Here’s what we accomplished together in 2021

Posted on December 17, 2021



As 2021 comes to a close, a lot of us are feeling the same way we did at the start of the year, with optimism for the future, but also with confusion and concern for the safety of our family and friends as we enter the holiday season. Like at the start of the pandemic, we are seeing public health respond at a rapid pace to fight the new omicron variant, with new measures announced daily to protect our communities. The City has extended our COVID protocols, originally expected to expire at the end of this year, until April 2022. As things continue to change, please visit the City’s COVID-19 Information Portal for the latest safety regulations and guidelines, as well as how to book your next vaccine.  While the variant may be new, we have been through this battle before. For the health and safety of you and your loved ones, I continue to encourage you to do what we have been doing throughout the pandemic: wear a mask, keep gatherings small, and get vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Despite the changes in the world, there is still much to celebrate this season. I want to take this moment to wish you all the best this holiday season, and look forward to a safe and happy 2022!


 Local Highlights of the Year

At the beginning of the pandemic, the health and safety of Torontonians became the full-time job of every department in the City. This year, despite the pandemic still being the number one issue, the City started to move forward with a number of important initiatives to build back a stronger, fairer Toronto.

Throughout the year, as a way of staying connected, I have been hosting neighbourhood town halls to talk about the issues affecting you both city wide and directly in your community.  This fall we were able to start seeing each other outside and in person.  My staff and I have had a chance to visit many of our small business communities. Between checking out the windows in the Junction, the lights at the Baby Point Gates and Parkdale, visiting Santa along Bloor Street, and shouting out “there’s no place like Roncy”, our local businesses are putting their best foot forward for the holidays.  

My team will be slowing things down during the next two weeks with only emergency issues being dealt with. While the original plan of a January return to City Hall is no longer in the cards, we look forward to be back together online, working hard and moving forward on January 4.                                                                                                                  

As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some changes happening in our ward.

Parkdale Hub

The Parkdale Hub project is centred on the City-owned facilities and community services located at the intersection of Queen and Cowan. The phase 1 and 2 of the feasibility study is complete and as part of phase 3, staff have been authorized to initiate expropriation proceedings to acquire 1337 Queen St West, adjacent to the City-owned lands on the Parkdale Hub site. The acquisition of this property is key to the project, and will enable the opportunity to create 109 homes, including a minimum of 50% affordable units and up to 800 square metres of community program space.

This project that started with my motion at City Council in April 2017 is unique in its scale, in its engagement of different City agencies, in its diversity of benefits to the community, and I hope it will serve as a catalyst for more projects like it in the City.

30 km / hour on Local Streets

Back in 2015 the Toronto-East York Community Council converted the speed limit on all local roads in the former ward 14 from 40 to 30 km/h. I am happy to share that we were able to push this initiative city wide this year, making all local roads 30 km/h in the former ward 13 side as well.  The street signs are expected to be changed in the New Year.  I have also asked Transportation Staff to review our ward’s collector streets to ensure safe and consistent speeds.

 Wabash Community Center

This year the third round of public consultation for Wabash Community Center Project allowed the design team to develop multiple site design options which were presented to the community. The Angler site design was selected based on spring and summer consultation with local community members, indigenous representatives, and the City’s operational staff. The fourth round of public consultation began in October, to present and seek further community feedback on a draft design for the new center. To follow the progress of this important project, you can visit the City’s website.

Charles G Williams Park

I am happy to share the opening of the new and expanded Charles G Williams Park. Based on community feedback this project now provides the area with an upgraded playground, upgraded sandbox, the conversion of the wading pool to a new splash pad, an upgraded basketball court, a new junior basketball play area, a refurbished chess table and seating area, a new ping pong table, a new bocce court as well as new amenities for many to enjoy.

I am looking forward to having another successful, community driven plan for the valley’s Florence Gell Park in the year or two ahead.

Cycling Network Plan

This year was the first full year for the Bloor Bike Lane, with its usage continuing to grow.  Council recently voted to move forward with consultation on extending the bike lanes from Runnymede Road to Royal York Road in the new year.

150 Dunn Ave

The City of Toronto will be building supportive housing 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, and 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. I will be in touch early next year with updates on the Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) which will provide the zoning relief necessary to advance the modular housing proposal at this location as well as an update on the planned construction. Updates will also be available on the City’s website.

Permit Parking

The ward-wide permit parking program is now up and running, ensuring access to parking on your street is accessible. After concern was raised prior to the implementation, I am happy to share that there has been overwhelmingly positive reports since the project has been implemented.

High Park Movement Strategy

The City has been conducting a High Park Movement Strategy study, which looks at improving the travel network to better serve park users and the surrounding community, prioritizing safety, accessibility and preserving the park’s ecological integrity. Over the summer City staff conducted a survey with over 6,000 responses.

In January weekend road closures will continue to provide High Park users with space to get around while respecting physical distancing. Parks staff continue to review data collected from the online survey, community consultation and studies to determine next steps for road closures, balancing the needs and concerns of the many groups that use and love this beautiful and important park.

Parkside Drive
Many residents and concerned neighbours have been working hard with myself and Transportation Services to make Parkside safer.  In November I put forward a successful member’s motion improved safety measures on the street. The new regulations including new signage, a traffic light at Geoffrey, and reducing the speed limit to 40kph.
A long term “Complete Street” redesign which includes wider sidewalks, safer crossing, and bike lanes is also being studied.

Toronto’s Cycling Network Plan also acknowledges that if dedicated cycling facilities on Parkside Drive are recommended by staff through the High Park Movement Strategy, that the route will be added to the next near-term cycling program.

Jane Street & Annette Resurfacing

In 2018 I put forward a successful motion to Council that when a roads are going to be repaved, the City use that opportunity to make important upgrades to ensure pedestrian, cycle, and driver safety are all taken into account.  Previous to this, contracts were issued for what is referred to as a “like-for-like” repave.

In 2022, Jane Street between Annette Street and Dundas Street is planned for a road resurfacing, so the City is using this time to examine what improvements can be made, especially around the intersection with Annette and Baby Point. The westbound cycle route along Annette St will have the stop bar pulled back and a bike box added, as well, markings to guide people cycling through the intersection heading west. The eastbound route along Baby Point will have a new short bike lane at the approach of the intersection. The bike lane will be protected with a raised island and have upgraded pavement markings. 

King / Queen / The Queensway / Roncesvalles (KQQR)

After a low and complicated construction period, stage one of the KQQR project is complete, and Queen Street West (between Roncesvalles and Triller) has re-opened to through-traffic. The contractor transitioned to Stage 2 work in November. As a part of this work, King Street West is closed to through-traffic from Queen Street West to Wilson Park Drive. Travel lanes on The Queensway from Queen Street West to Parkside Drive will continue to be reduced throughout this stage of work; however, a minimum of one shared lane in each direction will be maintained. More information on the KQQR project could be found here.

City Wide Issues 

A number of important city wide initiatives have also been moved forward at Council.  Below we have highlighted some of the important steps taken regarding housing and protecting our environment.

Housing: Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA)

 A staff report was approved by Council recommending a new program called Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) to support the acquisition of private market rental housing by non-profit housing organizations, including co-operative housing providers.  This proposed process is built directly on the work our community did for the Rooming House Acquisition Pilot Project in 2018.

The program will provide grant funding and Open Door Program incentives, which offer exemptions from property taxes and waiver of application fees, to qualified non-profit and Indigenous housing groups to assist them to purchase and renovate existing market rental properties. These properties will be used to create permanently affordable rental homes for Toronto residents with low-and-moderate incomes.

Housing: Inclusionary zoning

Council approved an Inclusionary Zoning Official Plan amendment, a Zoning Bylaw amendment and draft Implementation Guidelines, which will make it mandatory for certain new developments around Protected Major Transit Stations Areas to include affordable rental and ownership housing units beginning in 2022.

While the motion to have minimum affordable housing implemented for purpose-built rental as well as a shorter timeline for increases did not pass, I will be closely monitoring the implementation of the IZ framework and look forward to the review after one year. More information is available on the City’s website.

Housing: Policies to Address the Loss of Dwelling Rooms

Dwelling rooms can be a deeply affordable rental housing option in our city. Research shows that without a policy framework to protect existing dwelling rooms, the city continues to lose this type of rental housing stock as properties undergo redevelopment. In 2019 City Council adopted an official plan amendment to address the concerns.

This year, City staff, with much support from Parkdale community agencies, have provided a policy that will protect dwelling rooms in residential rental properties that contain six or more units. This policy will help protect some of our most precariously housed residents.

Environment: TransformTO’s Net Zero Strategy

Just this week City Council updated our strategy to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040, 10 years earlier than initially proposed. I had the great honour of chairing the original TransformTO sub-committee in 2018, and am thrilled to see our work continue to move forward and evolve as the City makes climate change an increased priority. ​”

The Net Zero Strategy triggers new and accelerated implementation actions to drive down community-wide emissions, particularly in the short term, and establishes the trajectory needed to reach net zero by 2040. The Strategy also sets an additional interim greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for Toronto: 45 per cent by 2025, from 1990 levels.

The Strategy identifies actions and targets to be achieved by 2030 in key sectors, including buildings, transportation and waste. Toronto’s community-wide emissions must be cut in half in the next 10 years to meet the 2030 target of a 65 per cent emissions reduction.

This strategy is both ambitious and necessary, if we are to protect our communities, our city, and our planet.  While I am proud that this measure has passed, we must continue to work to ensure the necessary steps are taken and projects are adequately funded to ensure we reach our goals.  This will be a priority for the 2022 City Budget, and moving forward into the new year. 


My statement regarding the tragic accident on Parkside Drive

Posted on October 14, 2021

The tragic loss of life on Parkside Dr. is a stark reminder that the work we are doing together to create safer roads is crucial. We have worked over the years on the dangerous speeding on Parkside. From our discussions we developed a plan to make  Parkside Drive safe.

Some parts of our plan have been implemented.

Pedestrian protection barriers were installed at the underpass on the south end of Parkside.

The right-turn channel at the NE corner of Parkside Drive and Howard Park was eliminated to improve pedestrian crossing.

The rush hour evening parking prohibition on the east side of Parkside Drive was removed. By making on street parking 24 hours created a buffer between motorists and pedestrians.

Some other elements of our plan are coming forward.

In 2022, the City will begin installation of a temporary sidewalk on the west side of the southern portion of Parkside. A permanent sidewalk will be installed as part of other capital projects in coming years.

Adjacent to Parkside Drive, the High Park Movement Strategy is underway. This strategy, which resulted from our work together, will look at how people travel to and within High Park, with an eye to promoting walking, cycling and transit and achieving safe conditions for everyone who uses the Park.  The City has just completed an online survey for this project and will be moving to full community consultation this fall.

Some parts of our plan have run into hurdles.

Our community was a leader in getting speeds reduced on local streets. Efforts to get speeds reduced on Parkside have run up against the City’s antiquated road classification system which says that “major arterial” roads cannot be reduced below 50 kph.

Our effort to get automated speed enforcement cameras on Parkside has been held up by Provincial regulations which limit speed enforcement cameras to streets around schools.

I have also been advocating to install metered parking on the west, again to act as a traffic calming measure, but have been unable to get that achieved, yet.

I wish we were further along. Yesterday two Torontonians died. Every day, people who live near Parkside have to contend with unsafe conditions. I will be continuing to work with community leaders to accelerate and expand our plan. If you are new to this conversation and would like to be a part of it, please email me and I will add you to our contact list for getting this plan implemented.



Register for the High Park Summer Hikes

Posted on August 9, 2021

Title: High Park Summer Hikes for All Ages


Event description: 

The High Park Nature Centre invites you to guided summer hikes for all ages. We

build our friendship with nature by exploring the many gifts and riches found in all four corners of High Park. Use your senses, discover different habitats and learn together with other curious folks about our nature neighbours that live and grow in High Park.


Time: Thursdays in August, 4:30-6pm


Meeting locations:

August 12: Grenadier Café

August 19: High Park Nature Centre/ Main Building

August 26: High Park Zoo Parking Lot


Cost: Adults $15 / Youth $12 / Children $10 per hike (All participants require a ticket)


For more information and to register:


Contact email and phone number:

Tel: 416-392-1748

 Summer Hikes - All Ages Poster (1)

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.

High Park Movement Strategy – Online Survey

Posted on July 7, 2021

The City of Toronto is launching a study called the High Park Movement Strategy to improve the travel network for High Park and better serve park users and the community. The goal of the study is to improve the travel network to better serve park users and the surrounding community, prioritizing safety and accessibility while preserving the park’s ecological integrity. The study will consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and other users in the park when it comes to mobility.

The study is in early stages and will be underway by the fall 2021. Over the summer, the City will be retaining a consultant team to support the study, finalizing a work plan, collecting data and conducting background analysis. The study is expected to be complete by summer 2022 with implementation of the preferred solution in 2023.

We are pleased to share with you the High Park Movement Strategy survey:

This short 10 to 15 minute survey will ask about your typical park visits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and about your experiences visiting the park over the past year. It will also ask for your feedback on the current weekend road closures and your thoughts on longer-term changes to the travel network serving High Park.  The survey will remain open throughout the summer.

The survey will be followed by a community consultation in the fall. My office will be sure to share more information on this as details are confirmed.

ActiveTO Lake Shore West Update

Posted on June 30, 2021

Today the City is announcing a schedule of full and partial closures of Lakeshore West as part of our ActiveTO program. Many of us had wanted this to happen sooner. Because we are reconstructing the intersection of King/Queen/Queensway/Roncesvalles (KQQR) there was a possibility that closing Lakeshore at the same time would create serious problems. There were three issues I was particularly concerned about. First, we needed to be sure we could maintain ambulance access to St. Joseph’s hospital. Second, I wanted to be sure that the TTC service on King, Queen, and the Queensway could still function, and third we needed to be sure we didn’t create complete gridlock for people in the area around the construction zone.

City staff have completed a study on the impacts of the construction work on these issues and have given the go ahead for the Lakeshore West ActiveTO closures. This is great news. Last year an average of 22,000 people were walking, running, and cycling each day during the Lake Shore closure West. I’m thrilled we are able to offer it again.

You can find more information about the construction work here:

You can find more information on closures of Lake Shore West during the month of July here:

Also we are working on two transformative projects in the Ward that might be of interest.

High Park Movement Strategy 

The City of Toronto is preparing to launch a study to both improve the travel network for High Park and better serve park users and the surrounding community.

As you know, we’ve opened High Park to pedestrians and cyclists. The recent road closures to motorists in High Park have provided users with additional space to physically distance. The community has responded positively to these changes. There will be a survey that will be released shortly, along with public consultations in the fall. Please stay tuned for more information.

Western Waterfront Master Plan

The Western Waterfront Master Plan (WWMP) was approved by City Council and is being used to guide future decisions related to improvements to the public realm within the Western Waterfront over the next twenty years and beyond. The Master Plan provides an overall vision for improving parkland, beaches, break walls, trails, promenades, roads, bridges, servicing and recreational facilities within the Western Waterfront. The Plan applies to the waterfront area between the Humber River and Exhibition Place and includes Sunnyside Beach and Marilyn Bell Park.

Concept plan for the Western Waterfront Master Plan:


Free drop-in outdoor programs for children and youth in Toronto

Posted on June 30, 2021

ParksPlayTO and Summer in the 6IX will return this summer to engage Toronto youth, children and their families at parks and outdoor spaces across the City for a second summer.

Beginning Monday, July 5, ParksPlayTO will offer free drop-in and activity-based, recreation programming Monday to Friday at 74 locations. ParksPlayTO 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.

Summer in the 6IX, which will also begin on Monday July 5, is a free program designed for Toronto youth, aged 13 to 24, offering opportunities to drop in, meet up with friends and participate in themed activities. Programming includes dance, fitness, and sports, as well as leadership, employment, arts and media. The program, which will be offered for nine weeks from July 5 until September 3 (Monday to Friday), is available to all Toronto youth at parks across the City.

Health guidelines for both programs were developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health and are aligned to provincial guidelines, including program capacities, physical distancing, adequate cleaning, mask wearing, signage, daily health checks and screening.

ParksPlayTO and Summer in the 6IX are free drop-in programs and registration is not required. People can head to the location where activities are scheduled to secure a spot on-site.

The City will also offer adapted and inclusive outdoor programming at 20 outdoor spaces near community centres with washroom access throughout the summer. These programs are open for children aged four to 12 and youth aged 13 to 29 who are living with a disability. Programs include an adapted walking program for children, arts, science and adapted movement in the park. Read more information about adapted and inclusive outdoor programming and register online, call 416-395-6128 or email

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

TransformTO June 2021 Update – Getting TO Net Zero Public Engagement

Posted on June 29, 2021

The City of Toronto is currently seeking input on actions under consideration for the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy, which is being developed in response to the climate emergency declaration made by Toronto City Council in October 2019. The declaration set a new community-wide target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, or sooner. The TransformTO Net Zero Strategy will be presented to Council in fall 2021.

The development of the draft net zero actions were informed by previous consultations between 2016 and 2020.  The City is now asking for input to prioritize the short-term actions that will help to meet our 2030 emissions reduction target – a key milestone on the path to net zero.

There are several ways to provide feedback:
Complete an online survey
• Host a virtual discussion in your community using the Discussion Guide and provide a summary of your group’s input
• Add or comment on ideas on the TransformTO Getting TO Net Zero Idea Board

More information and resources are available here.

The public comment period closes on July 26

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.


Supporting Local Businesses During KQQR Construction

Posted on June 17, 2021

Construction has started at the King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles Intersection, however Parkdale Village and Roncesvalles Village are open for business! Shop local and support small businesses.



January 2022