Clean Train Rally At Sorauren Park

Posted on October 5, 2009

On Saturday, September 26th, over 1000 people attended Sorauren Park Rally in support of electrification of the Georgetown corridor.

Several key people spoke at the event, including Dr David McKeweon, Medical Officer of Health about the health risks relating to diesel trains. Some of you may have received a leaflet in your mailboxes or read some recent press concerning the Medical Officer of Health’s revised opinion. To be clear, in his statement to the Minister of the Environment dated September 16, 2009, the Medical Officer of health said “I remain concerned about the air quality impacts and increased health risks predicted for the immediately adjacent communities as a result of the proposed diesel expansion.” Dr. McKeown further stated “In my view, electrification is the option that most clearly addresses the air quality and health impacts predicted from the proposed project for populations adjacent to the line.”

Please, take 5 minutes to call or email:

Dalton McGuinty
Tel: (416) 325-1941
dalton.mcguinty@ontario.ca, dmcguinty.mpp@liberal.ola.org, dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

John Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment
Tel: (416) 314-6790
minister.moe@ontario.ca

Jim Bradley, Minister of Transportation
Tel: (416) 327-9200
minister@mto.gov.on.ca

George Smitherman
Tel: (416) 327-6758
gsmitherman.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Please visit www.cleantrain.ca for more information.

Keele Station Repairs

Posted on October 5, 2009

The Keele Trestle Bridge which carries the Bloor subway line over Indian Road and the Keele Station parking lot at the east end of Keele Station requires emergency strengthening. This work resulted from a recent consultant report that identified deficiencies in the bridge structure.

The immediate concerns have been alleviated through a slow order to reduce the speed of trains while crossing the bridge and removal of ballast from the bridge deck to reduce loading. Work is required to be carried out as soon as possible in order to strengthen the bridge before the winter season.

In general, work will consist of the construction of four new piers to support the bridge deck, which will be located in the parking lot. This work necessitates the full closure of the parking lot from October 5th to the middle of December 2009 and partial closure until early January 2010. While the project is scheduled for completion in January 2010, any asphalt resurfacing of the commuter parking lot will be conducted in the spring. The east entrance to the Keele Station will also be closed for the same time period (October 5th to mid December) and an alternate temporary emergency exit will be constructed.

To get the work done as quickly as possible, the contractor will be working extended hours throughout the week until completion. The majority of the work will be carried out during regular daytime shifts, however, there will be some night time work involving jacking operations to transfer loading from the bridge onto the new piers and other work as required will be carried out at night when subway is not in service (2 a.m. to 5 a.m. typically). Any planned night time work will be coordinated to ensure proper notification is forward to Councillor’s office ahead of time.

The egress routing from outside of the emergency exit of the Toronto Lithuanian Senior Citizens Building will be altered for the same time period. Additional lighting and security cameras will be installed in the outside passageway.

A notice regarding this project will be distributed to the surrounding community prior to work beginning.

A new look for the Parkdale Village BIA

Posted on October 5, 2009

Message from the PVBIA:

Today, you can see that Parkdale has undergone a renaissance, a rebirth as a unique and vibrant neighbourhood that delights, that enthralls, that welcomes visitors seeking exciting and wonderful sensations.

Wander along Queen Street West between Dufferin Street and Roncesvalles Avenue. The sights and sounds will entice you to take a closer look; the tastes, aromas and touchables will make you linger and return, again and again.

The PVBIA has been working diligently over the past several months to complete a series of projects that will enhance and enliven the neighbourhood. We have been involved in streetscape changes that will beautify the area with modern feeling pedestrian scale lighting; which will increase the feeling of safety, while adding to the esthetic of the street. The first phase will include 18 lights and will be installed beginning in October. Nuit Blanche 2009 marked the third year of active involvement by the BIA and the first year we’ve had the luxury of having the services of noted curator Dave Dyment on board for this year’s installment. Dave Dyment’s “No Melatonin”will feature over twenty separate installations and performances.

Additionally the BIA has been going through a re-branding the image of the Parkdale Village to entice visitors to “Look again and see it for the first time “. Tall Poppy, a local advertising firm has been creating a series of postcards, posters, and brochures that highlight the wonderful mix of cultures and curiosities that make up our area. The first of these new brand items is a new logo for Parkdale, one that says: “It’s not business as usual on Queen West between Dufferin and Roncesvalles“. The goal was to create something that speaks to the one-of-a-kind, slightly off from the norm lifestyle that exists when you come up the hill east from Roncesvales, or travel through the underpass at Dufferin.

The PVBIA has attached this new brand image to a wonderful re-useable shopping bag that we have been giving away FREE to area residents and visitors who join our contact list. The bags are made of Jute, a high-quality natural fiber similar to Flax, Ramie or Hemp; with proceeds from its manufacturing going towards supporting Windfall Clothing an award winning charity founded in 1991 which assist homeless and emergency shelters meet their clients’ needs for new clothing. The bags were unveiled at the Queen West Art Crawl and were available on Nuit Blanche to visitors to the district.

We are extremely proud of efforts of our members and area residents who have participated on all levels of planning and implementing the current list of projects that the BIA has taken upon itself.

As Parkdale continues to grow and change over the coming months we invite all Torontonians to get to know some of the new businesses and rediscover the wonderful familiar sights, sounds, culinary tastes and aromas of our unique business district.

Please visit our website www.parkdalevillagebia.com for more information.

To see the new PVBIA logo follow this link:pvbia-logo-new.pdf

Thanks for making the Polish Festival a Success!

Posted on October 5, 2009

A message from the Roncesvalles Village BIA:

The annual Roncesvalles Polish Festival has grown to become North America‘s biggest celebration of Polish culture in what we proudly call Toronto‘s best neighbourhood! Though we faced numerous challenges this year, including a major construction project on Roncesvalles Avenue, the 2009 Roncesvalles Polish Festival was the biggest and best to date!

We were blessed by perfect weather and a large team of volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly to pull it all together and make our street welcoming to the over 200,000 visitors to our neighbourhood on September 19 and 20.

We have many people to thank, including the Festival’s patron, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto, our many sponsors (including St. Stanislaus-St. Casimir’s Polish Parishes Credit Union, PMA Canada and European Fine Foods Co. Ltd.), our staff and volunteers, the businesses of Roncesvalles Village, who really got into the spirit of things, and our fantastic musical groups, dance groups, buskers and other entertainers.

This year, a special thanks goes to the City of Toronto (particularly project engineer Daphne Wee) and the contractors Varcon Construction and Comer Group, who together pulled off a minor miracle, making Roncesvalles “festival-ready” by cleaning our street, paving their work to date and transforming Roncesvalles into a very walkable and danceable street. Thank you!

Finally, a huge thanks to all of you who visited Roncesvalles Village during our festival. Please continue to visit our neighbourhood and support your local businesses!

Dziekuje bardzo (and thank you very much!)

Update from City of Toronto on week one for 311

Posted on October 5, 2009

A little more than a week ago, 311 Toronto was successfully launched to the public and the new service is already proving its value to Torontonians. 311 Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) answered 18,942 calls during its first week of operation. This represents a 39 per cent increase in calls answered over the week prior to launch. General inquiries made up 81 per cent of all calls (15,275) while the remaining 19 per cent (3,667) were service requests.

On average, calls were answered within 21 seconds and the average call length was 218 seconds.

Of the service requests received:

• 25 per cent were for Toronto Water

• 19 per cent were for Transportation Services, and

• 56 per cent were for Solid Waste Management.

The Contact Centre experienced a small shift of calls (five per cent) from regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to off-business hours. This shift is important as it may indicate the callers are taking advantage of the availability of service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Although 311 Toronto was set up to take calls on City services, the public certainly embraced the new service. Some of the more unusual calls received included the following:

• What temperature is best to cook chicken wings at in an oven?

• Are there any health risks to living in a house made of cinder block?

• Is Fort York haunted?

One CSR received a call from a child looking for a recipe for strawberry cheesecake. It seems he was having trouble spelling strawberry so the CSR helped him with the spelling and directed him to Google. The CSR noted that she was confident the boy found what he was looking for.

Residents, businesses and visitors can call 311 to access non-emergency city services and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the coming months, 311 will expand to include self service on the City’s website at http://www.toronto.ca/311.

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