparing for registration can call 416-396-7378, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call centre will be open for extended hours on Tuesday, February 6, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on registration day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents will need their family and client numbers to sign up for CampTO programs and are encouraged to have this information ready before registration day. Residents can set up a new account or retrieve their existing client or family numbers by phone or online.

CampTO welcomes everyone

The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs, including CampTO. Those who receive social assistance (Ontario Works) and live in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker or apply online. Toronto residents with family income that meets the criteria may also apply. More information on the criteria and how to apply can be found by searching low-cost recreation options at toronto.ca.

Come work for the city

The City continues to hire for all recreation positions, including camp counsellors, lifeguards, wading pool attendants, gatekeepers, specialty camp instructors and special needs program staff. More information about positions is available at toronto.ca/recjobs.

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

Clearing Toronto’s Roads & Sidewalks 🆕

The City of Toronto is ready for winter with a comprehensive and highly coordinated snow and ice response plan, focused on salting and plowing of roads, sidewalks and bikeways. The plan prioritizes the safety and mobility of residents above all else, particularly emergency and transit vehicles. 

All of our crews are trained with safety in mind. Toronto’s 14,700 lane-km of roads, 7,900 km of sidewalks and 956 km of bike lanes and major trails will be cleared by a large fleet of salting and plowing equipment. 

More information on when and how snow and ice is cleared is available on the City’s Winter Services webpage

Q: When will my street be cleared? 

A: Salting begins as soon as the snow starts to stick to the asphalt and plowing begins when the snow reaches 2.5 cm on expressways, 5 cm on major roads and 8 cm on residential streets. Sidewalks and separated bike lanes also start being plowed when snow reaches 2 cm. Find out what roads and sidewalks near you were recently salted and plowed and where the vehicles are now on the PlowTO Map

Q: How do I submit a service request for snow clearing? 

A: Winter-related service requests can be submitted after snowfall has ended by calling 311, visiting the City’s 311 webpage or using the 311Toronto Mobile App. Please note that service requests cannot be submitted during snowfall while crews are actively clearing the snow to make our streets safe. 

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 🆕

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

Toronto Vacant Home Tax Occupancy Deadline 🆕

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/ 

TD Park People Grants 

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.

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