- Dear Friends
- Council Highlights
- Community Environment Day 2017
- Avenue Road Traffic Safety
- University of Toronto Secondary Plan Consultation – Monday, May 8
- Development Map
- 11th Annual Jane’s Walk Festival: Tracing the Indigenous Roots of the Garden District
- Save the Date: McGill Granby Neighbourhood Safety Walk
- 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions
1. Dear Friends
A huge victory was achieved last week. City Council almost unanimously voted in support of a 10-year strategy to build and strengthen the City's Child Care system by nearly doubling the number of spaces and reducing fees for all families.
Under the Child Care Growth Strategy, the City envisions that 50 per cent of all children aged 0 to 4 will be able to find a space within a licensed child care facility. Council's direction now is to work with the provincial and federal governments to create 30,000 new spaces, provide subsidies for 40 to 50 per cent of all spaces and reduce fees by 25 to 40 per cent by 2026. Council also committed to funding 20 per cent of child care operating costs and to spend $1.4 billion on new child care capital costs within that ten-year period. This is the first strategy of its kind for Toronto to proactively consider the current and future child care needs of our City.
However, while we should applaud City Council for this support, more work must be done. There are 18,000 children on the affordable childcare waitlist today and that number will continue to grow. The majority of the new spaces—25,000 of them—also won't be created until after 2020. The economic and social benefits of child care are well documented. This is an important step towards revolutionizing our child care system and I look forward to seeing our federal and provincial partners support this plan.
While we celebrated moving forward with a new Child Care strategy, City Council also voted to close 134 affordable housing units in the North West of the City. This closure will involve the uprooting of families and seniors from their homes and community because the City failed in its responsibilities as a landlord. With over $2.6B in capital repairs needed to maintain the current stock and insufficient funding from the Provincial and Federal governments, there are 7,500 more units at risk of closure.
This is completely unacceptable.
In the recent Provincial Budget, no new funding to help repair Toronto Community Housing's crumbling homes was announced. As the City develops its Long-Term Fiscal Plan, maintaining and building our affordable housing MUST be a priority. I am committed to working with my Council colleagues to develop solutions and to prevent the further decay of our homes.
I remain yours in service,
2. Council Highlights
Crime and Evictions for Cause in Toronto Community Housing
City Council voted to request the Province of Ontario make amendments to the Housing Services Act. The request calls for giving housing providers discretion to refuse rehousing tenants who have been evicted for serious criminal activity. This change is intended to address chronic issues of safety in Toronto Community Housing facilities where current laws are exposing tenants to unfair risks.
Preventing Bid Rigging in Toronto
City Council voted to implement stronger tracking, training, quality control, and reporting throughout several City departments to address concerns of bid rigging, low quality work, and oversight concerns. Recent reviews of possible outside contractor bid-rigging on road repairs by Toronto's Auditor General resulted in a Police investigation, which is underway.
Shark Fin Ban Motion
City Council supported a motion by Councillor Wong-Tam expressing support for the Government of Canada for Bill S238, The Ban of Shark Fin Importation Act and requesting that a similar ban be considered within the Province of Ontario. Over 10,000 signatures were attached to a petition calling for the ban and the motion comes at a critical time, as a new bill has been presented to ban the importation of shark fins at the Federal level.
City Council supported a motion by Councillors Wong-Tam and Mihevc directing the Chief Planner and senior staff to report on the feasibility and cost of a heritage listing program. The listing program would provide an opportunity for a 'sweep' of Toronto's buildings and the listing of properties with potential heritage value, drawing on the input of resident and neighbourhood groups and preventing development until more thorough studies can be undertaken. Currently, many sites become subject to re-zoning before a heritage appraisal has taken place. Similar motions were also introduced by Councillor Fragedakis, Nunziata, Shiner, and Mayor John Tory.
New Housing Opportunities at 389 Church Street
City Council voted to support the creation of new housing opportunities at 389 Church Street by entering into agreements with Toronto Community Housing Corporation to fund the pre-development work needed to convert 389 Church Street into self-contained affordable rental housing. $8.8 million in funding is being reallocated to plan and implement the necessary renovations for this important work.
Assisting Affordable Rental Homes at 257 Dundas Street East
City Council voted to support the 33 new affordable housing units being developed at 257 Dundas Street East by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust by exempting the units from municipal taxes. The property, leased from Toronto Community Housing for a term of 49 years, is being developed to provide wraparound supports for homeless LGBT2S youth.
Investment in Casey House
City Council supported a motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to direct $500,000 in funding to Casey House for essential renovations. Casey House, founded in 1988 by June Callwood, is a leading support and program provider for people living with HIV. The renovations will allow for more specialized services to be provided and the introduction of a day program.
3. Community Environment Day 2017
The City of Toronto has launched its 26th season of Community Environment Days, held annually between April and October. These events, hosted by local councillors, help residents do their part in creating a cleaner, greener and more livable city.
Community Environment Days allow residents to correctly and safely dispose of household items that do not belong in the City's Blue Bin and Green Bin diversion programs, such as household hazardous waste, home healthcare waste and electronic waste. The events also provide an opportunity to bring specific items for donation and reuse. Free compost is available for pickup at the events (with a maximum of about an average car trunk load per household), and residents are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items that will be donated to a food bank.
Attendees can also learn about new waste diversion initiatives that are being planned as part of the City Council-approved Long-Term Waste Management Strategy.
What: Ward 27 Community Environment Day
When: Sunday, June 18, 2017, 10am to 2pm
Where: Allan Gardens
Community Environment Days are a partnership between Solid Waste Management Services, Toronto Water, Environment and Energy, and Orange Drop (Ontario's Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste program).
4. Avenue Road Traffic Safety
In recent months, local residents have reached out with concerns regarding pedestrian and motorist safety on Avenue Rd. between Pears Avenue and Marlborough Avenue. Residents have expressed that they frequently observe cars speeding in the area. In addition to narrow sidewalk widths on Avenue Road, this has created a condition that has left residents and their families feeling unsafe.
At the April 4th meeting of the Toronto and East York Community Council, Councillor Wong-Tam introduced a motion asking that Transportation Services conduct a Safety Review of Avenue Road, from Pears Avenue to Marlborough Avenue. This comprehensive review will provide a more thorough understanding of the traffic safety conditions affecting this area, and how they may be remedied.
Transportation Services staff are expected to report back, to the September 6th meeting of the Toronto and East York Community Council, with their recommendations for safety improvements.
5. University of Toronto Secondary Plan Consultation – Monday, May 8
Planning staff are holding a second meeting in a series on a new plan for the University of Toronto St George Campus and surrounding area, including Queen's Park and other Provincial government lands. This meeting will focus on heritage, the network of open spaces and how people move around (especially pedestrians and cyclists). The University will provide an overview of the proposal and City Planning staff will provide some preliminary comments. There will then be a chance for you to break into small roundtable groups to provide comments and present your ideas. City and University staff will be available to answer questions and hear your input.
What: University of Toronto Secondary Plan Meeting
When: Monday, May 8, 2017, 7pm to 9pm
Where: 10 King's College Road – Room 3201 (Stanford Fleming Building)
The University of Toronto has submitted an Official Plan Amendment application to establish a new University of Toronto St. George Campus Secondary Plan that would replace the existing Secondary Plan for the area. The purpose of the Secondary Plan is to provide a policy framework to manage change and guide new development in the area.
For information on the proposal, please click here.
City Planner Contact - Paul Johnson, 416-397-0259, Paul.M.Johnson@toronto.ca
6. Development Map
Want to learn about current and upcoming development in your neighbourhood? The Ward 27 Development Map lists every application for a zoning by-law and/or official plan amendment received within the last 5 years. You can view the status of the application, learn briefly what it's about, and find links to staff reports, applicant reports, and more. The map also includes information about local neighbourhoods, including who your Ward 27 staff contact and how to contact your local residents' association.
The development map will be regularly updated, with new applications and information when applicable. The map does not include Committee of Adjustment applications. If you see anything that you feel should be on the map, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and to view the map, please visit http://www.ward27news.ca/development
7. 11th Annual Jane’s Walk Festival: Tracing the Indigenous Roots of the Garden District
Jane’s Walk is a global festival of free, community led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to explore their communities and connect with neighbours. In 2016, over 7,000 people attended 226 walks across the GTA!
Dundas Street has a little-known but fully distinct Indigenous history. Join Chief Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and the Indigenous Place Making Council for a guided walk of the area known as the Garden District and Downtown East.
What: Jane's Walk: Tracing the Indigenous Roots of the Garden District
Where: Good Earth Coffeehouse at 198 Jarvis Street (at Dundas)
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 1pm
8. Save the Date: McGill Granby Neighbourhood Safety Walk
Councillor Wong-Tam will join Toronto Police, City staff and community members on May 9th for a walk of the McGill-Granby area. The walk will begin at Covenant House then tour the neighbourhood to identify further opportunities for improvement within the community. All neighbourhood business operators and residents are welcome to attend.
What: McGill Granby Neighbourhood Safety Walk
Where: Covenant House, 21 McGill Street, meet at front doors
When: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
9. 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions
Toronto has been named the host of the 7th Parliament of the World's Religions in 2018, a multi-faith gathering to engage in issues such as climate change, poverty, and violence.
More than 10,000 people will participate in the 2018 Parliament, which will last for seven days and comprise more than 500 programs, workshops, and dialogues, alongside music, dance, art and photography exhibitions, and related events presented by the world’s religious communities and cultural institutions.
The first Parliament of Religions was held in Chicago in 1893, and more than 80 nations have hosted the event since. This is the first time Canada has hosted. The event will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in November, 2018.
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 27 · 100 Queen St W, Suite A5, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2, Canada