My thoughts on the encampment clearance at Trinity Bellwoods

Posted on June 24, 2021

As I write this there is a heavy Toronto police presence in Trinity Bellwoods Park aimed at removing the encampment residents and the tents and structures they have been living in. This is profoundly wrong. It is also wrong that in our City people find themselves living in tents.

This crisis has deep roots. In part it is the result of decades of Federal housing policy that treats where we live as a profitmaking commodity, and not as a human right. In part it is the result of a Provincial social services policy which sets welfare rates and social support levels scandalously low making it impossible for many in to live in secure, safe and healthy housing. In part it is the result of a City Council which has over and over again voted down proposals I and others have made to treat homelessness as an emergency and bring the full weight of government to creating good housing. At our latest Council meeting we tried again. We proposed a human rights based negotiation with encampment residents to get them into housing they want. Instead of supporting this proposal the Mayor and his allies voted to simply clear the encampments. The use of force taking place now is the result.

Going forward we have to redouble our efforts to change our housing system, build real supports for people in need, and create good faith human rights based negotiations to get people housed. State violence is not the answer to homelessness, nor is leaving people outside in encampments.

Gord

150 Dunn Ave Staff report coming to Planning and Housing Committee – June 28

Posted on June 24, 2021

As we announced with great excitement earlier this month, the City of Toronto will be building supportive housing in Parkdale, at 150 Dunn Avenue, on the University Health Network (UHN) site. The new building will provide warm, safe homes with supports for approximately 51 people, including women, Indigenous residents, racialized people, people with disabilities and other people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The new homes will be studio apartments each with a kitchen and a bathroom, using modular building construction

Thank you to the many community members who have attending virtual meetings to learn more about the proposal and how the community can support your new neighbours.

The next step in this process is a Staff Report to the  June 28th  Planning and Housing Committee which will request that City Council endorse, in principle, amending the zoning regulations for 150 Dunn Avenue to permit the construction of modular housing proposal by way of a Minister’s Zoning Order. PH25.13 Rapid Housing Initiative – 150 Dunn Avenue (Part of a Larger Parcel of Land Including 74, 82, 130, 160, and 162 Dunn Avenue, 1-17 Close Avenue, and 74 and 78 Springhurst Avenue) . The Report is available for your review at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2021.PH25.13 .

If you wish to register to speak to this item at Planning and Housing Committee, or submit written comment, please email phc@toronto.ca. Registered speakers will be provided with instructions on connecting to the meeting.

For project timeline and community engagement opportunities visit toronto.ca/150Dunn .

I am happy to continue to share updates on this this exciting build as it moves forward and as always am available at councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Gord

Multi-tenant housing regulatory framework coming to Planning and Housing Committee – June 28

Posted on June 24, 2021

Multi-tenant houses are an important part of Toronto’s affordable rental housing stock, providing single-room accommodation to diverse communities including students, seniors, new immigrants and residents with low to moderate income.

The existing zoning and licensing regulations for multi-tenant houses have not been updated since amalgamation of the former municipalities in 1998 and as a result, are inconsistent.

On June 28, the Planning and Housing committee will review a staff recommendations on a new regulatory framework for multi-tenant housing which will include zoning by-law amendments, outline licensing process and operational standards. The proposed comprehensive city-wide zoning approach and enhancements to licensing and enforcement to enable regulatory oversight will support safe, liveable, well-maintained and affordable multi-tenant houses across Toronto.

A complete list of recommendations and background documents can be found on item PH25.10 of the meeting agenda.

For more details on how to get involved and the proposed regulatory and compliance framework, visit toronto.ca/mthreview. If you wish to register to speak to this item at Toronto and East York Community council, or submit written comment, please email phc@toronto.ca. Registered speakers will be provided with instructions on connecting to the meeting. 

Virtual Community Consultation Meeting on 2-6 Howard Park Avenue development application

Posted on June 24, 2021

City Planning is holding a Virtual Community Consultation Meeting on a Proposed Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendment application for property located at 2-6 Howard Park Avenue.

This application, at the N/W corner of Howard Park and Dundas St West proposes  a 10-storey mixed use building with 128 residential units. The proposal also includes 377 square metres of retail GFA. A total of 40 parking spaces are proposed. Vehicular access is proposed off the private laneway.

The property is currently occupied by Master Mechanic.

Information on the application is available on-line at the City’s Application Information Centre, http://app.toronto.ca/AIC/index.do .

You can view a copy of the Preliminary Report providing background information at: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-167874.pdf

The meeting will take place on Monday, July 12, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. It will be an opportunity to learn more about this application, ask questions and share your comments. Your feedback will help inform the City’s evaluation of the proposed development.

The meeting notice can be found here: https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.189/1kc.086.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2-6-Howard-Park-Ave-CCM-Notice.pdf

How to participate:
A link to the meeting is available online at www.toronto.ca/cpconsultations . Participants will be able to join the meeting either by phone or online on the day of the meeting.

Note: Participants by phone will not be able to ask live questions during the meeting. Submit your comments in advance by contacting the City Planning Staff or the Councillor’s Office.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please forward your comments to Jacqueline Lee, City Planner, jacqueline.lee@toronto.ca and Councillor Perks’ Office, councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Upcoming High Park Zoo Events!

Posted on June 24, 2021

EVENT 1: (July 17)

ZOOVIEWS – Learn more about yaks (live!)

ZOOVIEWS is Friends of High Park Zoo’s live speaker series with the ability to ask questions of an expert!

Join on Saturday, July 17 at 1:00pm ET, along with Dr. Peter H. Hansen to learn more about the historical impact the yak had on colonization.

Please visit our website (www.highparkzoo.ca/events) for Zoom meeting details.

EVENT 2: (August 14)

ZOOVIEWS – Learn more about the history of High Park (live!)

ZOOVIEWS is Friends of High Park Zoo’s live speaker series with the ability to ask questions of an expert!

Join on Saturday, August 14 at 1:00pm ET, along with a staff member from Colborne Lodge who will discuss the park’s and the zoo’s history.

Please visit our website (www.highparkzoo.ca/events) for Zoom meeting details.

EVENT 3:  (October 2)

ZOOVIEWS is Friends of High Park Zoo’s live speaker series with the ability to ask questions of an expert!

Join on Saturday, October 2 at 1:00pm ET, along with Joan McKenzie of the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners Guild for a spinning llama fleece into yarn demonstration and talk.

Please visit our website (www.highparkzoo.ca/events) for Zoom meeting details.

Important steps to help prevent basement flooding

Posted on June 24, 2021

The City is encouraging residents to protect their properties from the devastating impacts that can be caused by basement flooding. Summertime can bring more rain events and, during heavy rainfall, the sewers can become overloaded. It is essential that homeowners take appropriate action to reduce the risk of basement flooding.

Some of the causes of basement flooding can include: stormwater (from rainfall) or groundwater seeping into the home (drainage failure) due to a crack or leak in the home’s foundation, basement walls, or basement windows or doors; poor lot grading or drainage; failure of the weeping tile system (foundation drains); failure of a sump pump used to pump weeping tile water; overflowing eavestroughs; and/or leaking or plugged downspouts.

To help reduce the risk of basement flooding, the City offers owners of single-family, duplex and triplex residential homes a subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to install flood protection devices. Eligible work includes: installation of a backwater valve; installation of a sump pump; and severance and capping of a home’s storm sewer or external weeping tile connection.

To aid property owners in better understanding how they can prevent basement flooding, the City has launched a series of videos called “How to Flood-Protect Your Home”. These videos show potential exterior and interior causes of basement flooding and provide practical tips on how to help prevent them.

“How to Flood-Protect Your Home: Part 1” explains how the City’s sewer system operates and the relationship to private property, how to clean blocked or plugged eavestroughs, preventing overland flooding, disconnecting downspouts and the importance of sewer cleanouts. “How to Flood-Protect Your Home: Part 2” provides information on flood prevention devices, such as weeping tiles, sump pumps and backwater valves and the up to $3,400 financial subsidy available (per property) from the City to install flood prevention devices.

Over the next 10 years, City Council has approved capital investments of more than $2.2 billion to upgrade infrastructure as part of the Basement Flooding Protection Program. The City also undertakes regular inspections and cleans and maintains more than 10,000 kilometres of sewer pipes to ensure the sewer system operates well and has crews available 24/7 to respond to flooding calls.

Information on the Basement Flooding Protection Program is available here

Information on the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program is available here

To learn more about how property owners can help protect their home from basement flooding and to view the videos visit here .  Individuals experiencing basement flooding should contact 311.

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