Materials for Bloor Dundas Avenue Study meeting, January 26th

Posted on January 30, 2009

Please be advised that the presentation and meeting summary are now posted on the City’s dedicated website I have also attached the meeting notes in this post.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact my office or City Planning lead Corwin Cambray at 416-397-0244 or by email at


Water Main Replacement and Sanitary Sewer Replacement

Posted on January 30, 2009

Roncesvalles Ave. and Fermanagh Ave. are scheduled, as part of the 2009 Capital Works program, for Water Main Replacement and Sanitary Sewer Replacement. The first Public Notice has been distributed, which advises of the intention to start work in the spring. More detailed notices will be delivered once the design of the project is confirmed.

I have recommended that that the distribution area is extended for the Public Notice distribution; all residents in the Roncesvalles area should be receiving Notification in the mail.

The Water Main Replacement and Sanitary Sewer Replacement work will cause temporary disruptions on both Roncesvalles and Fermanagh, however staff have advised that they will make every effort to ensure that access is maintained for residents and business owners.

Please see attached Public Notice:


Georgetown – Airport Rail Link – Public consultation

Posted on January 30, 2009

Metrolinx, an agency of the Ontario Government, is conducting a six-month Transit Environmental Assessment. As part of the process, Metrolinx will be holding six Community Engagement Open Houses.

The proposed service expansion will increase rail service on the eastern boundary of the ward and impact many residents in both the West Bend I encourage you all to attend one of the meetings in our ward to find out more information. Below I have highlighted some aspects of the project and noted the consultations dates in West Bend and Parkdale. and Parkdale.

For more information, please visit

GO Rail Georgetown South Corridor Service Expansion project includes:

Adding 3 new tracks from the airport spur to Dundas Street and 4 new tracks to east of Strachan Avenue in the 25 kilometre rail corridor Malton and Union Station

  • Widening of 14 bridges and eliminating all level road crossings on the CN line in the Georgetown South Corridor, including new grade separations at Strachan Avenue, Denison Road and Carlingview Drive
  • A covered depressed rail corridor through Weston that maintains Church and King streets at their present grade and a pedestrian overpass at John Street
  • Relocating the GO Weston Stop from John Street to Lawrence Avenue and the construction of a Weston Station to accommodate GO trains and Union-Pearson rail link trains
  • Modifications to the Bloor GO/Dundas TTC station to accommodate GO and Union-Pearson rail link trains
  • Consideration for the Gateway Hub proposed in the Metrolinx Regional Transportation at the proposed Eglinton Light Rail Transit crossing line for GO trains
  • Designing for a potential future GO/Union-Pearson rail link station at Woodbine

GO Rail Georgetown South Corridor Service Expansion project will provide the following new services:

Two-way, all-day local service between Toronto and Georgetown, and between Toronto and Bradford

  • All-day express service between Toronto and Brampton
  • New peak period service between Toronto and Bolton and between Toronto and Guelph, and
  • Establish a new rail link between Union Station and Pearson International Airport.

Community Engagement Open Houses

Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 11am – 8:30pm

The Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor St. W, Toronto, ON

Monday, February 9, 2009, 11am – 8:30pm

Direct Energy Centre – Salon 110, 100 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto, ON

Other meeting dates can be found at:

Items of Interest

Posted on January 30, 2009

Prescription for Addiction: Addressing Stigma, Myths and Methadone

Attached please find details of an upcoming workshop sponsored by the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, the Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel, and the Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force:

Prescription for Addiction: Addressing Stigma, Myths and Methadone

Tuesday February 17, 2009


Metro Hall,55 John Street

Room 308


Street Needs Assessment

Toronto’s second Street Needs Assessment set for April 15

This will be the second time the city has amassed the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, community agency and City staff to take to the streets and shelters to ask homeless people about their service and program needs. The first Street Needs Assessment took place April 19, 2006. The results helped shape significant changes to how the City approached homelessness issues, resulting in increased emphasis on helping homeless people to find and keep permanent housing.

The Street Needs Assessment is a 10-question survey that helps the City estimate the number of homeless people at a specific point in time. It also provides a snap shot of demographic and other information such as services used and what assistance would help people who are homeless get and keep permanent housing. Using proven statistical methods, a minimum of 5,052 people were estimated to be homeless on Toronto’s streets, and in ravines, parks, shelters, health care facilities, and correctional institutions on the night of April 19, 2006. The 2009 survey will contain the same questions so that the data can be compared.

This year, members of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA), Canada’s national social housing association dedicated to ensuring that Canada has decent affordable housing for all, will be invited to participate as volunteers in the Street Needs Assessment as part of their national Congress to be held in Toronto April 15 to 18.

Members of the public wanting to register as volunteers for the 2009 Street Needs Assessment can do so at

For more information about the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association:

Friends of the Sorauen Farmers’ Market

This is a reminder to those of you who haven’t found the time to fill out our short Farmers’ Market survey. We are trying to evaluate your input for February 1st and hope you will take a few minutes to answer our question. It will help us improve the market for the 2009 season! Yes, we are continuing to run the Sorauren Farmers’ Market this year and have already started planning. The survey can be found at: Thank you! Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures. It is not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life. ~Lionel Poilane

PARC Fundraiser

See attached flyer:


Materials posted in advance, Bloor Dundas Avenue Study

Posted on January 23, 2009

International Drug Policy and the Voice of Non-Governmental Organizations Webinar

Information boards for the upcoming Community Meeting on Monday, January 26 in the lower auditorium of the High Park Baptist Church, 9 Hewitt Avenue, are now posted under the What’s New section on the Study’s web page –


Information boards will also be on display during the open house starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, January 26 providing an opportunity to further review the boards, ask questions and provide feedback. A presentation will follow at 7:15 p.m.


Please note: The City has re-posted the “Built Form Demonstration Plan 2 – Loblaw’s / Zellers Site” information board. On the lower portion of the board, the Demonstration Plan 2B image was not showing a six-storey building height fronting Dundas Street West south of the proposed public street. The image has been updated to reflect the six-storey height consistent with the plan at the top of the information board.

Power Outage – Public Meeting

Posted on January 23, 2009

Dear All,

The recent blackout was a problem for many of us. Personally, I still can’t believe that when I woke up Friday morning my house was cold enough I could see my breath. Together with Cheri Di Novo I hosted a meeting to explain the event, answer questions and take suggestions for how the City can do better. Below are minutes of the meeting. Please let me know it there is any more I can do.


Minutes from the Post-Blackout Community Meeting on January 22nd, 2009

Parkdale Public Library

7-8 pm

MPP Cheri Di Novo

Councillor Gord Perks, Councillor, Ward 14, Parkdale High Park

Representatives from Toronto Hydro:

Blair Peberdy, Ivano Labricciosa, Ben LaPianta,

Representatives from Hydro One:

Laura Cook, Mike Penstone,

Representatives from the City of Toronto

Kevin Sack, Director of Corporate Communications

Nestor Uhera, Energy Efficiency Office

MPP Di Novo opened the meeting and welcomed everyone and explained the format for the meeting. She also thanked some of the community leaders who helped get the meeting organized.

Councillor Perks thanked City staff, the emergency operations staff and communications staff for a job well done.

Hydro One explained what caused the outage and what they are doing to avoid it happening again. Mike Penstone also apologized for the inconvenience it caused. He used a diagram of the transformer station to show what happened in the shared Hydro One and Toronto Hydro facility.

Mike showed the very large transformers and the fire protection system (deluge spray valve – six of them connected to a high pressure system). The valve open accidentally and caused a lot of water to pour into the station. Water drains into a holding tank (because the water could be mixed with oil) to protect the environment. The holding tank filled beyond capacity and water reached the equipment owned by Toronto Hydro. Also, The Hydro One equipment and sprinklers are on the floor above the Toronto Hydro equipment. There was some leaking into the Toronto Hydro Section. To prevent the water from contacting live transformers Toronto Hydro disconnected power. This prevented a much more serious and long lasting outage.

Toronto Hydro then had to dry and test the equipment to get it back in service. Hydro One has launched an investigation on what made the valve open and what is required in a new system to avoid this. Hydro One also noted that this equipment also sprayed water on the transformers during the big blackout and thought they had solved the problem with water going into the basement when the valve malfunctions.
Hydro One stated clearly they are now going to replace the entire fire suppression system, probably by the end of 2009. No specific date was provided. No decision has been taken about which fire suppression system will be used, however it should be noted that this project is the top priority at Hydro One. Hydro One feels that water fire suppression has some advantages in terms of cooling equipment and ease of clean-up.

Toronto Hydro then spoke and apologized for the outage and recognized the issues it caused. Toronto Hydro is a customer of Hydro One.Toronto Hydro spoke about the tough job it is to communicate during a power outage overnight. They spoke to media continuously throughout the blackout. Hydro answered 45000 calls in 24 hours – well beyond their maximum. First hour of the outage caused the telephone system to fail temporarily immediately after the blackout started. They are going to expand the capacity of their phone lines and it is a priority for their company.


Q: Residents wanted to know why they were last to get power back?

A: Hydro explained how each part of the station was put back online (lines need to dry out fully in order for them to work) and the fact that the part that feeds this community was the most damaged. Three of the four transformers were able to be restarted after being dried out. The fourth suffered worse damage and needed to be rebuilt. That is why one section of the blacked out area did not get power back until late on Friday.

Q: Hydro was asked why the website did not have information?

A: They were dealing with news media and got to the web later in the morning and that it will also now be a priority. Hydro communications people talked to people on blogs and now know they need to be more pro-active on the Web.

Q: Concerns about elderly and vulnerable and how they are recognized from the street level so people can help each other.

A: Councillor Perks clearly explained the many things the City did to check on vulnerable.

  • 7 receptions centres open, including one overnight reception centre
  • city health inspectors visited over 1000 restaurants and food premises providing information on safe food handling during a power outage
  • city staff visited 120 rooming houses to make contact with residents and help them get to warming centres
  • public health officials also made contact with at risk people, including new and pregnant mothers, homeless and the elderly
  • Solid Waste Management staff as well as staff from Transportation and Public Health knocked on doors of those residents that participate in their programme (side door collection, sidewalk clearing, etc)
  • for those unable to check in on loved ones or elderly neighbours/friends, Access Toronto (416-338-0338) arranged for visits from staff from Transportation, Solid waste Management, or Public Health who worked together to check on residents

Concerns about radio stations and targeted announcements asking for timed messages.

Q: Conflicting information on freezing pipes and need to send correct information out.

A: All agreed that more work needed to be done to ensure that the information being communicated is correct and up to date

Q: Questions about how future questions would be answered if phone lines were overwhelmed.

A: Councillor Perks announced that by the end of 209 a new telephone system will be in place at the City of Toronto – 311. Call 311 for all your inquiries and they will have the most up to date information

Q: How many of these station exist in the city?

A: Over 30 stations connect provincial grid to Toronto Hydro.

Q: Resident pointed out a design flaw in holding tank (no alarm when tank begins to fill).

A: There is a water detector there that Toronto Hydro installed after the 2003 blackout. It helped to ensure water was off quick enough to avoid major problem. Had this not happened the event may have lasted for days.

Q: Concerns about differing explanations of the cause and then the correct explanation came out.

A: Crews arrived and operated in the dark and given the coldest weather of the year assumed it was a water main break. It should have been characterized as maybe a water main break. Hydro took responsibility for the mistake. Hydro apologized for the confusion.

Q: Concerns about power being on in some areas, off in others.

A: Hydro explained how they distribute power through lines with a given capacity that can fit a given geographical area. Also some places have dedicated feeders for large loads (Hospitals, large manufacturing facilities, etc). It should also be noted that Hospitals have their own back up generators.

Q: Will station be staffed until problem has been rectified?

A: The station is now staffed 24/7 until issued is solved.

Q: Asked for “doors open” to come and see the station.

A: Toronto Hydro is willing to take people on tours. Hydro One is concerned due to the high voltage. Toronto Hydro will consider placing images of the vault on the web.

Q: One resident, a former European electrician, said he doesn’t feel like Toronto is first world. Feels that water is inappropriate suppression device and that current system is doomed to fail.

A: Toronto Hydro doesn’t use water for suppression but Hydro One does. Also, Councillor Perks talked about how brittle and fragile the provincial electricity system is with large centralized generators and transmission choke points. Toronto is examining multiple “distributed” generators, and an interconnected “smart grid” That’s why we need to install things like windmills so we have other sources of power. Councillor Perks also explained need to fix old infrastructure and Toronto Hydro’s plan.

Q: Concern about whether or not the city is prepared for a city-wide emergency.

A: Councillor Perks responded to this question and highlighted the planning guide that’s on the web ( Councillor Perks also stated city staff at all levels responded very well and reassured residents that we are prepared but there is always room for improvement. Councillor Perks also highlighted what police, TTC, public health, transportation and shelter staff did to respond during the outage.

Q: When will this problem be fixed?

A: Hydro One said they will hopefully repair problem by the end of the year. They are currently looking at which fire suppression system is the best for type of facility.

Q: One resident said City should have its own radio station.

A: Some residents said radio stations did not do enough.

Q: Resident complained about the Toronto Star report on Sunday and said she is facing 20 to 30 thousand in damage and wants to know who to sue.

A: Hydro One said residents should look at their home insurance.

Q: Residents with boiler systems said they need different advice as they are on different systems. Boiler cracked and people need advice on what to do. Insurance won’t cover the boiler.

A: Councillor Perks will alert the Office of Emergency Management and ask that this information be included in the guide available online (

Q: Resident asked that information on the specific locations of the outage be available in real time during an outage.

A: Toronto staff explained the map that was developed and posted online and Hydro undertook to do better at this in future.

Toronto Hydro has committed to putting together a newsletter to advise residents of what is happening and what will be done to rectify the problem as well as other important information relating to power outages. The newsletter will be distributed within the next few weeks.

Please share this as needed.

Businesses recognized at Bicycle Friendly Business Awards

Posted on January 23, 2009

International Drug Policy and the Voice of Non-Governmental Organizations Webinar

This week (Jan 20th)I had the pleasure of presenting a number of awards at the Bicycle Friendly Business Awards ceremony at the Gladstone Hotel. I firmly support sustainable transportation and was very pleased to be able to honour a number of businesses for their bicycle friendliness and their commitment to the reduction of traffic congestion and pollution.

The following businesses and organizations were be recognized for their bicycle friendliness:

Best Bike Parking Award: Ryerson University

Bicycle-Friendliest Suburban Business Award: ZM Cycle and Fitness

Bicycle Commute Award: Quadrangle Architects

Best Small Business Award: Cervelo

Best Large Business Award: Ryerson University

Best Skills Development Award: Bike Pirates

Best Overall Award: Bikechain

Items of Interest

Posted on January 23, 2009

International Drug Policy: Making the NGO Voice Heard

Come learn more about what’s happening in international drug policy.

Find out how you can advocate for the voice of NGOs.

Please see attached flyer for more information


Design Hope Toronto– Art Auction

February 6th , 7-10pm – 186 Cowan Ave

Art Auction and Fundraiser for PARC

Please see attached flyer for more information


Green Toronto Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the Green Toronto Awards – the City of Toronto’s environmental awards of excellence. The City of Toronto, in partnership with the Green Living Show, invites residents of Toronto to nominate the companies, organizations and individuals who are helping to green Toronto.

The Green Toronto Awards ceremony will be hosted by Mayor David Miller, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone and the world renowned environmentalist and actor Ed Begley, Jr. on April 23, 2009.

A winner will be announced in each award category: community projects, energy conservation, environmental awareness, green design, green roof, leadership, market transformation, water efficiency and youth. Each winner will receive a prestigious Green Toronto Award and a $5,000 donation to a registered charity of their choice.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, February 27 at 5 p.m. For more information on the awards and nomination process, please visit

HIV/AIDS 101 for Community Educators – 2009 (Formerly – HIV/AIDS Train the Trainer)

A free modular workshop facilitated by Toronto Public Health’s Promoters of Sexual Health in conjunction with Community Members.

Please see attached flyer for more information


Urban Moods and Urban Myths: Do Neighbourhoods Matter for Mental Health?

Toronto’s diversity is reflected in our neighbourhoods.

Does the neighbourhood you live in shape the way you feel and think?

Please see attached flyer for more information


Bloor/Dundas Avenue Study – Next public meeting

Posted on January 16, 2009

Please find attached the notice for the Community Meeting on Monday, January 26, to be held at the High Park Baptist Church, lower auditorium, 9 Hewitt Avenue. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. with an open house followed by a presentation at 7:15 p.m. I have asked that an open house take place prior to the presentation start so members of the community have an opportunity to review presentation boards, ask one-on-one questions and provide feedback to staff before a more open format begins.

To further facilitate community feedback, material will be available on the Study’s web page – Wednesday, January 21st.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact my office or City Planning lead Corwin Cambray at 416-397-0244 or by email at



Front Street Extension Update

Posted on January 16, 2009

The Front Street Extension debate is very nearly over. At the January Planning and Growth Management meeting last week a statutory hearing recommended removing the proposed link between the Gardiner Expressway and South Parkdale from Toronto’s Official Plan. That decision will be voted on at City Council meeting of January 27th-29th.

Since getting elected I have worked hard to remove the FSE from the Official Plan. As Toronto strives to become a sustainable City, it makes no sense to build new expressway infrastructure. Much better is investing in transit projects such as the Waterfront West LRT proposal. Had the FSE gone forward thousands of cars would have been dumped into Parkdale and Liberty Village, making those thriving communities look like the intersection of Spadina and the Gardiner. The project would have cost well over $200 million.

I want to congratulate the many community activists who have worked alongside me to stop the FSE. Their commitment to better neighbourhoods and sustainable transportation are what make Toronto great.

Also, I want to alert you to a proposal to conduct an Environmental Assessment for a local road running west from Dufferin along the bottom of Liberty Village. This proposal will NOT connect to the Gardiner, but will be designed as a local street. Providing a street address for the south end of Liberty Village would be an important step in continuing the revitalization of this exciting part of the City. We need to speak up to ensure that it is done right: providing an attractive street for pedestrians, cyclist and transit users. I’ll keep you posted as the EA progresses.

January 2009