How might Indigenous governance systems contribute to changing our relationships with each other and to the land and waters?
Join us for an evening of learning and conversations featuring Indigenous knowledge keepers on Indigenous Law and knowledge systems, including Lee Maracle, Dawnis Kennedy, Sylvia Plain, Valarie Waboose, and others, on Indigenous governance in the city, and our shared responsibility to care for the land and waters.
Date: April 8, 2019
Time: 4:30 – 8 pm
Location: Toronto City Hall (Council Chamber) – 100 Queen St. West
This FREE event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.
Thinking about renovating? HELP is here!
The City’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers competitive fixed rate loans of up to $75,000 to homeowners interested in improving the energy and water efficiency of their homes. The funds can be used to upgrade your furnace and insulation, install high-efficiency water heaters, windows, doors, and even install solar panels on your roof!
On average, HELP participants are saving $560 per year and using 25-30% less energy, while at the same time significantly improving household comfort. We want to help people put away the space heaters and enjoy their home without having to worry about expensive heating bills or chilly drafts.
Homeowners can decide which energy efficient renovations to complete and choose their own contractors. When the work is complete, homeowners can repay the loan over time in instalments on their property tax bill while enjoying the benefits of a newly renovated and more comfortable home. With repayment terms of 5, 10, or 15 years and fixed interest rates as low as 3.70% the program offers flexibility as well as security.
The HELP team is also available to help homeowners in understanding the process, accessing certified energy assessments, utility rebates and incentives as well as information on related city programs.
Learn more about HELP and apply at http://www.livegreentoronto.ca/ or
Doug Ford’s subway takeover plan is the biggest threat to affordable, quality public transit that we’ve ever seen. His plan opens the TTC up to privatization, higher fares, and a loss of democratic control. So why have negotiations over our transit system been happening behind closed doors?
This week, Mayor John Tory has the chance to stand up for residents and riders. He can either leave decisions over the future of our subway behind closed doors, or open up the process by holding public consultations and launching a needed information campaign to tell the public about the risks.
On Thursday morning, Tory’s Executive Committee will vote on whether to launch announcements in subway stations, ads on buses, streetcars, and subways, and public consultations across the city. It is urgent that they inform us about the risks and take the conversations about the future of our subway system out of the backrooms.
There is no time to lose. Act now to demand that Mayor Tory stand up for our public transit system: http://www.ttcriders.ca/call-mayor-tory-stand-up-for-our-subway/
We’ll be at the Thursday morning meeting to show the Executive Committee that we demand transparency and a strong stance against Ford’s subway takeover. Before the meeting, we plan to spell out a giant “S-O-S” (for “Save Our Subway”) in Nathan Philips Square at 9am. Will you join us?
RSVP to join us this Thursday March 21: https://act.ttcriders.ca/exec_cmttee_our_subway
Share the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1987851924842004/
Thank you for taking action with us to keep transit public and affordable.
Shelagh Pizey-Allen, TTCriders
P.S. Please sign this important petition from our friends at Progress Toronto, which gets sent to the Executive Committee, Mayor, and your Councillor. Progress Toronto is also holding phone banks tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday to call Councillors and make sure they stand strong against Ford.
P.P.S. Another city-wide Day of Action is around the corner! Sign up here to adopt a station near you on the morning of March 27th.
The City has just launched the PollinateTO Community Grants. Native pollinators are under threat from climate change, habitat loss and other stressors. Now you can help protect them!
Eligible groups can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to support community-led projects that:
- create pollinator gardens and rain gardens on public and private lands, including residential streets, neighbourhoods and school yards
- enhance or expand existing gardens with native pollinator-friendly plants
Community groups, not-for-profit organizations, student groups, parent councils and other resident-led groups are encouraged to apply.
The deadline for applications is May 1. To learn more and apply, visit www.livegreentoronto.ca
RE: New Men’s Shelter
2299 Dundas St. West, at Bloor St. West
More than 8,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in the city. City Council has responded by directing staff to search for properties to expand the shelter system in response to this urgent situation. Since last year, City staff have been working hard to add 1000 new shelter beds by the end of 2020 in neighbourhoods across Toronto as well as to find locations to accommodate the planned revitalization of homeless services on George Street. New programs have already opened in the downtown as well as in North Etobicoke, the Annex, Leslieville and Scarborough.
Many factors are considered by City staff when siting a new location for a municipal shelter, including size, building condition and configuration, zoning requirements that permit municipal shelter use and proximity to services such as public transit.
As you may have heard, the City of Toronto has entered into an agreement to purchase the property at 2299 Dundas St. West and after conducting careful due diligence, the sale of the building will close on March 13th 2019.
Because of the urgent need for services, extensive renovations will begin very quickly after taking possession so that the new program can open in the Spring of 2020. In the coming months, those renovations will add smaller more private rooms, pet-friendly spaces, technological supports, recreational spaces, space for healthcare and case management, a more attractive architectural design and more.
In addition, a new shelter service model will be implemented at 2299 Dundas St. West with a focus on providing the residents with a pathway to permanent housing. Working with dedicated housing case workers on service plans that focus on health, recreation and employment, people will have the tools necessary to find housing.
Working with my office, a comprehensive community engagement process will unfold in the coming months with City staff providing information and seeking feedback through various communication channels. Stay tuned for more details. To sign-up for ongoing updates, please contact my office directly at 416-392-7919, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ward 4, Parkdale-High Park
Ontario Place is a critical part of our City and our Province. Recently, the Provincial Government announced the dissolution of the governing body of Ontario Place and indicated their intention to move forward with a future redevelopment of the Ontario Place lands. Any potential changes to Ontario Place must be made in the public interest and must include a rigorous public consultation process.
An Ontario Place Subcommittee of Toronto and East York Community Council was established at the January 15th meeting. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.TE2.82
The first meeting of the Subcommittee of Ontario Place will be on Tuesday March 5th at 5:30pm, City Hall, Committee Room 1. Members of the public are welcome to attend, submit communications, and register to speak to share their views publicly.
Toronto’s annual spring cleanup will take place on April 26-28, 2019. Join 200,000 residents, students, businesses, organizations and community groups for the 16th annual city-wide cleanup of public spaces. Save the dates:
- Community Cleanup Days: Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28
- Corporate 20-Minute Makeover and School Cleanups: Friday, April 26
All participants – including community, corporate, school, and councillor-led groups – must register their cleanups. The City will arrange special litter collections (April 26-28) for registered cleanups, subject to approval. Registration also prevents multiple groups from cleaning the same space.
Registration opens March 1st. Find more information on this program here
Enjoy Family Day on February 18 by taking advantage of City-run recreation programs and activities, or by visiting one of the City’s museums or historic sites.
In Ward 4, Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre will be hosting a Family Day: International Fun and Games program from 10am – 3pm. Outdoor Public Skating at High Park and Rennie Park will be open from 10am – 6pm.
Family Day includes a variety of recreational opportunities including: leisure swim, skating, ski and snowboard, arts, dance, sports and fitness as well as a sampling of locally programmed activities. All programs are offered in a drop-in format with no pre-registration required. A full listing of open facilities and activities can be found at www.toronto.ca/familyday
Toronto Council is gearing up to set its budget for the coming year. Last Monday we got a draft proposed budget from City Staff you can find the overview presentation and the background documents here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewPublishedReport.do?function=getAgendaReport&meetingId=15450
I have begun to work through the hundreds of pages of details to see what the impacts on all of us will be. So far a few things concern me.
As has happened in previous years revenues from property taxes will fall compared to inflation. On top of that revenues from the Land Transfer Tax fell last year and, I believe, will fall again next year. This means we are forced to tighten and reduce the services we provide. Anyone taking public transit (for example) knows why this is a problem.
The budget also contains $79 million in “holes” – assumptions of finding new savings and revenues which cannot be counted. This puts the services we depend on at risk.
Finally, to keep taxes low, the budget predicts falling further behind on our “state of good repair”. That means things like roads, bridges, and public buildings will not get the investments they should to keep them in good repair, creating risks and future costs.
Particularly alarming is a proposal that Toronto Community Housing will see its state of good repair backlog grow by 80% over the next ten years. This is unacceptable.
I will report more as I learn more. Find out how you can get involved here: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/budget-finances/city-budget/how-to-get-involved-in-the-budget/
Finally, I will host a budget town hall on February 28. I urge you to find time for this. It will help me learn what is important to you, and helps you better understand the choices we are considering at Council.
The City of Toronto has issued its 2019 interim property tax bills – the first of two tax bills mailed annually. The 2019 final tax bill will be mailed in May.
Payment due dates for the interim tax bills under the three-instalment plan are March 1, April 1 and May 1.
For property owners enrolled in the Pre-Authorized Tax Payment (PTP) program, the 2019 interim tax due dates are:
• Two-instalment plan: March 1
• Six-instalment plan: March 1, April 1, May 1
• Eleven-instalment plan: February 15, March 15, April 15, May 15, June 17
Payments can be made through banks or financial institutions, by cheque or in person at the City’s inquiry and payment counters. Locations and hours of operation are available at http://www.toronto.ca/inquirypaymentcounters/. Property owners should pay early to ensure payment reaches the City’s office before the due date.
Residents who have recently purchased a property and pay their property taxes through pre-authorized payments or their banking or financial institution are reminded to update their account information with the City or with their financial institution to avoid incurring fees from misdirected payments. Property owners can sign up with Canada Post epost™ to receive a digital property tax bill. Visit http://canadapost.ca/epost for details.
Property owners can access their property tax account details by using the online Property Tax Lookup tool available at http://www.toronto.ca/propertytax or by speaking to a customer service representative at 311, available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customers outside of city limits can call 416-392-CITY (2489) and TTY users can call 416-392-0719.