Yonge Eglinton Bus Barns
The TTC's bus barns site at the south west corner of Yonge and Eglinton has been left as a derelict eyesore for too long. While the area will now be used as a staging ground for the Eglinton Crosstown construction, there is no excuse for the condition in which the TTC has left it for the past decade.
I'm happy to report that I have been successful in working with Metrolinx and the TTC to erect new hoarding with well-designed panels informing the community about the coming Crosstown line. This is a temporary solution during the construction phase. I will continue working to ensure that eventual development on this site is kept within the height and density parameters designated by the community and the City's Official Plan, and that a beautiful public space, preferably on the corner, is part of any plan going forward.
Clean Toronto Together - Community Clean-Ups
This weekend, I will be attending our annual Clean Toronto Together community clean-ups, including:
- Rathnelly Area Residents Association on Saturday, April 26 at 9:30 am. The meeting location will be the corner of Rathnelly and McMaster.
- Cottingham Square Community Association on Saturday, April 26 at 10 am. Please note: there is no specific meeting location for this clean-up.
- Beltline East clean-up on Saturday, April 26 at 3 pm. The meeting location will be the Beltline gate for 119/139 Merton Street.
St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church Spring Fair & Sale
On Saturday, April 26 from 11 am to 2 pm, St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church (located at 1399 Bayview Avenue) is having their annual spring fair featuring an art gallery, baking, books and soups, crafts, electrical, jewellery, kitchenware, knitting, odds & ends, quilting, sewing, stamps, toys, and other treasures! The event will also include a barbecue and free activities for children.
Gardiner Expressway Closed This Weekend for Spring Maintenance
The Gardiner Expressway will be closed in both directions from Carlaw Ave to Highway 427 from 10 pm. on Friday, April 25 to noon on Sunday, April 27. Full closure of the Gardiner is needed to ensure safety for the public and for crews working at the site. Crews will be performing maintenance activities and setting up for future construction work.
Motorists can use Lake Shore Blvd, the Queensway, Richmond Street, Adelaide Street, King Street, and Queen Street as alternative routes during the closure. Please allow for extra time to get to and from their destination. Whenever possible, people are encouraged to consider other modes of travel as a convenient alternative.
Community Consultation Meeting: 33 Holly Street
City Planning is holding a Community Consultation meeting where you can learn more about the proposed development for 33 Holly Street, ask questions and share your comments. The development application includes new 24 and 32 storey residential towers alongside the two existing 14 storey rental buildings, together with an additional 5 residential storeys on top of each of the existing buildings, and a new 6 storey purpose built rental apartment.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 29 at 7 pm at the Salvation Army North Toronto Community Church (7 Eglinton Avenue East).
Community Playground Naming Ceremony for the Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground at June Rowlands Park- May 10th at 1pm!
Last year, my motion was approved to have the playground at June Rowlands Park named after the celebrated Toronto-based children’s music and entertainment trio, Sharon, Lois & Bram. On Saturday, May 10 at 1 pm, I’ll be hosting a community playground naming ceremony at the Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground to celebrate these beloved members of our midtown community. I hope to see you and your family there for a few songs performed live by Sharon, Lois & Bram!
53 Division's 10th Annual Open House
Also on Saturday, May 10, from 11 am to 4 pm, will be 53 Division's 10th Annual Open House at 75 Eglinton Avenue West. The day will include a barbecue, vintage police car and Court Services car displays, mounted officers on horses, the Emergency Task Force and Police Dog Services, children’s games and a bicycle rally with Community Response Unit officers.
Weather Emergencies Public Consultation
Next month, the City Manager's Office will be hosting public consultation meetings regarding weather emergencies. The City is looking for public input on responses to the July 2013 flood and December 2013 ice storm, and how residents can be supported in future weather emergencies. On Tuesday, May 14 at 6 pm a meeting will be held in the City Hall Rotunda (100 Queen Street West).
Eglinton Avenue is the only street in Toronto that traverses all six pre-amalgamation cities. It exhibits every type of built form and streetscape to be found in our City. While that diversity could be considered an asset when evaluating the entirety of Eglinton, this lack of continuity creates an unattractive local streetscape in Ward 22. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT, running underground through Ward 22, is scheduled to open in 2020. This investment of more than $5 billion has created an impetus to study Eglinton Avenue and develop a long-range plan for its intensification and beautification called Eglinton Connects.
The Eglinton Connects Planning Study is the comprehensive planning review of Eglinton Avenue which responds to the opportunity presented by the LRT. It proposes a Plan for Eglinton Avenue that is based on a long-term vision of a green, beautiful linear space that supports residential living, employment, retail and public uses in a setting of community vibrancy. Widened sidewalks, more trees in improved planters, separated bike lanes and additional seating are just some of the improvements coming to Eglinton Ave.
Please click here to view an invitation for a public information session on the Eglinton Connects plan to be held next month.
53 Division is Participating in the Toronto Police Service's Stationary Bike Race in support of the United Way
Our local police division has entered a team in Toronto Police Service's stationary bike race in support of United Way Toronto. On Thursday, May 22, teams will compete to amass the most team kilometres, as well as for the title of Best Costume and Best Team Name, among others.
To support our local team, D53, please visit the sponsorship website and choose a member that you would like to sponsor. Supporting D53 also supports United Way Toronto, a leading organization that empowers individuals and promotes well-being through a variety of community services, ensuring that people have access to support, regardless of where they live.
Heritage Walk - Mount Pleasant Cemetery: Where Soldiers Rest in Peace
Walk through Toronto’s largest cemetery and see the tombs of soldiers buried here - veterans of conflicts ranging from the American Civil War to World Wars One and Two. Hear about some military burial and commemoration traditions, explore why the Imperial Munitions Board was located in Toronto, and learn how wars shaped Toronto’s home front.
This walk, sponsored by the University of Toronto, occurs as part of Doors Open Toronto with walks scheduled for 2pm on Saturday, May 24 and 2pm on Sunday, May 25. Please visit the City's website to register and for more information!
Toronto Takes Step Forward Toward Freeing Food Trucks
Council took a significant step forward toward offering a greater diversity of street food in Toronto by easing restrictions on food trucks. While there certainly will be more mobile vendors on the streets in new locations this summer, I believe Council could have gone even further to free the food trucks. The following are just some of the restrictions my colleagues imposed on food trucks during the April 1st meeting:
- Limit of 2 Mobile Food Vending Permit holders on any one block
- No Mobile Food Vending Permit holders shall vend within 50 linear metres of an eating establishment licensed pursuant to Chapter 545, Licensing, of the City of Toronto Municipal Code during those hours when the establishment is operating and open to the public
- No Mobile Food Vending Permit holders shall operate within 25 linear metres of a designated vending area on the sidewalk
- No Mobile Food Vending Permit holders shall operate for more than 3 hours on the same block within a 24 hour period
Concerns from some councillors were not based on evidence from other cities around the world. In fact, the experience in cities such as Los Angeles show that businesses, and residents' quality of life, benefit from the animated streetscape that food trucks can provide. I will continue pushing for fewer restrictions on street food in the coming years with my colleagues Mary-Margaret McMahon and Josh Colle (both have been very strong and leading advocates), along with promoting more opportunities for public performers and patios. While responsible health and safety regulations are always important, Toronto has a history of being timid and bureaucratic when it comes to many creative and entrepreneurial ideas. Policies become unnecessary red tape. I believe an animated public realm, and a fun and diverse variety of street food options, enhances our quality of life while increasing foot traffic for local businesses.
A Reminder – Appropriate Disposal of Pet Waste
I have recently received a number of complaints regarding inappropriate disposal of dog waste. Please ensure that instead of dropping your pet’s waste on neighbourhood yard waste bags or leaving it in our community’s green space, to dispose of excrement in your green bin. This helps keep our neighbourhoods and parks clean for all to enjoy! For more information, please visit the City’s Solid Waste Website.