July 20, 2018
- A New Community Action Plan for the Downtown East
- Environment Day Thank You
- Affordable Housing & Shelter Update
- Working Together for Safer Communities: Who to Call in Your Neighbourhood
- 2018 Municipal Election Communication Rules for City Councillors
- Nathan Phillips Square Farmer's Market
- Community Spotlight: Na-Me-Res
- Development Map
1. A New Community Action Plan for the Downtown East
In November 2017, Councillor Wong-Tam organized Ward 27's first Healthy Neighbourhoods Summit, bringing together residents, community members, business owners, and City staff to report on community needs in the Downtown East.
On November 15, 2017 Councillor Wong-Tam held the Healthy Neighbourhoods Summit that brought together 150 residents, business owners, and City staff from across the downtown to discuss pressing matters of health, safety and community vibrancy. Downtown neighbourhoods consistently reported major gaps between service levels and community needs. On December 5, 2017 City Council endorsed a motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to develop a fully-funded 12-month and 5-year action plan to address these major public health, service, and supports gaps. Last month, a 36-point 12-month Action Plan was endorsed by City Council and is immediately going into effect.
Councillor Wong-Tam with Councillor Troisi and the Mayor's office to develop the 12-month Action Plan and 5-year Action Plan to make immediate investments in the Downtown East service prevision.
The action plan area spans from Bay Street to the Don Valley, from the Waterfront up to Bloor, plus the Collier-Asquith neighbourhood, and will see many improvements, including the following:
- Increased park maintenance operations through new "flying squads" – up to six times per week for identified hot spots
- Increased number of Parks Ambassadors to maintain order and connect vulnerable populations to services
- Increased laneway and alley cleaning from annually to bi-weekly, and 3 times per day for hot spots, including needle collection
- Weekend Clean-up Blitz teams to provide additional cleaning supports at high-demand locations
- Improved front-line staff training for overdose prevention and mental health
- More access to City washroom and shower facilities for vulnerable community members
- 8 new peer-to-peer and harm-reduction hires to do direct outreach with vulnerable community members
- A new community services coordinator to integrate the work of municipal and community agencies in the Downtown East
- Increased street sweeping
- Replacement of damaged litter bins this year and the removal of abandoned street furniture and newspaper boxes this summer
- New recreation spaces and programs at local community centres
Much more needs to be done and Councillor Wong-Tam is committed to continuing working with partners at every level of government to get the necessary mental health and addictions resources into the communities that need it most. The 12-month Action Plan is the first step in having Toronto take on its part of this work and ensuring that the downtown is as vibrant and healthy as it can be. More will be done with the upcoming 5-year Action Plan to address deeper systemic issues in the downtown east and to identify where proper levels of funding need to be directed.
2. Environment Day Thank You
Thank you to residents and community members who joined us this past Saturday for our last Community Environment Day as Ward 27. As I reflect on my past eight years as City Councillor, I am always touched by the generosity and participation of our diverse communities.
Thank you to the all community groups and organizations who participated, including Toronto Public Library Parliament Branch, Friends of Allan Gardens, TDSB Trustee Chris Moise, Grace Church, Toronto Hydro and staff from City of Toronto divisions 311, Solid Waste, Tower & Neighbourhood Revitalization, Shelter, Support and Housing and the STEPS Initiative, whose gorgeous new Equilibrium mural was completed just in time to be prominently on display for all to admire. Thank you to Out of This World Cafe for a delicious community lunch!
3. Affordable Housing and Shelter Update
For her entire time on City Council, Councillor Wong-Tam has been advocating for the improvement of services and facilities at Toronto Community Housing. With support of local residents, she has allocated millions of dollars in Section 37 funding to expand and invest in the broadest range of affordable housing, including that of Habitat for Humanity, Artscape, Na-Me-Res, Casey House, Fife House, Egale Centre Toronto Community Housing, LOFT Community Services and YWCA Toronto.
Last year, Councillor Wong-Tam sounded the alarm on the shelter system surpassing its capacity and led the advocacy at City Council to secure 1,000 new shelter beds and opened the Moss Park Armories as a respite facility. 2017 also saw movement in Councillor Wong-Tam's years of advocacy with the Bay-Cloverhill community to secure Provincial lands for affordable housing as the Grenville and Grosvenor Street lands were integrated into a plan for 2,000 new low end market rent and below market rent units. This month, Council will be voting on amendments by Councillor Wong-Tam to move an additional $500,000 in funding to support the Out of the Cold program in the 2018/2019 winter season to deliver safer and more accessible services and supports.
Councillor Wong-Tam has worked with a range of organizations such as ACORN, Health Providers Against Poverty, Sistering, YWCA Toronto, and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty to secure housing, shelter spaces, and essential services for those struggling to afford rent. There is a lot more work to be done to secure a long-term, fully-funded housing strategy, but important steps have been taken to make Toronto a more affordable, accessible and inclusive city for everyone.
4. Working Together for Safer Communities: Who to Call in Your Neighbourhood
We care about the well-being of all residents and are working hard to build safer, stronger communities. You are not alone. Whether it is an emergency or an on-going issue, the Police and the City of Toronto are here to help. If you see something, please report it.
5. 2018 Municipal Election Communication Rules for City Councillors
As you may already know, there is a municipal election coming up this fall on October 22, 2018. The recently amended Municipal Elections Act, 1996 ("Act") now requires municipalities to establish rules and procedures with respect to the use of municipal resources during the election period. To preserve the public trust and integrity of the elections process, the City’s Policy sets out provisions that address: (1) access to City facilities during an election period, (2) access to City resources during an election period, (3) access to City information during an election period, (4) attendance at City events during an election period, and (5) restrictions to services provided to Members of City Council beginning August 1 of an election year.
These rules stipulate that City Councillors are not permitted to send out communications to constituents after August 1st. These rules were recommended by City staff, as required by provincial legislation, and approved by City Council, in order to ensure that City resources are not used for election purposes.
This means that my office is not permitted to send out information in e-newsletters, or print newsletters, after this date. If there is an emergency, my office is permitted to communicate with constituents regarding this emergency. However, after August 1st, regular e-mail newsletters are not permitted.
To ensure that residents are notified of this rule, I will include this reminder in my email newsletters for the next number of weeks. Here are additional details with respect to these rules:
After August 1st, City Councillors are not permitted to:
- Send out email newsletters or print newsletters
- Host or organize meetings or events
For more information, click here.
6. Nathan Phillips Square Farmer's Market
The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association invites you to the Nathan Phillips Square Farmers Market every Wednesday from 8:00AM to 2:00PM until October 3, 2018 (rain or shine) at Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West.Pick up locally-grown and produced fruit and veggies, meats, cheeses, pastries, preserves, breads, pop-sickles, wines/ciders from Ontario's best farms. Come pick up something fresh for dinner or plan to meet a friend for lunch!
7. Community Spotlight: Na-Me-Res
Over the last eight years, Councillor Wong-Tam has been proud to support the great work of Na-Me-Res, a multi-service organization that works to support Aboriginal men with access to housing, life skills, and social equity through a culturally sensitive lens. Na-Me-Res offers a number of initiatives and programs, from providing traditional teachings to workshops on creative writing, photography, and reiki. The Na-Me-Res team takes a holistic approach to supporting their clients, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs. The team is comprised of individuals from different areas and sectors such as traditional Elders & teachers, Oshkabaywis (spiritual helpers), case managers, client care and support workers, etc.
We are proud to welcome Na-Me-Res to their new home at 63-65 Homewood. The once popular Bed & Breakfast is now owned by the City of Toronto and leased to Na-Me-Res for long-term affordable housing. The space provides 16 one-bedroom apartments that are long-term, independent rental units. Councillor Wong-Tam is committed to expanding affordable housing in Toronto. Thank you to everyone at Na-Me-Res for your incredibly important work!
8. Development Map
Councillor Wong-Tam wants you to learn about current and upcoming development in your neighbourhood. The Ward 27 Development Map lists every application for a zoning by-law and/or official plan amendment received within the last 5 years. You can view the status of the application, learn briefly what it's about and find links to staff reports, applicant reports and more. The map also includes information about local neighbourhoods, including who is your Ward 27 staff contact and how to contact your local residents' association.
The development map will be regularly updated, with new applications and information when applicable. The map does not include Committee of Adjustment applications. If you see anything that you feel should be on the map, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and to view the map, please visit http://www.ward27news.ca/development.
9. Got a Question? Check out our FAQ!
Do you want to report discarded needles but don't know how? Are you interested in implementing permit parking on your street but don't know where to start? Have you received a notice for a zoning by-law amendment in your area and want to know what comes next?
You can visit the Ward 27 Constituency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to learn the answers to the above questions and many more common questions the office receives. The FAQ will be periodically updated with new questions.