Revitalization of Yonge-Eglinton Bus Barns Site Takes Major Step Forward
As Midtown residents know all too well, the former TTC bus barns site at the South West corner of Yonge & Eglinton was a derelict eyesore for well over a decade and is now a construction staging ground for the Metrolinx Eglinton Crosstown LRT. With the completion of the Crosstown in 2021, it is important that we start planning for the future now to help ensure that this site doesn’t remain a blight on the area for one moment longer than is necessary.
A major hurdle in the way of moving forward with planning for the site is that approximately 75% of the property is encumbered with existing long-term commercial leases. That’s why I’m pleased that City Council approved a report for a new deal with the long-term lessees for a new ground lease relating to redevelopment of the property. The deal was negotiated by Build Toronto (now CreateTO), in consultation with the TTC, City Real Estate Services and City Planning. The proposed transaction has been developed within the new City real estate model to achieve key city building objectives, including unlocking the value of City assets through transit oriented development.
Illustration by City Planning
I will continue to make it clear to the City that any proposal for this site must include a remarkable public square, right at the corner, to even be considered by our community.
Protecting Toronto Tenants from Extreme Heat
Toronto tenants have the right to a comfortable and healthy home. Our current by-law directs landlords to maintain a temperature of at least 21 degrees Celsius in apartment units between September 15th and June 1st. The by-law, however, does not address heat. During last September’s heatwave some residents reported temperature readings of over 30 degrees Celsius in their units as a result of their landlords turning on heat and/or not turning on air conditioning to reflect the reality of the weather outside.
As a result, I moved a motion last fall, in addition to several other motions addressing the same issue dating back to 2011, that asked City Staff to “hold consultations with tenants, landlords and other relevant stakeholders to identify potential solutions to effectively deal with heat in apartment buildings, including maximum heat in apartments and applicable dates in the heating bylaw and property standards bylaw, and report back to the Tenant Issues Committee (early in 2018).”
Unfortunately, no solutions were presented to Tenant Issues Committee earlier this year and the report to Licensing and Standards Committee today pushes back substantial action till the end of 2019. That simply isn’t good enough.
That’s why I’m pleased to report that Council supported my motion last week 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. The motion also requests the Medical Officer of Health to establish a Heat relief network to promote locally available air-conditioned public spaces.
I know that the actions taken in Council last week do not go far enough. I will continue to work toward a new by-law that can force landlords to turn on air conditioning and, most importantly, establish a maximum temperature for apartment units just as we have minimum temperature standards now.
There is no doubt that this is a complicated policy problem. If the City were to establish a maximum temperature would window air conditioning units be the only practical solution for some landlords to comply? Would tenants be on the hook to pay for the air conditioners? How could a by-law be followed if weather changes quickly but it can take several days to turn off the boilers and turn on central air in old buildings?
I recognize that these issues must be solved before the City imposes rules on landlords but more importantly, I recognize that the status quo is not acceptable. The City must do better to ensure that all Torontonians have a comfortable home.
Have Your Voice Heard: Judicial Inquiry on Scarborough Subway to be debated at Executive Committee
As I wrote to you in an extensive newsletter last week, I submitted a motion requesting that a judicial inquiry be established regarding the information presented to Council leading up to the July 2016 vote to approve the 1-stop Scarborough subway. This motion was referred to the meeting of the Mayor’s Executive Committee.
This meeting will provide you with an opportunity to make a 5 minute deputation requesting that the committee approve the inquiry. Torontonians deserve to have assurances that decisions affecting billions of their tax dollars are spent on transit projects that use our scarce resources to support the most residents possible in getting to work or school and back, quickly and comfortably, so they can have more time with their friends and family.
To register to make a deputation email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 416-392-4666.
We Need Relief (Subway Line) Now!
As any resident who rides the subway knows the Yonge Line is already at capacity. During rush hour at stations like Eglinton, it is common to wait for two or three trains before boarding and once on, you’re crammed in like a sardine.
The overcrowding is most critical at Bloor-Yonge station, which is already nearing capacity, with another 45% increase in users expected over the next twenty years. Even with signal improvements and the new, larger trains, we can’t keep ahead of this growth without expansion elsewhere to alleviate the pressure. That’s why the Relief Line was named as Toronto’s top transit expansion priority by former Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig, former TTC CEO Andy Byford, former Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat and former City Manager Joe Pennachetti .
City Council has unfortunately featured transit debates long on rhetoric and short on facts. The Relief Subway Line would provide an alternative to our existing subway system that’s already overcrowded during rush hours, curb gridlock on our city’s streets and increase access to jobs and attractions. It is the evidence-based subway expansion project that would be an integral part of a comprehensive network approach that would most improve Toronto’s economy and residents’ quality of life.
For more information and how to take action, please visit this webpage.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Planning and Development Public Consultation Meetings
Times Group Proposal for 1951 Yonge Street
Last year, an application was submitted for two towers (34 and 25 storeys) at the northeast corner of Yonge and Davisville. In their report, City Planning Staff agree with me and the local community that the proposal from the Times Group is completely inappropriate, as it’s a significant overdevelopment of the site. As it is currently proposed, the two towers would have unacceptable shadow impacts on the Davisville school field. Of further concern, is the potential traffic impacts to the local community, especially the area surrounding the school. I will fight the most recent proposal to add more traffic onto Millwood.
I am pleased to report that I was successful in moving significant motions to support our community against this development at this week’s Toronto & East York Community Council meeting. In addition to ensuring that City Legal and Planning Staff will fight for us at the Ontario Municipal Board, I was able to have additional amendments added that, for the first time, requested that even if a development is approved, that the OMB order construction be halted until the necessary infrastructure and social services are provided:
- City Council direct the City Solicitor to request the Ontario Municipal Board to withhold the issuance of any order(s) on the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment appeal for the subject lands pending confirmation of:
– necessary transportation infrastructure from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Transportation Services; and
– public school capacity from the Director of Education, TDSB
- City Council direct the City Solicitor to request the Ontario Municipal Board to withhold the issuance of any Order(s) on the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment appeal for the subject lands pending confirmation of water, sanitary and storm water capacity from the Chief Engineer and Executive Director, Engineering and Construction Services, and pending receipt of a satisfactory Functional Servicing Report;
These motions were possible, and supported at Community Council, because of the extensive research that has been conducted as part of the Midtown in Focus initiative that has clearly demonstrated what we in Midtown already know: infrastructure and social services have not kept pace with the rapid rate of growth in our community.
The importance of these motions was recognized by the Toronto Star, which published two articles on successive days about this issue. Please see this article on the water capacity motion and this article regarding schools and transportation.
Please join me this week on:
Date: Thursday, May 10th
Place: Greenwood College– 443 Mount Pleasant Rd.
A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to construct a 55-Storey mixed-use building containing 502 residential units with office and retail space on the first two levels. The applicant is proposing 226 parking spaces to be located in a three level underground garage.
Please join me to discuss the proposed development on:
Date: Wednesday, May 16th
Place: Best Western Roehampton Hotel – 808 Mount Pleasant Road
If you cannot attend the meeting you can speak to the planner, Alex Teixeira, at (416) 392-0459 or email at:Alex.Teixeira@toronto.ca.
City Planning has also received a rezoning application to construct a 44-storey mixed-use building containing 457 residential units with retail space on the first level. 166 parking spaces are being proposed in four levels of underground parking.
Please join me to discuss the proposed development on:
Date: Thursday, May 17th
Place: Best Western Roehampton Hotel – 808 Mount Pleasant Road
If you cannot attend the meeting you can speak to the planner, David Driedger, at (416) 392-7613 or email at:David.Driedger@toronto.ca.
I’m delighted to announce that exciting new improvements will begin in Pottery Playground this spring!
Last year I heard from a number of parents who expressed concerns over the safety of the splash pad. I also heard that the playground was starting to look a bit tired and could use an update. Following a public consultation meeting I held with City Parks staff, we decided on an option that includes a brand new traditional play structure, animal-themed splash pad, as well as additional picnic benches and landscaping improvements. We will also be keeping the existing sandbox as I heard from many parents that this is a well-used feature of the playground. You can view the concepts in the renderings below.
Before construction commences on May 22nd, Parks Staff have announced that the toys left by the community will be temporarily stored throughout the duration of the construction. If you have donated these toys and would like to use them over the summer, please retrieve them! Otherwise, they will be brought back once the park improvements are complete by this August (weather permitting!)
STAY TUNED! New Park Coming to Yonge & Eglinton
We’re creating a new, much-needed park and playground at Holly and Soudan! Earlier this week I was pleased to sit down with our Parks Staff to review the very preliminary designs. I’m very pleased with the initial concepts and look forward to meeting with the community to hear feedback on what is envisioned for this much needed green space. I will be finalizing the details of the public consultation meeting which I will share with you very soon.
Seniors Community Grant Program Allows for Seniors HomeShare Pilot Project!
As we all know, the growth in Toronto’s seniors population is expected to accelerate in the coming years. Presently, there are now more seniors living in Toronto than children. As Toronto’s Seniors Advocate, I was pleased to move amotion at City Council to authorize the City’s Social Development, Finance and Administration division to receive a grant from the Ministry of Seniors Affairs under the Seniors Community Grant Program to provide funding for a seniors HomeShare pilot program. These funds will support the development of this pilot project to connect over-housed seniors in Toronto with university graduate students to improve social connection and independent aging. While this is a major step forward, more work still needs to be done!
I’m delighted to support AppleTree Markets, a local Ward 22 non-profit organization, which will once again be transforming June Rowlands Park 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.
This season, the market begins on and will operate weekly on Tuesdays between
I look forward to seeing you there!
The Toronto Council on Aging and I invite you to attend our town hall meeting taking place on Church (1985 Yonge Street) to celebrate the age-friendly approaches our local businesses are incorporating in their storefronts. An update of Toronto Senior’s Strategy 1.0 and 2.0 will be provided as well. For more details, kindly review this flyer. We look forward to seeing you there!at Yorkminster Park Baptist
On 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!, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (
This year South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SERRA) Annual General Meeting will be taking place on443 Mt. Pleasant Road. Doors open at for attendees to enjoy refreshments, renew memberships and browse information booths. The formal meeting will start at and end at Guest speakers include myself, TDSB Trustee Shelley Laskin, and City Hall Toronto Star reporter Jennifer Pagliaro. For more details, please review this flyer.at Greenwood College School,
SAVE THE DATE: Deer Park Residents Group Annual General Meeting
Please join me for the Deer Park Residents Group (DPRG) Annual General Meeting on 26 Delisle Avenue). The membership desk will open at and the meeting will commence atat Calvin Presbyterian Church (
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. I will be speaking to attendees about developments in Ward 22 and beyond that have an impact on all of us. 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 email@example.com for more information or visit their website here
Toronto City Council must adopt new Community Council boundaries now that the City’s ward boundaries are changing. This Options Paper includes background information on Toronto’s Community Councils, options for new boundaries, and information on how to provide feedback. The feedback collected will help inform the City Manager’s recommendations to Council on Toronto’s new Community Council boundaries. Information on population forecasts, past Community Council activities and reviews, and recommendations from the City’s 2017 Ward Boundary Review will also be considered.
Submit your comments by on :
By mail: City Manager’s Office, City of Toronto, 10th Floor East Tower, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Tax counter drop-boxes at any Civic Centre. For locations, please visit http://www.toronto.ca/counter-locations or call 311
Public Open House: 100 Queen Street West. in Committee Room 2, City Hall,
Residents are invited to drop by anytime during the open house to learn more about Community Councils and the options for new boundaries and provide feedback.
A report on new Community Council boundaries will be submitted to Council’s Executive Committee. When the report is published, members of the public can sign up to speak at Executive Committee by contacting the clerk firstname.lastname@example.org or registering online at www.toronto.ca/council.
Volunteers Needed for Ravine Stewardship Event – Invasive Knotweed Pull for Vale of Avoca
Community organizers will be leading a public event to cut back a patch of Japanese Knotweed—an invasive plant species—within the Vale of Avoca Ravine. The patch to be cut is located just south of Rosehill Reservoir, on the west side of the creek, downslope from Summerhill Gardens. The public event would be limited to the flat area west of the trail, and City crews will follow up with cutting on any adjacent slopes. The re-sprouts will then be treated by City crews with appropriate herbicide in late summer or early fall. All necessary tools, including hand pruners, hedge clippers and gloves, will be provided by City.
On Saturday, June 16th at 10am, volunteers are asked to meet at the entrance to the access road on Avoca Ave (opposite 20 Avoca Ave) and walk down the trails to access the site. Signage will be displayed at the trail entrance and along trail to direct any latecomers. All tools will be carried in and out by staff and volunteers.
Calling all dog lovers! Please come join me and our community’s furry friends in attending the Park & Bark Dog Show on Saturday May 5th from 9:00am to 1:30pm. This free special event will be held in the new parking lot just north of Davisville, on the east side of Yonge. It’s im-paw-sible not to come!
I am delighted that the South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association has created a Jane’s Walk that explores Ward 22’s Davisville Village, from its earliest days through the neighbourhood’s continuing transformation. The walk takes place at here.on and will begin outside at the northwest corner of Davisville and Mt. Pleasant. You can view the Facebook Event
On Saturday May 5th from 9:00am to 12:00pm, I welcome you to swing-by Timothy Eaton Memorial Church’s Garage Sale! Bring your donations of housewares, treasures, jewellery, linens, etc. to the West Assembly Hall. Please do not bring any books and/or upholstered furniture.
FromThe Eglinton Way will be hosting “Wellness on the way”. The Eglinton Way invites customers to visit our restaurants, fitness studios, salons, and retailers. This will be a 5 day celebration of our neighbourhood’s personality. It will highlight the many health, beauty, and fitness businesses in the area. From the Eglinton Way businesses will offer customers the opportunity to enjoy an array of service packages available such as, set price points, trial memberships, healthy menu features, or gift with purchase.
Get rid of your old electronics at the Inorganic Market on Saturday May 12th from 11:00am-3:00pm at Deer Park Public Library. Bring your TVs, computers, phones, and other unused electronics for safe disposal. For more information, visit Inorganic’s Facebook page.
Hodgson’s 1st annual Family Wellness Fair is taking place on Thursday May 10th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm! Families are invited to attend for a wide array of exciting workshops and sessions spanning a variety of wellness topics that relate to youth mental health and well-being. We hope you can check it out!
Oriole Park Association will again be hosting the Community Garage Sale on email@example.com. Let the decluttering begin!. Stay tuned for information on registration. We are also looking for volunteers to assist in the preparation and set up of the event. If you are interested, please email
Basement Flooding Prevention Public Education Campaign
Basements can flood for many reasons. While the City of Toronto is working to improve its complex system of underground sewers, these improvements alone cannot completely protect a home from basement flooding. With increasingly severe weather events, it is essential that homeowners take steps to help protect their home from basement flooding. For more information on basement flooding prevention tips, programs and services from the City of Toronto, please visit www.toronto.ca/basementflooding.