Taxis, Uber, etc. An evolving ground transportation industry
At city hall's Licencing and Standards Committee, of which I'm a member, there was a debate and vote this week regarding the approach the City of Toronto should take to regulating taxis, limos, Uber and their competitors. This is a subject that jurisdictions around the world are currently grappling with.
While councillors such as Giorgio Mammoliti and Jim Karygiannis may disagree with me, as is their right to do so, I support comprehensive Staff recommendations that would allow taxis to be less expensive and more competitive while allowing innovative companies like Uber and their competitors to become safe, licensed, and insured transportation options for Torontonians. I believe simply banning Uber, like some would like to do, is not a realistic or preferable option for Toronto.
Netflix, and other streaming services, saw the end of formally ubiquitous video stores like Blockbuster. However, the music industry wisely made changes to respond to Napster, and today we have Apple's iTunes and their competitors along with a thriving music industry.
I want Toronto's important taxi industry to successfully adapt to the reality of the inarguable changes that are happening in technology that have seen the arrival of companies like Uber, Lyft, and others, so that our city's taxi drivers can make a living and hopefully even eventually see their incomes grow. I also want the City of Toronto to, while regulating responsibly to protect the health and safety of its residents, allow for innovation, creativity and competition to thrive in order to provide the public with a variety of options in our transportation mix.
As I did at committee this week, I will be supporting Staff recommendations on this matter at city council.
REMINDER: 'Movie Night in the Park' Returns to June Rowlands (Davisville) Park with The Princess Bride!
After the success of last year's free movie night in the park, I'm pleased to announce that I will be co-hosting another family-friendly outdoor movie screening of "The Princess Bride" this year with AppleTree Markets.
Refreshments will be available; we also encourage families to either bring their own food from home or stop by one of the great restaurants on Mount Pleasant and bring a picnic.
I would like to extend a big thank-you to our local community sponsors, Patrick Rocca and The Dunfield Retirement Residence for their incredibly generous support to help make this event happen.
I look forward to sharing an amazing evening of cinema with family and friends on Friday, September 25 at 8pm. Hope to see you there!
REMINDER: Celebrating Lois: A Tribute to Lois Lilienstein
A special public celebration, hosted by Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison of Sharon, Lois & Bram, will take place on Saturday, September 26 to honour and pay tribute to the wonderful life of their partner and friend, Lois Lilienstein. Proceeds will benefit Mariposa in the Schools, who provide programmes benefitting school children across Ontario with a repertoire of world music, dance, storytelling, spoken word and puppetry that celebrate cross-cultural understanding.
Please join me at 7pm on Saturday, September 26 at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front Street East), to celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Lois Lilienstein.
For more information on this event, including ticket purchase, please click here.
Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground Improvements
I'm excited to announce that I am currently working with Sharon & Bram to install new and improved playground equipment in June Rowlands (Davisville) Park, as well as introduce a brand new musical garden.
A portion of the existing playground equipment – the hill and dale – no longer meets safety requirements and will be the first portion of the play equipment addressed. There have been to many kids who've suffered accidents there already.
Along with the new music garden (which will feature low-noise instruments and a small childrens' stage), we are adding more features to the playground to make it animated and fun, including a large elephant to climb on and various way finding signs. I also intend to work with our community soon on a master plan for the replacement equipment and further park improvements.
As many of you are already aware, construction work to remove the hill and dale is already underway. The new playground is anticpated to be completed by the end of November; the music garden should be implemented by spring.
Roycroft Park Trail Improvements Update
I'm pleased to announce that City staff will begin installation and repair of segments of the fence lines along the trail at Roycroft Park on September 24. The trail will be open during this portion of the work. By mid-October, though, please note that drainage and trail surface improvements to the park will require a temporary enclosure of the entire trail.
I Iook forward to the improved conditions at this community park. In the meantime, you can read more about the nature of the improvements here.
Forest Hill Road Park - New Playground Opening Celebration
Please join me on Saturday, September 19 at 11am in Forest Hill Road Park for a celebration of our new & improved playground! It was a great pleasure to work with local parents and residents to build a beautiful new playground for our community. I look forward to celebrating together with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by treats and refreshements!
Glenn Gould Park Playground Improvements Public Meeting
On Tuesday, September 22 at 7pm I will be hosting a community consultation about replacing the play equipment at Glenn Gould Park. The meeting will take place at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (1585 Yonge Street, Room 508) and will give you a chance to review several new playground design options with myself and Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff. I hope to see you there!
Kay Gardner Beltline Park Celebration
Please join me, my colleague Councillor Joe Mihevc, and Kay Gardner to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Beltline trail and the remarkable vision of Kay Gardner. Kay's tireless efforts helped transform this old rail corridor into a linear park that has become one of Midtown Toronto's best assets.
This event is presented in partnership with Toronto Public Health, the Parks and Recreation Department and Toronto Trails Festival. It will take place on Sunday, September 27 at 11am on the Beltline trail, just north of Eglinton Avenue west (enter at Shallmar Road and Mayfair Drive).
Mount Pleasant Harvest Fair
My family and I hope to see you at the Harvest Fair hosted by the Mount Pleasant Village BIA on Saturday, September 26. Festivities and attractions include sidewalk sales, live music, a pumpkin carving contest, a butter tart throwdown, and a petting zoo. All activities will take place on Mount Pleasant Road between Eglinton and Davisville from 10am to 4pm. More details are available on the Mount Pleasant Village BIA website.
Manor Road United Fall Fair
Save the date for the Manor Road United Church Fall Fair! On Saturday, October 3 from 10am and 2pm, the always-delicious bake table will be joined by books, toys, crafts, a silent auction, crafts for kids, face painting and pony rides. For more information, please click here.
Unicorn Daycare Grand Opening!
Please join me at 6:30pm on Tuesday, September 29 for the grand opening of Unicorn Daycare at their new location in the Church of the Messiah (240 Avenue Road).