City of Toronto Crews Prepare for Wet Weather Conditions

Posted on May 4, 2017

City of Toronto crews are preparing for rainfall that is expected to start later today and add significantly to Toronto’s existing high water levels. The City and agencies including the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRAC) are working with residents to prevent or minimize flooding and related problems.

A low-pressure system reportedly moving into southern Ontario this afternoon is predicted to bring heavy rainfall – from 40 to 70 millimetres between today and Saturday, according to Environment Canada. Toronto has already received more than 100 millimetres of rain since early April, which has resulted in rising water levels in Lake Ontario and some flooding in low-lying areas and beaches along the city’s waterfront.

The high water levels in Lake Ontario this spring are also seen in rivers and streams, which are moving quickly and at high levels. Residents are advised to stay clear of rivers and streams throughout the city and to take precautions to protect their properties. During heavy rain storms, residents are advised to avoid travel and are asked to check in on elderly neighbours or other people who may need assistance.

The ground is already wet and unable to absorb as much rainfall as would under normal spring conditions. During a rain storm much of the rain falling in the city will flow on top of the ground and drain into the sewer system. Ponding may occur around homes where the ground is saturated.

City crews have been working to clear catchbasins in advance of the storm in order to minimize the risk of road flooding. Residents can assist by removing debris from catchbasins on local roads in their community. In addition, crews will continue to patrol areas that have been susceptible to flooding the past. Residents are asked to call 311 to report any instances of road flooding.

The storm sewer under Lower Simcoe underpass has been affected by Lake Ontario’s high water level. Current water levels are above the usual catchbasin threshold. As a result, that area has experienced ponding on the road. Toronto Water has implemented a temporary repair but the anticipated precipitation starting later today and continuing tomorrow could result in temporary flooding of this area again. Toronto Water will continue to monitor the underpass.

All parts of Toronto can be affected by flooding and there may be little or no advance warning that localized flooding is imminent. Flooding is most likely to occur in areas that have historically experienced frequent flooding such as the Don River Valley, the eastern and western beaches, the Toronto Islands, and other lakefront/shoreline areas.

Basement Flooding

  • Residents should call 311 immediately to report basement flooding. Toronto Water crews are available 24/7 to respond to flooding calls.
  • Clear catch basins and eavestroughs around the home.
  • Consider moving valuables to shelves or upper floors if flooding is imminent. Cleaners, paint, or chemicals should be removed from the floor to prevent contamination of floodwater that may enter the home.
  • During an extreme storm, reduce use of water in the home (avoid doing laundry or washing dishes) to prevent water from entering the sewer system, which can become overwhelmed during severe wet-weather events.

More information about basement flooding, including subsidies available under the City’s Basement Flooding Protection Program, is available at http://www.toronto.ca/basementflooding.

Update on Island and Beaches

City services and facilities in Toronto Island Park are currently closed or are operating at reduced levels until further notice. The City is taking steps to support Toronto Island residents. Updates and further information are available at www.toronto.ca/islands or by calling 311.

Five City-managed beaches – Cherry Beach Park, Rouge Beach Park, Woodbine Beach Park, Toronto Island Park, and Marie Curtis Park – have already experienced flooding this week. Public access to and use of these areas is restricted. Toronto’s Parks, Forestry, and Recreation division is working closely with TRCA to complete remediation work such as bolstering and/or repairing stone break walls and redistributing sand where appropriate to mitigate harmful erosion.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (https://trca.ca/) is monitoring local watersheds for possible flooding.

Long-Term Financial Plan Consultation – Phase 2 Survey

Posted on May 2, 2017

We have begun phase two of the public consultation on the renewal of the Long-Term Financial Plan. On Saturday April 22nd, we hosted Toronto residents and community groups at City Hall for an afternoon of workshops and discussions on how to improve the way the City makes long-term decisions that have a financial impact.

A survey, asking the same questions as the workshops and discussions held at City Hall, is open until May 14, 2017. It is available at http://www.investinginto.ca/join-the-consultation/governance-survey.

Additional information, including the results of phase one, is available on the Long-Term Financial Plan Consultation website at www.InvestingInTO.ca. Participate on social media using the hashtag #InvestingInTO.

City of Toronto Creates Local Appeal Body to Expedite Land Use Hearings

Posted on May 1, 2017

The City of Toronto has established an independent local appeal body to provide quick and efficient hearings on appeals of land use decisions made by the Committee of Adjustment.

On May 3, the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) will replace the function of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) pertaining to minor variance and consent applications. TLAB is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal established by authority of the City of Toronto Act and provincial government legislation.

“Toronto residents have long waited for a fair and reasonable process to replace the OMB regarding appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions,” said Councillor David Shiner (Ward 24 Willowdale), Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee. “We’ve worked hard to bring local planning matters back to the City’s jurisdiction with the formation of a Toronto Local Appeal Body whose members live in Toronto and understand Toronto’s unique character and communities. As well we’re offering a mediation process where concerns can be discussed before an appeal hearing without the need for expensive professional consultants.”

Most TLAB meetings and hearings will be held in the Toronto Public Library building located at 40 Orchardview Boulevard off Yonge Street just north of Eglinton Avenue. Hearings may be held in person, by telephone or video conferencing, or in written form.

Minor variance applications fall under Section 45 of the Planning Act. For example, a homeowner may request a minor variance to allow for the installation of a garden shed that does not meet the minimum setback requirements from a property boundary.

Consent applications fall under Section 53 of the Planning Act. Typically, they involve requests to divide a property into separate lots or to add adjacent land to an existing lot.

For more information about the Toronto Local Appeal Body please visit http://www.toronto.ca/tlab

King St Pilot Study Public Meeting

Posted on April 27, 2017

The King Street Pilot Study is about exploring bold, transformative ideas for how to redesign King Street in order
to move people on transit more efficiently, improve placemaking and the public realm, and support business and
economic prosperity.

At this public meeting, the City will be seeking feedback on a preferred pilot design that has been developed for the corridor. Consultation and engagement is a critical part of the King Street Pilot Study, and a variety of community and
neighbourhood groups, businesses and BIAs, and other key stakeholders will be involved throughout the study.

Public Meeting

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
InterContinental Toronto Centre, Ballroom
225 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2X3
(Front St W. & Simcoe St.)

Join the conversation online!
kingstreetpilot@toronto.ca #KingStreetPilot

Project details and mailing list: www.toronto.ca/kingstreetpilot

Eliminate Surprises with New City of Toronto Tax Calculators

Posted on April 27, 2017

Looking to buy a new home? Use the new Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT) and enhanced residential Property Tax calculators to get tax estimates instantly to help plan and budget for your next move.

These new calculators are available online and can be used anytime, anywhere. The MLTT calculator provides estimates for first-time home buyers, single family homes and all other properties. The enhanced Property Tax calculator provides a detailed estimate of the property taxes for residential properties and a breakdown of how your tax dollars are working for you. This is part of the City’s commitment to modernizing services and improving customer experience.

For more information about Municipal Land Transfer Tax and/or Property Tax, visit toronto.ca/revenueservices.

Tax Calculators Briefing Note

TransformTO Webinars

Posted on April 12, 2017

The City of Toronto is inviting residents to participate in an upcoming webinar to learn about the City’s proposed approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto, and its connection to public health, local economic development, and social equity.

TransformTO: Climate Action for a Healthy, Equitable and Prosperous Toronto is a collaborative project to engage the community in reducing Toronto’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 while also improving health, prosperity and equity. Led by the Environment and Energy Division and The Atmospheric Fund, the project has engaged more than 2,000 Torontonians to date through public consultation events, community conversations, an online survey and more.

The focus of the TransformTO webinar is on the long-term transformations that are needed to reduce emissions in Toronto, as identified in the second report issued by TransformTO. The report will be presented to Parks & Environment Committee on May 4 and, if approved, to City Council on May 24, 2017. The report will be available online on April 27.

The webinar, which will provide an overview of the TransformTO process and recommendations, will be offered twice: April 27 from 6:30 p.m.to 8 p.m., and May 2 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Each webinar will begin with a 30-minute presentation followed by a 60-minute question and answer period.

More information about TransformTO Webinars and Report 2 are available on the TransformTO website.

Vacant Unit Property Tax Rebate Elimination Public Consultation

Posted on April 11, 2017

As directed by City Council this February, the City of Toronto is soliciting input from key stakeholders and the public about eliminating the Vacant Unit Property Tax Rebate program. The City of Toronto is also looking for input from the business community on the current tax reduction that applies to vacant and excess commercial and industrial lands. Overall feedback on these changes is being solicited from industrial and commercial property owners, the business community, and non-profit communities, in addition to the general public.

There are two ways to provide feedback on these proposed changes:

  • An Open Public Meeting: City staff will be present to provide information, answer questions, and receive feedback on April 19 at Metro Hall (55 John St.) in Room 303. This consultation will occur from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • An Online Survey: Until April 21, there will be an online survey available for your feedback.

A number of face-to-face meetings have already taken place with key representatives of impacted businesses such as NAIOP and TIN.

The feedback received will be part of the report back to Executive Committee and City Council in May.

Long-Term Financial Plan Consultations

Posted on April 10, 2017

The City of Toronto invites you to join Toronto residents at City Hall for an interactive afternoon of workshops and discussion. We want to hear your ideas on how the City can balance both its books and its long-term priorities. And with your help, we can build a long-term financial plan that will bring us all closer to the city we want.

Below is information about the City’s upcoming public consultation – Investing In TO. The event will bring together staff, organizations and residents to explore how we can balance our books and our long-term goals.

Saturday, April 22, 2017
City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
Open House: 12:30 pm
Consultation Sessions: 1pm – 5pm

LTFP Consultation Phase 2

Good Neighbour Guide

Posted on April 10, 2017

ML&S has developed a Good Neighbour Guide for operators of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The Good Neighbour Guide outlines mandatory requirements and “good will” measures that can be taken to help the bar and restaurant industry comply with regulations and operate in harmony with its neighbours, particularly residential neighbours.

There are many areas in the city where neighbourhoods are not only residential, but also have a very vibrant nightlife. The bar and restaurant industry is an important part of our city and needs to operate in harmony with its neighbours, which can be challenging.

The guide was developed by the City of Toronto, in partnership with ORHMA, TABIA, AGCO and Toronto Police Service.

If residents are disturbed by noise from an outdoor patio, they should make the owner or property manager aware of the issue, or contact 311. Municipal Licensing and Standards investigates all noise complaints and takes appropriate action regarding noise violations. This can include educating the owners and laying charges, where appropriate.

Introducing RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Registration and Inspection Program

Posted on April 10, 2017

The new apartment bylaw, approved at the March 28 to 30 Council meeting, now has a name: RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Registration and Inspection Program. The program takes effect on July 1, 2017 and applies to 30% of Toronto’s residents living in approximately 3,500 apartment buildings across the city.

The new program is part of an audit and enforcement system that imposes new standards on how building owners operate their building and communicate with their tenants. The existing bylaws that govern how building owners are to maintain their properties still apply. These bylaws include Property Standards, Littering and Dumping and Graffiti.

This new bylaw enables the City to impose standards for building owners and operators to:

  • Ensure tenants are informed of repairs/maintenance that have an impact on their homes
  • Clearly lay out property owner obligations
  • Help inform the public and prospective tenants on information concerning a building’s maintenance and upkeep

The new requirements apply to rental properties that are three or more stories high and have or 10 or more units.
Some of the new requirements include:

  • Annual registration with the City, including a $10.60 per unit fee
    • Fees will be waived for Toronto Community Housing and other social housing providers; however all of the rules still apply
  • Process for tracking and responding to tenant service requests
  • Regular inspections by building management in common areas for cleanliness and pests
  • Developing and making available to Officers, an operational plan for cleaning, waste management and capital planning
  • New and substantially increased fines for not complying with the bylaw

Building owners will be receiving further information about this program shortly, with a public education campaign to follow in the next few months.

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