Since 2012, I have been strongly advocating for the City of Toronto to protect tenants from extreme heat. Despite motions that I moved in 2012, 2013, 2014 and, 2017, no substantive action has been implemented by the Medical Officer of Health or the Municipal Licensing, and Standards Division. No solutions were presented to Tenant Issues Committee earlier this year and the report to Licensing and Standards Committee last month pushes back substantial action till the end of 2019. That simply isn’t good enough.
In fact, just last month, I moved a motion to grant the City’s Medical Officer of Health the authority to request landlords to establish Heat Alert Days on which landlords can be requested to turn off heat and, if applicable, turn on air conditioning. Despite this current heat wave, the Medical Officer of Health has not acted.
I will continue to advocate for a new by-law that can force landlords to turn on air conditioning where possible and, most importantly, establish a maximum temperature for apartment units just as we have minimum temperature standards now. The City must do better to ensure that all Torontonians have a comfortable home.
Meanwhile, I am requesting landlords to use some common sense, and turn AC on if they have it, when their tenants’ health might be affected by extreme heat. They will not be subject to enforcement and its the right thing to do.
The Vision Zero initiative is based on a principle that there is no acceptable number of road fatalities. While we may never have the ability to control instances of human error on our streets, we do have control over how they are designed and the police can control how they are enforced. From New York City to Stockholm, jurisdictions from across the world have embraced the principles of Vision Zero, and have experienced dramatic reductions in road fatalities, despite increasing traffic volumes.
Toronto’s Road Safety Plan has not achieved the same results. I believe it’s failing us. In fact, since Council adopted a Vision Zero Policy in 2015, Toronto has seen an increase in road fatalities, with last year being the highest on record since 2005, and this year at pace to be even higher. The continued trend of traffic related deaths is unacceptable, and a real transformative shift is needed to truly achieve Vision Zero.
Last Council meeting, my motion was approved to help implement the integral components to Vision Zero. This includes a request to Toronto Police Board to provide enough resources to adequately enforce the Highway Traffic Act (for example, there are only two traffic cops in the entirety of 53 Division), accelerate the design of safer streets, and to also reduce speed limits across the City’s neighborhoods to better align with the Road Safety Plan.
As your City Councillor, Seniors’ Advocate and a parent of a 5 year-old daughter myself, there is simply no higher priority for me than to advocate for everything possible to be done to keep our roads safe.
Council decided this week to move forward with a 17-stop LRT extension of the Eglinton Crosstown from Kennedy Station to the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus (UTSC). While I strongly endorse this LRT line, the Mayor’s continued support of the 1-stop Scarborough subway has left no funding available for this Crosstown extension.
Further, the City’s planners are left to twist themselves into knots to make the 1-stop subway work with a proposed, and also unfunded, 6-stop extension from UTSC to Malvern that will waste hundreds of millions of dollars to provide just as long of a commute to Kennedy station as they currently have.
If we chose to put people over politics, and move forward with the planned 7-stop LRT to Sheppard Ave, serving Scarborough Town Centre and Centennial College, the City would be able to afford to build the 17-stop Crosstown extension and be in a better position to provide rapid transit that will have a positive impact on the lives of Malvern residents. An extension of the Scarborough LRT Phase 2, which was already planned for in the 2010 Environmental Assessment, shows that it would take 16 minutes to travel from Malvern Town Centre to Kennedy, while it would take over 33 minutes using the Eg Crosstown extension through UTSC
Below is a picture of the planned, completely traffic-separated, LRT station in Malvern.
For more information, please see this Toronto Star article
As Toronto’s Seniors Advocate, I’m delighted to inform you that Version 2.0 of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy was adopted unanimously by Council! To review the recommendations that will be implemented across the City of Toronto within the next few years, please click here and if you’re interested in watching the discussion, please review this Youtube clip at 2:31:59. I deeply appreciate the ongoing support of Council for the work we’re doing together on implementing a Seniors Strategy that will create a caring, respectful, inclusive, accessible and age-friendly Toronto.
Toronto residents undertaking dialysis treatment at home utilize a considerable amount of water which substantially impacts the total amount of their average utility bill. It is estimated that home dialysis patients consume an additional 150-600 additional cubic metres of water annually as a direct result of the use of dialysis equipment and all associated steps to clean and disinfect the machines. As a result, utility billings for those households undergoing home dialysis treatment are higher than the average household, resulting in increased financial hardship on those who may already be experiencing health-related hardships. In order to mitigate the financial impact of home dialysis treatment and to offset the additional costs of water used in the treatments, Council approved the establishment and implementation of a Home Dialysis Water Rebate Program. For more details about this, please review the item here.
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 many years of meticulous review in consultation with the local community, I am pleased to announce that we are in the final stage of having an up-to-date planning policy in place to effectively respond to growth pressures. Before the recommended Official Plan Amendment (including the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan) is voted on at the next City Council meeting on June 7th, there will be another opportunity to review and ask questions about the policies and related infrastructure assessments.
Please join me and City Staff at the Midtown in Focus Public Open House review
between 7:00pm-9:00pm on May 28th at Northern District Library (Gwen Liu Meeting Room, 2nd floor), 40 Orchard View Boulevard.
If you are unable to attend the meeting, the final draft policy and plan can be accessed through the City’s Midtown in Focus portalhere. Should you have any questions please can contact the City’s Policy Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Thursday from 4:00-8:00pm, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (174 Orchard View Blvd). Please drop-off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste, or even replace your damaged green bin. Feel welcome to check-out our flyer here and I hope to see you there!
The Toronto St. Paul’s Tenants’ Associations Network will be holding the St. Paul’s Riding All Candidates Meeting where you will have the opportunity to learn where your Provincial candidates stand on today’s tenant issues such as Above Guideline Increases (AGIs), Renovictions, the Landlord and Tenant Board and affordable housing.
Please join me in attending this important discussion about advancing a tenant-focused agenda both in our community and across Ontario on Wednesday, May 30th at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (1585 Yonge Street) between 7:30pm-9:30pm.
If you have any questions about this event, please contact the Toronto St. Paul’s Tenants’ Association Network through their websitehere.
Mona Piper Playground & Cudmore Creek Park Opening!
Together, we were successful in working closely with the Manor Road United Church to ensure that the greenspace at the corner of Manor and Forman would not only be protected from development, but become an amazing new park for our community.
I am grateful for the involvement of so many local residents at the consultation meeting I hosted to decide on our new park’s design.
On Sunday, June 3rd at noon at 250 Manor Rd E (the corner of Forman and Manor Rd. E.), you are invited to a special community event. Please bring your friends and family to come celebrate the grand opening of Cudmore Creek Park & Mona Piper Playground. The park’s name celebrates, and renews, a lost part of our natural heritage- the creek that still runs along Forman Avenue today, underground. The playground is named for the late Mona Piper, a beloved Davisville resident and Toronto’s longest serving crossing guard, who protected our kids for 43 years.
Have your say! Public meeting for a NEW park in the Yonge & Eglinton Community
Working together as a community we successfully created a brand new park to improve the quality of life for residents in the Yonge & Eglinton community. This new park will be located at the northwest corner of Dunfield and Soudan (across from the toddler playground).
Please join me at 6:30pm on Wednesday, May 30th at Mount Pleasant Library (599 Mount Pleasant Rd.) to review initial designs and share your feedback on what elements you would like to see in our new community park. City of Toronto Parks and Capital Staff will also be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.
June is Seniors Month
In celebration of Seniors Month, the Toronto Seniors Forum is hosting an event on Friday, June 1st from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at City Hall in the Council Chambers. Join us to learn more about seniors’ services in Toronto, the City of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy 2.0 and Vision Zero. To register for this event, please click here and to review further details, please view this flyer.
If you reside or work in our Midtown community and are interested in gardening or community stewardship, I welcome you to join the Oriole Park Community Garden! Please feel welcome to check out this flyer for further details or reach out by email to the garden’s steering committee: email@example.com
Ward 22’s Davisville Village Farmers’ Market Opens for Another Season!
I’m delighted to support AppleTree Markets, a local Ward 22 non-profit organization, which will once again be transforming June Rowlands Park, every Tuesday between 3 and 7pm, into a vibrant “town square” for the seventh year of our community’s popular farmers’ market. The market is a place where you are sure to see friends and neighbours, while buying fresh produce, fish, meats, chocolate, and so much more.
I look forward to seeing you there!
SAVE THE DATE: Deer Park Residents Group Annual General Meeting
Please join me for the Deer Park Residents Group (DPRG) Annual General Meeting on Thursday, June 14th at Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Delisle Avenue). The membership desk will open at 6:30pm and the meeting will commence at 7pm.
The annual meeting of the DPRG is an opportunity for residents of our neighbourhood to learn about activities during the past year. The agenda will include a summary of actions taken by the DPRG, events in our district, two guest speakers and an election of members of the Board for the coming year. Any persons attending who are not already members of the DPRG will be encouraged to join.
The DPRG welcomes members who have an interest in participating in its activities and serving on the Board. Please feel welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit their website here
SAVE THE DATE: COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE
Toronto-St. Paul’s Summit
Join your elected representatives from all levels of government in Toronto-St. Paul’s on Sunday June 10th from 3:00pm-5:00pm at 175 St. Clair Ave W. to discuss how we can work together to better our community. Panelists include myself, Hon. Carolyn Bennett, MP; Josh Colle, City Councillor, Ward 15; Joe Mihevc, City Councillor, Ward 21; Shelley Laskin, TDSB Trustee, and Jo-Ann Davis, TCDSB Trustee.
Overnight On-Street Permit Parking Consultation
On October 17, 2017, the Toronto & East York Community Council adopted motion TE 27.49 directing staff to:
“Solicit feedback from residents in 2018 on the proposal for potential policy changes and/or by-law amendments required to implement Residential On-Street Permit Parking on streets that do not have permit parking in Toronto and East York District”
The City’s Public Consultation Unit invites you to learn more about the overnight on-street permit parking program and to submit your feedback on the proposal.
The most convenient way of learning about the program and providing your feedback is by filling out this 10-minute survey.
For more details please click here.
Toronto Fire Services is once again engaging our neighborhoods and communities in a special effort this June. June is Safety Awareness Month (SAM) and they will be focusing on senior fire safety! If your group or organization is hosting any wellness, safety or events pertaining to seniors, Toronto Fire would like to talk to you! Please feel welcome to invite them to set up an information table, have a discussion, or give a presentation about fire safety. For further details, please check-out this flyer.
The number of people dying from opioid poisonings in Toronto continue to rise. Preliminary estimates from the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario show there were 187 deaths in Toronto from May to July 2017; double for the same period in 2016.
Around the world, governments are considering different approaches to drugs. Some countries are decriminalizing drug use and possession while others are legalizing and regulating drugs. Change is happening in Canada too. It will soon be legal for adults to purchase cannabis for personal use. In the midst of the current opioid poisoning crisis, some health officials and others are also calling for a new approach to other drugs.
How could we change our approach to drugs? What would a public health approach to drugs look like for Canada?
Toronto Public Health wants to hear from you on this important topic for our community.
To learn more, including how to register for a community dialogue session and to fill out our online survey, please visit theCommunity Dialogue website.
Are you thinking about renovating? Are you interested in improving the comfort and energy efficiency of your home, while at the same time doing your bit for Mother Nature? With utility incentives and GreenON funding available – there has never been a better time to make improvements to your biggest investment, your home.
The City’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers low-interest loans of up to $75,000 to homeowners interested in improving the energy and water efficiency of their homes. The funds can be used to upgrade your furnace, purchase insulation, water heater, windows, doors, and even install solar panels on your roof! You’ll repay the loan over time as you save on energy. On average, HELP participants are saving $560 per year and using 30% less energy.
For more information or to access an application now, please visit HELP!