I hope you had a great summer and my best wishes to every parent and student who is either going back to school or is perhaps going to school for the first time.
As we arrive in September, I'm organizing campaigns for the autumn that will focus on improving public transit by advocating for moving up the timeline to finally build a Downtown Relief Subway line to better connect the city for all residents and relieve congestion on our existing system, reform Above the Guideline rent increases that put an unfair burden on renters and continue to campaign to finally free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
I am also following up on the many initiatives I've already presented to Council including the creation of a City/School Boards Task Force, making sense of parking enforcement, legalizing scooter boulevard parking, prohibiting delivery trucks (and other vehicles) illegally parking and stopping during rush hours, Toronto's new Seniors Strategy, moving on the Roots of Youth Violence, and coordinating traffic signals and curbing gridlock, to name just a few.
Locally, I am working with residents to fight for the kind of development that respects our city's official plan and communities, improve parks and public spaces, closely monitor city works projects across ward 22 along with the Avenue Road repaving and Rathnelly watermain improvements, calm traffic and speeding in our neighbourhoods, protecting heritage buildings and respond to the many emails and phone calls I receive every day about a myriad of issues that are important to each person who contacts me.
Please see below my most recent report to you that includes, along with several other updates, a list of neighbourhood meetings I'll be hosting across Ward 22 to hear directly from you about your priorities.
To our community's Jewish community, I wish you a Shanah Tova.
ps- For those of you who've asked, I'll be moving a motion at the September 10th Community Council meeting to name the playground at June Rowlands (Davisvlle) Park, "Sharon, Lois & Bram" Playground. I'll have more details for you soon about when we'll have an official opening along with a community concert by the iconic group!
Upcoming Neighborhood Town Halls with your city councillor
Hosting and attending community meetings and other events in Ward 22 is very important to me to both engage and inform residents. I'm always pleased to meet with residents and hear what they have to say. Throughout the fall, I will be hosting a public meeting in every Ward 22 neighborhood. Please save the dates for the September meetings listed below. If you don't see your neighbourhood lisited below, I'll be posting upcoming dates and locations of meetings in a following e-newsletter as they are confirmed. I hope to see you there!
South Eglinton and Davisville Village: Wednesday, September 11th from 7 to 9 pm
Davisville Public School Gymnasium, 43 Millwood Road
Chaplin Estates and Oriole Park: Tuesday, September 17th from 7 to 9 pm
Oriole Park Junior Public School Gymnasium, 80 Braemar Avenue
Making a Tech-friendly Toronto by creating more free wi-fi public spaces
I'm bringing an initiative to city hall to create more free wi-fi spaces across the city. Read here for more information.
Misleading ads by some condo developers
Please click here to read more about actions I'm taking to ensure that condo developers disclose whether or not a proposed development is actually approved when advertising and selling units. Here is a copy of the motion I moved at Council.
Improving Winter Maintenance in Toronto
Following the large volume of snowfall experienced this February, I wrote a letter to Transportation Services that proposed several improvements to snow removal in Toronto.
Transportation Services staff have been developing ways to enhance communication with residents, 311 staff, other City of Toronto staff, and contractors in order to improve cooperation and awareness during severe weather.
The use of GPS technology is proposed to be expanded in order to aid with the management of contractors. The contractors who experienced issues during the last major storm were met with in order to discuss beneficial changes for future incidents. Issues experienced were primarily related to ploughing difficulties due to both the volume of snow and obstructions. Opportunities to provide cheaper off-street parking as snow hits are also to be reviewed, as this would help ease issues.
This spring, Transportation Services also planned a comprehensive external review of the City’s winter services. The review included topics such as snow operations planning, snow ploughing and de-icing techniques, equipment, communications and the use of parking prohibitions and emergency declarations, with recommendations based on national and international best practices.
I am advocating for these changes to have a positive impact on the flow of services provided when severe weather hits the city again.
Toronto East York Community Council
Please click here to read the agenda for the upcoming September 10th agenda. There are several items affecting Ward 22 that I'm working with residents on including local development issues and creating safe crossings along the Beltline Trail.
New proposed boundaries for the St. Paul's federal riding
New boundaries for our federal riding have been proposed. If they're put into effect, this means that the St. Paul's riding will change at a federal level.
The new federal St. Paul's riding boundaries would be between Dufferin Street and Avenue Road, spanning from Eglinton Avenue W. to Bloor Street W.
The new Mount Pleasant riding would be from east of Avenue Road to Bayview Avenue, and Broadway Avenue south to Wellesley Street.
To see a map and view a more detailed description, you can visit the web page here.
Wheelchair-accessible picnic tables
A constituent of Ward 22 has written to me concerning wheelchair-accessible picnic tables within the city, after coming across one in the McCaul Street Parkette. These picnic tables are part of a collaborative project put together by the University of Toronto and the City of Toronto.
I think the tables were a great gift to the surrounding community, and these sorts of tables should be available as an option throughout the city. Accessibility is crucial in ensuring that those with disabilities have access to the same services and opportunities that the city offers to as able-bodied individuals. Wheelchair accessibility within the parks in Toronto is no exception.
You can check out the existing table, with one side which folds up allowing for wheelchair access, at Orde Street and McCaul Street.
Volunteer Fair at the MNJCC, September 23rd 10 am – 2 pm
This month, the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre will be holding a volunteer fair for the 55+ community. With a general focus on the environment, the fair will be a great resource in helping seniors get in touch volunteer organizations that could use their experience and time.
The MNJCC is located at 750 Spadina, right across from the Spadina subway station. For more information on programs and events, you can visit the web page here.
Toronto Renovates Program
Toronto Renovates is a program developed by the City of Toronto to assists eligible affordable rental housing and rooming house landlords to make essential health and safety repairs and accessibility modifications to their buildings. Toronto Renovates operates on a first-come, first-served basis and offers grants up to $3,500 and forgivable loans up to $10,000.
The City is currently working with the federal and provincial governments to secure new funding for the program. For more information about the program and for eligibility, you can visit the web page here.
Upcoming Workshops and Consultations for Proposed use of jets at Billy Bishop Airport
Over the past several months, I have heard from many Toronto residents expressing their views about Porter Airlines' proposed use of jets at Billy Bishop Airport (BBTCA). The City of Toronto is currently undertaking a review of the request to amend the 1983 Tripartite Agreement between the City, the Government of Canada and the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), which would permit the landing of commercial jets at BBTCA.
A number of workshops are being held this month to discuss the potential impacts related to this proposal and to provide the public opportunities to participate in the discussion. Workshops are being held on September 4th and 9th and a Town Hall meeting is being held on September 12th.
For more information on these events or to fill out an online survey, you can visit the web page here.
Upcoming Meeting to Discuss Revised Changes to the Draft Official Plan Policies on Economic Health and Employment Lands
Between January and March, City of Toronto staff received input from a citywide consultation program on employment lands. City staff are holding presentations and open houses on September 19th to discuss these proposed policies with the public.
To review the proposed policies or to find other information on the employment lands review, you can visit the web page here.