Update on renaming of Dundas Street

Posted on June 30, 2021

A City of Toronto staff report going before Executive Committee on July 6 recommends a renaming of Dundas Street and other civic assets with the Dundas name. If approved by Executive Committee, the report will then be reviewed by City Council at its July meeting.

A petition calling for the renaming of Dundas Street was created in June 2020 following global discussions on racial injustices, inequality and anti-Black racism, which led the public to scrutinize the origins and history of monuments, street names, parks and buildings across Toronto. The petition objected to the street’s namesake, Scottish politician Henry Dundas, who was involved in delaying the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, causing more than half a million Black people to be enslaved in the British Empire.

The recommendation to rename Dundas Street and other civic assets bearing the same name follows discovery sessions, extensive academic research and a review of over 400 global case studies, and furthers the City’s commitment to anti-Black racism, Indigenous truth and reconciliation, as well as building a more inclusive and equitable Toronto.

In addition to the Dundas Street renaming, the report outlines guiding principles for the City’s overall framework on commemorative policies and programs following a Recognition Review examining how systemic racism and discrimination may be embedded in City assets, commemorative programs and naming policies.

The report outlines a renaming process along with a Community Advisory Committee of Black and Indigenous leaders and local Dundas Street residents and businesses. Pending approval by Executive Committee and City Council, the Community Advisory Committee will 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. The report 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. A transition plan would be developed to support Dundas Street residents and businesses in preparation for the name change.

Recommendations were developed by a City staff working group which was formed following a request by Mayor John Tory to City Manager Chris Murray. The working group includes representatives from City divisions, the City’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit and Indigenous Affairs Office.

More information is available at www.toronto.ca/recognition-review; the report can be viewed at

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2021.EX25.1.

Members of the public who wish to make their views known about this matter, submit comments or request to speak before a committee of City Council, can visit www.toronto.ca/legdocs/tmmis/have-your-say.htm .

1375 Queen St West will be at TEYCC on April 21st

Posted on April 15, 2021

The April 21st, 2021, Toronto and East York Community Council will be reviewing the 1375 Queen Street West – Zoning By-law Amendment Application – Request for Direction Report.

The report recommends that City Council direct the City Solicitor, together with appropriate staff, to attend the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) hearing to oppose the Zoning By-law Amendment Application for 1375 Queen Street West in its current form.

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2021.TE24.16

This application, currently under appeal at LPAT, located at the S/E corner of Queen St West and Close Avenue proposes an 8-storey mixed-use building with retail space on the ground floor.

The full report is available on-line at https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-165492.pdf

The report lists staff concerns with this application including the built form, massing and design of the proposal, Other issues to be resolved include addressing the transportation and traffic impacts that will be created by this development, including the provision of appropriate parking and loading space, and the inclusion of outdoor amenity space for future residents.

I will be supporting the staff recommendation. I ask that you review the details of the report and share your questions and comments with my office: councillor_perks@toronto.ca , 416-392-7919.

The items is scheduled for April 21st, 2021 at or soon after 11 AM.

Due to the pandemic, Civic buildings are closed to the public and meetings of the Toronto and East York Community Council are currently being conducted by electronic means. If you wish to register to speak to this item at Toronto and East York Community council, or submit written comment, please email teycc@toronto.ca. Registered speakers will be provided with instructions on connecting to the meeting.

TEYCC will also be streamed live online at www.youtube.com/TorontoCityCouncilLive

Update on Inclusion to the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register

Posted on November 26, 2020

Two Staff Reports recommending inclusion of properties within Ward 4 Parkdale-High Park on to the Heritage Register will be heard at the Toronto Preservation Board meeting on November 30th, 2020.

The affected properties are located within the area of the Dundas Street West and Roncesvalles Built Form Study or the West Queen West Planning Study areas. The properties have been identified through the heritage surveys undertaken as part of past planning and heritage studies. Individual Property owners have received communication for the City of Toronto.

The report are available for review at:

PB19.7 Inclusion on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register – Dundas Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue Properties

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.PB19.7

PB19.8 Inclusion on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register – Properties within the West Queen West and Parkdale Main Street Areas

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.PB19.8

The listing of a non-designated property on a municipal Heritage Register provides interim protection from demolition, should a development or demolition application be submitted. Listing provides an opportunity for City Council to determine whether the property warrants conservation through designation under the Ontario Heritage Act.

“Listing” a property on the Heritage Register does not trigger maintenance requirements over and above existing property standards, and it does not restrict an owner’s ability to make exterior and interior alterations when demolition or a development application is not involved.

When a property is listed it does not necessarily mean that it will be subsequently “designated.”

Due to the pandemic, Civic buildings are closed to the public and meetings of the Toronto Preservation Board are currently being conducted by electronic means. If you wish to register to speak to this item at Toronto Preservation Board, or submit written comment, please email teycc@toronto.ca. Registered speakers will be provided with instructions on connecting to the meeting.

TEYCC will also be streamed live online at www.youtube.com/TorontoCityCouncilLive

Bill 184 at City’s Planning and Housing Committee on July 13

Posted on July 9, 2020

On Monday, July 13, the City’s Planning and Housing Committee will be considering the City’s submission regarding the Ford Government’s proposed Bill 184 – Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020.

In March, 2020 the provincial government introduced Bill 184, which amends the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, Building Code Act, 1992, Housing Services Act, 2011 and enacts the Ontario Mortgage and Housing Corporation Repeal Act, 2020.

The City’s submission should be an opportunity to clearly state the City’s commitment to affordability and security of tenure for tenants, as well as to ensure fair access to the justice system.

Highlights of the City’s submission are recommendations that include:

  • Protection of affordable rental housing
  • Access to justice for tenants and landlords
  • Eviction prevention and compensation
  • Enforcement and oversight
  • Data collection and dissemination
  • Landlord & Tenant Board (LTB) administrative improvements

The details submission is available online at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.PH15.10

I would greatly appreciating hearing your views on this matter.  If you could review the City’s submission and share your comments with me prior to the Planning and Housing Committee meeting on July 13 it would be a great help to ensure the City’s submission works to protect the safety and affordability of tenants homes.

Thanks in advance,

Gord

Proposed 625 Runnymede Road Development at TEYCC on July 16

Posted on July 8, 2020

The Final Staff Report for the proposed development at 625 Runnymede Road (the addition to the Runnymede Healthcare Centre) has been released.  This report calls for the approval of proposal to construct a five-storey, 200-bed long-term care addition to the existing four-storey Runnymede Health Care Centre.

This item will be considered at the Toronto East York Community Council (TEYCC) on July 16, followed by City Council on July 28.  Councillor Perks supports the recommendations made by staff. The agenda item coming to TEYCC is available on line:

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.TE16.2

And the full final report:

https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-148375.pdf

Due to the City’s emergency measures currently in place, the system in which to depute has changed, as meetings are now taking place online.  To speak during the virtual TEYCC meeting, please register by email with the Clerk at teycc@toronto.ca or by phone at 416-392-7033. Registered speakers will be provided with instructions on connecting to the meeting. Written comments can still be be submitted by writing to teycc@toronto.ca.

Please feel free to contact Councillor Perks Office, councillor_perks@toronto.ca or City Planner Kirk Hatcher, kirk.hatcher@toronto.ca if you have any questions or to share your comments on this application.

My thoughts on the police motions at Council

Posted on June 30, 2020

This week the role of Toronto Police Services, the policing budget, and the systemic racism that exists in our own City government and institutions was debated at City Council.  Like the tens of thousands of you who called my office, sent in emails, and fought for change, I am disappointed in the results of this meeting. Despite the outpouring of outrage and activism throughout Toronto and around the world, Council chose not to take any steps to defund the Toronto Police Services budget. You have the right to feel let down by your government, and I stand with you in your sadness and anger.

While we all have the right to feel disillusioned, I must acknowledge some of the important measures that did pass. Council approved a motion requesting the City Manager report on implementing a Mobile Crisis Assistance Intervention Service, that would deploy unarmed, medically trained crisis intervention assistance personnel, based on the “CAHOOTS” model from Eugene, Oregon. There is also a request to the Provincial government to expand the City of Toronto’s jurisdiction to include auditing the Toronto Police Service. While these are small steps, they are steps in the right direction.

It is important that we do not lose sight of what has happened. A worldwide movement has started to finally take a firm stance against the systemic racism that exists in our society.  Both the Police Chief and the majority of Councillors admitted that structural racism exists in our City’s institution, including Toronto Police Services, and that it is something we must fix. We cannot let the hard work you have put in be in vain. We must continue to call on all levels of government to stamp out the racism that exist in our government and society.  There is more work to be done, and together we must continue to push forward, and not let this momentum fade.

My office will reach out and share updates as they become available, as well as to share opportunities to organize.

As always, I remain available to continue this discussion.

Gord

My comments on anti-Black racism and the motion on police budget

Posted on June 11, 2020

There is currently a motion expected at the June City Council meeting which includes moving 10% of the police budget to investment to “enhance resiliency in marginalized communities,” including community-led alternatives to policing, programs to help at-risk youth and affordable housing, as well as anti-racism education.

I will be supporting this motion.  My record at City Council has consistently been to request or support the request to decrease the police budget as well as moving police budget dollars to much needed community services.

Anti-Black racism is real and pervasive in our City. As a society we must do, and demand, better.

It is essential that the City of Toronto maintain a strong commitment to resourcing and supporting the work of the Indigenous Affairs Office and to fully implement the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism.

Further, our funding priorities must be centred on a robust system of social supports and services, including ongoing investments in Black and marginalized communities. No budgetary demand of the TPS should ever stand in the way of that system.

There may also be an opportunity to begin to reallocate service.  Many of our 911 emergency calls are requesting a response to a Mental Health crisis for example, that response may be more appropriately responded to by a Mental Health professional. We need to provide appropriate response to 911 calls,  as we do when responding to a fire – fire department, or a heart attack- paramedic.

Finally, we must take action to invest in our resources to address these inequities head-on. The City works to apply an equity lens on every budget decision it makes, which is a good first step, but more must be done and it starts with properly funding of City services.

Gord

My comments at Council on the Housing Now Initiative – May 28, 2020

Posted on May 28, 2020

Today, Toronto City Council approved the second phase of Housing Now. Here are my comments on the importance of socially owned housing.

 

 

My comments at Council – April 30th, 2020

Posted on April 30, 2020

Today at Council, I advocated for a more democratic and equitable process for public decision making. To watch the full Council meeting visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpeP-Xi_0Sg

 

Queen Street West Planning Study Report at TEYCC – March 12, 2020

Posted on February 27, 2020

City Planning have concluded the Planning Study of Queen St. West between Roncesvalles Avenue and Bathurst Street and will be submitting a report to Toronto and East York Community Council on March 12, 2020.

This Staff report summarizes the study, and proposed to amend the Official Plan by adopting ‘Site and Area Specific Policy 566’ for the properties fronting Queen Street West between Roncesvalles Avenue and Bathurst Street.

This policy is intended to:

  • guide the height, form and characteristics of new development to ensure it responds appropriately to the existing and planned context of the study and adjacent areas;
  • conserve and enhance the cultural heritage value and function of Queen St as a commercial main street; and
  • provide appropriate transition to adjacent low-rise neighbourhoods.

The proposed amendments to the Official Plan will also inform civic investment and improvements to transportation infrastructure, public open spaces and community facilities within this area.

The Staff report will be available on line at: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisionBodyProfile.do?function=doPrepare&decisionBodyId=1925#Meeting-2020.TE14. Additional materials relating to the Study, as presented to the community in October 2019, can be accessed at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/planning-studies-initiatives/west-queen-west-parkdale-main-street-hcd-plan/meetings-events-west-queen-west-hcd-plan/

Please note that the Parkdale Main Street and West Queen West Heritage Conservation District Plans are scheduled to be presented to Toronto Preservation Board (TPB) and TEYCC in the fall of 2020. My office will keep you up-to-date as it moves forward.

Thank you to the many community residents who took part in this Planning Study by participating in community meetings, surveys, walking tours and events. Your commitment to the community is appreciated and helped to shape a Planning Report that celebrates this main street.

The item will be heard at 10 AM or as soon as possible thereafter on March 12, 2020 in Committee Room #1, 2nd floor, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St West. You are invited to attend the public meeting to speak to this item or submit written comment. Please contact the City Clerk at teycc@toronto.ca to request to be added to the speakers list and/or to provide your comments.

Notice_Public-Meeting-Queen Street West Study

 

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