A belated Happy New Year to everyone in Ward 13! The beginning of 2020 starts much like 2019 ended at City Hall - taking action on municipal and community priorities.
The city budget, more than any speech or policy is a reflection of our collective values as a city. For that reason I am happy to support the proposed increase to the City Building Levy. This 1.5% increase is expected to raise $6.6 billion over the next 10 years to pay for much needed long-term transit and affordable housing needs. Although this dedicated capital funding will not cover a majority of the City’s necessary capital costs, it does represent modest new investment for subways, transit signal systems, streetcars, station upgrades, and it can kickstart the funding for some of the 40,000 affordable housing units needed to be built over that period of time.
The admission that we need new revenues to support our city is a welcome change from a Mayor and majority Council that has long insisted we keep property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation, while the infrastructure around us crumbled and an outdated transit system ground to a halt. What the City Building Levy doesn't do is provide any relief to the City of Toronto’s operating budget including the expansion of recreation services to clear the backlog or scale-up community programs to divert vulnerable youths away from gang recruitment and gun violence.
In the fall of 2019, I hosted five Healthy Neighbourhood Forums to hear directly from residents across Ward 13 about their community priorities. They shared extensively about the need for affordable housing, mental health services and addiction programs. Residents in the Downtown East talked about the need for employment opportunities, and community-oriented programs to promote safer and more resilient neighbourhoods. They asked for additional street lighting, by-law enforcement and more frequent garbage collection. We heard about people’s fear of walking and cycling as road fatalities continue to rise. I will be sharing the notes and survey outcomes from those forums shortly, but in the meantime, it is very concerning to me that the City’s 2020 draft budget does not go far enough to address the priorities identified by Downtown East residents and business operators.
My staff and I work hard to improve the budget process by advocating for more inclusive policies to address the wide service gaps disproportionately affecting diverse women, girls, trans and non-binary people. To that end, I am proud to see the Gender Equity Strategy and Gender Equity Office funded as part of Toronto’s 2020 Budget. However, despite direction from City Council in prior years to develop a gender-responsive budgeting framework for the budget, we see little to no evidence of this happening and no effective strategy to begin collecting vital disaggregated data to make evidence-based decisions.
A gender lens asks City Council to be explicit about what Toronto’s budget is hoping to achieve, and who we are hoping to help. When we acknowledge that women are more likely to use TTC, a decision to spend over $2 billion on the Gardiner Expressway, but raise TTC fares for struggling low-income transit users start to look different.
We have now seen reports from The United Way of Greater Toronto, The Toronto Foundation, Metcalf Foundation & Social Planning Toronto proving that the way we finance the City over the last 10 years have left more people, further behind. This is reflected in the daily conversations I have with our residents.
There are some early wins for Ward 13 - Toronto Centre as the 2020 Budget proposes $1.351 million for the Implementation of the Five-Year Action Plan for Downtown East and a private donation of $250,000 for enhanced programming in Regent Park. But this budget still does not fund the City's first Social Development Plan (SDP) needed to complete the people-oriented portion Regent Park Revitalization. It means that we go beyond pumping money into glass towers and focus on making sure the Regent Park residents get the social benefits they were first promised in 2007. It has been thirteen years since the original SDP was approved by City Council yet there have been no financial investments to ensure this vital component can be implemented.
This budget does not adequately increase funding for TransformTO - the city’s climate plan, despite City Council recently declaring a climate emergency. This budget also falls short of funding City Council’s approved Youth Violence Prevention strategy, despite seeing a sharp increase in youth violence across Toronto. Over the past year, we have also seen a big jump in the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by road violence, yet this budget does not go far enough in funding VisionZero, a council-approved road safety plan to eliminate pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
As I mentioned, the proposed increase to the City Building Levy is a critically important investment for Toronto’s capital needs. Significant investments in housing affordability and transit will have a real impact on people's lives. I commend Mayor Tory for his leadership here. However, I will continue to advocate for smarter, outcome based-budgeting that provides sustained operating funding for services and programs that support ALL Torontonians.
Yours in community service,
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
- Funding Intersectional Gender Equity in the 2020 Budget
- Update: Yonge TOmorrow
- Developing A Human Rights Based Approach to Homelessness
- Neighbourhood Safety Resources
- Lessons Learned- My Statement on the Coronavirus
- Plan for the Sherbourne Corridor
- Construction Coordination Highlights
- Reducing Speed Limits
- Update: Gardiner Expressway Rehabilitation
- Automated Speed Enforcement Program
- New Pet Guidelines
- Winter Maintenance Resources
- Proposal to Address the Health Harms of Hookah Smoking
- New St. Lawrence Market Hours of Operations
- Update: Adelaide Resource Centre
- Shuter Street Redesign Proposal
- Toronto Christmas Market Traffic Management Plan Success
- Corktown Common Off Leash Area
- Update: Wellesley Community Centre
- TTC on Parliament Street
- Daniel’s Corporation Community Commercial Space
- Regent Park Social Development Plan
- Save the Cabbagetown Youth Centre
- Regent Park Community Update Meeting
- Events in the Community
- Community Spotlight: Friends & Families for Safer Streets
- In the Community
- In the Media
- Development Map
- How to Report
- Community Resources
- TDSB Update from Chris Moise
1. Funding Intersectional Gender Equity in the 2020 Budget
Toronto has long been a leader in advancing equity and inclusion for its residents, but when it comes to gender justice, it has lagged behind other Canadian cities. The City of Toronto has developed a number of equity strategies and plans that propose to create a more inclusive and equitable city for all residents. However, lacking within these strategies is a comprehensive and intersectional gender analysis which centres the gender experience to truly addresses the realities of women, girls, trans and non-binary residents, and sets targets to eliminate the disparities in women's experiences. Further, there is a lack of full recognition that these statistics worsen for Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S+, racialized and disabled women.
After years of tireless advocacy and working with women’s organizations, local community groups, and residents across the city, I am proud to report that the City of Toronto’s 2020 Budget includes full-funding for the Intersectional Gender Equity Unit and plan to develop an Intersectional Gender Equity Strategy. This comes after several hard-won policy achievements we led at City Council, including my original motion from 2018 that brought us to this important moment in Toronto’s history.
The role of the unit will be to establish targets and strategies for addressing intersectional gender equity in key areas such as housing, shelter, governance, transit planning, recreation, urban planning, youth, violence against women, affordable child care and budgeting. Addressing intersectional gender inequities in City of Toronto programs, service delivery, outcomes and workforce initiatives will help to decrease inequities experienced by diverse women, girls, trans and non-binary people in the City of Toronto. It is when we thoughtfully consider all people that leads to true equity.
2. Update: Yonge TOmorrow
City staff are continuing to consult with residents and stakeholders on the downtown Yonge Street Environmental Assessment. This project will bring forward recommendations to modernize the street, including pedestrian-friendly upgrades, such as wider sidewalks, and improved lighting and streetscape design.
Public Information Session #2 was held on November 21, 2019, at the Central YMCA. Nearly 200 people attended to view the consultation materials, and give their feedback on proposed design options. The project team is currently analyzing the data, and will use the public's feedback to further refine the design options for the next round of public consultations. Please watch out for updates regarding Public Information Session #3, which is targeted for mid-April 2020.
To learn more about the Yonge TOmorrow project, and give your feedback about how we can make Yonge St. safer, more beautiful, and more pedestrian-friendly, please visit the City of Toronto's dedicated webpage at https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/get-involved/public-consultations/infrastructure-projects/yonge-downtown/.
3. Developing A Human Rights Based Approach to Homelessness
On January 22, 2020, I was proud to welcome Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, a world-renowned expert on housing and human rights to City Hall. I specifically sought her advice on the subject of homelessness and to better understand what other cities around the world are doing to address homelessness and encampments. She was generous with her time in answering questions and shared her observations with those attending the meeting.
Encampments are an important, and growing issue in Toronto. The gathering of expertise and taking a human-rights based approach to encampment dwellers is a necessary step to ensuring that our streets, parks and ravines are safe and welcoming for everyone. Although Ms. Farha's visit was brief and informal, the insight that she brought to the discussion was invaluable. I was very grateful for her time.
4. Neighbourhood Safety Resources
I know that safety is a growing concern across every single Toronto neighbourhood. The City of Toronto has different community safety programs that work to address community safety through strengthening partnerships with local stakeholders and agencies, improving community resilience and wellbeing, etc.
Here is an overview for two of the City’s community safety programs:
Community Crisis Response
The Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) works across Toronto providing support and resources to communities impacted by violent and traumatic incidents. By providing immediate and on the ground support, the CCRP mobilizes local resources to address individual/group needs, coordinates community debriefings and facilitates information sharing.
The CCRP is automatically activated 12-72 hours after a violent incident occurs. For more information, please visit the Community Crisis Response page.
Specialized Program for Interdivisional Enhanced Responsiveness to Vulnerability (SPIDER):
SPIDER’s mandate is to reduce the recurrence of complex health and safety risks. This is done through:
- ensuring City of Toronto responses are coordinated
- ensuring existing health care, social and community services are made available
- identifying and driving needed systemic reforms
How is SPIDER activated? Most SPIDER situations are first brought to the attention of City services by concerned neighbours and community members --sometimes through the Councillor’s office and 311 requests.
For more information, please visit the City of Toronto’s SPIDER information page.
5. Lessons Learned- My Statement on the Coronavirus
As we received confirmation of the second presumptive case of the novel coronavirus in Toronto, I want to thank Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, and the full Toronto Public Health (TPH) team for their rapid and comprehensive response. I have full confidence in TPH’s ability to manage the spread of infectious diseases like this one and keep our residents safe and healthy.
My confidence is not misplaced. The City of Toronto learned a lot about infectious disease management in the aftermath of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003. I am hoping that we have also learned how uninformed fears can perpetuate racist stereotypes and other anti-Chinese discrimination.
Today, Toronto is home to almost 300,000 residents of visible Chinese descent. I know that when people are afraid, it can be easy to look for blame. But I hope as a city we take inspiration from Dr. Basrur and Nurse Tecla, and to not give in to xenophobia and racism. We all need to stay calm, work together to remain safe and healthy, and continue to build our city on a solid foundation of compassion and love.
6. Plan for the Sherbourne Corridor
I am happy to report that we have been making steady progress on several key initiatives aimed at ultimately improving the health and safety of the Sherbourne-Dundas Corridor since the beginning of my term just over a year ago.
In April 2019, City Council took the first step towards creating a comprehensive strategy for the Dan Harrison Community Complex.This strategy builds on existing knowledge from numerous studies to address the long-standing, complex challenges experienced by the residents and staff at the Dan Harrison Community Complex.
In July 2019, Council approved the landmark 5-Year Downtown East Action Plan, a first in Canada. While this plan covers all of Toronto-Centre, it contains a specific element to address safety and stability issues in the area surrounding Dundas and Sherbourne by developing a Sherbourne Corridor Coordinated Plan.
These initial steps were critical to ensure that Council and City Staff publicly acknowledge the complex challenges, safety concerns, and a lack of supportive housing along the corridor; and dedicate resources to address them.
7. Construction Coordination Highlights
The Bay Cloverhill, Church-Wellesley, and Downtown Yonge neighbourhoods have seen, and will continue to experience an unprecedented amount of growth over the next five years, in addition to necessary investments to replace aging infrastructure. This has made it challenging to coordinate construction projects with public and private parties that often occupy the same right-of-way and use the same arterial roadways for the delivery of their construction materials.
At the December 2019 meeting of City Council, my colleagues adopted my motions to direct the General Manager of Transportation Services and the Chief Planner to form monthly construction coordination working groups. Complicated construction projects require the coordination of multiple city divisions, private developers, local stakeholders and residents to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists while minimizing the traffic impacts on local and arterial roads remains our top priority.
There are 50 projects already underway or commencing within the next six months, that we are aware of, within the small geographic area between Bay Street, Jarvis Street, Bloor Street, and Queen Street. If different interests want to use city roads, then they have to work together to ensure road safety and better construction communication and coordination.
8. Reducing Speed Limits
At the last Toronto & East York Community Council meeting, my colleagues and I unanimously approved reductions to speed limits on various streets within our communities.
Speed limits will be reduced from 50 km/h to 40 km/h on Balmuto Street between Bloor Street and Charles Street West and from 50 km/h to 30 km/h on the following collector road segments:
- Charles Street East between Yonge Street and Jarvis Street
- Charles Street West between Yonge Street and Queens Park
- Earl Place between Bleecker Street and Huntley Street
- Front Street East between Parliament Street and Cherry Street
- Gloucester Street between Church Street and Jarvis Street
- Huntley Street between Bloor Street East and Isabella Street
- Isabella Street between Yonge Street and Sherbourne Street
- Lombard Street between Victoria Street and Jarvis Street
- Maitland Street between Church Street and Jarvis Street
- Scott Street between Colborne Street and Front Street East
- Selby Street between Huntley Street and Sherbourne Street
- St Mary Street between Bay Street and Yonge Street
- Temperance Street between Bay Street and Sheppard Street
- Toronto Street between Adelaide Street and King Street
- Victoria Street between Dundas Street East and Colborne Street
While this work will not happen overnight, it is a significant step towards meeting City Council’s Vision Zero goals.
9. Update on the Gardiner Rehabilitation
Overnight rehabilitation of the Gardiner Expressway has been causing significant disruption for nearby residents. In an effort to mitigate these impacts, City staff have been working with the contractor and have been consulting with residents on current and potential issues.
Staff have met twice in January with local residents, who identified numerous concerns, including lighting improperly shining into nearby residential units, excessive noise caused by machinery, and air quality concerns. Staff have been challenged to address these concerns while permitting local traffic to use the Gardiner during the day.
City Council had delegated authority to City staff to determine the construction hours for municipal work. The contractor that was hired was granted permission to work overnight in order to limit congestion on commuter routes and shorten the project duration. My colleague Councillor Cressy, whose ward includes the portion of the Gardiner Expressway currently under construction, raised significant concerns with City staff ahead of the project which I shared. The residents who live near the Gardiner should not have to swallow 18 months of overnight work. Like Councillor Cressy, I vehemently do not support this overnight work. For this and for future projects within our busy downtown core, we need to find a solution that better balance the impact of commuters against the ability for residents to get a good night’s sleep.
If you have concerns about the overnight Gardiner Expressway rehabilitation, please contact both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 416-338-2930. Completion of this section of the Gardiner Expressway, between Jarvis Street and Cherry Street, is currently scheduled to finish in January 2021.
10. Automated Speed Enforcement
Transportation Services has begun the installation of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) systems across Toronto. ASE is a key piece in the Vision Zero toolbox that is intended to enhance road safety in Community Safety Zones near schools.
Locations are selected through a data-driven approach that considers speed and collision data, traffic volume, and requests from the police and the public. ASE systems will be placed in Community Safety Zones near schools.
Fifty ASE systems will be installed to ensure an even distribution of two systems per ward. These systems are mobile and it is anticipated they will rotate every three to six months within the ward. This provides an opportunity to address a greater number of areas with safety concerns and provide a wider-ranging deterrent effect.
The Province is requiring municipalities to establish a 90-day warning period in advance of all new ASE system deployments. “Coming Soon” advisory signs will be posted at the new deployment site.
In Ward 13, the first two locations are in front of Winchester Public School on Prospect Street (between Rose Ave. and Ontario St.) and in front of Sprucecourt Public School on Spruce Street (between Gifford St. and Nasmith Ave.).
11. New Pet Design Guidelines
The City of Toronto has completed the Pet-Friendly Design Guidelines and Best Practices for New Multi-Unit Buildings.
The purpose of this document is to guide new developments in a direction that is more supportive of a growing pet population, considering opportunities to reduce the current burden on the trees and soft ground covering in the public realm, and provide needed pet amenities for high-density residential communities.
Over the last 9 years, I have consistently advocated for pet amenities in new developments such as pet-relief areas, wash stations, pet spas, and other amenities. One of the most recent examples of success is the Livmore (55 Gerrard Street West) which has a dog spa and outdoor dog area on the 5th floor (pictured below).
These Guidelines will be used by the development industry in the preparation of development applications, by architects to inform the size, location and layout of pet-friendly facilities, and by city staff in the various stages of development application review to identify best practices and help inform decisions that will support pet-friendly environments. The Guidelines are to be used in conjunction with other policies and guidelines. They are not intended to be overly prescriptive, but rather are intended to provide an additional degree of information. The Guidelines focus on three scales: The Neighbourhood Scale, The Building Scale as well as the Unit Scale.
All residents, both pet-owners and non-pet-owners, will benefit from the Guidelines as they encourage design that demonstrates considerations for pets and reduces the impact that they have on our parks, open spaces and the environment. They can also be used to inform renovations and improvements to existing multi-unit buildings to become more pet-friendly.
Stay tuned for more updates about the work we are doing in Ward 13 - Toronto Centre to build new and invest in our existing Off-Leash Areas.
12. Winter Maintenance Resources
During the winter, crews diligently work to clear many roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks in Ward 13. This work can take time, and it may not be clear when someone will be around to shovel the snow. During a storm, residents should call 311 to report urgent winter related calls only.
When two centimetres of snow has accumulated then plowing will begin on the expressways and, when five centimetres has accumulated, plowing will begin on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete. When the snow stops, and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimetres, local road plowing will begin.
The City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow has fallen, and the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen. Property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place.
If you are a senior or person with a disability living in the city core and require the sidewalk snow clearing service, please download the application form and submit it along with the required documentation. If you have any questions about the form, the service or are unable to print the form, please contact 311.
For information on sidewalk clearing, and where service is provided click here.
For more information on winter maintenance services, including roads, sidewalks and bike lanes, please visit our website.
13. Proposal to Address the Health Harms of Hookah Smoking
The City is proposing to update how it addresses the public health risk of hookah smoking by treating it the same way as other substances such as commercial tobacco, cannabis, and e-cigarettes/vapour products.
The proposed approach is to prohibit all hookah smoking in enclosed public places, enclosed workplaces, and some outdoor spaces and enhance enforcement powers to improve compliance.
Have your voice heard!
Join us at the public consultation:
When: February 10, 2020 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Where: North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3, 5100 Yonge St, North
Complete the survey by February 14, 2020.
You can also email your thoughts to Toronto Public Health at email@example.com
14. New St. Lawrence Market Hours of Operation
Starting March 15, the St. Lawrence Market South at 93 Front St E will be piloting some revised hours for a one-year pilot. These new hours include opening the Market on Sundays, and revising the hours to close slightly later on weekdays to better serve local residents.
Operating hours under the pilot project (effective March 15, 2020):
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Mondays closed.
These revised hours come after significant consultation with Market tenants and consultation with residents. These changes will not affect the St. Lawrence Market Saturday Farmers Market which will continue to operate with existing hours every Saturday year-round from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The South Market currently operates Tuesdays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's closed Sundays and Mondays. The pilot's revised hours of operation are an effort to make the market more accessible, with service hours that meet visitors' changing needs and preferences.
15. Relocation of 67 Adelaide Street East Resource Centre
While the news came as a surprise, the relocation of the Women’s Resource Centre is moving forward and we now have a critical moment of opportunity to shape how the service is delivered.
On January 21, staff from Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) hosted a public open house with representation from the Adelaide Resource Centre service providers, Downtown East Action Plan team, Toronto Police, Community Crisis Response Program, Toronto Public Library, as well as myself. Members of the community were able to learn more about the services, voice their concerns with various staff, and provide suggestions.
Staff from SSHA will be hosting a second public open house to present the proposed renovations, to address many of the communities concerns through design solutions, which will require a few minor zoning amendments at the Committee of Adjustment.
What: Public Open House for to Review Minor Variance Application of 233 Carlton St
When: Monday February 10, 2020 at 6 p.m.
Where: Central Neighbourhood House, 349 Ontario Street
I have met with SSHA Staff on multiple occasions to convey community concerns and to work through their design considerations. One of the concerns we’ve heard from the community is to ensure the sidewalk remains clear, preventing smoking and loitering in front of the building, for safety and accessibility purposes. This is being addressed by providing a rooftop terrace, internalizing the garbage storage, and creating a large welcoming reception and waiting area.
If the minor zoning amendments, such as the one above, are not approved by the Committee of Adjustment, the service will still be relocated as scheduled in early 2021 without these critical design enhancements.
As part of Council’s direction to create 1000 new shelter beds, staff have been identifying suitable sites for new shelters and optimizing the use of space for existing services. The ageing infrastructure currently at 67 Adelaide Street East presents challenges for the effective delivery of the Adelaide Resource Centre for Women’s services and requires significant capital repairs. Given these required infrastructure improvements and the need to leverage available City properties, 67 Adelaide was identified by City staff as suitable for adaptation into a shelter which is now scheduled to open in 2022.
16. Shuter Street Redesign Proposal
In Spring 2020, Shuter Street is scheduled for a much needed road reconstruction. Not only will there be resurfacing along with public realm and road safety improvements, but Cycling and Pedestrian Infrastructure is proposing a new protected cycle track!
On January 21, Cycling Infrastructure hosted a public consultation at the Regent Park Community Centre where residents provided feedback on the design proposal.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to share your thoughts, please complete this online survey which will remain open until February 4.
17. Toronto Christmas Market Traffic Management Plan Success
When canvassing to become the new Councillor in the redrawn boundaries of Ward 13, I heard about the traffic congestion created as thousands upon thousands visitors flock to the ever popular Christmas Market in the Distillery District.
Immediately after the election, my staff and I convened a meeting with the Christmas Market operators and Councillor Cressy who represents the adjacent ward. We heard that the Christmas Market was critical to the economic vitality of the Distillery District. As elected officials, we insisted that the Christmas Market immediately develop a traffic management plan to better prepare for the upcoming year and received a commitment that the operator work directly with City staff and Toronto Police to ensure a better congestion management outcome.
After a full year of meetings and negotiations, the Toronto Christmas Market finally created it’s very first traffic management plan. This comprehensive plan helped facilitate traffic for almost a million people who travel to the Distillery District during the Christmas season. Many residents have reached out to our offices expressing appreciation on the much needed improvements, which included more police presence to assist in traffic management, as well as changes made to ease local permit parking.
Over the coming months, Councillor Cressy and I will be meeting with the Toronto Christmas Market, Distillery District, their traffic consultants BA Group and community stakeholders to solicit additional feedback on how to improve upon the inaugural traffic management plan. We are optimistic that as each year passes, a fully coordinated and vetted traffic plan will continue to lessen the burden on local roads.
18. Update: Corktown Common Off Leash Area
The Corktown Common Off Leash Area (OLA) has been closed for almost a year due to an ongoing project through Enbridge. I have been working alongside Enbridge, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PF&R) to address some of the community concerns around the current OLA.
Due to environmental constraints through the eastern corridor of Corktown Common, there can only be surface improvements to the current OLA. As the Enbridge project is wrapping up in the coming months, the City, through discussions with PF&R, and TRCA, is exploring relocation of the OLA and the types of improvements that can be made. This comes at an opportune time as the city is wrapping up it’s review of Off Leash Areas, and Pet Friendly Guidelines.
In the coming months, I look forward to speaking with stakeholders, dog owners and community leaders about their suggestions, as PFR staff, TRCA and Enbridge prepare for broad public consultations.
19. Update: Wellesley Community Centre
Construction on the Wellesley Community Centre Aquatics Centre is now roughly 80% complete. All concrete work has been completed, and significant drywall and wood panel installation has occurred. Work that remains, but is not limited to, tiling of the pool deck, change rooms, forming of metal for siding and security system installation.
The target for substantial completion is February 2020, with staff training and occupancy approximately three months later. If construction and operation preparation continues to go smoothly, this long-awaited recreation facility will be open in time for summer swimming!
20. TTC on Parliament Street
My office was informed that the TTC will be discontinuing service on the 365 Parliament overnight bus that operates between 2:00 am and 5:30 am starting in Fall 2020.
The 365 Parliament bus is not currently meeting the TTC’s productivity performance standard. The service attracts 4 boardings per service hour while the standard is 10. They believe this is because overnight service in the Downtown is extensive with many other options including corridors like Yonge, Bloor, King, Queen and Carlton/College.
I have expressed concerns on behalf of the St. James Town, Cabbagetown, and Regent Park communities who rely on this route. In addition, I flagged that the residents of 650 Parliament Street will be moving back to their homes in March and this could create an increase in service levels demands. TTC staff have noted my concerns and will continue to monitor ridership levels, in the case that they need to reinstate the overnight bus service.
21. Daniel’s Corporation Community Commercial Space
The Daniels Corporation is renewing a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) process for ‘Community Commercial Space’ at the base of Artworks Condominium, at the corner of Dundas Street East and River Street. Artworks Condominium is currently under construction as part of Phase 3 of the revitalization.
First launched in 2018, Daniels’ Community Commercial Program (CPC) offers commercial space at subsidized lease rates to local entrepreneurs and enterprises. The CPC aims to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship in Regent Park, support small businesses, and create economic development opportunities for local residents.
The RFEOI process will allow Daniels to identify local entrepreneurs or enterprises that can demonstrate that their good or service will positively impact the local community and who will be further considered to lease the Community Commercial Space on a five-year term. To support emerging or small businesses, Daniels will be offering deeply subsidized rent and a tenant inducement for this space.
More details about the space, the offer, and leasing opportunity, as well as how to submit an Expression of Interest are outlined in the attached RFEOI document. Please feel free to share in your networks with folks that may be interested.
Interested applicants are asked to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to receive more information and updates about the RFEOI process or to submit any questions.
22. Regent Park Social Development Plan
I am pleased with the Mayor’s new support for anti-violence prevention programs in the 2020 budget. In particular, his intention to support funding for the $635,000 needed to implement the Regent Park Social Development Plan (SDP).
I am proud to have advanced the SDP along with the residents of Regent Park. It was together with their help that we pushed for this pending budget outcome. Thank you to the community members who signed the petition and spoke at the Budget Committee to ensure the SDP was considered.
With the increase of violence in our communities, now more than ever, we need to address the root causes of guns and gang violence, with dedicated funding and resources to support young people. It’s important to invest in youth and communities with a focus on poverty reduction, education, and employment as key pillars to addressing and ending violence.
The additional investments in the 2020 budget, which include expanding the Community Crisis Response Grants, increasing youth spaces in Parks, Forestry and Recreation Facilities and resourcing the Regent Park Social Development Plan are all steps in the right direction.
My only regret is that Toronto residents had to endure another violent weekend involving gun violence before the Mayor’s announcement was made. This reinforces the need to be proactive and visionary when it comes to building resilient neighbourhoods.
Please continue to sign the Regent Park SDP petition to keep applying political pressure until the final vote is cast on February 19, 2020, at City Council. I look forward to working with my colleagues on City Council to approve these critical investments then.
23. Save the Cabbagetown Youth Centre
Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC), a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1972 as the Cabbagetown Boxing Club, a boxing club designed to support neighbouring youth with sports and recreation opportunities.
The CYC has been working to serve the Cabbagetown, St. Jamestown, and Regent Park neighbourhoods for 47 years. As a result of the loss of significant government grants, the Centre is facing imminent closure. They will no longer be able to maintain their core programming and operations.
The City of Toronto currently operates a number of programs designed to support our vision to address community safety, anti-poverty, and youth engagement initiatives. With equitable access to recreational services in the Downtown East being an ongoing concern, it is imperative that we review opportunities to increase support for the CYC.
There is a timely opportunity to strengthen City's recreation for all vision through supporting the CYC with interim funding to maintain its operations.
24. Regent Park Community Update Meeting
It's that time again! Our office and Toronto Community Housing will be coming together to host the first Regent Park Community Update meeting of the year on February 18 at 6 p.m. at the Regent Park Community Centre (402 Shuter Street).
All Regent Park residents are welcome to join to receive a revitalization update, learn about the next steps for the Request for Proposals, and an update regarding the Regent Park Social Development Plan.
There will be an opportunity for Q&A. We look forward to your attendance!
25. Events in the Community
Would you like to learn about coding and robotics? Then, come out to Building Roots’ tech-focused workshop in partnership with Toronto Public Library. Learn and explore more about coding, circuitry, robotics and so much more from a Librarian! This amazing workshop is FREE and there will be snacks! Everyone from all ages and experiences are welcome!
Karma Kitchen is a wonderful space for the community to share food, music, laughter, and displays of generosity and compassion. Karma Kitchen is the third Saturday of the month.
When: February 15, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Moss Park Apartments, 285 Shuter Street Penthouse.
Come and join us on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation to discuss actions Toronto and Canada can take to end FGM. The event includes a film screening of the award-winning and inspiring Canadian documentary called “In the Name Of Your Daughter” and a panel discussion with survivors, activists, medical professionals and youth. “In The Name Of Your Daughter” is about young girls standing up against FGM.
What: Screening of “In The Name Of Your Daughter”, followed by a panel discussion
When: February 6, 2020 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Toronto City Hall, Committee Room #3, 100 Queen St West
26. Community Spotlight: Friends & Families for Safer Streets
Jess Spieker from Friends and Families for Safer Streets (FFSS) joined us for our St. Lawrence, Corktown and the West Don Lands Healthy Neighbourhood Forum. We were so honoured to have her lived experience shared with our local communities. FFSS works towards ending traffic violence in Toronto, through changing laws, enforcement, street design, public attitudes and traffic culture. With these changes, our vibrant streets will be safer and more equitable for all road users.
FFFS is a unique organization in that its members are survivors of traffic collisions and friends and families who loved ones have been killed or severely injured by careless drivers and dangerous conditions on Toronto’s streets. I am so thankful she was able to join us and provide such thoughtful, insightful discussions for each of our roundtables.
27. In the Community
We unveiled signs for two newly named laneways in the Church Wellesley Village. Say hello to Dapper Lane and Anvil Alley! They acknowledge the history of barber shops serving all genders in the neighbourhood plus the long serving Dudley's Hardware Store open since 1934!
It was wonderful to see old friends and meet new ones at the Mayor's Lunar New Year gathering. Happy Year of the Rat to all those celebrating!
Big turnout for the community open house for the new Women's Resource Centre at 233 Carlton St. City staff, service providers, engineers & architects were on site to answer operational and design questions. Robust conversations & solid feedback at every table.
Proud to be with engaged residents at our joint budget town hall with Councillor Cressy and Councillor Layton. Thank you to those who came out to learn about the City's 2020 budget process and how you can get involved to shape its outcome.
On January 14, at the Economic & Community Committee meeting, deputants submitted all the names documented on the Homeless Memorial going back to 1985. Tragically, there have been over 1000 names documented, and that number continues to grow.
Great turnout at the Yonge TOmorrow business stakeholder consultation meeting. Lots of curiosity about how a pedestrian-priority designed Yonge will operate and benefit business. If we're bold enough, Yonge can become the great cultural corridor as planned in TOcore. Follow the discussion on #YongeTOmorrow.
Thrilled to join Freshco franchise operator Hamza and his daughter for the Regent Park Freshco Toy Drive. All the donated toys were brought to Fire Station No. 325 on Dundas St East and we got to hang with the hardworking firefighters.
Very pleased to cut the ribbon with Mayor John Tory, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) and Daniels at 150 River St. It's the 13th TCHC rental building & part of the Regent Park Revitalization. The new building contains affordable and accessible apartments that are beautifully designed & well constructed. MORE on the way!
We had an incredible turnout out at our Ward 13 holiday party tonight! Special thanks to all the 650 Parliament tenants who joined us for this celebration. I’m overjoyed to know you’re going home soon. We hope the evening brought everyone a little holiday cheer.
28. In the Media
- Toronto Councillors & Advocates Demand Improvements to Housing Plan, Global News, Dec 10, 2019
- ‘Don’t tax the heart out of Toronto:’ Independent businesses struggle to survive as taxes skyrocket CityTV, Dec 13, 2019
- Brand new TCHC residence opens in Regent Park just in time for the holidays, CBC News, Dec 15, 2019
- Councillors calling for construction coordination to boost efficiency, safety, CBC News, Dec 17, 2019
- 2020 could be a transformative year in Toronto. Here's what to expect at city hall, CBC News, Jan 1, 2020
- 'We're tired of losing young people': Toronto's 1st homicide victim of 2020 mourned in Regent Park, CBC News, Jan 4, 2020
- Toronto’s economic boom is not being felt in every neighbourhood, Toronto Star, Jan 20, 2020
- Residents displaced by 650 Parliament fire to return home beginning March 2, management says, Toronto Star, Jan 17, 2020
- Majority believes Toronto's not doing enough to make streets safer, survey suggests, CBC News, Jan 23, 2020
- "Discrimination is not acceptable": Toronto officials counter coronavirus stigma, Daily Hive, Jan 29, 2020
- Privacy, house prices, civic pride on the agenda for Toronto council, toronto.com, Feb 4, 2020
29. Development Map
As a downtown ward, provincial policy and the City’s Official Plan directs the majority of growth in Toronto to neighbourhoods like St. Lawrence and major corridors like Yonge Street and Dundas Street East. Depending on where you live, keeping track of all of the development in your neighbourhood can be a full-time job. The Ward 13 Development Map will help you keep track and learn more.
The development map is updated regularly to inform you of the status of development applications, provides information on city staff reports and Local Planning Appeal Body decisions, and has links to publicly available applicant reports, including applicant planning rationales, traffic studies and sun/shadow studies.
30. How to Report
Communities across Toronto are experiencing challenges. There are a number of local resources available to help you respond to both emergency and non-emergency situations you may encounter.When you report to the proper service agency, you help improve response and utilize local resources to better address community challenges.
Here are helpful contacts for emergency and non-emergency situations:
Is it an emergency situation?
Call 9-1-1 (fire, medical emergency, crime in progress, etc.)
Is it an on-going issue?
Call 416-808-2222 (i.e trespassing, aggressive panhandling, etc.)
Have questions or concerns?
Call 3-1-1 (i.e. noise, litter, construction, etc.)
See someone in distress?
Call the City of Toronto’s Streets to Homes: 416-338-4766 (or 311)
Experiencing a mental health crisis?
Call Gerstein’s Crisis Line: 416-929-5200
An issue with TCHC?
Call TCHC Tenant Care: 416-9810-5500 (i.e. maintenance, security, heating, plumbing, etc.)
Concerned about your apartment building standards?
Call RentSafeTO: 416-396-7288 (i.e. maintenance, pests, heating, plumbing, common areas, etc.)
Here is the digital PDF of our How to Report poster. You can print and post on local community message boards and make available to members of the community. Please share widely.
31. Community Resources
We are excited to launch the community resources page!Do you want to learn more about the new noise bylaw? Are you interested in learning more about traffic calming measures? Need to learn more about the TCHC transfer process?
Visit our new Community Resources webpage.
32. TDSB Update from Chris Moise
Happy New Year! I trust you and your families had a wonderful winter break filled with family, and fun.
On January 27, 2020, it was announced that Ontario Elementary school teachers will be holding a one day provincewide strike on February 6, 2020 and rotating strikes throughout the week, unless an agreement can be made with the province.
In more celebratory news, Clarity M. Smoke, a Grade 9 Anishnaabe student from Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, has taken her seat as the first ever Toronto District School Board Indigenous Student Trustee.
This position will provide Indigenous students, families and communities with additional representation at the highest level of the TDSB; help improve the Board’s decision-making process; and increase understanding about Indigenous ways of knowing and being, as well as the issues that matter most to Indigenous students and their families.
The Toronto District School Board is always proud to acknowledge the achievements of our students, staff and school communities.
Below are a few highlights from December:
- LGBTQI2S+ students and allies connect at EnVision Conference
- Black Brilliance Conference Provides Sense of Belonging to Students
- Students Have Grand Time at the 9th Annual Caring & Sharing Christmas Gala
- Gracedale PS Raises Funds for Local Shelter for the Elderly
To keep up to date, please sign up for my newsletter at chrismoise.ca/getinvolved.