Newsletters

February 2020 | E-Newsletter

On February 19, City Council passed the 2020-2021 budget. This year we supported a modest increase in our capital funding through the city building levy. This additional $6.6 billion raised over the next 10 years will pay for much needed long-term transit and affordable housing. This revenue increase represents an important forward step in building the city we actually want - one that is inclusive, prosperous and globally competitive. 

A big thank you to the community members, local organizations and residents who signed petitions, wrote emails and letters, and made phone calls. With your strong support I was able to work with the Mayor and City Council to achieve the following budget benefits for Ward 13 neighbourhoods and beyond!

  1. Save the Cabbagetown Youth Centre
  2. Provide full funding for the long awaited Regent Park Social Development Plan.
  3. Secure funding for the recommendations and actions contained in the Five-Year Plan.
  4. Fund $1.1M of streetscape improvements for the historic St Lawrence Neighbourhood.
  5. Secure enhanced funding for Yonge-Dundas Square to enhance their security operations.
  6. Fully fund the intersectional gender equality unit at City Hall.

City Council also approved my motion to initiate a Municipal Property Assessment Corporation or MPAC Response Working Group.  Despite my recent success to cap taxes on small, independent businesses, there are indications that this sector, specifically LGBTQ2S+ establishments in The Village and other unique businesses will continue to experience commercial property tax stress while MPAC reforms remain unaddressed in Queen’s Park. This MPAC Response Working Group will work with the City’s financial planning staff, industry experts in consultations with councillors in high growth areas to find additional ways to address the impacts of out-of-control provincially imposed MPAC assessments. Early indications reveal that in 2020, the condominium market which has outpaced the growth of suburban single family homes will be seeing the same types of unsustainable assessment values that hit the small business sector particularly hard in 2017 and 2018.

This year I  renewed my call to reinstate the Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). Toronto has lost over half a billion dollars in revenue since cancelling the VRT in 2011. The foregone revenues of $55 million dollars from a single year of VRT collection paid exclusively by car owners ($60 per year) would have been allocated to TTC improvements, winter road maintenance and enhanced road safety or Vision Zero programs. This quantum represents an additional 1.75% higher property taxes which is now borne by every Toronto resident, both homeowners and tenants. Although my motion was defeated 7-18, I know this straightforward and ready to implement revenue tool will be re-introduced in the 2021 budget vote.

While the 2020 budget isn’t perfect - we are still relying too heavily on the unstable Municipal Land Transfer Tax and uncommitted funding from the Provincial and Federal Governments - there are some big wins for the City of Toronto and in particular for our local Ward 13 neighbourhoods, and for that I was proud to support this budget. 

My final round of thanks goes to Mayor John Tory and Budget Chief Crawford for working with City Council to deliver a good outcome for residents and business owners in this year’s budget.

Yours in community service, 

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam


Read on to learn more about: 

  1. Yonge TOmorrow
  2. Major Initiatives in Ward 13-Toronto Centre
  3. Labour Disruption
  4. Plan to Create Supportive Housing Opportunities 
  5. Intergovernmental Action to Address Housing and Homelessness Issues
  6. Vacant Building Security
  7. Update: The Sanctuary
  8. St Lawrence Centre Redevelopment 
  9. Live/Work Use in Commercial Buildings
  10. E-Scooters Pilot Project
  11. Regent Park Community Meeting Update
  12. Public Consultation for 60 Mill Street
  13. Public Consultation for 483-491 Bay St. & 20 Albert St.
  14. A Celebration of Indigenous Women: Storytelling & Self-Determination
  15. Community Spotlight: CORE
  16. In the Community
  17. In the Media
  18. How to Report
  19. Community Resources
  20. Development Map
  21. TDSB Update from Chris Moise

1. Yonge TOmorrow

Yonge Street

Work continues on the Yonge TOmorrow Environmental assessment (EA). This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the downtown section of Yonge Street between College and Queen into a vibrant, pedestrian-priority destination street.  

With the support of the Downtown Yonge BIA and local resident associations, I asked the City to launch this process in 2013, responding to the huge growth and changing demographics of the neighbourhood. We wanted to build upon the hugely successful and popular YongeLove campaign, which saw thousands of visitors experience Yonge Street in a whole new way.  

Yonge Street has continued to see exponential growth. As more downtown residents and commuters walk and use the streets as public gathering spaces, there is a growing demand for public space improvements to support public life, including wider sidewalks, street trees, benches, patios or parkettes. 

In fact, a recent poll, commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation showed that 72 per cent of respondents support making Yonge Street more pedestrianized

The YongeTOmorrow EA study is examining a number of different street configurations to increase pedestrian space and improve the way people move through and experience Yonge Street.

The City has hosted the second of three YongeTOmorrow public events to receive public feedback on a short list of design options. I encourage you to visit toronto.ca/yongeTOmorrow to find dates for upcoming consultations and let the City know why you support this transformational city building initiative.


2. Major Initiatives in Ward 13-Toronto Centre

Major InitiativesI am proud to announce a new feature on my website - Major Initiatives. Since my election in 2010 we have accomplished a lot together as a community. We have made major investments in community infrastructure projects, parks and public realm improvements, housing and other local planning initiatives. 

We often talk about the challenges facing the City of Toronto, and they are real and many. But I feel like it is equally important for us to celebrate our victories, and understand them as important milestones of what we can accomplish when we work together. 

When I reflect on the progress we have made, I am even more motivated to keep working hard for the residents on Ward 13 and across the city of Toronto. 

I hope you will check out our local Major Initiatives page, first to reflect back on your own victories, but maybe to get some inspirations for changes you would like to see in your neighborhood that we can work on together.


3. Labour Disruption

The TCEU Local 416 - CUPE, the union that represents 5000 outdoor city workers, and the City of Toronto have extended their collective bargaining and potential work shortage until 12:01 AM on February 29.

The women and men who deliver City services are a vital part of life in the City. Also, collective bargaining is a well-established right in Canada. It is to my mind a cornerstone of a democratic society.  I sincerely hope the employees union and the City can reach an agreement as soon as possible.

For the duration of any labour disruption if it were to take place, my staff and I will be honouring picket lines. That means we will not be working out of City hall, but from offsite locations. We will be responding to emails and voice messages. Please continue to phone 416-392-7903 and email [email protected]

Below I have posted some of the major service disruptions we can expect. The City is posting more detailed information here: https://www.toronto.ca/home/labour/ . 311 service (call 311 or email [email protected]) will continue, although there may be delays. I will be posting information on my own website www.kristynwongtam.ca. If you have additional questions, please do contact me and my staff by phone or email.

The most visible impacts during a labour disruption are:

  • Suspension of garbage collection east of Yonge Street and from public parks and litter bins city-wide. There may also be delays to collection west of Yonge St. if transfer stations are closed or on reduced hours
  • Closure and cancellation of programming and event permits at all City-owned recreation centres, greenhouses and conservatories, pools, arenas and outdoor ice rinks, fitness centres and ski hills
  • Limited access to civic centres including Metro Hall and City Hall. Hours of operation will be 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday
  • Suspension of non-emergency Toronto Animal Services operations and reduced animal shelter locations and hours
  • Suspension or longer wait times for many City administrative services

Toronto Police, Fire Services, Paramedic Services, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, TTC, Toronto Community Housing, and Toronto Water operations should not be impacted by a labour disruption.

All regularly-scheduled City Council and Committee meetings are cancelled.

Any public meeting hosted by my office in city owned buildings will be cancelled and rescheduled to a later date. Notice of cancellation will be provided 24 hours prior to the scheduled start of the meeting on my website at www.kristynwongtam.ca

Some of the City's boards and corporations will continue to meet as scheduled, while others may cancel or postpone meetings. Notice of cancellation will be provided 24 hours prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Meeting information and schedules are updated daily at toronto.ca/council.

If there are any changes, I will post additional information to www.kristynwongtam.ca.

Thank you. I hope you will join me in hoping for a quick and fair settlement.


4. Plan to Create Supportive Housing Opportunities 

On February 12, the Planning and Housing Committee of which I am a member, adopted the Plan to Create Supportive Housing Opportunities report. This report identifies the current initiatives underway for 2020 and highlights a number of strategies that will be pursued to reach the target of creating 18,000 units of supportive housing over the next ten years.

City staff have outlined a series of approaches that, if approved by City Council, would create 600 units of supportive housing this year, which represents one-third of our annual goal. To achieve the full 1800 unit target, the City Council would need to receive Provincial and Federal funding.

The proposed multi-pronged approach includes layering supports that will enable people experiencing chronic homelessness to achieve housing stability in private market rental units through existing supports such as the Home for Good program. It also includes the renovation and conversion of existing housing units into supportive housing opportunities and innovative pilot projects such as conversion of shelter sites into supportive housing for long-term shelter stayers and use of modular housing. These opportunities will be further developed as part of the HousingTO implementation plan that will be brought to the Planning and Housing Committee for approval in June 2020.

Read the full Plan to Create Supportive Housing Opportunities

The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, approved by City Council in December 2019, established a target of 40,000 new affordable rental homes approvals including 18,000 units of supportive housing over the next ten years. The HousingTO plan identified that achieving this supportive housing target is critical to addressing homelessness and the housing needs of vulnerable residents in the city. 

Learn more about the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan 

Housing and Homelessness Issues


5. Intergovernmental Action to Address Housing and Homelessness Issues

City Council adopted my December 2019 amendments to strengthen the report HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan and requested the City Manager to engage other orders of government to establish an Intergovernmental Working Group with a mandate to develop a joint action plan and secure increased investments to expedite efforts to address housing challenges and homelessness in Toronto.

Here is the summary of the update on the Intergovernmental collaboration progress to-date:

  • Since December 2019, preliminary meetings have taken place with provincial and federal officials to brief them on the City's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.
  • The portable Canada-Ontario-Housing Benefit was announced on December 19, 2019. The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit builds on the Canada-Ontario Bilateral Agreement under the National Housing Strategy which will provide more than $5.75 billion to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and support housing repairs, construction, and affordability. Toronto was recently advised of its allocation of roughly $17.4 million over two years and this program will roll out on April 1, 2020. City staff are still in discussions with the province to better understand this program.
  • In relation to establishing an Intergovernmental Working Group, the City Manager has sent a letter to officials at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing inviting both governments to establish a table that can advance housing priorities in Toronto. 

Staff will engage with senior officials from the federal and provincial governments over the upcoming months and as requested by City Council, will report to the Planning and Housing Committee in June 2020 on progress achieved to date.

At the February meeting of City Council, my motion to establish a City of Toronto Interdivisional Task Force to End Homelessness was adopted. This group is tasked with coordinating the immediate actions needed to identify service gaps, funding and resources needed to quickly move people out of homelessness and to forward all requests to achieve this to the Intergovernmental Working Group.

Learn more about the Intergovernmental Action to Address Housing and Homelessness Issues 


6. Vacant Building Security

There have been expressed concerns regarding the safety and security of vacant buildings downtown.  These buildings - which may be part of consolidated development sites or otherwise - are sometimes left empty for years, creating tempting targets for trespass and arson.  In Ward 13 we have seen inadequate security measures for vacant buildings resulting in injuries to firefighters, as well as damage to heritage structures. It is clear that more strict regulations, to either keep vacant buildings in use, or require enhanced site security, are desperately needed. 

At the February 12 meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee, I passed a motion directing staff to investigate this issue, compile data and report back with recommendations to address vacant building security. This report is expected to come forward in the Fall of 2020.


7. Update: The Sanctuary

My office has received reports from some residents concerned about the conditions outside of Sanctuary Toronto located at 25 Charles Street East, citing drug trafficking, garbage dumping, random violence, theft, graffiti, escalating security costs and the associated impacts on the usability of the adjacent park and sidewalks.

I take these concerns seriously and have been working with residents, City staff, Toronto Police and Sanctuary Toronto to find a balanced, compassionate approach to provide the necessary support to help the individuals using Sanctuary Toronto’s services, while still providing a safe environment for all residents. 

Since November 19, 2019 I have hosted 4 meetings with residents and business operators from Charles St E, staff from Toronto Police, Streets to Homes, Toronto Public Health, Parks Ambassadors and other stakeholders including the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association to identify solutions and next steps. 

After residents requested additional and accelerated police responses in the area, I formally submitted a letter to Toronto Police 51 Division requesting that they expand the Neighbourhood Officer coverage for the area, increasing foot and bike patrol along Charles Street East, between Yonge and Church including George Hislop Park. 

In response to my request, Streets to Homes mobilized their resources quickly and have made 50 interactions with individuals staying in tents outside of Sanctuary over a period of two weeks to offer housing and shelter. I am grateful to learn that most of these individuals are now in shelters and City staff also reported that three new housing applications were completed. This is a big achievement given the vulnerability and lack of proper ID of those staying in the tents. 

In recognition of the heightened need for supports in this area, I am also proud to announce that I was able to secure funding for the recommendations and actions contained in the Five-Year Downtown East Action Plan as part of this year’s budget. This ongoing funding will support the much needed service enhancements in the area. 

With that said, we must be mindful that the City is facing a homelessness crisis that requires a co-ordinated intergovernmental, human rights-based response. Frontline housing workers are reporting a dramatic new wave of homelessness and under-housing. In 2018, there are approximately 181,000 people on Toronto’s Centralized Waiting List, managed by Access to Housing. Toronto Public Health recorded 150 deaths of individuals experiencing homelessness, from January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

Sanctuary Toronto is a Christian charitable organization governed independently by a Board of Directors and their work is carried out by staff and volunteers. The Sanctuary raises money from private donors to run their operations and has not applied for, nor do they receive any funding from the City of Toronto.  

All of my work and that of City staff are being carried out despite the fact that Sanctuary is not a City of Toronto funded agency and has no formal relationship with the City. We also have committed to helping the staff of Sanctuary develop a long-term strategic plan to improve their service delivery and community relations. I will continue to meet and monitor the situation closely. 

I am grateful that many of the residents at 33 Charles Street East for supportive comments on the work that Sanctuary does. 

I have, and will continue to bring more attention to our housing and homelessness crisis at City Council. I am proud that Council adopted my motions to create and fund the Downtown East Action Plan, build more affordable and supportive housing starting this year, and to begin looking at expropriating lands to be used for affordable housing. 

City Council continues to refuse to declare homelessness an emergency, which I believe would mobilize the federal and provincial governments to take immediate action and provide the emergency and necessary resources we need to make to house people and make our streets safe for everyone. Until then, I will energetically carry out my work the best that I can given the limited options to quickly build housing we have at City Hall. 

Please join me and add your name to my petition calling on City Council to Declare Toronto's Homelessness and Housing Crisis a State of Emergency! 


8. St Lawrence Centre Redevelopment 

St. Lawrence Centre Redevelopment

In January, City Council requested that city staff explore the redevelopment of the St. Lawrence Centre of the Arts as a state-of-the-art cultural and civic hub for the City’s creative communities and community at large. Opening in 1970, the existing building holds two stages, the 868 seat Bluma Appel Theatre and the 497 seat Janet Mallett Theatre. 

Preliminary consultation with stakeholders in the arts community indicated that the existing stages are not meeting their needs, with both theatres below 40% occupancy during the year. The St. Lawrence Centre, now 50 years old, is also showing its age, and requires further renovations to bring it up to compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Due to these challenges, the board who oversees the St. Lawrence Centre, TO Live, made the request to City Council to explore redeveloping the site with a new building that can better fit the needs of the arts community, using the money that would be spent over subsequent years on maintenance and renovations towards a new building. 

There are a lot of critical details that City Council will need to approve for any redevelopment to move forward, which include (but are not limited to) a business plan, a funding model and a design for any new building. Furthermore, there are many arts groups that still need to be consulted in the event of redevelopment, including any existing tenants who would become displaced. 

I have been firm with staff from TO Live that any potential redevelopment of this site must not be financed by adding a condominium tower to this site. Not only is this location inappropriate for a tall building given its adjacency to Berczy Park, there would be significant design issues trying to pair a new theatre building with a residential tower. TO Live staff have committed to me that we will not have to pair redevelopment with another condo tower, and I will hold them to their word.


9. Live/Work Use in Commercial Buildings

Toronto is in the midst of a housing crisis. As more unique situations arise through redevelopment, we must look for policy tools to protect all forms of housing including provincially unprotected, yet permitted Live/Work uses in commercial buildings. Without a policy adjustment the City will have little leverage to protect the residents who call these commercially-designated buildings their homes.

At the most recent Toronto and East York Community Council meeting, I had to make a very challenging decision. Listen to what I had to say.

Further to this, I will be meeting with City staff to work towards developing a new policy to reconcile Live/Work uses in commercial-zoned buildings and what to me seems to be a bizarre contradiction in land use planning. I look forward to finding sustainable solutions and will keep you updated as we progress forward.

Learn more 


10. E-Scooters Pilot Project

On January 1, the Province of Ontario launched a new 5-year Pilot program that allows for e-scooters to be used on public roads in municipalities that have opted into the Pilot. All vehicle use on public roads is legislated through the Highway Traffic Act which has not been changed and e-scooters are still illegal in cities that are not part of the Pilot. 

It is important to consider the many factors affected by such a change, particularly the impact on people living with disabilities. By allowing this type of vehicle access we risk the safety of our most vulnerable users. E-scooters are often very quiet, and fast. This poses a danger to people with low vision, or whose disability prevents them from moving quickly. Additionally, most business models for e-scooters encourage that each scooter be left on the sidewalk creating further barriers to access. For these reasons, through the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee,  I moved that there be a robust consultation process guided by public safety with a focus on with people living with disabilities, and related organizations serving this population.

At this point, Toronto has not opted into the Provincial Pilot and City staff are working on a detailed report about e-scooters that is expected to be sent before Infrastructure and Environment Committee in March.

Learn more about the recommendations from the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee.


11. Regent Park Community Meeting Update

Regent Park Community MeetingOn February 18, our office in collaboration with Toronto Community Housing hosted the first Community Update Meeting of 2020. These meetings happen on a quarterly basis and provides an opportunity for Regent Park residents to learn about development updates and to have their questions/concerns answered. 

TCHC Revitalization staff provided the community with an update on the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the final two phases of revitalization: Phase 4 & 5. The shortlisted developer proponents are: Capital Developments Inc., The Daniels Corporation, and Tridel Builders Inc. These three developer proponents will be proceeding to the negotiation process with TCHC. We look forward to the final selection of a developer partner. 

Learn more about the Regent Park Revitalization.


12. Public Consultation for 60 Mill Street

The City is holding a Community Consultation meeting for a development application at 60 Mill Street. This proposal seeks to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a 32-storey hotel tower with a height of 115.1 metres. The proposal includes 392 hotel suites with a total of ground floor area of 26,944 square metres, and the existing heritage designated Rock House D building is to be incorporated as part of the proposal.

60 Mill Street RenderingYou are invited to attend where you can learn more about this application, ask questions, and share your comments. The City of Toronto holds public consultations as one way to engage residents in the life of their city. We invite you to get involved.

What:  60 Mill Street Community Consultation 
When: Thursday March 12, 2020, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: 80 Cooperage (Lucie & Thornton Blackburn Conference Centre )

View the City Staff Preliminary Report

To speak to the planner directly, contact Henry Tang, at (416) 392-7572 or [email protected] . 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.

Learn more

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 Henry Tang, at (416) 392-7572, [email protected] with your request. The City of Toronto is committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.


13. Public Consultation for 483-491 Bay Street & 20 Albert Street

The City is holding a Community Consultation meeting where you can learn more about this application, ask questions and share your comments. A proposed 60-storey residential addition to be located on top of the existing 10-storey office tower, the addition would be located on the east portion of the site.

View the Preliminary Report

483 Bay Street RenderingWhat:  483-491 Bay St. & 20 Albert St Community Consultation
When: March 4, 2020 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 
Where: Chestnut Room, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West

To speak to the planner directly, contact Derek Waltho, at 416-392-0412 or [email protected] . 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.

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.

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 Derek Waltho, at 416-392-0412, [email protected] 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.

Learn more


14. A Celebration of Indigenous Women: Storytelling & Self-Determination

Join us as we celebrate International Women's Day with a panel celebrating Indigenous women on storytelling and self-determination. Featuring guest panelists, Tanya Tagaq, Connie Walker, Tanya Talaga and Maggie Wente. This event is co-hosted by Consent Comes First at, Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education, Ryerson University, Aboriginal Initiatives; Office of the Vice President, Equity & Community Inclusion, Ryerson, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and LEAF. They are offering a free ticket giveaway of 10 tickets. To win a free ticket, contact [email protected] by March 1 and let them know Councillor Wong-Tam sent you! Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis. 

Event proceeds will go to support the Native Women's Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT) and the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).

What: Internation Women's Day Panel, Storytelling & Self-Determination
When:
Tuesday March 3, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where:
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West 

Learn more and register for the event

International Women's Day


15. Community Spotlight: CORE

Regent Park Collective

The Centre of Opportunities for Regent Park Enterprises (CORE), an initiative of the Centre of Learning & Development (CL&D), is an ongoing project that seeks to build support and sustainability for two local Regent Park social enterprises: the Regent Park Catering Collective and the Regent Park Sewing Collective.  Both the catering and sewing collective are comprised primarily of residents from Regent Park and the surrounding neighbourhoods of St. James Town and Moss Park, with a focus on newcomer and immigrant women. 

The Regent Park catering collective began in 2013 with support from CL&D. In 5 years, the collective has grown to include 40 women, catering over 1000 events annually. Their mission goes beyond providing employment and catering. The CORE seeks to harness local resources to create economic opportunities that empower individuals to achieve their full potential, improving their lives and benefiting their community. 

I am proud to work with such strong community leaders and networks in Ward 13. We look forward to continuing my office’s support for both the Regent Park Catering and Sewing Collective.


16. In the Community 

Changing Stations PetitionThank you Michelle Schullerer for bringing a petition forward to advocate for infant change tables in publicly accessible washrooms. This is an initiative I wholeheartedly support. You'll be hearing more on this in the near future. I know you get this one, share your stories.

 

Metrolinx Public Information SessionFull house for the Metrolinx consultation for the OntarioLine at Ryerson University. Lots of questions from the community including when is this happening, where are the stations going and is this thing real?

 

Planet Fitness OpeningCongratulations to Planet Fitness on opening your newest Canadian location at 444 Yonge Street inside historic College Park. It's great to have you in the neighbourhood and thank you for supporting the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club!

 

Regent Park Revitalization Youth Ambassadors ForumIt was honour to bring welcoming remarks to the Regent Park Revitalization Youth Ambassadors Forum. This fantastic event was youth-led and centered around the Social Development Plan and the themes of Safety, Communications, Economic Opportunity & Community Building!

 

Regent Park Skate ExchangeHappening now is the Regent Park Skate Exchange at the Athletic Grounds. Bring in your old skates or that of your kids and pick up another one, entirely free! Thank you Parks Forestry and Recreation staff for your help and to learn more about this program visit http://Toronto.ca/skate or 311

 

Muslim Welfare CentreThe incredible Muslim Welfare Centre team served 300 lunches and delivered another 100 through their Halal Meals on Wheels program to seniors and those who couldn't make it out to The CRC at 40 Oak st. Thank you Hamza Rizwan and Regent Park Freshco for their generous sponsorship today!


17. In the Media

KWT in the Media


18. 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.

How to Report

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.


19. 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. 

Community Resources


20. 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.

Development Map

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.

View Development Map


21. TDSB Update from Chris Moise

Chris MoiseDear parents, students and neighbours, 

On Friday February 21, 2020, both the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) took part in a full strike. The ETFO is urging the Provincial government to resume bargaining with the unions so an agreement may be reached by Friday March 6, 2020. 

As of Wednesday, February 26, 2020, ETFO will be in Phase 6 Strike Protocol. Their members will remain in schools and will follow their teaching, student supervision and preparation time schedules as well as other scheduled duties. If no agreement can be reached by March 6, the ETFO will be in Phase 7 Strike Protocol. 

For further updates on strikes, please look here: https://www.tdsb.on.ca/default.aspx

In other news, the TDSB fully endorses the new Climate Change Declaration unanimously adopted by City Council. This is the type of leadership we need to help combat climate change and global warming on a local and world-wide scale, and we fully endorse this movement.

For more than 20 years, the TDSB has been actively engaged in climate change action, spearheading  the nation-wide movement of EcoSchools. This work, and so much more, is guided by our Environment Policy.

If you’d like to stay up to date with what I’m doing, please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Ward10.

Yours in community, 

Chris Moise

January 2020 |  E-Newsletter

KWT Banner

A belated Happy New Year to everyone in Ward 13!  The beginning of 2020 starts much like 2019 ended at City Hall - taking action on municipal and community priorities. 

The city budget, more than any speech or policy is a reflection of our collective values as a city. For that reason I am happy to support the proposed increase to the City Building Levy. This 1.5% increase is expected to raise $6.6 billion over the next 10 years to pay for much needed long-term transit and affordable housing needs. Although this dedicated capital funding will not cover a majority of the City’s necessary capital costs, it does represent modest new investment for subways, transit signal systems, streetcars, station upgrades, and it can kickstart the funding for some of the 40,000 affordable housing units needed to be built over that period of time. 

The admission that we need new revenues to support our city is a welcome change from a Mayor and majority Council that has long insisted we keep property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation, while the infrastructure around us crumbled and an outdated transit system ground to a halt. What the City Building Levy doesn't do is provide any relief to the City of Toronto’s operating budget including the expansion of recreation services to clear the backlog or scale-up community programs to divert vulnerable youths away from gang recruitment and gun violence. 

In the fall of 2019, I hosted five Healthy Neighbourhood Forums to hear directly from residents across Ward 13 about their community priorities. They shared extensively about the need for affordable housing, mental health services and addiction programs. Residents in the Downtown East talked about the need for employment opportunities, and community-oriented programs to promote safer and more resilient neighbourhoods. They asked for additional street lighting, by-law enforcement and more frequent garbage collection. We heard about people’s fear of walking and cycling as road fatalities continue to rise. I will be sharing the notes and survey outcomes from those forums shortly, but in the meantime, it is very concerning to me that the City’s 2020 draft budget does not go far enough to address the priorities identified by Downtown East residents and business operators.

My staff and I work hard to improve the budget process by advocating for more inclusive policies to address the wide service gaps disproportionately affecting diverse women, girls, trans and non-binary people. To that end, I am proud to see the Gender Equity Strategy and Gender Equity Office funded as part of Toronto’s 2020 Budget. However, despite direction from City Council in prior years to develop a gender-responsive budgeting framework for the budget, we see little to no evidence of this happening and no effective strategy to begin collecting vital disaggregated data to make evidence-based decisions.

A gender lens asks City Council to be explicit about what Toronto’s budget is hoping to achieve, and who we are hoping to help. When we acknowledge that women are more likely to use TTC, a decision to spend over $2 billion on the Gardiner Expressway, but raise TTC fares for struggling low-income transit users start to look different. 

We have now seen reports from The United Way of Greater Toronto, The Toronto Foundation, Metcalf Foundation & Social Planning Toronto proving that the way we finance the City over the last 10 years have left more people, further behind. This is reflected in the daily conversations I have with our residents. 

There are some early wins for Ward 13 - Toronto Centre as the 2020 Budget proposes $1.351 million for the Implementation of the Five-Year Action Plan for Downtown East and a private donation of $250,000 for enhanced programming in Regent Park.  But this budget still does not fund the City's first Social Development Plan (SDP) needed to complete the people-oriented portion Regent Park Revitalization. It means that we go beyond pumping money into glass towers and focus on making sure the Regent Park residents get the social benefits they were first promised in 2007. It has been thirteen years since the original SDP was approved by City Council yet there have been no financial investments to ensure this vital component can be implemented. 

This budget does not adequately increase funding for TransformTO - the city’s climate plan, despite City Council recently declaring a climate emergency. This budget also falls short of funding City Council’s approved Youth Violence Prevention strategy, despite seeing a sharp increase in youth violence across Toronto. Over the past year, we have also seen a big jump in the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by road violence, yet this budget does not go far enough in funding VisionZero, a council-approved road safety plan to eliminate pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.

As I mentioned, the proposed increase to the City Building Levy is a critically important investment for Toronto’s capital needs. Significant investments in housing affordability and transit will have a real impact on people's lives. I commend Mayor Tory for his leadership here. However, I will continue to advocate for smarter, outcome based-budgeting that provides sustained operating funding for services and programs that support ALL Torontonians. 

Yours in community service, 

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam


  1. Funding Intersectional Gender Equity in the 2020 Budget
  2. Update: Yonge TOmorrow
  3. Developing A Human Rights Based Approach to Homelessness
  4. Neighbourhood Safety Resources
  5. Lessons Learned- My Statement on the Coronavirus
  6. Plan for the Sherbourne Corridor
  7. Construction Coordination Highlights
  8. Reducing Speed Limits
  9. Update: Gardiner Expressway Rehabilitation
  10. Automated Speed Enforcement Program
  11. New Pet Guidelines
  12. Winter Maintenance Resources
  13. Proposal to Address the Health Harms of Hookah Smoking
  14. New St. Lawrence Market Hours of Operations
  15. Update: Adelaide Resource Centre
  16. Shuter Street Redesign Proposal
  17. Toronto Christmas Market Traffic Management Plan Success
  18. Corktown Common Off Leash Area
  19. Update: Wellesley Community Centre
  20. TTC on Parliament Street
  21. Daniel’s Corporation Community Commercial Space
  22. Regent Park Social Development Plan
  23. Save the Cabbagetown Youth Centre
  24. Regent Park Community Update Meeting
  25. Events in the Community
  26. Community Spotlight: Friends & Families for Safer Streets 
  27. In the Community
  28. In the Media
  29. Development Map
  30. How to Report
  31. Community Resources
  32. TDSB Update from Chris Moise

1. Funding Intersectional Gender Equity in the 2020 Budget

Gender EquityToronto has long been a leader in advancing equity and inclusion for its residents, but when it comes to gender justice, it has lagged behind other Canadian cities. The City of Toronto has developed a number of equity strategies and plans that propose to create a more inclusive and equitable city for all residents. However, lacking within these strategies is a comprehensive and intersectional gender analysis which centres the gender experience to truly addresses the realities of women, girls, trans and non-binary residents, and sets targets to eliminate the disparities in women's experiences. Further, there is a lack of full recognition that these statistics worsen for Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S+, racialized and disabled women. 

After years of tireless advocacy and working with women’s organizations, local community groups, and residents across the city, I am proud to report that the City of Toronto’s 2020 Budget includes full-funding for the Intersectional Gender Equity Unit and plan to develop an Intersectional Gender Equity Strategy. This comes after several hard-won policy achievements we led at City Council, including my original motion from 2018 that brought us to this important moment in Toronto’s history. 

The role of the unit will be to establish targets and strategies for addressing intersectional gender equity in key areas such as housing, shelter, governance, transit planning, recreation, urban planning, youth, violence against women, affordable child care and budgeting. Addressing intersectional gender inequities in City of Toronto programs, service delivery, outcomes and workforce initiatives will help to decrease inequities experienced by diverse women, girls, trans and non-binary people in the City of Toronto. It is when we thoughtfully consider all people that leads to true equity. 


2. Update: Yonge TOmorrow

Yonge TOmorrowCity staff are continuing to consult with residents and stakeholders on the downtown Yonge Street Environmental Assessment.  This project will bring forward recommendations to modernize the street, including pedestrian-friendly upgrades, such as wider sidewalks, and improved lighting and streetscape design.

Public Information Session #2 was held on November 21, 2019, at the Central YMCA.  Nearly 200 people attended to view the consultation materials, and give their feedback on proposed design options.  The project team is currently analyzing the data, and will use the public's feedback to further refine the design options for the next round of public consultations.  Please watch out for updates regarding Public Information Session #3, which is targeted for mid-April 2020.

To learn more about the Yonge TOmorrow project, and give your feedback about how we can make Yonge St. safer, more beautiful, and more pedestrian-friendly, please visit the City of Toronto's dedicated webpage at https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/get-involved/public-consultations/infrastructure-projects/yonge-downtown/.


3. Developing A Human Rights Based Approach to Homelessness

Housing Action PlanOn January 22, 2020, I was proud to welcome Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, a world-renowned expert on housing and human rights to City Hall. I specifically sought her advice on the subject of homelessness and to better understand what other cities around the world are doing to address homelessness and encampments. She was generous with her time in answering questions and shared her observations with those attending the meeting. 

Encampments are an important, and growing issue in Toronto.  The gathering of expertise and taking a human-rights based approach to encampment dwellers is a necessary step to ensuring that our streets, parks and ravines are safe and welcoming for everyone.  Although Ms. Farha's visit was brief and informal, the insight that she brought to the discussion was invaluable. I was very grateful for her time.


4. Neighbourhood Safety Resources

Healthy Neighbourhood ForumI know that safety is a growing concern across every single Toronto neighbourhood. The City of Toronto has different community safety programs that work to address community safety through strengthening partnerships with local stakeholders and agencies, improving community resilience and wellbeing, etc. 

Here is an overview for two of the City’s community safety programs: 

Community Crisis Response 
The Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) works across Toronto providing support and resources to communities impacted by violent and traumatic incidents. By providing immediate and on the ground support, the CCRP mobilizes local resources to address individual/group needs, coordinates community debriefings and facilitates information sharing. 

The CCRP is automatically activated 12-72 hours after a violent incident occurs. For more information, please visit the Community Crisis Response page.

Specialized Program for Interdivisional Enhanced Responsiveness to Vulnerability (SPIDER): 
SPIDER’s mandate is to reduce the recurrence of complex health and safety risks. This is done through: 

  • ensuring City of Toronto responses are coordinated 
  • ensuring existing health care, social and community services are made available 
  • identifying and driving needed systemic reforms 

How is SPIDER activated? Most SPIDER situations are first brought to the attention of City services by concerned neighbours and community members --sometimes through the Councillor’s office and 311 requests. 

For more information, please visit the City of Toronto’s SPIDER information page


5. Lessons Learned- My Statement on the Coronavirus

As we received confirmation of the second presumptive case of the novel coronavirus in Toronto,  I want to thank Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, and the full Toronto Public Health (TPH) team for their rapid and comprehensive response. I have full confidence in TPH’s ability to manage the spread of infectious diseases like this one and keep our residents safe and healthy. 

My confidence is not misplaced. The City of Toronto learned a lot about infectious disease management in the aftermath of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003. I am hoping that we have also learned how uninformed fears can perpetuate racist stereotypes and other anti-Chinese discrimination.

Today, Toronto is home to almost 300,000 residents of visible Chinese descent. I know that when people are afraid, it can be easy to look for blame. But I hope as a city we take inspiration from Dr. Basrur and Nurse Tecla, and to not give in to xenophobia and racism. We all need to stay calm, work together to remain safe and healthy, and continue to build our city on a solid foundation of compassion and love.

Read the full statement here.

Toronto Public Health Updates here


6. Plan for the Sherbourne Corridor

I am happy to report that we have been making steady progress on several key initiatives aimed at ultimately improving the health and safety of the Sherbourne-Dundas Corridor since the beginning of my term just over a year ago.

In April 2019, City Council took the first step towards creating a comprehensive strategy for the Dan Harrison Community Complex.This strategy builds on existing knowledge from numerous studies to address the long-standing, complex challenges experienced by the residents and staff at the Dan Harrison Community Complex.

In July 2019, Council approved the landmark 5-Year Downtown East Action Plan, a first in Canada. While this plan covers all of Toronto-Centre, it contains a specific element to address safety and stability issues in the area surrounding Dundas and Sherbourne by developing a Sherbourne Corridor Coordinated Plan.

These initial steps were critical to ensure that Council and City Staff publicly acknowledge the complex challenges, safety concerns, and a lack of supportive housing along the corridor; and dedicate resources to address them.


7. Construction Coordination Highlights

The Bay Cloverhill, Church-Wellesley, and Downtown Yonge neighbourhoods have seen, and will continue to experience an unprecedented amount of growth over the next five years, in addition to necessary investments to replace aging infrastructure. This has made it challenging to coordinate construction projects with public and private parties that often occupy the same right-of-way and use the same arterial roadways for the delivery of their construction materials.

At the December 2019 meeting of City Council, my colleagues adopted my motions to direct the General Manager of Transportation Services and the Chief Planner to form monthly construction coordination working groups. Complicated construction projects require the coordination of multiple city divisions, private developers, local stakeholders and residents to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists while minimizing the traffic impacts on local and arterial roads remains our top priority.

There are 50 projects already underway or commencing within the next six months, that we are aware of, within the small geographic area between Bay Street, Jarvis Street, Bloor Street, and Queen Street. If different interests want to use city roads, then they have to work together to ensure road safety and better construction communication and coordination.


8. Reducing Speed Limits

Reducing SpeedAt the last Toronto & East York Community Council meeting, my colleagues and I unanimously approved reductions to speed limits on various streets within our communities.

Speed limits will be reduced from 50 km/h to 40 km/h on Balmuto Street between Bloor Street and Charles Street West and from 50 km/h to 30 km/h on the following collector road segments:

  • Charles Street East between Yonge Street and Jarvis Street
  • Charles Street West between Yonge Street and Queens Park
  • Earl Place between Bleecker Street and Huntley Street
  • Front Street East between Parliament Street and Cherry Street
  • Gloucester Street between Church Street and Jarvis Street
  • Huntley Street between Bloor Street East and Isabella Street
  • Isabella Street between Yonge Street and Sherbourne Street
  • Lombard Street between Victoria Street and Jarvis Street
  • Maitland Street between Church Street and Jarvis Street
  • Scott Street between Colborne Street and Front Street East
  • Selby Street between Huntley Street and Sherbourne Street
  • St Mary Street between Bay Street and Yonge Street
  • Temperance Street between Bay Street and Sheppard Street
  • Toronto Street between Adelaide Street and King Street
  • Victoria Street between Dundas Street East and Colborne Street

While this work will not happen overnight, it is a significant step towards meeting City Council’s Vision Zero goals.


9. Update on the Gardiner Rehabilitation

Overnight rehabilitation of the Gardiner Expressway has been causing significant disruption for nearby residents. In an effort to mitigate these impacts, City staff have been working with the contractor and have been consulting with residents on current and potential issues.

Staff have met twice in January with local residents, who identified numerous concerns, including lighting improperly shining into nearby residential units, excessive noise caused by machinery, and air quality concerns. Staff have been challenged to address these concerns while permitting local traffic to use the Gardiner during the day.

City Council had delegated authority to City staff to determine the construction hours for municipal work. The contractor that was hired was granted permission to work overnight in order to limit congestion on commuter routes and shorten the project duration. My colleague Councillor Cressy, whose ward includes the portion of the Gardiner Expressway currently under construction, raised significant concerns with City staff ahead of the project which I shared. The residents who live near the Gardiner should not have to swallow 18 months of overnight work. Like Councillor Cressy, I vehemently do not support this overnight work. For this and for future projects within our busy downtown core, we need to find a solution that better balance the impact of commuters against the ability for residents to get a good night’s sleep. 

If you have concerns about the overnight Gardiner Expressway rehabilitation, please contact both [email protected] and [email protected], or call 416-338-2930. Completion of this section of the Gardiner Expressway, between Jarvis Street and Cherry Street, is currently scheduled to finish in January 2021.


10. Automated Speed Enforcement

Transportation Services has begun the installation of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) systems across Toronto. ASE is a key piece in the Vision Zero toolbox that is intended to enhance road safety in Community Safety Zones near schools.

Locations are selected through a data-driven approach that considers speed and collision data, traffic volume, and requests from the police and the public. ASE systems will be placed in Community Safety Zones near schools.

Fifty ASE systems will be installed to ensure an even distribution of two systems per ward. These systems are mobile and it is anticipated they will rotate every three to six months within the ward. This provides an opportunity to address a greater number of areas with safety concerns and provide a wider-ranging deterrent effect.

The Province is requiring municipalities to establish a 90-day warning period in advance of all new ASE system deployments. “Coming Soon” advisory signs will be posted at the new deployment site.

In Ward 13, the first two locations are in front of Winchester Public School on Prospect Street (between Rose Ave. and Ontario St.) and in front of Sprucecourt Public School on Spruce Street (between Gifford St. and Nasmith Ave.).

Visit the City’s website for more information. 


11. New Pet Design Guidelines 

The City of Toronto has completed the Pet-Friendly Design Guidelines and Best Practices for New Multi-Unit Buildings

The purpose of this document is to guide new developments in a direction that is more supportive of a growing pet population, considering opportunities to reduce the current burden on the trees and soft ground covering in the public realm, and provide needed pet amenities for high-density residential communities.

Over the last 9 years, I have consistently advocated for pet amenities in new developments such as pet-relief areas, wash stations, pet spas, and other amenities. One of the most recent examples of success is the Livmore (55 Gerrard Street West) which has a dog spa and outdoor dog area on the 5th floor (pictured below).

Livmore Spa Area

These Guidelines will be used by the development industry in the preparation of development applications, by architects to inform the size, location and layout of pet-friendly facilities, and by city staff in the various stages of development application review to identify best practices and help inform decisions that will support pet-friendly environments. The Guidelines are to be used in conjunction with other policies and guidelines. They are not intended to be overly prescriptive, but rather are intended to provide an additional degree of information. The Guidelines focus on three scales: The Neighbourhood Scale, The Building Scale as well as the Unit Scale.

All residents, both pet-owners and non-pet-owners, will benefit from the Guidelines as they encourage design that demonstrates considerations for pets and reduces the impact that they have on our parks, open spaces and the environment. They can also be used to inform renovations and improvements to existing multi-unit buildings to become more pet-friendly.

Stay tuned for more updates about the work we are doing in Ward 13 - Toronto Centre to build new and invest in our existing Off-Leash Areas.


 12. Winter Maintenance Resources

sidewalk clearingDuring the winter, crews diligently work to clear many roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks in Ward 13. This work can take time, and it may not be clear when someone will be around to shovel the snow. During a storm, residents should call 311 to report urgent winter related calls only.

When two centimetres of snow has accumulated then plowing will begin on the expressways and, when five centimetres has accumulated, plowing will begin on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete. When the snow stops, and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimetres, local road plowing will begin.

The City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow has fallen, and the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen. Property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place.

If you are a senior or person with a disability living in the city core and require the sidewalk snow clearing service, please download the application form  and submit it along with the required documentation. If you have any questions about the form, the service or are unable to print the form, please contact 311.

For information on sidewalk clearing, and where service is provided click here. 

For more information on winter maintenance services, including roads, sidewalks and bike lanes, please visit our website. 


13. Proposal to Address the Health Harms of Hookah Smoking

The City is proposing to update how it addresses the public health risk of hookah smoking by treating it the same way as other substances such as commercial tobacco, cannabis, and e-cigarettes/vapour products.

The proposed approach is to prohibit all hookah smoking in enclosed public places, enclosed workplaces, and some outdoor spaces and enhance enforcement powers to improve compliance.

Have your voice heard!

Join us at the public consultation: 

When: February 10, 2020 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Where: North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3, 5100 Yonge St, North 

Complete the survey by February 14, 2020. 

You can also email your thoughts to Toronto Public Health at [email protected]


14. New St. Lawrence Market Hours of Operation

St. Lawrence MarketStarting March 15, the St. Lawrence Market South at 93 Front St E will be piloting some revised hours for a one-year pilot. These new hours include opening the Market on Sundays, and revising the hours to close slightly later on weekdays to better serve local residents.

Operating hours under the pilot project (effective March 15, 2020):

  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mondays closed.

These revised hours come after significant consultation with Market tenants and consultation with residents. These changes will not affect the St. Lawrence Market Saturday Farmers Market which will continue to operate with existing hours every Saturday year-round from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The South Market currently operates Tuesdays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's closed Sundays and Mondays. The pilot's revised hours of operation are an effort to make the market more accessible, with service hours that meet visitors' changing needs and preferences.

More information about the St. Lawrence Market Hours of Operation Pilot Project is available here.You can also email at City Staff at [email protected].


15. Relocation of 67 Adelaide Street East Resource Centre

While the news came as a surprise, the relocation of the Women’s Resource Centre is moving forward and we now have a critical moment of opportunity to shape how the service is delivered.

On January 21, staff from Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) hosted a public open house with representation from the Adelaide Resource Centre service providers, Downtown East Action Plan team, Toronto Police, Community Crisis Response Program, Toronto Public Library, as well as myself. Members of the community were able to learn more about the services, voice their concerns with various staff, and provide suggestions.

Staff from SSHA will be hosting a second public open house to present the proposed renovations, to address many of the communities concerns through design solutions, which will require a few minor zoning amendments at the Committee of Adjustment.

What: Public Open House for to Review Minor Variance Application of 233 Carlton St
When: Monday February 10, 2020 at 6 p.m.
Where: Central Neighbourhood House, 349 Ontario Street233 Carlton

I have met with SSHA Staff on multiple occasions to convey community concerns and to work through their design considerations. One of the concerns we’ve heard from the community is to ensure the sidewalk remains clear, preventing smoking and loitering in front of the building, for safety and accessibility purposes. This is being addressed by providing a rooftop terrace, internalizing the garbage storage, and creating a large welcoming reception and waiting area.

If the minor zoning amendments, such as the one above, are not approved by the Committee of Adjustment, the service will still be relocated as scheduled in early 2021 without these critical design enhancements.

As part of Council’s direction to create 1000 new shelter beds, staff have been identifying suitable sites for new shelters and optimizing the use of space for existing services. The ageing infrastructure currently at 67 Adelaide Street East presents challenges for the effective delivery of the Adelaide Resource Centre for Women’s services and requires significant capital repairs. Given these required infrastructure improvements and the need to leverage available City properties, 67 Adelaide was identified by City staff as suitable for adaptation into a shelter which is now scheduled to open in 2022.


16. Shuter Street Redesign Proposal

Shuter Street RedesignIn Spring 2020, Shuter Street is scheduled for a much needed road reconstruction. Not only will there be resurfacing along with public realm and road safety improvements, but Cycling and Pedestrian Infrastructure is proposing a new protected cycle track! 

On January 21, Cycling Infrastructure hosted a public consultation at the Regent Park Community Centre where residents provided feedback on the design proposal. 

If you didn’t have the opportunity to share your thoughts, please complete this online survey which will remain open until February 4. 

Learn more about the project


17. Toronto Christmas Market Traffic Management Plan Success

Toronto Christmas MarketWhen canvassing to become the new Councillor in the redrawn boundaries of Ward 13, I heard about the traffic congestion created as thousands upon thousands visitors flock to the ever popular Christmas Market in the Distillery District. 

Immediately after the election, my staff and I convened a meeting with the Christmas Market operators and Councillor Cressy who represents the adjacent ward. We heard that the Christmas Market was critical to the economic vitality of the Distillery District. As elected officials, we insisted that the Christmas Market immediately develop a traffic management plan to better prepare for the upcoming year and received a commitment that the operator work directly with City staff and Toronto Police to ensure a better congestion management outcome.

After a full year of meetings and negotiations, the Toronto Christmas Market finally created it’s very first traffic management plan. This comprehensive plan helped facilitate traffic for almost a million people who travel to the Distillery District during the Christmas season. Many residents have reached out to our offices expressing appreciation on the much needed improvements, which included more police presence to assist in traffic management, as well as changes made to ease local permit parking. 

Over the coming months, Councillor Cressy and I will be meeting with the Toronto Christmas Market, Distillery District, their traffic consultants BA Group and community stakeholders to solicit additional feedback on how to improve upon the inaugural traffic management plan. We are optimistic that as each year passes, a fully coordinated and vetted traffic plan will continue to lessen the burden on local roads.


18. Update: Corktown Common Off Leash Area

The Corktown Common Off Leash Area (OLA) has been closed for almost a year due to an ongoing project through Enbridge. I have been working alongside Enbridge, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PF&R) to address some of the community concerns around the current OLA. 

Due to environmental constraints through the eastern corridor of Corktown Common, there can only be surface improvements to the current OLA. As the Enbridge project is wrapping up in the coming months, the City, through discussions with PF&R, and TRCA, is exploring relocation of the OLA and the types of  improvements that can be made. This comes at an opportune time as the city is wrapping up it’s review of Off Leash Areas, and Pet Friendly Guidelines

In the coming months, I look forward to speaking with stakeholders, dog owners and community leaders about their suggestions, as PFR staff, TRCA and Enbridge prepare for broad public consultations.


19. Update: Wellesley Community Centre

Wellesley CC PoolConstruction on the Wellesley Community Centre Aquatics Centre is now roughly 80% complete. All concrete work has been completed, and significant drywall and wood panel installation has occurred. Work that remains, but is not limited to, tiling of the pool deck, change rooms, forming of metal for siding and security system installation.

The target for substantial completion is February 2020, with staff training and occupancy approximately three months later. If construction and operation preparation continues to go smoothly, this long-awaited recreation facility will be open in time for summer swimming!


20. TTC on Parliament Street

TTC BusMy office was informed that the TTC will be discontinuing service on the 365 Parliament overnight bus that operates between 2:00 am and 5:30 am starting in Fall 2020.

The 365 Parliament bus is not currently meeting the TTC’s productivity performance standard. The service attracts 4 boardings per service hour while the standard is 10. They believe this is because overnight service in the Downtown is extensive with many other options including corridors like Yonge, Bloor, King, Queen and Carlton/College.

I have expressed concerns on behalf of the St. James Town, Cabbagetown, and Regent Park communities who rely on this route. In addition, I flagged that the residents of 650 Parliament Street will be moving back to their homes in March and this could create an increase in service levels demands. TTC staff have noted my concerns and will continue to monitor ridership levels, in the case that they need to reinstate the overnight bus service.


21. Daniel’s Corporation Community Commercial Space

The Daniels Corporation is renewing a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) process for ‘Community Commercial Space’ at the base of Artworks Condominium, at the corner of Dundas Street East and River Street. Artworks Condominium is currently under construction as part of Phase 3 of the revitalization. 

First launched in 2018, Daniels’ Community Commercial Program (CPC) offers commercial space at subsidized lease rates to local entrepreneurs and enterprises. The CPC aims to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship in Regent Park, support small businesses, and create economic development opportunities for local residents. 

The RFEOI process will allow Daniels to identify local entrepreneurs or enterprises that can demonstrate that their good or service will positively impact the local community and who will be further considered to lease the Community Commercial Space on a five-year term. To support emerging or small businesses, Daniels will be offering deeply subsidized rent and a tenant inducement for this space. 

More details about the space, the offer, and leasing opportunity, as well as how to submit an Expression of Interest are outlined in the attached RFEOI document. Please feel free to share in your networks with folks that may be interested.

Interested applicants are asked to send an email to [email protected] as soon as possible to receive more information and updates about the RFEOI process or to submit any questions.


22. Regent Park Social Development Plan

Regent Park AccessI am pleased with the Mayor’s new support for anti-violence prevention programs in the 2020 budget. In particular, his intention to support funding for the $635,000 needed to implement the Regent Park Social Development Plan (SDP). 

I am proud to have advanced the SDP along with the residents of Regent Park. It was together with their help that we pushed for this pending budget outcome. Thank you to the community members who signed the petition and spoke at the Budget Committee to ensure the SDP was considered. 

With the increase of violence in our communities, now more than ever, we need to address the root causes of guns and gang violence, with dedicated funding and resources to support young people.  It’s important to invest in youth and communities with a focus on poverty reduction, education, and employment as key pillars to addressing and ending violence.

The additional investments in the 2020 budget, which include expanding the Community Crisis Response Grants, increasing youth spaces in Parks, Forestry and Recreation Facilities and resourcing the Regent Park Social Development Plan are all steps in the right direction. 

My only regret is that Toronto residents had to endure another violent weekend involving gun violence before the Mayor’s announcement was made. This reinforces the need to be proactive and visionary when it comes to building resilient neighbourhoods. 

Please continue to sign the Regent Park SDP petition to keep applying political pressure until the final vote is cast on February 19, 2020, at City Council. I look forward to working with my colleagues on City Council to approve these critical investments then. 


23. Save the Cabbagetown Youth Centre

CYC

Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC), a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1972 as the Cabbagetown Boxing Club, a boxing club designed to support neighbouring youth with sports and recreation opportunities.

The CYC has been working to serve the Cabbagetown, St. Jamestown, and Regent Park neighbourhoods for 47 years. As a result of the loss of significant government grants, the Centre is facing imminent closure. They will no longer be able to maintain their core programming and operations.

The City of Toronto currently operates a number of programs designed to support our vision to address community safety, anti-poverty, and youth engagement initiatives. With equitable access to recreational services in the Downtown East being an ongoing concern, it is imperative that we review opportunities to increase support for the CYC.

There is a timely opportunity to strengthen City's recreation for all vision through supporting the CYC with interim funding to maintain its operations.


24. Regent Park Community Update Meeting

It's that time again! Our office and Toronto Community Housing will be coming together to host the first Regent Park Community Update meeting of the year on February 18 at 6 p.m. at the Regent Park Community Centre (402 Shuter Street). 

All Regent Park residents are welcome to join to receive a revitalization update, learn about the next steps for the Request for Proposals, and an update regarding the Regent Park Social Development Plan. 

There will be an opportunity for Q&A. We look forward to your attendance!


25. Events in the Community

Would you like to learn about coding and robotics? Then, come out to Building Roots’ tech-focused workshop in partnership with Toronto Public Library. Learn and explore more about coding, circuitry, robotics and so much more from a Librarian! This amazing workshop is FREE and there will be snacks! Everyone from all ages and experiences are welcome! 

Tech Time

Karma Kitchen is a wonderful space for the community to share food, music, laughter, and displays of generosity and compassion. Karma Kitchen is the third Saturday of the month. 

When: February 15, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Moss Park Apartments, 285 Shuter Street Penthouse.

In the Name of Your DaughterCome and join us on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation to discuss actions Toronto and Canada can take to end FGM. The event includes a film screening of the award-winning and inspiring Canadian documentary called “In the Name Of Your Daughter” and a panel discussion with survivors, activists, medical professionals and youth. “In The Name Of Your Daughter” is about  young girls standing up against FGM. 

What: Screening of “In The Name Of Your Daughter”, followed by a panel discussion
When: February 6, 2020 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Toronto City Hall, Committee Room #3, 100 Queen St West

To register, and for more information click here


26. Community Spotlight: Friends & Families for Safer Streets

Friends and Families for Safe Streets

Jess Spieker from Friends and Families for Safer Streets (FFSS)  joined us for our St. Lawrence, Corktown and the West Don Lands Healthy Neighbourhood Forum. We were so honoured to have her lived experience shared with our local communities. FFSS works towards ending traffic violence in Toronto, through changing laws, enforcement, street design, public attitudes and traffic culture. With these changes, our vibrant streets will be safer and more equitable for all road users. 

FFFS is a unique organization in that its members are survivors of traffic collisions and friends and families who loved ones have been killed or severely injured by careless drivers and dangerous conditions on Toronto’s streets. I am so thankful she was able to join us and provide such thoughtful, insightful discussions for each of our roundtables.


27. In the Community

Anvil AlleyWe unveiled signs for two newly named laneways in the Church Wellesley Village. Say hello to Dapper Lane and Anvil Alley! They acknowledge the history of barber shops serving all genders in the neighbourhood plus the long serving Dudley's Hardware Store open since 1934!

 

Lunar New YearIt was wonderful to see old friends and meet new ones at the Mayor's Lunar New Year gathering. Happy Year of the Rat to all those celebrating!

 

233 Carlton Public MeetingBig turnout for the community open house for the new Women's Resource Centre at 233 Carlton St. City staff, service providers, engineers & architects were on site to answer operational and design questions. Robust conversations & solid feedback at every table.

 

Budget Town HallProud to be with engaged residents at our joint budget town hall with Councillor Cressy and Councillor Layton. Thank you to those who came out to learn about the City's 2020 budget process and how you can get involved to shape its outcome. 

 

Homeless MemorialOn January 14, at the Economic & Community Committee meeting, deputants submitted all the names documented on the Homeless Memorial going back to 1985. Tragically, there have been over 1000 names documented, and that number continues to grow.

 

Business Consultation for Yonge TOmorrowGreat turnout at the Yonge TOmorrow business stakeholder consultation meeting. Lots of curiosity about how a pedestrian-priority designed Yonge will operate and benefit business. If we're bold enough, Yonge can become the great cultural corridor as planned in TOcore. Follow the discussion on #YongeTOmorrow.

 

Freshco Toy DriveThrilled to join Freshco franchise operator Hamza and his daughter for the Regent Park Freshco Toy Drive. All the donated toys were brought to Fire Station No. 325 on Dundas St East and we got to hang with the hardworking firefighters.


TCHC Ribbon Cutting
Very pleased to cut the ribbon with Mayor John Tory, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) and Daniels at 150 River St. It's the 13th TCHC rental building & part of the Regent Park Revitalization. The new building contains affordable and accessible apartments that are beautifully designed & well constructed. MORE on the way!

 

Ward 13 Holiday PartyWe had an incredible turnout out at our Ward 13 holiday party tonight! Special thanks to all the 650 Parliament tenants who joined us for this celebration. I’m overjoyed to know you’re going home soon. We hope the evening brought everyone a little holiday cheer.


28. In the Media

In the Media


29. Development Map

As a downtown ward, provincial policy and the City’s Official Plan directs the majority of growth in Toronto to neighbourhoods like St. Lawrence and major corridors like Yonge Street and Dundas Street East. Depending on where you live, keeping track of all of the development in your neighbourhood can be a full-time job. The Ward 13 Development Map will help you keep track and learn more.

Development MapThe 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.

View Development Map 


30. How to Report

Communities across Toronto are experiencing challenges. There are a number of local resources available to help you respond to both emergency and non-emergency situations you may encounter.When you report to the proper service agency, you help improve response and utilize local resources to better address community challenges.

 

How to Report

Here are helpful contacts for emergency and non-emergency situations:

Is it an emergency situation?

Call 9-1-1 (fire, medical emergency, crime in progress, etc.)

Is it an on-going issue?

Call 416-808-2222 (i.e trespassing, aggressive panhandling, etc.)

Have questions or concerns?

Call 3-1-1 (i.e. noise, litter, construction, etc.)

See someone in distress?

Call the City of Toronto’s Streets to Homes: 416-338-4766 (or 311)

Experiencing a mental health crisis?

Call Gerstein’s Crisis Line: 416-929-5200

An issue with TCHC?

Call TCHC Tenant Care: 416-9810-5500 (i.e. maintenance, security, heating, plumbing, etc.) 

Concerned about your apartment building standards?

Call RentSafeTO: 416-396-7288 (i.e. maintenance, pests, heating, plumbing, common areas, etc.)

Here is the digital PDF of our How to Report poster. You can print and post on local community message boards and make available to members of the community. Please share widely.


31. Community Resources

We are excited to launch the community resources page!Do you want to learn more about the new noise bylaw? Are you interested in learning more about traffic calming measures? Need to learn more about the TCHC transfer process?
Visit our new Community Resources webpage. 

Community Resources


32. TDSB Update from Chris Moise

Chris MoiseHappy New Year! I trust you and your families had a wonderful winter break filled with family, and fun. 

On January 27, 2020, it was announced that Ontario Elementary school teachers will be holding a one day provincewide strike on February 6, 2020 and rotating strikes throughout the week, unless an agreement can be made with the province.

In more celebratory news, Clarity M. Smoke, a Grade 9 Anishnaabe student from Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, has taken her seat as the first ever Toronto District School Board Indigenous Student Trustee.

This position will provide Indigenous students, families and communities with additional representation at the highest level of the TDSB; help improve the Board’s decision-making process; and increase understanding about Indigenous ways of knowing and being, as well as the issues that matter most to Indigenous students and their families.

The Toronto District School Board is always proud to acknowledge the achievements of our students, staff and school communities.

Below are a few highlights from December:

  •             LGBTQI2S+ students and allies connect at EnVision Conference
  •             Black Brilliance Conference Provides Sense of Belonging to Students
  •             Students Have Grand Time at the 9th Annual Caring & Sharing Christmas Gala
  •             Gracedale PS Raises Funds for Local Shelter for the Elderly

To keep up to date, please sign up for my newsletter at chrismoise.ca/getinvolved. 

Chris Moise

December 2019 | E-Newsletter

KWT Banner
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,

Kristyn Wong-Tam


  1. Review of Third-Party Rental Policies for City-Owned Facilities 
  2. Calling the Federal Government to Implement a National Handgun Ban
  3. Consulting on the Relocation of the Adelaide Women’s Resource Centre
  4. LPAT Upholds City of Toronto By-Law on Short-Term Rental Regulations
  5. Inclusionary Zoning 
  6. Update on 650 Parliament 
  7. You’re Invited to Toronto Centre’s Holiday Party!
  8. Snow Clearing and Maintenance
  9. City Council Highlights
  10. Menstrual Equity Update
  11. Bikes, Bikes, Bikes! 
  12. Power in Downtown Toronto
  13. Healthy Neighbourhood Recap 
  14. This One’s For the Dogs
  15. Update: Corktown Common Off-Leash Area
  16. Safety Improvements to Power Street 
  17. Public Consultation for 373 Front Street East & 90 Mill Street
  18. Construction Management and Traffic Coordination
  19. New Transitional Housing at 9 Huntley Street
  20. Safety Along Charles Street East
  21. Cabbagetown Shining Bright this Christmas
  22. St. Lawrence Market Grows Even Brighter
  23. City of Toronto Holiday Parties and Events
  24. Joy All Around with St. James Town Children’s Choir
  25. Community Events in Moss Park
  26. Community Spotlight: Covenant House
  27. In the Community
  28. In the Media
  29. How to Report
  30. Community Resources
  31. Development Map- Ward 13
  32. TDSB Update from Chris Moise

1. Review of Third-Party Rental Policies for City-Owned Facilities 

Church Street RallyOn 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

National Handgun BanOn 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.

Read the full statement here. 


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.

650 Parliament ResidentsMany 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! 

Holiday Party

‘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! 

RSVP


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.

Roads
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.

Sidewalks
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.

Cycling Facilities
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. 

You can learn more about service levels for winter maintenance here 


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.

City Council Updates


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! 

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. 

Healthy Neighbourhood ForumThis 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

Dog ParksCity 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.

OLA Updates


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

Rendering Blocks 3, 4 & 7 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

Blocks 3, 4 & 7

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 [email protected] 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. 


To learn more about the Huntley Transitional Housing Program, please visit their website


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

St. Lawrence Market LightsOn 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

December Tech Time

Karma Kitchen

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

December Karma Kitchen


24. City of Toronto Holiday Parties and Events

King Street
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

Joy All Around


26. Community Spotlight: Covenant House

Covenant HouseCovenant 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 

Neighbourhood Information PostProud 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!

 

OLIP InternsIt 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.

 Homelessness ConnectProud 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. 

 City Council Arts DayThank 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.

 

St. Lawrence Market NightIt 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!

 Future CitiesThank 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! 


Regent Park Solidarity Supper
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!

 Ontario Health CoalitionChilly 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!

 Basketball WorkshopThrilled 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. 

 

Black CAP
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


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.

How to Report

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. 

Community Resources


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.

Development MapThe 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.

View Development Map 


32. TDSB Update from Chris Moise

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

The full list of actions has been posted online

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.

November   E-Newsletter

KWT- header

October was a busy month and one that saw many of you meeting candidates running for Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre. It was great to see local Ward 13 priorities getting some national attention and I extend my congratulations to my colleague and friend, Bill Morneau, who returns to Ottawa as our area representative. There is a lot of work in Toronto Centre that needs intergovernmental cooperation and I look forward to working with my provincial and federal counterparts to get the results we need for our local communities.

At the last meeting of City Council I put forward a motion to ask the federal government for $900 million annually in new spending on supportive housing, mental health and addiction treatment services for the City of Toronto. While that is a large number, it is an accurate accounting of the community-based services missing for Toronto according to the mental health experts at the Canadian Mental Health Association. The federal investments are needed to adequately respond to addictions and mental health crises on our streets, in our overworked and under capacity health clinics and other important ancillary service providers. If Toronto is to turn the tide against the affordable housing, addictions and mental health-related challenges plaguing our city, we need the support and financial backing of our federal and provincial governments to help us chart a pathway to patient recovery and stabilization, and to provide the most basic level of housing to those with very little to nothing.

Residents from across Ward 13 know that these investments are needed and this was echoed on last Wednesday, October 30, at this year’s first of five Healthy Neighbourhoods meetings. Once again, your Ward 13 team and I are working hard to coordinate and identify service gaps with City staff, community agencies, Toronto Police  and neighbours to get to the root of health and safety challenges in the downtown east and set new 2020 work plans to address them. Read on below to learn more, get involved and find out when and where our next meetings are being held.

If you found this e-newsletter informative, please share with your family, friends and neighbourhoods. Encourage them to sign up for monthly Ward 13 updates at www.kristynwongtam.ca. We always look forward to hearing from community members. 

Yours in community service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam

 


  1. Mental Health in Toronto: Call to Action
  2. Healthy Neighbourhood Forums
  3. Yonge TOmorrow: The Yonge Street Environmental Assessment
  4. "Ontario Line" Transit Update
  5. Traffic Signals at Bay Street and St. Mary Street
  6. Bay Cloverhill Community Association Annual General Meeting
  7. The Toronto Christmas Market Traffic Plan
  8. More Moss Park Update
  9. Update: Gerrard Street East and Pembroke Street
  10. Update: McGill Parkette
  11. Moss Park Upcoming Community Events
  12. Resourcing the Regent Park Social Development Plan
  13. Update: Regent Park, Phase 4 and 5
  14. Community Events: The 17th Annual Regent Park Film Festival
  15. Brighten Up your Night with New Lighting at the St. Lawrence Market!
  16. Community Spotlight: Gerstein’s Crisis Centre
  17. In the Community
  18. In the Media
  19. How to Report
  20. Community Resources
  21. Toronto Centre Development Map
  22. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise

1. Mental Health in Toronto: Call to Action

Mental Health Press ConferenceOn World Mental Health Day 2019, I led advocates, service providers and community members to jointly call upon all federal parties to commit to national mental health funding parity and make an annual investment of $300 million per year in Toronto to immediately address Toronto’s mental health and addictions crises, as well as $600 million per year to create the supportive housing units those in crisis need to stabilize and achieve a sense of dignity.

Mental illness accounts for over 100,000 emergency room (ER) visits each year and 12,000 hospitalizations. ER visits for intentional self harm are increasing and Toronto has experienced a 290% increase in ER visits for opioid poisoning/overdoses and a 181% increase in opioid related deaths since 2013. The inadequate funding of mental health services has both direct and indirect costs to Canada’s economy that exceed $50 billion per year.

With the federal election behind us, City Council formally adopted my motion and new campaign calling upon the new federal government for their support and immediate investment so that the individuals, families and communities in distress across Toronto can become healthier and safer.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE



2. Healthy Neighbourhood Forums

Healthy Neighbourhood ForumWe have had our first two Healthy Neighbourhood Forums, bringing together community voices from Moss Park, Garden District and Cabbagetown South and then from Yonge-Dundas, Church-Wellesley and McGill Granby. Thoughtful community feedback offered robust roundtable discussions about the social determinants of health and what challenges they are facing in their local community. I was so pleased to see so many of you, and look forward to our next three forums. If you haven’t already, you can register for the remaining Healthy Neighbourhood Forums. 

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.

RSVP Here


3. Yonge TOmorrow: The Yonge Street Environmental Assessment 

Yonge TOmorrowDid you know the critical water infrastructure and sewers under some portions of Yonge Street in the downtown area dates back to the 1800s and is scheduled for complete replacement in a couple of years. This brings us to the unfortunate reality that major road construction will need to take place soon if we are to avoid watermain breaks and disruption to life-saving water service to the area. With this essential infrastructure project coming down the pipeline, it also brings us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine and then rebuild for the next 100 years, a new for Yonge Street for the future. 

This is why I am proud to say proactive planning and design work is continuing to progress on the Yonge Street Environmental Assessment, under the project name Yonge TOmorrow The City's third-party independent consultants leading this work have assessed feedback from this summer's online survey and the public information session, held in May.  They are now working with the Stakeholder Advisory Group comprised of local community businesses, institutions, residents associations and advocacy groups to review the 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 brought an interim report for information, outlining their progress thus far, to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on October 17.  You can view their report by visiting the Committee agenda page.

Yonge TOmorrow

Yonge TOmorrow2

Another public information session, to view the design options will be held on November 21, 2019 at the Central YMCA.  This is a drop-in session to view the street design options and preliminary recommendations for Yonge Street and share your thoughts. The consultants along with City staff will be available to answer your questions and receive your comments.

What: Public Information Session about Yonge TOmorrow
When: Thursday, November 21, 2019, Anytime between 4:00PM and 8:00PM
Where: Central YMCA, Auditorium 20 Grosvenor Street (just south of Wellesley St. W.)

All information materials will be posted November 7th online here. Feedback is encouraged through the online questionnaire until December 6, 2019.

If you have any questions, contact Maogosha Pyjor Senior Public Consultation Coordinator, either by telephone at 416-338-6866 or email [email protected]

More information on Yonge TOmorrow, including the timeline and public feedback summaries, may be found here.


4. "Ontario Line" Transit Update

After limited debate, City Council voted in favour of the City staff negotiating agreements with the Ontario government on four public transit projects for Toronto. City and TTC staff will work with their provincial counterparts to advance plans for the Ontario Line, the Line 2 East Extension, the Yonge Subway Extension and the Eglinton West LRT. As a part of this agenda item, City Council supported numerous motions, including my recommendation to affirm Council’s position that any new and existing TTC routes and vehicles be maintained by the existing integrated and professional TTC staff.. Under this proposed Toronto/Ontario partnership, the City retains ownership of Toronto’s existing subway network and the TTC retains its responsibilities for transit network operations.

Given the current agreement structure including the lack of transparency and real information from the Province, I believe there were too many answered questions to make an informed decision. I want to ensure that all evidence-based impacts on our Toronto Centre communities are carefully studied and mitigated for the future. Without an independent business plan, any cost-benefit analysis for the above and underground routes, real technical information about the technology compatibility, properly resourced and ongoing operating subsidies and sustained capital funding to address the $33B backlog for the state of good repair from the Province which TTC officials have repeatedly identified as their number one priority to keep Toronto’s transit system viable and safely operating, the Ontario Line was not a gamble I was prepared to take at this time.

For more information, please click here.


5. Traffic Signals at Bay Street and St. Mary Street

Great news! Bay Street and St. Mary Street will get traffic control signals. This will be an important step forward for improving pedestrian and cyclist safety along Bay Street.

To learn more about the installation, please click here to see the decision history. 

 


6. Bay Cloverhill Community Association Annual General Meeting

The BCCA is holding their annual general meeting for membership and neighbours on November 21st. The keynote speaker for the evening is Ken Greenberg, urban designer, teacher and writer, who will be discussing his new book Toronto Reborn. 

What: Bay Cloverhill Community Association Annual General Meeting
When: November 21, 2019 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM (registration at 6:30PM)
Where: Central YMCA, 20 Grosvenor Street

BCCA AGM


7. The Toronto Christmas Market Traffic Plan

The Toronto Christmas Market is a popular event attracting  hundreds of thousands of people into the historical Distillery District over the holiday season.  Working with Councillor Cressy, we brought together City staff, community stakeholders, Distillery property management, the Toronto Christmas Market organizers and their transportation consultant BA Group to negotiate the use of local roads and mitigate the traffic impact this event has on local residents. It wasn’t easy but with my staff persistence, community effort and co-operation from the Toronto Christmas Market,or the first time in its history, theywill have a traffic management plan to properly divert and re-route traffic in the area. When you are planning your trip this season, please remember to take transit, walk or give yourself a bit of extra time to leave the neighbourhood and to access the event. 

Please consult the Toronto Christmas Market website before your trip for travel tips! Toronto Christmas Market

To learn about the traffic plan and affected roads, please click here


8. More Moss Park Update

Project partners, composed of The 519 Community Centre, the City of Toronto and a private individual philanthropist, leading the Moss Park Revitalization Project (also known as More Moss Park) have determined that the project is not feasible at this time. Therefore the project will not be going ahead, in its current form and partnership structure.

Investments in the Moss Park neighbourhood remains my personal high-priority, therefore I will be looking for alternative new funding opportunities, to deliver revitalized amenities, approximately within the same time frame as the original proposal. Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) staff also remain deeply committed to improvements, and this is reflected in the Facilities Master Plan Implementation Strategy report, which identifies John Innes Community Recreation Centre as a prioritized revitalization facility.  This staff report went the October 23 Executive Committee meeting and also adopted by City Council last week.

I will continue to work closely with PFR staff to support the expansion and rebuilding of the John Innes Community Recreation Centre as well as improvements to the green space at Moss Park, and for the continued operation of the Moss Park Arena. The public can expect a further update in January, following the 2020 Capital Budget process. 

For more information on the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan click here.

As the City moves forward, on our own, I want to assure the local residents that I remain steadfast in my commitment to investing and upgrading these important City assets. I will provide additional information as it becomes available in the upcoming months. 

Find my full statement on the More Moss Park Project here.

 


9. Update: Gerrard Street East and Pembroke Street

At the May 2019 meeting of Toronto and East York Community Council, I directed Transportation Services staff to study safety improvement opportunities at the intersection of Gerrard Street East and Pembroke Street, in consultation with the local resident’s association.

Last month Transportation Services staff, resident representatives and I met for the consultation, and several safety options were identified, including the removal of the median trees that are, unfortunately, obstructing sightlines, and the potential relocation of the north side pedestrian crosswalk button, closer to the curb.  Staff will bring forward a report identifying their safety actions taken thus far, as well as their additional recommendations, at the December 3, 2019 Toronto and East York Community Council meeting.


10. Update: McGill Parkette

McGill ParketteThrough the months of August, September, and October I have hosted five safety meetings with local neighbourhood stakeholders to plan and implement new safety strategies for McGill Parkette.

At my direction, the City has been able to intervene, and implement some minor improvements.  McGill Parkette has been temporarily closed for maintenance, since August 26th. Parks staff are doing all they can, and are permitted  to do - i.e. basic maintenance and landscaping - to make modest safety upgrades. The plantings have been cut back and refreshed, the loose pavers have been fixed, and they are attempting to re-establish the turf. Parks staff are currently investigating potential additional features to animate the park, and restrict smoking, such as the installation of adult exercise equipment.

During the park closure, Toronto Police Services and City outreach teams have continued to monitor the neighbourhood. The park is expected to be re-opened later this year.

Since 2016, I have been attempting to work with the property owner, to upgrade the park and address the design flaws that contribute to the safety issues.  Unfortunately, the owner continually refused to allow any redesign to take place. As of late September, the property has been sold, and I am hopeful that the new owner will be more community-minded and amenable to working with the City, to make substantial park improvements.  As McGill Parkette is not owned by the City, permissions from the owner are required for any significant changes. Under the long-term lease, the City of Toronto is responsible for maintaining the park until the lease expiry, in 2036.


11. Moss Park Upcoming Community Events

Tech Time - Snap Circuit Challenges

Tech Time

Would you like to learn about coding and robotics? Then, come out to Building Roots’ tech-focused workshop in partnership with Toronto Public Library. Learn and explore more about coding, circuitry, robotics and so much more from a Librarian! This amazing workshop is FREE and there will be snacks! Everyone from all ages and experiences are welcome! 

What: Tech Time - Snap Circuit Challenges
When: Saturday, November 30, 2019, 12:00PM to 2:00PM
Where: 285 Shuter St, Penthouse 

 

Building Roots- Do It Together

Building RootsJoin our friends at Building Roots every Saturday through November for a series of creative do-it-yourself workshops. These free community building workshops will teach participants fun, practical and sustainable tools. 

What: Do It Together Workshop Series
When: Every Saturday from 3:00PM to 5:00PM
Where: Moss Park Market, 260 Queen Street East


12. Resourcing the Regent Park Social Development Plan

Regent Park KidsOn October 16, a number of Regent Park residents and community partners attended the Economic and Community Development Committee in support of Resourcing the Regent Park Social Development Plan. Following up on my motions from earlier this year, City staff are recommending funding to be included as part of the 2020 budget process in support of the Social Development Plan and the implementation of the plan's priority action items. Community supporters reinforced the need and importance for direct oversight and investments from the City in support of the Plan. Thank you to City Staff from Social Development, Finance and Administration, the Regent Park Stakeholder Table, and a special shout out to the dedicated residents who deputed at the Committee on October 16. I look forward to our ongoing collaboration in supporting the Regent Park Social Development Plan!


13. Update: Regent Park, Phase 4 and 5

On October 5, Regent Park residents participated in the developer presentation. As part of the Toronto Community Housing Request for Proposals (RFP) process to select a Developer Partner for Phases 4 and 5 lands in Regent Park, the three potential Developer Partners presented their community benefits proposals. In addition, each developer responded to questions that were created by residents and were subsequently scored by residents on their responses.

Toronto Community Housing anticipates that the developer partner selection will be finalized by early 2020.

For more information on the Regent Park Request for Proposals for Phase 4 and 5, please click here.


14. Community Events: The 17th Annual Regent Park Film Festival

Regent Park FF

The Regent Park Film Festival (RPFF), Toronto's longest running free community film festival, is back for its 17th annual Festival. The RPFF runs from November 20 – 23, 2019. The Film Festival focuses on highlighting diverse films that seek to dispel stereotypes. In addition to film screenings, the RPFF hosts a dedicated school film program, workshops, and panel discussions.

Take a look at the full schedule here.


 15. Brighten Up your Night with New Lighting at the St. Lawrence Market!

St. Lawrence MarketAs part of efforts to highlight many of the historic buildings in Old Town Toronto, the City has been working to install new heritage lighting at the St. Lawrence Market. That installation is nearly complete, and will be unveiled in a dynamic lighting ceremony on November 7. Join the local community and I as we officially ‘flip the switch’ on this exciting initiative!

What: St. Lawrence Market Heritage Lighting Unveiling
When: November 7, 2019 from 5:30PM to 6:30PM
Where: St. Lawrence Market, Main Lobby (93 Front Street East)


16. Community Spotlight: Gerstein Crisis Centre

Our friends at Gerstein Crisis Centre believe every person has the right to live a self-directed life and to pursue their greatest level of wellness and happiness.

The  Gerstein Crisis Centre on Charles Street East has actively supported consumer survivor initiatives by employing consumer survivor run businesses (e.g. Abel Enterprises, Fresh Start Cleaning & Maintenance, Raging Spoon and Away Express) through all of their operations. They promote artists with lived experience and  the Centre even has a beautiful collection of such artwork in their facilities.  They house the Consumer Survivor Archives and remain strong supporters of their efforts.

Since 2009, hundreds of individuals have been working on their recovery through the FRESH (Finding Recovery through Exercise, Skills and Hope) Project, WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning) groups and WRAP Fitness sessions that we offer on an ongoing basis.

Discover more about the life-transforming services from the Gerstein Crisis Centre here.

 


17. In the Community

Fabrique de la CiteThank you to the organizers of La Fabrique de la Cité for the invitation to speak on your Housing Affordability panel. It was helpful to learn about the international perspectives on this critical issue challenging cities around the world.

 

Nicholson Laneway ProjectIt is amazing to see the improvements in Nicholson Lane revealed. The City of Toronto contributed $60,000 of Section 37 funding to kickstart this public realm effort with the support of Old Town Toronto, The Laneway Project and other community partners. Well done everyone! 

 

Little CanadaI was pleased to join Little Canada for their big launch at 10 Dundas East with the Downtown Yonge BIA. Guests got a sneak preview of their amazing Littlization Station. It's not everyday that one gets excited about being littleized! (It's a word) Expect big lineups on July 1st!

 

Progress Place 35th AnniversaryCongratulations to  Progress Place on their 35th anniversary! This wonderful service led by Criss Habal-Brosek and founded by Brenda Singer, a newly minted Order of Canada member, has been helping people living with mental illness recover to their very best. Thank you for including me in this momentous occasion. 

 

Regent Park residentsThanks to the Regent Park residents who spoke at the Economic and Community Development Committee in support of new funding for the refreshed Regent Park Social Development Plan. This important work can't be done without a partnership between the City and community. 

 

Neighbourhood Information PostI am 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!

 

Homeless ConnectI am proud to be a multi-year supporter of Homeless Connect TO, a volunteer-driven non-profit organization that brings 100 services, 500 volunteers and 1500 street-involved residents together under one roof. It's an honour to be an annual participant. Congratulations to all who make this event successful!

 

George Street RevitalizationThe George Street Revitalization will replace an outdated and institutional shelter. It modernizes services for Toronto's most vulnerable residents. The new investments will include a 40,000 community hub. Great to hear new programming ideas from service stakeholders.

 

Heritage TorontoI was very pleased to join my friend Councillor Mike Layton and the great folks at Heritage Toronto for the unveiling of three new plaques commemorating the earliest Toronto organizing of public services which we continue to rely on today - police, firefighting and public transit. 

 

CBC Interview
Thank you CBC for your interest in the public meeting to create a Master Plan for Toronto's First Parliament site. We have an opportunity to turn a large publicly-owned ( by both the city and the province) land asset into a civic space of great cultural and historical importance.

 


18. In the Media

KWT in the Media


19. 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.

How to Report

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.


20. *NEW* 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: http://www.kristynwongtam.ca/resources.

Community Resource


21. Ward 13 Development Map

Ward 13 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.

View Development Map


22. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise

Chris Moise BanneWe have had a busy month at the TDSB!

On October 6, a tentative agreement was reached between CUPE, the Government of Ontario and the Council of Trustees Associations; however, labour negotiations with the Ontario Government and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association will continue for both the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). To keep you and our school communities informed, we have updated the Labour Negotiations webpage. As part of these negotiations, the Minister of Education Stephen Lecce has just announced that the Province will be proposing a 25 to 1 class size average to OSSTF. While there are not many details available at this point, there were also references to possibly seeking to remove class size caps in local high school collective agreements. We are also working on contingency plans for the possibility of future labour action and, as always, we will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

As you know, the TDSB is committed to Academic Pathways and we continue to move forward with our three-year plan to have the majority of high school students studying academic courses for Grades 9 and 10. To provide further details and background information about this important work, I have attached a two-page document entitled Academic Pathways Leading to Student Success.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released achievement results for all Ontario school boards. For the TDSB, when compared to the province, 2018-19 EQAO results for TDSB students in Grades 3 and 6 show that a higher proportion are performing at or above the provincial standard in five of the six assessments in reading, writing and mathematics. This has been a consistent trend over the past five years, with a higher proportion of TDSB students continually performing at the highest level of EQAO. Improvement is needed for Grade 9 math and this will be the focus of a math action plan. 

To learn more, please read the full news release and visit the TDSB webpage for Achievement and EQAO

Lastly, please join me, and guest speaker Michelle Munroe, TDSB, for my next ward forum where we will be discussing how to talk to your child about race and diversity.  

When: November 21, 2019 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Rosedale School for the Arts, 711 Bloor St E

I hope to see you there!

 

October 1, 2019  E-Newsletter

KWT BannerFall 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,

Kristyn Wong-Tam


  1. Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Great News!
  2. Save the Dates: Healthy Neighbourhood Forums
  3. Unite for Love Rally
  4. Changes to Toronto Community Housing
  5. Yonge TOmorrow Update: Yonge Street Environmental Assessment 
  6. New Noise Bylaw Takes Effect
  7. First Parliament Site Public Workshop
  8. Dog Off Leash Areas & Parks Survey
  9. Bay-Cloverhill Neighbourhood Update
  10. Cabbagetown South Neighbourhood Update
  11. Downtown- Yonge Neighbourhood Update
  12. Regent Park Neighbourhood Update
  13. St. James Town Neighbourhood Update
  14. St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Update
  15. TOBuilt
  16. Become a 3Rs Ambassador
  17. Community Spotlight: Trillium Gift of Life Network
  18. Kristyn In the Community
  19. In the Media
  20. How to Report
  21. Community Resources
  22. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise

1. Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship- Great News!

ICIE AnnouncementOn 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

Healthy NeighbourhoodsIn 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

Unite for Love RallyLast 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.

View the news statement here

Find more information on the changes at TCHC here


5. Yonge Street Environmental Assessment Update

Yonge TOmorrowWork 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.

More information on Yonge TOmorrow


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.

More information of the types of noise infractions that are enforced

View the full bylaw.


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.

First Parliament 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

First Parliament Site Present 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

City-Wide Review

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:

Dola Selection

 


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.

For more information 

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. 

City Staff Preliminary Report

1075 Bay Street


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

Neighbourhood Police

Find more information on the Neighbourhood Officer Program here

Our Neighbourhood Officer Map & Contact 

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.

For more informationon Red Embers

Red Embers at Allan Gardens

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 Meeting

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.

St. James Town MeetingFinally, 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.

Updates on construction activity

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

SLM HoursThe 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
[email protected]
416-392-7120

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.


15. TOBuilt

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

Global RecyclingDid 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.

Organ Donor


18. Kristyn In the Community

Co-Op HousingI 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! 

 

McGill Parkette MeetingI 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.

 

Dixon HallIt 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! 

 

Women in STEMCongratulations 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. 

 

The AgendaI 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. 

 

Sumach by ChartwellI 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! 

 

NACTO ConferenceIt 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. 

 

Cabbagetown FestivalIt 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!

 

St. James Town Festival 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.

 

Community Safety WalkMy 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. 

 

Downtown East Action Plan MeetingMayor 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. 

 

Meet Your NeighboursI 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.

 

Climate StrikeI 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.

 

Unite for Love RallyOn 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

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.

How to Report

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

CommunityWe 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:

Resource Page


22. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise 
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 

To stay informed, please sign up for my e-newsletter by emailing me at [email protected] and visit my webpage at www.tdsb.on.ca/ward10

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

 

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August 2019

August 2019

E-Newsletter

KWT Banner

Community health and safety has been top of mind for many of our Ward 13 neighbourhoods this summer. Toronto has seen an unprecedented number of shootings, some of them in our own communities. Meanwhile, the growing crises of mental health, addictions, and homelessness have become increasingly apparent downtown and beyond. This has exposed far too many people to new trauma. It illustrates the cycle of despair that leaves vulnerable and marginalized populations without the resources they need to build better lives and escape violence.

In my last e-newsletter, I highlighted the new Five-Year Downtown East Action Plan that starts to build a roadmap to addressing many of the systemic failures contributing to violence and insecurity in our communities. The work grew out of my 2017 Healthy Neighbourhood Summit that identified the fractured community safety structures and inadequate social supports. This fall, I will be coming back to our Ward 13 communities for a new set of Healthy Neighbourhoods meetings to share the work that is underway, hear what your immediate and evolving needs are, and to ensure that the highest levels of City staff understand the challenges we are addressing.

Ward 13 has been leading the city in transforming how we do community-based policing. The dedicated Neighbourhood Officer program in Regent Park and Moss Park have expanded to the Church-Wellesley Village, St. James Town, Cabbagetown South and now Downtown Yonge. This program sees officers out of their vehicles, patrolling the communities on foot and bikes, and developing direct relationships with residents, businesses, and visitors. Not only does this help the officers become deeply aware of the nuances and challenges in the community, they have proven to have a much stronger understanding of the needs and circumstances of vulnerable residents. This is an effective model of community policing, one that I want to expand to all of Ward 13.

While Toronto has many resources, Municipal Governments are not responsible for, or equipped to address, the crises of mental health and addictions. This is why I specifically gave direction in the Five-Year Downtown East Action Plan for a table to be convened with the Federal and Provincial governments to identify the actions they need to undertake. Last week, I met with the Mayor, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Eileen de Villa, and divisional leads to map out the next steps and to develop a transparent set of measures and reports that will hold each order of government accountable. This is not a matter of assigning blame, but of getting beyond vague funding announcements and down to the specifics of what programs, services, and work will be done to provide our residents and communities with the health and safety outcomes they deserve.

There is much more happening in Ward 13, and I encourage you to read on below for more of the great work and events taking place. I look forward to connecting with you at any number of our upcoming community meetings and receiving your thoughts, comments, and concerns.

Yours in service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam 


Table of Contents

1. Cabbagetown South: Safety & Heritage Conservation 

2. Church-Wellesley: Safety Town Hall Highlights

3. Corktown: Farmer's Market & Business Improvement Area

4. Garden District: George Street Revitalization Project

5. McGill-Granby: Joseph Sheard Parkette

6. Statement on McGill Parkette

7. Regent Park: GrowTO Fair

8. St. Lawrence: David Crombie Park Public Consultation

9. Sign Up for Dog Off-Leash Updates

10. Sign Up for City & Community Council Updates

11. 33 Sherbourne and 176-178 Front Street East Community Consultation

12. Neighborhood Grants Applications Now Open!

13. Priority Retail Streets Zoning By-Law

14. Community Spotlight: The First Open Streets of 2019, A Big Success!

15. In the Community

16. How to Report

17. New Community Resources Webpage

18. Development Map

19. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise


1. Cabbagetown South: Safety & Heritage Conservation 

Addressing Neighbourhood Health & Safety

The health and safety of the new Ward 13 - Toronto Centre residents are top priorities that I have been working tirelessly to address with all divisions at the City of Toronto.

My staff and I regularly attend meetings at the Community Police Liaison Committee, the Sherbourne-Dundas Safety Network and other events related to community health and safety in the neighbourhood. I also meet on a monthly basis with the Cabbagetown South Residents’ Association Board; over the summer we have been meeting more frequently.

Local resident concerns are valid and I will continue to advocate for the health and safety for all residents, as well as work to address systemic gaps that have failed to support the city’s most vulnerable people. 

Last month, City Council adopted my landmark Five-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East, which set comprehensive targets and strategies to enhance city services exclusively from Bay Street to Bayview Avenue, Bloor Street to the waterfront, representing all of Ward 13 - Toronto Centre.

Among many other actions, the work I have done on the Five-Year Downtown East Action Plan for Ward 13 - Toronto Centre directs city divisions to:

  • Establish a safety network for Dundas and Sherbourne, with specific outcome measures that include increased timely and appropriate responses to local concerns.
  • Collect sharps and drug use supplies and facilitate safe disposal
  • Substantially increase the frequency of alley, parks and laneway cleaning
  • Request that the Toronto Police Services Board review the current response to safety and noise concerns in the Sherbourne Corridor and Moss Park areas and identify resource requirements to respond
  • Enhance street outreach worker numbers to encourage vulnerable populations to access safe, supportive services
  • Priority laneways receiving cleaning three times per day
  • Enhanced coordination of street outreach efforts
  • Additional staff to provide enhanced harm reduction outreach
  • Improve metrics on crime, social disorder, and quality of life as tracked by Toronto Police
  • Offer planned recreation programs and leagues to individuals living in shelters or are affected by homelessness

In addition, our local Toronto Police 51 Division is receiving 22 of the new officers and I expect to see more later this year. Arrests are being made daily, targeting violent drug dealers and those who are victimizing neighbours and service users alike. Sadly, when turned over to Justices of the Peace, they appear to be routinely discharged and return to the community with few conditions placed on them.  

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. Like many other cities across Canada, Toronto is gripped by three major crises involving the lack of adequate affordable housing, mental health services and addiction recovery programs. These are all complex inter-governmental and cross-sectoral systems that go beyond the purview of any city government and will require provincial and federal leadership with sustained funding. 

I recognized that much more needs to be done to create healthy, safe, inclusive neighbourhoods that work for everyone. I have repeatedly raised the concerns of our local residents to the Office of the Mayor and the top city officials, including the City Manager. They support the recommendations in the Downtown East Five-Year Action Plan and I believe they will assist us in obtaining all necessary funding in the upcoming 2020 and beyond city budgets. This is a significant and historic achievement, one that will make a difference for downtown east communities in the long-term that have historically been challenged by poverty and violence for years. 

Toronto is doing much within its jurisdiction to address these complex issues and now we need both the Provincial and Federal governments to develop and fund their own five-year action plans for cities. There will be no long-term solution until mental health services, addictions treatment, and other provincial and federal responsibilities are fully funded and coordinated to eliminate structural gaps to provide those with acute needs a pathway to recovery. This is the path forward not just for Toronto but all cities across the country, provinces and territories. 

Cities need all government partners to come to the table immediately. While millions have been promised, we are not seeing crisis response programs and recovery or rehabilitation beds available to those looking for a way out. This is essential in addressing the complexity of the issues facing the Downtown East. 

To achieve this essential partnership, Toronto City Council supported my motion in the Five-Year Action Plan to convene a table with all three levels of government to look review the structural gaps that are failing Toronto residents and to develop immediate solutions. 

My staff and I will continue to work hard with all community and government partners. We understand that our successes are inter-connected and linked together. No one person or community can do this work alone and we remain committed to working with all stakeholders to constructively find long-term solutions to systemic challenges. We commit to you that we won’t rest until this happens. 

The Sherbourne-Dundas Community Safety Network

With my support, the City of Toronto's Community Crisis Response Program has been facilitating monthly safety network meetings with residents, service agencies, businesses, the Toronto Police, Toronto Community Housing, and MPP Morrison’s office.

The purpose of the network is to respond to community needs and initiate an intervention response; to provide necessary services required as a result of a critical incident. More specifically, to coordinate the delivery of services to the neighbourhood from city divisions and community service providers, restoring neighbourhood safety, security, well-being and a sense of community.

If you would like to receive email updates or meeting invitations, contact Stephanie Mazerolle at [email protected]

Dan Harrison Community Complex

In April 2019, City Council supported my motion directing staff to address the long-standing complex challenges at the Dan Harrison Community Complex in the Five-Year Downtown East Action Plan and the Tenants First reports and to develop a timeline for implementation and full costing for the renewed comprehensive strategy.

I am pleased to report that things are on-track and moving forward. Staff are expected to report back at the October 15, 2019 meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee. Over the next few months, major security infrastructure upgrades are currently underway at Dan Harrison including repair and installation of additional security cameras both indoors and outdoors, exterior and underground parking garage lighting enhancements, lobby reconstruction, and installation of double maglocks on exterior doors.

Heritage Conservation District (HCD)

The Toronto Preservation Board has endorsed the recommendation to proceed with developing the Cabbagetown Southwest HCD. Staff are defining the scope of work and timeline for the next phase and will provide an update in Fall 2019.

Get Involved

If you haven’t already, I would recommend joining the Cabbagetown South Residents’ Association or at least signing up for their updates. Since January I have been meeting monthly, more often over these summer months, with the Board of the Cabbagetown South Residents’ Association and together we have been tackling the health and safety issues that residents and service users are facing. They have been great champions and represent the neighbourhood well.

 


2. Church-Wellesley: Safety Town Hall Highlights

Community Safety Meeting Highlights

In response to the recent surge in break-ins and violence experienced by the community, on August 8th, I facilitated an emergency community safety meeting hosted by Progress Place in collaboration with Glad Day Bookshop, CWBIA, CWNA, and Toronto Police.

Suggestions from the community included:

  • Starting a Neighbourhood/Vertical Watch programs (like the ones many of us remember growing up)
  • Providing the community with skill building training for de-escalation and intervention techniques
  • Organizing Community Support/Safety Walks
  • Attending Community Police Liaison Committee Meetings held on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm at 51 Division Headquarters (51 Parliament Street)
  • Participating in the upcoming Meet Your Neighbours event hosted by the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association

The meeting was also live streamed and the video has been posted on Facebook.

 

Community Support Walk

Church-Wellesley Community Safety Network

The City of Toronto's Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP), with my support has been facilitating monthly safety network meetings with residents, the 519, Progress Place, Grace Church, Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area, CWNA, Toronto Police, and MPP Morrison’s office.

The purpose of the network is to respond to community needs and initiate interventions; to provide necessary services required as a result of a critical incident. The network coordinates the delivery of services to the neighbourhood from city divisions and community service providers, restoring neighbourhood safety, security, well-being and a sense of community.

If you would like to receive email updates or meeting invitations, contact Stephanie Mazerolle at [email protected]

Neighbourhood Master Plan Updates

In tandem with YongeTOmorrow, the process for the Church Street redesign is finally moving forward after many years of planning and consultations. The Church Wellesley Village BIA, Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association, the 519 Community Centre, and my office are working towards finalizing plans that will see Church Street and connecting side streets completely reconstructed.

Get Involved

The Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association (CWNA) works very hard to ensure the community is informed and engaged and builds bridges between residents, elected officials, businesses, and developers. The CWNA has been instrumental in improving the neighbourhood parks and public spaces, making our streets safer, and to preserve the neighbourhood’s character and heritage. Learn more and get involved at www.cwna.ca

 


3. Corktown: Farmer's Market & Business Improvement Area

Underpass Farmer's Market

Join residents of Corktown every Thursday night until October for the Underpass Farmer's Market. This is an opportunity to bring the community together, hear some local musicians and enjoy local produce. For more information on the Underpass Farmer's Market

Corktown Business Improvement Area

Corktown Business Residents Association is looking to develop another city-sanctioned Business Improvement Area (BIA). A BIA is made up of commercial and industrial property owners and their non-residential tenants who join together under a volunteer Board of Management (BIA Board) to carry out improvements and promote economic development within their designated area. More information on BIAs 

To get more information about the development of a BIA in Corktown, you can email [email protected]

Local Produce


 4. Garden District: George Street Revitalization

When complete, the new facility on George Street will include a 100 bed emergency men's shelter, a transitional living program with 130 beds, a 378 bed long-term care home, 21 units of affordable housing and a community hub.

This hub will be an accessible community meeting place for people to come together to build community, with shared resources and integrated services between multiple providers, and in partnership with the residents and the communities being served.

George Street Revitalization

I have worked to ensure that the George Street Revitalization will also include a significant public art component, focussed on Indigenous placemaking, and developed with leading contemporary Indigenous artists.  Another art component will commemorate the Fegan Boys and the British Home Children; destitute orphans who were brought to Canada, and stayed briefly at 295 George St. before being distributed across the country, often as farm labourers.

Streetscape improvements along George Street, from Gerrard to Dundas and the  George Street Revitalization is a key component of the City's Downtown East Revitalization Plan.

Seaton House is slated to be fully decommissioned in spring 2021, with construction commencing in fall 2021.  Completion is projected for winter 2024. To learn more about the project, visit the update on our website.


5. McGill-Granby: Joseph Sheard Parkette

Joseph Sheard Parkette Complete!

Joseph Sheard ParketteRenovations at Joseph Sheard parkette are now complete, and the park has re-opened to the public.  Upgrades included new paving, new horticultural beds, new sod and improved lighting. 

Stakeholder consultations for the improvements took place in late 2017 through early 2018, with input regarding crime prevention design provided by Toronto Police Services.  From there, Parks staff proceeded through the design phase, holding an open house, to gather public feedback. Construction commenced  in late April 2019, with work concluding in early August, 2019.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Parks staff, for their hard work; our community partners, who participated in the stakeholder consultations; and the wider community who came out to offer feedback at the public open house. 


6. Statement on McGill Parkette

The month of August has left two young women sexually assaulted in McGill Parkette. Residents should know that the Toronto Police and Parks Ambassador staff are patrolling McGill Parkette several times a day, making frequent arrests, issuing tickets and responding quickly to calls for service. Community Crisis Response and Streets to Homes staff are engaging with homeless youth in and around the parkette to alert them to the danger, and to steer them towards services and helping programs. 

You have my commitment that the City will continue to make this parkette a top priority and work to prevent future violence. Over the years, my office has received numerous complaints about McGill Parkette.  Three years ago, I worked with the Downtown Yonge BIA to commission a McGill parkette redesign proposal. The intention was to create a public space that the community could enjoy and use safely. I was, and remain, committed to funding the renovations through city resources.  Despite multiple requests from myself and broad support from the community to renovate the park, Artis REIT/Marwest Group refused to give the City permission to renovate the park. 

McGill ParketteThis August I have been meeting weekly with all neighbourhood stakeholders to plan and implement new safety strategies for this parkette.  The City, Toronto Police, and our community partners are mobilized to capacity, but again one key piece is still missing. The parkette must be redesigned for any of these efforts to create lasting change.  The local property managers for Artis REIT have been in attendance at every meeting, and my office has reached out to their Winnipeg headquarters several times. There is no reason they cannot now work with the City to improve this privately owned public space. 

I believe that some of these horrific incidents in McGill parkette were preventable. McGill Parkette will be a public park for at least another 16 years.  The owners must recognize the gravity of what can occur when a park is left unsafe and without major improvements, for years on end. Currently, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Toronto Police Services, Community Crisis Response, Streets to Homes, Covenant House, the Downtown Yonge BIA, and the McGill-Granby Village Residents Association are ready to improve safety, but we need everyone at the table, to move forward. Instead of stonewalling the City and prioritizing corporate greed over the safety of the community, including that of their own commercial tenants, Artis REIT and Marwest Group could step up and be a community partner for positive change.

 


7. Regent Park: Grow TO Fair

Celebrate Toronto-grown food and the people who grow it! Join our friends from GrowTO in Regent Park, 620 Dundas Street East, on September 14, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This event will include the Best in GrowTO urban-style agriculture contest, GrowTO Rice Festival, Storytelling teepee and garden tours. GrowTO is part of a 9 day city-wide event celebrating Toronto Urban Agriculture Week 2019. This family- friendly event is free! Brought to you by Toronto Urban Growers, CRC Regent Park Community

Food Centre and Toronto Council Fire. I hope to see you there!
For more information on Urban Agriculture Week

Grow TO Fair


8. St. Lawrence: David Crombie Public Consultation

The City of Toronto invites you to learn more about proposed improvements to David Crombie Park. Staff are hosting a public information workshop to:

  • Present Preferred Concept Plan
  • Receive public input
  • Discuss next steps.

The City of Toronto holds public consultations as one way to engage residents in the life of their city. Toronto thrives on your great ideas and actions. We invite you to get involved.

David Crombie Park

What: David Crombie Park Revitalization Public Information Workshop
When: Thursday, September 26, 2019, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM OR 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: St. Lawrence Community Centre, Multi-Use Room (230 The Esplanade)

Please choose a session that best suits your schedule. Everyone is welcome to attend. Register for this event .

ASL interpreters may be provided, if available. Please contact 311 in advance of this meeting if interpreter is needed.

For more information about this project, email Nancy Chater at [email protected] or call 416-338-5237.


9. Sign Up for Dog-Off Leash Area Updates

Dog Park

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 "DOLAs" 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 DOLAs 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 DOLAs 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 DOLAs in parks, I believe it is important that we engage everyone who uses any of Ward 13's five DOLAs in a meaningful way and on an ongoing basis.

Sign-up to begin receiving DOLA-specific updates and to receive invitations to meetings and public consultations.

Sign Up for DOLA Updates


10. Sign Up for City & Community Council Updates

Interested in knowing what is on the agenda for City Council and the Toronto and East York Community Council which will have impacts on your local neighbourhoods? Update your subscription preferences to receive these special updates.


11. 33 Sherbourne Street and 176-178 Front Street East Community Consultation

The City is holding a Community Consultation meeting for a development application at 33 Sherbourne Street and 176-178 Front Street East. This proposal seeks to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a 37-storey mixed-use building containing 439 residential units, 1,427 square metres of retail space, 91 vehicular parking spaces and 440 bicycle parking spaces. 

33 Sherbourne East

You are invited to attend where you can learn more about this application, ask questions, and share your comments. The City of Toronto holds public consultations as one way to engage residents in the life of their city. We invite you to get involved.

What: 33 Sherbourne St. and 176-178 Front St. E. Community Consultation 

When: Monday, September 9, 2019, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Where: George Brown College, Room 128 (200 King St. E.)

View the City Staff Preliminary Report

View the applicant submitted documentation 

To speak to the planner directly, contact Henry Tang, at (416) 392-7572 or [email protected] . 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.

Click for more information 

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 Henry Tang, at (416) 392-7572, [email protected] 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.


12. Neighbourhood Grant Applications Now Open!

NeighbourhoodsAre you a resident-led group with a great event idea that needs funding? Grants of $1,000 - $3,000 are available to activate your neighbourhood and advance the Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy 2020 (TSNS 2020).

What is the Neighbourhood Grants Program?
The Neighbourhood Grants program will make available small grants of $1,000-$3,000 to resident-led groups to help them inspire their neighbourhoods with events or activities held between March 16th –September 15th, 2020.

A maximum of $5,000 will be available in each of the 39 identified neighbourhoods (31 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas or 8 Emerging Neighbourhoods). Click here to see the list of 39 identified neighbourhoods.

Review the Grant Guidelines to find out if you're eligible to apply! Visit our Neighbourhood Grants web page for more details. A link to the online application form and a list of sample application questions are available to help you kick start your planning!

Deadline for applications is October 22, 2019.

If your group is eligible, you are strongly encouraged to attend a Neighbourhood Grant Planning Session to be held in October/November. Check out the list of meetings for your local Neighbourhood Grant Planning session. If you want some extra guidance in developing your Neighbourhood Grants' application, please register for an interactive session that will explore the basics of preparing a grant application for the Neighbourhood Grants upcoming deadline. 


13. Priority Retail Streets Zoning By-Law

Church Street RetailDowntown’s network of commercial main streets is a defining feature of Toronto. The small shops, services, restaurants, cafés and bars found on the main streets serve the needs of local residents and workers, while destination retail such as the Eaton Centre and Yorkville draws visitors from around the city and region. These shopping streets contribute to Downtown’s vibrant and walkable neighbourhoods, provide employment opportunities and play a key role in animating and activating streetscapes.

The Downtown Plan designated Priority Retail Streets on those streets with a historic and emerging neighbourhood retail character. City Planning is currently undertaking an amendment to the Priority Retail Streets Zoning By-Law that will provide direction on the land use requirements for the streets identified in the Downtown Plan.

Learn more about the Priority Retail Streets Zoning By-law

City Staff will be organizing and hosting a public consultation/open house on September 5, 2019 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM at Metro Hall (55 John Street, Room 310) where members of the public and/or stakeholders can inquire about and provide feedback on the Priority Retail Streets.

For additional information on the consultation processes, and on the Priority Retail Street project, please email Igor Dragovic at [email protected] or call 416-392-7215


14. Community Spotlight: First Open Streets TO of 2019, A Big Success!

We had an awesome time at last week’s Open Streets TO - Toronto’s largest free recreation program that temporarily opens streets to people and close them to cars, allowing people to come out, walk, run, cycle, rollerblade and improve their health. Thank you to Centrecourt, 8 80 Cities, the DYBIA, the City of Toronto, Menkes, Lululemon and countless volunteers and community groups that make this event possible. 

Open Streets TOSave the Date! The final Open Streets TO of 2019 is taking place Sunday, September 15, 2019‎ from 10:00am - 2:00pm. Come enjoy family-friendly activities, exercise and dance classes, art installations, musical performances, street games, obstacle courses and more. The possibilities are nearly endless! Walk, run or stroll - all are welcome!

 Map of the Open Streets TO 2019 route


15. In the Community 

Auntie Amal's Community DayThank you to the wonderful folks in St James Town for hosting me at the Auntie Amal Community Festival. It was an honour to meet many residents, including some who came to Canada as refugees fleeing political unrest and violence in Syria. Their inspiring stories give me hope for the future.

 

King Solomon TurtleI'm proud of the City of Toronto and their work in partnership with Toronto Council Fire to support the installation of Anishnawbe artist Solomon King's turtle sculpture and Indigenous Residential School Survivors Legacy at Nathan Phillip Square. Thank you to the incredible staff and volunteers involved with this celebration.

I love Moss ParkIt was wonderful to see so many happy families at the 5th annual Moss Park Festival organized by the Neighbourhood Information Post. I'm proud to have been supporting this festival from the first year onward. Congratulations to the organizers, sponsors and volunteers on another successful event!

 

ICIE MeetingWe hosted another Indigenous Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship consultation to broad community interest. Design work led by Brook McIlroy Inc, the Economic Development Office and the City's Indigenous Affairs Staff are well underway. What started out as an idea has become a 22,000 square foot, one-of-a-kind Indeginous Business incubator.

 

Taste of Regent ParkOur Ward 13 team had an amazing time at Taste of Regent Park meeting residents and hosting a draw for three new soccer balls. The festival was filled with amazing food, an outdoor movie and community fun! Thank you to the organizers for such a wonderful event.

 

Candlelight Vigil for 650 ParliamentIt has been a year since the 650 Parliament fire, and residents are still not back in their units. On this anniversary, Mayor Tory  and I joined residents gathered together to share stories from their experiences that night. I am inspired by the remarkable perseverance and strength from this community. I will work hard to ensure that the resients are back in their homes as soon as possible.

 

Wong-Tam Family

From the earliest organizing efforts in 2012, I have been a champion of Open Streets TO. In 2014, we launched Toronto's longest, free recreation program to great acclaim. I was so happy to share the joy with the newest member of my family, my 10 week old son Kyian, this year. While he's not a proficient cyclist yet, we were able to walk together and enjoy all of the family-friendly activities, exercise and dance classes, art installations, musical performances, and more. Thank you to 8 80 Cities and their many volunteers for this wonderful event.

 


16. How to Report: Working Together for Safer Communities 

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.

How to ReportHere 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.


17. New Community Resources Webpage!

Community

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:


18. Toronto Centre 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.

View Development Map


19. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise

Chris MoiseWelcome to the 2019/20 school year! I hope you and your family had an enjoyable and safe summer.

As your elected public School Board Trustee, it is my role to advocate for the needs of all students and parents/guardians in the Toronto District School Board. My top priority is ensuring that all students have access to the programs, opportunities and supports needed to reach their highest potential 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 click here.

Parents' involvement in their children's education and school life can also contribute to their success. There are numerous ways you can get involved, such as taking part in your local school council, volunteering to coach sports or supervising field trips. To explore these opportunities, and others, visit www.tdsb.on.ca/getinvolved. I encourage you to visit our webpage for parents, www.tdsb.on.ca/forparents, where you will find helpful resources for both parents and students, including homework tips, the school-year calendar, transportation information and updates, and supports for mental health, healthy living and bullying.

To stay informed, please sign up for my e-newsletter by emailing me at [email protected] and visit my webpage at www.tdsb.on.ca/ward10. For system-wide news about the Toronto District School Board, subscribe to TDSB Update at www.tdsb.on.ca/TDSBupdate and follow the TDSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Thank you. I look forward to working in partnership with you this year.

 

Trustee Chris Moise

Ward 10, Toronto Centre and University Rosedale

P.S.  For regular updates, follow me on facebook, instagram and Twitter at ChrismoiseTO

July 2019

July 2019

E-Newsletter

KWT- header

Thank you for supporting the 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East. Hundreds of you signed the petition and completed the survey. Last week, Council endorsed the plan and initiated this important body of work. 

The Downtown East has always had its challenges. It has historically been an area with high levels of poverty, need for social supports, and Toronto Community Housing buildings that have been allowed to deteriorate. In the last five years, these chronic challenges have been compounded by Toronto's crises in housing, addictions, and mental health. The Downtown East is now home to 32% of suspected overdose calls in Toronto, three of the ten poorest census tracts in the city, and 1,595 shelter beds that cannot keep up with demand. The vulnerability, violence, and need has reached unacceptable levels.

The 5-Year Action Plan is a coordinated, interdivisional and cross-sectoral strategy that brings more resources to building healthier, safer communities. It includes actions from maintaining elevated park and laneway cleaning to addressing the wrap-around supports needed by marginalized people and helping more move out of vulnerability. This strategy will complement the hiring of 22 new officers and the expansion of the Neighbourhood Officer program in 51 Division, which will see police building much deeper connections with the neighbourhoods they operate in.

While the 5-Year Action Plan marks a big step forward, there are two major challenges ahead of us. First, City Council will need to fund an increase in resources through the 2020 Budget and I will be ensuring that Ward 13 residents know exactly how to advocate for this. Second, no municipality can address mental health and addictions issues on its own. As part of the 5-Year Action Plan, I included an amendment to convene a mental health and addictions round table with the federal and provincial government, including participation from community partners, that will meet quarterly. The other orders of government cannot walk away from our communities any longer – there will be no long-term solution until mental health services, addictions recovery, and other provincial and federal responsibilities are fully funded to provide those with acute needs with a way out vulnerability.

Yours in service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam


Table of Contents

  1. How To Report
  2. City Council Highlights
  3. College Park Officially Re-Opening
  4. Overview of Tenants First
  5. Updates from Regent Park: Phase 4 & 5
  6. Distillery District's Christmas Market Traffic Plan
  7. How to Beat the Summer Heat
  8. St. James Town Neighbourhood Improvement Area
  9. Glen Road Public Meeting
  10. Expansion of Bike Share Stations in Ward 13
  11. Community Spotlight: Downtown Yonge BIA
  12. In the Community
  13. In the Media
  14. New Community Resources Available Now!
  15. Development Map
  16. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise

1. 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.

How to Report

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.


2. City Council Highlights

Implementing Tenants First

Council has approved the Tenants First Implementation Plan, which will create better living conditions and experiences for tenants of Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCH) while ensuring their homes are safe and well maintained.

Key elements of the plan include the creation of a new Seniors Housing Corporation to manage and operate 83 senior-designated buildings housing 27,000 seniors, phased implementation of an integrated service model for seniors housing, and transferring TCH's real estate development functions to CreateTO, the City's real estate agency.

The report also specifically outlines changes to the governance of TCH's business areas while increasing the City's oversight of TCH's activities. These changes will increase collaboration between the City and TCH, mitigate legal and financial risk, contain operating costs and minimize disruption to tenants. Toronto Community Housing Corporation will remain a City corporation whose mandate is to operate the 43,000 units in mixed and family buildings and will focus on developing a more tenant-focused service delivery model.

The Tenants First plan is closely aligned with the City's other strategic initiatives designed to strengthen communities in Toronto, including the Toronto Seniors Strategy 2.0, Housing Opportunities Toronto, TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy, Toronto Youth Equity Strategy, Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020, the Toronto Newcomer Strategy and the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism.

Downtown East 2023 Five-Year Action Plan

Council has approved a comprehensive five-year Action Plan to coordinate City services and address long term community needs in the Downtown East area. The Downtown East area is bounded by Bloor Street on the North, Front Street on the South, Bay Street on the West, and the Don Valley Parkway on the East. Needs in the area include many issues that require collaboration between sectors and across governments such as supportive housing, crisis intervention, services for all community members, including people who are homeless and actions to address safety concerns in the area.

The Five-Year Action Plan was one of the key outcomes of the 12-Month Downtown East Action Plan initiated by Councillors Wong-Tam and Troisi in 2018. To date, this has resulted in a major increase in services in the area, including parks and alleyway cleaning, increased outreach, harm-reduction, and Parks Ambassadors presence, coordinated neighbourhood safety planning, and improved access to resources for marginalized individuals. The Five-Year plan looks targets the chronic and deeper challenges that must be tackled to provide long-term, meaningful assistance to everyone who calls the Downtown East home and build healthier, safer communities.

Vision Zero 2.0

Council endorsed an update to its Vision Zero commitments. The new Vision Zero 2.0 recommends a set of more extensive, more proactive and more targeted initiatives, informed by data and aimed at eliminating serious injury and fatalities on Toronto's roads.

Following a safe systems approach, Vision Zero 2.0 continues to draw solutions from the 5Es of engineering, enforcement, education, engagement and evaluation. The plan focuses these solutions on 6 emphasis areas of pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, school-aged children, older adults and aggressive and distracted driving.

In addition to reviewing roadway designs, speed limits, and safe crossings, the plan also calls for the following:

  • An expansion of the red light camera program
  • Adding safety features such as side guards to City fleet, particularly large vehicles, starting with the Solid Waste Management Division
  • Development of District Safety Action Plans
  • Expansion of partnerships for school travel planning programs;
  • Reviewing signal operations practices with a lens of vulnerable road user safety;
  • Advocacy to the Province for mandatory motorcycle training, improved driver training, changing the maximum Blood Alcohol Concentration for all licensed motorcycle drivers to 0 percent.

City Council

Cycling Network Plan Update

City Council has approved a Cycling Network Plan Update that maintains the originally established goals of Connect, Grow, and Renew, with newly articulated objectives and measures that correspond to each of the three overarching goals, providing additional clarity and indicators for evaluating success. The Cycling Network Plan Update also helps achieve a key proposed cycling policy objective in the City's Official Plan of bringing all Toronto residents within one kilometre (km) of a designated cycling route, as well as the TransformTO long-term goal that 75 percent of trips under 5 km are walked or cycled by 2050.

Over the next three years (2019 to 2021), over 120 km of new cycling infrastructure is planned, with additional upgrades to existing infrastructure through the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan. Additionally, over 70 km of routes will be studied within the near-term (2019 - 2021) for potential implementation.

As part of the 2019-2021 work plan, Ward 13 will have approved new bike lanes installed on The Esplanade, Berkeley Street from The Esplanade to Richmond Street, and Sumach Street from Cherry Street to Shuter Street. Major new north-south connections are being studied on Bay Street, Yonge Street, Shuter Street, and Sackville Street, as well as closing the east-west bike lane gap on Bloor Street between Avenue Road and the Danforth.

Changing Lanes: The City of Toronto's Review of Laneway Suites

After a one-year pilot program, City Council approved expanding laneway suites city-wide. The extension of permissions for laneway suites to areas adjacent to public laneways zoned for low-rise residential uses across the City will allow for the construction of new housing and reflects best practices used by other cities around the world.

Laneway suites are considered a type of second unit permitted by the Official Plan.  A laneway suite is a self-contained residential unit, subordinate to a primary dwelling, in which both kitchen and bathroom facilities are provided and located on a lot within a secondary building, adjacent to a public laneway. Laneway suites provide an additional form of low-rise housing within the City's neighbourhoods and are part of complete communities. They can provide more opportunities for people to live close to where they work, shop, and play and they can help make the city's urban lanes more green, livable, and safe. Laneway suites can contribute to increasing the supply of rental housing and provide additional housing options for households at different ages and life stages.

Emergency Management and Vital Service Disruptions in Apartment Buildings

After North St. James Town residents went through the ordeal of being displaced and facing serious disruptions at 650 Parliament Street and 260 Wellesley Street East, Councillor Wong-Tam directed staff to review the standards for high-rise apartment building owners in responding to emergencies. As a result of this work, City Council has now approved historic new standards to better protect tenants.

Under the new rules, building owners and operators under the RentSafeTO program are required to develop and maintain a vital service disruption plan satisfactory to the City. Toronto can now set standards and minimum requirements for the vital service disruption plans in consultation with the Office of Emergency Management and owners  or operators who do not implement their established vital service disruption plan during a time of prolonged vital service disruption can now be found guilty of an offence.

City-wide Heritage Survey Feasibility Study

City Council approved the initiation of a city-wide heritage survey program - an emerging international best practice - as a building block for good planning. The heritage survey program will enhance the City's ability to respond quickly and effectively support timely and transparent decision-making while engaging Torontonians in the proactive identification of cultural heritage resources of value. A Toronto Heritage Survey will also contribute significantly to city-building through the collection and dissemination of comprehensive data about the heritage resources of the city. Importantly, the survey program will engage Indigenous communities and carefully consider Indigenous histories in fulfillment of the City's Statement of Commitment to the Aboriginal Communities of Toronto. Diversity and social equity will be fundamental principles as the survey moves forward.


3. College Park Officially Re-Opening!

College Park

On July 10, I had the distinct pleasure of being joined by Mayor Tory and Councillor Layton to unveil a refreshed and revitalized College Park. With brand new amenities, enhanced connections to surrounding streets, and a brand new skating trail, the park has become a great example of what our urban greenspaces can be and how they can serve the community through all four seasons. This moment was a long time coming and could not have been achieved without incredible partnerships and support from the community.

It was in November of 2012 when I originally  invited neighbours and the community to the Delta Chelsea Inn to review preliminary conceptual plans for the park's revitalization. In the seven years since, I worked with staff to secure the funding, work out detailed designs, and negotiate some of the most complex and daunting property and legal agreements of any public construction agreement. We worked diligently with staff to secure all the necessary utility connections the park needed.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the park unveiling. I look forward to seeing you in the park and look forward to the opening of the magnificent skating trail this winter.


4. Overview of Tenants First

Tenants First is a City of Toronto-led project that sets out to make improvements to Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCH) and support it to become a more focused landlord. The overall focus of Tenants First is to implement a plan in which Toronto Community Housing can improve tenants' lives through better service delivery, and by providing buildings in good repair and opportunities for tenants to be connected to appropriate services and actively participate in their communities.

Tenants First outlines strategic directions aimed at enhancing TCH's capacity to provide clean, safe, well-maintained homes for TCH tenants and to help foster neighbourhoods where tenants have opportunities. It also identifies new service models that will help improve the financial sustainability of TCH and enhance the quality of life for TCH tenants. Tenants First is about improving the lives of TCH tenants through better service delivery, increased access to services, improved building conditions and strengthened tenant engagement.

Council first adopted the Tenants First – A Way Forward for Toronto Community Housing and Social Housing Toronto report on July 12, 2016. This report included proposed changes to transform Toronto Community Housing (TCH).

Phase 1 of the Tenants First Implementation Plan was approved by Council in July 2017. The report included along with other steps to develop an Integrated Service Model for seniors, creating a Seniors Housing Unit at TCHC, and transitioning towards a Seniors Housing and Services Entity at the City. On May 22, 2018 Council approved the report Implementing Tenants First - Creating a Seniors Housing Unit at Toronto Community Housing Corporation and Transitioning Towards a Seniors Housing and Services Entity at the City. This report directed TCH to create an interim unit to manage seniors housing, and in response TCH created the Interim Seniors Housing Unit with a separate management structure within the organization. 

The unit's mandate includes managing TCH's portfolio of 83 seniors-designated buildings and working with the City of Toronto and other stakeholders to design and implement an integrated service model for seniors housing that will promote aging in place, better quality of life and successful tenancies for all TCH seniors.

TCH Seniors Housing Map

Seniors were identified as a group that is currently underserved at TCH, and who would benefit from better coordinated community based service. The recommendations will improve access to services for all seniors living in TCH. There will be better coordination of the services provided to seniors by organizations outside of TCH and better alignment of senior-focused programs delivered by the City of Toronto, the provincial government and the federal government. All seniors living in TCH will be better positioned to age in place.


5. Update from Regent Park: Phase 4 & 5

Regent Park CommunityOn July 19th, City Council adopted the 'Implementing the Regent Park Social Development Plan' item. This item was the result of the motion, Living up to the Promise of Regent Park Revitalization, that was put forth at the May 14th Economic and Community Development Committee meeting. My motion addressed the need for increased commitment and focus on the Regent Park Social Development. The outcome of the motion was twofold: 1) Social Development, Finance and Administration (SDFA) committed to hiring to a full-time Community Development Worker to project manage the implementation of the Regent Park Social Development Plan; 2) SDFA will review the proposed actions from the Plan to determine priority actions and the resources needed for implementation.  

The Social Development Plan was initially approved with 75 recommendations aimed at strengthening social inclusion and cohesion. In response to Regent Park moving from a low-income to mixed-income community, the plan aims to address community needs, from employment concerns, access to community facilities, to improving program/service delivery. Recommendations were grouped into four strategic focus areas: Safety, Employment and Economic Opportunities, Community Building and Communications.

In 2017, a decade after the Social Development Plan was approved, a refreshment process began. As the Social Development Plan was designed to be a living document, recommendations are meant to address the current and emerging community concerns. The Social Development Plan refreshment process is near completion with a number of changes that have already been implemented. Changes include a clearer governance and accountability structure with regards to the Social Development Plan Stakeholders Table and the Social Development Plan Coordinator. The Social Development Coordinator position is absolutely central and integral to ensuring consistent and dedicated oversight of the plan.

Through the recently approved item, City Staff from SDFA are finalizing the hiring process for a Community Development Worker that will be dedicated in supporting the SDP and its goals. They will be responsible for project managing the implementation of the Social Development Plan. I am proud of this step forward. This is a positive step forward to ensuring that community development initiatives in Regent Park remain to move forward as the physical developments in the neighbourhood continues. I want to extend a huge thank you to all the community members, local agencies, Toronto Community Housing staff, and City of Toronto staff that have worked hard to make sure that the Social Development Plan receive the necessary commitment and resources. I look forward to the next steps for the Plan.


6. Distillery District's Christmas Market Traffic Plan 

Christmas MarketI have been working closely with Councillor Cressy’s office and community stakeholders to ensure that the Toronto Christmas Market has a strong Traffic Plan as we approach the next holiday season. This plan will help manage the influx of visitors to the historic Distillery District so both residents and visitors might be able to enjoy all the Christmas Market has to offer. It will involve some road closures and traffic redirection. This plan will need to be approved at both Toronto East York Community Council as well as City Council this Fall. I will be posting an update with the confirmed plan as soon as it becomes available.


7. How to Beat the Summer Heat

Summer is finally here! While you enjoy time out in the sun, it is important to stay healthy and cool at the same time. Hot weather and extreme heat could put your health at risk. This may result in heat-related illnesses that includes heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat rash and muscle cramps. But, heat-related illnesses are preventable!

Watch out for these symptoms of heat related illnesses: dizziness, fainting, nausea, headache, rapid breathing or heartbeat, as well as extreme thirst or decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine. If you experience these symptoms or see someone with signs of heat-related illness, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids.

Additional tips to beat the heat includes:

  •         Drink plenty of cool water even before you feel thirsty
  •         Go to an air conditioned place such as one of the City’s Heat Relief Network locations
  •         Wear loose, breathable clothing and when outdoors wear a wide-brimmed hat
  •         Avoid the sun and stay in the shade or use an umbrella
  •         Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day
  •         Take cool showers or baths or use cool wet towels to cool down
  •         Never leave a person or pet inside a parked car
  •         Consult with your doctor or pharmacist on medications that increase your risk to heat
  •         Call or visit at-risk family, friends or neighbours (especially seniors living alone)
            to make sure they are drinking plenty of fluids and keeping cool

Find cool space closest to you and search by address or nearest intersection!

Splash Pad

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 if you see someone who is either unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating. While you are waiting for help, cool the person right away by moving them to a cool place or applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing.

Here are some Cooling spaces, mostly Toronto Public Library Branches, Community Centres, Pools and Splash Pads within Ward 13: 

Toronto Public Library Branches:

St. Lawrence Branch, 171 Front St E
St James Town Branch, 495 Sherbourne St
Parliament Street Branch, 269 Gerrard St E

Community Centres:

Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne St
Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St
St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, 230 The Esplanade
John Innes Community Recreation Centre, 150 Sherbourne St

Pools and Wading Pools:

Winchester Park, 530 Ontario St
John Innes Community Recreation Centre, 150 Sherbourne St
Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre, 640 Dundas St
Riverdale Park West, 375 Sumach St 
Sumach – Shuter Parkette, 485 Shuter St
David Crombie Park, 131 The Esplanade
St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, 230 The Esplanade

Splash Pads:

Barbara Hall Park, 519 Church St
Moss Park, 150 Sherbourne St
Regent Park, 600 Dundas St
Wellesley Park, 500 Wellesley St
Diamond Jubilee Promenade, 475 Front St
Corktown Common, 155 Bayview Ave


8. St. James Town Neighbourhood Improvement Area

In support of local residents and the St. James Town Service Providers Network, City Council adopted my motion to have staff  review the St. James Town area for potential inclusion as a Neighbourhood Improvement Area (NIA) through the future review of the City’s Strong Neighbourhood Strategy. 

Two major incidents in apartment buildings in St. James Town have created a significant push by local community organizations and service providers to have the city re-evaluate the neighbourhood for inclusion as a NIA when the city updates its Strong Neighbourhood Strategy 2020. 

These organizations took it upon themselves to try and build support within the local community, and brought almost 900 signatures and letters from 15 non-profit organizations that help support the community in St. James Town. The support also included letters from the local Toronto Catholic District School Board Trustee Norm Di Pasquale and MPP Suze Morrison.

If designated as a NIA, the city would help develop an action plan for the neighbourhood, and be assigned a Community Development Officer to provide support and help bring new local investments to improve the lives of residents. 

The Strong Neighbourhood Strategy 2020 is currently under review, and will be brought to City Council in late 2020.


9. Glen Road Public Meeting

As part of the reconstruction of the Glen Road Pedestrian Bridge near Sherbourne Station, staff have short-listed five public art proposals for review. These proposals are meant to help animate the bridge when it is reconstructed.

You are invited to drop-in, view and comment on the public art proposals. 

What: Glen Road Pedestrian Tunnel Public Art Drop-In Event

When: Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Church of St. Peter and St. Simon, 525 Bloor Street East

 Glen Road Bridge Rendering

You can also view the display materials and provide feedback online until August 21, 2019.

For public art information, please contact:
Catherine Dean, Public Art Officer, 416-395-0249 or [email protected]

For general project information, please contact:
Jason Diceman, Senior Public Consultation Coordinator, 416-338-2830 or [email protected]

A follow-up meeting regarding the Glen Road Pedestrian Tunnel is currently being planned for the fall. Details will be provided as soon as possible.


10. Expansion of Bike Share Stations in Ward 13

Bike Share is expanding in Toronto and our ward is a big part of that.

This year's expansion will add a total of 1,250 new bicycles, 105 stations and 2,292 docking points to the Bike Share Toronto network. With this expansion, the system will grow to 465 stations in Toronto, with a total of 5,000 bikes, and 8,550 docking points.

Bike Share - Ward 13

Bike Share Toronto stations are also being placed in new neighbourhoods, stretching out of the downtown core. They will be located as far north as Yonge Street at Lawrence Avenue, west to the Junction and High Park Neighbourhood, and as far east as Victoria Park and Kingston Road

In the past 12 months, the total number of memberships sold was over 165,000. In three years, ridership has grown to more than 2 million rides per year. This is a 251% growth in the average ridership between 2011 and 2015.

There were over 85,000 trips taken the week of June 30 to July 6. This is the highest ridership that Bike Share has seen in a 7 day period.

For non-members, it’s a great way to explore the city.  Riders can buy a 24-hour day pass for $7, and have it all day without overage charges, provided it is docked every 30 minutes.

In July of 2018, Bike Share Toronto introduced the single fare option, providing more flexibility for casual users to purchase a single half-hour sessions.


11. Community Spotlight: Downtown Yonge BIA 

Buskerfest

The Downtown Yonge B.I.A. is a non-profit organization that is committed to improving the daily experience of their members businesses, residents, and customers with an end goal of strengthening the culture and economy of Downtown Yonge.  The B.I.A. promotes safety and inclusivity, through several projects that provide supportive resources to all stakeholders within their catchment area.

A signature initiative of the B.I.A. is their Clean Streets Team.  Five days a week, before Downtown Yonge gets busy with pedestrians, the Team is out cleaning sidewalks and parks, in the neighbourhood.  They cover almost 400,000 square meters of hard surfaces, and 8,700 square meters of green space. The Clean Streets Team is an invaluable supplement to the City's public realm maintenance efforts, tackling graffiti and poster removal, litter sweeping, and clearing and salting intersections in the snowy winter months.

The Downtown Yonge B.I.A also organizes several community-friendly events that contribute to positive uses of our public spaces.  Their Play the Parks series, brings free concerts to seven Yonge corridor green spaces throughout the summer season! They also host ANIMATE, a series of pop-up events in local laneways.  This project aims to enliven these underutilized spaces and bring people together to create a shared common experience.

The B.I.A. is also a key partner in promoting safety in their area.  They have formed partnerships with 51 and 52 police divisions, to offer crime prevention workshops to local businesses.  They also piloted the Community Engagement Project, which pairs a City of Toronto Streets to Homes Outreach worker with a police officer, to respond to social disorder issues reported by local businesses.  This program has proved highly successful, consistently providing response times under 10 minutes. The program will be continued and funded, under the City of Toronto's Downtown East Five-Year Action Plan.

Learn more about the Downtown Yonge B.I.A.


12. In the Community

Green LightOn July 18, 2019, Councillors Joe Cressy, Mike Layton and I announced a downtown development traffic light system to reinforce the objectives of TOCore.  This was downtown Toronto’s 25-year masterplan, that took seven years to create, which the province gutted by making 224 unilateral changes without any warning to City Council. Our offices will only prioritize good community-building applications with considerations for affordable housing, public realm improvements and positive impacts for the community. Bad applications that did not support the objectives of the original TOcore plan will be deprioritized and we will opt to provide no administrative support from our office.

 

Women's MosqueIt was an honour to support and bring welcoming remarks to the Women’s Mosque of Canada. Thank you for choosing the most dynamic and inclusive neighbourhood of Regent Park to be your new home. Congratulations to co-founder Farheen Khan and her team on this important milestone!

 

Queen's Park After more than 50 years of Premiers and their governments hosting Canada Day activities at Queen's Park, Doug Ford did the unthinkable and cancelled the nation’s birthday party in Ontario. Thank you MPP for Scarborough - Guildwood,  Mitzie Hunter for bringing us together for the People’s Picnic. I’m ready to help make this event annual again and one that’s truly for all people!

 

SLNA Canada DayIt was a pleasure to join the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association in Old Town Toronto for their Canada Day festivities. Thank you for hosting such a wonderful event!  It was great to see so many Toronto Centre representatives and friends all together at St. James Park for Canada Day 2019!  

 

Regent Park FamilyI am proud to be working with Regent Park community members and Toronto Community Housing to advance the people-focused Social Development Plan with the support of the City's Social Development and Financing  staff. It's a big team effort and we're making progress together by putting community first.

 

Press ConferenceOn June 26, 2019, I joined Councillor Cressy and the Medical Officer of Health at a press conference with resident leaders, faith communities, and front - line service providers to call for the adoption of the new and comprehensive Five-Year Downtown East Action Plan 2023  to address chronic and long-term community needs, building upon my original Downtown East 12-month Action Plan. 

 

NFST OpeningI was pleased to join Sean Gadon from Toronto’s Housing Secretariat at the opening of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto's newest site on Carleton. Mdewgaan Lodge will serve Indigenous women with children struggling with addiction and mental health in a trauma-informed, culturally appropriate manner using traditional healing and mainstream clinical interventions. These are important steps towards a much-needed reconciliation.  

 

College Park FamilyI joined Mayor Tory and Councillor Layton to formally celebrate the re-opening of College Park with it's many new enhancements including playground, water features, state-of-the-art skate trail and rink house. Thank you Park staff, Downtown Yonge B.I.A., residents plus kids and dogs for their ongoing support! This is work I began years ago in 2012, and I'm pleased to see this new park enjoyed by many families from the community. 

 


13. In the Media
In the Media


14. New Community Resources Available!

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: http://www.kristynwongtam.ca/resources.


15. Toronto Centre 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.

View Development Map


17. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise

Chris Moise

The sun is shining and gardens are in bloom. I would like to congratulate all graduating students celebrating their well-earned summer vacation! The days are beautiful and they should be proud of their academic accomplishments and hard work. Whether they are venturing into middle-school or high-school, or taking the plunge and diving into an apprenticeship or college program, their dedication will shine through. To our inspired students: keep going, keep pushing, and keep learning!

As parents, teachers, the Board and others look back on the past year, we have to acknowledge that it has been a difficult one. We have had many challenges brought on by the Premier and his provincial government, as well as some important successes. The challenges have pushed my colleagues and me to fight for our community, community members, and our education system. In the midst of this work, we have seen a new City Council sworn-in, welcomed twelve new dedicated and hard-working Trustees to our Board, and we have worked closely with the Director of Education towards strengthening our commitment to our students, ensuring that all students have the best quality of education.

In my time as Vice Chair of the Board, I have been committed to the bettering of our communities and community-run programs. Along with serving as the Director of the Ontario School Board Association, I have made it my consistent priority to support a number of critical initiatives, including the Black Student Achievement Advisory Committee and the Toronto Lands Corporation. I will continue to prioritize initiatives like these, which are more crucial than ever in making sure students have everything they need to succeed.

There is much more work ahead of us, but for now I would like to wish everyone a safe and healthy summer and very much look forward to connecting further in the coming fall months! And don’t forget: SCHOOL BEGINS TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3RD. See you there

 

June 2019

June 2019

E-Newsletter

Celebration is in the air and it has been great to see so many of you out on the streets for Pride, and to cheer on our NBA Champions, the Toronto Raptors!

This past weekend’s Pride Parade, Dyke March and Trans March were as well attended as ever. I was glad to see so many of my Council colleagues come out to show their support on Sunday and demonstrating that City Hall is an ally to Toronto’s LGBTQ2S community. In a Toronto first, I was also proud to join with the Toronto Trans Project Coalition last week to unveil new Trans crosswalks in the Church-Wellesley Village, a joint project that builds on the success of the World Pride rainbow crosswalks and helps demonstrate our commitment to inclusion and Trans visibility.

As you saw in my most recent email, the new 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East will be going to the Economic and Community Development Committee this Wednesday. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition and completed the online survey. This work will continue to evolve and your support in getting it passed at Committee and City Council is invaluable.

Thank you also to everyone who came out to our HousingTO: 2020-2030 Action Plan panel and public meeting on June 5.
Affordable housing in Toronto is at a crisis point and the incredible, rich feedback attendees provided will help staff develop a more robust plan that considers a much wider variety of perspectives and ideas.

Thankfully, with the summer break upon us, there will be a much needed hiatus in new development application public meetings, so I look forward to seeing more of you out on the streets, in our parks, and enjoying all that Toronto has to offer. As always, please reach out to me and my office if you have any questions or concerns - we look forward to hearing from you.

Yours in community service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam


Table of Contents

  1. HousingTO Action Plan 2020-2030
  2. Tenants First Information Session
  3. 650 Parliament: Fire Class Action Information Session
  4. We Need You! Support the 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East
  5. 133 Queen Street East Public Consultation
  6. Unveiling 'The Original Family' Art Mural at Dundas St. East and Jarvis St.
  7. Opening of St. James Playground
  8. Summer Events in Ward 13
  9. Community Spotlight: The Neechi Sharing Circle
  10. In the Community
  11. Media Spotlight
  12. Ward 13 Development Map
  13. Report to 311

1. HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan Public Consultation

Housing TO

Thank you to all who joined us earlier in June for the Ward 13 Toronto Centre HousingTO 2020-2030 public consultation. It was an incredible evening full of meaningful discussion around what a rights-based approach to housing looks like, how to define deeply affordable housing in Toronto and what the City of Toronto's 10-year housing action plan needs to include in order to create healthy, inclusive neighbourhoods for all. Thank you for your thoughtful participation and passion for this important issue.

Thank you to Joy Connelly, Deborah Cowan, Alyssa Bierley and Abigail Moriah for bringing a wealth of knowledge on creating deeply affordable housing, as well as the City of Toronto’s Housing Secretariat for their continued partnership in collecting important insight and feedback from residents like you.

Housing TO

Learn more about the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan

If you were unable to attend in person, please take 10 minutes to fill out the survey on your current housing concerns, future housing needs, and your ideas and advice to improve housing in Toronto.

Fill Out the Survey


2. Tenants First Information Session

Join the City's Tenants First Team as they offer recommendations on governance and accountability for Toronto Community Housing Corporation as well as next steps for the Interim Senior Housing Units. Share your ideas for working together to resolve key issues in your community. There are many dates, and opportunities to get involved: 

When: Thursday June 27, 2019, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Where: Main Floor Recreation Room - Downsview Acres, 2195 Jane Street

When: Friday June 28, 2019, 10:00am to 12:00pm
Where: Main Floor Recreation Room - Islington Manor, 41 Mabelle Avenue

When: Tuesday July 2, 2019, 10:00am to 12:00pm
Where: Main Floor Recreation Room - Gus Harris Place, 120 Town Haven Place

When: Tuesday July 2, 2019, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Room 308 and 309, Metro Hall, 55 John Street

To register for a meeting please call 416-392-8239 or email [email protected] For questions or comments, please contact Biddy Livesey at 416-338-5716 or [email protected] 

Light refreshments and TTC tokens will be provided. Please contact the Tenants First Team in advance to request any accomodation including, Sign Language Interpretation (ASL), child care, or other interpretation services. 

More Information on Tenants First


3. 650 Parliament: Fire Class Action Information Session
650 Parliament

In late August of 2018, a fire at 650 Parliament led to the ongoing displacement of tenants from their building. In May, the landlord made a motion to request the court to approve the removal of items from tenant apartments and transfer to the building's underground parking facilities to facilitate more expedient repairs. On June 11, 2019, I hosted a meeting between 650 Parliament tenants and their counsel for the 650 Parliament class action lawsuit to answer questions about this motion by their landlord, which was to be heard on June 14, 2019.

Counsel for the class action lawsuit, represented by Ted Charney and Tina Yang from Charney Lawyers  and Nicole Marcus from Strosberg Sasso Sutts provided details of a deposition they had conducted with the landlord’s experts. 650 Parliament tenants were told that their counsel was generally satisfied that the landlord was taking the necessary steps to protect tenant belongings, as well as to secure the parking garage where the items would be stored.

Of particular alarm for many tenants at the meeting was the news that their landlord had preemptively packed belongings in units into boxes without notifying or seeking permission from tenants. This potential privacy breach is unfortunately not one of the issues that the class action lawsuit is addressing. I advise 650 Parliament tenants to speak directly to a lawyer, or if they cannot afford one, to contact Neighbourhood Legal Services if they wish to seek advice about their concerns.

Following the June 14 hearing, Justice Belobaba has agreed in principle to allow the landlord to move tenants’ items to the parking garage of 650 Parliament. The details are still being worked out between the parties, with a motion expected to be delivered Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

A full summary of the meeting can be found on my website.


4. A 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East

After, I initiated the work in 2017 with community support, last week, staff published the 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East. This Wednesday, the Economic and Community Development Committee will consider its recommendations and vote on whether to send it on to Council. To those who have completed the online survey and to the hundreds who have signed the online petition in support - thank you! If you have not yet signed the petition and want to let Committee and Council know that it needs to act to address the serious health and safety issues in the downtown east for all of our community members, there is still time to sign it.

If approved this week, the next step will be City Council on July 16, where my colleagues and I will vote on whether to enact the plan and move to have it funded, or kill it. I know how passionate our Ward 13 communities are and we will be bringing one loud and clear united message: the challenges in the downtown east cannot be ignored. From promoting wrap-around services for those in need and promoting neighbourhood safety plans, to needle collection and proper mental health supports, this is the largest and most comprehensive plan tackling systemic issues in the area in recent memory

From ward-wide neighbourhood safety audits in 2016, to the Healthy Neighbourhoods Summit in 2017, through to the 12-Month Action Plan for the Downtown East last summer, many of you have been part of this important work with me. Getting the 5-Year Action Plan approved is not the final step, but it will finally commit long-term funding and set policy direction that will provide our communities with a framework for serious, lasting change.

Sign the Petition Here


5. 133 Queen Street East Public Consultation

133 Queen Street EastThe City is holding a Community Consultation meeting for 133 -141 Queen St. E. & 128 Richmond St. E., where you can learn more about this application, ask questions, and share your comments.

This proposal seeks to amend the Zoning By-law in order to permit a 41-storey building containing 440 residential dwelling units, 1,300 square metres of retail space, and 99 vehicular parking spaces.

View a copy of the Preliminary Report

View the Application Documentation

What: 133 -141 Queen St. E. Public Consultation
When: Tuesday June 25, 2019, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: 200 King St. E., Room 128 George Brown College

To speak to the planner directly, please contact: Henry Tang, at (416) 392-7572, [email protected]

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 Henry Tang, at (416) 392-7572, [email protected] 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.

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 13, 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.


6. Unveiling 'The Original Family' Art Mural at Dundas St. East and Jarvis St.

Indigenous Art

I am thrilled to present 'The Original Family', a substantial, Indigenous-centered mural by award-winning artist Phillip Cote that speaks to the presence and rich history of Indigenous peoples in this location.  I thank CentreCourt for their sponsorship of this work, and support of Indigenous placemaking. The mural is located across from the new Indigenous Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at 200 Dundas St. East.

Cote brought a number of ideas forward for the piece, and after a final decision was made, work began on 'The Original Family' in the fall of 2018. The completed mural depicts the Anishinaabe Creation story, beginning with The First Man (Waynaboozhoo) and The First Woman and their sacred union.

"It is a depiction of one of our oldest stories," says Cote. "The Anishinaabe Creation Story was brought down through oral traditions and pictographic images drawn on birch-bark scrolls." Cote worked on the mural for four months, using his contemporary style of Woodland Painting.

Read more here.


7. Opening of St. James Playground

St. James Playground
Participants of the grand opening of the new playground at St. James Park were greeted to both beautiful weather and an amazing event organized by the Friends of St. James Park (FoSJP).
To accompany the new food-themed playground, the FoSJP brought out snacks, music, and even Toronto’s Mounted Police Unit to make what for many was their first to the new playground memorable.

The new playground at St. James Park is the vision of the late Councillor Pam McConnell, who originally championed the revitalization of St. James Park. She had the foresight to recognize that there is a growing number of young parents raising their children in the downtown, and playgrounds such as these are necessary to keep families active and healthy.

I was proud to stand beside the remarkable FoSJP volunteers to welcome residents to the new park. If you have not experienced the new playground yet, I encourage you to 'turnip'! 


8. Summer Events in Ward 13

As the weather heats up, we look forward to supporting and participating in summer activities and events in our new Ward 13. Bring your friends and loved ones into your communities and experience the joy each neighbourhood has to offer. From outdoor film festivals to concert series, arts and culture is alive and well in the Downtown!

Under the StarsRegent Park

The Community Healing Project, Wednesdays from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
June 5, 2019- August 14, 2019
MLSE LaunchPad, 259 Jarvis Street

Taste of Regent Park, Wednesday evenings
July through August
620 Dundas St E, Regent Park (Big Park)

Under the Stars: Regent Park Film Festival, Wednesdays at 9:00pm
July 10, 2019 - August 14, 2019
620 Dundas St E, Regent Park (Big Park)

Corktown

On Thursday evenings in July, Toronto Outdoor Picture Show will present an film series under the stars at Corktown Common Park. Join your friends and neighbours for a film programme titled Dynamic Duos! More Details 

Downtown Yonge

Music lovers unite at Downtown Yonge! This Summer gather your friends and family for a FREE outdoor concert series across the Downtown Yonge District from June 10 to October 7, 2019.

More information on the series, or sign up to participate!

Play the Park


9. Community Spotlight: The Neechi Sharing Circle

The Neechi Sharing Circle is a group of organizers who meet every week to create a sense of community for Indigenous peoples by singing and drumming traditional Indigenous songs, praying, and taking the opportunity to share their experiences with the group. The purpose of the circle is to provide a gathering place for Indigenous people who live near or, in some cases, in the park, and are especially marginalized and isolated.

Initiated in 2017 by Floyde Crowshow, Les Harper, Laverne Malcolm, Wanda Whitebird, and with support from Prisoners HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN), the Neechi Sharing Circle is now a recipient of a $15,000 grant from the Anglican Healing Fund that will help them to continue their efforts.

The sharing circle is held every Thursday from 11:00am to 1:00pm in Allan Gardens, close to the centre of the park. The gathering is held outside in the park to ensure the circle is open and accessible to all.


10. In the Community

Trans Flag RaisingAs the first openly out lesbian to be elected to Toronto City Council, it's an honour to rise with colleagues and friends in the rainbow and Trans flag-raising at City Hall to mark the official launch of Pride Month. There's much more work to do to achieve LGBTQ2S human rights.

Friends of St. James TownCelebrating the official opening of the St. James Park Playground with a ribbon cutting ceremony and the opportunity to acknowledge the many partners involved with the consultation, design and construction. Thanks to Friends of St.James Park for helping bring the community together and soliciting the many sponsors for the event!

 

Shark Fin Ban
This week, I stood with Minister Wilkinson, MP Drabusin, Oceana Canada, HSI Canada, Rob Stewart's parents to celebrate Canada's historic sharkfin ban. It took over a decade of advocacy to win this vital legislation. I'm proud of the work we did in Toronto to help make Canada fin free. Canada is the first country in the G7 to take this important step forward.

AIDS Vigil
We came together to honour, remember and celebrate those who are no longer with us. This year 13 names were added to the AIDS Memorial bringing the total to 2,881 names. Thank you to the AIDS Vigil Toronto, The 519 and all community partners for bringing us together every year.

Red Embers
Pleased to be with Lisa Rochon and community partners for the opening of Red Embers, a massive public art installation along Allan Gardens paths. An all-woman team was commissioned to create artwork on red canvas and suspended on tall cedar gates. The installation will run until October 4, 2019 for Sisters in Spirit Vigil for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Stop the OMB
It was a full morning at Queen's Park with Councillor Perks, Councillor Matlow and environmental advocates resisting Bill 108.
A bill that brings back the OMB bigger and more aggressive than before. The Ford government is enriching powerful developers at the expensive of  local community planning, heritage conservation and endangered species. Councillor Perks, Toronto's Chief Planner and I deputed against Bill 108 at the standing committee. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful as the Ford government fast tracked the passing of the bill a few days later.

Press ConferenceI joined with colleagues, community and neighbourhood organizations to push back against the unilateral changes to Midtown in Focus and TOCore. After years of consultation and planning, Doug Ford and his government worked to undermine city planning efforts by radically altering our secondary plans, once again giving developers more height, density and profits.

King Parliament PopUpDespite the damage to our planning efforts, I visited to City Planning's King-Parliament Secondary Plan pop up shop. For eight days, they provided educational programming around built form, public realm and heritage. Thank you to everyone who attended, making it a great success. Learn more about the King-Parliament Secondary Plan here.

Trans crosswalk
This week, we unveiled three new Trans crosswalks in The Village. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Trans Day of Visibility, 20 years of the Trans flag created by Monica Helms & 50 years since the Stonewall riots! Big thanks to Toronto Trans Project Coalition, Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association & Church Wellesley Business Improvement Association for their support!


11. Media Spotlight
Media Spotlight


12. Toronto Centre Development Map

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.

View Development Map


13. Report to 311

311 provides residents, businesses and visitors with easy access to non-emergency City services, programs and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can offer assistance in more than 180 languages. 311 investigates issues related to waste collection, graffiti removal, litter, road issues, sidewalks, water problems, trees, animals, property issues, winter maintenance, and more! Report an issue by calling 311 or emailing [email protected] to submit a service request. To learn more, visit the 311 website here.

May 2019

May 2019

E Newsletter

Safe and healthy communities only work when they work for everyone. This is common knowledge for Toronto Centre residents, who share one of Toronto’s most diverse wards with the widest range of neighbours. This is why taking a holistic approach to community safety has been one of my top priorities and will continue to be with new initiatives and work throughout this year.

Changing how policing is done has been a major concern for many in marginalized and racialized communities. However, it has also been a big concern for small business owners and residents across the ward who have asked for a shift in policing from an entirely centralized dispatch-based model to having local police, on foot, who can build individual relationships and better understand community needs. Working with community leaders in the Church-Wellesley Village, we led the City by having 51 Division initiate a community officer program dedicated to the Village and St. James Town. In the last year, a Cabbagetown community officer program has been initiated and we are diligently working towards a third program for Yonge Street that I hope to announce in the near future.

Safe communities also mean those in need having access to essential health services, ensuring that our parks and laneways are clear of hazardous waste like needles, and that Toronto’s own affordable housing buildings protect residents from harm and abuse. These are just a few of the new initiatives the City is beginning to tackle under the 12-month Downtown East Action Plan I introduced last year with Councillor Troisi and that are identified priorities in the upcoming 5-year plan that will be released in May. Please read on to find out more about how you can participate in making this work a success.

I also invite you to several upcoming events, including a Town Hall on Bill 108 and the Doug Ford’s plan to bring back the OMB on May 27, a panel discussion and consultation on the City’s 10-year affordable housing strategy on June 5, and a ribbon cutting for the new St. James Park playground on June 8. Details on these events and other initiatives you can participate in follow below.

 

Yours in community service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam

 


Table of Contents

1. Town Hall on Bill-108: The OMB is Back: Monday May 27, 2019

2. Toronto Centre HousingTO 2020-2030 panel discussion & consultation: June 5, 2019

3. City Council Highlights from May   

4. Upcoming 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East

5. 295 Jarvis Street Development Consultation

6. Share Your Vision of Yonge Street: Take the Yonge TOmorrow Survey

7. Supporting Low-Income Residents' Right to Legal Aid

8. College Park is Now Open!

9. Update: Moss Park

10. Sheard Parkette Revitalization

11. Update: Don River & Central Waterfront Project

12. Green Bins in Off-Leash Dog Areas

13. Toronto Centre Cyclists presents Toronto History Ride & Talk

14. Toronto Centre Parents for Public Education

15. Meet, Play, Love at St. James Park Playground Open House!

16. Community Spotlight: Trillium Gift of Life Network

17. In the Community

18. 311 is at your service!

19. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise

 


1. Town Hall on Bill-108: The OMB is Back: Monday May 27, 2019

Doug Ford’s plan to bring back the OMB, sideline municipalities and marginalize local communities in the planning process is being fast-tracked for approval with almost no time for residents to respond. Cities, and towns across Ontario are grappling to understand the implications of Bill 108 and making their voices heard.

Join myself along with other Toronto East York Councillors Josh Matlow, Gord Perks, Paula Fletcher, Mike Layton, Joe Cressy, Ana Bailão, and Brad Bradford, along with Toronto’s Chief Planner Gregg Lintern, to learn about how Bill 108 will impact your community and how you can have your say before it is too late.

When: Monday, May 27, 2019, at 7:00 PM
Where: City Hall, Council Chambers, 100 Queen Street W.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/309554903273831


2. Toronto Centre HousingTO 2020-2030 Panel Discussion & Consultation: June 5, 2019

The City of Toronto is consulting the public to help develop a new 10-year housing strategy. HousingTO: 2020-2030 Action Plan should address homelessness and housing affordability today and in the future.

Questions that we need to answer include:

  • How to effectively define “affordable” housing in an expensive city like Toronto?
  • How can we expand affordable housing today and not 10 years from now?
  • What does “housing as a human right” look like in Toronto?
  • How can we build more non-profit and co-operative housing?
  • How do we get new affordable housing into every new development?

Join us for a presentation, panel discussion and community conversation. We are keen to hear from you. We need your input to consider what is real affordable housing, establish where it should be built, and how we can immediately get the best outcomes to address Toronto’s housing crisis.

When: Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Where: St Lawrence Hall, 157 King Street East (corner of Lower Jarvis St.)

 

 


3. City Council Highlights in May 

Impact of the Provincial Budget

Council supported a motion to request the Province of Ontario to reverse its announced retroactive cuts that result in the loss of about $178 million that was included in the City of Toronto’s balanced budget for 2019 as adopted in March. Council will also convey the willingness of City officials to meet with the province to discuss both governments’ budgets and the impact the province's retroactive 2019 funding cuts will have on the residents of Toronto. A series of actions approved with this item includes a public information and education campaign.

Funding of Toronto Public Health

Council voted to express its strong opposition to funding cuts to Toronto Public Health for this year as communicated by the Ontario government, and to urge the province against making the proposed cuts. In addition, Council agreed on using advertising locations to inform Torontonians about the health impacts if the funding cuts to Toronto Public Health proceed.

Ontario Government's Bill 108   

Council adopted a series of recommendations and motions addressing the Ontario government's Housing Supply Action Plan and proposed Bill 108 (More Homes, More Choice Act). Council is asking the province to extend the June 1 timeline for comments from municipalities and other stakeholders. An initial assessment indicates that changes associated with Bill 108 would significantly affect the City's finances, its ability to secure parkland and its capacity to provide community facilities, as well as significantly affecting the evaluation process for development applications.

Affordable Housing Opportunities   

Council asked staff for a report on whether more affordable housing units should be required in future Toronto Community Housing revitalizations, based on a site-by-site evaluation. That is one of several recommendations adopted as part of an agenda item involving an audit that produced recommendations to help achieve broader city-building objectives and improve accountability in Toronto Community Housing's revitalization projects.

Adequate Housing as a Right   

Council agreed to ask the City's Affordable Housing Office, as part of current public consultation on Toronto's housing plan, to include a rights-based approach to housing (as advocated by the United Nations) in policy areas that fall within the City's jurisdiction. Staff are to report on possibly making "adequate housing" a basic right in the Toronto Housing Plan that is now in the works.

Apartment Building Maintenance

Council approved amending the Toronto Municipal Code to require building owners/operators, under the RentSafeTO program, to develop an electrical maintenance plan with a licensed, certified electrical contractor and to maintain records showing compliance with that plan. Among several other requirements, building owners/operators will now need to maintain a list of volunteered contact information identifying tenants who may need assistance during building evacuations or temporary shutdowns of vital services.

Ontario Place and Exhibition Place    

Council directed staff to work with the Ontario government on a strategy for the future of Ontario Place and Exhibition Place. The undertaking is to involve consultation with all stakeholders and focus on the original goal for the two sites – that is, providing attractive settings for festivals and other events for all Ontarians. A series of guiding principles that Council adopted for Ontario Place's revitalization presents the principles in the context of the City's Central Waterfront Secondary Plan. Work already taking place on a master plan for Exhibition Place continues in line with guidelines and a study framework that Council approved.

Rallies Promoting Hate  

Council voted to reaffirm its unwavering opposition to hate speech, and directed staff to inform organizers of events that occur in Toronto regularly without a permit of the City's policies on hate speech and hate activities. In addition, where possible, the City is to issue trespass or trespass warning letters to identifiable participants engaged in hate activities at rallies taking place on City property. The response to such activities also involves the police.

Security at Places of Worship       

Council voted to ask the Toronto Police Services Board to consider and report back on the feasibility of creating a task force to examine security and public safety in Toronto's places of worship. The report is to include terms of reference for working with City divisions and agencies as well as with the federal government and the Ontario government on this matter.

Tree Planting and Maintenance   

Council adopted recommendations aimed at improving contract management, customer service and operational efficiency in the City's tree planting and tree maintenance programs. A recent audit indicates there is room for improvement, notably in overseeing work carried out by contracted tree service companies.

Bike Lanes on Richmond Street   

Council directed staff to investigate all options to ensure the safety of cyclists along Richmond Street from John Street to Bathurst Street for the duration of watermain reconstruction work along Richmond. Transportation Services was also asked to investigate safe detour routes and improve alternative cycling routes that parallel Richmond Street.

St. Lawrence Market project    

Council approved the awarding of a contract for the construction of the new St. Lawrence Market North building at 92 Front St. The City is redeveloping the property with a new, multi-story building that will include a ground-floor market space, Court Services offices and court rooms, and an underground parking garage. The former one-storey market building at the site has been demolished and an archeological assessment conducted.


4. Upcoming 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East

Last year, I worked with City staff and my colleagues on Council to pass a 12-month Downtown East Action Plan to begin addressing the most immediate needs in our community around mental health and addictions, improved service levels for cleaning our parks and laneways, and extending critical services to allow some of the most marginalized in our communities to have dignity and better access to resources. Part of this work included the development of a 5-Year Action Plan to tackle the larger, systemic issues that have impacted the quality of life for our neighbourhoods and the final plan will be brought to the Economic and Community Development Committee on June 26. This will be the best opportunity for us to advocate for, and secure, the services and accountability needed to make the downtown east the safe, healthy, liveable, and equitable community we know it can be.

Your feedback is critical for us as we prepare for the final report. What improvements have you seen in your neighbourhood? What challenges have worsened? I need to know so that we can get the 5-Year Action Plan right from the start. To help gather that feedback, I ask that you please take the time to fill in the following survey, which will be online through June 19, 2019.

I need your support. There will be two opportunities to show your support for the Downtown East Action Plan: 

Economic & Community Development Committee
June 26, 2019

City Council
July 16 & July 17, 2019

 


5. 295 Jarvis Street Development Consultation

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:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM

International Living & Learning Centre, Ryerson University
International Room
240 Jarvis Street

The Zoning By-law Amendment application proposes to redevelop the site with a 36-storey residential building with a total of 351 residential apartment units and 5 levels of below grade parking. Upon completion, the proposed building would result in a Gross Floor Area of 23,507 square. View a copy of the Preliminary Report along with background information. 

To speak to the planner directly, contact Megan Rolph, at 416-392-3479 or [email protected] .

You may mail your comments to:

Toronto and East York District,
100 Queen St W Floor 18 E
Toronto On, M5H 2N2.

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.

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 Megan Rolph, at 416-392-3479, [email protected] 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. Take the YongeTOmorrow Survey

Downtown Yonge Street is undergoing a renaissance. You can now share your ideas and help create a vision for one of the most recognizable, vibrant and fastest growing communities in our city.

Tell us how you want to experience downtown Yonge Street, now and in the future.  Phase 1 will capture your ideas for Yonge St. between Queen St. and College St. Please visit the City of Toronto website to complete the survey by May 24, 2019! Follow the excitement online #YongeTOmorrow


7. Supporting Low-Income Residents' Right to Legal Aid

The recent Ontario provincial budget will have tremendous impacts on our most vulnerable residents, which will include their ability to find justice in the legal system through free legal aid clinics. For low income Torontonians, a lost job due to injury or unfairness, eviction, family breakdown, arrest or health deterioration can derail their life, sending them into a spiral that is difficult to recover from. These residents rely on lawyers, community legal workers and others through legal clinics across Ontario to keep roofs over heads and food on tables.

The Ontario government recently announced a 30% cut to Legal Aid Ontario (“LAO”) with a further 10% cut slated for next year. These cuts are deep and unprecedented. The cuts risk causing more low income residents, immigrants and refugees to fall through the social safety net and into homelessness, leading to family breakdown, incarceration and severely negative health outcomes.

On May 16th, City Council supported my motion to for the City to express its strong support for a robust, provincially-funded legal aid program to assist vulnerable Ontarians, to express its strong opposition to the proposed funding cuts to LAO by the provincial government, and to call on the Province of Ontario to reverse the proposed funding cuts to LAO.

To learn more and to send a message to Premier Ford that legal aid clinics must be properly funded, please visit https://www.stoplegalaidcuts.ca/.


8. College Park is Now Open!

College Park opened on May 10th, and is now welcoming visitors!  The new park features a children's playground and skate trail, as well as enhanced lighting and landscaping.  I would like to thank the Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff, local stakeholders, and my office team, who worked hard to bring this project to fruition over many years.  The City of Toronto will be planning an opening event, in partnership with the Downtown-Yonge BIA. Please watch for updates.

Please note that as a result of the ward boundary realignment, that preceded the last election, College Park is now is Ward 11.

College Park concerns should be directed to Councillor Layton in the Ward 11 office. [email protected]


9. Update: Moss Park

The More Moss Park Project partners will be providing an update on the redevelopment project to City Council in July 2019. This includes information about the community consultation, budget estimates, and the governance and operating model.

The Moss Park team will continue to share news and updates, and are currently targeting the fall for the community consultation on the revised design.

For the latest news and information, please sign up for our mailing list.

You can also reach out by email at [email protected], or call 416-355-6777.

 


10. Sheard Parkette Revitalization

Sheard Parkette is now under construction.  The revitalization will include such features as new paving, a bottle filling station, and enhanced landscaping.  The park will be closed for 14-16 weeks, re-opening in the fall. I would like to thank all the local stakeholders and residents who participated in the community consultations through late 2017, and early 2018.  Please reach out to my office for any questions or updates.

 


11. Update: Don River & Central Waterfront Project

The City of Toronto is currently undergoing a stormwater management program. The program will greatly improve the water quality in the Lower Don River, Taylor Massey Creek and along Toronto's Inner Harbour by eliminating combined sewer overflows and stormwater runoff being released into the Lower Don River, Taylor Massey Creek and along Toronto's Inner Harbour.

Starting Monday May 20 construction will soon begin at another site in the project. This is occurring at Dundas St E and River Street on City-owned property, south of Cornwall Street and Picking Coke Lane to Dundas Street East. The anticipated completion date for construction at this site is November 31, 2019.  

There are no service interruptions planned for the construction work. There are no anticipated impacts to nearby properties, residential homes or businesses.

To learn more about this project, please click here.

Project Manager: Tatiana Chiesa
[email protected]
416-338-5490

For general inquiries, please call or email 311; [email protected].


12. Green Bins in Off-Leash Dog Area

In 2018, Solid Waste Management Services piloted Green Bins next to 21 Dog Off-Leash Areas (DOLAs) to decrease the amount of dog waste being put in Garbage and Recycling Bins.

Upon review of the pilot, it was found that 98% of waste being put in the Green Bins was organic and there was a substantial reduction of organic waste found in the Garbage and Blue Bins. As a result, Green Bins are now being put in all parks with DOLAs. Solid Waste Management Services staff are currently installing the bins and full installation should be completed by the end of June.


13. Toronto Centre Cyclists presents History Ride & Talk

Join Toronto Centre Cyclists on June 9 as we ride from Corktown Common up the Don Valley Trail to Taylor Creek Park and back to meet at 3 PM at C’est What (67 Front St East). Our route was chosen because it was a favourite of some of Toronto's cycling icons. Find out who when we meet at C'est What where our fascinating presenters will talk about biking in Toronto through the generations.

Please register for this free event here. 


14. Toronto Centre Parents for Public Education

Join the Toronto Centre Parents for Public Education and Chris Moise, School Trustee for TDSB,  for an important discussion on how to deal with current cuts to our public education system! Come out May 27th and support your students, teachers, and community members!


15. Meet, Play, Love at St. James Park Playground Open House!

Join Councillor Wong-Tam, the Friends of St. James Park, City Staff at the new playground at St. James Park!

Bring your children to enjoy the new food-theme playground and enjoy activities organized by the Friends of St. James Park, including bubble stations, a kid’s monopoly market, photo-booth and more!

St. James Park Playground Open House
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
St. James Park, 120 King Street East (adjacent to Jarvis Street)

Open House begins at 10:00 a.m., with remarks and ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m.

 


16. Community Spotlight: Trillium Gift of Life Network

In Ontario today, there are over 1,600 people waiting for a life-saving transplant, one of whom will die every three days. 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.

While 33% of Ontarians have already registered their consent to donate, that number drops to just 24% in Toronto. I am proud that the City of Toronto is home to some of the best transplant hospitals in the world and I know we can do better.

I encourage everyone to register their consent to donate, and to take a moment to talk to your loved ones about this important, life-saving decision. You can quickly and easily register your consent to donate online at www.BeADonor.Ca or in person at any ServiceOntario location.


17. In the Community

Representation Matters. I'm so proud to be joining PFlag for the flag raising on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

 

Big thanks to Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and Pontiac Group and the dedicated Toronto staff from the Indigenous Affairs Office and Economic Development + Culture for organizing another excellent consultation on the Indigenous Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Another step closer!

Thank you Artscape for the tour of your new 35,0000 sq foot Launchpad on Queens Quay. Extraordinary entrepreneurial hub with cultural innovation at its heart. I look forward to future collaborations with you.

On May 6, 2019, hundreds came out to Church & Wellesley to denounce violence and homophobic street preachers. Hate has no place in Toronto. Community love and support is our response to the hate speech. Our message is true and simple, LOVE is stronger than hate. 

Despite the rain & cold weather we had a blast at YongeTOmorrow study launch! Let us know your vision for Yonge Street by completing this online survey by May 24


18. Report to 311

311 provides residents, businesses and visitors with easy access to non-emergency City services, programs and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can offer assistance in more than 180 languages. 311 investigates issues related to waste collection, graffiti removal, litter, road issues, sidewalks, water problems, trees, animals, property issues, winter maintenance, and more! Report an issue by calling 311 or emailing [email protected] to submit a service request. To learn more, visit the 311 website here.


19. TDSB Trustee Update from Chris Moise

In the past few weeks, the TDSB and my fellow Trustees have been coming to grips with ministry grant reductions that pose difficulties for our Board, teachers, and students. The numbers have been debated, but TDSB staff have thoroughly reviewed the Province’s cuts and it is clear that the Board is looking at a $67.8 million shortfall, which includes $42 million in Provincial reductions. This will hurt the quality of education of our students and the working conditions of our teachers. To summarize, these cuts and announced program changes will cost students and teachers and include the following impacts:

  • Class sizes will increase in grades 4-8, which will result in 216 fewer elementary school teachers, and in grades 9-12, resulting in 800 fewer high school teachers, over the next four years.
  • It has been stated that 4 of the 30 credits required by secondary students to obtain their OSSD will take place in an e-learning environment.
  • There will be a funding reduction for early childhood educators, with no specific parameters of how this may affect student development and curriculum.
  • Many classrooms will have more students, per teacher, resulting in less time available to individual students to understand material and keep pace with the curriculum.

The Province’s decisions will severely impact the learning curriculum and nurturing environment of our classrooms, and have a negative impact on our teachers, students, and parents. We will be working hard in the coming months to continue fighting for the betterment of our students and I urge our provincial government and Ministry of Education to understand these budgetary cuts set a dangerous precedent for the future of the Toronto public school system.

If you are concerned about the increase in class sizes, full-day kindergarten, supports for students with special needs, and a shift to online learning, I ask you to join me in taking action for public education. Toronto Centre Parents for Public Education and I will be hosting a meeting to stop the cuts to public education and build a campaign for a full funded, quality public education system.

Meeting to Take Action on Public Education Cuts

Monday, May 27, 2019, 7:00PM to 9:00PM

Hugh Garner Co-Op (Party Room)
550 Ontario Street

RSVP to: [email protected]

April 2019

April 2019

E-Newsletter

Last week, we learned the Provincial Government's intention to cut $1 billion from Toronto Public Health over the next 10 years. This budget impact is to take effect immediately and is a direct attack on Toronto.

All Torontonians depend on Toronto Public Health services. Toronto Public Health investigates 50,000 cases and 300 outbreaks of communicable diseases per year. They vaccinate 53,000 students, provide 224,000 dental screenings for children and conduct 32,500 food premise inspections.

This news undermines an indisputable body of evidence that suggests the best way to improve the health of Ontarians is to invest more in public health services, not less.

Toronto is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Communities across the Downtown East are feeling the impact of chronic underinvestment in public health services, mental health and addiction services, and overdose prevention services. Full implementation of the Enhanced 5-Year Downtown East Action Plan depends on Toronto Public Health services, along with our provincial counterparts stepping up, not backing out. The Provincial budget cut puts this work in jeopardy.

Please sign this petition and send a message to MPPs today to stop the gutting of public health.

Premier Ford's slash and burn of Ontario's vital public services has gone too far. On May 1st at 12:00 pm, wherever you are, walk, roll and stroll out. Take a photo, make a video, post on social media. Send a clear message to the Premier that we will not back down. We will continue to mobilize and defend the health and well-being of all residents.

Print this poster (PDF 8.5x14) and display in your window, circulate on local community boards, post at your place of work - wherever you can get the message out. Share widely on social media and use the hashtag #ResistFordCuts. We will not back down!

Yours in community service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam

 


Table of Contents

1. Yonge Street Environmental Assessment

2. King Street Pilot Project is Permanent!

3. Transit Town Hall: Stop TTC Delays: Wednesday, May 1 (update this link)

4. Golden Eagle Landing Opens at 63-65 Homewood Avenue

5. David Crombie Park Revitalization

6. Environment Day A Success!

7. RECAP: Regent Park Spring Community Update Meeting (TCHC)

8. HousingTO Consultation 2020-2030 Action Plan

9. Walk, Bike or Drive to the City's Transportation Policy Consultations

10. Queen-River Secondary Plan Public Consultation

11. 193-201 Church Street and 90-104 Queen Street East Consultations

12. Community Spotlight: Cabbagetown Youth Centre Open House

13. In the Community

14. Potholes, Report to 311

 


1. Yonge Street Environmental Assessment

Yonge Street is Toronto’s “main street.” It is a vibrant area where thousands of people visit, live, work, play and learn. In the heart of Yonge Street, between Queen Street and College/Carlton Street, the sidewalks are filled with the highest pedestrian volumes in Canada, at all hours of the day and throughout all seasons of the year.

This study will develop and review design options intended to improve streetscaping and increase pedestrian space, along with other possibilities to improve the way people move through and enjoy Yonge Street between Queen Street and College/Carlton Street.

This study will be carried out as a Schedule ‘C’ Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA).

The opinions and input of all road users, local property representatives and other stakeholders will play an important role in forming the Study’s recommendations. The City of Toronto wants to hear from you!

An online survey will be available May 1st. There will also be a Public Information Open House on May 9th, from 4-8pm at 475 Yonge Street, the Courtyard Marriott. Learn more and participate.


2. King Street Pilot Project is Permanent!

Last week, City Council voted 23-3 to make the historic King Street pilot project permanent. The King Street pilot project benefits have been widely studied and are numerous: faster, more predictable transit times, increased ridership by 16% and 25% more customers per hour, per service.

Council decided to make the features of the King Street Transit Pilot project permanent, with King Street between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets operating as a corridor that gives public transit priority over private vehicles. Ridership on the TTC's 504 King streetcar during the recent two-year pilot rose significantly, to about 84,000 riders a day, and efficiency increased. Statistics have indicated a minimal impact on vehicle travel times on streets paralleling or intersecting with King Street. The repositioned transit stops on King will be kept in place and improvements will be made to street furniture and patios along the corridor. Seeing the positive outcomes of this initiative has been truly inspiring!


3. Transit Town Hall: Stop TTC Delays: Wednesday, May 1

In recent weeks, Premier Doug Ford has made a number of major announcements impacting transit planning in Toronto, including a new subway plan and funding changes in the Provincial Budget. For residents who have been waiting for years to see critical lines built, like the Relief Line and Waterfront East, these changes may be bringing us back to square one. Much information is missing, from the proposed technology of the new Ontario Line to the Province's willingness to invest in increased capacity at Yonge-Bloor Station. The Budget also cancels much of the Province's funding commitments to help maintain TTC infrastructure in a state of good repair – an urgent priority that requires billions in the next few years just to maintain existing operations.

Working with my colleagues at Council to prevent further delays to Toronto's transit plans is among my top priorities as we negotiate with the Province over the coming weeks and months. Toronto's transit plans have been cancelled and reworked too many times by politicians who mistake maps for evidence-based decision making.

Join Councillors Joe Cressy, Mike Layton, and myself for a transit town hall on the status of the subway upload and newly proposed plans from the Province. With tens of millions spent and years invested in developing Toronto's transit plan, these changes risk a complete reset and could cost transit riders years. This town hall will be an opportunity for residents to hear from their downtown Councillors, experts and advocates, provide feedback on these developing issues, and learn how to mobilize for the transit investments you need to see now.

When: Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at 6:00 PM
Where: Metro Hall, Rotunda, 55 John Street

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/532342013960100/

 

 


4. Golden Eagle Landing Opens at 63-65 Homewood Avenue

For over 30 years, Native Men's Residence (Na-Me-Res) has offered a range of housing and services to Indigenous men. Following the acquisition of 63-65 Homewood Avenue by the City, Na-Me-Res will be operating the property and providing 16 new, self-contained, deeply affordable rental units to their clients.

After extensive renovations to the former bed and breakfast on the site, I was proud to be present for the naming ceremony of 63-65 Homewood Avenue. The new home was given the name "Golden Eagle Landing," which signifies that this building will be more than a new home. It will be a place of safety and refuge, where the men will be loved and embraced.


5. David Crombie Park Revitalization

OP-20190402_192823_HDR.jpg

The David Crombie Park Revitalization Design project has developed a comprehensive conceptual design and implementation plan for improvements to the park to meet the current and future needs of the community. The design will evolve through consultation with residents, the public and other stakeholders.

Three concept designs have been prepared with different elements in each one. Check them out, and have your say! You can take the survey online.


6. Environment Day A Success!

Thank you to residents and community members who joined us this past Saturday for our first Community Environment Day in Ward 13. 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 Friends of Allan Gardens, MPP Suze Morrison, TCDSB Trustee Norman Di Pasquale, Toronto Community Housing, and staff from City of Toronto divisions 311, Solid Waste and Toronto Water. We are grateful to have the support of Toronto Centre Cyclists and Bikesauce, who held a tune-up station for the community for free and Toronto Public Library for hosting story time. Thank you to Out of This World Cafe for a delicious community lunch!


7. RECAP: Regent Park Spring Community Update Meeting (TCHC)

OP-20190410_195858.jpg

On April 10, our office co-hosted the Regent Park Spring Community Update meeting alongside Toronto Community Housing to provide community members with an update on the ongoing development in Regent Park, the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Phase 4 and 5, and the Social Development Plan (SDP). Staff and representatives from various TCHC divisions such as Relocation and the Community Safety Unit were on hand to support residents and answer questions.

The final two buildings in Phase 3, 365 Parliament St and 295 Gerrard St (Block 1), are now underway. Demolition is projected to be completed in June, with the construction of the adjacent road, Dreamer's Way, occurring from June – November. For a comprehensive breakdown of the progress of the Revitalization of Regent Park, please visit TCHC's website: https://www.torontohousing.ca/capital-initiatives/revitalization/Regent-Park/Pages/Progress-of-Regent-Park.aspx.

TCHC has finalized the RFP and the three shortlisted developers are Capital Developments, The Daniels Corporation, and Tridel Builders Inc. The community will have the opportunity to participate in a developer partner presentation & RFP evaluation. We anticipate the presentation to occur in late summer or early fall. Please stay tuned for the finalized dates!


8. HousingTO Consultation 2020-2030 Action Plan

The City believes all Torontonians should have safe, secure, affordable and well-maintained homes where they can realize their full potential. Over the next year, the City will be working with all housing stakeholders and the public to develop a comprehensive solutions-based plan to address housing and homelessness challenges over the next decade. This information will help shape the City's 10-year housing plan.

The public engagement process is launched and we want to hear from you! The city is holding a public meeting for residents to ask questions and to share your ideas to help shape the City’s 10-year housing plan.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019, from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Metro Hall, 55 John St.
Rooms 308/309

The City will also offer four TCHC-specific consultations at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, May 7 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM 
Cedarbrae Manor, 65 Greencrest Circuit

Tuesday, May 14 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Champlain Apartments, 495 Wilson Ave. 

Thursday, May 16 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM 
Senator David A. Croll Apartments,
341 Bloor St. W.

Tuesday, May 21 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM 
Senator David A. Croll Apartments, 341 Bloor St. W.

The city has also put an online questionnaire for residents. The questionnaire takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and will ask you questions about your current housing concerns, future housing needs, and your ideas and advice to improve housing in Toronto.

This is an anonymous questionnaire. Please do not provide any personal information in your responses.


9. Walk, Bike or Drive to the City's Transportation Policy Consultations

As part of the Official Plan Review, the City Planning Division is undertaking a review of the transportation policies related to transit, cycling, street related maps and schedules, and automated vehicles and shared mobility services found in the Official Plan. This is the second phase of the transportation component of the Official Plan Review, the first phase of which concluded in 2014.

City Planning staff are undertaking city-wide consultations on proposed draft transportation policies Four public meetings will be held from May 1, 2019, to May 7, 2019, as follows:

Wednesday, May 1 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge Street
Committee Room 3

Thursday, May 2 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Etobicoke Civic Centre
399 The West Mall
Council Chambers

Monday, May 6 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Scarborough Civic Centre
150 Borough Drive
Committee Room 1

Tuesday, May 7 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Metro Hall
55 John Street
Room 310

Following these meetings, a proposed Official Plan Amendment will be finalized, incorporating the feedback staff receive, and presented to a public open house, the details of which are as follows:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Metro Hall
55 John Street
Room 310

Learn more about the Official Plan Review.


10. Queen-River Secondary Plan Public Consultation

Join us for a community consultation meeting where you can learn more about the Queen-River Secondary Plan proposal, ask questions and share your comments.

Queen-River Secondary Plan includes: 83-125 River Street, 1-11 Mark Street, 16-18 Defries Street and 2-10 Labatt Avenue    

Monday, April 29, 2019, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Regent Park Community Centre
402 Shuter Street
Banquet Hall B

With regard for the Queen-River Secondary Plan that is currently under appeal to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT), the purpose of this meeting is to discuss the possibility of changing a planned land use designation for the properties at 83-125 River Street, 1-11 Mark Street, 16-18 Defries Street and 2-10 Labatt Avenue and discuss a preliminary development concept for these lands.

The lands are currently planned to be designated Neighbourhoods in the Queen-River Secondary Plan but City staff are considering the possibility of redesignating the lands to Mixed Use Areas through the LPAT appeal process, which would potentially allow for mid-rise development and one or two towers.

View A Copy of the Preliminary Report Providing Background Information Here (pdf).

To speak to the planner directly, contact Thomas Rees, at 416-392-1791 or [email protected] You may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St West, Floor 18E, Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2


11. 193-201 Church Street and 90-104 Queen Street East Consultations

The City is holding a Community Consultation meeting where you can learn more about these applications, ask questions and share your comments. Details are as follows:

Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Pantages Hotel
200 Victoria Street
Rehearsal Hall 3

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM: 193-201 Church Street 37-storey residential tower which would contain 478 dwelling units with a total gross floor area of 31,200 m2.

8:00 PM to 9:00 PM: 90-104 Queen East 34-storey mixed-use tower which would contain 356 dwelling units with a total gross floor area of 23,848 m2.

View background information for both applications.

To speak to the planner directly, contact Derek Waltho, at 416-392-0412 or [email protected] 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.

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.

Public meeting locations are wheelchair/mobility device accessible. Other reasonable accommodation or assistive services for persons with disabilities may be provided with adequate notice. The City of Toronto is committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005


12. Community Spotlight: Cabbagetown Youth Centre

The Cabbagetown Youth Centre is celebrating its 45th anniversary! The Youth Centre offers a range of activities, from sports and exercise programs to culinary and art clubs.

For residents who would like to learn more, the Youth Centre will be holding an Open House:

Cabbagetown Youth Centre Open House
Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
2 Lancaster Avenue, Toronto

Learn more about the Cabbagetown Youth Centre.


13. In the Community

Pleased to join Minister Bill Morneau plus others for the unveiling of the Equity Coin, marking 1969 as the beginning of decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. There's still more work ahead and we commit to doing it together. In love + community.

 

Proud to join representatives from the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto at the #LeftOutTO launch. A campaign to raise awareness about the barriers that 400,000 people living with disabilities face in Toronto. Toronto For All strives to start conversations in changing minds & hearts.

 

Great to have my good friend Kathy out here for Environment Day! She is a tireless advocate for equality and the environment! Thank you to everyone who joined on this rainy Sunday in full Environment Day spirit!

 

Proud to present the Indigenous Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneur to Minister Carolyn Bennett. It'll be the largest Indigenous biz incubator in the world. Gratefulness for the community support and that from Toronto's Aboriginal Affairs & Economic Development offices.

 

Congratulations to the exceptional leaders who selflessly volunteer thousands of hours to Long-Term Care Homes including Fudger House's Neil Milne (represented by Neil Mudde). You make Toronto a better city and truly deserve the Excellence in Volunteering Awards.

 

The St. James Town Children's Choir performs in the beautiful Children's Conservatory at Allan Gardens. This community choir enriches the lives of everyone it touches through choral and instrumental music. It's beautiful and heartwarming in every possible way.

 


14. Report to 311

311 provides residents, businesses and visitors with easy access to non-emergency City services, programs and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can offer assistance in more than 180 languages. 311 investigates issues related to waste collection, graffiti removal, litter, road issues, sidewalks, water problems, trees, animals, property issues, winter maintenance, and more! Call 311 or email [email protected] to submit a service request. Visit the 311 website here.

March 2019

March 2019

E-Newsletter

 

The 2019 City Budget was passed last week and I sought to put gender and equity-responsive budgeting priorities first. Council supported my motion to provide women, girls, and trans people with menstrual hygiene supplies in our shelters, community centres, and respite spaces. I invited Regent Park families to tell the Budget Committee how hard it is for local families to get access to our new community pools and won a new program that will give local youth swim time, training, and job opportunities. Council also supported a commercial tax cap for 2019, supporting small businesses and the work I initiated with local operators in 2017.

Unfortunately, Council did not support many other essential programs that contribute to sustaining a healthy and liveable city. Council did not support full, sustained funding for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, keeping TTC fares affordable, or expanding access to libraries and recreation programs in a meaningful way.

These are ongoing priorities that I will continue to focus on and advocate for. They are essential in building an equitable and sustainable city that meets the needs of all our residents. I would like to thank the countless residents, community groups and organizations for your sustained advocacy. Your determination and commitment to improving the lives of all Torontonians play an important role in moving the dial forward. I look forward to continuing our work together to fight for a city we believe in. 

Yours in community service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam


Table of Contents

  1. Town Hall on Gender and Equity Responsive Budgeting
  2. Snow Clearing Standards
  3. Improving Access to Recreation for Regent Park Residents in Local Facilities
  4. Menstrual Equity
  5. Neighbourhood Information Post
  6. Save the Date – Councillor Wong-Tam's Annual Environment Day!
  7. St. James Town Spring Gathering – March 22, 2019
  8. David Crombie Park Revitalization Design – April 2, 2019
  9. King-Parliament Secondary Plan Review Workshop – April 11, 2019
  10. BEE-utify your neighbourhood! Start a pollinator garden!
  11. Get Involved in the City Youth Council of Toronto
  12. Kristyn in the Community
  13. Community Spotlight: Reaching Out Through Music
  14. Media Roundup
  15. TDSB Trustee Update - Chris Moise

1. Town Hall on Gender and Equity Responsive Budgeting

Thank you to all who joined us last week for our Town Hall on Gender & Equity Responsive Budgeting. Over 70 people participated in a deep dive into the 2019 City budget and Data-On-The-Spot digital voting was used to crowd-source answers from the audience and display on the screen in real time.


A 1% property tax increase would generate $31.15 million and help fund expanded recreation programs for youth, more child care subsidies, homelessness prevention programs, repairs for Toronto Community Housing and even reverse the ten cent fare hike that goes into effect this April for TTC riders.

Implementing a $40/year Vehicle Registration Tax to bring in an additional $36 million would do all the above and more. This is the equivalent of 10 donuts and 10 coffees per year – something Ward 13 residents said they would give up to gain more valuable city programs and services. 


56% of the audience voted for both a modest 1% increase in property taxes, as well as the introduction of a $40/year Vehicle Registration Tax. Only 3% of the audience voted for "None of the Above."

Thank you to our incredible panelists, Anjum Sultana from YWCA Toronto, Sarah Blackstock from the City of Toronto's Social Finance and Development division, and urban planner and gender justice advocate Prabha Kosla for an engaging conversation about the importance of gender and equity responsive budgeting for advancing equity in the design and delivery of City of Toronto services. Thank you to our residents' associations and community partners for your on-going partnership, including YWCA Toronto, Social Planning Toronto, CUPE 4948, Toronto Women's City Alliance and more.

 


2. Snow Clearing Standards

Sidewalk Snowplow

This winter has seen some of the heaviest snowfalls in years and many residents have been in touch with my office and 311 to report uncleared roads, hazardous sidewalk conditions and slow response times to service requests. While many have been inconvenienced by these service levels, many others have found them to be fundamentally unsafe, especially the elderly and those with accessibility needs. I am glad to say that there was support for reviewing our policies and budget at City Council during the 2019 Budget deliberations.

Today, approximately 90 percent of snow removal and salting services are contracted out and the budget has contracted since 2016. Further, Toronto and East York have both received service levels lower than Scarborough, Etobicoke and York since amalgamation. While the other districts receive sidewalk snow removal, this tax-funded service has never been extended to our ward or our neighbours.

City Council supported my snow clearing service level motion that initiates a report back on options for bringing snow removal services back in-house and evaluates what it would take to raise downtown service levels to be consistent with suburban wards. The next step will be to advocate the necessary funding as part of the 2020 Budget. Stay tuned for updates on this important issue over the year ahead.

 


3. Improving Access to Recreation for Regent Park Residents in Local Facilities

I am proud to announce that on March 7th, 2019 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 Program Pilot. This is a positive step forward to addressing challenges to program registration in the community. The Pilot Project was created out of the growing inequities and disparities with* access to recreation programs at both the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre and the Regent Park Community Centre.

As Regent Park has transformed into a mixed-income community, low-income families are finding access to recreation programs increasingly difficult. With the free centre policy and limited space in recreation programs, families are required to have multiple devices with high-speed internet or camp outside of City recreation centres in hopes of enrolling their children in programming. The Aquatic Pilot Project was spearheaded by the Regent Park-based community group, Access to Recreation. The group is made up of community leaders and organizers who have personally experienced the complex barriers to program registration.

The Regent Park Aquatic Program Pilot will be in partnership with two local Regent Park schools: Lord Dufferin Junior and Senior Public School and Nelson Mandela Public, and local community organizations. I look forward to continuing to work with community groups and City Staff from Recreation Services on the pilot project!

 


4. Calling on City of Toronto Funding for Menstrual Equity

Photo of Councillor Wong-Tam and Community Agencies

On March 7th, City Council voted to increase the 2019 Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Budget by $222,359, to fund access to menstrual hygiene supplies, for low-income menstruators.

This historic new funding will be available to City-contracted shelters, drop-in and respite centres, as well as 'Strong Neighbourhood' community centres, for the specific purchase of menstrual hygiene supplies and washroom dispensers.

This budget victory was achieved through the hard work and advocacy of service providers, program participants, and advocates including the Period Purse, Sistering, Fred Victor, Kennedy House Youth Shelter, and many more. I must also thank the City staff and Councillors who worked to advance menstrual hygiene as a funding priority.

The funding achieved for 2019 is just a start. Over the next few months Shelter, Support and Housing Administration staff will be consulting with stakeholders, to gain a better understanding of how the City can improve on the provision of menstrual hygiene supplies, in 2020 and beyond. Their report is expected to come forward, to the Economic and Community Development Committee in May 2019.

 


5. Neighbourhood Information Post

Social worker helping someone access services

Unfortunately, some funding battles were less successful. I was extremely disappointed that City Council voted against a $70,000 increase for Neighbourhood Information Post's Housing Trusteeship Program.

The Trusteeship Program aids vulnerable clients, who are in jeopardy of losing their housing as a result of money management issues. These clients have mental health concerns and cognitive disabilities that hinder their capacity to independently manage personal finances. Capacity issues affecting money management can often lead to rental arrears, and ultimately eviction. The Trusteeship Program, however, facilitates clients to voluntarily sign over their income to a Trustee.  The Trustee then ensures that rent, and other financial requirements, are met on time. It is a highly cost-effective way to keep vulnerable individuals in stable housing. It also helps at-risk individuals to access housing, by providing their landlords with the assurance of timely rental payments. This program acts as a liaison between the client and the Landlord, and eliminates any financial risk for landlords who accept vulnerable individuals as tenants.

$70,000 would have allowed Neighbourhood Information Post, the community-based organization administering the program, to hire an additional staff person, and expand service to an additional 50-60 clients. Currently, the program is oversubscribed, and the organization is unable to meet the demand for referrals.

Housing stabilization programs are a vitally important tool in preventing homelessness. With shelters over capacity, and very limited availability of supportive, transitional, and affordable housing in Toronto, City Council cannot afford to bypass these critical investments. I will continue to support and advocate for the expansion of programs and services that address this growing crisis.

 


6. Save the Date – Councillor Wong-Tam's Annual Environment Day!

Join us at beautiful 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 and various activities for parents and children!

What: Councillor Wong-Tam's Community Environment Day
When: Saturday, April 20, 2019, 10am to 2pm
Where: Allan Gardens, 19 Horticultural Ave., along Carlton St.

Full program and community groups to be announced.

Visit any time between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to donate and recycle, get your kitchen compost and garbage containers, show off your crafting skills, connect with the community, and more.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 


7. St. James Town Spring Gathering – March 22, 2019

You are invited to the 6th annual St. James Town Spring Gathering on Friday, March 22, 2019, hosted by the St. James Town Community Corner.

At this year's Spring Gathering, service agencies will be working together with residents to plan and build on existing and new initiatives in St. James Town. These initiatives include: a Neighbourhood Association; Income Generating Initiatives such as Local Catering and a Share/Re-use Hub; Harm Reduction activities in St. James Town; Intergenerational project; and activities to address newcomer isolation.

The Spring Gathering will also be a time to reflect on the strength and future potential of the St. James Town community's resilience, grassroots organizing, and multi-sectoral networking and support efforts that have come to the forefront in the relief efforts related to recent large scale incidents at 650 Parliament and 260 Wellesley Street East.

What: St. James Town Spring Gathering
When: Friday, March 22, 2019, 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm 
Where: Rose Avenue Public School (675 Ontario Street), in the double gym

 


8. David Crombie Park Revitalization Design – April 2, 2019

Basketball Court in David Crombie Park 

The City of Toronto invites you to learn more about the proposed improvements to David Crombie Park. Staff are hosting a public information workshop to:

  • Present draft concept plan options
  • Receive public input
  • Identify community preferences and priorities
  • Discuss next steps.

Councillor Joe Cressy, Ward 10 - Spadina-Fort York and I will be in attendance during the evening meeting. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Register for this event

What: David Crombie Park Revitalization Public Information Workshop
When: Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm OR 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. (Choose a session that best suits your schedule.)
Where: St. Lawrence Community Centre (230 The Esplanade), Multi-Use Room

ASL interpreters may be provided, if available. Please contact 311 in advance of this meeting if an interpreter is needed.

 


9. King-Parliament Secondary Plan Review Workshop – April 11, 2019

City staff are holding a second round of public consultation for the King-Parliament Secondary Plan Review. This built form workshop will be an opportunity for the community to talk to City Planning about what the community likes and doesn't like about recent development in the area. In addition, the workshop will discuss some of the tools planners can use to shape built form.

What: King-Parliament Secondary Plan Review Public Consultation
When: Thursday, April 11, 2019, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Temporary North Market Tent, 125 The Esplanade

Learn more about the King-Parliament Secondary Plan Review.

 


10. BEE-utify your neighbourhood! Start a pollinator garden!

The City is now accepting applications for its new PollinateTO Community Grants. Through the grants, the City will provide up to $5,000 to support community-led initiatives that create or expand pollinator habitat (gardens) in Toronto. The grants are a component of Toronto’s Pollinator Protection Strategy.

Through its new PollinateTO Community Grants, the City is offering grants of up to $5,000 to support community-led projects that:

  • create pollinator gardens and rain gardens on public and private lands, including residential streets, neighbourhoods and schoolyards; or
  • enhance or expand existing gardens with native pollinator-friendly plants.

Native pollinators are under threat from climate change, habitat loss and other stressors. You can help! Learn more and apply by May 1, 2019.

 


11. Get Involved in the City Youth Council of Toronto

The City Youth Council of Toronto (CYCTO) gives young people in Toronto a voice. They empower you. They give you the opportunity to learn more about municipal politics, reach out to your community, and influence how your city works.

If you are between 12 and 18, you can join. As a member of the CYCTO, you can start conversations that are important to you. You can connect with youth from all across the GTA. You can have a life-changing experience that will impact your neighbourhood, your community and your city.

Every year, the City Youth Council of Toronto hosts elections to elect 1 Youth Councillor in each ward across Toronto. The next election for the City Youth Council of Toronto will be held from April 22 - 28.


12. Kristyn in the Community

Broad discussion with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs about housing, homelessness, paid duty officers, security for places of worship, Indigenous languages and more. Thank you for taking the time to meet.

 

Kristyn meeting with staff about St. James Park Revitalization

Staff providing updates on More Moss Park. Recreation services, the arena and park programming are all important to this community of tremendous need. Next step is to reconnect with local stakeholders and the community about their proposed changes.

 

Thank you Black Cap Toronto for all the exceptional work you do in the community to provide support for newcomers from the Caribbean and African diaspora. Your leadership in raising awareness and breaking down stigmas around homophobia, transphobia and HIV/AIDS has transformed lives!

 

Thank you Celebrate Toronto for hosting the 3rd annual Celebrate Toronto Festival. It's wonderful to see many happy families gathered at Nathan Phillips Square Every year the party gets bigger & better.

 

Congratulations to all the shortlisted candidates and the winners of the Pam McConnell Young Women in Leadership award. Pam would have been so proud to see such extraordinary women leaders follow in her footsteps. Brava!

 

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Gender & Equity Responsive Budgeting Town Hall. Residents had a lot of fun with Data-on-the-Spot to give us direct feedback. I hope everyone learned a lot about the city budget and its impacts!

 

Pleased to be at St. Patrick subway for the launch of the TTC's newest accessible station with TTC Chair Councillor Jay Robinson, Mayor John Tory, ACAT Chair Aribi, Artist Babara Todd and Amexon Development. AODA compliance is important to the TTC and this represents another move toward equitable access.

 

It was a powerful evening with thoughtful and compelling speakers in Hamilton at FemCare Community Health Initiative's Menstrual Health Forum. True honour to share the stage with this group of knockout menstrual equity advocates.

 

Thank you Jack.org for the opportunity to share ideas on solution-oriented system change to better address youth mental health needs. The keen interest and passion in the room was palpable. Can't wait to see what these young leaders do next!

 

Great discussion with the Regent Park Neighbourhood Association as we work together to build a stronger, safer and more prosperous Regent Park for all. Everything is riding on the final phases of the TCH revitalization. I'm proud to be standing with these dynamic community leaders!

 

Pleased to bring city and neighbourhood updates to the McGill Granby Village Residents' Association at their Annual General Meeting. They're an especially hardworking and progressive group of city builders!

 

Big thanks to the West Don Lands Committee for the opportunity to speak with your members. It's an honour to be working with such a visionary group who has been championing this emerging neighbourhood including the new Indigenous Hub by Anishnawbe Health.

Thank you to Ryerson University's Chang School for inviting me to participate in a thought-provoking discussion, Rethinking City Governance: How Much Control Should the Province Have Over Our Cities.

 

It was a Friday night and democracy was in action at City Hall with residents, staff and Councillors Mike Layton and Joe Cressy at our Downtown Budget Town Hall. Residents are passionate about transit and housing. My favourite moment was when a Toronto Centre resident spoke in favour of public banking!

 

Over 250 local residents poured into the Wellesley Community Centre to learn about the ongoing fire inspections and to demand landlords respect tenant rights. This became the founding meeting of the new St. James Town Tenants' Association.  Thank you to all who attended!

 


13. Community Spotlight: Reaching Out Through Music

Reaching Out Through Music (ROTM), a registered charity established in 2007, provides free, high-quality music education to the children and youth of St. James Town

At the heart of ROTM is the St. James Town Children's Choir, which welcomes children from Grades 3 and up. No prior musical experience is required. Children learn to sing with professionally trained staff, learn to read music, enjoy the beauty of live piano accompaniment, and above all make friends and commence a lifelong joy of music participation and appreciation. As well, the St. James Town Children's Choir has a growing number of performance opportunities which serve to boost confidence and nurture pride in community outreach.

Private and small group lessons are available to those children who participate in the choir in the disciplines of piano, violin, guitar, and voice. ROTM is about to launch a brand new Recorder Choir project which will welcome children from Grades 4 and up to this program offered in the St. James Town Community Corner. 

Visit their website for more information or contact [email protected].

 


14. Media Roundup

Kristyn speaking live in studio on CP24

Leaked documents reveal Sidewalk Labs want a lot more than Quayside, BetaKit, February 15, 2019

Toronto eyes extending 10-per-cent cap on tax increases for commercial businesses, The Globe and Mail, March 1, 2019

City of Toronto to provide menstrual products for homeless women, girls, The Globe and Mail, March 5, 2019

'They want to make things happen': Award for female community leader honours late councillor Pam McConnell, CBC News, March 8, 2019

Displaced residents of 650 Parliament out until August, City News, March 9, 2019

A look at TTC accessibility through the eyes of a rider who uses two canes, Toronto Star, March 10, 2019

2019 City Budget: How did your City Councillor vote?, Social Planning Toronto, March 11, 2019

 


15. TDSB Trustee Update - Chris Moise

At the end of last year, the Provincial government made some serious cuts that impact students. Grant reductions have hit our own communities directly and has resulted in the loss of tutor programs, and equity-focused programs, including investments supporting indigenous students. For students in St. James Town and Regent Park, some of the hardest news was that these cuts threatened the Focus on Youth program, which provides after-school programming and employment opportunities for children and teenagers in Toronto's priority neighbourhoods.

In my tours of our local schools, meeting with parents on their TDSB budget priorities, and hearing from experts on the value of these investments, it was clear that Focus on Youth could not be allowed to fail. I am very glad to say that my fellow Board members concurred and we were able to fund the program this year by internally redirecting TDSB funds to make up the difference. While this is unlikely to be the last time our critical programs are threatened by cut-backs, I will stand with my peers and continue to work with parents and our wider communities to ensure that those with the most urgent needs are not forgotten or left behind.

February 2019

February 2019

E-Newsletter

The last month has revealed how precariously many families in St. James Town apartment buildings are living. On January 22, power, heat and water was shut off at 260 Wellesley Street East when a pipe burst and damaged the building's electrical systems. What followed was five days of ambiguity and concern, as Toronto Fire, Ontario's Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and the Red Cross prepared for the worst. By the time regular operations were restored to 260 Wellesley Street East on January 26, it was obvious to everyone that the circumstances that led to this event could not be left unaddressed.

On January 30, City Council passed my motion Holding Landlords Responsible for Property Maintenance and Improving Crisis Communications in Emergencies. In the motion, staff were directed to undertake building and fire safety audits throughout St. James Town to ensure that tenants are not caught off guard again. The City is now exploring how we can better regulate property maintenance – specifically with electrical systems. These inspections and separate reviews being undertaken by the ESA and Toronto Fire are now underway and will be ongoing over the next few months.

The following week, the ESA identified a serious risk in the electric system at 280 Wellesley Street East. On February 6, power and water were disconnected to allow for a full investigation and immediate repairs. Thankfully, due to the issue being identified pre-emptively, it only took two days for the building's operations to be restored and for the electric system to be deemed safe. This is the kind of early identification that all tenants should be able to rely upon.

When 260 Wellesley Street lost power, I hosted a community meeting with tenants, City staff, representatives of the owner, and the Mayor. Stories of neglect and mismanagement were reinforced by many, including tenants who had been displaced from 650 Parliament Street previously. Now, I am canvassing the buildings of St. James Town to meet with residents where they live – to make sure we can connect in an emergency and to take stock of the challenges we need to address in the community. The stories are the same, but we are starting to make some progress and I feel a sense of hope for what we can accomplish.

St. James Town is remarkably resilient. Neighbours took care of each other and kept steady through a terribly trying time. Property owners are entirely responsible for their properties, and the City of Toronto will always step in to help in a crisis. Only by working together, can we raise the standards to help keep everyone healthy and safe.

Yours in community service,

Kristyn Wong-Tam


Table of Contents

  1. The 2019 Toronto Budget
  2. Downtown Budget Town Hall
  3. Toronto Centre Town Hall on Gender Responsive and Equity Budgeting
  4. Remembering the Eight Men Lost to us in the Village
  5. Community Meeting for St. James Town Residents
  6. Gerrard Street East & Shuter Street Reconstruction Notice
  7. Wellesley Community Centre Aquatic Centre Update
  8. Harm Reduction Supply Clean-up Pilot Project
  9. Ward 13 Development Map
  10. Community Spotlight - Building Roots
  11. In the Community
  12. Media Spotlight
  13. Chris Moise - School Board Trustee Update

1. The 2019 Toronto Budget

On March 7, 2019, City Council will approve the 2019 Operating and Capital Budget.  The downtown, especially communities in Ward 13 have felt the largest impacts of years of flatlined budgets that have frozen service levels, even as our population grows as fast as it ever has. It is my ongoing priority, throughout this budget process, to push for the services and facilities we need today.

As you may have read in the news and heard on the radio, Toronto has fallen behind on fully implementing and funding the City's Youth Equity Strategy and the Poverty Reduction Strategy. Even in communities where state-of-the-art facilities have been built, families living in poverty are still unable to access programs. In our own community, this has been most obvious in Regent Park – where the new Aquatics Centre was built for the local community, but local parents cannot get fair access to register their children. I will be seeking funding to specifically open more program opportunities for local youth and to push for the proper, complete, and sustained funding of these larger policies that give so many children and families the opportunities and community they desperately need.

On March 6, I will be hosting a Town Hall on Gender and Equity Responsive Budgeting in Regent Park. While City Council has passed three consecutive motions to apply a stronger gender-equity lens to the budget process, progress has been slow and much more needs to be done. I will be reaching out to the wider community in the spring when the official report will be coming forward on how City Council can improve these standards.

I want to thank everyone who has written to me about the budget and those who have signed petitions or written to Council to demand that we properly fund our core priorities from shelters and affordable housing to transportation and safety. Every year, your advocacy and the hard work of several Councillors secures important and critical funding that make our neighbourhoods more vibrant, our streets safer, and connect residents in distress with urgent help in their time need.


2. Downtown Budget Town Hall

Do you live in Ward 10, 11, or 13?

Join Councillor Cressy, Councillor Layton, and myself for our 2019 Downtown Budget Town Hall.

As we continue to work hard on critically important issues that face our downtown communities, conversations have now begun at City Hall about the future of our city through the release of the proposed 2019 Budget.

At its core, the annual Budget debate is about people. Decisions made during the budget process immediately affect how we live in our city; how we interact with our parks and greenspaces; how we get around – whether on foot, bike, transit or car, and how we support each other. In this budget, we need your help to ask critical questions – are we building a fair and supportive city?

What: Downtown Budget Town Hall
When: Friday, February 22, 2019, 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Where: City Hall, 100 Queen St W, Committee Room 1

We want to hear from you!


3. Toronto Centre Town Hall on Gender and Equity Responsive Budgeting

Join us on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at the Regent Park Community Centre for our 2019 Gender and Equity Responsive Budgeting Town Hall and expert panel. Interactive digital voting by Data on the Spot technology will be used to solicit feedback and identify key investment priorities for City Council.

What: Gender and Equity Responsive Budgeting Town Hall
When: Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 6:00 pm
Where: Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St, Toronto

Light refreshments will be served. ASL interpretation will be available. This venue is wheelchair accessible.

In 2016, 2017, and 2018, City Council approved motions by Councillor Wong-Tam to include an intersectional gender equity lens in the City budget. These motions are a major opportunity to join cities across the world that already promote gender equity, by rethinking how spending and revenues impact Toronto’s families – especially diverse women and girls in the city.

Since putting forward these motions, the City of Toronto has established an Equity Responsive Budgeting process to provide an equity impact analysis of changes in the staff recommended Operating Budget. Equity impact analysis identifies equity-seeking groups that are impacted, with an emphasis on women and persons with low income; barriers to equity that are affected (e.g. access to services); and level of impact.

It is important that everyone has fair access to city resources, and that we work together to ensure these resources are creating a City where everyone can prosper! We need your participation and input to improve Toronto's budget. From recreation services to child care subsidies to TCHC housing repairs, your voice matters.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2086875154936572/


4. Remembering the Eight Community Members Lost to us in the Village

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to join with the community at the Metropolitan Community Church to mourn and grieve the deaths of Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam. These were the eight men from the Village murdered by Bruce McArthur and their absence has been deeply felt.

There is little I can say that has not already been said. The loss of these men is a tragedy that will stay with us forever. The targeting of men of South Asian and Middle Eastern descent is especially hard on communities that were already working hard to achieve inclusion. Stopping violence and ensuring that authorities are more responsive to calls for action is as important now as we call for a public inquiry for the Toronto Police's handling and investigation of the missing and murdered eight.


5. Community Meeting for St. James Town Residents

Following the fire at 650 Parliament Street and the flooding at 260 Wellesley Street East, many tenants of St. James Town have brought concerns about their legal rights and the state of their apartment buildings.

Join us for a community meeting to discuss tenant rights, including updates about building inspections in St. James Town and to learn more about the City of Toronto's RentSafeTO program.

What: Community Meeting for St. James Town Residents
When: Thursday, February 21, 2019, 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne St.)

The following city divisions, community organizations, and elected officials will be attending this meeting:

  • Office of Emergency Management
  • Toronto Fire Services
  • RentSafeTO (with Municipal Licensing and Standards)
  • St. James Town Community Corner
  • Bill Morneau, Member of Parliament for Toronto-Centre
  • Suze Morrison, Member of Provincial Parliament for Toronto-Centre
  • Chris Moise, School Trustee for Ward 14 Toronto Centre-Rosedale
  • Neighbourhood Legal Services
  • Federation of Metro Tenants Association
  • ACORN

If you are a St. James Town tenant, please fill out this survey to ensure you receive important updates:

Fill Out The Survey

6. Gerrard Street East and Shuter Street Reconstruction Notice

Both Gerrard Street East and Shuter Street from Sherbourne to Parliament are scheduled for reconstruction in 2020. This will consist of replacing the entire road structure, including the asphalt and underlying support materials. Repair, improvement, or replacement of road drainage, curbs, boulevards and sidewalks.

Work will also include the replacement of the City-owned portion of substandard water service connections. Private property owners are encouraged to replace the private portion of the substandard water service connection, at the same time.

Download the City of Toronto's Fact Sheet on Private Water Pipe Replacement.

 


7. Wellesley Community Centre Aquatic Centre Update

Work continues on the construction of the new aquatics centre at Wellesley Community Centre. City staff have recently told me that the work is now approximately 50% complete.

The contractor has:

  • Installed the roof vapour barrier to all new roof areas;
  • Installed the roof waterproof membrane to the pool hall;
  • Completed most of the concrete block interior walls;
  • Poured the concrete tank walls for the 25m lap pool;
  • Tarped the building perimeter and is providing construction heating to allow interior work to proceed.

The contractor is continuing with:

  • rough in of plumbing;
  • rough in of electrical;
  • masonry block walls
  • pool tank walls

Construction is currently expected to substantially complete by Q4 of 2019, with staff occupancy in Q1 of 2020.


8. Harm Reduction Supply Clean-up Pilot Project

Local social service agencies are piloting a new initiative, in response to requests from residents for more support in ensuring that harm reduction supplies are disposed of properly. This service is specifically for private property.  Residents are encouraged to contact 311 for supplies found on public property. Residents who need help cleaning up harm reduction supplies (needles and other safe injection/ smoking supplies) on their property may email [email protected], with a note about the location needing attention.

The goal of this initiative is to centralize requests, both to get a better idea of how much need there is, and also to organize agency staff to make sure that support can be provided in a timely manner.  The agencies aim to respond to all requests for clean-up within 24 hours of receiving them by email.

This pilot will run from February 4 to April 30, 2019, at which time the agencies will evaluate its manageability and future funding requirements. The boundaries for the pilot run north to Carlton, south to Queen, east to Parliament, and west to Jarvis.

The agencies that are collaborating on this initiative are the following:

  • Street Health
  • Regent Park Community Health Centre
  • Margaret’s Toronto East Drop-In
  • Moss Park OPS
  • Fred Victor SIS
  • All Saints Church – Community Centre

9. Ward 13 Development Map

Toronto Centre is one of the busiest wards in Toronto in terms of development activity. I am excited to share with you that our development map has been upgraded and now includes all of the active development applications for Ward 13 - Toronto Centre. This is a great resource that our team works hard to maintain. We will be adding the neighbourhood boundaries and Heritage Conservation Districts shortly.


10. Community Spotlight - Building Roots

Building Roots is a leading community organization whose mission is to bring healthy food to all neighbourhoods. In order to accomplish this, they take a full-service approach to working within communities, and often partner with builders, property managers, agencies, and resident groups. This innovative approach allows them to lead the conversation in growing community and commercial food infrastructure into new housing developments and neighbourhood revitalization projects.

Building Roots have several projects in Ward 13, which I am proud to support.  They run the popular Moss Park Market - Toronto's first ever shipping container grocery store.  Located on Queen Street, one block east of Sherbourne, the market provides affordable access to fresh sustainable produce.  Many of the fruits and veggies are sourced from their own urban farm in Ashbridge Estate!  The Market runs year-round, on Saturdays from 11am-3pm.

In addition to the Market, Building Roots are working to create cohesion in Moss Park with a series of community initiatives.  Through the support of the Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Toronto Community Housing – they have launched cooking programming, for youth, children, and families.  This includes their successful Karma Kitchen program in the Moss Park Apartments.  A wonderful space for the local community to share food, music and laughter, on the 3rd Sunday of each month from 12:00 - 2:00 pm.

Edible Allan Gardens is another exciting project.  A collaboration that came forward out of the Urban Harvest Festival, a first-of-its-kind event to explore urban agriculture possibilities in Allan Gardens. Building Roots worked closely with ERA Architects, caterToronto, Friends of Allan Gardens, Ryerson, and involved residents to create a hugely successful festival in the park.  This event was a springboard toward creating a beautiful urban agriculture demonstration behind the park Conservatory, a project that is now going into its 3rd summer.

To learn more about Building Roots, and how you can participate in and support their fight for urban food security, please visit their website at www.buildingroots.ca


11. In the Community

In St. James Town listening to residents' concerns about fire safety, building maintenance and elevators that break down too often. If you're a tenant we invite you to complete this short survey. In case of an emergency, we want to know how to reach you.

 

Thank you to the St. James Town Community Co-op OASIS Food Hub for the opportunity to speak with your members at the design charrette. I'm extremely excited to be working with you to improve food security, skill development and social cohesion for all in the neighbourhood.

 

Thank you to the ArtsDayTO team for your visit to City Hall. I wholeheartedly support increasing the City's art budget by at least $2M this year to expand funding for artists and it's time to develop a new Culture Plan for Toronto!

 

Thank you to the Cabbagetown South Residents Association for the invitation to speak at your successful AGM. I'm proud of our work together in the downtown east. It's an honour to be your representative at City Hall.

 

Here's some good news for St. James Town. We are building a much needed new park at 60 Howard Street. It is going to be a fantastic new addition to the neighbourhood!

 

Thank you to the Regent Park Islamic Resource Centre for the invitation to speak as your Honourary Guest. The theme "Unity through Community" captures the essence of what makes Regent Park one of the most diverse, resilient & inclusive neighbourhoods in Toronto.

 

The blackout at 260 Wellesley Street East could've resulted in an evacuation of 1000+ residents in deep winter. With shelters full and insufficient hotel options, it was due to fast and caring work from interdivisional city staff especially Toronto Fire that averted displacement. Thank you!

 

Wonderful to moderate the Design Wo/Manifesto panel discussion on advocacy, collaboration & creative place-making. Honoured to be amongst these exceptional civic leaders. Thank you OCAD University and DesignFestTO for driving this discussion.

It's unfair that Regent Park families are shut out of local recreation facilities. I'm working with Access to Recreation to ensure Toronto City Council gives the local community equitable access. We are deputing to the Budget and Executive Committees soon.

 

We are calling on our colleagues at City Council to step up and create an action plan to address homelessness. We also need to ask our provincial and federal partners to come together and tackle this emergency holistically.

 

Thank you Raging Asian Women taiko drummers for bringing heart and drumbeat to the Women's March & Rally. We wore red scarves in support of raising awareness to end violence against Indigenous women and girls.

 

Nothing including a freezing snowstorm could hold back the power of women and allies. Proud to stand with Women March On TO in the fight for gender equity.

 

Speaking to the CBC about the need to provide equitable access to recreation services for youth and families in communities such as Regent Park. City Council must ensure vulnerable youth get community supports and recreation services if we're to end poverty and the cycle of violence.


Proud to be working with my friend Joe Cressy to represent the good folks at Gooderham & Worts Neighbourhood Association - GWNA Inc.. Thank you for inviting us to your meeting last night. We look forward to working with you to build an even healthier and more sustainable neighbourhood together.

 

 


12. Media Spotlight



13. Chris Moise – School Board Trustee Update

Students downtown matter. While the myth is that we have all of the resources, we know that is not true. From Ossington to Bayview, we have crowded classrooms, ageing schools, and serious challenges providing our most vulnerable children and youth with the opportunities they need to succeed. This is why the work of the TDSB is so important to me and why I am back at the Board for a new term of office.

What many of you may not know is that TDSB boundaries were changed in the last election, as well. That impacts our communities directly, as my position is now responsible for both Ward 11 and Ward 13 schools across the downtown. However, I believe that there are ways to improve representation and accountability and I am already working to make sure our students, parents, and schools have a loud voice.

This term, I have sought and won election as Vice-Chair of the TDSB and am serving on the Community Use of Schools Committee, the Black Student Achievement Advisory Committee, and the Toronto Lands Corporation. These positions allow me to bring connect the needs in our communities with the budget, finance, enrolment, programming, school services, and governance operations at the Board.

I am also undertaking an audit of all of our schools to start the term, meeting with Principals, students, and teachers to break-down the issues at each. I am also holding Ward Forums to provide an added venue for parents to connect and learn about ongoing work and projects. Most recently, my January 24, 2019 forum at the Kensington Community School brought out the community to discuss the recently completed Parent Student Census and upcoming cuts to the TDSB from the Province.

 

2019/2020 School Board Budget Ward Forum

Join me for a public consultation on TDSB spending priorities. The Board has roughly $612M in discretionary funding that is used to address the most urgent needs of our students, schools, and teachers. I want to hear what is most important to you and where the money should be spent.

When: March 5, 2019, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm
Where: Church Street Junior Public School

Finally, our communities have tremendous synergies that we can take advantage of. Councillors Wong-Tam and Layton are both excellent collaborators and we have already found unique opportunities to invest in our schools and build stronger community connections. In just one example, Councillor Wong-Tam and I have invested in upgrading the fences around the Church Street Public School. Due for capital spending already, this allowed for a more durable design, the inclusion of incredible public art, and allowed for capital dollars from the TDSB to be directed back into the school itself for classroom and school works. I will be sharing more information about this project in the weeks ahead.

As your advocate at the TDSB, I would like to hear from you through Twitter, Facebook, or at [email protected], so that I can respond to any inquiries, suggestions or concerns you may have. Community feedback is core to all the work I do on your behalf at the Board.

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