Fall is in the air and another election is upon us. As our area federal candidates share their visions for Toronto Centre, I know many of you will be raising the questions about climate change, community health, public safety, and affordable housing that I heard during the municipal election last year. These are the critical issues before us in Ward 13 and many other communities across the country and the conversations will continue well past the federal election date of October 21.
When I originally hosted the first Healthy Neighbourhoods Summit back in 2017 in the former Ward 27 it provided an opportunity for residents, business owners, local service providers, city divisional staff and other community members to come together and discuss the major health and safety concerns before them at that time. Since then, a great deal of work has happened. This includes my launch of the Downtown East Action Plan, Doug Ford redrawing the Toronto’s ward boundaries, the rapid expansion of the Toronto Police’s Neighbourhood Officer program in certain communities, and much more. It is time to come together again, to discuss our shared priorities and set new targets for building the safe, inclusive, and vibrant neighbourhoods we want in Toronto Centre.
Over the next three months, I will be holding five Healthy Neighbourhood Forums in neighbourhoods across Toronto Centre. I want to hear your concerns and proposed solutions to further inform the ongoing work of the Downtown East Action Plan and help identify new initiatives that need to be undertaken. With City Council adopting my recommendation that the Federal and Provincial governments be invited to the municipal table to address the challenging addictions, mental health, and homelessness crises in Toronto Centre, the feedback from these forums will also be brought to the upcoming intergovernmental conversations.
I also eagerly look forward to seeing you at many other public meetings over the coming weeks to discuss new park investments, the ongoing planning for the First Parliament site, the final phases in the Regent Park’s revitalization, and much more. Please read on below for a full update on what is happening across the most dynamic ward in Canada’s biggest city.
Yours in service,
- Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Great News!
- Save the Dates: Healthy Neighbourhood Forums
- Unite for Love Rally
- Changes to Toronto Community Housing
- Yonge TOmorrow Update: Yonge Street Environmental Assessment
- New Noise Bylaw Takes Effect
- First Parliament Site Public Workshop
- Dog Off Leash Areas & Parks Survey
- Bay-Cloverhill Neighbourhood Update
- Cabbagetown South Neighbourhood Update
- Downtown- Yonge Neighbourhood Update
- Regent Park Neighbourhood Update
- St. James Town Neighbourhood Update
- St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Update
- Become a 3Rs Ambassador
- Community Spotlight: Trillium Gift of Life Network
- Kristyn In the Community
- In the Media
- How to Report
- Community Resources
- TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise
1. Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship- Great News!
On August 28, I was pleased to join MP Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York, who announced a FedDev Ontario contribution of up to $5 million for the City of Toronto towards the creation of the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE) on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.
The ICIE is a world-leading 22,000 square feet community facility located at 200 Dundas Street East and has been a long-time priority in Toronto Centre. The centre will provide a space for Indigenous entrepreneurs to grow their capacity and connections necessary to build a strong Indigenous economy. This funding announcement is a key step forward for the development of this important initiative and will enable the Centre to meet the needs of Indigenous entrepreneurs. As Toronto and in particular Toronto Centre is home to one of the largest Indigenous communities in Canada, the ICIE has always been one of my top priorities. This project will help local Indigenous entrepreneurs dream big, scale-up their businesses and be more visible in Toronto and beyond. I am proud of the incredible community-city partnerships that have been formed through the ICIE and want to thank staff in the City’s Economic Development & Culture division and the Indigenous Affairs Office for their ongoing leadership and strategic advice.
2. Save the Dates: Healthy Neighbourhood Forums
In 2017, I hosted our first-ever Healthy Neighbourhood Summit, which brought together 150 residents, businesses, social service agencies and City of Toronto staff to tackle some of Toronto’s challenging health and safety conditions. From the participation of residents and community leaders, we developed the landmark 12-month Immediate Downtown East Action Plan, and then the Five-Year Downtown East Action Plan, approved by City Council this summer.
Since then, with the ward boundaries redrawn our new Ward 13 Toronto Centre has doubled in size. Despite the significant efforts to improve our neighbourhoods, the impacts of systemic problems due to a lack of affordable housing, insufficient social and health supports for individuals living with mental health and addictions continue to take a toll on our neighbourhood. As you know, these systemic challenges are felt most heavily in downtown parks and on local streets.
Over the course of the last two years, much of our work has focused on tackling these large systemic challenges, pushing forward the Five-Year Downtown East Action Plan, and working across City divisions to address the health and safety of the Downtown East, while demanding that the Provincial and Federal governments help to confront the larger systemic issues. Much of which are not municipally mandated services but actually legislated areas that fall to the responsibility of other orders of government, namely the provincial and federal.
This fall, I will be hosting five new community-focused Healthy Neighbourhood Forums throughout the new Ward 13. Invited expert speakers will share important information on the social determinants of health and provide updates regarding the work taking place to tackle complex social challenges. Facilitated roundtable discussions will provide residents with an opportunity to highlight the challenges they are facing in their local community. I know each neighbourhood has a unique voice and faces unique challenges. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing to work on meaningful solutions that advance equity, health and safety in our Ward 13 Toronto Centre.
Please attend whichever venue and date are most convenient for you. All venues are wheelchair accessible.
Moss Park, Cabbagetown South & Garden District
Where: Central Neighbourhood House Gym, 349 Ontario Street
When: Wednesday October 30, 2019 from 6:00PM to 8:30PM
Yonge-Dundas, Church-Wellesley & McGill-Granby
Where: Covenant House, 21 McGill St
When: Tuesday November 5, 2019 from 6:00PM to 8:30PM
St. James Town, Winchester Park, Upper Jarvis & Bloor East
Where: The Church of St Peter and St Simon-the-Apostle, 525 Bloor St E
When: Tuesday November 12, 2019 from 6:00PM to 8:30PM
Regent Park & Cabbagetown
Where: Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter Street
When: Tuesday November 26, 2019 from 6:00PM to 8:30PM
St. Lawrence, Corktown & West Don Lands
Where: St. Lawrence Community Centre, Multipurpose Room, 230 The Esplanade
When: Monday December 2, 2019 from 6:00PM to 8:30PM
Please RSVP for the specific forum you are planning to attend.
3. Unite for Love Rally
Last Saturday, radical right provocateurs, Islamophobic organizations, white supremacists, and self-proclaimed Christian activists who have disrupted past Pride events planned to march through the Village. This was alarming for many members of the community who have faced, and continue to face, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and other forms of discrimination. In response, there was a groundswell of love and solidarity that brought together several groups in peaceful resistance and celebration, including the Army of Lovers.
I was proud to work with Reverend Jeff Rock, Reverend Cheri DiNovo, the Church-Wellesley BIA, the 519, the Church-Wellesley Neighbourhood Association and others to hold the Unite for Love Rally in Barbara Hall Park. Over twenty faith leaders were in attendance who collectively and openly condemned homophobia, transphobia, and Islamophobia, and apologized for and acknowledged the historic harm that has been done to the LGBTQ2S+ community by organized religion. We were joined by Mayor John Tory, former Premier and MPP Kathleen Wynne, Minister Bill Morneau, and MPP Suze Morrison, all of whom spoke to Toronto’s success and vision for inclusion and acceptance. Hundreds stood in the rain, cheered, and unfurled a block-long rainbow flag.
In addition to all the community members who made Saturday a success, I must also thank the leadership of the Toronto Police Service at 51 Division. This is the same Division that launched the neighbourhood officer program in the Church-Wellesley Village, helping to make policing more local, consistent, and connected. They proactively kept track of the planned march, took every precaution to avoid violence, and engaged with our community partners to ensure Saturday’s events happened safely on Church Street and in the Village.
As I said on Saturday, hate is not welcome in the Village. We will rise to resist it, we will not be bullied into silence, and we will not go back.
4. Toronto Community Housing Changes
On September 13, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) released a news statement detailing that the organization will be restructuring within the next six months to improve its frontline services for tenants. The plan for restructuring was approved by TCHC's Board on September 12, 2019. The improvements to ensure better frontline services for tenants include:
- Moving decision-making and problem-solving away from head office and into all buildings and communities, and hiring more superintendents, cleaners and support staff. This will make sure the right people can make the right decisions for tenants right away.
- Changing the current unit operating offices into 134 local service hubs across the city, where the prime point of contact for tenants will be the building superintendent, supported by a local team focused on building services, tenancy management and community supports. This will ensure tenants get help for issues in their unit or building when they need it.
- Investing $5 million a year to expand hours of service to cover evenings and weekends based on community needs and bring more services into buildings and local hubs.
- Empowering superintendents to make service decisions at the local level, so that tenants can have meaningful conversations about their homes that don’t get lost in the process.
To support these changes, TCHC is creating three new regional offices across the city each led by a General Manager with responsibility for a comprehensive tenant service delivery and management. Each General Manager will oversee teams that support and manage service hub staff across their region.
5. Yonge Street Environmental Assessment Update
Work is continuing to progress on the Yonge Street Environmental Assessment, under the project name Yonge TOmorrow. Transportation staff and the City's consultant have assessed feedback from this summer's online survey and the public information session that were held in May 2019. They are now working with the Stakeholder Advisory Group to narrow down the potential design options for the section of Yonge Street from Queen Street north to College/Carlton Street.
Yonge, between Queen Street and College/Carlton Street has the highest pedestrian volumes in Canada with numbers exceeding 100,000 per day. It is well used by pedestrians at all hours of the day and throughout all seasons of the year. In addition, the population in the neighbourhood is expected to double by 2041.
In 2018 City Council adopted TOcore’s recommendations identifying Yonge Street as one of Toronto’s Great Streets – a significant retail and civic corridor to be developed as a pedestrian priority urban destination.
Staff are studying opportunities to modernize Yonge. Some potential options for improvement include:
- Increasing the sidewalk width and space dedicated to walking
- Redesigning intersections and laneway connections
- Installing cycling facilities on Yonge Street or a nearby north-south street
- Improving accessibility for all street users
- Improving or increasing pedestrian crossing opportunities
- Space for adding or improving street furniture and streetscape elements such as benches, wayfinding signage, litter/recycling bins, bike parking, lighting, tree planting and public art
- Establishing motor vehicle free zones either permanently or during certain times of the day, week, or year
Transportation staff will bring a report for information, outlining their progress thus far, to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on October 17th.
You can view their report by visiting the Committee agenda page. Please note that the report will not go live until 5 business days prior to the Committee date.
6. New Noise Bylaw Takes Effect
At my request, the City began reviewing the Noise Bylaw in 2015. As part of this process, the City convened a Noise Working Group composed of stakeholders from City divisions, agencies, resident associations, industry and the business community. The City's Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) division also conducted research and a jurisdictional scan to inform the new bylaw. April 2019, Toronto City Council approved the noise bylaw amendments to make it easier to understand and enforce noise complaints. On October 1, an enhanced City of Toronto Noise Bylaw takes effect.
As part of the bylaw enhancements, MLS division has introduced a new dedicated noise team to help ensure effective implementation and compliance with the new regulations. The new team is composed of two dozen Bylaw Enforcement Officers, along with management and administrative support, and will be available to respond to noise complaints seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The new team will also be using:
- modernized investigative techniques developed with sound engineering experts
- a new case prioritization model to more effectively focus efforts on highly impactful and frequent duration events
- new case management software to assist in investigation efforts and provide increased communication channels with the public.
Some of the other changes to the bylaw include:
- updated and new definitions to assist with interpretation of the bylaw
- more detailed and clearer regulations broken down by category
- introduction of quantitative decibel limits for amplified sound and motor vehicles.
7. First Parliament Site Public Workshop
The First Parliament site is a publicly-owned property located at Front and Parliament Streets in the historic part of downtown Toronto. The site carries important historical themes that, to this day, reveal the fascinating evolution of the City, the Province, and the Nation. It was on this site that the first purpose-built Parliament Buildings of Upper Canada were located from 1797–1824.
In 2017, the City of Toronto undertook public engagement and other work to develop a Heritage Interpretation Strategy for First Parliament. The Heritage Interpretation Strategy confirms the stories that should be told, identifies the primary audiences, and sets out the general means of interpretation for the site.
The goals of this Master Planning Community Meeting workshop are to:
- Better understand the possible roles the site could play in the community;
- Refine and prioritize a vision and guiding principles for the site; and
- Confirm the development options that should be considered
When: October 15, 2019 Start: 6:15 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Where: The St Lawrence Market Tent Address: 125 The Esplanade, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
Present day aerial view of the first parliament site
Constructed in 1797, the First Parliament Buildings of Upper Canada were located at the corner of Front and Parliament Streets in downtown Toronto. The City of Toronto has initiated a project to develop a Heritage Interpretation Strategy and Master Plan to reveal the site’s important role in the development of the City, the Province, and country.
Learn more about this exciting project at www.firstparliament.ca.
8. Dog-Off Leash Areas and Parks Survey
Over the last nine years, I have continuously advocated for dog relief areas and other amenities in new developments, for park improvements including new dog off-leash areas, and for the goal of greater accessibility in our dog parks.
We have six official dog off-leash areas in Toronto Centre, each one unique and built at different times throughout the decades. Some are now 20 years old and in need of revitalization.
Recognizing that the city-wide DOLA review is well underway and expected to be completed by the end of this year, I'd like to have conversations with you about how we can improve our dog parks specifically within Toronto Centre and ways in which we can improve the experience for everyone and every dog.
Our first meeting is scheduled for:
When: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 6:00PM
Where: Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 2, 100 Queen Street West, 2nd Floor
As you may already know, the City of Toronto is currently conducting a study to find out how the City’s existing Dog Off-Leash Areas (DOLAs) can be improved to accommodate an increasing human and dog population.
The objectives of the study are to:
- Improve existing DOLAs through better design, maintenance and operation
- Encourage healthy relationships between dog owners and non-dog owners
- Elevate DOLAs as spaces that provide a healthy, safe, accessible and sustainable environment
- Develop guidelines to ensure consistent maintenance and operation across Toronto
- Develop design recommendations that can be applied to all existing DOLAs
- Improve community involvement and develop future ongoing partnerships
In addition, staff have selected 10 Case Study sites where "Pup-ups" will be held and I am pleased that the Allan Gardens DOLA has been selected as one of the sites.
The intention of the 10 Case Study sites is to serve as exemplars to demonstrate how the researched global Best Practices may be applied to sites to solve issues that are common across all of the City's existing DOLAs. The above-mentioned sites were chosen using site selection criteria that were developed by the City’s Consultant in consultation with stakeholders to identify common attributes. Design solutions that address each attribute of interest will be developed as a type of 'lessons learned', and be used to inform future work in DOLAs, such as changes to maintenance routines or when renovations are undertaken when adequate resources and funding are secured. Here is the selection criteria used:
9. Bay-Cloverhill Neighbourhood Update
Traffic Signal Installation at Bay Street and St. Mary Street
On September 16, Toronto East York Community Council passed a recommendation to install signalized traffic lights at Bay Street and St. Mary Street. This is something that the Bay-Cloverhill Community has been advocating for some time, and with ongoing development in the area, I felt it is important for the City of Toronto to consider how to navigate growing traffic concerns. These signalized traffic lights, will be another step towards the City of Toronto’s Vision Zero plan.
This traffic light will need to be adopted at City Council as it would impact the TTC route along Bay Street.
1075 Bay Street
On September 12, the City of Toronto, and my office hosted a community consultation meeting with regards to a proposed re-zoning application at 1075 Bay Street. Currently, the applicant is proposing a 66 Storey mixed-use building. The applicant will now review comments by city staff as well as feedback from the community to re-submit their application.
If you have any questions or comments about this application, please contact Katherine Bailey, City Planner at [email protected] or by calling 416-397-1761.
10. Cabbagetown South Neighbourhood Update
Great news! Our advocacy efforts have paid off and Cabbagetown South and Moss Park will be receiving an additional 4 Neighbourhood Officers starting this November, which will bring the total to 8.
On September 12, police Chief Saunders announced the full roll out of an enhanced Neighbourhood Officer program across the City. Something that I am very proud of Sgt Henry Dyck and 51 Division for piloting and championing since 2013 when we introduced Neighbourhood Officers in the Church-Wellesley Village.
The objective of the Neighbourhood Police program is to build stronger community connections and to focus on issues like impartial policing, gang intervention and dealing with individuals with mental health issues. Neighbourhood Officers are assigned to a community for a minimum of 4 years to ensure they have the time to develop deep meaningful relationships. You’ll see these officers biking or walking through the neighbourhood and at community events.
The Neighbourhood Community Officer enhancements that were announced include:
- standardized mandate to focus on building partnerships in the community and working towards long-term solutions to public safety and disorder issues
- community-centric training specific to their role
- assigned to each neighbourhood for at least four years
- identified as NCOs on uniforms and vehicles
- access their work environment through a mobile device allowing officers to spend more time in their assigned neighbourhoods
While I appreciate these additional resources, as I have stated before we cannot expect to police our way out of the challenges that we are facing in the Downtown East and in particular at Sherbourne & Dundas.
It’s clear that the systems are failing and a dramatic service re-modelling is needed to ensure that vulnerable populations, including those living with serious mental health and addictions challenges, are not discharged without the accompanying housing, medical or addictions supports they need. The current cycle of “catch and release” is expensive and ineffective and it must be interrupted. A new model of community health and safety must be considered, one that includes comprehensive health including mental health services and restorative justice.
Our municipal efforts are essential in promoting community health and safety but their success will be limited without additional support from other government partners.
11. Downtown-Yonge Neighbourhood Update
Polaris Music Prize Mural to be installed by the Downtown Yonge BIA
The Downtown Yonge BIA is partnering with Polaris Music Prize to add a third music mural near Yonge and College – one that will change annually. Each year for the next five years, a poster created to celebrate the Polaris Music Prize winner will adorn the side of the TTC building at 21 Granby St., near where two permanent murals commemorating Toronto’s musical history soar over the city.
Polaris Music Prize annually honours Canadian music artists, as determined by an expert jury of broadcasters, bloggers, programmers and other media authorities on Canadian music. Unique posters are created each year to commemorate the winning artists.
The Polaris Music Prize mural on Granby St. will face west toward Joseph Sheard Park, enhancing the recent revitalization of the park that includes a walking path, drinking fountain and garden. Nearby, on both sides of the Toronto Housing building at 423 Yonge St., are two 22-storey murals honouring legends and locations from Toronto’s musical history. The site is also adjacent to the Carlu where the Polaris gala is held every year. The murals are part of the Downtown Yonge BIA’s Music Strategy, an ambitious, multi-pronged plan to re-establish the area as a ‘Music Mecca.’
Discussions about a mural were sparked at the stakeholder consultation meetings to bring improvements to Joseph Sheard Park. I am grateful to the Downtown Yonge BIA, the TTC, and Polaris Music Prize for their ongoing collaboration, to bring this exciting mural feature into the neighbourhood. Installation is planned for mid-Fall 2019.
Allan Gardens Updates
Last chance to catch Red Embers, at Allan Gardens!
Red Embers is an art installation which honours the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA, with 13 large-scale banners using animal bones, beads, tin jingles, reflective fabric or moose hide.
The banners were designed by 15 Indigenous women artists and float from 13 tall charred-black gates throughout Allan Gardens Park.
Two of the banners face the Victorian-era glass Palm House of the Conservatory, while others straddle the major pathways of the park, allowing visitors to admire them from all directions and walk below them.
The local eastern cedar, hand-peeled structures measure about 5.5m high (approximately 18 feet high) with vertical posts that cross at the top, with information plaques wrapped near the base. Framing the red banners in black is a metaphor of the wood holding its structural integrity against flames. The number of installations follows the cycle of the 13 Grandmother Moons within the Lunar System.
The installation will remain in Allan Gardens Park until October 4, 2019.
New public washroom, and administration building
A new wing will be added on to the current administrative building on the south adjacency of the conservatory. Construction will begin this October, with completion expected in Fall 2020. The new wing will house staff administrative offices, gender-neutral public washrooms, and a small meeting room that will be available for community use. The new wing will occupy the former children's playground area.
Pilot Program Introduces new Conservatory Hours
To accommodate horticulture enthusiasts, who would like to visit the Allan Gardens Conservatory after work, staff are piloting new hours. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Conservatory will be open from 12pm – 7pm. Existing hours of 10am – 5pm will be maintained from Thursday through Sunday.
Conservatory Palm House State of Good Repair Project
The Allan Gardens Conservatory will be receiving a much needed upgrade. The Victorian-era Palm House heritage building, in particular, is dearly loved by the community, and will soon be restored for future generations to enjoy. The restoration will be a multi-year project, with work expected to begin in 2020 and wrap in 2023. A structural assessment of the Palm House steel superstructure has just been concluded, which has determined that it is strong enough to accommodate installation of new, tempered glass. Parks Capital will proceed with a Request for Proposals by the close of 2019. Heritage Preservation staff will be closely involved through all phases of the restoration.
Your Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood Officers
Toronto Police Services hosted a town hall on September 26 at the Holiday Inn Downtown to meet the Downtown Yonge Street neighbourhood community officers. It gave residents and business owners a chance to ask questions about their program and mandate. Yonge Street has eight dedicated neighbourhood officers who patrol an area from Bay Street east to Church Street, and from Carlton Street, south to King Street. I have been a long-time supporter of local community-oriented policing and extend a big friendly welcome to our new Downtown Yonge neighbourhood officers!
12. Regent Park Neighbourhood Update
Regent Park - Developer Presentation & Community Scoring
On Saturday October 5th 2019, Regent Park residents will have the opportunity to score the three potential developer partners for Phase 4 & 5 as part of the Regent Park Revitalization. The potential developer partners are: The Daniels Corporation, Tridel Builders, and Capital Development. The Developer Presentation will be occurring at the Regent Park Community Centre, starting at 11:00am and concluding at 4:00pm.
For more information on the Developer Presentation, please see below for the simplified FAQ provided by TCHC:
What is the Request for Proposals for Regent Park?
Toronto Community Housing is engaging in a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to select a developer partner for the Phase 4 & 5 lands in Regent Park. As part of the RFP, Regent Park residents will participate in an open and fair process to score presentation by the potential developer partners.
Who can attend the presentation and score the developers?
Only residents of Regent Park, who are at least 16 years old, are eligible to score the potential developers. At registration you will be requested to provide valid identification for this purpose.
What forms of identification will be accepted?
- Government ID with name and address (e.g. Driver's License)
- Government ID with name plus proof of address (e.g. Health Card plus one piece of mail)
Aquatic Summer Pilot Camp Recap
On March 7th, during City Council's Budget meeting, City Council approved funding for the Regent Park Aquatic Program Pilot. Council voted in favour to increase the Parks, Forestry and Recreation budget by $80,000 to support the first phase of the Regent Park Aquatic Pilot Program. The Aquatic Pilot Project has been a joint collaboration between Recreation City Staff and Access to Recreation, a grassroots group that advocates for equitable access to recreation services in Regent Park.
I am proud to say that the first phase of the project has been completed. Over the summer, the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre hosted a Summer Aquatic Camp where 120 students enrolled and attended over July and August. The camp was created* in partnership with Nelson Mandela Park and Lord Dufferin Public School. Students participated in learn-to-swim, aquatic sports activities, etc.
The Sumach by Chartwell Grand Opening
On September 10, I was glad to join the Regent Park community at The Sumach by Chartwell grand opening. The Sumach is a new retirement residence located at 146 Sumach Street. Thank you to the teams at Chartwell Retirement Residences and Daniels Corporation for working hard to bring this great addition to the neighbourhood. I am pleased to welcome residents of The Sumach to the Regent Park Community. This new addition to the neighbourhood exemplifies the aim of revitalization, the good that emerges from mixed communities.
I can already say that the new residents of The Sumach have already become active contributors to the community, from attending neighbourhood associations to advocating for increased services for seniors. I look forward to working with our new residents and the Chartwell team to ensure our new neighbours have a warm welcome to the neighbourhood
Dixon Hall – Seniors Bus Launch
On September 12, I was pleased to support Dixon Hall with the launch of their new senior's bus with thanks to funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This new bus is an important addition to their Seniors Department, which strives to enable seniors in the downtown east of Toronto to remain in their homes, living safely and independently. The senior's bus not only supports participants for the seniors' day programs but it is also integral to the Meals on Wheels program. The bus makes 12 round trips per week, collecting 75 participants in the senior's day programs. It is also used 7 days per week to deliver 9400 nutritious meals annually through the Meals on Wheels program.
Congratulations to the entire Dixon Hall team and participants of the seniors' day programs. Thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting and recognizing this important work!
13. St. James Town Neighbourhood Update
St. James Town Electrical Safety
In January, flooding at 260 Wellesley Street East caused damage to the building’s electrical systems, leaving residents without power, heat or water for almost five days. This incident, which followed on the heels of the August 2018 fire at 650 Parliament Street that continues to leave 1,500 tenants displaced from their homes, has triggered action on a number of initiatives that I have championed to improve electrical safety and communication during emergencies.
Through City Council, I have moved to have buildings in St. James Town properly audited to ensure building and life-safety systems are compliant, and to improve the city's emergency response in the event incidents similar to 650 Parliament Street or 260 Wellesley Street East occur again.
My work will also now require landlords under the RentSafeTO program to create vital service disruption plans to be implemented during periods of prolonged disruption. These plans are designed to improve communications between tenants and landlords, but also to provide supports for residents that require them, so residents know what they should expect when a building-wide situation occurs.
Finally, based on a request from local service agencies in St. James Town, I have directed staff to review St. James Town for potential inclusion as a Neighbourhood Improvement Areas under the city's Strong Neighbourhood Strategy to drive new investment to this diverse and resilient neighbourhood. Building neighbourhood capacity is critical to ensuring residents have the supports they need when a major incident occurs.
Work continues to improve safety in St. James Town buildings. Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) plans to have their electrical systems in the neighbourhood independently reviewed in conjunction with the Electrical Safety Authority to identify any issues or deficiencies. This work will complete this year. As a precautionary measure, TCHC has also initiated projects to upgrade the main switchboards for TCHC buildings at 257, 325 and 375 Bleecker Street and 200 Wellesley Street East.
I continue to work with tenants, TCHC, city divisions and the Electrical Safety Authority to improve building safety. If you have an electrical safety concern in your building, please reach out to our office.
14. St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Update
North St. Lawrence Market Now Under Construction
Following the installation of sidewalk and tree protection, removal of existing building footings more preparatory work, construction has finally begun on the North Market. It has been a long haul for residents to see this project begin work in earnest; I look forward to seeing this important project completed.
Drilling and pile installation will lead to excavation and shoring through the fall and winter months. The building is expected to be completed and operational by spring 2022 subject to contractor progress.
St. Lawrence Market staff are working on creating an electronic mailing list to provide regular updates directly to tenants about the work occurring on-site. Stay tuned to our next newsletter for information on how to sign up!
Provide Your Time to Review the St. Lawrence Market Hours - October 2, 2019
The City of Toronto is reviewing the hours of operation of the St. Lawrence Market South Building with the objective of optimizing the hours to better support the Toronto and Market community. The South Market currently operates five days a week, open from 8am-6pm Tuesday through Thursday, 8am-7pm on Fridays and 5am-5pm on Saturdays.
Details are as follows:
What: St. Lawrence Market South Hours of Operation Consultation
When: Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7:00PM to 9:00PM
Where: Temporary North Market, 125 The Esplanade
For further information, please contact:
St. Lawrence Administration Office
105 The Esplanade
Toronto, ON M5E 2A2
David Crombie Park Revitalization Design Update
Following extensive consultation with the public and stakeholders, the project consultant for the revitalization of David Crombie Park has created a preferred design for the park.
Following the presentation of three potential designs from the last consultation in April, 2019, the current design most strongly reflects the “Gardens and Walks” design, with many changes to better integrate the design with neighbouring properties such as the St. Lawrence Market and local schools. An off-leash dog park would be provided, along with multiple instances for both active and passive play, with plenty of seating and water features.
You are encouraged to review the proposed design and provide your comments. An online survey can be found on the project website.
The Architectural Conservatory of Ontario (ACO) has recently launched a very exciting project to properly catalog our built history across Toronto. TOBuilt is an open source database to collect data and information about buildings and structures, both past and present. The ambition is to use this community research to “help facilitate the protection of Toronto’s architectural heritage for future generations.”
Users can search for buildings by many different categories, including address, ward, architect, year built and much more. Both exterior and interior images are provided where possible, and users can submit building notes and sources of information, including pdfs.
ACO’s first project was cataloging every Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board school in Toronto to TOBuilt. Their next project is to catalog every place of worship in the city.
The database currently has information for about 11,000 buildings across Toronto. To contribute to TOBuilt, you need to become an ACO Member. By joining, you not only can help build this database, but help the ACO continue their important work to provide conservation advocacy through public education.
16. Become a 3Rs Ambassador
Did you know the City has a 3Rs Ambassador Volunteer program? It engages residents in apartment buildings, condominiums and co-ops to become waste educators and help promote the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) in their buildings. 3Rs Ambassador Volunteers are trained by the City on how to properly recycle and reduce waste going to landfill. Help your building get more involved in the 3Rs and become a 3Rs Volunteer Ambassador today by signing up at Toronto.ca/3Rs.
Here are some easy ways to reduce the amount of waste your building sends to landfill right now:
1) No black bags: Do not put recyclable materials in black plastic garbage bags. Put items for recycling in loose or in a clear bag.
2) Freeze food scraps: Over 50% of your waste is organic and could be composted. Avoid smells by putting a bag in the freezer to store food scraps until you can dispose of them properly.
3) Refuse & reduce: Do you really need that pamphlet? Free keychain? Or extra ketchup package? Saying "no" to items you don't need helps keep waste out of landfill.
4) Paper plates, towels and napkins: Can go in organic waste collection if they do not have chemicals or make up on them.
5) Donate items for reuse: Give clothing, books, toys and more a new life by donating them. For a map of non-profit organizations in Toronto that accept items for donation, visit toronto.ca/reuseit or download the TOwaste app.
17. Community Spotlight: Trillium Gift of Life Network
In Ontario today, there are over 1,600 people waiting for a lifesaving transplant, one of whom will die every three days. While 34% of Ontarians have already registered their consent to donate, that number drops to 32% for residents in Toronto Centre. Currently, over 350 people in the City of Toronto are on the waitlist, including 32 people in Ward 13. They could be your friends, colleagues or neighbours.
A single donor can save the lives of up to 8 people through the gift of organ donation and significantly enhance the lives of 75 others through the gift of tissue. I encourage everyone to register their consent to donate, and to take a moment to talk to your loved ones about this important, lifesaving decision.
You can register your consent to donate online at www.BeADonor.ca or in person at any ServiceOntario location.
Did You Know?
- Ontario residents 16 years or older with a valid Ontario health card is eligible to register.
- Everyone is a potential donor, regardless of age, medical condition or sexual orientation.
- You are 5 times more likely to need an organ than to donate one.
- Most religious groups support organ donation and/or respect the individual’s choice.
18. Kristyn In the Community
I am pleased to be working with the Co-Operative Housing Federation of Toronto to support their important work in strengthening and expanding the co-op housing sector in Toronto. Toronto Centre has the largest number of co-op units anywhere in the country and we’re darn proud of it!
I have been working with local residents, community stakeholders, including Toronto Police Services and City Divisions to address the health and safety concerns around McGill Parkette. We are collaborating with the YMCA, Ryerson University and Convenant House, among other to build additional community services. For background on McGill Parkette, please look at my statement.
It was an honour to join MPP Suze Morrison and Phyllis Tanaka from Ontario Trillium Foundation in celebrating the new fully accessible bus for Dixon Hall. Under the leadership of CEO Mercedes Watson, this new bus supports seniors programs such as 70,000 Meals on Wheels delivery per year!
Congratulations to Nicola Powadiuk, Director of Exhibitions at Canderel, on the exhibition launch of Iron Willed: Women in STEM at 777 Bay Street. This wonderful initiative produced by Ingenium and the Government of Canada captures STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) pioneering s-heroes who led the way. Let’s embrace “See her, be her”! You can enjoy the exhibit from now until October 9, 2019.
I joined Councillor Joe Cressy, Dave Wilkes and Eileen Costello in conversation on TVO’s The Agenda for a heated discussion around development in Toronto. With the 224 unilaterally imposed Provincial changes to TOCore, the 25 year Secondary Plan for the Downtown, it is clear that the development lobby has the ear of Queen’s Park and the Premier.
I was pleased to join Minister Raymond Cho for the official opening of The Sumach by Chartwell in Regent Park. This new seniors rental building features an outdoor garden, library, gym and an Italian bistro at the base open to the public. Welcome to the neighbourhood!
It was my pleasure to be a panelist at this year’s NACTO conference Breakfast Plenary along with Chief Planner Gregg Lintern, Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson and Councillor James Pasternak to discuss rapid development, transportation and mobility issues around Toronto. Toronto's downtown population is expected to double in 20 years. That's 500,000 people living in 3% of the land area, generating 51% of GDP and producing 25% of the city's tax base. Modal shift is already underway. We need investments in transit, wider sidewalks and more bike lanes.
It was great to join Mayor John Tory, MP Bill Morneau and MPP Suze Morrison for the Cabbagetown Festival! Thank you for bestowing the honour of slaying the cabbage on me. Congratulations to the board, staff and volunteers of the Cabbagetown BIA on organizing their 43rd successful Cabbagetown Festival. It was wonderful to officially open the festival with the community!
It was great to see so many familiar faces and meet new friends at the St James Town Festival. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon out with my family. Always an amazing event that brings out the community in power and love.
My staff and I, hosted a McGill-Granby safety walk with residents, Downtown Yonge BIA, Parks, Municipal Licensing and Standards, Transportation Right-of-Way, Toronto Public Health, Streets to Home, Toronto Transit Commision, Toronto Community Housing Corporation, and the Yonge Street Neighbourhood Officers to create an inter-divisional work plan to address local concerns. We know safety is a big concern in the community, and through this plan, we can collaborate and work together to make a safe and healthy neighbourhood.
Mayor John Tory, MPP Suze Morrison, and MP Bill Morneau joined me in a roundtable discussion to address Toronto’s social challenges and closing some service gaps. All governments need to respond to crises around the lack of supportive housing, mental health and addiction services. The City can’t do this alone.
I loved the vibe in Barbara Hall Park at the third annual Meet Your Neighbours event. What a big hit, thanks to the organizing efforts of the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association and the 519. Proud to be working with these community partners along with the 51 Division Village neighbourhood officers in building stronger neighbourhoods.
I was proud to see so many people out to support Toronto's Climate Strike. It is inspiring to see such a strong demonstration to Queen's Park part, that Climate Change is real and we all need to do better for our collective future. Toronto has heard you as we get ready to declare a Climate Emergency next week at City Council and accelerate our climate action plan.
On Saturday, hundreds turned out in Church-Wellesley Village for the Unite for Love Rally. It was powerful to hear from faith leaders speaking in support of LGBTQ2S rights. They recognized historical harm inflicted by the church and offered apologies. When we come together, love always wins.
19. In the Media
How High Can Toronto Go?, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, September 11, 2019
Hundreds rallied to support Toronto's LGBTQ community today, the Daily Hive, September 28, 2019
How the Toronto Biennial of Art will Stand Out in a Crowded Landscape, the Globe and Mail, September 16, 2019
Investigators to probe fire at heritage home once engineers survey blackened remains, CBC News, September 3, 2019
Gender equity lens for Toronto city planning 'long overdue,' councillor says, CBC News, September 17, 2019
Toronto rally responds to anti-LGBTQ Christian group march, CTV News, September 28, 2019
Crowds rally for unity in Toronto as anti-LGBTQ group protests for free speech, City News, September 28, 2019
Toronto city hall still throwing up roadblocks to road safety, CBC News, September 29, 2019
20. How to Report: Working Together for Safer Communites
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 times 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.)
Would you like to report anonymously?
Call Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477 (TIPS)
Have questions or concerns?
Call 3-1-1 or email [email protected] (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: 416-929-5200An 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.
21. 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.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for the FAQ, please contact [email protected]. To visit the Ward 13 Community Resources page, please visit:
22. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise
Welcome back to school! I’m sure we have all noticed the groups of young people heading back to start a brand new school year. My role is to advocate for you and your child, and to represent the needs of all students and parents/guardians in the Toronto District School Board.
We are focused on ensuring that all students have access to the programs, opportunities and supports needed to reach high levels of achievement and well-being. This priority is driven by our Multi-Year Strategic Plan, which outlines our mission, values and goals in support of student success. To read the full plan, visit www.tdsb.on.ca/mysp.
This month, CUPE, which represents our non-federation staff at the TDSB, had a 93% strike vote. CUPE Represents about 18,000 employees at the TDSB. We are still in the very early stages of bargaining. All sides are bargaining in good faith and we remain hopeful that contracts will be ratified at the end of the process.
In late August 2018, the Board of Trustees voted to support the City of Toronto’s legal challenge to Bill 5 Better Local Governments Act, provincial legislation which reduced the number of wards in the City of Toronto from 47 to 25 in the middle of the municipal election. Bill 5 impacted TDSB trustee wards as they are aligned with the City of Toronto wards. TDSB Legal Services sought and obtained intervenor status in the legal proceedings.
During the Month of October, TDSB schools are encouraged to join others across the globe in participating in International Walk to School Month – an annual celebration of active transportation. International Walk to School Day is held on the first Wednesday of October each year and will be occurring on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Join in the fun, and consider how you can incorporate more activity in your day to day.
You’re invited to attend my next ward forum:
What: University-Rosedale & Toronto Centre Forum
Where: Central Tech Collegiate Institute, 725 Bathurst St
When: Tuesday October 15, 2019
Thank you. I look forward to working in partnership with you this year.
Trustee Chris Moise
Ward 10, University – Rosedale and Toronto Centre
P.S. For regular updates, follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at ChrisMoiseTO