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City Hall and Community Update for November 16, 2017

Making Neighbourhood Road Safety a Priority

Keeping residents safe on our streets is a serious concern in our community and in neighbourhoods across our city. I was grateful that Toronto & East York Community Council supported my motion requesting Transportation Services Staff to report on measures we can take to improve pedestrian safety, including paved speed limit markings and zebra crossings. Visual cues, beyond street signs, are used in cities all over the world to reinforce the message that drivers must slow down on residential streets and expect pedestrians at intersections.

I also successfully moved a motion at Council requesting the police to provide more enforcement of traffic regulations on our city's neighbourhood streets. I am not convinced there's an adequate allocation of police enforcement in 53 Division - there are only two traffic officers for an area extending from Spadina Road to Thorncliffe Park and from Lawrence Avenue to Bloor St.

Also, the City's Transportation Services has relaunched their "Please Slow Down" lawn sign campaign to help make motorists aware of their speed in residential areas. I have a fresh stock of lawn signs available- please let me know if you'd like one!

Midtown in Focus: Draft Review of Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan Released

In 2015, I worked with my fellow Midtown Councillors to initiate the Midtown in Focus review of growth, built form, and infrastructure issues in the Yonge-Eglinton area. After two years of intensive study by our dedicated City Planning Staff, we now have an up-to-date policy that will guide growth in the area and, in combination with necessary improvements identified through the review, support the vitality and quality of life in Midtown Toronto.

The report before Committee tells the rest of Toronto what we as Midtown residents already know: social services and hard infrastructure have not kept pace with the rapid growth in our community. This has to change.

I successfully moved a motion with Councillor Jaye Robinson requesting City Planning to further support local residents by reporting on potential measures to help ensure that social services and physical infrastructure can accommodate existing and projected growth in the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan area. 

I look forward to seeing you in the New Year as Planning Staff consult further on their Review.

For more information, please see this report.

Toronto-St. Paul's Summit on Affordable Housing

Every Canadian deserves affordable and accessible housing, and all levels of government must work together to meet this goal. Please join me and the other elected officials of Toronto-St. Paul’s riding and share your questions, concerns, and ideas on this issue, and let’s work together to ensure the housing needs of our community are met.

I am honoured to be joining federal MP, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, provincial MPP, Dr.Eric Hoskins, my local colleagues at City Hall and school trustees in this important conversation with our residents.

The summit will take place at 3-5pm on Sunday, November 26 at Holy Rosary Church Parish Hall (376 St. Clair Avenue West). I hope to see you there!

Mount Pleasant Village Christmas Fair

Please join me for the annual Mount Pleasant Village Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 2. The event will take place from 10am to 4pm on Mount Pleasant Road between Eglinton Avenue and Millwood Road. There will be sidewalk sales, live music, photos with Santa and tree decorating & lighting. And remember to enter the grand prize draw to win $500 in Mount Pleasant Villlage Dollars!

Midtown Yonge BIA's 'Midtown Merriment' Festive Celebration

The Midtown Yonge BIA, in conjunction with AppleTree Markets, is holding its first ever Midtown Merriment holiday celebration on Saturday, November 25 from 12pm-5pm. Come and enjoy a holiday market, treats & hot chocolate, and tree lighting! Also, special appearances will be made by holiday carolers and Santa Claus! The event will take place in the parking lot along the east side of Yonge Street between Davisville Avenue and Millwood Road.

Central Eglinton Community Centre's Holiday Gift Fair

On Friday, December 1, the Central Eglinton Community Centre (160 Eglinton Avenue East) will be holding it's Holiday Gift Fair between 10am and 2pm. Come find that perfect gift from unqiue crafters and local vendors and enjoy free gift-wrapping. Also, this family-friendly community event will feature a bake sale, silent auction, door prizes and more. Free admission, everyone is welcome! 

For more information, visit the CECC's website or by calling 416 392-0511, ext 0.

Ecumenical Annual Food Drive

Churches in Rosedale, Moore Park and Leaside are again sponsoring a Christmas Drive (the 46th consecutive) to assist local food banks and agencies that are in urgent need of help at this time of year. Flyers are delivered to area households on Saturday, November 18 and donations are then picked up on the following Saturday, November 25. There are two locations. The first is Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church  (OLPH) on St. Clair Avenue East, one block west of Mount Pleasant Road. The other is St. Cuthbert’s Church on Bayview Avenue, south of Millwood Road near Humphreys Funeral Home.

Times on both days begin at 9:30 am. Donations are sorted and packed at OLPH with same day delivery to recipient food banks and agencies. In 2016, about 16,000 items were collected and it is hoped to better this figure this year as the demand is still great. Financial donations are also welcome and tax receipts are available. About 300 volunteers are required and community hours (generous ones) are available for high school students who require for graduation or other reasons.

In addition, two area Sobeys stores (St. Clair Avenue just east of Yonge Street and Wicksteed Avenue near Laird Drive) are once more supporting this effort by holding in-store drives throughout the Christmas season. These sources typically add another 10,000 or so to the overall total.

This is a fun event for both families and young persons and is in aid of a worthwhile cause to benefit the less fortunate members of our community. 

If further information is required, please contact the Campaign Chair, Brian Kearney, at 416-972-0585 or by e-mail.

Free Admission to Toronto History Museums Through November

Until November 30, general admission to 9 of the City's historic museums will be free courtesy of Mackenzie Investments in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

During the five-week period, visitors can explore Toronto history museums through ongoing tours during regular hours and discover memorable and moving exhibits such as "Eaton's Goes to War: Family, Memory & Meaning" at Mackenzie House, "Maple Leaf Forever: Toronto's Take on a National Symbol" at the Market Gallery and "Gibson House Preserves" at Gibson House.

The City of Toronto operates 10 history museums which annually produce over 300 programs and events, including the annual Gatsby Garden Party and the Indigenous Arts Festival, that are attended by more than 410,000 residents and visitors.

More information is available here. The public can also interact with the sites on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/tohistoricsites and Twitter @TOHistoricsites.

City Planning Rail and Land Use Study Public Consultations

The City Planning Division is conducting a Land Use Study to develop a series of rail corridor typologies that are intended to inform the creation of a set of guidelines that will assist City Planning staff in the review of development applications on lands that are adjacent to rail corridors and yards.

The study is being conducted in two Phases. Phase 1, is an inventory and information gathering phase to gain a better understanding of what rail infrastructure exists in the City, the nature of rail operations and allow for the creation of a series of potential rail infrastructure typologies. Informed by Phase 1, and using the typologies identified, Phase 2 will include the creation of the proposed guidelines for development in proximity to rail infrastructure.

Public consultation and input is a key feature of the Study and City of Toronto Planning staff have scheduled four public consultation meetings across the City. These meetings offer an opportunity to provide comments on the Phase 1 report, ask questions of City Planning staff and provide input regarding rail safety and new development in the City.

Feedback from these meetings will help inform City Planning staff as we develop a series of Toronto specific guidelines for development in proximity to rail operations.
Each meeting will run from 7 – 9PM and have been scheduled as follows:

November 16 – North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers (5100 Yonge Street)
November 21 – Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chambers (150 Borough Drive)
November 30 – Metro Hall, Room 308/309 (55 John Street)

For more information regarding the ongoing study please visit the website. If you have questions regarding the consultations or would like to set up a briefing with staff, please contact Christian Giles by email or by phone at (416) 392-0881.

Help Re-Name Toronto's Emergency Shelter System!

Council recently adopted a review of how the City locates homeless shelters making it clear that the conversation about homelessness services has to change. To do that, homeless shelters—programs, service delivery models, and building designs—all need to be transformed. This is underway now to emphasize that services exist to support clients to move to permanent housing as quickly as possible and with supports to assist them to keep their homes.

Understanding that language and names are powerful signals of the transformative changes being proposed through the new service model, Council also suggested staff consider new names for the service.

The City is seeking the input of Toronto residents in this process. Your input will help inform an external consultant's recommendations regarding a possible new name for the homelessness services system, including shelters, to better reflect the positive roles that these play in communities and in the lives of our most vulnerable residents.

The survey takes only a few minutes to complete and is open until 12 December, 2017. You can access it here.

Stay Warm This Winter for Less

Tired of a cold, drafty home and high energy bills - HELP is here!

Through the City of Toronto's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), you can get a low-interest loan to cover the cost of a new high-efficiency furnace, new windows, doors, insulation and more. And if you want to go the extra mile, the loan can also cover the cost of solar rooftop panels, solar hot water heaters, and geothermal heating and cooling!

The great thing about Toronto's Home Energy Loan Program, is that at the same time that you make your home more comfortable and reduce your energy bills, you'll also be reducing the emissions that contribute to climate change.

Low-interest rates and great terms
In addition to offering low-interest rates (starting at 2%), and repayment terms of up to 15 years, you can repay the loan at any time without penalty. And if you sell your home and don't want to pay off the loan, the new homeowner can assume the payments. Sound too good to be true? It's not!

Save energy, money and more!
The results are impressive. On average, HELP participants:
  • reduce their home energy use by 30%;
  • save over $560 per year on their energy bills; and
  • receive additional incentives of up to $2,250 from utility companies such as Enbridge Gas and IESO
You can get a loan of up to $75,000 for your improvements. The process begins with an easy online application. The HELP team will then connect you with a Registered Energy Advisor, help you access the incentives provided by the utility companies, and do what they can to make the process smooth and seamless.

The City's HELP team is available to support you throughout the process. Learn more by calling 416-392-1826 or by visiting the webpage here.

PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: 30 Merton Street Development Meeting

This development application proposes to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law to permit a residential rental building at 37 storeys in height including a 5 to 7-storey base building. The proposed building would contain 315 rental apartment units and 142 above-grade parking spaces on levels 3 through 5. The proposal also includes 5 parking spaces on the ground floor and a 3-level underground commercial parking garage with an additional 199 parking spaces.

This public meeting will take place at 7pm on Thursday, November 30 at Christ Church Deer Park (1570 Yonge Street).

To speak to the planner directly, please contact Alex Teixeira at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416-392-0459 . Also, you may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.


Development Proposals in Ward 22

To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans. 

The OMB is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. The tribunal's powers to overrule decisions made by our elected municipal representatives are anti-democratic and often lead to planning decisions that far too often support the interests of the development industry over those of our communities and our city's official plan. To read more about the OMB and my advocacy to free Toronto from its purview, please click here.

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