I just arrived home from Day One of this month's city council meeting and will be back at city hall tomorrow morning as the meeting resumes at 9:30am. It's so nice to see little Molly after a long day (she's already 4 months old).
For your information, please see the update below. I've included items including Ward 22's Davisville Village Farmers Market Re-opening, Transit Funding, Toronto's new Seniors Strategy, SERRA AGM, our Community Environment Day, TTC Town Hall with CEO Andy Byford, Porter Airlines, some upcoming condo development proposals being considered at city hall, and much more!
Ward 22's Davisville Farmer's Market
Good news! Our community's new Davisville Village Farmers Market (and first of its kind in Ward 22) opens for its second season on May 14. Come by June Rowlands (Davisville) Park every Tuesday between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products directly from local farmers while meeting your friends and neighbours.
If you are interested in volunteering at the market, please come to June Rowlands park at 11:00 am this Friday, May 10. This is a great opportunity to help build a remarkable community "town square".
I'm very proud of my colleagues for supporting Toronto's interest in providing leadership on transit & moving forward with The Big Move plan by allowing a vote to occur at City Council. Tomorrow, City Council will vote on how we would like Metrolinx to fund Toronto and region's transit priorities, including the Downtown Relief Line and an extension of the Eglinton Crosstown to Pearson Airport. Please read my last e-newsletter for further information on this topic. You can also visit my website to see what I've been doing to take action for better transit.
Earlier this evening, Council voted to study Porter's exemption request to fly jets out of Billy Bishop Airport. Additional motions were moved to confine the scope of the study to the airport's current Marine Exclusion Zone and noise constraints- all of which Porter has stated it supports. Going forward, Council will be able to make an informed decision based on the possible benefits and negative impacts of this proposal and the evidence, rather than rhetoric, provided.
Toronto's Seniors Strategy
I am very pleased that the Seniors Strategy was adopted unanimously by City Council today. As Chair of the Toronto Seniors Strategy Subcommittee, I am so grateful to our communities, experts and staff whom have contributed so much to this important and substantive work over the past two years.
Our City's new Seniors Strategy is a proactive, holistic and inclusive initiative that seeks to create a truly age-friendly Toronto. It addresses eight themes of age-friendliness, and includes key recommendations, actions and an accountability framework to ensure it gets implemented. Click here to read the Toronto Seniors Strategy.
Emergency Preparedness Week
This week is Emergency Preparedness Week! The Office of Emergency Management is encouraging all residents to get "emergency ready" to make sure individuals and families know what to do before, during, and after an emergency. Information on how to get emergency ready can be found here. The focus of this year's campaign is on the safety of seniors/older adults, and information on assisting seniors can be found here.
As May is Museum Month in Toronto, Historic Sites across the city are using social media to present photos, facts, and trivia about museums and the many people who have visited or lived in them. Please add historictoronto on Facebook or TOhistoriccities on Twitter so that you can see and vote on your favourite artifact! For more information on May events, please visit www.toronto.ca/museum-events.
Bells on Yonge
This year's Bells on Yonge ride begins on Saturday, May 11, departing from Duplex Parkette at noon and arriving at Queen's Park at 1:30 pm. All are welcome and the route will mainly follow quiet side streets parallel to Yonge Street. I'll be catching up with the group at Oriole Park! Please visit the Bells on Yonge website for more details and a route map.
Prescription Drug Drop-off Day
The first city-wide prescription drug drop off day will be co-hosted on Saturday, May 11th from 10 am until 3 pm by Toronto Public Health and Toronto Police Services. As having old medications in your home can pose dangers, and flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage can harm the environment, residents will be able to anonymously drop off expired or unused medications at Loblaws, 396 St. Clair Avenue West (Between Spadina and Bathurst).
Casa Loma Plant Sale
The gardeners at Casa Loma have been busy propagating perennials from the gardens along with annuals and other plants acquired over the years. You will have an opportunity to purchase many hard to find items. There will be divisions of perennial plants, hard to find cannas and dahlias, rare annuals, heirloom vegetable plants and many other offerings. Limited quantities so come early. Sunday, May 12, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
1331 Yonge Street (CHUM Site) to be debated at Community Council
On Tuesday May 14 at 9:30am Toronto and East York Community Council will be debating a development proposal for 1331 Yonge Street. I have been working on this application with the local community for almost two years and have held three public meetings.
The original plan for this site was for a 13 storey condo building with 214 units. As a result of the hard work and advocacy from many in the community the developer is now submitting a revised plan for an 11 storey condo building with 153 units. We have also pressed the developer into stepping back the development, such that the building is now a proposed 7 storeys at the corner of Jackes and Yonge. While the building has improved, we will keep pushing to lower the height further. There are also significant concerns regarding traffic and access for emergency vehicles which will be addressed at the meeting.
87 – 107 Davisville Avenue and 108 – 128 Balliol Street to be debated at Community Council
On Tuesday, May 14 at 9:30am Toronto and East York Community Council will also be debating a development proposal for 87 – 107 Davisville Avenue and 108 – 128 Balliol Street.
The original plan was for a 12 storey condo with 176 units on Davisville and a 29 storey condo with 324 units on Balliol. The community was almost unanimously opposed to this proposal.
The community and I were able to get the applicant to revise their plans for the proposed buildings. The massing (height and density) of the buildings remains similar but the applicant has made a number of design changes that seek to address the "boxed-in" site plan in relation to 77 and 111 Davisville Ave. The changes include; increased green space between buildings, shift of the buildings to open sightlines, glass lobbies to open sightlines from ground level, green roofs, and increased setbacks.
The development is still unacceptable due to the addition of two large buildings in an already dense site and I will be representing that sentiment at Community Council.
South Eglinton Ratepayers' and Residents' Association AGM
If you live south of Eglinton and between Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue, please join me at the South Eglinton Rate Payers' and Residents' Association (SERRA) Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 15th, from 7 to 9 pm at the Manor Road United Church (240 Manor Road East). Come and find out what is happening in our neighbourhood, as we will discuss important topics including Davisville Junior Public School and Greenwood College School, local developments, and the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown. I hope to see you there!
Proposed Improvement to Suydam Park
On Monday, May 27, the City of Toronto is hosting a presentation on proposed streetscape improvements at Spadina Road and Suydam Park. The meeting will be held at Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road, between 7 pm and 9 pm. City of Toronto staff and landscape consultants will be present to answer your questions and listen to your feedback.
For more information, please contact Raj Kumar at 416 392 7696
TTC Town Hall with CEO Andy Byford!
Keeping you informed and engaged is a priority for me. I'd like to invite you to a Transit Town Hall I will be hosting at 6:30 PM on Tuesday May 28th at the Salvation Army, 7 Eglinton Avenue East.
I am pleased to announce that TTC CEO Andy Byford will be our special guest and will be discussing his 5 year plan for the TTC.
I believe it is vital that you have an opportunity to have your questions and concerns about Toronto's transit system addressed. Please join us, learn and make your voice heard!
Community Environment Day
On Saturday, June 22nd from 10 am to 2 pm I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The location is the North Toronto Memorial Arena at 174 Orchard View Blvd. Please bring any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste. You can also replace your damaged green bin.