Posted on September 17, 2020

This campaign is intended to highlight the diversity of storefronts and businesses located on Bloor St and show cyclists where they can now bike and shop. With #BikeTOBloor, residents are encouraged to:

  1. Ride a bike to a store,
  2. Take a photo of your purchase, the shop, or the new bike lanes,
  3. Post your photo on social media and tag #BikeTOBloor

The campaign will run throughout the month of September and the four organizing partners will be re-sharing and highlighting photos of merchants and retailers on social media.

Virtual Community Consultation on the Rezoning Application: 1540-1550 Bloor Street West (N/W corner of Bloor and Dundas Street West)

Posted on August 27, 2020

City Planning is holding a Virtual Community Consultation Meeting on the Zoning Amendment and Rental Housing Demolition Applications for 1540-1550 Bloor Street West. It will be an opportunity to learn more about this application, ask questions and share your comments.
The application proposes to amend the Zoning By-law to allow a 25-storey (80.6 metres high, excluding mechanical penthouse), mixed-use building with commercial uses on the ground floor and residential uses above with 327 dwelling units of which, 12 would be affordable rental replacement units, 25,638 square metres of residential gross floor area and 807 square metres of commercial gross floor area.  The proposed total gross floor area of 26,445 square metres would result in a density of 10.72 times the area of the lot.  In addition, an application for Rental Housing Demolition and Conversion has been submitted concurrently.

Note: the applicant has appealed the zoning amendment application to Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal  (LPAT). City Planning staff will submit a Request for Directions Report with  recommendations to Toronto East York Community Council (TEYCC) on October 15th. Your feedback will help inform the City’s evaluation of the proposed development.

The Virtual Community Consultation meeting will take place on Monday, September 14th, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and will be online and phone-in only.

How to participate:

A link will be provided on line at http://www.toronto.ca/cpconsultations before 6 PM to be used for joining the meeting either by phone or online.

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 Diane Silver,  Community Planner, Diane.Silver@toronto.ca and/or Councillor Perks’ Office, councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

1540 Bloor St. W. - Community Notice

Virtual Community Consultation on the 1521 Queen St West Rezoning Application

Posted on August 27, 2020

City Planning is holding a Virtual Community Consultation Meeting on the 1521 Queen Street West Re-Zoning Application. 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 application proposes to amend the Zoning By-law to allow a new 8-storey mixed-use building with commercial/retail uses on the ground floor and 78 dwelling units on the upper floors.

You can view a copy of the Preliminary Report providing background information at: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-146570.pdf

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 9th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and will be online and phone-in only.

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 as of 5:45 PM 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 Patrick Miller, City Planner, patrick.miller@toronto.ca and Councillor Perks’ Office, councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

1521 Queen Street West - Community Consultation - Notice (002)


Posted on July 23, 2020

*Shared at the request of the Junction BIA*

TORONTO, ON July 20, 2020 – Patio season is in full swing in the Junction! Many of our beloved local restaurants and bars have opened up shop and are now offering outdoor dining service courtesy of the City’s CaféTO program.

Extending along Dundas Street West from Indian Grove to Quebec Avenue, the Junction is transforming into the go-to hotspot for an amazing summer patio experience. The CaféTO program aims to make it easier for restaurants to safely operate by expanding their patios to allow for social distancing. Tables are spaced six feet apart, and proper sanitation laws will be in place. 

Our streetside resto-bars will provide over 10,000 SF of new patio space across the Junction for our patrons to enjoy from now until the program is set to end on November 15 (weather permitting).

Want a taste of the Junction? Try out the famous selection of local craft beers at Indie Alehouse – or perhaps swing over to Hush Hush for some dreamy gelato and a refreshing cocktail. Feeling especially hungry? Check out the delicious Italian cuisine at Deco. Our restaurants have been working hard to create a memorable experience for their patrons. Famous for our burgeoning culinary and bar scene, the Junction regularly draws visitors from all over the city – and our newly implemented patios are the perfect way to safely satisfy your inner-foodie.

Following several challenging months for small businesses, especially restaurants, The Junction BIA is proud to show off our vibrant neighbourhood. Our local shops and food establishments are excited to welcome residents and visitors alike. Lining the streets are blocks of patios that will bring back the bustling community that makes our area so special. Each distinctive patio boasts something unique – a personal representation of each business.

Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Junction BIA says, “We are dedicated to supporting the goals and success of our local businesses. The Junction prides itself on being a community that fosters creativity and ingenuity and the CaféTO program provides exactly that for our restaurants and bars.”

Join us in the Junction, Toronto’s favourite meeting place since 1884.

Community centres and indoor pools to open next week

Posted on July 15, 2020

City of Toronto community centres and indoor pools to open next week

Today the city announced that community centres, recreation centres and indoor pools will be reopening on Monday, July 20. The community centres, recreation centres and indoor pools were closed in March to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As Toronto remains in Stage 2 of the Province’s reopening plan, a total of 119 community and recreation centres, including 29 locations with indoor pools will reopen to the public for limited use on July 20. Indoor pools will reopen for drop-in lane and leisure swimming.

People will be able to visit community recreation centres and make use of lounges, meeting and multi-purpose rooms, computer labs and washrooms. Opening these locations will provide more recreation opportunities and help increase Torontonians’ options for relief from the summer heat and prevent heat-related illnesses.

When the centres open, the following amenities will not be available:

  • gymnasiums
  • fitness or active areas (including walking tracks)
  • kitchens and studios
  • saunas and whirlpools

At this time, the City’s community centres cannot offer or facilitate indoor sports, fitness and wellness activities, singing and dancing programs as well as food preparation, distribution or dining activities where equipment or supplies are passed or shared amongst participants. This includes activities like card games, chess or dominoes. The City anticipates that some of these amenities and activities will resume when Toronto reaches Stage 3 of reopening.

Visitors to the City’s community centres should expect changes similar to those that they have experienced at other City amenities and indoor public spaces. Visitors will be screened upon entry and will be asked for contact information for contact tracing, should it be required.

These locations will also feature line management and barriers at service counters. People must wear a mask or cloth face-covering (except when swimming) when visiting a community recreation centre. Visitor capacity will be limited, and a maximum of ten people will be permitted in any community room. Capacity at indoor pools will also be reduced to 25 per cent, similar to outdoor pools, to ensure space for physical distancing. To give as many swimmers as possible the opportunity to cool off, swimmers will be limited to 45-minute sessions followed by enhanced cleaning.

Community centres that offer CampTO will have limitations and restrictions on access and use during camp hours, including drop-off and pick-up periods, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Signage and wayfinding are being installed to reinforce physical distancing and admission rules and regular cleaning of common facilities such as washrooms and water fountains will take place.

The City of Toronto continues to safely and gradually reopen amenities for people to enjoy this summer as Toronto moves towards Stage 3 of reopening. Residents visiting community recreation centres should continue to follow Toronto Public Health’s advice to stay home when they are ill, wash hands often, practise physical distancing and wear a face covering or mask in all indoor public spaces.

City’s Update on Farmer’s Markets

Posted on June 13, 2020

City of Toronto is working with market organizers to safely reopen farmers’ markets usually located on 22 City sites.

Farmers’ markets are valued members of the food supply chain and provide Torontonians with access to fresh fruits and vegetables, encourage residents to get outside and be physically active, and support the local agriculture sector.

The decision to reopen City-permitted farmers’ markets has been made in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Toronto Public Health has developed a guidance document PDF to help organizers, staff and vendors reduce the spread of COVID-19. It provides recommendations on public health measures such as crowd control, physical distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection.

The City usually hosts 22 farmers’ markets on the following directly operated City sites:

  • Civic Squares: Albert Campbell Square, David Pecaut Square, East York Civic Centre, Etobicoke Civic Centre, Mel Lastman Square and Nathan Phillips Square
  • Parks: Dufferin Grove Park, East Lynn Park, Flemingdon Park, Humber Bay Park West, Jonathan Ashbridge Park, June Rowlands Park, Lakeshore Village Park, Masaryk Park, Riverdale Park West, R.V. Burgess Park, Sorauren Avenue Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Underpass Park, Withrow Park, Wychwood Barns
  • Toronto Museums and Historic Sites: Montgomery Inn

The City is working with market organizers to determine the potential reopening of these markets this season in compliance with provincial rules and public health guidelines.

The City-operated Saturday Farmers’ Market at the St. Lawrence Market will open its seasonal outdoor market areas tomorrow for the 2020 growing season, until approximately November 14.

St. Lawrence Market has worked with the City’s CurbTO program to relocate the outdoor area onto Market Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street to allow for physical distancing. Lineup areas for the indoor and outdoor farmers’ market will start on Market Street and both areas will operate every Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Customers are strongly encouraged to wear a non-medical mask or face covering while shopping at the market.

The St. Lawrence Market Complex has continuously operated indoor market areas during the COVID-19 health emergency under the guidance of Toronto Public Health and the Province of Ontario’s essential workplaces.

Additional market opening dates will be determined by the capacity of organizers to comply with Toronto Public Health guidelines and the required divisional permitting process. Permitting divisions will make every effort to prioritize areas of the city that face food insecurity.

Organizers are encouraged to contact their relevant City permitting bodies. Based on individual market site restrictions, City permitting divisions may have additional recommendations and heightened requirements where appropriate.

A helpful list of some farmers’ markets located in the Greater Toronto Area is available at greenbeltfresh.ca Opens in new window. Members of the public should check with individual markets for opening dates and protocols.

Message from Gord – June 11, 2020

Posted on June 11, 2020

Over the past few weeks we have seen a growing movement around the world to combat anti-Black racism. Here in ward 4 I have been touched by the steps our community has taken during these difficult times.  From marches, to education projects, to the tens of thousands of emails I received, our community is showing its ability to push for systemic change.

Let me be clear, anti-Black racism is real and pervasive in our City. As a society we must do, and demand, better. To start, I will be supporting a motion moving 10% of the police budget to investment to enhance resiliency in marginalized communities. For my full statement on this motion, please visit my website.  While this is a move in the right direction, it is only the first step we as a City need to take.

Board of Health

On Monday, June 8, we held our second virtual Board of Health Meeting. I wanted to highlight some important steps we took as a Board.

As part of the recommendations in the Toronto Overdose Action Plan, we voted to urge the federal Minister of Health to grant an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to permit the possession of all drugs for personal use, at least for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to immediately scale up prevention, harm reduction, and treatment services. We know that the impact of the toxic drug supply is worsened for people who use drugs by the impacts of the community spread of COVID-19. Suspected opioid overdose calls to the Toronto Paramedics Service have been higher in February, March and April 2020. With April 2020 marking the highest number of suspected opioid overdose-related deaths in a month since September 2017.

The recommendations in the Overdose Action Plan are critical in saving lives and leading us forward in our work addressing the ongoing opioid poisoning crisis. It is time to be having a conversation about decriminalization and how the use of drugs can be handled by the health system rather than the justice system.

I am also pleased to share we voted to declare anti-Black racism a public health crisis and requested the Medical Officer of Health make recommendations to the Board of Health on reprioritizing City of Toronto resources to address the social determinants of health, including specifically a focus on anti-Black racism through the 2021 Budget process and COVID-19 recovery planning. Steps like this must be taken through all divisions and levels of government to help remove systemic issues that affect the inequalities built into our government.

Spring/Summer Newsletter

Prior to the City’s state of emergency declaration, my team and I were busy working on our spring newsletter to update you on what is happening in Ward 4. Since then we have seen dramatic changes throughout the City, as both city staff and our community have had to face the new realities of living in the COVID-19 era. While information is changing fast, I think it is important you are kept informed on topics that are relevant to you.

Throughout the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing an updated version of our spring newsletter, starting this week with Our Parks & Community Centres.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out, as my team and I would be happy to assist you as we move through this challenging time together.



Message from Gord – June 4, 2020

Posted on June 4, 2020

On Tuesday I had my first virtual town hall. Thank you to everyone that tuned in and asked some important questions on how we recover together. I look forward to having more discussions in the near future and to hear your questions and concerns.

My office has also received your emails, calls and messages regarding the tragic death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, the conduct of the police and our police budget. Thank you for your advocacy on this. Please see my website for more detailed comments. We must continue to do, and demand, better.

For those that have been waiting for this service, I am happy to share that residents can start scheduling curbside pick-up of their reserved materials from Toronto Public Libraries starting June 8. Currently 70 branches across the City are also accepting return of materials through drop boxes. More details on the curbside services can be found online.

The City of Toronto will begin to open some of its approximately 200 parks washrooms this week across the city following the Province of Ontario’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The reopening will occur in two phases. The first phase will have roughly 50 washroom sites opening by June 6, followed by the remaining locations by mid-June.
In High Park, the Chess House & washroom (building #39) will be open. A list of locations washrooms and sanitation services are available on the City’s services webpage. Please read the guidelines on safely using public washrooms.
Due to COVID19 we will not be operating seasonal service on the 30 High Park route into High Park this year.

The City also announced a new quick-start program, CaféTO, that will make it easier for restaurant and bar owners to open patios, to expand them, and to access additional space for physical distancing and for that matter revenue generation during the summer months ahead. More information on this program will be available next week on toronto.ca/cafeto.

If you have any questions on any Ward 4 or City-related matters, please contact my office at councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

For the most updated information from the City, please visit toronto.ca/covid-19 .



Join Progress Toronto in calling for a New Deal for Toronto

Posted on June 4, 2020

Progress Toronto has put together a petition urging the Federal and Provincial governments to provide immediate financial relief to cities and commit to a new deal, a new relationship, with our city to help us build a Toronto that works for everyone. https://www.progresstoronto.ca/petition-toronto-in-crisis

Just as so many Torontonians are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table, COVID-19 emergency spending alongside decades of under-funding has pushed City Hall to a financial breaking point and Mayor Tory is ringing the alarm.

If this isn’t solved quickly, the Mayor says he will have to make massive cuts and stop vital services. That means we will be facing increased fares, fees, and devastating losses to services like housing, transit, fire, community centres, libraries, and child care, right when we need these services most and possibly for the long term. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Take action and make your voice heard by signing this petition.

Message from Gord – May 28, 2020

Posted on May 28, 2020

Today, we held our second virtual City Council meeting where we voted to approve the installation of approximately 25 kilometres of new bikeways, along with the final approval and acceleration of 15-kilometres of cycling routes previously planned for this year, for a total of approximately 40 kilometres of on-street cycling lanes approved for accelerated installation in 2020.

Part of the approved project is the Bloor West Bikeway Extension which will extend the existing Bloor bike lanes westward from Shaw Street to Runnymede Road. This bike lane will also connect to the West End Rail Path and High Park. It is a great achievement for our City. Thank you to all the community members and advocates for your hard work in making this happen.

Starting Monday, June 1, drop boxes at all accessible Toronto Library branches will open to accept returns. Library members can continue to place holds online, through the TPL website at www.torontopubliclibrary.ca, and will then be able to pick up their materials through a curbside pick-up service which will be available in early June.

The reopening framework provided by the Province of Ontario and the advice of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Toronto Medical Officer of Health, will be incorporated to ensure best practices within libraries as well as for the safe delivery of curbside service. The suspension of fines implemented when the pandemic began will continue until regular service resumes.

While the City works to ensure services and businesses are safely reopened, the transition has not and will not be easy. At this time, I urge you to continue following Public Health advice and practice physical distancing whenever possible to do so and wear a mask when unable to practice physical distancing.

For the most updated information from the City, visit www.toronto.ca/covid-19  .



September 2020