Supporting ‘A Path Forward’ recommendations on encampments

Posted on July 23, 2021

I am appalled at the actions of clearing encampments and the escalated violence that has taken place during those actions over the last few weeks, including yesterday at Lamport.

The City of Toronto has a responsibility to support the needs of everyone in our city, especially our most vulnerable residents. We have a duty to ensure that everyone has access to safe shelter and permanent supportive housing. Encampments are not a safe housing solution. The structures are unsafe. Living outdoors for extended periods is not a path to good health.

How we approach the efforts to house individuals in encampments is crucial.

I have signed on to a letter addressed to Mayor Tory that calls for the immediate adoption of the Path Forward recommendations endorsed by over 207 individuals and organizations calling on a Human Rights approach towards Encampment residents.

We must focus our efforts on connecting people with spaces where they have the health supports and amenities they need.

Gord

Open Letter to Mayor Tory – Ending Police Enforcement of Encampment Clearings

Posted on July 23, 2021

Friday, July 23, 2021

Dear Mayor Tory,

We believe the Moss Park encampment will be moved and acted upon in the weeks ahead. This clearing comes on the heels of two days of escalating tensions between Toronto Police, encampment residents, and their supporters.

In advance of this imminent clearing, we demand an end to the violence and extreme show of force. There is absolutely no need for batons, pepper spray or even guns, not when the work should be done by the City’s Streets to Home staff and other outreach workers. 

We call upon you to immediately adopt the Path Forward recommendations contained in the open letter submitted to you on July 9. It was endorsed by over 207 organizations and individuals calling for a human rights approach in resolving the conflicts that are emerging out of the encampments.

We are also disturbed to hear from members of the media that they were obstructed from reporting on these actions. Any suppression of the press and their right to access the events directly and in-person is undemocratic and unconstitutional.

We all want the same outcomes – an end to homelessness and safe housing for everyone. The escalating tension and police violence run completely counter to that outcome.

Mayor Tory, your approach to encampments does not effectively resolve the challenge we face, as you are only moving people experiencing homelessness from the parks to laneways, under bridges or into another park. Absolutely no one voted for this extreme show of force that keeps happening under your authority.

We all recognize that a tent will never be a suitable replacement for a home but an alternative approach must be taken, as we can not accept more violence and conflict.

We are asking you to work with us to build a City that we can truly be proud of. Before it’s too late, we desperately urge you to adopt a nonviolent approach to ending the encampments.

 

Sincerely,

Councillor Carroll

Councillor Layton

Councillor Matlow

Councillor Perks

Councillor Wong-Tam

Dogs in The City Campaign

Posted on July 22, 2021

Keeping dogs on leash and enjoying the outdoors safely

With more people outdoors enjoying Toronto during summer, the City has launched a public education campaign to remind residents about responsible dog ownership. From July 26, online and social media ads will run to remind residents that they need to:

  • Keep dogs leashed in public, unless in designated dogs off-leash areas:  Dogs must be kept on a leash no more than two metres long.
  • Stoop and scoop: Residents need to pick up after their dog and put dog waste in a Green Bin. The City has Green Bins for organic waste in all dog off-leash areas in parks, other select locations in parks and a few street litter bins that accept dog waste across the city.
  • Respect the natural environment: Dog owners should respect the natural environment in parks and trails. Dogs should be allowed off-leash only in dogs off-leash areas so that they don’t trample plants or chase wildlife.

More information is available at toronto.ca/DogsInTheCity

StreetARToronto (StART) Runnymede Underpass- Community Feedback

Posted on July 22, 2021

We are excited to announce that mural artwork will be coming to your neighbourhood! Three (3) artists (Adrian Hayles, Anya Mielniczek & Gosia Komorski) have been shortlisted to create a mural on the Runnymede Road Underpass (south of St. Clair Ave W) and the south-facing wall of Junction Place located at 731 Runnymede Rd. An Advisory Panel of local community members have come up with themes and the art call that each of the shortlisted artists have responded to, and one of these concepts will be selected to be painted in the Fall of 2021.

Please click here to view each of the proposals and to provide feedback.

The survey closes at 11:55pm on Sunday August 1, 2021.

Virtual Community Meeting to review application for 1660 Bloor St West

Posted on July 19, 2021

Virtual Community Meeting

to review Site Plan Application and Committee of Adjustment Application for

1660 Bloor St West (N/W corner of Bloor and Indian Rd.)

The owner of 1660 Bloor St West is proposing to build a 13-storey mixed-use building with 171 units, and retail space fronting onto Bloor Street.

 

This application falls within the area of the Bloor Dundas Avenue Planning Report and therefore requires a Site Plan Application and a committee of Adjustment variance.

 

Two concurrent applications are in process.

 

A Site Plan application has been submitted to the City of Toronto and a minor variance application has been submitted to the Committee of Adjustment.

 

The applicant is hosting a Virtual Community Meeting to review their proposed plans for this site and to hear from the community, see attached.

 

July 27, 2021

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Meeting Link: https://mattamy.zoom.us/j/97985675876?pwd=dVJoTnY2TzMrOEZkTWdreVJ0NStuQT09

Meeting ID: 979 8567 5876

Passcode: 664724

Councillor Perks and City Planner Bruna Nigro will be in attendance.

Office of Councillor Gord Perks
Parkdale/High Park- Ward 4

3239 – 3251 Dundas St West – Pre-application meeting

Posted on July 19, 2021

Gairloch Developments, the proponents for the development application at 3194-3206 Dundas Street West, will be hosting a pre-application meeting for a collection of properties to the south, at 3239-3251 Dundas Street West. At this time they have not submitted an application with the City, and we have not seen any proposal, however we have been told it will be similar in scope to the development proposal across the street.

The Virtual Community Consultation meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 28, at 7:00 pm. To register for the meeting, please click here.

Please note that this is a meeting being hosted by the developer.  Once an application is submitted to the City a city consultation will take place.

If you are unable to attend the meeting and are interested in providing comment and/or receiving more detailed information on this application as it becomes available please contact Councillor Perks’ Office at councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Update on Dundas Renaming

Posted on July 13, 2021

A City of Toronto staff report on the renaming of Dundas Street and other civic assets with the Dundas name went before Executive Committee on July 6th. The report was approved at Executive Committee and will be reviewed at Council Meeting on July 14th.

The report outlines a renaming process along with a Community Advisory Committee of Black and Indigenous leaders and local Dundas Street residents and businesses.

The report recommends that the Community Advisory Committee gather naming suggestions from their communities as part of a commitment to healing and recommending new names for Dundas Street and other civic assets for consideration by City Council next year.

It provides an assessment of the cost for the City and its agencies and outlines a community engagement strategy and change management process to fulfill the renaming process.

The new commemorative framework, to be presented to Council in 2022, will help guide the City’s decision-making on implications for reviewing existing assets including a number of streets in Ward 4. I will keep you updated as this work progresses.

You can review the Staff Report at  https://www.toronto.ca/news/city-of-toronto-staff-report-recommends-renaming-of-dundas-street/

I will be supporting staffs’ recommendations and will continue to support the work of the Recognition Review Group.

My office will continue to provide updates as this work continues.

Toronto Council should approve rooming house proposal

Posted on July 8, 2021

This piece can also be found on the toronto.com website.

Toronto city council is about to consider a proposal to create new rules for rooming houses which will make them legal across the city, subject to a licensing system that will set safety standards and annual inspections. It is the culmination of decades of work. It has also generated fierce and often ugly opposition.

Thousands of Torontonians, nobody really knows how many, live in unsafe illegal rooming houses. While there is a large demand for inexpensive rooms in houses, it is illegal to rent out such rooms in many parts of the city, such as Scarborough, North York and much of Etobicoke. Some house owners in these areas convert them to rooming houses anyway and often tell tenants not to let city inspectors in and not complain about substandard conditions or they will be evicted.

The consequences are awful. Because inspectors cannot check the plumbing, electrical or fire safety systems, they are often terrible and unsafe places to live. In the last 10 years, 14 people have died in fires in illegal rooming houses.

In our system of laws, city inspectors cannot simply knock on your door and demand entry. This is for good reasons. However, governments can put inspection conditions on properly registered or licensed rental properties.

The problem is making rooming houses illegal when there is a demand for them (and there certainly is a demand in Toronto); they will still be created, but they will be underground and unsafe.

There have been rooming houses as long as there have been houses. There has always been opposition too. Although few will say so, rooming houses are opposed because they bring “undesirable” people into a given neighbourhood. These are people with very low incomes: students, newcomers, or people on disability or social support. There is no justifiable legal or moral argument to say that people with low incomes cannot live in a given neighbourhood.

What people will say is the unscrupulous landlords who built the illegal rooming houses will never do the work to make them safe and legal. This is demonstrably untrue. When I was first elected, there were 30 odd illegal rooming houses in Parkdale. The city had established incentives for landlords to become legal: a mix of carrots and sticks. In two years, all but one of them got licensed. The city helped the tenants in that case get new units nearby at the same rent. It wasn’t easy. Some neighbours opposed legalizing them. Interestingly, years later, many of those same people have become friends and advocates for the tenants. They show up at hearings on licence renewals and advocated for better conditions for the tenants.

The status quo is intolerable. We have a dire shortage of safe affordable housing. People live in fear, in squalid conditions which all too often result in the loss of life. There is a path that creates safe legal affordable housing and stronger neighbourhoods. Council has a duty to approve the plan to legalize rooming houses everywhere in the city.

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

Posted on July 8, 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/198.71.233.51/1kc.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 .

ParksPlayTO locations within Ward 4

Posted on July 8, 2021

The ParksPlayTO initiative which was announced last week have added Spencer Park  and Ravina Gardens Park to the program. There will also be a ParksPlay location at  Masaryk Cowan Park, Rennie Park and Lithuania Park

ParksPlayTO will offer free drop-in and activity-based, recreation programming Monday to Friday. The program will offer activities such as exploring nature, gardening, active games, arts and crafts, family fitness, story-telling and music circles for children and their caregivers. Children age 12 and under will be welcomed to ParksPlayTO Adult caregivers are required to accompany all program participants. ParksPlayTO will run morning and afternoon sessions, with 25 spots available at each site at a time. Programming will run for eight weeks from July 5 to August 27.

Check ParksPlayTO and Summer in the 6IX for more information.

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