Upcoming High Park Nature Events

Posted on March 20, 2017

Gardening with Native Plants
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive, Toronto, ON

Acclaimed author and native plant advocate Lorraine Johnson will present ways to connect  gardens with High Park by growing native plants, and best practices for successful gardening.

Lorraine Johnson is the author of numerous books on environmental issues and gardening. Former president of the North American Native Plant Society, her areas of expertise include gardening with native plants, urban agriculture, biodiversity conservation, and urban forest protection.

For more information:
http://www.highparknature.org/wiki/wiki.php?n=VolunteerOpportunities.VolunteerStewardship

Upcoming Consultations and Survey on Short-term Rentals

Posted on March 20, 2017

Municipal Licensing and Standards and City Planning divisions are inviting residents to have their say about short-term rentals at upcoming consultations and/or via an online survey.

The term “short-term rental” typically describes rentals that occur over a short period of time (e.g. less than 30 days). Popular online platforms, such as Airbnb, Flipkey, Homeaway, VRBO, and Roomorama facilitate bookings and payments for short-term rentals.

Online Survey

The survey will be launched on March 28 and will be found at: www.toronto.ca/mlshaveyoursay

Public Meetings

Tuesday, March 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers
Wednesday, April 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., City Hall, Committee Room 2 (meeting will be live-streamed)

A final report, with recommendations is expected at Executive Committee in June.

For more info please contact: Amy Buitenhuis, Senior Policy and Research Officer, 2-5129, Amy.Buitenhuis@toronto.ca

Safety in Accessibility

Posted on March 20, 2017

Thank you to everyone writing to me about the ramp at 476 Roncesvalles. Like you I am a strong advocate for making Toronto an accessible City. Unfortunately, this ramp does not provide for safe access for people using a mobility device. That is why the City has told the owner to remove it.

The Province has passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act which sets out standards for making buildings and services like public transit accessible. It sets out a series of requirements for ramps to ensure that people who use mobility devices can use them safely. More information can be found at: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly…

Often fitting a ramp to an existing building can be a tricky, even onerous, job. That’s why the Stopgap program has been such a success. Where a business might avoid building a ramp because of the paperwork and expense, Stopgap steps in and provides a quick easy fix.

Most Stopgap ramps are simple and straightforward. The City has supported these. However, this location has bigger challenges. In order to fit the tight space at 476 Roncesvalles, the ramp includes a 90 degree turn. Turning in a wheelchair or mobility device takes space. This ramp does not provide enough space. Also, for safety’s sake, a turn or landing should have handrails.

Because there isn’t room to turn, and there are no handrails, this ramp does not provide safe access for people with mobility devices. The whole point of the ramp should be to provide safe access.

As much as I want access in a hurry, I can’t support installing accessibility ramps that are dangerous and don’t really solve the access problem.

The City has raised these concerns with Stopgap, and has yet to find a solution. I and some other Councillors are look for ways to help businesses, like the one at 476 Roncesvalles, which are faced with accessibility challenges that are not easily met. Please share any suggestions you have.

Again, thank you for speaking up.

Gord

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