Close Avenue Parkette – Playground Final Design

Posted on December 8, 2020

On November 5th, Councillor Perks and Park Staff held a virtual meeting to discuss proposed designs for a new playground at Close Avenue Parkette (King St W. and Close Ave). Staff shared different design options and gathered community feedback to finalize a design.

 

The following attachment is the final design for Close Ave Parkette. If you have any questions or comments, please send us an email at councillor_perks@toronto.ca

Close Ave Parkette-Preferred Concept Plan

A Message from Gord – November 19, 2020

Posted on November 19, 2020

On Monday, at the Board of Health we discussed the resurgence of COVID-19. While we have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our most vulnerable, cases are increasing.

We voted on several motions to prepare our City with the tools needed to fight through this together.

We called on our federal and provincial governments to provide increased resources and supports for COVID testing, self-isolation facilities and health and social services. We have also urged them to prioritize highly impacted and disadvantaged communities as well as patient care staff when the vaccine becomes available.

I am also deeply concerned with the way the Province has been making decisions in secret and have called upon them to immediately implement a fully transparent process of receiving public health advice as well as making public the advice provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Ontario Cabinet.

Details on this item are available on our website – http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.HL23.1

Please continue reaching out to my office at councillor_perks@toronto.ca to share your thoughts on how to build better, together.

Thanks,

Gord

A Message from Gord – November 13, 2020

Posted on November 13, 2020

The housing crisis in Toronto has many dimensions. After years of pushing I have manage to get the City to take an important step forward on a key piece of the puzzle. Next week the Planning and Housing Committee will consider a proposal to make it legal to run a licensed rooming house in all parts of the City. The proposal also seeks to update and improve the current licensing system for existing rooming houses. The proposal will go out for a community conversation.

You can read the details here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.PH18.2 .

Please take a moment and send me any thoughts about how we can improve and how we manage this critical form of affordable housing.

My office can be is available for any Ward 4 or City-related matter at councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Thanks,

Gord

A Message from Gord – November 5, 2020

Posted on November 5, 2020

It’s time for the all of us to starting thinking and organizing about the kind of City we want. On Friday, the City starts work on setting the budget for next year. It will be a budget unlike any that we have ever done before. Because of the pandemic the City’s revenues are way down at exactly the moment when we need to invest more.

The first step in City budgeting is to look at our “rate supported” budgets. These are budgets for our water system, garbage and recycling, and the Toronto Parking Authority. They are done separately because we fund them without using property taxes. The drafts for these will be out Friday and I will keep you informed on them as we go.

The main budget will be discussed in January and February. As I said this will be the place where we make the big decisions about the kind of City we will be post pandemic. I will be hosting a virtual town hall on the in the coming weeks. Hope to see you there.

My office can be contacted for any Ward 4 or City-related matter at councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Gord

A Message from Gord – October 29, 2020

Posted on October 29, 2020

As we head into a hard fall and winter because of the pandemic, I wanted to share a couple of quick thoughts on some opportunities that lie ahead of us to fix some of the deep problems the pandemic has revealed.

You have probably heard the phrase build back better. To me it means that we are in a moment of enormous change, and if we are honest with ourselves and find enough courage we can make changes that make our society more inclusive, and do a better job of sharing the wealth and opportunity that many of us benefit from, but many of us are excluded from.

At Council this month we considered a report on how to recover from the pandemic. I felt it contained two serious flaws.

First, the report acknowledged that the pandemic disproportionately effected Black and Indigenous Torontonians, people with low incomes, and women. It also said that building back better meant improving the public services that address these inequities. However, that was listed along with dozens of other tasks and no priority was given to achieving a more equitable society.

Second, Council decided to give authority to the Mayor and the public service to conduct closed door negotiations with other governments on which services should be funded by whom and to what extent they should be funded going forward. Making change on this scale behind closed doors is exactly the wrong approach to addressing the needs of people who are excluded and marginalized.

In Parkdale High Park we work differently. I was able to get Council to adopt a few reports that highlight that difference. In one we approved a review of a local program which helped the Parkdale Landtrust to buy a roominghouse from a private owner. We thus ensured that the tenants did not lose their homes, and that management of the homes would be put in local hands. The report found the program to be such a success that it gave direction to the staff to take a similar approach across the City.

In the other report we agreed to an arrangement to build housing near the University Health Network long term care facility in south Parkdale. The housing will be for people who are chronically in and out of hospital. The goal is to have a full system of supports to deeply improve health. Importantly, tenants who live on the site will both be given a central voice in designing the project and how their own landlord/tenant relationship will be structured.

There are many other examples I could give of the work we do in Parkdale High Park on neighbourhood building, the environment, community services, etc.. The point isn’t to make a list. The point is that we all need to keep in mind, that the pandemic will change things. If we insist on change for the better, and change that includes everyone’s voice will can do great things.
My office can always be reached at councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

 

Sincerely,

Gord

A Message from Gord – October 22, 2020

Posted on October 22, 2020

The City of Toronto is developing an inclusionary zoning policy that would require new residential developments to include affordable housing units, creating mixed-income housing. Our city is growing and we want to make sure new housing is affordable for those who call Toronto home. Inclusionary zoning is one solution among a range of City initiatives to help address Toronto’s housing needs.

To be part of the consultations, attend one of the three upcoming meetings. You will have the opportunity to learn more about the City’s draft inclusionary zoning policies, find out about the City’s proposed changes to the Official Plan definition of affordable rental housing and provide your feedback.

Learn more and sign up for the consultations here.

The October Council meeting will be taking place on October 27 & 28. The agenda is available online. You can also watch Council live on the City’s youtube channel.

Please continue visiting Toronto.ca/Covid-19 for Public Health advice on how to reduce the spread of covid-19, details on the City’s Recovery and Rebuild Plan, as well as details on supports available for individuals & businesses. Updates on City services will also be available via this portal.

My office can always be reached at councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Sincerely,

Gord

A Message from Gord – October 15, 2020

Posted on October 15, 2020

October 10 was World Mental Health Day. As we continue to physically distance and have in-person minimal contact with our family and friends, many of us may be experiencing isolation. Along with stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19 pandemic, this can be a particularly difficult time. At this time I would like to inform you once again that the City has partnered with key mental health service providers to provide free mental health support. Residents can simply call 211 to get connected to mental health service partners for direct phone support. More information on this is available at www.211toronto.ca .

Based on the recommendation from the Toronto Medical Officer of Health, the City is making changes to recreation programs in its recreation facilities. Programs deemed high risk for COVID-19 transmission are suspended, however, there will be programs that will continue with capacity restrictions and additional health measures. Please see this media release for details on the changes.

For the most up-to-date information on the City’s response to COVID-19, please visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ .

For any Ward 4 or City-related matter, my office is available at councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Sincerely,
Gord

Update on 1978-2002 Lakeshore Blvd development application

Posted on October 14, 2020

Three years ago a development Company named Marlin Springs applied to build two towers and a podium building at 1978 – 2002 Lakeshore Blvd W. (at Windermere). After a preliminary Report from the City and some community consultation, the application went dormant. You can see that report here: 2018 preliminary report

Recently, Marlin Springs has approached the Planning Department to restart the application. The City has posted all the documentation for the application here, by searching 1978-2002 Lakeshore Blvd Application

While their have been some important changes, this application still needs a lot of work. Many of the issues identified in the Preliminary Report still need to be addressed. I have made it clear to City staff that the community needs to be a big part of that work.

One point I want to clear up. There seems to be a misunderstanding about the height of the proposal. I’ve heard a suggestion that the towers are proposed to be 21 storeys on top of a seven storey podium. To be clear, the proposal is a TOTAL height of 21 storeys (65 metres) including both the podium and the towers.

I would like very much to hear any thoughts or questions you have. Because of some of the complications of having thorough consultation during the pandemic, I can’t quite say today how it will work. When we do have a plan I will be in touch.

Be well,

Gord

A Message from Gord – October 8, 2020

Posted on October 8, 2020

On October 2nd, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa wrote to the Province of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, with strong recommendations to significantly reduce the further spread of COVID-19 in Toronto. Dr. de Villa made recommendations for large venues, restaurants and bars, recreation and sports and for the general public as well.

Toronto Public Health data shows that testing and contact-tracing efforts in the Province of Ontario is not where it needs to be. More than half of the people getting tested don’t see their results for two days or more. Further, many that are testing positive are not being reached by contract tracer within 24 hours. Therefore at this time, the best way to proceed is by exercising caution and by limiting our social gathering.

As we pass through this critical juncture in our fight against COVID-19, this thanksgiving, I urge you to celebrate with the people you live with and meet other family and friends virtually.

For the most updated information, continue monitoring toronto.ca/covid-19 .

My office is remains available for any Ward 4 & City-related matters.

Sincerely,
Gord

A Message from Gord – October 1, 2020

Posted on October 1, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, City Council voted unanimously in favour of stronger measures to protect residents from COVID-19 and slow the ongoing resurgence of the virus in the community. The measures adopted were recommended by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and are supported by data collected by Toronto Public Health.

Starting October 8, several new temporary bylaw amendments will come into force. To prevent COVID-19 activity and outbreaks in establishments serving food and drinks, these businesses will be required to:
• Limit the total number of patrons permitted to be inside at any one time to 75 (down from 100)
• Maintain a customer log for each patron, not just one person from the party
• Limit the maximum number of people able to sit at each table, both inside and outside, to six people (down from 10)
• Keep background music and any other background sounds, such as from televisions or other electronic sound producing devices, no louder than the volume of normal conversation (with the exception of live performances carried out in accordance with the provincial Stage 3 regulation).

At times like this, I think it unconscionable to unhouse people. Therefore, at this month’s City Council meeting, I proposed that Council call on the Province to reinstate the moratorium on residential evictions. The motion passed 22-1. My comments on the motion is available here .

Effective October 5, the City of Toronto’s Long-Term Care Homes (LTC) will be restricting entrance to staff members, essential visitors and essential caregivers. This is the result of recent measures announced by the Provincial government to ensure that all long-term care homes in areas of highest community spread are able to continue to keep residents safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For the most updated information on continue monitoring toronto.ca/covid-19 and as always, my office is available for any Ward 4 & City-related matters.

Sincerely,
Gord

January 2021
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