I am happy to announce that City Council supported my motion to make it possible for a non-profit housing provider to buy a rooming house in Parkdale. Here is a link to that motion http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2018.MM41.8 .
The motion directs the Director, Affordable Housing Office to report to the June 25th Affordable Housing Committee meeting on the due diligence process necessary to support the purchase, renovation and future operation of an existing rooming house in Ward 14, by an experienced non-profit organization through leveraging $1.5 million in available Ward 14 Section 37 funds and other federal and provincial funding sources, and to seek authority to undertake a pilot project through a competitive proposal call process in 2018.
This is great news.
I will be sending a further update as this important work makes its way through the Affordable Housing Committee.
Fair Pass Discount Program was approved by Toronto City Council in 2016 as a poverty reduction initiative to make transit more affordable for low income residents. Other initiatives include making transit free for children 12 years of age and under and implementing a universal two-hour transfer.
The Fair Pass Discount Program addresses this gap for the many low income residents who rely on public transit to carry out basic daily activities, attend necessary appointments and benefit from opportunities and resources available to them in this great city.
Details of this program are in the document below.fair pass launch qa council and dcm
January 31st & February 1st, 2018: Councillor Gord Perks at City Council on Toronto Hydro Inquiry, Affordable Housing & Shelter, and Car-Share Pilot.
Councillor Perks on Toronto Hydro Inquiry
Councillor Perks on Affordable Housing and Shelter
Councillor Perks on Car-Share Pilot
Meeting Minutes are available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewPublishedReport.do?function=getCouncilMinutesReport&meetingId=13088
Following Executive Committee’s approval of the Parkland Strategy’s Phase 1 Report on November 28, 2017, work has been underway on Phase 2 of the Parkland Strategy. This 20-year plan will guide decision-making and prioritization of investment of Toronto’s parks, including the acquisition of new parks, improvements and connections to existing parks.
Public engagement on Phase 2 of the Parkland Strategy is kicking off with a series of self-guided Civic Centre displays highlighting the findings and analysis from the Phase 1. This will include details on how parkland provision has been calculated using the latest mapping tools and maps of parkland provision for current and future populations across the city. The displays will be available as follows:
- City Hall – February 6 to 9, 2018
- Metro Hall – February 12 to 18, 2018
- Scarborough Civic Centre – February 19 to 23, 2018
- Etobicoke Civic Centre – February 26 to March 2, 2018
- North York Civic Centre – March 5 to 9, 2018
- City Hall – April 3 to 6, 2018
More information about the Parkland Strategy can be found on the project website at: toronto.ca/parklandstrategy and the Parkland Strategy Preliminary Report can be found here and the Parkland Strategy Primer can be found here.
Human Services Integration (HSI) – a partnership across Shelter Support and Housing Administration, Toronto Children’s Services and Toronto Employment and Social Services is focused on integrating access and intake for the core income support programs. Sixty seven client/resident facing phone numbers have been integrated into a single human services number – 416-338-8888.
Residents can call this number and hear a menu of options that will direct them to the range of human services including housing support, child care information and subsidy, Ontario Works and related financial supports, employment support, and medical and funeral benefits.
Calls to existing phone numbers will be seamlessly transferred to the new human services menu so that callers can hear the range of service options. While services and information will be accessed differently, existing call centres will continue to take the calls that come to them through the human services phone channel.
This is the first step to implementing a fully integrated contact centre for human services application, eligibility determination, waitlist management and service navigation, which will begin to launch by the end of 2018.
City Planning staff are conducting a study of Roncesvalles Avenue between Queen Street West and Boustead Avenue, and of Dundas Street West between Boustead Avenue and Sorauren Avenue.
This study reviews the built form and physical character of the area which includes examining building envelopes, height and massing, assessing heritage resources and considering streetscape and landscape improvement.
Link to review the past staff presentation of the Planning study: https://goo.gl/q2u6NS
Staff are holding a Community Consultation meeting to provide an update on the study and the draft urban design guidelines.
Please join us for a community consultation meeting on:
Date: December 4, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Place: St. Vincent De Paul Catholic School (Gymnasium) 116 Fermanagh Avenue
Your input is important to this process.
Councillor Gord Perks
Parkdale/High Park- Ward 14
November 20, 2017
City of Toronto officially begins sharing traffic data with Waze to help motorists navigate the city
Today, Mayor John Tory announced a new partnership with Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Through this partnership, the City of Toronto and Waze will provide free access to each other’s real-time traffic and road data, providing motorists with the best information to navigate the city.
“For the first time, the City is sharing its traffic data with Waze and Waze users. This partnership will give our traffic operations centre better visibility into traffic patterns and provide Waze users enhanced information to plan and adjust their commute,” said Mayor Tory. “Over the last three years, we have finally focused on fighting traffic in Toronto and improving commute times. I am determined to build on the progress we’ve made and continue the fight each and every day.”
Through its Connected Citizens Program, Waze app users will now have access to the City’s traffic data in real-time, providing a greater ability for motorists to avoid road closures, construction and traffic jams. More information about Waze’s Connected Citizens Program is available at https://www.waze.com/ccp.
The City will also be able to leverage anonymous Waze driver and traffic insights to make data-driven infrastructure decisions. In the Toronto area alone, there are more than 560,000 active Waze app users. Traffic accidents, hazards and congestion details can also be posted by users in the app. Every app user and trip improves the Waze map, and this data will help City staff better respond to issues as they occur.
“Waze was founded on the belief that we can outsmart traffic together,” said Mike Wilson, Waze Canada’s country manager. “Our partnership with the City of Toronto will empower drivers with real-time information on routes, traffic alerts and road closures to get them to their destination on time. Additionally, by leveraging Waze insights, the City will now have greater visibility into traffic patterns and will be able to make better planning decisions.”
In addition, Waze will help the City to disseminate traffic and road closure information for major events, highway maintenance and pilot projects, such as the King Street Pilot that was launched last week.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto is honouring Canada’s 150th birthday with “TO Canada with Love,” a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.
The City is holding a community consultation meeting at City Hall where you can learn more about the City-led study on laneway suites. The study, named Changing Lanes, is a City of Toronto initiative with the goal of considering the opportunity to allow and regulate laneway suites on the numerous laneways across the Toronto and Easy York areas of the City. A laneway suite is a self-contained residential unit located on the same lot as a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse, and generally located in the rear yard next to a laneway. Laneway suites are smaller in scale and completely detached from the main house on the lot. If you want to learn more about the Changing Lanes initiative, ask questions, and share your comments, please attend the meeting on November 30, 2017 at 6:30 PM at City Hall, 100 Queen Street West in the Council Chambers.
November 14, 2017 – Councillor Gord Perks regarding 1182 & 1221 King Street West Development at Toronto-East York Community Council
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.
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.
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.