Friday, August 30, 2013

Glen Murray MPP September Newsletter


September Newsletter

Greetings from Glen

August was a month of festivals, in Toronto Centre, that brought people out to the streets to celebrate our community. Whether it was the Bleeker/Wellesley Activity Network hosting their annual BBQ on August 13, the Regent Park community celebrating the Muhtadi International Drum Festival at Daniels Spectrum on August 16 or owning the block at Block-O-Rama on August 17 - these events showcased the dynamic and vibrant pulse of our greater community.

As your representative at Queen's Park, I'm happy to announce some new changes to services that will help individuals and families in Toronto Centre. The government of Ontario is improving access to services for children, youth and families, taking action to protect consumers and help them save money on auto insurance, consulting with families and service providers on how to improve our autism services, and taking steps to address concerns about overcrowding and unlicensed centres.

Updates from Queen's Park

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing consultations on land use and municipal development changes

The government of Ontario understands the real challenges that face municipalities across the province. Starting this fall, the province will begin consultations on our land use planning system, the role of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and municipal development charges. In so doing, we’re hoping to provide the space to foster better cooperation between municipalities, developers, and community stakeholders.

The consultations will be a two part process. The first one will address potential reforms to the land-use planning and decision-making process, including the process for land use appeals at the Ontario Municipal Board. The second will focus on the Development Charges Act and other development-related municipal charges and fees that allow municipalities to create the needed local infrastructure for new development, such as sewage and drainage.

What this means for you

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) will be reviewed and streamlined in order to make the process more accessible and accountable to the public.

Community groups and stakeholders will be invited to share their feedback and help us develop solutions, in-person or electronically.

Unlicensed Child Care Review – Ministry of Education

On July 19, Honourable Minister Liz Sandals, held a press conference to update the public about the ongoing review of unlicensed child car facilities in Ontario. The Ministry of Education is taking steps to address concerns about overcrowding and unlicensed centres.

A review of 448 complaints received between January 1, 2012 and July 12, 2013 had found that of the total, 25 had not been addressed with a site visit. Immediate action has been taken to attend to the remaining complaints, ensuring that all providers are in compliance.

What does this mean for you?

The province will be establishing a dedicated team to investigate complaints about non-compliant unlicensed providers, respond to public inquiries and supply information to parents about unlicensed providers. This information will be available to the public on a searchable online database.

If you have concerns or complaints about any child care provider, please contact your local Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Office.

477 Mount Pleasant Road
3rd floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1G1
Tel.: (416) 325-0652
Fax: (647) 724-0942 / 1-888-996-3886
Email: Childcare_Toronto-Central@ontario.ca

Improving Access to Services for Children, Youth and Families in Toronto Centre

Through the Partner Facility Renewal program, the province is investing $6.5 million to help maintain and improve more than 150 sites at 100 community agencies. It will help us better serve children, youth and families. I’m happy to announce that local agencies in Toronto Centre have been granted the necessary funds to do repairs, renovations or other enhancements. This funding will improve the infrastructure of organizations that support children, youth and their families, while strengthening the local economy.

What does this mean for you?

These investments will allow non-profit agencies in our community to maintain their facilities and ensure programs are delivered effectively.

The following agencies are receiving funds:
  1. Operation Springboard
  2. Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
  3. Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
  4. Turning Point Youth Services
  5. The Hincks-Dellcrest Treatment Centre – Growing Together
  6. The Massey Centre for Women

Autism Services – Family Consultations

Over the next few months, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services will be engaging with families of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder, other experts and service providers to find ways to improve our autism services.

The provincial roundtable will take place on October 9th, 2013 for Toronto. Information provided by families will contribute to the development of solutions for addressing barriers to early identification and improving the family experience with autism services.

Auto Insurance Reduction

Ontario continues to take action to protect consumers and help them save money on auto insurance. We have a cost-and-rate reduction strategy that will reduce auto premiums for Ontario drivers.

Our plan includes:
  1. continuing to crack down on fraud,
  2. ensuring all regions of Ontario benefit fairly from cost savings,
  3. requiring insurers to offer discounts for consumers with safe driving,
  4. exploring other cost reductions initiatives including provincial oversight of the towing industry,
  5. addressing collision repair practices.

What does this mean for you?

Drivers can expect to see their first reduction within the first year at a target rate of 8% and the full 15 percent within the second year.

Upcoming Events

Community Movie Night: Brave
Date: September 6, 2013 at 8pm
Location: Outside Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne Street)
Details: Bring a blanket or chair!

Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts
Date: September 7 and 8
Location: Parliament St. from Wellesley South to Gerrard St. East & Carlton St. from Parliament West to Berkeley St.
Details: In its 37th year the Cabbagetown Festival is the longest running festival in Toronto. Organized by the Cabbagetown BIA, this festival offers walking tours, crafts sale, fine dinning, and local entertainment. It has something for everyone, be sure to check it out!

Bang & Olufsen Yorkville 5K Run
Date: September 8, 2013
Location: Village of Yorkville Park, Cumberland Street at Belair.
Details: Lace up and support a great cause at the Yorkville 5k run. Now in its third year, this race attracts thousands of participants to raise funds for the YWCA’s shelters across the GTA. Come and support the work of YWCA Toronto in improving the lives of women and girls in our communities.

Ontario Street Party!
Date: September 15, 2013
Location: Central Neighbourhood House, 349 Ontario Street (between Gerard and Dundas).
Details: Come celebrate the spirit of Cabbagetown at a neighbourhood BBQ organized the Cabbagetown South Residents’ Association.

Should your neighbourhood be a Heritage Conservation District?
The Cabbagetown South Residents’ Association is conducting a survey to seek local support for designating the area of Carlton to Shutter, Parliament to Sherbourne as a Heritage Conservation District. (see: Cabbagetown Heritage Advisory Committee)
 


Media Advisory Toronto Police Service launches "Back to School - Back to Basics, Remember Road Safety" campaign Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Toronto Police Service
News Release

Media Advisory Toronto Police Service launches "Back to School - Back to Basics, Remember Road Safety" campaign Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 3:00 PM
Traffic Services:  416-808-1900

The Toronto Police Service will be launching the annual back-to-school campaign entitled “Back to School - Back to Basics, Remember Road Safety”, beginning Tuesday, September 3, 2013, concluding on Friday, September 13, 2013. This two-week initiative will focus on road users that blatantly and carelessly put children at risk as a result of their poor driving habits.

All officers and parking enforcement officers will be paying special attention to motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians who commit offences in the area of school zones including offences related to pedestrian crossovers, crosswalks, intersections and high-risk, mid-block crossing behaviors.

Enforcement will also target aggressive driving offences, prohibited turns, and distracted driving behaviours along with “No Stopping” and “No Parking” restrictions within school zones.

On Tuesday, September 4, 2013, at 7 a.m., Traffic Services enforcement officers will be attending Martingrove Collegiate Institute at 50 Winterton Drive, for the kick off of this important campaign.

For further information contact Constable Clint Stibbe at 416-602-4547.

Traffic Services is dedicated to ensuring the safe and orderly movement of traffic within the City of Toronto. Stay informed with what’s happening at:
TwitterFacebook Fan PageFacebook Group and on Blog.

Constable Wendy Drummond, Corporate Communications, for Constable Clinton Stibbe, Traffic Services

Save the Date: September 15, 2013 - Ward 27 Community Environment Day


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sexual Assault Alert, Lower Don River Trail, Update, Composite sketch released

Toronto Police Service
News Release

Sexual Assault Alert, Lower Don River Trail, Update, Composite sketch released

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 3:05 PM
51 Division:  416-808-7474

The Toronto Police Service would like to make the public aware of a sexual assault investigation.

It is reported that:

- on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at 3 a.m., a 28-year-old man was jogging along the Lower Don River Trail.

A composite sketch of the suspect has been released. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.

A sexual assault is defined by the Criminal Code of Canada as any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration. To learn more about sexual assault, including how to report a sexual assault, please visit our Sex Crimes Unit website.

Constable Wendy Drummond, Corporate Communications, for Detective Constable David Windsor, Sex Crimes Unit



Police request assistance with Aggravated Assault investigation, Yonge-Dundas Square

Toronto Police Service
News Release

Police request assistance with Aggravated Assault investigation, Yonge-Dundas Square

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 11:42 AM
51 Division:  416-808-5100

On Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 2 p.m., police responded to a call for an assault at Yonge Street and Dundas Street.

See previous release.

Investigators are seeking the public's assistance identifying and locating two men who may be able to assist with this investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Victor Kwong, Corporate Communications, for Detective Constable Gianni Filippin, 51 Division







Police request assistance with Aggravated Assault investigation, Yonge-Dundas Square

Toronto Police Service
News Release

Police request assistance with Aggravated Assault investigation, Yonge-Dundas Square

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 11:42 AM
51 Division:  416-808-5100

On Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 2 p.m., police responded to a call for an assault at Yonge Street and Dundas Street.

Investigators are seeking the public's assistance identifying and locating two men who may be able to assist with this investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Victor Kwong, Corporate Communications, for Detective Constable Gianni Filippin, 51 Division


News Releases

Files:
Above: Person 2 who may be able to assist with investigation
Above: Person 2 who may be able to assist with investigation
Above: Person 2 who may be able to assist with investigation
Above: Person 1 who may be able to assist with investigation
Above: Person 1 who may be able to assist with investigation
Aug 29, 2013, 11:42 am

Police request assistance with Aggravated Assault investigation, Yonge-Dundas Square

51 Division:  416-808-5100

On Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 2 p.m., police responded to a call for an assault at Yonge Street and Dundas Street.

See previous release.

Investigators are seeking the public's assistance identifying and locating two men who may be able to assist with this investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Victor Kwong, Corporate Communications, for Detective Constable Gianni Filippin, 51 Division



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

City of Toronto's recreational activities on Labour Day

City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:
==========================================

News Release:  August 28, 2013       
 
City of Toronto's recreational activities on Labour Day

The City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division will offer many leisure activities on the Labour Day holiday on Monday, September 2. 

Open:
• Unsupervised splash pads will be open and will remain open until September 22. Parents and caregivers are reminded to supervise their child/children at all times.
• Weather permitting, all of Toronto's mainland beaches will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the Toronto Island beaches will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. All locations will have lifeguard supervision during the hours of operation.
• All five City golf courses will be open from 6:30 a.m. (first tee off) to 6:30 p.m. (last nine-hole tee off). More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/golf.
• Toronto Island will offer many activities on Labour Day. Residents can walk, roll, cycle, explore, rent a rowboat; tour in a tram, visit the Ned Hanlan statue and  haunted Gibraltar Lighthouse, play Frisbee golf, cool off at a splash pad, view the city skyline and visit Franklin Children's garden just steps from the animals at Far Enough Farm and Centreville Amusement Park. Toronto Island ferries will run on a holiday summer schedule up to and including Monday, September 2. Ferry schedules: http://www.toronto.ca/parks/island/ferry-schedule.htm
• Riverdale farm will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available by calling 416-392-6794 or visiting  http://www.toronto.ca/parks/featured-parks/riverdale-farm/.
• High Park and High Park Zoo will be open on Monday. Babies at the zoo include a yak, capybara, wallaby and bison. You can also meeet the new emu. The llama pen will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The scenic, trackless train ride through the park will be running. Tickets can be purchased from the train operator.
• L'Amoreaux Tennis Centre will be open on Labour Day. Courts may be booked up to seven days in advance, on a pay-as-you-go basis, subject to availability. Note: prime time rate will be applied for all bookings. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/prd/facilities/complex/699/index.htm or by calling 416-396-4041.
• This year only, Donald D. Summerville Outdoor Pool, 1867 Lake Shore Blvd. W. (416-392-7688) will be open on Monday, September 2 for leisure swim from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m., and lane swim from 7 to 8 p.m. The pool will remain open until Sunday, September 8 as a result of a late initial opening this summer.
• Toronto's parks and green spaces will be open for unsupervised leisure activities. Consider taking a walking tour of your park.

Closed:
All other Parks, Forestry and Recreation facilities, including recreation centres, will be closed on Labour Day. Regular programs and services will resume on Tuesday, September 3.

All indoor pools, outdoor pools (with the exception of Donald D. Summerville Outdoor Pool) and wading pools will be closed on Labour Day. Sunday, September 1 is the last day of summer operation for the City's outdoor pools and wading pools. Indoor pools will re-open on Tuesday, September 3. Consult the web or your local pool for available times: http://www.toronto.ca/parks/prd/swimming/index.htm

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Media contact: Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line, 416-560-8726, pfrmedialine@toronto.ca


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Missing woman, Katherin Massiah-Williams, 20

 
Missing woman, Katherin Massiah-Williams, 20
Toronto Police Service
News Release

Missing woman, Katherin Massiah-Williams, 20

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 3:03 PM
51 Division:   416-808-5100

The Toronto Police Service is requesting the public's assistance locating a missing woman.

Katherin Massiah-Williams, 20, was last seen on Sunday, August 25, 2013, at 1:20 a.m., in the River Street and Dundas Street East area.

She is described as black, 5'2", with a slim build, shoulder-length, curly, brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Wendy Drummond, Corporate Communications, for Detective Sergeant Michael Richmond, 51 Division

An attachment to this release is available on our website.
 
News Releases

Above: Missing woman Katherin Massiah-Williams, 20
Aug 27, 2013, 03:03 pm

Missing woman, Katherin Massiah-Williams, 20

51 Division:  416-808-5100

The Toronto Police Service is requesting the public's assistance locating a missing woman.

Katherin Massiah-Williams, 20, was last seen on Sunday, August 25, 2013, at 1:20 a.m., in the River Street and Dundas Street East area.

She is described as black, 5'2", with a slim build, shoulder-length, curly, brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Wendy Drummond, Corporate Communications, for Detective Sergeant Michael Richmond, 51 Division

Government of Ontario News: Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ontario NewsroomOntario Newsroom

Driver and Vehicle Licence Fees Continue Gradual Increase


Ontario is continuing its gradual increase of driver and vehicle licence fees to improve vital infrastructure and support key services.

August 27, 2013  |  Ministry of Transportation

Improving Public and Police Officer Safety


Ontario is allowing local police services to decide which officers will be permitted to carry conducted energy weapons (CEWs). 

August 27, 2013  |  Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Ontario Continues to Prepare for Exciting Pan/Parapan Am Games

Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the Pan/Parapan American Games, joined by Games partners, four-time Olympic medalist, Kristina Groves and Pachi, the Games mascot, will make an announcement about the province's plans to enhance the Games experience for all in Ontario. The event will also feature a special musical performance by Ontario's Kira Isabella.
August 27, 2013  |  2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Secretariat

Missing man, Norman Edward Heard, 62

 
Missing man, Norman Edward Heard, 62
Toronto Police Service
News Release

Missing man, Norman Edward Heard, 62

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 3:15 PM
51 Division:  416-808-5100

The Toronto Police Service is requesting the public's assistance locating a missing man.

Norman Edward Heard, 62, was last seen on Friday, August 16, 2013, in the Tycos Road and Lansdowne Avenue area

He is described as white, 5'8", 150 lbs., straight blond hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a red shirt and blue jeans.

Police are concerned for his safety.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for Detective Charles Ricci, 51 Division

 

Public consultation on use of jets at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:
==========================================

News Release:  August 27, 2013        

Public consultation on use of jets at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

The City of Toronto is conducting a public consultation process on a request to permit jet airplanes at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The focus of the consultation is to assess how changes to the airport would impact the city, including the ongoing revitalization of the waterfront and nearby communities on the water’s edge.

Specific issues to be considered include:
• Aviation - noise, safety and infrastructure • Economic impacts • Land use and community impacts • Marine navigation, coastal and habitat assessments • Public health impacts • Transportation impacts.

All Toronto residents are encouraged to participate and provide the City with feedback about this important issue:
• Participate online at http://www.toronto.ca/bbtca_review to obtain more information and complete an online survey.
• Attend one of two workshops to talk with City staff and technical consultants and share ideas:

Workshop 1
Wednesday, September 4
Fort York - Blue Barracks Rm.
250 Fort York Blvd.
2 to 3 p.m. (drop-in)
3 to 5 p.m. (workshop)

Workshop 2
Monday, September 9
Metro Hall - Rooms 308/309
55 John St.
6 to 7 p.m. (drop-in)
7 to 9 p.m. (workshop)

• Participate in a Town Hall meeting that will include a presentation and discussion:
Thursday, September 12
Direct Energy Convention Centre, Exhibition Place - Salon 205
100 Princes' Blvd.
6 to 7 p.m. (drop-in)
7 to 9 p.m. (presentations and discussion)

At its May 7 meeting, Toronto City Council asked City staff to undertake a review of a request from Porter Airlines to amend the 1983 Tripartite Agreement between the City of Toronto, the Government of Canada, and the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) to permit the landing of commercial jets at Billy Bishop Toronto Centre Airport (BBTCA). The review excludes the following: an expansion into the Toronto Islands Park, an expansion of the current Marine Exclusion Zone and any change to existing airport noise guidelines.

The Tripartite Agreement governs the operation of BBTCA. The agreement places restrictions on the types of aircraft that may be operated at the airport, hours of operation, noise conditions and access to the facilities. The City of Toronto, the TPA and the Government of Canada each own part of the lands on which the airport is located.

The Tripartite Agreement may be amended with the written consent of all parties. Any amending agreement would be brought back to Toronto City Council for approval before being signed.

Both of Toronto's airports have experienced significant passenger growth over the last six years. BBTCA grew in passengers from more than 770,000 to more than 1.9 million between 2009 and the end of 2012. In the same period, passenger growth through Pearson International Airport increased from close to 29 million to almost 35 million.

The public and stakeholder consultation is an essential element of the review. The findings from the consultation process will be available online after the consultation has concluded and will be used to help inform the staff review.

Staff will submit an update on this matter to the September 24 meeting of the City's Executive Committee. A final public consultation meeting will be held in early November. The final report is scheduled to be brought forward for consideration at the December 5 meeting of the Executive Committee. Pending decisions made by the City's Executive Committee, the final report will then go to Council for consideration.

More information about how to make a deputation is available at http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/tmmis/have-your-say.htm.             
                               
More information about the review is available at http://www.toronto.ca/bbtca_review.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Media contact: Deborah Blackstone, Strategic Communications, 416-392-7377, dblacks@toronto.ca

Monday, August 26, 2013

41 Division CPLC wants to help you declutter and make some money!

41 Division's CPLC is hosting their our first annual "Portable Garage Sale", Sunday September 8. 
You buy a spot for $20, bring your swag to sell, and keep your profits.



Police request assistance with aggravated assault investigation

Toronto Police Service
News Release

Police request assistance with aggravated assault investigation

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 10:13 AM
51 Division:  416-808-5100

On Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 2 p.m., police responded to a call for an assault at Yonge Street and Dundas Street.

It is reported that:

- a 76-year-old woman exited an eastbound Dundas Street streetcar and was transferring to northbound Dundas Station

- the woman was walking to the subway and was on an elevator in Dundas Square

- a man approached the woman and severed her nose with a weapon

- the suspect then fled the area

The suspect is described as 40-60, 5'6"-5'8".

Investigators are looking through security camera footage to determine if there is any footage with investigative value.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for Detective Chu Chang, 51 Division


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finalized Design for Allan Gardens Children's Playground

Images of the finalized design for the Allan Gardens Children's Playground have become available.

With so many park construction projects underway across the City, it has taken some time to get this moving, but Councillor Wong-Tam has been assured that the construction will begin this Fall.

Like you, she is eager to see this project completed and to have children enjoy the playground!

Warm regards,
Melissa Wong
Executive Assistant to
  
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Suite A5
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N2
(416) 416-392-7903

Twitter @kristynwongtam



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ward 27 News






August 21, 2013

  1. Welcome Letter from Councillor Wong-Tam
  2. Council Updates: June and July Highlights
  3. A Toronto First: Parklets on Church Street
  4. Murals on Church Street
  5. Environment Day
  6. Ai Weiwei
  7. 11 Wellesley Street West
  8. Toronto's Record Summer Storm


Welcome

Dear Constituents,

Neighbourhood planning has been top of mind for many this summer. Ward 27 is being improved, celebrated, and activated in preparation for World Pride 2014 and the Pan Am Games 2015. City Council has once again debated significant transit funding priorities and many of you have written to me with your concerns on this matter and others.

This summer marks a Toronto first, with the Church-Wellesley Village's launch of parklets. Currently on Church Street from Maitland to Monteith, parklets are expansions of the sidewalk that allow for new patio seating, community activities, as well as general-use public space and seating. With beautiful plantings, these parklets feature the best elements of similar programs in cities such as San Francisco and Halifax. Pop-up music events will be coming to the Village, sponsored by the Pan Am organizing committee on August 17.

Also in advance of World Pride 2014, an ambitious mural program is being rolled out on Church Street from McGill to Monteith. Eleven murals featuring incredible gallery-quality artists' work will be in place for this fall. I look forward to sharing the results in upcoming newsletters!

After hearing from many of you and receiving shockingly high cost-estimates that overshadowed earlier reports, I voted at City Council to support the previously approved LRT plan for Scarborough. The proposed upgrade to a subway turned out to be neither cheap nor simple. Not only does Ward 27 struggle to meet immediate transit capacity issues of its own at Bloor and Yonge, but the city has capped or cut-back funding from many other departments and programs that are integral. If we are expected to raise most of the money for a billion-plus dollar plan, it must go towards the city's collective transit needs before spending it on one-off wish lists.

Residents and business operators of Yorkville are currently engaged in the 'Yorkville: East of Bay' series of workshops. These meetings are bringing together residents, business owners, developers and municipal planning staff to work towards a vision for development that takes a more comprehensive approach to the record levels of new towers that are being proposed. 
 
I've stated before that Ward 27 is undergoing a parks renaissance and the evidence is appearing across our 14 residential neighbourhoods and five business improvement areas.  New parkland improvements and expansions are under consideration and underway from Moore Park to Moss Park. Please check our website www.ward27news.ca for updates and community meetings.

Finally, everyone is invited to this year's Community Environment Day which will be held at Allan Gardens on September 15 from 10am-2pm. This is a great chance to meet neighbours in the ward, dispose of electronic waste, get some valuable compost, and enjoy a barbeque lunch.

I invite you to read through the articles that follow. Ward 27 is a remarkably diverse and vibrant place to live, work, study and play. My staff and I have been honoured to lead and assist in many of the ongoing community initiatives from Moore Avenue to Queen Street.

I remain yours in service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam
 

2. Council Updates: June and July Highlights

Toronto City Council meeting of June 11, 12 and 13, 2013       

Electoral reform in Toronto       
Council adopted several motions on electoral reform in Toronto. The City will ask the Ontario government to amend legislation and allow permanent residents to vote in municipal elections whether or not they are Canadian citizens. The City will also request amendments to the Municipal Elections Act to permit Toronto to use ranked ballots and instant runoff voting in its municipal elections.

Managing traffic congestion       
Council endorsed taking steps to better manage Toronto's traffic congestion and improve traffic operations across the city. The plan includes improving the co-ordination of traffic signals at about 1,000 intersections on priority routes over the next three years, along with making technological upgrades and other steps for better traffic flow.

Seniors and Toronto Community Housing     
Council adopted the recommendations of a report documenting the City Ombudsman's recent investigation into Toronto Community Housing's eviction of seniors on the basis of their rent being in arrears. In addition, Council adopted a series of motions aimed at protecting seniors who are living in Toronto Community Housing units and may face eviction because of difficulties paying their rent.

University of Toronto athletic field        
After a thorough debate, Council affirmed its support for the University of Toronto's Pan Am Field Hockey Centre/Back Campus Fields Project, including the use of artificial turf at that location. Council directed the City Manager to ask the university to create a project liaison and monitoring committee and to conduct a formal impact assessment after 10 years.

Angel Cradles program    
Council directed staff to work with provincial health officials to create an Angel Cradles program in a Toronto hospital for the acceptance of newborns from mothers who are unable to care for them. The intention is to provide a safe, anonymous and effective alternative for such mothers.

Aboriginal employment strategy      
Council adopted a motion calling for the preparation of a City strategy to ensure that more Aboriginal people are employed at the City of Toronto and that the increase mirrors the proportional representation of Aboriginal people in Toronto's population. The plan will include consultation with the Aboriginal Affairs Committee.

Funding transit and infrastructure          
Council adopted a motion to research the use of various kinds of municipal bonds that could be used to reduce the cost of servicing municipal debt and increase a city's ability to build and maintain its infrastructure. Governments in other jurisdictions, including the United States, have reduced interest rates and the cost of carrying municipal debt by implementing various tax breaks or rebates. The City of Toronto will spend $400 million to service its debt in 2013 and the City faces major costs for infrastructure projects.

Managing contracts for road resurfacing   
Council adopted Audit Committee recommendations aimed at ensuring adequate, effective management of the City's local road resurfacing contracts. Transportation Services is placing emphasis on preventive maintenance to extend the useful life of roads, and last year spent about $30 million on local road resurfacing contracts.

Care of animals in Toronto      
Council approved amendments to the City of Toronto Municipal Code that will strengthen the provisions for the care and well-being of animals in Toronto and seek to achieve service efficiencies. The amendments resulted from the findings of the Core Service Review, an Auditor General's review and public consultations.

Economic impact of Grey Cup game/festival          
Council offered congratulations to the Toronto Argonauts and Chris Rudge, Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club, on winning the 100th Grey Cup last fall and on hosting a successful 2012 Grey Cup Festival. Council also extended congratulations to Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League, on the successful event. The event generated a total of about $133 million in economic activity in Ontario - $95 million of it in Toronto.


Toronto City Council meeting of July 16, 17, 18 and 19, 2013      

Support for a Scarborough subway      
After two days of debate, Council confirmed its support for a Scarborough subway contingent on the provision of new federal funding equal to 50 per cent of net capital costs and a provincial contribution of $1.8 billion. Council specified that no funding outlined in the Metrolinx/City of Toronto master agreement is to be re-allocated from the Sheppard LRT (light rail transit), the Finch LRT or the Eglinton LRT to fund the proposed extension of the Bloor-Danforth line (the Scarborough subway project), and there is to be no reallocation of City revenues from other services to pay for the subway. Council also approved other actions and conditions for the subway project, including a commitment to fund the City's share of the costs by means that include property taxes and development charges.

Loss of provincial pooling funds   
Council voted unanimously to urge the provincial government to rescind its recent decision to eliminate Toronto Pooling Compensation funding or, at a minimum, to maintain the social housing component of the funding. The province recently announced that $149.4 million in Toronto Pooling Compensation - most of which Toronto uses for social housing expenses - will be phased out starting next year, ending in 2016. The loss of the funding would result in an increase in property taxes and/or a reduction in services for some of the most vulnerable people in Toronto.

Water infrastructure and flood damage    
Council adopted numerous motions concerning water infrastructure and damage caused by the July 8 rain storm/flooding. Actions to be taken as a result of the motions include, for example, requesting provincial and federal financial assistance to help pay for damage caused by the flooding, considering an increase in City subsidies available to residents for basement flooding protection, and working on ways to finance increased investment in Toronto's water and sewer infrastructure.

Fair wages in Toronto    
Council amended the Toronto Fair Wage Bylaw to increase the Schedule C wage rates, which include wage rates for workers performing cleaning services for the City and its agencies. All fair wage schedule rates will now be updated every three years by the Fair Wage Office to ensure they remain consistent with prevailing market rates.

Child-care funding model for Toronto  
Council endorsed principles and evaluation criteria to guide the establishment of a new child-care funding model for Toronto. The model, tied to a new provincial child care-funding framework, is a made-in-Toronto funding model for child-care programs to support Toronto families. The report considered by Council emphasized that at present, provincial allocations do not support the growing demand for fee subsidies in Toronto.

Toronto Pan Am/Parapan Am Games showcase     
Council endorsed the Host City Showcase Program for the Toronto 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games, with anticipated expenditures of up to about $20 million for 16 showcase initiatives supporting Toronto's role as the official host city. Council also approved the establishment of a reserve fund for major special events, initially as a reserve for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. The Games in August 2015 are expected to draw at least 10,000 athletes and officials and up to 250,000 visitors to the Toronto region.

Integrity Commissioner's annual report     
Council endorsed a recommendation to move from a part-time to a full-time Integrity Commissioner beginning with the next Integrity Commissioner appointment in 2014. The decision came after Toronto's current Integrity Commissioner, Janet Leiper, gave a presentation to Council with highlights of her 2013 annual report. The City of Toronto established the Integrity Commissioner position in 2004 to provide advice/education to members of Council and local boards to assist them in maintaining a high standard of ethical behaviour.

Heritage grants for 2013      
Council approved the awarding of grants for restoration work on 24 heritage properties in Toronto. The grants, which constitute the Toronto Heritage Grant Program for 2013, range from $3,000 to $40,000. This year’s grant recipients include homeowners, condominiums, places of worship and commercial heritage properties.

Implementing Toronto's recreation service plan   
Council adopted an implementation plan for the Toronto recreation service plan that was approved at the end of 2012. The recreation service plan aims to increase overall participation in recreation, decrease financial barriers, and improve local and geographic access. The implementation plan, which covers 2013 to 2017, includes 27 actions addressing the service plan as well as initiatives for community engagement in Toronto's delivery of recreational services.

St. Lawrence Market North      
Council authorized the continuation of architectural design work for the redevelopment of St. Lawrence Market North and directed the City Manager to prepare a plan aimed at increasing revenue to help offset the project's costs. The building initiative is intended to improve the utility of the market complex, which has been hub of economic activity in the area for more than 200 years.

Review of EMS and Fire Services    
Council approved a series of recommendations aimed at achieving efficiencies while maintaining the quality of the service in Toronto's emergency medical and fire services. The actions approved follow a study that assessed the possible consolidation of the EMS and Fire Services. The independent consultant concluded that merging the two organizations would not yield enough benefits to warrant consolidating fire and paramedic services. Council directed the City Manager to look into other ways of achieving efficiencies in the two emergency service operations.

Long-term strategy for waste management    
Council adopted terms of reference for the development of a strategy that will guide decision-making on Toronto's waste management for the next 30 to 50 years. Achieving the established target of 70 per cent waste diversion by 2016 would extend the life of the City's Green Lane Landfill until 2036, but there will be a need for disposal capacity beyond that date. The Solid Waste Management Services division will explore long-term options for Toronto's residual waste.

Common-sense parking enforcement   
Council committed to taking action to make sure the work of Toronto Police parking enforcement staff is mainly focused on helping achieve City priorities such as relieving traffic congestion and keeping traffic moving. The motion under consideration said that certain kinds of parking infractions do not warrant the same level of police enforcement as others.

Truck deliveries on busy streets            
Council supported a motion asking for a report on strategies to discourage commercial deliveries and truck traffic on busy routes during peak commuting hours to help relieve congestion.

City/school boards task force   
Council approved establishing a task force made up of City councillors and Toronto school board trustees to identify issues that would benefit from better co-ordination between the City and the school boards and to advise City Council and school trustees on how to achieve better co-ordination.

Invasive species threatening Great Lakes     
Council agreed to communicate with the federal and provincial environment ministers, urging their co-operation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to identify a preferred solution to the problem of invasive carp and to move forward quickly to implement that solution. The motion says the Asian carp is one of the most serious invasive-species threats ever presented to the Great Lakes and its connecting waterways.

Toronto and Austin music alliance  
Council endorsed an Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance that will position Toronto as a leading tourist destination for live music and promote Toronto's music industry. The City of Austin, Texas has committed to the partnership with Toronto. Council also adopted a motion for the City of Toronto to take steps to establish a music advisory committee and create a strategic action plan for the City's support of the music industry in Toronto.

Council Highlights is an informal summary of decisions made by Toronto City Council. The City Clerk provides the formal documentation at http://www.toronto.ca/council.


3. A Toronto First: Parklets on Church Street


 
The Church-Wellesley Village BIA, in partnership with Councillor Wong-Tam's Office, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, Toronto Planning Partnership, Carpenters' Union Local 27 and the Home Depot broke ground on July 15th for Toronto's first ever parklet project. This innovative project aims to expand public access to green, natural spaces and to create a more walkable and accessible neighbourhood.

'Parklets' ranging from 5 to 22 meters in length have been installed within existing on-street parking areas along Church Street. The parklets consist of licensed and unlicensed patios buffered by green spaces which help to integrate the installations into the surrounding street.

The project is part of a broader neighbourhood plan to be released in September 2013 in preparation for World Pride 2014 and the Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games in 2015, and will help gauge the type of public realm improvements that the community wants and will use. The Village parklets will also serve as a model for future Toronto-wide installations. Go check out the up-and-running parklets yourself as you take in the vibrant street life of our Village community. For more information, please visit www.ProudoftheVillage.ca.
 

4. Murals on Church Street


In June 2014, Toronto will play host to World Pride and to hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the country and around the globe. As the historical home to Toronto's LGBT2IQ community, The Church-Wellesley Village will be a central hub for visitors and for World Pride events. StreetARToronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Tourism Toronto, Dulux Paints, The Home Depot, the Church-Wellesley Village BIA, and The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives have partnered together with Councillor Wong-Tam's Office to celebrate this rich history and invigorate the streetscape of the Village in preparation for World Pride through the Church Street Mural Project.

The project will celebrate and re-affirm Village identity through a series of 11 publically accessible murals. Thirteen professional, gallery quality artists have been selected from a group of over 50 applicants to bring the history, culture and community stories of the neighbourhood to life for visitors and long-time residents alike. This project will make The Village home to one of the largest open-air galleries and will remain for years to come once World Pride is over.

Painting for The Church Street Mural Project has already begun and will be completed by November 1st, 2013. A website for this project is live at www.churchstreetmurals.com.
Councillor Wong-Tam will hold a community meeting on April 23 with area residents and stakeholders to discuss the future of Jarvis Street at Jarvis Collegiate Institute. The meeting will start at 6:30 pm.

In 2009, work on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Jarvis was halted, stopping the development of a plan to recognize the street's historic and cultural significance through a comprehensive streetscaping strategy. Though Jarvis was the home to nearly all of Toronto's early residents and prominent families, much of that history has been lost with new development pressures and neglect by the city.

Councillor Wong-Tam hopes a new streetscaping strategy can be formulated that accounts for the rich history and present cultural significance of the street – helping to make it a more livable and enjoyable street for the community and the city at large.
 

5. Environment Day

Sunday, September 15, 2013 is the annual Environment Day in Ward 27.

Join Councillor Wong-Tam and neighbours at our exciting new location: Allan Gardens! Environment Day events will be set up at the south-west corner of Sherbourne Street and Carlton Street.

Visit between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to get your free compost, garbage and compost bins, sustainable shower heads, and much more!

Also on September 14, the 51 Division Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) is hosting a BBQ, sponsored by Great Gulf Homes at Allan Gardens from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

When: Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Where: Allan Gardens (at the corner of Sherbourne Street and Carleton Street)

If you can make it, make a stop at Allan Gardens in September for the Ward 27 Environment Day!

6. Ai Weiwei

On June 18, the reflecting pool in Nathan Phillips Square was transformed into an art installation, as the City of Toronto, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario unveiled Circle of Heads/Zodiac Animals, by internationally renowned artist and Chinese dissident, Ai Weiwei.

The installation is just a taste of what's to come, as later this summer, the AGO will be the only Canadian stop of According to What?,  Ai Weiwei's travelling exhibition, currently at the Smithsonian.

I was pleased and honoured to act as master of ceremonies at the unveiling ceremony.  I encourage everyone to visit Nathan Phillips Sqaure and enjoy for free, the work of one of the most vibrant and important contemporary artists in the world.   

7. 11 Wellesley Street West


The 2.1 acre site was slated in the 1980's to become home to Toronto's new ballet and opera companies. Those plans were subsequently cancelled by the provincial government in 1991 and the lands then sat dormant for over twenty years.

In early 2011, Councillor Wong-Tam began working with local residents' associations urging the provincial government to partner with the City of Toronto to turn the property into a much needed public park. After submitting multiple petitions, painting murals and slogans on the construction hoarding boards, passing council motions, writing letters to the Premier and Ministers and even marching onto the Ontario Legislative Assembly – the two year long community campaign ended when the provincial government sold the land to prominent condominium developer Lanterra for $65M. A price so steep - that the City of Toronto and local community could not afford to compete on their own.

On June 19, we held our first official public meeting for 11 Wellesley Street West with the Lanterra Developments, local residents, parkland advocates and City planning staff.  Instead of presenting the two tower application (54 and 45 storeys) that was officially submitted to City Planning, Lanterra Development revised their development at the urging of Councillor Wong-Tam.  Lanterra presented their new vision for a very large one-tower proposal that would also provide for over one acre of parkland. Although Councillor Wong-Tam would have preferred to secure the entire site for parkland from the province, she is nevertheless pleased to have the opportunity to work with Lanterra on their evolving application. She remains committed to achieving the best possible outcome for the neighbourhood. This includes responsible and sustainable development with the ambitious expansion of green public space.

Councillor Wong-Tam will be working with the Planning Department, Parks and Recreation, as well as Lanterra, to convene future public consultations on park design and implementation, as the development application continues to be reviewed through the planning process.

If you would like to be a part of future discussions on green space design at 11 Wellesley and have not already communicated your interest, please send an email to councillor_wongtam@toronto.ca.


8. Toronto's Record Summer Storm

On July 8, Toronto was hit by a major weather event. The storm that evening dropped a record 120mm of rain in just over an hour and left 70,000 without power. While Ward 27 was spared disruptions of that scale, many constituents were left stranded where they were at the time of the storm and others experienced property damage.

Residents' quick action and reporting of damages significantly assisted in the clean-up operations of the City and identified immediate needs along Ward 27's ravines and trails. If you are aware of outstanding damages that have not been fixed, please contact the City by either calling 3-1-1 or emailing 311@toronto.ca.



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