Greenbelt in Toronto: Ravines, Water, and Smart Growth
Sunday, April 23, 2017, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive, Toronto, ON
12 years after its creation, Ontario’s Greenbelt is growing to include urban river valleys across the region. In Toronto, these include the Don, Humber, and Rouge Rivers, and Morningside and Etobicoke Creeks. These green-blue corridors provide critical connections for water and wildlife, and between urban and rural residents.
They will become increasingly important places as our region attempts to cope with the impacts of climate change while accommodating an estimated 2.8 million new residents by 2031. Join the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation as we try to unravel what all this means for Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.
Due the development happening on the east side of the railways near Wallace Avenue, the Wallace Avenue Pedestrain Bridge will be temporarily closed while its replacement is under construction.
Closure Start Date: March 20, 2017
Closure End Date: March 28, 2017
Please note that alternative routes at Dupont St and Bloor St are available during this temporary closure.
We thank you for your patience during this time.
Councillor Gord Perks
The City of Toronto encourages residents to enjoy Family Day on Monday, February 20 by taking advantage of City-run recreation facilities and historic attractions. Seven of the City’s 10 historic sites will offer events, activities and tours on Family Day. Programming highlights for the open sites are listed below. Regular admission fees apply except for Historic Zion Schoolhouse. Times and activity details will vary by location. More information is available at: http://www.toronto.ca/museum-events.
There are 52 outdoor rinks or skating trails to choose from across the city, weather permitting. Many indoor arenas will also be open. There is no charge for public skating at the City’s indoor arenas and outdoor rinks. CSA approved hockey helmets are mandatory for children under age the age of six and are recommended for skaters of all ages. Family Day schedules are available online at http://www.toronto.ca/familyday.
The MLSE Foundation, in partnership with Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, will be hosting a community event at Campbell Avenue Playground Outdoor Rink from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. to celebrate the donation of skates and learn-to-skate equipment to three City of Toronto outdoor rinks. Toronto Maple Leafs alumnus Darryl Sittler will attend, along with mascots and Toronto Maple Leafs hockey development coaches. The event will also include hot chocolate, cookie decorating and giveaways.
Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre will be open on Family Day, weather permitting. For updates and schedules, visit http://www.toronto.ca/ski.
Leisure swimming will be available at many indoor pools on Family Day. City-run leisure swims are free of charge for everyone. Family Day schedules are available online at the web link above, or by calling 311.
Select recreation facilities will offer programming for the whole family. Children accompanied by an adult can enjoy swimming, indoor/outdoor skating, yoga, Zumba®, gymnastics, sports, arts and crafts and much more. Family Day schedules for each recreation centre are available online or by calling 311.
The City’s farm at 201 Winchester St., open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., features farm animals and offers various activities. Admission is free.
High Park Zoo
Toronto’s oldest zoo has been entertaining people for 120 years. The zoo, which houses domestic and exotic animals such as bison, llamas and reindeer, as well as our famous capybaras Bonnie and Clyde, is located on Deer Pen Road and is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. Admission is free.
Conservatories and Greenhouses
Residents and visitors can warm up and take in the sights and scents at Toronto’s beautiful conservatories, Allan Gardens Conservatory and Centennial Park Conservatory, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Family Day. Admission is free and the conservatories are wheelchair-accessible.
Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.)
Families can visit the fort’s historic kitchen and sample baking from the hearth. Hot chocolate and a roaring fire will make for a memorable visit. Kids can try an 1812 drill class, the officers’ sword drill, old-fashioned games and a fun-filled kids’ activity book.
Historic Zion Schoolhouse (1091 Finch Ave. E.)
Families can explore this rare, one-room schoolhouse in North Toronto and take a step back in time with schoolmistress Miss Coulson. Visitors can learn how to write with a steel nib pen or on a slate and enjoy storytelling, craft making and other activities. Donations of new or gently used children’s books will help the Children’s Book Bank provide books and literacy support to children in need in Toronto. Admission is free.
Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.)
Visitors can celebrate Black History Month in Toronto by learning about Black Victorians and their publishers and newspaper journalists. On Family Day visitors can also enjoy performances at 1:30 and 3 p.m. by a Scottish dance troupe from the Guthrie School of Dance, who will be sharing Scottish Highland and Scottish Country dances and the history and stories that inspired them.
Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas St. W.)
The inn will feature Maureen O’Leary of Maureen’s Reel Irish Dancing, who will teach a dance workshop and then host a ceilidh at 2 and 3:30 p.m. There will also be a traditional French Canadian lumberjack dancing man and visitors can learn to play the spoons with the inn’s resident fiddler at 1:30 and 3 p.m. In the afternoon, cooks in the historic kitchen will prepare tasty treats alongside historic games and crafts.
Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.)
The museum will offer fun activities such as a scavenger hunt and a craft activity. Visitors will be able to sample baked goods and hot chocolate.
Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.)
A family-friendly tour includes games and hands-on fun in the historic kitchen – all set in this beautifully restored 1920s environment.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.)
Visitors can make crafts and tour the historic homes while viewing the first ever retrospective of acclaimed Canadian painter Helen Lucas in the Papermill Gallery.
The Toronto Zoo will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Family Day, with daily activities free with zoo admission. More information about the zoo’s indoor tropical pavilions, interactive interpretive stations and daily keeper talks is available at http://www.torontozoo.com.
Other Municipal Facilities and Services
All City of Toronto emergency and 24-hour services will operate normally on February 20. City administrative offices and service counters will be closed on Monday, re-opening on Tuesday, February 21. The major civic buildings including City Hall, Metro Hall and the civic centres will operate on a weekend schedule from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Family Day.
The TTC will operate on its holiday schedule on Family Day. All TTC routes will operate on their Sunday service schedules, but will start earlier, at approximately 6 a.m. Any routes that do not normally operate on Sundays, will not operate on the holiday. Subway service will start around 6 a.m. and will run every 4-5 minutes. More TTC information is available at http://ttc.ca/Routes/index.jsp.
City-operated child care centres and Children’s Services district offices will be closed on Monday. Toronto Home Child Care Agency providers will offer service as usual.
All Toronto Public Library branches will be closed on Family Day. Archival Services at 255 Spadina Rd. will also be closed on Monday.
Some community recreation centres will be closed on Family Day. Residents can find the list of open centres online at http://www.toronto.ca/familyday or call their local centre ahead of time to check its schedule.
The City of Toronto offers recreation programs for all ages, skill levels and interests. Registration for spring and summer general programs, spring skating and swimming, and summer camps begins in two weeks.
Registration is by district and starts at 7 a.m. on each date:
Etobicoke York: Saturday, March 4
Scarborough: Sunday, March 5
North York: Tuesday, March 7
Toronto and East York: Wednesday, March 8
Residents should visit http://www.toronto.ca/torontofun before registration day to build wish lists (program titles and bar codes) and have a few options ready in case they don’t get their first choice.
Those who want to register for programs will need to set up an account. Residents can call 416-338-4386, email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak with staff at a City community centre to get a family number and a client number.
Parks, Forestry and Recreation will offer extended customer service call centre hours on March 1, 2, 3 and 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to assist with account information and answer questions about registration for spring/summer programs.
New this year, residents can stop by a recreation registration information table at one of the following four locations on Family Day (Monday, February 20) to find out more about recreation programs, get a family number and learn how to register for programs:
- Joseph J. Piccininni Community Centre, 1369 St. Clair Ave. W., 1 to 4 p.m.
- Parkway Forest Community Centre, 55 Forest Manor Rd., 1 to 4 p.m.
- Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre, 220 Cowan Ave., 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- L’Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre, 2000 McNicoll Ave., 1 to 4 p.m.
More information about these locations is available at http://bit.ly/1jDRqiN.
Welcome Policy yearly credit
The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs. People receiving social assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker. You can visit http://www.toronto.ca/wp for more information about the yearly credit.
Many community centres offer free recreation programs including leisure swimming and skating, and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. More information about free and low-cost programming options is available at http://www.toronto.ca/lowcostrecreation.
Older adult discounts
Older adults (60 plus years) who register for adult recreation programs receive a 50 per cent discount off the regular price of those programs.
Toronto City Council intends to designate 421 Roncesvalles Avenue, often seen as one of the gateway buildings into Roncesvalles, as a heritage building.
Designation enables City Council to review alterations to the site and enforce heritage property standards and maintenance.
City Planning will be scheduling a meeting in late March, 2017 to review the application and hear from the community. My office will provide details of the meeting once they are secured.
For more information on the designation please click here.
The City of Toronto has mailed 2017 interim property tax bills to property owners – the first of two regular tax bills that will be mailed this year. The 2017 final tax bill will be mailed in May.
Payment due dates for the interim tax bills under the regular three-instalment plan are March 1, April 3 and May 1. There are several ways to pay a property tax bill, including:
- At banks or financial institutions through internet banking, telephone banking, automatic teller or in person. If paying tax bills by automatic teller, telephone or internet banking, customers should pay early to ensure payment reaches the City’s office by the due date.
- By cheque using the business reply envelope included with the interim tax bill.
- In person at the inquiry and cashier counters at Toronto City Hall or any civic centre from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Extended hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. will be offered from February 27 to March 1.
Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.
Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall
North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.
Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
York Civic Centre, 2700 Eglinton Ave. W.
The Pre-Authorized Tax Payment (PTP) Program allows residents to pay their taxes in two, six, or 11 pre-authorized automatic instalments. Residents can enrol in this program at any time if their taxes are in good standing. Applications for the PTP program are available at http://www.toronto.ca/propertytax.
The following interim bill withdrawal dates apply to customers who enrolled in the PTP program by January 25, 2017:
- two-instalment plan: March 1
- six-instalment plan: March 1, April 3 and May 1
- 11-instalment plan: February 15, March 15, April 18, May 15, June 15
Property tax inquiries
For general information on property tax bills, customers can call the 311 Tax and Utility Inquiry Line. Customers within the city limits can call 311 and talk to a customer service representative about their property tax bill between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. Customers outside Toronto’s city limits can call 416-392-CITY (2489). TTY users can call 416-392-0719 for assistance. Customers should have their tax roll number available when calling.
Property tax lookup
Customers can view their property tax account details anytime, anywhere, from a computer or mobile device using Property Tax Account Lookup at http://www.toronto.ca/revenueservices.
Property owners who have recently purchased a property and who pay their property taxes through the PTP program or through their banking or financial institution must change their account information with the City or with their financial institution to avoid incurring fees resulting from misdirected payments.
Residents can sign up at https://www.epost.ca to receive their property tax bills through epost, the digital mailbox from Canada Post that makes it easy to receive, manage and store bills online. epost™ is a trademark of Canada Post Corporation.
In 2016, every property owner in Ontario received a 2016 Property Assessment Notice from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) with the updated assessed value of their property as of January 1, 2016 for the 2017-2020 property tax years. Increases in the assessed value of a property will be phased in over four years (2017-2020). Decreases in assessed value will be fully implemented in 2017.
If property owners disagree with the assessed value, they can contact MPAC for assistance. Recent legislative changes to the Request for Reconsideration (RfR) process allow property owners 120 days from the issue date on their 2016 Property Assessment Notice to submit an RfR. For the majority of residential properties, this deadline occurred in 2016. If an RfR is filed in 2017, it will apply to the 2018 property tax year. You can visit http://www.aboutmyproperty.ca or http://www.mpac.ca for more information.
More information about property tax bills is available at http://www.toronto.ca/propertytax.
Do you have an interest in helping tree thrive in your community? Join us to learn about our Young Urban Forest Leaders and how they could help you start an Adopt-a-Park-Tree program in your local park!
Saturday, March 18, 2017 – 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m
Metro Hall, Room 308
55 John Street
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
Building is wheelchair accessible. Indoor event followed by optional mini tree tour along paved and grass surfaces.
On March 4th, 2017, Parkdale Seedy Saturday will feature a community seed exchange plus local seed vendors, organizations, free garden advice and workshops at 250 Dunn Ave from 11am-3pm.
Everyone is welcome and entrance is pay-what-you-can. Light refreshments will be available by donation and the space is fully accessible. For more information, visit www.greenestcity.ca or call 647-438-0038.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1780077798919277
City Planning held a Community Consultation meeting on February 8th, 2017 to review the 57 Brock Avenue application for a rezoning and Official Plan amendment.
The community raised many of the same concerns that were raised at the pre-application in 2016: massing, height, privacy, impact on local traffic and parking, lack of green space, and the ability of this proposal to integrate with the surrounding neighbourhood visually and otherwise.
While City Planning review the amended application the applicant has filed for decision at the Ontario Municipal Board.
An OMB hearing date has not yet been scheduled.
City Planning will submit a Request for Direction to the February 22nd TEYCC meeting to request City staff attend the OMB hearing.
More information on 57 Brock Ave can be found on the Toronto Development Application website here and my office will send further information as it becomes available.
The Lower Galt track reinstatement work that has been taking place along the Milton Corridor near Dundas St W. and Dupont has been postponed due to technical concerns of track work in the winter and will resume in the spring. Work hours will remain the same when the project resumes, and is estimated to be completed by Fall 2017.Lower Galt Update Notice