Dear residents and friends,
I deeply appreciate your support and confidence and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you on the many issues, challenges and opportunities we'll face together as a community here in Ward 22, St. Paul's and as a city.
I'm advocating for a more thoughtful, creative and responsible new approach for city council. I want council to engage our city's residents with an inspiring plan and make informed decisions that are based on evidence, community consultation and the merits of arguments - rather than ideology or left or right-wing partisanship.
My staff and I are here to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have. We're also working every day to improve our local neighbourhoods- along with supporting the many valued services Torontonians rely on every day. You are always welcome to contact me at 416-392-7906 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Matlow spoke on options for the Scarborough Subway, March 31, 2016.
Councillor Matlow spoke on tenant issues related to the Residential Tenancies Act, December 18 2013.
I was preparing an e-newsletter for you on an array of local and city hall issues but there is a one specific reason I'm writing to you this evening. I will send my regular update to you on Monday.
I am very saddened to share with you that Lois Lilienstein, of the beloved children’s music trio Sharon, Lois & Bram, passed away last night due to a rare form of cancer. She was at peace, surrounded by family and friends.
As part of the Toronto-based group, Lois had delighted children (and their parents) since 1978, introducing many of us to a love of music. Many of us know her best from the Elephant Show which originally aired on the CBC during the 1980s and has lived on for generations of children in reruns. It is a testament to the timeless appeal of Sharon, Lois, & Bram’s music that many of our kids, and those of us who grew up being entertained by them, can recite the “Skinnamarink” verbatim three decades later.
Lois has been recognized for her talents winning both Junos and Gemini awards during her long career. In 2002 the trio received the Order of Canada, making the Chicago-born Lois one of the few non-Canadians to receive this honour. Last year, I had the privilege of honouring their legacy as longstanding members of our Midtown community, and to children everywhere, by naming the playground at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park after Sharon, Lois and Bram along with Toronto's only park sign shaped as an elephant. I am heartened that the Lois was able to perform at the concert for the playground naming ceremony and that her family was in attendance to watch her. That concert was a special day for my family as I know it was for many others in our neighbourhood and from other parts of our city and indeed, from across North America.
As we work as a community to move forward with more exciting improvements to this playground, I intend to find an appropriate way, with her family, to further recognize the late, and forever loved, Lois Lilienstein. Along with Bram and Sharon, Lois helped make so many childrens' lives magical and musical. I was certainly one of those kids.
With love and condolences to her family, friends, Sharon, Bram and all who have been touched by her music,
I hope you find my most recent update to you below interesting and informative. City Council just concluded a three day meeting that was productive but clearly demonstrated to me a need to improve the way council conducts our city's business. I share Mayor Tory's interest in raising the level of civility and decorum during our public debates and better placing council's focus on Toronto's priorities. I am still optimistic, despite the behavior of a few, that this new era at city hall will be one we can be proud of.
I wish each of you who will be celebrating with your family and friends, a very Happy Easter and/or Passover.
As always, please feel welcome to contact me if I can be of assistance to you.
Council Confirmed My Appointment as Chair of the City-School Boards Committee
This week, City Council's Striking Committee recommended that I serve as Chair of the City-School Boards Advisory Committee. The City of Toronto and its local school boards serve a common constituency. This Committee seeks to ensure that both levels of local government work better together to improve their service to residents on a wide array of issues of common interest.
On issues including sale of school property, school pools, and childcare to the status of neighbourhood school facilities such as libraries and fields, our residents want the City and the School Boards to break through our respective silos. In this period of scarce resources, it is incumbent upon elected representatives and staff from both bodies to work together to maximize public assets and serve our communities well.
During this week’s meeting, I believe Council had an honest and thoughtful discussion on Schools as Community Assets. Included in our work plan, Council has given our committee a mandate and responsibility to try to ensure community uses for schools, including child care, green spaces, recreation, Brownies & Girls Guides, ESL classes and others, are considered when a site is considered for closure or sale.
Mayor Tory and I want this new Committee to provide an opportunity for Councillors and Trustees to work in partnership, and with a spirit of inclusivity, with Parent and Community advocates, the Ministry of Education, City and School Board staff from many divisions including Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, City Planning, and Childcare to establish new community hubs and work together on matters of common interest to the City of Toronto, the TDSB and TCDSB, the French boards and, most importantly, Toronto residents and their families.
Tenant Issues Committee
Council also confirmed Striking Committee’s recommendation that I Chair the City’s Tenant Issues Advisory Committee. Tenants make up over 50% of Toronto's residents and have specific rights and responsibilities that are governed by City of Toronto by-laws and provincial legislation. Tenants have the right to live in a clean, well-maintained home and deserve fair representation when being faced with unfair rent increases or eviction.
Far too often, I hear from renters that are living in apartments where these basic needs are not being met. I will work with my colleagues to ensure that this Committee provides a place for tenants to voice their concerns, and serves as a catalyst for bringing together disparate City Divisions, including Licensing & Standards, City Planning and Solid Waste, to work together to support Toronto’s tenants and advocate for needed reforms.
Open Letter to Federal Transportation Minister Raitt on Rail Safety
The recent rail accidents in Northern Ontario demonstrate the risks associated with train derailments and many Toronto residents remain concerned about the transportation of dangerous goods by rail through our city.
That’s why Mayor Tory, myself and all councillors, from every political perspective, whose wards are traversed by the CP Rail line across Toronto recently took an unprecedented step to send an open letter to the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Lisa Raitt, to advocate for rail safety for our communities and for improved transparency and accountability.
While we appreciate steps already taken by the Federal government to improve rail safety, we are requesting that the Government of Canada take further action to protect Toronto's residents.
Please click here to read the the full letter and recommendations.
Ward 22 Parks Improvements Update
Last week, I hosted a community meeting regarding upgrading the Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. I received very positive feedback from local residents and look forward to working together with our community on the next steps. Please see this article on Inside Toronto for more information.
Glebe Manor Square and the Belsize Parkette will be receiving improvements such as tree planting to increase the forest canopy and locating well-worn paths. I hosted our final community meeting this February to confirm the vision with local residents.
The playground at Forest Hill Road Park was also recently upgraded, with additions such as a new rope bridge. I am now initiating improvements to Lawton Parkette and Glen Edyth Park that will include, and be guided by, neighbourhood consultation.
Heritage Update and New Interactive Map of Ward 22 Heritage Properties
The recent demolition of Stollerys at 1 Bloor W. is only the latest example of Toronto’s inability to preserve its built heritage. If we don’t act soon to strengthen our preservation policies, we are in danger of losing many more significant properties, including several in our midtown community.
That’s why I’m happy to report that Council adopted my motion earlier this year, requesting City Planning staff to create a new heritage classification category that is more proactive. If implemented, my new “identified” category will allow the City to protect the 1500 nominated properties that have yet to be evaluated for architectural or historical significance, to ensure that no potentially heritage-worthy structure already brought to the attention of City staff can be demolished without consideration. This additional protection must be put in place as soon as possible.
Also, I have developed the city's first interactive map of heritage properties. This particular map shows all heritage properties located in Ward 22, according to the City of Toronto's Inventory of Heritage Properties. I hope you find this map enjoyable and informative as a glimpse into our community’s built history and cultural past.
For more information on my efforts to preserve our city’s heritage, please see this article.
A review of the noise bylaw, Chapter 591 of the Toronto Municipal Code, is being undertaken to respond to City Council directives.
As part of Municipal Licencing and Standards Division's engagement with the public, a survey was launched on March 31st. This survey will ask the public to identify the types of noise which are most disruptive, the impact noise has on Toronto’s inhabitants and will ask for suggestions on how the City can improve its communications about this bylaw. The public will be able to complete the survey until April 24th.
Municipal Licensing and Standards is planning to report on information obtained from the public and identify proposed bylaw amendments to Licensing and Standards Committee at its meeting of June 25, 2015.
In early 2012, NAV Canada changed the flight patterns of aircraft approaching and leaving Toronto Pearson International Airport. Many residents have contacted me and reported disturbances from increased air traffic noise including during overnight hours. Some have described the noise as living under an "air super-highway" and find the volume and frequency of flights intolerable.
I brought a motion to City Council to have City of Toronto officials meet with representatives from NAV Canada, the federal Ministry of Transportation, and other relevant bodies to find a less intrusive flight path that respects the needs of Toronto residents to live without excessive noise pollution. I am following up with the City Manager on the status of actions Council requested him to take.
I continue to work together with the Toronto Aviation Noise Group (TANG) to advocate for the Federal government to address these concerns directly. Several of my colleagues and I signed an open letter to the Minister of Transport on this issue and in support of TANG's Inch Report that offers innovative and effective solutions to this problem created by NAV Canada three years ago. Please click here to read the full report.
South Eglinton Ratepayers' & Residents' Association Annual General Meeting
This year, SERRA's Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 23, from 6:30 pm – 9 pm at the Manor Road United Church (240 Manor Road East, Main Hall). I will be there to provide an update on community and City Hall issues.
This meeting is a great opportunity for you to provide input on issues of importance to the South Eglinton/Davisville Village community. Please visit www.southeglinton.ca for more information.
Forest Hill Art Club Annual Show & Sale
The Forest Hill Art Club, founded in 1948, is holding its annual show and sale of members' work from April 24-27. Over 20 artists working in a variety of media and styles will be exhibiting.
Opening Reception: Friday, April 24, 6 pm – 9 pm
Show: Saturday, April 25, 1 pm – 5 pm & Sunday, April 26, 1 pm – 5 pm
Location: Forest Hill Art Club Studio, 666 Eglinton Avenue West (east of Forest Hill Library)
A Day to Engage and Improve Our Community!
100In1Day, a festival of civic engagement, returns to Toronto for its second year on June 6, 2015. 100 in 1 Day is the perfect chance to test run a simple, low-cost idea for a better city, stronger community or more resilient neighbourhood. Share your vision for a better city and connect with the community by hosting an urban intervention on June 6.
More information, resources and details on upcoming workshops for 100in1Day are available through the festival’s website.
Calling all Green Thumbs! Volunteer Positions with the Oriole Park Community Garden
Nominations for the Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards
Do you know an individual or a community group who is making a difference in Toronto by reducing barriers to civic participation? Celebrate their accomplishments and nominate them for an award!
The Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards recognize significant efforts of Toronto residents who are working to build a city in which all residents are full and equal participants in the social, cultural, economic, recreational and political life of the city. Each year, the City celebrates the contributions made by nominated citizens or groups at an awards ceremony.
The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, May 11, 2015. Nominees must be residents of the City of Toronto.
To nominate and for more information, please click here.
Upcoming City Planning Community Consultation Meetings
55 Eglinton Avenue East
Monday, April 20, 7 pm – 9 pm, Northern District Library
This application proposes a 47-storey mixed-use commercial and residential building containing a total of 455 residential units. The proposed building is composed of a 5-storey base building with a 42-storey tower above
1 Eglinton Avenue East
May 11, 2015, 7 pm - 9 pm, Northern District Library
This application proposes a 68-storey mixed-use residential building with retail at grade, commercial office in the base building, 672 residential units and 26 live/work units. A total of 287 parking spaces is proposed underground.
Toronto Council on Aging is pleased to announce Neighbourhood-Based Age-Friendly Plan for Deer Park
The number of seniors living in Toronto will increase dramatically during the next decade. As a strong advocate for seniors, I'm pleased to support the Toronto Council on Aging in their plans to create an Age-Friendly Business Assessment plan for the Deer Park area.
Partial Closure of Spadina Road South of St. Clair Avenue for Bridge Work
The southbound traffic lane of Spadina Road will be closed from St. Clair Avenue to Russell Hill Drive from April 6 to August 31 for bridge rehabilitation work. Northbound traffic on Spadina Road will be maintained at all times. Avenue Road and Bathurst Street are alternative routes in the area.
Proposed Developments in Ward 22
To ensure that you are informed and engaged about development proposals that are being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage with locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
I've enjoyed seeing so many of you recently at community events, while I've been visiting local small businesses, meeting residents in the community or simply walking in our neighbourhoods, parks or ice rinks with my family. I'm also happy to tell you that it's been a busy and productive time at city hall with a renewed spirit of cooperation and optimism. That being said, I remain focused on our local priorities and the many real challenges facing our city by taking what I hope is an accessible, honest, determined and evidence-based approach to public policy decisions.
I'm delighted to report that we have two new Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in Ward 22- The South Bayview BIA on Bayview Ave. north of Davisville and The Midtown Yonge BIA between the Beltline and Soudan. It was a pleasure working closely with local merchants to form these associations that will contribute to more vibrant and beautiful main streets and our communities' quality of life. They join our Forest Hill Village, Mount Pleasant Village and Eglinton Way BIAs. Regarding Eglinton, I strongly encourage you to visit these local businesses, especially while the Crosstown LRT is being constructed. They really need our support.
The 2015 City of Toronto Budget
This week, City Council passed Toronto's 2015 City Budget. I commend Mayor Tory for creating the climate for an inclusive and respectful budget process. While I have significant concerns about the City's financial position and priorities, I was pleased that Council made significant investments in areas that I know are important for our Ward 22 community's residents, including:
- Eliminating fares for children 12 years and under
- Restoring evening service to some bus routes cut in 2011 (I will advocate to the TTC Commission for Midtown bus routes to be part of this initiative, including the Mt. Pleasant 74)
- Ten-minute or better bus and streetcar service on busy routes during off-peak hours
- Reduced wait times and crowding at off-peak times
- Expanding the Express Bus network, adding 4 new routes to a network that serves 34 million rides annually
- Expanding the Blue Night Network, adding 12 routes to the 22-route network that serves 4 million rides annually
- Adding up to 2 additional subway trains on Lines 1 and 2 during morning and afternoon rush hours to ease overcrowding
- Allocating additional resources to focus on subway reliability around signals, track and communications systems to help address recent service problems
- Initiatives to Support Children and Youth:
- Expanding the Student Nutrition program in up to 27 new schools
- Creating 3 new Youth Spaces to support marginalized young people
- Expanding the Connect2youth employment and training program
- New shelter for LGBTQ youth
- Creating 8 new planning positions, including 4 new Heritage Preservation staff
- Improving emergency response times by adding 56 new paramedics and 25 fire prevention officers
- Purchasing 60 new subway cars which will help expand capacity on the overcrowded Yonge Line, as well as 810 new 40-foot diesel buses and 195 low-floor accessible street cars
- New shelter beds and enhanced warming centres during extreme weather
- Implementing traffic control and traffic congestion management infrastructure at major intersections
While there are many positive investments contained in this year's budget, I am concerned about Toronto's financial position moving forward. Prior to this year's budget, the Provincial government announced it would no longer transfer "pooling" funds collected from 905 municipalities to Toronto to offset the cost for social housing that was downloaded after amalgamation. The City essentially "borrowed from itself" with debt financing to cover the $86 million hole this move created. As well, it was recently announced that Metrolinx presented Toronto with an over $90 million bill for work related to the Union-Pearson Express project.
I believe that income, sales and other taxes that grow with the economy, collected by senior levels of government, are more appropriate tools to fund redistributive social programs and major capital infrastructure projects than municipal property taxes. The City's current program and infrastructure needs are too much of a burden for the City's property tax base.
Mayor Tory has signalled that he will work with the Province and the Federal government for a new deal that will see fair funding for Toronto. I will support Mr. Tory in any way I can, to help him in this pursuit. The status quo is unsustainable and doesn't achieve enough results.
I'll be serving Toronto as Chair of City-School Boards and Tenant Issues Committees
I want to thank Council's Striking Committee for recommending me as Chair of both the new City-School Boards and Tenant Issues Committees. Mayor Tory supported my motions for the creation of these two important bodies. I look forward to working with the mayor, councillors, trustees and Queen's Park in my new roles on important school board-related issues such as potential school closures, protecting green space, creating community hubs, and for tenants, challenging Above the Guideline Rent Increases, and many others.
Ultimately, I'm working to make government work better, smarter, and more comprehensively rather than in silos.
I'll be sure to provide you with information through this e-newsletter on meetings of these committees, once dates and agendas are set.
The future of Yonge and Eglinton: The Midtown Secondary Plan Public Meeting
As residents are all too aware, the Yonge-Eglinton area is facing tremendous development pressure. An application for another tall building is seemingly submitted every week in this Urban Growth Centre while the subway's getting more crowded. That's why we're initiating a review of the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan, aimed at improving and expanding our community's public spaces, as well as the area's social and physical infrastructure. The review will also seek to strengthen the City's built form policies in the area.
Please join me on Monday, March 23 from 7 pm to 9 pm at Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Blvd, Room 224) for a public consultation to learn more, ask questions and provide your feedback.
March Break at Toronto's Historic Sites
Spadina Museum and several other historic sites in Toronto will be open all week during the March Break for drop-in activities. For more information on family fun offered by the City during the March Break, please visit the City of Toronto's Arts and Culture website.
2015 Wiesenthal Scholarships
This year, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies will be offering 7 education scholarships for students pursuing post-secondary educations. Each scholarship is worth $3,600 and the application deadline is April 30.
For more information, please visit www.fswc.ca/scholarships.
Free Consultation and Referral Service for Seniors
Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground Public Meeting- Let's make it even better!
On Wednesday, March 25 at 7 pm, please join me to discuss your vision for an improved and expandednSharon, Lois & Bram Playground at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff will be in attendance to present different options for an upgraded playground, including unique musical features. Other improvements to the park will be discussed as well.
The meeting location is in The Lodge at Greenwood College School (443 Mount Pleasant Road). I hope to see you there!
Toronto Community Housing Tenant Representative Elections
Tenant Representative Elections are taking place on March 26 in Toronto Community Housing buildings across the city. Tenant Representatives work to advocate for the interests of tenants in their buildings at Neighbourhood Tenant Councils, to identify issues in their buildings and keep tenants informed about the Neighbourhood Tenant Council.
Come Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Hon. Carolyn Bennett!
On Sunday, March 15th from 4 pm to 6 pm, please join me, my family and our local MP, the Hon. Carolyn Bennett, for her annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Unicorn Pub (175 Eglinton Avenue East).
This year's event will feature live Irish music by multi-instrumentalist Loretta Reid and guitarist October Browne. Light snacks will be served. We look forward to seeing you there!
To ensure that you are informed and engaged about development proposals that are being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage with locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
Working with Mayor Tory on Restoring Water Service
This February has been one of the coldest on record. As a result, Toronto Water has had an unprecedented number of calls from residents with No Water Service due to either frozen pipes or broken watermains.
I am extremely frustrated with how the response has been handled by the City. Many residents have been without water for several days, and it has been incredibly difficult to get any accurate information from staff for residents or my office. There have been families with small children and even entire buildings affected by broken or frozen pipes.
Earlier this week I brought this forward to the Mayor's Office and suggested that Toronto Water be provided the proper resources to effectively communicate with residents who have no water and, more importantly, to ensure that their water service is restored as soon as possible. I also spoke directly with Toronto Water's General Manager about our concerns.
On Wednesday the Mayor and the General Manager of Toronto Water announced that a special SWAT team has been established to help residents with no water service as a result of frozen pipes. I deeply appreciate Mayor Tory's genuine attention to this matter and see this as a good first step. However, I believe there is much more that will need to be done to effectively serve, and communicate with, residents.
For more information on the Mayor's announcement, please visit the City's Newsroom website.
Toronto Hydro Outage Communication Program
To keep you informed about hydro operation and customer service concerns in our community that might affect you or your neighbourhood, Toronto Hydro is developing an outage communication program to be used during power outages caused by severe weather.
For more information, you can register at https://outages.torontohydro.com/.
REMINDER: 2015 City of Toronto Budget Community Town Hall Meeting
On Tuesday, March 3rd at 7 pm, I will be hosting my 2015 Budget Town Hall for Ward 22 residents. The meeting will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West).
The City of Toronto's budget will affect virtually every City service and your feedback is very important to me.
If you would like more information on the proposed 2015 City of Toronto Budget in advance of my Town Hall meeting, please visit the City of Toronto website.
Upcoming Mosaic Home Care Services Events for Seniors
This spring, Mosaic Home Care Services will be hosting a number of wonderful events.
Wine, Women and Keeping our Wits: A Conversation on Brain Health with Joanne Tandoc from the Alzheimer Society of Toronto will be held on Thursday, April 23 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Caring for our Parents, Today and Tomorrow: A conversation with leading Canadian expert in Geriatric Care, Audrey Miller, will be held on Thursday, May 21 from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm. Both of these events are free and will be held at the Verity Club on Queen Street. A light meal is included.
Please also feel welcome to join Mosaic for a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum on Friday, April 24 from 9 am to 1:30 pm. The cost is $10.00 per ticket and a light lunch is included.
For more information on these and other upcoming events, please call 416-322-7002 or 905-597-7000. You can also check out Mosaic's website at www.mosaichomecare.com for further information.
Toronto Takes First Steps to Implement Poverty Reduction Strategy
Toronto is a vibrant, prosperous city. It is also a city of growing disparity and inequity trends that will challenge its long-term success. In Toronto, 25% of children live in poverty as well as 1 in 5 adults. Poverty is both deep and pervasive and continues to be concentrated in specific groups and neighbourhoods. That's why City Council unanimously adopted recommendations to develop Toronto's first Poverty Reduction Strategy in April 2014.
I am pleased that Deputy Mayor McConnell has included additional supports to help protect tenants from unfair rent increases, and targeted assistance for marginalized youth including mental health resources and safe after school spaces. Both of these initiatives build on motions that I initiated during the previous term of Council.
For more information, please see this presentation to the Budget Committee by Deputy Mayor McConnell.
Improving the Committee of Adjustment Process
I have heard from many of you that the Committee of Adjustment process needs to be improved. Frustration has been expressed about a number of issues, including the inadequacy of public notices and the quality of the Committee members. Earlier this week, Staff brought a preliminary report to Planning & Growth Committee titled Committee of Adjustment Continuous Improvement Initiatives with the goal of improving transparency, accountability and public engagement, as follows:
a) Expand the public hearing notice area beyond 60 metres of the subject site
b) Extend the timeline for the delivery of the public hearing notice beyond ten days
c) Improve the manner, form and content of the public notice and sign
d) Explore alternative means to engage surrounding neighbours prior to the hearings;
e) Improve the training and on-going professional development of Committee of Adjustment members
f) Require a City Planner to be on hand during public hearings of the Committee to answer questions from Committee members and the public
g) Consider audio-visual recording or audio recording of Committee of Adjustment panels
h) Develop a public participation strategy, including the development of a comprehensive guide to ensure that the public is well informed about Committee of Adjustment processes, as well as how to effectively engage in Committee hearings
I will provide updates as work toward improving the Committee of Adjustment moves forward and notify you when there are public consultation opportunities.
Taking Action on Saving Toronto's Heritage
As you may have seen, Heritage Toronto recently released its State of Heritage Report. However, just a few days before its release, a motion was moved at Budget Committee that would eliminate eight positions and reduce funding to the City Planning department. These positions were originally recommended to enhance area studies, Heritage Conservation District (HCD) plans, and strategic initiatives.
The motion was approved at Budget Committee, and is now a part of the recommended Budget. However, the Budget still must be reviewed by Executive Committee on Monday, March 2nd before moving on for final approval at City Council on March 10th. The full motion is here.
We should be working to better protect Toronto's built heritage before it's completely dismantled, piece by piece. That's why I'm taking action to find ways to strengthen our heritage policy framework.
I am happy to report that City Council adopted my motion earlier this month, asking City Planning staff to report back to Planning and Growth Management Committee on several options for establishing a more proactive and comprehensive approach to how heritage preservation is practiced in our city.
I am also delighted to have been recently appointed to the Toronto Preservation Board. I look forward to working with my fellow board members to protect Toronto's remaining heritage. We've lost too much already.
Relief Subway Line Public Meeting - Your voice is needed!
A public meeting to discuss plans for a new relief subway line will be held at Christ Church Deer Park (1570 Yonge Street) on Thursday, March 12 from 7 to 9 pm. This meeting is an opportunity for you to learn more about the plans, to provide input and to discuss the study with the project team. I hope to see you there!
If you would like more information about the exact route, potential stations or expected timing of the project, please visit reliefline.ca. To learn about how you can advocate for this evidence-based subway expansion project, please click here.
Central Eglinton Community Centre Income Tax Clinic
Do you need help filing your income tax return? The Central Eglinton Community Centre is offering a free income tax clinic from March 2 to April 24. The clinic is by appointment only and will be available weekdays, weekday evenings, and Saturdays. To book an appointment, please phone 416-392-0511 ext. 0.
Free Open House Art Fun!
Come and visit the Avenue Road Arts School (460 Avenue Road) on Tuesday, March 10 from 10 am to 6 pm and see what everyone is talking about. The beautiful Victorian building is home to some of the most creative and fun art classes and art projects in Toronto.
Parents or caregivers and children 3 to 10 years of age are welcome to come see the school and try their hand at a fun art activity for free! Art Teachers will be on hand to lead kids through fun art and drama activities. Please note: this is not a drop off program. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No pre-registration is required.
For more information, please contact the school at 416-961-1502 or visit avenueroadartsschool.com.
Toronto Public Health Measles Update
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is investigating an outbreak of measles in Toronto. As of February 10, there are six confirmed cases of measles; a source has not yet been identified. TPH recommends that all Toronto residents check their immunization records and ensure that their measles vaccination is up to date. For more information about vaccination, please visit the City of Toronto Website. If you have any questions regarding measles exposure or immunization status, please call Toronto Health Connection at 416-388-7600 (during business hours) or 3-1-1 (after hours).
City of Toronto Recreation Programming
Registration for spring and summer City of Toronto community recreation programs, including summer camps, begins at 7 am on March 11 for the Toronto and East York districts. Older Adults (60+ years) who register for adult programs receive a 50% discount. Please call 416-338-4386 or speak with staff at a City community centre for more information on how to register.
To explore recreation program options, visit the City of Toronto Website or pick up a FUN Guide at City Hall, civic centres, community centres and libraries. Many community centres offer free recreation programs, including leisure swimming and skating, and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. More information about free and low-cost programming options is available here.
Toronto Youth Cabinet - Welcome to City Hall Day
On Thursday, March 19, the Toronto Youth Cabinet's Community Engagement Working Group is hosting a Welcome to City Hall Day for youth groups all through the March Break. The event will take place from 11 am to 3:30 pm at City Hall, and will be a great opportunity for local youth to find out how City Hall works and to contribute in interactive civics workshops. Participant slots will be provided on a first come, first served basis. TTC tokens and student tickets can be provided for groups, if needed. Lunch will also be provided for all participants and youth staff.
Bill Bosworth Memorial Award
Mothercraft is now accepting nominations for the 2nd Biennial Bill Bosworth Memorial Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions, leadership and innovation in the provision or development of services to families with young children in the City of Toronto. The award is open to volunteers, professionals and students who work in the fields of early learning, early intervention and family support, and who exemplify Bill Bosworth's ability to think big and do bigger.
The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 17, 2015 at 5 pm. The recipient of the Bill Bosworth Memorial Award will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and will be presented with the award at a special ceremony on June 15, 2015. For more information about the award, nomination criteria and to download the nomination package, please visit www.mothercraft.ca.
Clean Toronto Together 2015 - Registration Opens March 2
Online registration for the City of Toronto's Annual Spring Clean up opens on Monday, March 2. Visit the Clean Toronto Together campaign website on March 2 to register your Community, Corporate, or School clean-up events.
This is an opportunity to get together with friends, family, coworkers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs your help. Corporate & School 20-Minute Makeover will take place on Friday, April 17 at 2 pm. Community Clean-up Days can be planned for Saturday, April 18 or Sunday, April 19. Please visit livegreentoronto.ca or call 311 for more information on how to get involved.
Upcoming Wildlife Open Houses
Taking precautions and developing awareness is important to prevent conflict between humans and wildlife. The City is hosting a series of wildlife open houses in March to strengthen residents’ understanding and prevention of human-wildlife conflict. The open houses will offer valuable information on how to wildlife-proof your home, how to keep garbage bins safe from wildlife, how to deter a coyote from your property, and rules and regulations concerning the treatment of wildlife.
To keep you informed about development applications in our community that might affect you or your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive map on my website. I hope you will find this to be a useful reference.
For the second page of my letter, please see below.
Keeping you updated regarding community and City Hall issues is a top priority to me. When there are emergencies such as last winter's ice storm or today's power outage, I work to ensure that you have current information on what actions are being taken.
Since learning of the power outage this morning, I have been communicating throughout the day with Toronto Hydro. I was recently advised that there are only three buildings without power, of 8,000 initially affected. I will continue closely monitoring the situation until every resident has their power restored. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel welcome to contact Toronto Hydro at 416-542-8000.
I hope you have a very enjoyable and, most importantly, warm Family Day weekend!
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