The Cressy Courier January 10 - Budget Town Hall, Opening of New CityPlace Schools, and More!

Dear friends,

It’s time to invest in the city we love and call home. It’s time to invest in the people, services, and infrastructure that will allow our city to thrive. The 2020 budget process is our chance to do just that. 

Today is the launch of that process, and it's now up to all of us – residents and elected representatives alike to work together to build a city for the future. 

We have all seen that over the last number of years, cracks have continued to grow in our city: a longer wait for affordable housing, an extra full bus or streetcar passing you by in rush hour, parks that just aren’t maintained like they used to be. It’s the cost of a low-tax city. 

For years, Torontonians have demanded better. We hosted meetings, made deputations, and wrote op-ed’s. We made the case that to build the city we want and deserve, we must pay for it. 

Finally, last month Mayor John Tory introduced a motion at City Council to increase property taxes an additional eight per cent over the next six years to fund $6.6 billion in transit and housing. 

For Torontonians who simply can’t afford longer waiting lists for childcare and affordable housing, or endless waits for the bus or subway to arrive, this was good news. For those of us who have long advocated to invest in our city again, this was a victory.

When we invest in the city, everyone wins. It means better public transit, better bike infrastructure, and better roads. It means better and more parks and community centres, active libraries and vibrant communities. And it means that the most vulnerable members of our community have access to the supports they need. 

But this is just a start, and we have a long way to go. 

As we begin the budget process, we need you to get involved and have your say about the future of our city. Please read on below for information on my upcoming joint budget town hall with Councillors Layton and Wong-Tam, as well as other ways to get involved. 

Toronto is a great city, there's no question about that.  But, in order to build a city for the future, we're going to need to invest again – in people, services, and infrastructure. Let's get it done, together. 

Sincerely,

Joe


2020 Budget Town Hall with Councillors Cressy, Layton, and Wong-Tam

Do you live in Ward 10, 11, or 13?

Join Councillors Layton, Wong-Tam, and myself for our 2020 Downtown Budget Town Hall.

When: Thursday, January 16, 6:00-8:00pm
Where: City Hall, 100 Queen St W, Committee Room 2

As we continue to work hard on critically important issues that face our downtown communities, conversations have now begun at City Hall about the future of our city through the release of the proposed 2020 Budget.

At its core, the annual Budget debate is about people. Decisions made during the budget process immediately affect how we live in our city; how we interact with our parks and greenspaces; how we get around – whether on foot, bike, transit or car, and how we support each other. In this budget, we need your help to ask critical questions – are we building a fair and supportive city?

We want to hear from you!

Click here to learn more about the 2020 budget and other ways to get involved, including making a deputation at the Budget Committee. 


New Schools in CityPlace - Now Open! 


This past Monday was a big day for our city and our downtown.  After years of work, our new CityPlace schools opened, with our new community centre to follow in the Spring. 

I was thrilled to attend the opening of the new schools, along with Mayor John Tory, Councillor Michael Thompson, TDSB Trustee Stephanie Donaldson, TCDSB Trustee Norm Di Pasquale, MPP Chris Glover, MP Adam Vaughan, and many other community members and stakeholders who have worked for so long to make this happen. 

In 2015 a TCDSB, TDSB, local community, and City team was formed. We set out to design a 21st Century school and community centre. The outcome - an integrated facility with everything from an Ontario Science Centre designed indoor playground to a rooftop basketball court.

In an increasingly vertical city, it’s an example of building neighbourhoods rather than simply building towers.

Just like we’re doing in CityPlace, as our City continues to grow we must ensure that we are building liveable neighbourhoods. That means planning for the parks, schools, childcare facilities, and community centres that make neighbourhoods thrive.

This important city-building initiative simply wouldn’t have been possible without the vision and leadership of elected representatives like Olivia Chow, Adam Vaughan, Ausma Malik, the never to be forgotten Dan Leckie, and many others.

Stay tuned for further updates on the official opening of our new community centre!


Ontario Line Information Sessions

Over the past number of months, our city’s transit planning has been plunged into chaos by the Provincial government, which announced a planned upload of the city’s subway system and a new transit expansion with the Ontario Line, instead of the Relief Line. Earlier this fall, City Council supported the plan put forward by the province and City staff to move forward with the Ontario Line instead of the Relief Line, while simultaneously cancelling plans to upload to the TTC to the province.

While some aspects of the new line remain the same as the Relief Line, there are changes and additions to the Ontario Line within our Ward 10 communities, including: changes to the previously planned Relief Line stops between the Don River and Yonge Street; the intention for underground stops at Queen and Bathurst and King and Bathurst; and above ground sections in two areas in Ward 10 (east of the Don River in Ward 14 continuing to west of the Don River, and from somewhere west of Bathurst and near Front Street to Exhibition Place/Ontario Place - the exact location is unclear and yet to be determined).

There are some positive components of the plan: new transit for our rapidly growing neighbourhoods, inter-governmental commitment of funding for relief for Line 1 (including the expansion north of the Danforth), and the cancellation of the upload. However, I remain concerned with the details and with the many unanswered questions that remain, including final routes and alignments, technology, fare integration, future operations and funding, community consultation, above-ground sections, and more. To respond to these concerns, a number of things have been added for consideration during next steps with Metrolinx, the Provincial transit agency responsible for the planning and construction of any new Ontario Line. These include: mitigating potential local impacts and reviewing potential impacts of the above-ground sections (including constructability), ensuring full and affordable fare integration between all lines and technologies - especially critical for our Liberty Village and Fort York communities, prioritizing affordable housing as part of any transit-oriented residential development, and more. Read more on my website here.

Metrolinx has announced they will be holding four information sessions on the proposed Ontario Line. If you're able, it will be critical for members of our community to attend and learn more at these meetings:

Each session will run from 6:30-8:30pm:

Thursday, January 23rd
Ontario Science Centre, Telus Room, 770 Don Mills Road

Monday, January 27th
Ryerson University, Tecumseh Auditorium, 55 Gould Street

Tuesday, January 28th
Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Social Hall, 15 Simpson Avenue

Wednesday, January 29th
Exhibition Place, Beanfield Centre, Room 201 ABC, 105 Princes’ Boulevard


Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Replacement

Enbridge Gas Inc. has retained Dillon Consulting Limited to begin an environmental study for approximately 4.5 kilometers of natural gas pipeline. The project is required to replace an existing and critically important high pressure 20-inch steel natural gas pipeline that is currently located underground along Lake Shore Boulevard from Cherry Street to Remembrance Drive in Toronto. Enbridge has identified three potential routes that would be technically feasible for the replacement pipeline. Each route option runs from Bathurst Street to Cherry Street and need to make a number of connections along the waterfront. The routes generally parallel Lake Shore Boulevard, Harbour Street, and Queens Quay, and the pipeline would be installed within the municipal road rights-of-way, where possible. As the location is congested with ongoing developments, the identification of a preferred route option will require input from multiple stakeholders, including the City of Toronto, the public, Indigenous communities, regulatory agencies, and private interest groups.

The Process

The study is being conducted in accordance with the Ontario Energy Board’s Environmental Guidelines for the Location, Construction, and Operation of Hydrocarbon Pipelines and Facilities in Ontario. The study will review the need and justification for the pipeline, describe the natural and socioeconomic environment, evaluate the potential facilities from a social and environmental perspective, outline safety measures, and describe appropriate measures for impact mitigation and monitoring.                    

Invitation to the Community

Stakeholder consultation is a key component of this study. Members of the general public, regulatory agencies, Indigenous communities and interest group representatives are invited to participate in the study. Enbridge is hosting an Open House to provide you with an opportunity to review the project and provide input. Details on the Open House are:

Location: St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre (230 The Esplanade, Toronto)
Date: Thursday, January 23, 2020 5PM - 8PM

Representatives from Enbridge and Dillon will be in attendance to discuss the project and answer questions. Your input will be used to confirm the preferred route and create mitigation plans to be implemented during construction. If you are interested in participating, or would like to provide comments, please come to the meeting or contact one of the individuals listed as soon as possible.

Kelsey Mills - Senior Environmental Analyst Enbridge Gas Inc.
Tel: (905) 927-3145 E-mail: NPS20Replacement@dillon.ca
Tristan Lefler - Environmental Assessment, Project Manager, Dillon Consulting LimitedTel: (519) 571-9833 E-mail: NPS20Replacement@dillon.ca

Click here to view the PDF notice.


Avoiding Frozen Water Pipes

You can take steps to help avoid the freezing of water pipes in your home during winter weather. Frozen pipes can leave you with no water or cause your pipes to burst, which can cause expensive damage.

Visit www.toronto.ca/frozenpipes to learn more about how to avoid frozen pipes, and for advice on what to do if your pipes freeze.


New “No Water Map” Interactive Web Page

The City has created a new interactive web page to help give you quick access to emergency and planned water service disruption information. If you’re experiencing no water services to your home or property, you can visit the web page and navigate to your area or search by address to find out the cause and estimated restoration time. 

Visit www.toronto.ca/nowater to use the No Water Map.


Not Down the Drain

Do you know what can and can’t go down your drain? Putting the wrong things in your pipes can cause basement flooding, pollute rivers and Lake Ontario, and clog municipal pipes.

To help keep pipes working well, please do not flush or put the following products down the drain:

  • Hygiene products (i.e. sanitary supplies, condoms, wipes).
  • Fats, oils and cooking grease.
  • Medication (i.e. pills or liquid).
  • Household hazardous waste (i.e. paints, pesticides, cleaning products).

For more information, please visit http://www.toronto.ca/notdownthedrain


Public Meetings

Exhibition Place Master Plan Public Meeting
Monday January 13, 6-8:30pm
Beanfield Centre at Exhibition Place, 105 Princes’ Boulevard, Room 201ABC
Elevator available at north entrance
The City of Toronto is undertaking a master plan exercise for Exhibition Place, building on the Cultural Heritage Landscape Assessment (CHLA) of the lands completed earlier this year. The Exhibition Place Master Plan will include direction on public realm enhancements, parks and open spaces, transportation upgrades, built form, heritage conservation, and connectivity to the surrounding neighbourhoods. You can find information about past work and meetings on the project website.

OCAD Creative City Campus Public Meeting
Wednesday January 15
5:30-6pm: Open House
6-7:30pm: Presentations and Q & A
3rd floor, 116 McCaul Street (Rosalie Sharp Pavilion)
This community meeting is being held to review the re-zoning application that was submitted by OCAD University to the City of Toronto for a five-story expansion at the north end of 100 McCaul Street. City staff and the university’s consultant team will present an overview of the application and will listen to questions and comments. 

Joint Budget Town Hall with Councillors Cressy, Layton, and Wong-Tam
Thursday January 16, 6:00-8:00pm
City Hall, 100 Queen St W, Committee Room 2
Do you live in Ward 10, 11, or 13? Join Councillors Cressy, Layton, Wong-Tam, and myself for their 2020 Downtown Budget Town Hall. Learn more here

York Street Park Information Session
Thursday January 16, 6-9pm
1 York Street (Lobby)
York Street Park public information centre is taking place on the evening of Thursday, January 16 between 6:00-9:00 p.m. in the lobby of 1 York Street. Project team members will be on site to discuss the plans for this new urban oasis on the waterfront. There is no formal presentation during this event; you can drop in any time between these hours to check out presentation boards and talk to the design team directly.

Development Public Meeting for 1071 King Street West
Tuesday, January 21, 6:30-8pm
1071 King St W
The application to redevelop this property was appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal in 2017. City Staff and the applicant have since been working to revise the redevelopment plan for this site. At this meeting revised plans will be presented and discussed. View the meeting notice here. 

Development Public Meeting for 145 Wellington Street West
Thursday, January 23, 6:30-8pm
City Hall, 100 Queen St W, Committee Room 4
This meeting will be held by City staff to discuss the proposed development for 145 Wellington St W, and to hear your feedback. 

Ontario Line Information Sessions Hosted by Metrolinx
Metrolinx is holding four information sessions on the proposed Ontario Line. 
Each will run from 6:30-8:30pm:

Thursday, January 23rd
Ontario Science Centre, Telus Room, 770 Don Mills Road

Monday, January 27th
Ryerson University, Tecumseh Auditorium, 55 Gould Street

Tuesday, January 28th
Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Social Hall, 15 Simpson Avenue

Wednesday, January 29th
Exhibition Place, Beanfield Centre, Room 201 ABC, 105 Princes’ Boulevard


Development Public Meeting for 462 Wellington Street West
Thursday, February 6
6:30-7pm (Open House)
7-8pm (Presentation/Q & A)
City Hall, 100 Queen St W, Committee Room 2
The Toronto City Planning Division is hosting a meeting to discuss a proposed 17-storey (63.0 metres) mixed-use building with retail, office and retirement residential uses, including independent, assisted living and memory care units. The proposed development would conserve the existing heritage building on the site. View the meeting notice here.


Community Events & Updates

LOOP
January 15 - February 9, 2020 9AM-10PM
York Street Park (corner of York Street & Queens Quay)
A popular winter festival by the waterfront, presented by Winter Stations, LOOP is a much-needed splash of colour and fun. LOOP is a public art exhibit that’s free, family friendly and interactive to enjoy the outdoors. This year’s installation is a retro-futuristic playground, that’s a cross between a music box, zoetrope, and a railway handcar. Visitors can hop two at a time into one of the six illuminated cylinders and pump a lever to activate the music and lit up animated fairy tales.

DJ Skate Nights
Saturdays, December 14 2019 - February 15, 2019, Time
Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West)
Sharpen your skates and skills as Toronto’s number one outdoor winter party returns with another stellar lineup of DJs that will bring the heat to your Saturday nights. And join us for a special New Year’s Eve edition as we countdown to 2020. The rumours are true: DJ Skate Nights is the best party in town and a surefire cure for the winter blues!


Get in Touch with Trustee Stephanie Donaldson

Municipal Ward 10 (Spadina-Fort York) is part of TDSB Ward 9, Davenport and Spadina-Fort York. Stephanie Donaldson is the School Board Trustee for TDSB Ward 9. Stay up to date and get in touch with her here.


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