The Cressy Courier August 8 - Addressing gun violence in our city, updates on parks and community centres, and much more

Dear friends,

With the summer well underway, many of our projects to build new community centres, schools, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, parks and greenspaces are coming to life. 

Please continue reading for updates on our work to ensure all of our neighbourhoods have the necessary facilities and services to create a more equitable and liveable city for all. 

As always, feel free to contact my office at any time with questions or concerns, and please let us know if you have a community event to share. 

Take care,

Joe


Addressing Gun Violence in Our City

Like so many, I am reeling after a weekend of gun violence in our city. So many of our communities are impacted by the events that took place this past long weekend.

In response to the shooting incidents that took place in Liberty Village, please read my letter to our community. I am in regular contact with Toronto Police, who continue to actively investigate the incidents. The City has initiated the Crisis Response Program to provide support in the community - please contact my office to be connected with them.

As we work to protect and comfort neighbours in the immediate aftermath of violence, our work to build stronger neighbourhoods long term must remain our focus. Youth employment, strong mentorship, social development plans - all are part of building strong and safe neighbourhoods. 

There is no single solution to addressing gun violence. We need to invest in communities. We need community-based enforcement. And, we need rigorous gun control. Handguns present an unacceptable risk to our communities. It's time to ban them.

We stand together to support each other, and we will continue our work to build a city where everyone is safe.


Heat Relief Network - Letter to City Staff 

As we continue to work to address extreme heat, we must ensure our expanded heat relief network is working for everyone. I've written to senior City staff to ensure our system is effectively serving those experiencing homelessness, as some of our communities' most vulnerable members.

Click here to read the letter.


Ensuring the Inclusion of Affordable Housing at 200 Queens Quay West


Public lands are among the most important assets controlled by government. Whether federal, provincial, or municipal, all governments need to have the goal of building healthy, inclusive, and affordable communities. No level of government should be selling off publicly owned land for residential housing without the inclusion of affordable housing. At our July meeting of City Council, after learning that the Canada Lands Company was seeking to sell 200 Queens Quay West for condominiums, I moved a motion at City Council asking the Federal Government to intervene, to ensure affordable housing was a critical part of the project. 

Last week, changes to the criteria for the sale of 200 Queens Quay West to include affordable housing were announced. I want to thank the Canada Lands Company for adjusting the criteria to ensure that any redevelopment proposal includes affordable housing. I look forward to receiving further information, and to working together with the future property owner in the coming weeks and months to build a healthy and affordable community on the site.

As we continue to experience a crisis in housing affordability in our city, it is imperative that affordable housing be prioritized whenever there will be residential development of public lands.


Queen & Soho Safe Cycling Crossing - Complete!

 

After years of work, our safe cycling crossing at Queen and Soho is finally complete! 

As part of the adjacent development - that has seen the former Green P parking lot transformed into the new site of Mountain Equipment co-op, a brand new childcare facility and underground parking - this designated cyclist waiting area creates a safe, two-stage crossing that connects the Beverley/St. George and Phoebe Street lanes and sharrows on Soho, with the separated bike lanes on Peter Street. We have also installed a new bike box for northbound cyclists travelling on Peter Street, and are continuing to review additional improvements necessary for the northbound crossing.


Revitalizing St. Andrew’s Playground

Expanding our existing green spaces downtown is critical, which is why I am thrilled that we are moving ahead with work on the St. Andrew’s Playground revitalization and expansion. 

Currently undergoing an Environmental Assessment, the parking lot on the west of the playground will become part of the park and a new dogs-off-leash area will be constructed in the new portion of the park in 2021. Public consultation and design work will happen this fall, with construction to begin next year. Stay tuned for more details!


The John Street Cultural Corridor


Phase 1 of construction on the John Street Cultural Corridor is now underway! A pedestrian-focused design, the project includes the elimination of 2 lanes of traffic, narrower lanes, greatly expanded sidewalks and the removal of curbs, so there is no barrier between the road and pedestrian realm. These key design components, in addition to upgraded lighting provided by the local Business Improvement Area, new event spaces at intersections, and landscaping and pavement treatments, come together to create a slower, safer space for everyone. 

Construction is currently underway to relocate underground utilities including Toronto Hydro, making way for the surface improvements along the length of the cultural corridor to follow. 


New Community Centre in the Lower Yonge Neighbourhood - Update

As we continue to grow in the downtown, we must ensure we are building the necessary social infrastructure to make new communities liveable. Together, we're building new community facilities in Liberty Village, King-Spadina, CityPlace, and many more. We are also working hard to ensure that as brand new communities are built, that the needed community facilities are planned right along with them.

A great example is our brand new community centre coming to the Lower Yonge neighbourhood. Construction is underway on the new Lower Yonge Community Centre, a community facility to be located between Yonge, Lower Jarvis, Lake Shore Blvd and Queens Quay. The 51,000 sq.ft. space will include a 25 metre lane pool, double gymnasium, and community meeting space. The community centre is scheduled to open in 2022. 


Long-Term Flood Mitigation on Toronto Islands


In the era of a growing climate emergency, an annual sandbagging effort cannot be the long-term solution to addressing flooding on our Toronto Islands. Last week we convened a meeting of City of Toronto Staff, Island residents, Island businesses, the Waterfront BIA, and the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to review proposals for long-term flooding adaptation on the Toronto Islands. 

This past June, the City of Toronto and the TRCA finalized a report commissioned last year, on long-term mitigation and adaptation measures to address flooding on the Islands. As part of the study, the TRCA prepared reports reviewing conditions that led to 2017 high water levels, and evaluation of structural options to adapt for the future. These reports will help facilitate an understanding of the community and infrastructure vulnerabilities, and outline several flood mitigation and adaptation options. 

Now, the study and the TRCA recommendations will be presented to the City's Infrastructure and Environment Committee this fall

In the meantime, the Islands remain open and accessible for visitors this season. Take some time to visit this jewel in our city today!

For more information on our work to protect all our communities from flooding caused by climate change, click here


Canoe Landing - New Community Centre, Childcare Facility, and Schools

 

Last week I had the pleasure of touring our new Canoe Landing Community Centre, Childcare facility, and 2 new schools coming to CityPlace in 2019. The design and programming is going to set a new bar for how to build community facilities in a vertical neighbourhood.

The community centre has been designed for kids and adults who live in towers. It includes an Ontario Science Centre designed indoor playground, irrigated rooftop gardens, a community kitchen, farmers market space that opens onto the park, gyms, running tracks, and more.

The signature element of the Canoe Landing Community Centre will undoubtedly be the rooftop basketball court. With views of the CN Tower, Lake Ontario, and the ever growing skyline of our booming city, this court will be the place to be.

The community recreation centre is hosting a series of programs and events in Canoe Landing Park in advance of the opening of the building. Classes are open to everyone, and are free of charge! The first series is Yoga in the Park on Wednesdays evenings until the end of September. A cardio/zumba program is also being organized. Full event listings are on the Facebook page, and will be updated as more events are confirmed: https://www.facebook.com/CanoeLandingTO/


King-Liberty Pedestrian Cycle Bridge Update

 

Construction of the King-Liberty bridge is well underway. It will provide a much-needed accessible connection for pedestrians and cyclists over the rail corridor between Western Battery Road and King Street West/Douro Street.

The steel bridge structure is currently being fabricated and painted at the contractor’s facility near Kitchener and is planned to be hoisted into place and installed over the weekend of September 14, 2019. Unfortunately, this is later than originally planned in order to minimize disruption in the community. Once the steel structure has been hoisted into place, the bridge’s concrete deck, glass, security systems, elevators, and electrical connections will be installed.

Although the full opening of the bridge is anticipated for spring of 2020, the City is working with its contractors to identify opportunities for an earlier partial opening for the community.


Urgent TTC Track Work - King & Shaw 

On Saturday, August 10, TTC track crews will begin urgent and essential work to repair sections of broken rail and concrete on King Street West at Shaw Street, Walnut Avenue and Stanley Terrace. Streetcars are currently operating at a reduced speed through the King and Shaw intersection for safety until the repairs are completed.

All work activities will be contained within the track area and will include minor breaking and removal of concrete to expose the rail, replacing existing rail with new rail, and placement of new concrete.

Note: Based on the location of the work areas, King streetcars and Ossington buses will be diverted for the weekend.

Please click here to view the flyer with full details. 


City of Toronto - Recreation jobs

Applications are currently being accepted for recreation jobs for the Fall 2019 and Winter/Spring 2020 seasons. Vacancies will also be posted throughout the year whenever positions need to be filled. Visit the City’s recruitment webpage to learn more or attend the upcoming Job Fair at Metro Hall (55 John St) on August 9, from 5 to 8 p.m.


Fife and Drum - new issue


The Fife and Drum is the newsletter of the Friends of Fort York and Garrison Common. To read the latest issue for July 2019, please visit https://www.fortyork.ca/resources/newsletter-archive.html

Contents include a love story based at Toronto’s first scientific observatory by the banks of Taddle Creek (above), a look at the city south of College St in 1859, the work of Toronto’s finest portrait artist in Victorian times, and where to find some heritage ice cream!


Summer Food Safety Tips from Toronto Public Health

Grilling outdoors is a good way to keep your home cooler during the hot weather and a great way to enjoy the summer. Toronto Public Health wants to ensure that residents take the proper precautions to create safe and healthy meals and prevent foodborne illness during warmer temperatures ahead of the long weekend.

Food served in any setting, including at home or outdoors, can become contaminated or unsafe to eat. Click here for the full list of tips from Toronto Public Health. 


Tips for Enjoying Outdoor Time with your Dog this Summer

Summer break is here, which means more people are out exploring, along with the city's four-legged friends. Toronto Animal Services has prepared resources, including summer care tips, to help keep your dog and your neighbours safe, happy, and healthy this summer season.


Neighbourhood Farmers' Markets

There are lots of local farmers' markets happening all summer across Ward 10! Have one to add to the list? Send it to us at councillor_cressy@toronto.ca

Courtyard Farmer’s Market
Every Tuesday until October, 8am - 2pm
190 Simcoe Street courtyard (near University & Queen)

Indulge at David Pecaut Square
Every Thursday until October 17, 8am-2:30pm
David Pecaut Square, 215 King Street West

Liberty Village Farmers' Market
Every Sunday until November, 9am-2pm
34 Hanna Ave.
Visit their website here.

Nathan Phillips Square Farmers’ Market
Every Wednesday until October, 8am - 2pm
Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St W)

Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market
Every Tuesday, rain or shine, 3pm to 7pm.
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Please visit their website for more info! www.tbfm.ca  

Underpass Park Farmers’ Market
Every Thursday, 3pm to 7pm. Until October.
Underpass Park (29 Lower River St)

Waterfront Good Food Market
Fresh, affordable fruits and veggies. 
Tuesdays 4:30-7pm, year-round
25 Bishop Tutu Blvd, 1st fl community room (accessible from courtyard)


Public Meetings

Multi-Tenant (Rooming) Houses Review
August 22, 6-8 p.m.
Metro Hall, Room 308/309 (55 John St)
The City of Toronto licenses multi-tenant houses (rooming houses) to ensure that they are safe and well-maintained. The review will focus on options to improve the licensing and regulation of these houses, including the rooming house hearing process. To learn more, visit www.toronto.ca/roominghousereview. You can also provide feedback to mlsfeedback@toronto.ca until August 31.

Priority Retail Streets Zoning By-law Review
September 5, 6-9 p.m. (open house)
Metro Hall, Room 310 (55 John St)
The former City of Toronto zoning by-laws identify existing “priority retail streets” to be protected and enhanced. As part of the new Downtown Plan, additional emerging retail streets in high-growth areas are proposed to be enhanced. City Planning staff are consulting on how to support priority retail streets in the 21st century. For more information, please visit the project website.


Community Events

Dancing on the Pier
Every Thursday until August 29th, 7pm
Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W)
Learn to dance on Toronto's waterfront to the rhythmic beats and swinging sounds of live bands. Inspired by Harbourfront Centre's summer festivals, styles range from salsa to big band and everything in between. Now in its 8th year, Dancing on the Pier invites audiences of all ages to embrace dance both as observers and participants.

Indulge at David Pecaut Square
Every Thursday until October, 8am - 2:30pm
David Pecaut Square (215 King St W)
Indulge features live music from Toronto-based musicians, fresh food and international flavours from a diverse group of food vendors, and locally grown produce from southern Ontario farmers. For a full list of vendors and performers, visit the Indulge website.

New Monuments for New Cities exhibition
Ongoing to August 30
The Bentway (250 Fort York Blvd)
Five urban reuse projects that are part of the High Line Network have invited five of their local artists or artist groups to create proposals (in the form of posters) for new monuments. Each participating location is producing an exhibition of the resulting 25 artworks that is specific to their site. The Toronto exhibition at The Bentway runs until August 30. More information is available at The Bentway’s website

Workout Wednesday - Yoga in the Park
Every Wednesday, August 7 to September 25
Canoe Landing Park
Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre is hosting a series of programs and events in the park leading up to the opening of the recreation centre. Classes are open to everyone, and are free of charge! Full event listings are on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CanoeLandingTO/

Grange Festival
August 9th, 11:30am-3:30pm
Grange Park
University Settlement is hosting The Grange Festival, a free outdoor fair with performances and a range of activities. Full event listings are on the website:
http://universitysettlement.ca/2019/08/06/come-to-the-grange-festival/ 

Harabi Africa
August 9-11
Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W) 
Habari Africa Festival is a multi-disciplinary music and arts festival that displays the rich and diverse cultures of Africa. The festival will offer an authentic African experience through presentations and workshops that celebrate the uniqueness, wealth and diversity of African music, dance, film, arts and culture. The festival will also include activities for children of all ages, as well as delicious cuisine from the World Café.

Drag Queen Story Time
August 10: 5-7 P.M.
David Crombie Park (Esplanade & Frederick) 
Jamii and the Toronto Public Library St. Lawrence Branch are co-presenting a fabulous event for children of all ages! A very special story time with drag queens Atmos Fierce and Lucinda Miu; Face painting with our local artist Linda Epp; live music; stilt walking; and last but not least, crafts with Parent Resource Early ON Centre!

Light Up the Laneways - Ossington Mural Workshop 
Thursday August 15, 6-8 pm
Ollie Quinn, 45 Ossington Ave
The Ossington BIA and the Laneway Project invite you to share your ideas on upcoming murals in the Ossington neighbourhood as part of the Light Up The Laneways pilot project. View the flyer here

King Street Music Series
August 14-Sept 18, Wednesdays from 7:30pm-9:30pm
King street is hosting local artists playing live music for amazing street sounds! For more information about performers and locations, please visit https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/king-street-events/ 

Barbados On The Water
August 16-18
Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W)
Experience the best of Barbados right here in Toronto! Enjoy free concerts, tasty cuisine, children’s activities and more as the waterfront comes to life during the largest cultural celebration of Barbadian culture in Canada. From a taste of the famous “Oistins Fish Fry” to the latest hits sung by some of the island’s top calypso artists, this weekend-long fête offers something for everyone.

Toronto Chinatown Festival
August 17th 12pm-11pm & August 18th 11am - 8pm
Dundas Street West and Spadina Ave
This year, the theme is “12 Chinese Zodiac”. There will be various cultural performances on two stages with about 80 vendors to showcase Asian culture and communal diversity in Canada while improving local tourism and economy. There will also be interactive activities for visitors to learn more about Toronto Chinatown and Chinese culture, such as a Free Chinatown Walking Tour with Professor Leo Chan to explore the history of Chinatown. 

TAIWANfest 2019
August 23, 24, 25
Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W)
TAIWANfest continues the “Dialogues with Asia” series with Riding the Waves with Vietnam, and celebrates diversity through explorations of roles of women in society, interracial and cross-cultural marriage, and the concept of an adopted homeland.

ArtFest
August 30-Sept 2
The Distillery District (55 Mill St.)
Celebrating painting, photography, sculpture, live music and more from Canada’s top artists. Free Admission. For more information, please visit https://www.artfestontario.com/toronto/

Art of Time: Abbey Road
September 26,27,28
HarbourFront Centre (235 Queens Quay W)
Art of Time Ensemble revives its loving exploration of Abbey Road on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the album’s release. The company’s roster of accomplished composers was set loose upon the source material, creating arrangements that maintain The Beatles’ impeccable vocal lines while pushing the boundaries of the underlying textures. The result: an imaginative journey through a towering work of music.
http://artoftimeensemble.com/


Construction Map

To view an interactive map of current and upcoming construction projects throughout the city, please click here.


Get in Touch with Trustee Donaldson

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


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