July 4, 2018
- Welcome Letter from Councillor Wong-Tam
- City Council Highlights - June 26 to 29, 2018
- 2018 Community Environment Day - Saturday, July 14, 2018
- Pride 2018 Recap
- 11-21 Yorkville Avenue Public Consultation - Wednesday, July 11, 2018
- Kristyn in the Community
- Development Map
- Got a Question? Check out our FAQ!
- Welcome Luula!
- Community Spotlight: PATCH program
1. Welcome Letter
Toronto’s downtown is critically important to the city. It is the cultural centre of Ontario, the economic engine of the region, the province’s tourist hotspot and home to thousands of new residents every year. Last week, City Council supported my ongoing motions and efforts to improve the safety and health of our downtown communities by investing in our future.
Last autumn, I hosted the Healthy Neighbourhoods Summit for residents across the downtown and it was clear that major social challenges were emerging. A growing opioid crisis, mental health and housing support gaps, public safety concerns and the failure of city services to clean and maintain public spaces were all raised as top concerns. After many months of advocacy on my part, but last week City Council funded an emergency 12-Month Action Plan for the Downtown East.
Highlights from the 36-point, 12-Month Action Plan for the Downtown East to improve service levels include:
- increasing park cleaning from two to six times per week at hotspot locations;
- increasing laneway cleaning from biweekly to daily;
- removing broken and derelict street furniture, including newspaper boxes;
- hiring new harm-reduction outreach workers;
- expanding and enhancing needle collection and pick-up;
- opening recreation washrooms and showers to vulnerable communities;
- conducting monthly safety walks with divisional leads and local stakeholders;
- providing more overdose prevention training for City staff; and,
- creating faster response times through 311 for illegal dumping.
A further 5-year plan is also being developed that will focus on the longer-term solutions needed to address the systemic and chronic issues that have contributed to the challenges before us today. This additional plan will directly address the scarcity of affordable housing, shelter standards and service coordination in the downtown. There is much more work to be done, but I am proud that this marks the most significant investment in services for the Downtown East in many years. Thank you for your ongoing encouragement and support for this work.
City Council also supported the commitment of over $10 million in funding to build-out the Yonge Street Environmental Assessment (EA). Part 1 of the EA is underway and will consider options to increase sidewalk widths, improve accessibility, install cycling facilities, enhance street furniture, improve landscaping, expand opportunities for public art and cultural activities and improve overall traffic movement in the downtown between Queen Street and Davenport Road. Part 2 of the EA will explore opportunities to extend this work south to the Waterfront and the larger project will be transformative improvement to the Yonge Street corridor.
I love Toronto and hope that we can all be part of making it the most inclusive, vibrant, and healthy city that it canbe. I will continue to advocate for the essential services and investments we need, while bringing new cultural and public realm enhancements into our neighbourhoods. When our downtown succeeds, it lifts up our entire city.
Yours in service,
2. City Council Highlights - June 26 to 29, 2018
New City Manager Appointed
City Council appointed Chris Murray as the city’s new City Manager, the former City Manager for the City of Hamilton since 2009. Chris Murray replaces Peter Wallace, the city’s former City Manager between 2015 and 2018.
New Community Council Boundaries Created
City Council amended recommendations to create four community councils as part of the new 2018 municipal ward boundaries. The new community councils are approximately the same area as the current ones, with the exception of the former Ward 13, Parkdale – High Park (to be renamed Ward 17), which was brought into the Toronto and East York Community Council boundaries through an amendment.
2019 Shelter Infrastructure Plan
City Council approved a 2019 Shelter Infrastructure Plan, which included authorization for Shelter, Support and Housing Administration staff to enter into new or amend existing agreements to open and operate new shelter and respite spaces. The plan includes purchasing four modular, climate-controlled temporary structures to supplement the demand for respite services. An amendment by Mayor Tory also requests significant assistance from the Federal and Provincial governments to address the high number of refugee and asylum claimants who are arriving in Toronto.
Closing the Downtown East Service Gap
City Council adopted a 12-Month Action Plan for the Downtown East. The plan includes 36-point action items that include but are not limited to hiring a new Community and Client Engagement Coordinator, scaling up harm reduction services, providing better access to recreation, washroom and shower facilities, facilitating community safety walks and park safety audits, requesting new outreach workers and providing additional staffing for park cleanups.
Additional action requested by Councillor Wong-Tam included the creation of “flying’ squads to increase dedicated park, laneway and roadway cleaning, including violence reduction and community safety as part of harm reduction services, locating new need collection bins, collecting data to measure success of this plan, and exploring the viability of a new Toronto Police Service substation near Yonge and Dundas.
The 12-Month Action Plan will feed into a 5-year Action Plan that will come forward in 2019.
Funding for New SIS Outreach Workers Approved
City Council approved hiring four temporary outreach workers to help staff the Supervised Injection Service at 277 Victoria Street. These outreach workers will help address the ongoing opioid crisis within the Downtown East. These positions are being funded entirely by the province.
Vision Zero Road Safety
City Council approved approximately $22 million in new spending to accelerate the's city's road safety plan, known as Vision Zero. This new funding follows a string of pedestrian and cycling deaths in Toronto. In July 2016, Councillor Wong-Tam asked the city to accelerate funding for Vision Zero, but her request was defeated at City Council. As part of this new funding and following a motion from Councillor Wong-Tam, $4 million will go towards accelerating Vision Zero road safety improvements on the city's cultural corridors: Bloor, Jarvis, John and Yonge streets. Let us know how we should the city prioritize this money. We want to hear your ideas! Please send your comments and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 15, 2018.
Housing Standing Committee Created
City Council approved the creation of a new Housing Committee, whose mandate is to monitor and make recommendations on housing and shelters within the City. This new standing committee would replace the Affordable Housing Committee, and the chair would become part of the city's Executive Committee.
TOmorrow on Yonge Street
City Council approved a member motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to allocate approximately $10.7 million in section 37 and section 45 monies towards the future implementation of the Yonge TOmorrow project, coming out of the functional design study for Yonge Street from Davenport Road to Queen Street. This study will develop a vision for the corridor to create a vibrant public realm. The study will review expanding sidewalks to accommodate the heavy pedestrian traffic, as well as look at introducing cycling facilities. Stakeholder working group meetings will begin at the end of July 2018.
Rosehill Reservoir Acceleration
City Council approved $400,000 from the South District Parkland Development Reserve Funds to accelerate the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation project, related to the rehabilitation of the concrete reservoir structure in David A. Balfour Park. These funds are to be used towards additional design work and enhanced improvements in 2018.
Jesse Ketchum School Faciltiity Improvements
City Council approved a member motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to fund improvements to Jesse Ketchum Public School. More than $1.5 million from section 37 funds will be used to improve the school’s gymnasium, kitchen and storage facilities. These upgraded facilities will come with a unique Community Access Agreement, to provide local residents and the city access to these facilities outside of regular school hours.
Growing Parkland in Yorkville
City Council approved an amended section 37 agreement to help coordinate the creation of a new park between two separate developments at 27-37 Yorkville Avenue (33 Yorkville) and 11-21 Yorkville Avenue (11 Yorkville). 33 Yorkville had previously received approvals that would create an on-site 583.5 m2 public park in 2017. A recent development application at 11 Yorkville proposes its own on-site parkland dedication, with the size to be determined. The motion ensures that the two sites coordinate efforts to create a single larger park to be enjoyed by the local community for years to come.
Improving TCH Safety
City Council approved a member motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to spend approximately $1 million in section 37 monies to fund lighting and security upgrades at various Toronto Community Housing buildings in Ward 27. The properties that will receive these capital improvements are located at 40 Asquith Avenue; 92 Carlton Street; 18 Davenport Road; 25 Elm Street; 291 George Street; 261 Jarvis Street; 330 Jarvis Street; 460 Jarvis Street; 200 Sherbourne Street; 21 St. Joseph Street; 95 Wood Street; and 423 Yonge Street.
Recognizing Police, Fire and British Home Children History in Toronto
City Council approved a member motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to fund three Heritage Toronto plaques using section 37 funds. The plaques will recognize the history of Toronto Police Services at 40 College Street, Toronto Fire Services at 34 Yorkville Avenue, and the former Dr. Barnardo’s Homes' Canadian headquarters at 538 Jarvis Street, which operated as a first point of arrival for British Home Children between 1922 and 1945.
Laneway Suites Approved
City Council approved amendments to the Official Plan and zoning by-law to permit laneway suites within Toronto and East York District. Criteria for new laneway suites include minimum separation distances, setbacks and soft landscaping; maximum building and wall heights; and guidelines for the location and percentage of windows.
George Street Revitalization Streetscaping Direction
City Council approved a new approach for creating an enhanced streetscape on George Street, between Gerrard Street and Shuter Street that recognizes the historic Indigenous presence in the area. This work will compliment the George Street Revitalization efforts which will see Seaton House redeveloped into a new facility.
Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products in Shelters
City Council approved a motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to review the cost of providing free menstrual hygiene products to low- income women, girls and trans individuals at shelters, drop-in centres, respite centres, community centres and other agencies. Access to menstrual hygiene products often compete with the costs of food and rent. Menstruation is a natural and normal bodily function that affects 52 percent of the world's population, having the heaviest impact on the most vulnerable women and girls. Supplying menstrual hygiene products to the most vulnerable women and girls is a matter of dignity, as these products are essential to women’s and girls’ health, and paramount in ensuring full participation in work, school and society.
Affirming the City's Support for Comprehensive Sex Education
City Council approved a motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to support the comprehensive sexual education program as a critical part of Ontario's public education curriculum. Ontario's present sexual education curriculum helps address long-standing education gaps. It empowers girls and boys to achieve autonomy over their own bodies and teaches students about the importance of consent. It also allows for students to acquire sexual literacy and comprehension before being confronted with various health risks or exposure to explicit materials - all the more important in light of the widespread use of data-enabled cellphones by children as early as grade school. Further, it draws on evidence-based research and helps to educate students on other important subjects, such as the risks of substance abuse, personal health, and safety.
3. 2018 Community Environment Day - Saturday, July 14, 2018
Join Councillor Wong-Tam at historic Allan Gardens for a fun-filled day of activities! Our yearly Environment Day event connects residents with City services and community organizations that are vital to creating healthy, livable neighbourhoods. We will be hosting a special lunch with various activities for parents and children!
What: Councillor Wong-Tam's Community Environment Day
When: Saturday, July 14, 2018, 10:00am to 2:00pm
Where: Allan Gardens
Visit any time to donate and recycle, get your kitchen compost and garbage containers, show off your crafting skills, connect with the community, and more.
More info to come. RSVP here.
4. Pride 2018 Recap
As the annual Pride festivities wrap, Councillor Wong-Tam is once again reminded of the incredible community that we have in the Church-Wellesley Village. Through good times and hard times, our Village family has always pulled together to support one another and create a place of belonging and acceptance.
From new rainbow crosswalks to the creation of new shelters and transitional housing for LGBTQ2SA+ youth and individuals living with HIV/AIDS, Councillor Wong-Tam has been a City Council leader and fierce advocate for equity and human rights. Under Councillor Wong-Tam's leadership and with support of community advocates, a LGBTQ2SA+ Advisory Committee will be established in 2019. This Advisory Committee will be central in promoting voices traditionally marginalized from the political process. Additionally, in May 2018, Councillor Wong-Tam successfully passed a motion for Toronto to join the Rainbow Cities Network, which is a growing network of international cities concerned with addressing LGBTQ2SA+ policies.
5. 11-21 Yorkville Avenue Public Consultation - Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The City will be holding a Community Consultation meeting for 11-21 Yorkville Avenue & 16-18 Cumberland St. where you can learn more about this application ask questions and share your comments.
11-21 Yorkville & 16-18 Cumberland St. is an application for a zoning by-law amendment to permit two buildings: a 62 storey mixed-use building on Yorkville Avenue with a total of 716 units, of which 81 will be rental replacement units, and a 2-storey commercial building on Cumberland Street. An open space made up of both a stratified public park and Privately Owned Publicly-Accessible space (POPS) is proposed on the west side of the subject lands fronting onto Yorkville Avenue expanding the conveyed park associated with 33 Yorkville Avenue.
You can read the preliminary report on the application at http://app/toronto.ca/tmmis/view/AgendaItemHistory.do?item=2018.TE33.46
What: Community Consultations for 11- 32 Yorkville Avenue & 16-18 Cumberland St.
When: Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Where: Gardiner Museum, Terrace Room, 3rd Floor (111 Queens Park)
To speak to the planner directly, contact Kevin Friedrich, at 416-338-5740 or email@example.com. 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.
You may also contact Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 27, at 416-392-7903. Notice to correspondents: Information will be collected in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.
Our public meeting locations are wheelchair/mobility device accessible. Other reasonable accommodation or assistive services for persons with disabilities may be provided with adequate notice. Please contact Kevin Friedrich, at 416-338-5740, Kevin.Friedrich@toronto.ca with your request. The City of Toronto is committed to taking the necessary steps to insure compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
6. Kristyn in the Community
Great to chat with North American "8-80 Cities" Emerging City Champions about how we made Open Streets TO happen and the importance of accessible active transportation programming.
Addressing the Fred Victor membership at their AGM and learning from their expert panel about the Toronto shelter and housing crisis. Many ideas floated and all agreed that there is no one easy fix. Panelists noted that crisis response must better coordinated among governments and agencies, and that all efforts must be scaled up.
Honoured to participate in the Sunrise Ceremony for National Indigenous Peoples Day in recognition of cultures and contributions of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples to Canada. It is important to acknowledge Indigenous lands and Canada's responsibility to honour all treaties.
At Starry Night, celebrating the incredible work of The 519 on behalf of the community in Toronto.
The rain can't hold back the powerful sisterhood. Let's hear it for the amazing volunteers and participants at the Dyke March!
Nothing can stop the LGBTQ2SA+ community from rising. Proud to be Toronto's first openly queer woman elected to City Council. We've made great strides together but until everyone is safe and their human rights respected, City Council will continue to march in support of Toronto's Pride movement.
Helping young friends cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the Ramsden Park playground. Definitely one of the best new playgrounds in Toronto! Thank you to the ABC Residents' Association for your ongoing support.
Thrilled to be working with the Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine to encourage women's leadership in municipal politics through organisations such as Women Win Toronto.
I was pleased to participate in the live CityNews broadcast outside of Queen's Park for the swearing in of the new provincial government.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Welcome Luula!
The Ward 27 office is happy to welcome Luula Hassan, who has joined our office as a constituency assistant. Luula is a past Research Assistant for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and a former fellow with the Muslim Youth Fellowship program. She worked part-time at our office through this program. Luula is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. She is an incredibly capable worker and outgoing individual. Our office is thrilled to have her join our team!
10. Community Spotlight: PATCH Program
The PATCH Project is a social enterprise operated by the STEPS Initiative that works with local artists and designers to create public art projects in the City of Toronto. PATCH works to strengthen communities through producing public art projects that transform public spaces into opportunities for civic engagement; for local communities to come together and take part in the creative process. PATCH works to bring together culture, community, and city-building.
Ward 27 is pleased to welcome PATCH's new mural for Parkside Student Residence. The project entitled Equilibrium, is anticipated to be completed for July 2018 by world renowned street artist, OKUDA, from Spain. The Equilibrium mural project will help foster community building through providing paid employment for local and up-and-coming artists, skill building opportunities, and cultural programming for community members. As the mural nears its completion, we look forward to the unveiling!