Tibet Kitchen Petition

Posted on October 16, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Thank you for taking the time to let me know that you support the Tibet Kitchen. Like you, I desperately want this business, which adds so much to our neighbourhood, to succeed.

 

When the owner of Tibet Kitchen contacted my office about a month ago, my staff and I immediately got to work. As you might have heard, he was faced with a rent increase he simply couldn’t afford and was looking to find a new location for his business. We provided advice about the kinds of locations he could and couldn’t move to, put him in touch with the correct public servants, and offered to help him work through all the necessary paper-work.

 

Since then, I have spoken with the owner and a number of his customers and have been asked to go further than that. Some have asked that the City waive the rules governing where restaurants are allowed so Tibet Kitchen can move to a specific location where it is not allowed. This is something I can not legally do, and frankly should not do.

 

Let me explain. Municipalities regulate the locations of businesses. Local governments create zoning bylaws which govern what use can go where and the concentration of certain uses within an area. Each property is “zoned” for specific uses. The Queen St. West By-law includes a special feature which limits the concentration of restaurants on Queen St W, between Dufferin and Roncesvalles to allow for other uses. You can read more about it here:

http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-59243.pdf

 

Part of the reason for this is to protect local business. As you may recall a few years ago a number of west end main streets were suddenly inundated with restaurants which largely functioned as late night clubs and drinking spots. Special zoning rules were implemented on streets like Ossington, College and Queen St W after community consultation, and were approved by Toronto City Council on advice from the City’s Planning department. If Queen St W became an entertainment district or a restaurant row we would lose business that support the neighbourhood: hardware stores, laundromats, bank branches, etc.

 

Your petition asks me to give one specific business an exemption from the rules. This troubles me. I don’t believe individual politicians should be able to change the rules so that a specific business succeeds or fails. The opportunities for abuse, even corruption, are too large to ignore. We as a government design bylaws to achieve larger social goals: supporting local shopping; balancing the needs of business and residents; matching transportation capacity to land use. We don’t and must not have the power to make a specific restaurant succeed while others fail.

 

Where does this leave the Tibet Kitchen? As I’ve told the owner, although the City will not approve restaurant use at the particular site he is interested in there are other sites along Queen St W and neighbouring streets that may be an option.

 

I hope this helps clarify things. I also hope that you support local businesses in our neighbourhood in the best way you can: eat there, shop there and pass the word to your friends and family about the great spots in Parkdale.

 

Gord

 

Councillor Gord Perks

Ward 14, Parkdale High-Park

100 Queen Street West, Suite A14
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

(t) 416-392-7919

(f) 416-392-0398

www.gordperks.ca

twitter: @gordperks

Facebook: @GordPerks

 

 

 

Council Highlights – October 2-4, 2017

Posted on October 16, 2017

Creating new affordable rental housing   

Council authorized financial incentives for the construction of 600 new affordable rental homes on provincial lands at 27 Grosvenor/26 Grenville Streets and in the West Don Lands. The City incentives include exemptions from development-related charges as well as from municipal taxation. In a separate action, Council authorized capital funding and City incentives to support another 298 new affordable rental homes at sites across the city through Toronto’s Open Door Program.

 

Home for Good      

Council voted to authorize staff to take appropriate steps for the use of funding that the Ontario government is providing to the City under the program called Home for Good. The program will support the City’s provision of supportive housing and services for people who are chronically homeless and/or homeless with mental-health treatment needs.

 

Ravine strategy for Toronto  

Council adopted a new Ravine Strategy for managing Toronto’s 10,500-hectare ravine system, directing that an implementation plan be developed and a Ravine Leaders Table convened. Staff were asked to consider incorporating the concept of ecological integrity into the final strategy. Related motions that were adopted address, for example, funding needed to support a ravine maintenance and litter strategy and to pay for a biological inventory and report.

 

Review of tow truck industry  

Council approved a series of amendments to the Toronto Municipal Code as it pertains to tow truck operations in Toronto. The changes follow the City’s comprehensive review of the tow truck industry and responds to complaints made by the public and issues raised by the industry. The amendments aim to improve Toronto’s towing industry by balancing the public interest and the industry’s business needs.

 

Toronto for All initiative    

Council adopted recommendations for making the “Toronto for All” public education initiative an annual City program that will help give Toronto residents and City staff the knowledge and skills to identify, question and challenge systemic discrimination and racism. The Toronto for All campaign for the period 2018 to 2021 is conceived as a municipal tool supporting Torontonians’ civic resiliency.

 

Filling Ward 28 vacancy on Council      

Council declared a vacancy in the office of Councillor, Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale and plans to fill the vacancy by appointing a person qualified to hold office in the City of Toronto. The selection will be made at a special meeting in the City Hall council chamber on November 2. The vacancy resulted from the recent passing of Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell. Application details are available on the City’s website, www.toronto.ca.

 

Process for recognitions     

Council voted in support of an approach presented by the Mayor to identify appropriate recognitions for the late Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell and Councillor Ron Moeser.

 

Heat in apartment buildings  

Council called on staff to hold consultations to identify and report to the Tenant Issues Committee on ways to effectively deal with heat in apartment buildings, including maximum heat in apartment units. In September, many tenants suffered during a late September heatwave, in some cases as a result of their landlords turning on the heat and/or not turning on the central air conditioning that provides ventilation in tower-block apartment buildings.

 

Acceleration of Vision Zero planning  

Council advised Transportation Services to include options that will accelerate Vision Zero planning, including the acceleration of the School Safety Program, as part of a progress report being prepared for the November meeting of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.

 

Changes to City’s management structure  

The structural re-alignment of the Deputy City Manager & Chief Financial Officer position in the Toronto Public Service received Council’s approval. The change establishes the separate positions of Chief Financial Officer and Deputy City Manager of Internal Corporate Services, and eliminates the existing position of Chief Corporate Officer. Council approved the appointment of an interim Chief Financial Officer and the permanent appointment of the Deputy City Manager, Internal Corporate Services.

 

Drug overdoses in Toronto   

Council decided to designate the Medical Officer of Health as co-ordinator of the City’s response to the drug overdose crisis, with the authority to direct and co-ordinate the City’s response across divisions and agencies. Council also agreed to make requests of the federal and Ontario governments to help with the response to, and reduction of, drug overdoses.

 

Naloxone training for Council members  

Council agreed to ask Toronto Public Health staff to conduct a naloxone training session for members of Council as part of the effort to train more people on how to use the lifesaving medicine to reverse an opioid overdose. Public Health has significantly expanded delivery of the training, including to municipal service providers across the city who are in a position to potentially save a life.

 

TOcore downtown plan      

Council considered a planning document called TOcore: Proposed Downtown Plan that is in the works as a blueprint for growth and infrastructure in downtown Toronto over the next 25 years. This TOcore document will also provide an updated policy framework for downtown as the cultural, civic, retail and economic heart of Toronto and as a great place to live. Council directed staff to undertake consultation on the proposed plan, which is expected to lead to amendment of Toronto’s Official Plan in 2018.

 

Midtown heritage properties  

Council approved the inclusion of 258 properties – all located in the Midtown in Focus planning study area adjoining the Yonge-Eglinton intersection – on the City’s Heritage Register. This listing of numerous commercial Main Street properties in a growth centre is piloting an improved procedure for identifying potential heritage properties to include on the City’s Heritage Register. The aim is the timely listing of heritage properties when undertaking local area studies.

 

City of Toronto Sport Plan  

Council expressed its support for the implementation of a City of Toronto Sport Plan that will serve as a guide to the City and its partners in supporting the ideal of lifelong participation in sport for all Torontonians. Parks, Forestry and Recreation and its partners will work collaboratively over the next five years to implement the plan’s recommendations, measure progress and communicate outcomes.

 

Financial support for cultural facilities     

The City is taking steps to establish a flow of property tax revenue designated to support arts and cultural facilities in Toronto. Council called for work on a new property tax sub-class for that purpose and also on making a formal request to the Ontario government concerning the new classification. This initiative is an effort to ensure that Toronto’s arts sector continues to thrive, helping make Toronto a destination for tourists and employers while contributing to a great quality of life for all residents.

 

Energy storage strategy       

Council approved an energy storage strategy for the City of Toronto and asked staff to identify local opportunities for energy storage partnerships. Energy storage projects are seen as a low-carbon way to help achieve energy savings, provide local grid services, facilitate participation in provincial energy revenue programs and enhance the resilience of City facilities.

 

Street-name signs       

Council approved a proposal to add legacy logos to new and replacement street-name signs within the boundaries of the legacy municipalities that make up Toronto. The term legacy refers to the six former municipalities involved in amalgamation in 1998, establishing a single municipality and local government. Street-name signs now reflect the identity of the amalgamated City of Toronto.

 

Denouncing racism     

Council agreed to denounce racism in all its forms and re-affirm its commitment to recognize the dignity and worth of all people, along with several other statements and directives for action. On the latter, City divisions, agencies and corporations were advised to review their policies and procedures, and those of their grant recipients, to ensure consistency with City Council’s commitment to human rights.

 

Symbols/flags promoting hate  

Council asked for a review of City policies pertaining to displays on public property and for a report with recommendations to improve policies so as to hold event organizers/managers accountable and equip them to assess any symbol or flag, including the Confederate flag, used to promote hate and to remove them from events or from City property.

 

Backyard chickens pilot project  

Council authorized a three-year pilot project permitting hens in backyard pens in Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park, Ward 21 St. Paul’s and Ward 32 Beaches-East York for personal consumption of eggs produced. Only residential properties – not apartment or condominium buildings – with sufficient outdoor space qualify for the pilot and participants will need to register with the City. The decision was part of a broader item about animals in the city.

 

Municipal election advertising  

Council adopted several motions pertaining to enforcement mechanisms now available to the City for the 2018 municipal election as a result of the newly established framework in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 to regulate registered third-party advertisers.

 

Internship program for Muslim youth  

Council authorized staff to work with organizers of the Muslim Youth Fellowship to organize an internship program of aide positions in Toronto councillors’ offices. The fellowship, a program hosted by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations in partnership with DawaNet, aims to increase in civic engagement among Muslim youth.

 

School food campaign    

Council endorsed the Coalition for Healthy School Food’s current campaign calling for a national school food program in Canada enabling all students to have access to healthy meals at school every day. The coalition is working at a national level to advocate for a program of that kind.

 

Neighbourhood lending libraries    

Council agreed to affirm its support for “little lending libraries” that are popular for sharing books in neighbourhoods, provided that the book displays do not pose a public safety concern or vision hazard. The General Manager of Transportation Services was asked to reiterate policies and protocols with staff to ensure support for these community initiatives.

 

Glenn Gould Day  

Council agreed to proclaim September 25 as Glenn Gould Day in Toronto. Gould (1932-82), a Toronto resident whose birthday was September 25, acquired worldwide fame for his classical piano performances and recordings. His 1955 “Goldberg Variations” is the best-selling classical piano record of all time. The release of numerous albums of his music and the publication of many books about him have contributed to Gould’s continuing international renown.

Sorauren Sport Field closed for maintenance

Posted on October 13, 2017

Parks Forestry and Recreation Staff have advised that the Sorauren sport field has been fenced off for maintenance and rejuvenation.

The field will not be re-opened  until the start of the permit season., Spring 2018.

57 Brock Ave Community Meeting

Posted on October 12, 2017

The developer of 57 Brock Avenue, Brock Seaforth Inc., is submitting a settlement proposal to Toronto City Council which will be considered on November 7, 2017.

The settlement proposal makes revisions to the original application to amend both the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law to allow for a seven-storey residential building with two levels of above-ground parking located at the rear of 57 Brock Avenue.

Councillor Perks is holding a Community Meeting to review the revisions to the original application and to hear from community members.

Monday, October 23rd, 2017
7 – 9 PM
May Robinson Auditorium, 20 West Lodge Avenue

Councillor Perks, City Planner Kirk Hatcher, and representatives from Brock Seaforth Inc. will be in attendance.

If you are unable to attend the Community Meeting but wish to review the revised plans, please contact our office at councillor_perks@toronto.ca to request this information.

Toast to Autumn

Posted on October 12, 2017

The 7th Annual Toast to Autumn Festival brings an array of talented live bands, giveaways, food and drink vendors, arts and craft vendors, family activities and more to our neighbourhood on October 22nd! Come out to the Lithuanian House at 1573 Bloor St W to join in the fun. Admission is free! Find more information at www.toasttoautumn.com

Pumpkin Sale Fundraiser

Posted on October 5, 2017

Friends of Sorauren Park is holding its annual Pumpkin Sale Fundraiser Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m. – 12 pm on the Sorauren Town Square.

Purchase your pumpkin at the park! 100% of proceeds go to support Friends of Sorauren Park and free park programming.

2280 Dundas St W (Loblaws Site) 2nd Public Meeting

Posted on October 3, 2017

Friends,

Choice Properties is hosting a second Open House to share their preliminary concepts and plans for the site at 2280 Dundas Street West, current site of Loblaws and LCBO.

Councillor Perks and City Planning staff will be in attendance to receive your feedback and provide information on the City Planning process.

The Open House will take place on :

Saturday, October 14, 2017
11:30am – 2:30pm (drop in)
2280 Dundas St. W. (current site of Loblaws and LCBO.)

Councillor Perks will be giving remarks at 12pm & 2pm, but is available throughout the Open House, with City Planners, to speak to you.

Queen St W Restaurant Study Survey

Posted on October 3, 2017

In 2013 Toronto City Council passed a By-law to limit the concentration of restaurants located on Queen Street West between Dufferin Street and Roncesvalles Avenue.

The purpose of this By-law was to alleviate some of the issues created by restaurants which morph into late night drinking establishments including: excessive noise, public drunkenness, crowded sidewalks, garbage, traffic, and parking issues.

Additionally, this By-law was also to alleviate concerns that restaurants were pushing out other types of commercial uses which support the daily lives of the people living in the surrounding residential neighbourhood (i.e. services, grocery stores, pharmacies etc.).

City staff are now reviewing this By-law to determine if it is working properly and would love to hear your perspective.  Please follow the link below to complete a short survey, the deadline for which has been extended to October 18th:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TOQueenWRestaurant

Bonnie Briggs Condolences

Posted on October 3, 2017

Friends,

I’d like to pass along the message contained within today’s City Council condolences for the passing of Bonnie Briggs,

The Mayor and Members of Toronto City Council are saddened by the recent passing of Bonnie Briggs, a Parkdale resident who fought tirelessly to improve housing in our City.

Having experienced homelessness herself, Bonnie knew first-hand the many challenges that homeless people face in Toronto and actively worked to advocate for increased resources and supports for homeless residents of Toronto.

Bonnie was a strong advocate for affordable housing, attending various rallies, meetings, memorials, and marches with her husband Kerre Briggs. Bonnie was also a member of the Parkdale Residents Association, chaired the Tiny Houses Project, and was a board member of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust. Through these roles and her work in the community, Bonnie became an important community leader, benefiting the advocacy of both Toronto’s housing and homeless communities.

However, Bonnie did more than just advance housing advocacy. Her most cherished accomplishment was the establishment of the Toronto Homeless Memorial at the Church of the Holy Trinity. This memorial remembers and celebrates the lives of the many homeless people we have lost here in Toronto. Thanks to her efforts more than 800 names lay to rest here and are remembered by many.

The City Clerk is requested to convey, on behalf of Members of Toronto City Council, our sincere sympathy to Bonnie Briggs’ family, friends and loved ones.

New SmartTrack/GO Stations Public Consultations

Posted on September 28, 2017

The City, Metrolinx, and TTC are working together to bring more transit to communities across the City. In October, we will be hosting public meetings to provide information about the new SmartTrack/GO stations being planned in Toronto and to get your feedback.

The new SmartTrack/GO stations build upon Metrolinx’s Regional Express Rail program, which includes increased service on five of the existing GO rail corridors.

Within Toronto, six new SmartTrack stations are planned for the Stouffville/Lakeshore East and Kitchener corridors and two new GO stations are planned for the Barrie corridor.

The City and Metrolinx will be undertaking a Transit Project Assessment Process under Ontario Regulation 231/08 to assess the potential environmental effects of the new stations. At this round of public consultation we will provide an update on project progress and an overview of planned environmental studies and concept schematics. We will be seeking your input on the proposed concept plans and key elements of the project.

Tuesday, October 10
Scarborough Civic Centre
150 Borough Drive
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Presentation begins at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, October 11
Riverdale Collegiate Institute
1094 Gerrard Street East
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Presentation begins at 7:00 pm

Thursday, October 12
Bloor Street Collegiate Institute
1141 Bloor Street West
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Presentation begins at 7:00 pm

Information on all the new stations will be available at each meeting, so you can choose the location most convenient for you.

For more information, and to submit online comments, please visit www.smartrack.to and www.metrolinx.com/newstations.

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