This week’s Council meeting had several important outcomes.
First, we restructured the Toronto Transit Commission to have 7 City Councillors and 4 citizen members (I will post application details for the citizen members when they become available). In choosing Council’s Commission members we picked a group that both: supported City Council’s majority view that it is time to get on with building a light rail network; and, recognized the need to respect the work of dedicated public servants.
When the previous Commission fired Chief General Manager Gary Webster, they threatened an important tenant of good government. Public officials must feel free to give their best professional advice to elected representatives without fear or favour.
We also considered a proposal to sell roughly 600 scattered homes owned and operated by the City’s housing company. Scattered homes are regular houses “scattered” throughout Toronto’s neighborhoods. They serve two important functions: they provide decent housing for larger families which cannot find apartments; and they ensure that we mix incomes and backgrounds throughout Toronto instead of creating enclaves of exclusively “rich” and “poor” households.
Fortunately, the sale proposal was deferred for further study. Only 49 dilapidated and unoccupied houses are to be sold. I opposed these sales, but lost the vote. With 70,00 people on the waiting list for affordable housing in Toronto, our problems are severe and because the federal and provincial governments downloaded housing on the City without providing for capital repairs, the problem will only get worse. As we review the issue of the remaining homes, Toronto needs a vigorous discussion of housing policy. I’ll be setting up chances for you to be part of the conversation.
Two other issues we dealt with stem from the Mayor’s haste to make budget cuts this year.
Child and youth sports leagues taking out permits for City sports fields face huge and sudden fee increases. Because many of them had already collected registration fees and set budgets, they won”t be able to cover the new fees. We’ve directed City staff to provide relief for this year.
We also directed staff not to eliminate the email function for our wildly popular 311 service. You will still be able to use firstname.lastname@example.org . Of course, email@example.com is always available too.
As a closing thought: too much of Toronto’s energy at City Hall and through out the community is being used defensively. I feel it’s time to start developing bold ideas for improving our City. I have a standing offer to drop by your living room to talk with you for an hour or two about a better Toronto. All I ask is you gather a few friends and neighbours. Contact my office to set up a time. I’ve immensely enjoyed these conversations and look forward to more.
Important notice regarding changes to garbage and recycling collection:
“As part of our ongoing review of the collection operations in District 2, we will be implementing changes to the collection calendar boundary areas within your Ward effective Tuesday April 3, 2012.
These changes will be communicated to all residents in advance through a delivery of notices and new collection calendar. We will work with residents and will accommodate requests for collections in the event that a resident is out of town or has misplaced the notice/calendar that was mailed to them.
All of this information will be provided to the 311 Contact Centre to assist with the provision of information to residents during the transition to the new collection day.”
For more information see:
- A new collection schedule boundary map outlining the collection schedule changes: District 2 Day Collections – Wards
- A Residential Daytime Collection Area Map specific for Ward 14 which shows the existing schedule and the new schedule: Ward 14 Current and New Day Area Map
- a sample door hanger that will be distributed to residents prior to the change: Door Hanger
- A copy of a calendar/notice which will be mailed to affected residents in Ward 14: New Collection Calendar 5 Months
- Q&A for District 2 collection changes: Q&A D2 Collection Day Changes
Reminder: To Come Out This Saturday
The amazing volunteers we have on Roncesvalles are planning a spring concert and fundraiser inspired by the community’s response to the passing of Tony Clemens.
It will be held in the afternoon of March 31st from 11am to 4:30pm, at High Park Baptist Church. Entry is Free.
If you would like to learn more, volunteer or participate please see: Roncy
The City of Toronto is hosting a meeting to gather input from the public on the City’s proposed wayfinding system strategy that will be focussed on residents, transit users and visitors.
The public open house will take place on Wednesday, March 28 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Metro Hall, 55 John Street.
Wayfinding is a system that enables people to find their way around a city. More than just signs, wayfinding is comprised of names, maps and new media as well as elements of the public realm such as lighting, street furniture and public art.
In the first phase of the project, the plan is to develop the principles of wayfinding, an implementation strategy, identifying potential funding sources and defining the parameters of a pilot project that will be presented to Toronto City Council.
For more information on wayfinding please visit: Wayfinding Toronto
For the event flyer and more information please see: Wayfinding Public Open House
Want to learn more about this great community initiative?
*The Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden Group is aiming to create a new public garden destined to be part of the 1812 Binational Peace Garden Trail network. It will be located at a historically interesting bend in Dundas Street at the intersection of Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto’s west end.
To Learn More: Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden
There will be free family skating for March break at Ricoh Coliseum (100 Princess Ave attached attached to the Direct Energy Centrelocated on the grounds of the Exhibition Place. Use the Nunavut Rd entrance).
Monday to Friday: March 12 to 16, 2012 – 12:30 to 4 p.m
For more information please see: March Break Skate Flyer
The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area is presenting the Fireside Culture Week from March 12-17, 2012.
Fireside is a week filled with art and performance along Queen Street West from Dufferin Street to Roncesvalles Avenue.
For more information on events, locations, and times please visit: Parkdale Village BIA – Fireside
Enbridge Gas Distribution will be undertaking construction in the near future on Sunnyside Ave between Wright Ave and Galley Ave. While no firm date is set (due to other projects finishing up), construction will likely take place near the end of April and we told will last for approximately 10 days. Notices will be provided to residents 2-3 weeks in advance of construction. We have been assured that an Enbridge supervisor will be on site at all times during construction to answer any questions that may arise from residents.
Enbridge Q & A Form: Construction Notice — Q and A