As your City Councillor, Kristyn will continue to:
- Work to build-out a new, bold Yonge Street from the Waterfront to Davenport that will widen sidewalks, upgrade infrastructure, and green the public realm of Canada's busiest street and Toronto's major tourist destination
- Ensure that marginalized and historically underrepresented communities have a seat at the table as new policy tools and plans are developed to shape the future of the downtown east
- Be a vocal advocate for strong community partnerships in new developments to supports healthy, liveability, beautiful streets, and honoring the incredible, diverse downtown east neighbourhoods
Kristyn walks Yonge Street with Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area and Mohamed Lachemi, President of Ryerson University at the announcement of the Yonge Street Environmental Assessment.
Kristyn Wong-Tam is a strong advocate for an affordable, inclusive, and globally competitive international downtown. To achieve this vision, she has been a champion of adaptive public streets, smart and integrated public transportation, and vibrant communities that are dynamic and liveable.
Kristyn initiated the long-anticipated Yonge Street Environmental Assessment, the boldest vision for a pedestrianized and enhanced Yonge Street from the waterfront to Davenport, which is already underway. Residents and community members will be asked to participate in this tremendous new vision through robust public consultations set to begin this fall. This also involves the most comprehensive traffic study in the downtown in decades and will provide new opportunities for bike lanes, more efficient traffic movement, and wider sidewalks.
Downtown East Action Plan
On November 15, 2017, Kristyn held the first-ever Healthy Neighbourhoods Summit that brought together 150 residents, business owners, and City staff from across the downtown to discuss pressing matters of health, safety and community vibrancy. This was the initiation of what now is the Downtown East Action Plan - a fully-funded 12-month and 5-year action plan to address these major public health, service, and supports gaps. After much advocacy, the 36-point 12-month Action Plan was endorsed by City Council and is immediately going into effect.
The action plan area spans from Bay Street to the Don Valley, from the Waterfront up to Bloor, plus the Collier-Asquith neighbourhood, and will see many improvements, including the following:
- Increased park maintenance operations through new "flying squads" – up to six times per week for identified hot spots
- Increased number of Parks Ambassadors to maintain order and connect vulnerable populations to services
- Increased laneway and alley cleaning from annually to bi-weekly, and 3 times per day for hot spots, including needle collection
- Weekend Clean-up Blitz teams to provide additional cleaning supports at high-demand locations
- Improved front-line staff training for overdose prevention and mental health
- More access to City washroom and shower facilities for vulnerable community members
- 8 new peer-to-peer and harm-reduction hires to do direct outreach with vulnerable community members
- A new community services coordinator to integrate the work of municipal and community agencies in the Downtown East
- Increased street sweeping
- Replacement of damaged litter bins this year and the removal of abandoned street furniture and newspaper boxes this summer
- New recreation spaces and programs at local community centres
Toronto’s downtown east needs to be affordable, integrated, and home to new economic opportunities. Kristyn is a strong supporter of mixed housing, including affordable and family-sized units in new developments and investing new funds back into Community Housing infrastructure. She has prioritized and worked with social enterprises to create new opportunities for employment and skills training and has been the leading proponent of the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship being developed at 200 Dundas Street East.
Toronto’s downtown east must remain a home for its many diverse communities. Development pressures continue to be a challenge for established neighbourhoods across Toronto. Kristyn has made major progress in limiting this threat and creating new opportunities through the planning process and City policies such as Heritage Conservation Districts to preserve character neighbourhoods, build new parks and improve vibrant streets.