The holidays are nearly here and everyone is busy wrapping-up loose project ends and presents, alike. The same is true at City Hall and I am as glad as anyone to see that a long-overdue gift for tenants - policy improvements to RentSafeTO - is moving ahead. It has been a long road, but we made some major progress over the last month.
On November 13, I worked with my colleagues at the Planning and Housing Committee to make several enhancements to RentSafeTO. This landlord licensing program is a critical tool for ensuring that rental buildings are properly maintained, but several service gaps had been identified with the first run of the program as it exists today. The Committee and City Council supported my amendments that will see several areas improved.
The changes I introduced include the following:
Requiring landlords to post notice of building audits on Tenant Notification Boards at least 30 days prior to inspection, so that tenants can inform staff of issues they need to pay attention to on-site.
Requiring landlords to maintain capital plans that tenants can access, detailing all major repairs and investments planned for five years.
Improving awareness of the program and how to escalate complaints for tenants.
- Asking for a report back in 2020 on how building audit evaluations can be expanded to include the condition of building roofs, pest infestations, the presence of mould, water pressure, the condition of unit windows, and compliance with existing Tenant Notification Board requirements.
I remain optimistic that this program will continue to evolve further still and become an invaluable tool for tenants across Toronto.
To those looking to connect with friends and neighbours, I invite you to come to the Ward 13 - Toronto Centre Holiday Party I am hosting on December 10 at the St. Lawrence Hall (details below) and to attend the many festivities hosted across the downtown. Winter is a sun-deprived season, but Toronto has many great opportunities to get outdoors, socialize and make the most out of winter. To those who prefer meeting over policy proposals, rezoning applications, and community consultations, I promise many such opportunities throughout 2020.
Yours in community service,
- Review of Third-Party Rental Policies for City-Owned Facilities
- Calling the Federal Government to Implement a National Handgun Ban
- Consulting on the Relocation of the Adelaide Women’s Resource Centre
- LPAT Upholds City of Toronto By-Law on Short-Term Rental Regulations
- Inclusionary Zoning
- Update on 650 Parliament
- You’re Invited to Toronto Centre’s Holiday Party!
- Snow Clearing and Maintenance
- City Council Highlights
- Menstrual Equity Update
- Bikes, Bikes, Bikes!
- Power in Downtown Toronto
- Healthy Neighbourhood Recap
- This One’s For the Dogs
- Update: Corktown Common Off-Leash Area
- Safety Improvements to Power Street
- Public Consultation for 373 Front Street East & 90 Mill Street
- Construction Management and Traffic Coordination
- New Transitional Housing at 9 Huntley Street
- Safety Along Charles Street East
- Cabbagetown Shining Bright this Christmas
- St. Lawrence Market Grows Even Brighter
- City of Toronto Holiday Parties and Events
- Joy All Around with St. James Town Children’s Choir
- Community Events in Moss Park
- Community Spotlight: Covenant House
- In the Community
- In the Media
- How to Report
- Community Resources
- Development Map- Ward 13
- TDSB Update from Chris Moise
1. Review of Third-Party Rental Policies for City-Owned Facilities
On October 29, a Toronto Public Library branch was used by a controversial speaker falsely described trans rights as a threat to others. This came on the heels of another group having their permit pulled for the Pam McConnell Aquatics Centre after it was found that they were engaged in discriminatory activities targeting the LGBTQ2S community. Many were upset to learn that these public spaces were being used by groups seemingly in contravention of the City's equity and inclusion policies and I agreed that these situations deserve a review.
On October 30, City Council endorsed my motion asking for staff to review rental policies for Toronto facilities, including libraries, and to see if we are living up to our explicit commitments in support of human rights, inclusion, and equity.The Toronto Public Library's own rental policy states that the Library reserves the right to deny or cancel a booking when it reasonably believes an individual or group is likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting discrimination, contempt or hatred for any group or person on the basis of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, language, creed (religion), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, membership in a union or staff association, receipt of public assistance, level of literacy or any other similar factor. That behaviour is unacceptable and the City should not be supporting or facilitating it in any way.
2. Calling the Federal Government to Implement a National Handgun Ban
On November 12, I was proud to stand with community leaders, doctors, gun control advocates, and other Toronto elected officials j to stress the importance of adopting a public health approach to addressing gun violence, reinforcing the need to address the root causes of violence and press the Government of Canada for a national prohibition on the import, possession and sale of handguns and semi-automatic military-style assault weapons.
In addition to a coordinated intergovernmental partnership in addressing the root causes of violence, with progressive responses from health care and justice systems, we also need to reduce the opportunity for dangerous and vulnerable people to access handguns. While the federal government has pledged to empower city governments to instate a handgun ban - yet the City Solicitor confirmed that Toronto will not have the resources including staff to be able to effectively enforce any local ban on handguns.
The same day, the Board of Health endorsed HL 11.1 community Violence in Toronto - A Public Health Approach, which includes the call to the federal government to prohibit the availability, sale, possession, and use of handguns, assault rifles, semi-automatic military assault weapons, and parts that are used to build firearms in Canada. Earlier this month, the City of Montreal’s City Council unanimously adopted a motion requesting the Liberal government to ban assault weapons and handguns nationally, not locally.
3. Consulting on the Relocation of the Adelaide Women's Resource Centre
The planned relocation of the Adelaide Women’s Resource Centre from 67 Adelaide Street East to 233 Carlton Street came as a surprise to many. Though the late 2020 project had a plan for robust community consultation, the untimely reveal of the relocation has raised serious questions about City process.
To address the questions and concerns being raised by area residents and to address my October motion at Council, the City has hired third-party consultants to advance a robust community engagement process as soon as possible The consultants have already begun meeting local stakeholder groups to understand the community’s top priorities and to shape future meetings and consultations being planned for the new year. A December, 2019 forum was originally contemplated, but a number of community members have asked for additional time to ensure the consultation is planned more thoroughly. The consultants have agreed and meeting details will be provided by them at the beginning of 2020.
4. LPAT Upholds City of Toronto By-Law on Short-Term Rental Regulations
I applaud the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) decision to uphold the City of Toronto’s short-term rental rules. This is a big step forward in addressing the impact that these so-called “home-sharing” companies have had on the availability of Toronto’s housing stock. While services such as AirBnB and Expedia allow homeowners to supplement their income, they have also allowed aggressive landlords and private companies to effectively evict long-term tenants and turn their homes into “ghost hotels” in the middle of Toronto’s affordable housing crisis.
While Toronto renters struggle to keep a roof over their families heads, the LPAT’s decision will potentially bring 5000 illegal short-term rental units back into the city’s rental housing inventory. Longtime advocacy groups such as Fairbnb Canada and others have suggested that the actual number is likely two or three times higher.
I am proud to have initiated this policy review when in late 2015, City Council supported my motion directing Municipal Licensing and Standards to create new regulations for short-term rental services. The city introduced new zoning by-laws and regulations in late 2017 year to manage short-term rentals. These measures include having homeowners using these platforms to register annually with the city, allowing their entire homes to be rented for a maximum of no more than 180 days per year and requiring that the home is an owner’s actual principal residence.
5. Inclusionary Zoning
Inclusionary zoning is a policy that would require all new developments to incorporate a number of affordable housing units in each site. This has been in the works for years and was finally approved by the Province of Ontario in April 2018. Since then, the City of Toronto has been preparing its policies but has been waiting on the Province to provide the final regulations that will govern it.
In order not to waste any more time, I voted to support the City completing its work, even if the Province does not have any new information or regulations prepared for February 2020. Toronto residents need these policies in place and the City needs to push the Province if it continues to delay this important file. Again, the housing crisis requires us to overcome political stagnation to create result-driven planning tools.
6. Update on 650 Parliament Residents
In early November, it was announced that 650 Parliament tenants would not be moving back to their building anytime this year. The Landlord announced that tenants would instead be given an update in "early 2020" with details about re-occupancy. This once again represents another setback for the over 1,000 residents who remain out of their homes with their lives on hold.
Many 650 Parliament residents continue to rely on the charity of friends and family. Others continue to sublet or live in temporary accommodations. Some are dealing with this instability with their children, mobility and/or health problems. Most tenants who have contacted my office have told us that while they may have a roof over their heads, they do not have a home. For all of these tenants, the chance for their lives to return to a sense of normalcy remains elusive with this recent news.
This cannot continue. With the remaining renovation work largely being cosmetic in nature, I expect the landlord to be able to provide more than vague statements as to when tenants may be able to return. At this point, their contractors should be able to provide details, including actual timelines, allowing the Landlord to commit to a return date. 650 Parliament tenants who have seen return dates broken again and again and again deserve nothing less.
One other concerning issue that has come to my attention has been reporting about compensation that the Landlord has been providing those tenants who are staying with friends and family, or who are in housing that requires a rent subsidy. Residents are reporting that these payments have not been received since September. The Landlord has confirmed with our office that there has been no change in the compensation being provided. This issue has been further brought to the Landlord's attention; I expect that these financial issues will be addressed in short order; many tenants cannot and should not bear this financial burden.
7. You're Invited to Toronto Centre's Holiday Party
When the snow falls down
And the trees around
We know it’s the season,
So who needs a reason?
We open our door,
And clear off the dance floor,
Let the hot chocolate flow,
And our hearts start to glow.
Join in the fun
The night is young
Your neighbours are here
To celebrate holiday cheer!
‘Tis the season for celebration! I would like to invite you to join me, my team and all Toronto Centre neighbours, in celebrating this holiday season. There will be food, music, door prizes and holiday cheer. All are welcome! This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Where: St Lawrence Hall, 157 King Street East
When: Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 6 p.m. -9 p.m.
I look forward to seeing you there!
8. Snow Clearing and Maintenance
Toronto received a record amount of snow in mid-November, sending residents to dig out their snow shovels and to the City’s Transportation Services to start salting and clearing roads and sidewalks. Every year the city gets a large volume of complaints about snow; the following is a quick summary of the city’s snow clearing operations.
The City’s winter maintenance operations on specific streets will depend on their classification. You can find a road’s classification here. Please note that timeframes below represent average snowfalls; major storms may require additional time.
When snow begins to fall, the city will send out salt trucks to the expressways and arterial roads. Once the snow has stopped, collector roads will be done, then local roads. Finally, laneways will be salted.
Roads will be plowed in a similar order, noting that the city does not plow laneways. Transportation Services will attempt to plow expressways within 2-3 hours, and arterial roads within 6-8 hours. Once the snow stops, collector roads will be plowed within 8-10 hours, and local roads will finally be plowed within 14-16 hours.
The City only clears a small percentage of the total sidewalks in Ward 13. You can find a map of which sidewalks the city clears here.
If the City clears a specific sidewalk, it will do its best to clear it after the snow has stopped within 48 hours. The city may take up to 72 hours to clear it once the snow has stopped. If 72 hours have passed and a sidewalk the City clears requires service, please contact 311.
For sidewalks the city does not clear, it is the responsibility of the adjacent landowner to remove the snow. Landowners are required to clear the snow from the sidewalk within 12 hours after a snowfall. If you are a senior or have a disability that makes clearing the snow difficult, you can apply to have the City shovel your sidewalk.
If a sidewalk has not been cleared within 12 hours that the city does not take care of, residents can contact 311 to have a Transportation Services by-law officer investigate.
For sidewalks next to parkland, it would be the responsibility of Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PF&R). If PF&R staff have not cleared the sidewalk within 72 hours of the snow falling, please contact 311.
Most cycle facilities, such as the Sherbourne Cycle Track, are salted and plowed similar to their adjacent road, with a target of snow removal within 6-10 hours depending on the location. The goal is to achieve a bare pavement condition. For priority bike lanes, the goal is to achieve this within 48-72 hours after a snowfall.
9. City Council Highlights
Back in September, my office started something new to better engage and inform residents about the decisions being made here at City Hall. We send emails to those who wish to receive these new updates with the agenda items pertaining to Ward 13 (or All Wards) when they are published for the Toronto & East York Community Council as well as for City Council and then a summary of decisions after the meetings.
To begin receiving these updates, please click the button below to change your subscription settings.
10. Menstrual Equity Update
At the October 22 meeting of the Economic and Community Development Committee, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) staff delivered a report, regarding the feasibility of providing free menstrual hygiene products in City-administrated shelters. The report noted that, following some consultation with shelter contractors, SSHA is requesting a base budget ask of $222,359 to fund the purchase and distribution of menstrual hygiene products to City-administrated shelters, respites, and drop-in centres. The report was received for information, by the Committee.
I am glad to see this acknowledgement of the additional funding that is needed to fulfil this basic need, within the City's shelter system. I first raised this issue in June 2018, when I put forward a Member Motion, to City Council, directing SSHA staff to report back on the cost and implementation to provide menstrual hygiene products to needy clients in City-administrated shelters, respites and drop-in centres.
Shelter facilities are already required to have menstrual hygiene products on hand, however without dedicated funding, operating budgets often could not stretch to cover the cost. SSHA found that City-administered shelters, respite centres, and drop-in centres were relying on donations of menstrual products, without which they were unable to meet the needs of their clients.
During the 2019 budget process, SSHA staff estimated that the cost to provide an adequate supply of menstrual hygiene products would require an increase of $102,600 to be added to their operating budget. City Council voted in favour of this increase in March 2019, and directed staff to conduct consultation with shelters, and menstrual equity organizations to gain a better sense of the existing funding gap. The 2020 base budget ask of $222,359 reflects the results of that consultation and presents a more realistic estimation of the required expenditure.
11. Bikes, Bikes, Bikes!
By the end of this year, the major work happening on Adelaide Street to switch the cycle tracks from the South side to the North side and add cycle signals should be complete, along with the new contra-flow tracks being installed along Sumach Street between Shuter Street and Richmond Street.
In 2020 we have new cycle tracks being installed on The Esplanade, Mill Street, and Berkeley Street. We also have major capital improvements happening along Shuter Street from Church Street to River Street as part of the road reconstruction project where you will see a parking-protected design similar to those along Gerrard Street E. The public consultation for this project will be scheduled for January 2020 with installation in Fall 2020.
12. Power in Downtown Toronto
Hydro One, Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution service provider, is upgrading underground cable in Downtown Toronto. Through an Environmental Assessment, Hydro One is determining both the best route and the best method of construction to minimize disruptions. Hydro One has hosted two open houses this year, with a third planned for early 2020.
There is currently 3.6 km of cables, running from the Esplanade Transformer Station located on Lower Sherbourne Street, south of The Esplanade, to Terauley Transformer Station located on Bay Street south of Dundas Street West. The preferred route will be presented for feedback at the open house planned for early 2020.
Residents and business owners are encouraged to visit Hydro One’s project website, www.TalkPowerDowntownTO.ca, and learn more about the project.There is an online survey and interactive map that you can use to let Hydro One know what they need to be aware of when considering specific routes. I encourage you to visit and provide feedback.
13. Healthy Neighbourhood Recap
Thank you to everyone who had the opportunity to participate in our series of Healthy Neighbourhood Forums this Fall!
Over the course of six weeks, I, with the help of my staff, organized five Healthy Neighbourhood Forums in different areas across the Ward. This series emerged from our Healthy Neighbourhood Summit in 2017. That year I had the opportunity to hear from concerned community members on a range of health and safety concerns. Issues ranged from the need for increased mental health services to the need for more supportive housing. The service requests and conversations from our 2017 Healthy Neighbourhood Summit ultimately supported the creation of the Downtown East Action Plan.
This Fall, we heard from a range of subject experts from City Staff from Social Development, Finance & Administration to representatives from The Wellesley Institute. We strengthened our understanding of the critical need to better understand how the social determinants of health such as education, employment, and social inclusion ultimately shape our health and wellbeing.
A sincere thank you to all our wonderful speakers who joined us over the course of the last six weeks.
Please stay tuned for a series of report backs from each our Forums. We look forward to continuing this important conversation!
14. This One’s For the Dogs
City parks are the extended "green living rooms" of Toronto families. Across the city, neighbours come out with their children and dogs to enjoy the many attributes offered to us from the special green living rooms.
In suitably-sized parks you will find, Dog Off-Leash Areas or "OLAs" as they are affectionately called – each one unique and built at different times throughout the decades. Some are now 20 years old and in need of revitalization.
Park Managers are currently in the process of conducting a comprehensive review of all OLAs in the city. Their timely report is essential in guiding us into the next phase of investments for an important asset in many of Toronto's parks.
As the Chair of the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee, I have asked staff to create a strategy to improve accessibility in OLAs for everyone, especially those living with disabilities. City Council is expected to receive the final report from staff this fall.
While we await these reports which will help set the direction for the long-term capital plans for OLAs in parks, I believe it is important that we engage everyone who uses any of Ward 13's five OLAs in a meaningful way and on an ongoing basis.
Please sign-up to begin receiving OLA-specific updates and to receive invitations to meetings and public consultations.
15. Update: Corktown Common Off-Leash Area
The Corktown Common Off Leash Area has been closed for construction due to ongoing work from Enbridge and scheduled to reopen May 2020. The Eastern corridor along the park is Flood Protected Lands (FPL) and are engineered to serve this purpose. As such, they are owned by the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and very little structure can be accommodated on this land. Currently we have a unique opportunity to enhance the current conditions of this dog park, or explore its relocation as I know it is underutilized by dog owners. I, along with city staff, TRCA and Enbridge are exploring the opportunities and challenges which lay before us and how we can create a space that works for park-goers while respecting the delicate environment of the FPL. Stay tuned as we will be looking to the community of dog owners and park users for feedback on proposals.
16. Safety Improvements to Power Street
Many of you have reached out with safety concerns at Power Street, at Adelaide Street East and Richmond Street East as you and your neighbours cross the intersection to access Orphan’s Green Off-Leash Area. This Summer, the situation became unbearable as a pedestrian was struck by an oncoming vehicle. To address the mounting issue at these intersections, I directed city staff to install temporary safety improvements to Power Street and report back, knowing a signalized intersection will come Spring of 2021. This signal installation is connected to a development at 48-52 Power Street. The staff report presented to Toronto East York Community Council on November 5 indicated timid adjustments to this intersection and not enough to protect pedestrians from speeding vehicles.
Knowing the dangers of this intersection, I’ve directed staff to negotiate with the developer to elevate the priority of signal installation at this intersection. For the full decision history, please click here.
17. Public Consultation for 373 Front Street East & 90 Mill Street
The City is holding a community consultation meeting where you can learn more about this application, ask questions and share your comments.
Details are as follows:
When: Monday, December 9, 2019, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Lucie & Thornton Blackburn Conference Centre, 80 Cooperage Street, 2nd Floor
This proposal seeks to amend the Zoning By-law to permit three 13-storey mixed-use buildings containing 834 residential rental units, of which 248 are affordable units, 2,510 square metres of retail space, 500 square metres for a community hub, and 616 parking spaces within two underground levels. You can view the staff preliminary report here.
You can also view the applicant submitted documentation here.
To speak to the planner directly, contact Henry Tang, at (416) 392-7572 or Henry.Tang@toronto.ca. You may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.
18. Construction Management and Traffic Coordination
The Bay-Cloverhill and Church-Wellesley Neighbourhoods have seen and will continue to experience an unprecedented amount of growth over the next 5 years, along with necessary investments to replace ageing infrastructure. This has made it challenging to coordinate projects with public and private parties that often need to occupy the same right-of-way and use the same arterial roadways for the delivery of their construction materials.
It has also meant that residents, their visitors, businesses, and tourists have endured an incredible amount of construction, lane reductions, road closures, sidewalk occupancies, and noise and debris caused by these projects. As a City, we have very few tools available to us to restrict or slow down development, however, I will continue to work with our community stakeholders, neighbourhood associations, and business improvement areas to do our best to mitigate the disruption and ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our residents and vulnerable road users.
The City of Toronto is committed to achieving pedestrian and road safety through initiatives like Vision Zero. With a very high concentration of 24 projects, that we are aware of, happening concurrently over the next 5 years within the small geographic area between Bay Street, Bloor Street, Jarvis Street and College Street/Carlton Street, I believe it is critical that coordination between multiple City divisions, private developers, local stakeholders and residents takes place to ensure the safety of pedestrians and minimizing traffic impacts on local and arterial roads remain my top priority.
It is in this spirit that I have tabled a motion at City Council to coordinate this work, which you can read here.
19. New Transitional Housing at 9 Huntley Street
On November 4, I joined guests and Fife House to officially open their new transitional housing at 9 Huntley Street. The former site of Casey House, the City of Toronto purchased the site in 2017 with an aim to provide transitional housing for low-income residents with HIV/AIDS.
Fife House has entered into a 20-year lease agreement with the City of Toronto, with a mandate to provide transitional housing to 20 people for 9 to 18 month periods. Program clients will be people who are in emergency shelters or accessing the emergency shelter system. Their program will provide clients with integrated housing support, intensive case management and a clinical team focused on individualized service and care planning, including primary care, psychiatry, nursing and occupational therapy.
20. Safety Along Charles Street East
On Wednesday, November 6, I met with residents and community members to talk about safety on Charles Street East between Yonge Street and Church Street. Police, Public Health, Parks, Municipal Licensing & Standards, and Community Crisis Support staff were all in attendance to hear about community concerns with drug dealing, random acts of violence , and at-risk behaviour in the community. These are serious issues that require sustainable solutions and I will continue to work with Councillor Layton (who represents the north side of Charles Street) and meet with the community to develop a move-forward strategy , leveraging the Downtown East Action Plan and enhanced area-specific policing and response times.
21. Cabbagetown Shining Bright this Christmas
The Cabbagetown Residents Association is once again holding their annual Cabbagetown Holiday Lights Contest!
Submissions began in late November and photos of the nominated lights displays will appear on the Cabbagetown Residents Association’s Facebook page and Twitter account throughout November and December. An online voting poll will determine the neighbourhood winner on December 27, 2019. The winner will be notified by a sign on their lawn, receive a trophy, and have bragging rights for the year!
22. The St. Lawrence Market Grows even Brighter
On November 7, new heritage lighting for the St. Lawrence South Market building was revealed. Developed by design firm Smith + Anderson, this lighting not only helps bring prominence to the building’s historic features, it also provides wayfinding elements and includes LED lighting that can provide an array of interchangeable lighting for holidays and events.
This new lighting is part of the City’s Heritage Lighting Master Plan and was supported by former City Councillor Pam McConnell. It is a fantastic addition to this historic market.
23. Community Events in Moss Park
Tech Time: Holiday Tunes with Dash
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! All are welcome!
When: Saturday December 28, 2019 from noon to 2 p.m.
Where: Penthouse, 285 Shuter Street
Come out to enjoy a fun time with your neighbours in Moss Park, a delicious meal, fun activities, and more!
When: December 21, 2019 from noon to 2 p.m.
Where: Penthouse, 285 Shuter Street
24. City of Toronto Holiday Parties and Events
King Street will be hosting free weekly pop-up events in public spaces along King Street until December 21! Enjoy live music, a cozy warming station, hot drinks and baked goods, and more! Learn more!
Aurora Winter Festival
Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is hosting Aurora Winter Festival and is transforming Ontario Place West Island into a spectacular celebration of light and adventure for a second consecutive year! Enjoy this enchanting winter wonderful from November 22, 2019 - January 5, 2020. This magical winter wonderful will feature four distinct mystical worlds for guests to explore, as well as charming characters, stunning light installations, fabulous food experiences, marketplaces, amusement rides and more! Inspired by the breathtaking beauty of the Aurora Borealis’ northern lights, the Aurora Winter Festival features entertainment and interactive experiences that will delight people of all ages and backgrounds. For more information, reservations and advance tickets visit here.
Saturday Night Lights: Gaslight Evening
Go back in time to Victorian Toronto and explore the 1858 townhouse at the Mackenzie House located at 82 Bond Street festooned and lit for the holiday season! Indulge your senses with tasty treats, holiday music, hands-on activities and Victorian ghost stories! Print a card on the historic press to send to Santa or share it with family and friends. This event will be taking place on December 14 and 21 and is a part of Toronto History Museums' Holiday Crafts and Workshops programming. In particular, Mackenzie House is one of 10 Toronto History Museums that explores urban Victorian life of the 1850s and 1860s. Reservations and advance tickets are required, please book here.
Outdoor Leisure Skating
From December to March, the City operates more than 50 outdoor artificial ice rinks. Outdoor public skating is free and rinks are generally open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. To find out when your local rink is open, please check here.
Nathan Phillips Square Events
December 7 - 23 Holiday Fair in the Square
Enjoy the wonderful combination of a charming Christmas market with an elegant winter carnival! Admissions are FREE! Everyone is welcome! For more information on Holiday Fair in the Square.
December 31 New Year’s Eve
Toronto’s annual New Year Eve’s celebration featuring DJ skating parties, live musical performances and spectacular fireworks. Admission is free and everyone is welcome! For more Holiday festivals and events in the City, please visit here.
25. Joy All Around with St. James Town Children’s Choir
Reaching Out Through Music & St. James Town Children’s Choir Invite you to join them for Joy All Around, a concert of seasonal favourites,and some new tunes too! Admission is free.
When: Monday December 9, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: The Church of St. Peter’s and St. Simon- the- Apostle, 525 Bloor Street East
26. Community Spotlight: Covenant House
Covenant House is Canada’s largest youth-serving agency for nearly 40 years that offers the widest range of 24/7 services to youth who are homeless, trafficked, or marginalized. Since 1982, Covenant House has supported more than 95,000 young people. Their guiding principle is to support, reclaim and improve lives, empower, and advocate for all vulnerable youth. Covenant House offers housing options, health and well-being support, training and skill development, and ongoing care once youth move into the community. As a national leader, they combine front line experience with research through evaluation studies and their youth advisory council. Their advocacy at all levels of government pushes forward important agenda items on homelessness, child welfare and sex trafficking.
27. In the Community
Proud to support Neighbourhood Information Post, an important service provider in Toronto Centre. Congratulations to their Board, staff and volunteers on another successful year. I'm proud to support their work, especially that of the Rent Bank, Housing Trusteeship and the Moss Park Summer Festival!
It was a pleasure to meet the new Ontario Legislature Internship Programme interns at City Hall. They're smart, committed and caring about positive politics, civic engagement and public policy. This impressive group of young leaders is the future and it looks bright with them at the helm.
Proud to be a multi-year supporter of Homeless Connect Toronto, a volunteer-driven non-profit that brings 100 services, 500 volunteers and 1500 street-involved residents together under one roof It's an honour to participate and congratulations to all who make this event successful.
Thank you to the art champions who came out to highlight the benefits of a strong arts and culture sector at the 10th Toronto Arts Day at City Hall. Threats to maintaining a vibrant arts scene in Toronto include the high costs of housing, production and performance space.
It was an honour to join the Old Town Toronto community in the historic "turning on" of the heritage lighting project on the St Lawrence Market South building. This $1.45M project was 10 years in the planning, designing, making and installation. Thank you to all involved!
Thank you to Future Cities Canada and Evergreen Canada for inviting me to the 2019 Summit for the important discussion of Who Owns The City. It was an honour to speak directly with the author and Obama presidential advisor Bruce Katz about his work on new localism. I look forward to more collaborations!
It was an honour to attend the Regent Park Solidarity Supper hosted by CRC at 40 Oaks Street to celebrate community achievements. From strengthening the social development, expanding access to recreation to reducing poverty. It's been a full year of new partnerships and achievements together!
Chilly weather won't stop the warmhearted from protesting Ford Cuts to health care. I was proud to join frontline health workers, outreach workers, doctors, nurses in protecting services for children, seniors, working families and more. Thank you Ontario Health Coalition for organizing!
Thrilled to meet trailblazer Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir who fought for the right to wear the hijab (and kippah, yarlmulke, turban) and forever changed international basketball rules. Her workshop after the screening of her award-winning documentary, Life Without Basketball, was a big success! Thank you to the Regent Park Film Festival and MLSE Launch Pad.
For 30 years Black CAP has been overcoming HIV/AIDS stigma to prevent infection and deliver life-enhancing culturally-appropriate support to African, Caribbean and Black communities. Congratulations to founders, volunteers, staff & board on this milestone anniversary!
28. In the Media
5 ideas Toronto councillors are bringing to city hall this week, Toronto.com, October 28, 2019
Council calls for review of Toronto facility permits in wake of controversial speech at library, CTV News, October 30, 2019
Toronto councillors pass motion condemning Quebec's Bill 21, CTV News, October 31, 2019
Toronto considering vegetable gardens on new buildings to combat food insecurity, Global News, October 28, 2019
U of T supports Toronto city council request for mental health funding, University of Toronto News, November 1, 2019
- St. Lawrence Market to unveil new heritage lighting this week, Daily Hive, November 4, 2019
'Extremely concerned': Protesters decry Ontario health-care cuts, changes, CBC News, November 9, 2019
Toronto’s Board of Health endorses call for gun ban, Global News, November 12, 2019
It’s time for a national ban on owning handguns, The Toronto Star, Sunday, November 17, 2019
- A Toronto rental program was supposed to create safer and cleaner buildings. Councillor now says, 'we are failing’, Toronto.com, November 13, 2019
29. 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.
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. TDSB Update from Chris Moise
On November 26, 2019, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced the start of phase 1 work-to-rule strike action. According to ETFO, “the action targets Ministry and school board administrative tasks and does not impact on students.”
The work-to-rule directives include, but are not limited to:
- Not participating in any EQAO-related activities
- Not completing Term 1 Report Cards (teachers will provide the school administrator with a class list of marks for the various subjects/strands taught, or one brief comment per frame for the Kindergarten Communication of Learning)
- Not participating in any school board or Ministry of Education professional learning offered outside of the instructional day
At this time, schools will remain open and instructional programs will continue. Should the work-to-rule progress to include further sanctions, there may be further impacts on school activities, permits and operations. ETFO, OPSBA and the Ontario government are ongoing and hopefully an agreement will be reached soon.
For more information, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/labour.