Introducing the New Human Services Phone Number – 338-8888

Posted on December 9, 2017

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.

Last November, Human Services Integration also launched an integrated website and benefit and service finder tool: www.toronto.ca/humanservices and www.toronto.ca/humanservices/finder

 

Dundas and Roncesvalles Planning Study: Community Consultation #3 Monday, December 4, 2017

Posted on November 23, 2017

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.

If you are unable to attend this meeting, please forward your comments to councillor_perks@toronto.ca and Joanna Kimont, City Planner at joanna.kimont@toronto.ca .

Gord

Councillor Gord Perks
Parkdale/High Park- Ward 14
www.gordperks.ca

City of Toronto officially begins sharing traffic data with Waze to help motorists navigate the city

Posted on November 20, 2017

News Release

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.

About Waze

Waze is the social navigation pioneer, leveraging mobile technology and a passionate global community to redefine expectations of today’s maps. Waze is home to the world’s largest network of drivers who work together daily to outsmart traffic and save time and money. The app consistently recommends the fastest routes based on real-time driving and data from millions of users. From traffic reroutes to low gas price alerts and relevant offers from favourite brands, Waze is one of the most comprehensive driving companions in the marketplace. To download the free Waze app for iOS or Android, visit http://www.waze.com/get. For more information on Waze privacy policy, visit https://www.waze.com/legal/privacy.

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.

Laneway suites study: community consultation meeting at City Hall – November 30, 2017

Posted on November 20, 2017

 

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.

 

Councillor Gord Perks regarding 1182 & 1221 King Street West at Toronto-East York Community Council

Posted on November 15, 2017

November 14, 2017 – Councillor Gord Perks regarding 1182 & 1221 King Street West Development at Toronto-East York Community Council

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.

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.

Green and Cool Roof Grants

Posted on May 16, 2017

Time for a new roof? The City offers incentives for the installation of green and cool roofs on Toronto’s residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Green roofs are eligible for $100 per square metre, cool roofs from $2 to $5 per square metre. You can also get a grant to assess the capacity of your building to support a green roof. Learn more and apply here: Eco-Roof Incentive Program.

2017 Community Budget Meeting Reminder

Posted on January 17, 2017

Hello friends, just a friendly reminder about this upcoming meeting:

To help promote understanding and transparency about the City of Toronto’s 2017 Budget process I will be holding a public meeting in the new year to discuss revenue tools and the 2017 budget. This will be a joint meeting between Ward 13 Councillor Sarah Doucette and myself, but is open to anyone interested.

January 26th, 2017, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton School
1515 Bloor St W, 3rd Floor Staff Room

What follows is a release from the City regarding budgeting.

The City of Toronto’s 2017 preliminary operating and capital budgets were presented at the Budget Committee meeting today, and members of the public are encouraged to learn more about the budget process and the 2017 preliminary budgets. A range of tools and resources are available, from high level summary documents, infographics and learning brochures to briefing notes, presentations and detailed budget notes, at http://www.toronto.ca/budget2017.

“The City’s budget is extremely complex and understanding it can be a challenge,” said Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Budget Committee. “We are continuously working to make information about the City’s budget transparent, easier to understand and accessible to residents and businesses. Understanding the budget is the first step for residents and businesses to get involved.”

The City’s budget website is the gateway to key tools and resources that are available, including:

The Preliminary Budget Overview – provides an executive summary of the 2017 preliminary operating and capital budgets, key challenges and a snapshot of where the money in the City budget comes from, where it goes and how the budget process will unfold over the next few months.

Budget notes – provide the in-depth, detailed information about Council-approved service levels, service deliverables, key issues and priorities, 2017 budget highlights and plan, by each program area.

Budget Basics brochures – cover the fundamentals of the City budget process. Topics include Understanding the Toronto City Budget, Rate Based Budgets and How to get Involved in the Budget Process.

Infographics and financial charts – a series of infographics that depict key facts about City services are on display in the City Hall rotunda, available on the website, and through the City’s social channels. A series of financial charts provide an at-a-glance visual of key issues, where the money comes from to support the City’s budget, where that money goes, and how tax dollars work for residents.

Budget videos – the YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/thecityoftoronto provides a series of short videos that discuss how to get involved, identify budget priorities, and explain how tax dollars were put to work in 2016.

Presentations and briefing notes — Staff presentations and briefing notes are provided to Budget Committee and Council throughout the budget process.  These documents can help the public understand key issues and follow the development of the budget as it is reviewed, debated, modified, and approved by Budget Committee, Executive Committee, and ultimately City Council.

Members of the public are encouraged to join the conversation or follow along on Twitter @TorontoComms and Instagram @CityofTO using the hashtag #TOBudget.

Gord

A Note on the New Community Centre at 40 Wabash

Posted on January 16, 2017

Friends,

Good news. Reading through the draft budget I’ve noticed that the Wabash New Community Centre completion date has advanced by six months into 2022. At a guess, this means doors open mid-2023.

Also, the community can take credit for reducing some of the expected costs. Parks Capital staff reviewed the project, and the Wabash ‘Green’ Feasibility Study completed in 2010 was high enough quality that some City pre-planning costs could be avoided.

A side by side cash flow 2016 vs 2017 is provided below.

I’ll keep my eye on this but in the meantime feel good; all those hours of neighbourhood work are paying off.

Gord

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