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.

Stories, Song and Dance

Posted on January 16, 2009

On January 10th, 2009 at the Parkdale Branch Library, I was very pleased to co host our second “Stories, Song and Dance” with Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre and Creating Together Parkdale. Both Dr Rita Cox (a beloved member of the Parkdale community and former head librarian of the library) and George Blake (our special guest storyteller who came all the way from Oshawa), wowed the audience with rhymes, interactive storytelling, drumming and Caribbean folktales. Despite the cold, 160 people showed up and as a special thank you received a collection of free children’s stories donated by Frontier College and Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

A big thank you to all the contributors and participants who helped make our second “Stories, Song and Dance”a huge success!

Dufferin Jog Update Call to artists

Posted on January 16, 2009

Over the last two years community residents and stakeholders have participated in a series of meeting host by Councillor Giambrone and I to make decisions on project aspects like lighting, pedestrian safety, landscaping and Public Art for the Dufferin Jog Elimination Project.

After much consultation a few decisions were made with respect to the Public Art component: that the call be open to local, nation and international artists, that the artwork be placed in the recesses of the underpass and that members of the community have the opportunity to sit on the Public Art Selection Panel.

Now that construction is underway, the City’s Culture department has released their call to artists and is also in the process of building their Selection Panel.

I have attached the Call to Artists for your review. Please feel free to circulate widely.


Green Feasibility Study for 40-50 Wabash Ave now live on City’s website!

Posted on January 16, 2009

Please see attached for the public posting of the RFP for the 40-50 Wabash Green Feasibility Study.

It has also been posted on the City’s website.




Feel free to distribute!

Items of Interest

Posted on January 16, 2009

Snow Clearing

With respect to sidewalk clearing fronting residential properties, given the vast area of the ward and limited enforcement staff, it is very difficult to pro-actively monitor compliance. Therefore the programme, except for high profile areas, is largely complaint driven.

In addition, staffs have the ability to issue summonses for non-compliance with the City’s by-laws. Often the problem is lack of education around snow clearing on city sidewalks and not lack of motivation. For example, some people see sidewalks being cleared by their work so they assume their sidewalk will be cleared abutting their homes, or they lived in an area (like the former North York District) that had their sidewalks cleared and assume the same will happen in Toronto. Therefore, it is important that all residents do their part and clear their sidewalks. If a problem is identified, the owner is given a notice seeking their co-operation in clearing the sidewalk. If compliance is not achieved in this manner, the City will clear the sidewalk and charge the cost to the owner. Costs this winter are approximately $6.00 per square metre for shovelling and $3.00 per square metre for salting. Residents have 12 hours after the snow fall ends to clear their property. If a notice is issued, the owners have 12 hours to have the sidewalks cleared or until the next snow fall.

For any information or complaints related to sidewalks not being cleared by owners, please call 416-392-7768 directly (with addresses) or you can advise me via email and I will relay this information to our Ward 14 Transportation Team. Given the low staffing levels and high demand at this time of year, we are very fortunate to have such a hard working crew in Ward 14. Our streets are some of the narrowest in the City and they have done an excellent job in handling what seem to be endless amounts of snow.

Toronto Drug Strategy Update

Risk Management Workshop for Licenced Establishments

This free workshop aimed at reducing violence and impaired driving, to be held February 3rd and 4th, 2009 is open to all licenced establishments in Toronto.

Please find the attached flyer for an upcoming session of A Risk Management Workshop for Licenced Establishments.


Westend Food Co-op Survey

The Westend Food Co-op is conducting a survey to help them improve the market for the 2009 season. If you have had an opportunity to visit this great Farmers’ Market please take a few moments to answer the survey in the link below.

Thank you!

Participants Needed For Resarch on Housing and Neighbourhood Change in Parkdale

Katie Mazer is a University of Toronto graduate student in Urban Planning. She is doing research on housing and neighbourhood change in Parkdale and looking for rooming house tenants and homeowners living in South Parkdale to participate in interviews.

In the interview she will ask you questions about:

• The cost of living in Parkdale
• Local stores, services, community centres, and other places that you have used over the years
• The coming and going of stores and services in the neighbourhood
• Parkdale as a changing community

Interviews will take approximately 45 minutes and will take place at a location of your choosing. Answers to interview questions will remain confidential.

Tenants will receive $20 for their participation.

If you are interested in participating, or have any questions about my project, please do not hesitate to contact her:

Katie Mazer

Career Week at St. Stephen’s Employment & Training Centre

I am coordinating Career Week at St. Stephen’s Employment & Training Centre; the objective of this event is to provide an opportunity to our clients and users to get first hand information on the many resources, program and services available with a focus on employment, training and career planning. Topics to be address throughout the week are: the apprenticeship program, academic upgrading, we are bringing in managers and representatives of HR department from different sectors to talk about their hiring practices and what clients need to know, how to apply to government jobs, presentations addressing issues regarding foreign trained professional and success stories among others.

January 2009