The Cressy Courier - Bike Lanes on Bloor, Ward 20 Holiday Party & More!


Dear friend, 

After 40 years of discussion, debate and advocacy, and 3 years of work together designing, implementing and measuring our pilot project, Bike Lanes on Bloor Street are here to stay. This November, City Council, with the support of Mayor John Tory, voted 36-6 to overwhelmingly approve recommendations by our professional city staff to make the lanes permanent, and to continue to improve them as part of the permanent design.

The City's monitoring and evaluation of the pilot project was unparalleled. The most comprehensively studied transportation project in Toronto's history, it measured the effect on cycling, vehicles, and curbside demands. It also measured the economic impact through a study commissioned by local business improvement areas, the Metcalf Foundation and the city, as well as officially obtained Moneris data, which monitors debit and credit transactions, to understand the real impact on local business.

In just one year we've seen the number of cyclists using Bloor increase dramatically, making it the second most-used cycling facility in the entire City. We've created an environment where people feel safer – not just cyclists, but motorists and pedestrians too. We've seen a real decrease in collisions, and we've successfully made improvements to vehicle travel time, impacts now reduced by 50% since the first data collection during the pilot. And, we've seen that based on debit and credit transactions, business went up by nearly 5% on Bloor.

We know there is more work to be done to continue to improve the lanes. They are by no means perfect. Pilot projects allow us to test changes, see what's working, and make improvements. But now that the lanes are permanent, we will make even more improvements on issues like safety, business loading, and accessibility that will continue to make this bike lane a resounding success.

The overwhelming support for the pilot, and for making the lanes permanent, is the result of years of hard work in our community - supported by all 5 local residents’ associations along the corridor, the University of Toronto, cultural institutions like Hot Docs and the Bloor Street Culture Corridor, two local BIAs, Friends and Families for Safe Streets, Doctors for Safe Cycling, countless students and parents from area schools, and many more. Thank you to everyone for all your hard work - the result wouldn’t have been possible without it.

Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about this or anything else you read below.


Take care,


Joe


2017 Ward 20 Holiday Party! 

Holiday party flyer

Please join me and the Ward 20 team for a community holiday party on November 30th!

Come celebrate another year of working together and meet your neighbours from around the ward. We'll be at The Tranzac from 4:30-7pm, I hope to see you there.

Date: Thursday, Nov 30th 4:30-7pm
Location: The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Avenue (just south of Bloor St W)
 *Light snacks will be provided 

We will be collecting canned and boxed food donations to be donated to local food banks, so please bring along what you can.


King Street Transit Pilot- Now Underway 

King St pilot

Earlier this year, our plan for a bold move on King Street was approved by City Council. Work on The King Street Transit Pilot has progressed rapidly since, and the project was launched this past Sunday, November 12. So far, we're hearing it's working – streetcar trips are quicker, and transit is again taking priority on King. But, changes like this do take time to get used to, and there is always the potential with any big change that some wrinkles will need to be ironed out. This will be the first project of its kind in Toronto and we're here to help address any issues that may arise.

King Street is the busiest surface transit route in the entire City (in fact, in all of North America!), carrying more than 65,000 riders on a typical weekday. It is a critical downtown spine, connecting neighbourhoods, the largest employment centre in the entire country, and diverse urban forms and uses.

But we recognize that King Street wasn't working. Streetcars were often stuck in mixed traffic, making it challenging to keep transit service running smoothly. This resulted in bunching and gapping of vehicles, uneven utilization of capacity, streetcar congestion and overcrowded vehicles. During rush hour, people were often unable to board the first streetcar that arrives.

A significant change was needed to improve transit service on this critical artery in our neighbourhoods. Like we're doing in so many other areas – community facilities, new parkland, and more – we must both catch up with growth and plan for the future. The King Street Transit Pilot is our opportunity to do just that.                                                      

What's changed? New turn restrictions are in place along King Street to limit vehicular access to local traffic only. Cars are still able to reach every block of King Street in both directions, but commuter through-traffic is now prohibited. There is no public parking on King Street. Instead, in the middle of each block, curbside space is dedicated to commercial deliveries, accessible pick up and drop off, general pick up and drop off, taxi stands, and expanded public realm.

For more information, visit my website here, or the King Transit Pilot project website.

If you have any questions or concerns about the King Street Transit Pilot, please do not hesitate to bring these to our attention. 

 


Huron Square- A New Gathering Place in Chinatown

Huron Square

I am thrilled that construction of our new Huron Square in Chinatown is set to begin next week. After years of work by the Chinatown BIA, the City, and dedicated community members, this public space will soon become a reality. Located at Dundas Street West and Huron Street, this new square will be a gathering place, a destination, and the location for many community events to come. Artist Jyhling Lee has created a thoughtful design that will be a new landmark for Chinatown. I am pleased that we were able to contribute funds to this exciting project, along with the Chinatown BIA.

Huron Square is set to be completed in Spring 2018. We look forward to celebrating this wonderful new space with the community next year. 


Toronto's Overdose Crisis- Update

Last week, I was proud to stand with our City staff to welcome the opening of our first permanent indoor supervised injection site. Located at Toronto Public Health on Victoria Street, the site was operating on a temporary basis in response to the growing overdose crisis in our city. Our second and third sites are scheduled to open later this fall, and we are waiting Federal approval for our fourth site. 

Overdose is a growing crisis in our city. In 2015 - the most recent year for which we have complete data - we lost 258 people to overdose. It’s an overwhelming number — and one I think about every day. Every week more Torontonians are dying and the painful fact is these deaths are preventable.

While I believe we've taken important and proactive steps to stem the tide, and am immensely proud of the response of our committed and talented city staff, the truth is more needs to be done. 

We need all our supervised injection services right away – our first interim site opened this past August, and our three permanent sites are set to open in the coming weeks. At the same time, we need to update our assessment of need throughout our city, and the next steps for expanding these life-saving services. We've seen front-line workers open an Overdose Prevention site in response to growing local need - this shows us we need to ensure our services are where people need them. Naloxone should be distributed throughout the community, and carried by police and first responders. We need to better fund and support front line community organizations who work daily to keep people alive. We need drug testing programs opened. 

That’s not to say that the city can do it all on its own. Our federal and provincial counterparts need to scale up their own response. Frankly, it should have been scaled up yesterday. But, as the chair of Toronto’s Drug Strategy, I’ll be the first to admit we’re not doing enough. We will continue to work as hard as possible to respond to this crisis, and to save the lives of our friends and neighbours.


Central Tech Stadium - Community Hours

The Central Tech Stadium holds regular community hours, as part of the settlement reached in 2015 at the Ontario Municipal Board. These are hours where the stadium is open to the community to use, outside of school hours, free of charge. The track is also available for community use at different times of the day, outside of school hours.

The specific hours are updated regularly and posted on the stadium website here.

Helpful community updates, including information on track availability are also available on the website here.

Additional community hours are provided during the holiday season, and on statutory holidays. Stay tuned to my website for those updates as they become available.


Denison-Bellevue Contraflow Bike Lane- Complete!



I'm thrilled that the installation of our Bellevue-Dension contraflow bike lane in Queen West and Kensington Market has now finished!

Approved by Council earlier this year, this contraflow lane is a critical part of building our cycling grid, specifically with respect to important north-south connections and a link between the College Street bike lanes and Richmond-Adelaide cycle tracks. The final stage of the lanes just North of Queen Street will be completed early next year, once the construction of the parkette at Queen and Denison is complete.

Thank you to all the residents and local businesses for their hard work to make this project happen.


Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Park and Public Realm Improvements Update

Earlier this year, City Council approved the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan. It is a huge win for the community's visions instead of outside interests. The Neighbourhood Plan protects Bathurst Quay and it formally set in motion the steps necessary to achieve our long term goals for the neighbourhood:

1. Creating new high-quality parks and improving our existing public spaces;

2. Enhancing our community facilities including building a new public aquatic centre;

3. Re-energizing the Canada Malting Silos with a focus on arts, culture, open space, and community uses; and

4. Shifting airport traffic to public transit, walking, and cycling while relocating the remaining vehicle traffic to an underground drop-off loop.

Later this month, I am hosting a community consultation meeting with City staff to provide updates and discuss parks and public realm improvements in Bathurst Quay. This will include an update about the ongoing work to improve Coronation Park, a discussion of evolving plans for the Stadium Road Parks (north and south), and sharing the latest detailed designs for the new public space surrounding the Canada Malting Silos.

Preliminary plans for the new public space around the Silos were shared at the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association (BQNA) AGM meeting in May, and you can catch up with those presentation materials here: http://www.waterfrontforall.ca/bathurst_quay.

Date: Saturday, November 25, 2017
Time: 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Location: Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre, Dance Studio (Queens Quay and Bathurst)

Drop in anytime during the meeting to view materials and speak with City staff. The presentation on Stadium Road Park and Coronation Park will begin at 2:30 pm. The presentation on the Canada Malting Silos site public realm will being at 3:00 pm.


Home Energy Loan Program

Tired of a cold, drafty home and high energy bills - HELP is here!
Through the City of Toronto's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), you can get a low-interest loan to cover the cost of a new high-efficiency furnace, new windows, doors, insulation and more. And if you want to go the extra mile, the loan can also cover the cost of solar rooftop panels, solar hot water heaters, and geothermal heating and cooling!

The great thing about Toronto's Home Energy Loan Program, is that at the same time that you make your home more comfortable and reduce your energy bills, you'll also be reducing the emissions that contribute to climate change.

Low-interest rates and great terms

In addition to offering low-interest rates (starting at 2%), and repayment terms of up to 15 years, you can repay the loan at any time without penalty. And if you sell your home and don't want to pay off the loan, the new homeowner can assume the payments. Sound too good to be true? It's not!

Save energy, money and more!
The results are impressive. On average, HELP participants:

  • reduce their home energy use by 30%;
  • save over $560 per year on their energy bills; and
  • receive additional incentives of up to $2,250 from utility companies such as Enbridge Gas and IESO.

You can get a loan of up to $75,000 for your improvements. The process begins with an easy online application. The HELP team will then connect you with a Registered Energy Advisor, help you access the incentives provided by the utility companies, and do what they can to make the process smooth and seamless.

The City's HELP team is available to support you throughout the process. Ready to get started? Have a few questions? We'd love to hear from you. Contact us at 416-392-1826 or learn more at toronto.ca/home-energy-loan.


Canoe Landing Park- Fence Installation

Canoe Landing Park

Construction is now well underway on the multi-use public facility at Canoe Landing Park that will include two elementary schools, a childcare facility, and a community recreation centre, and is planned to open in fall 2019.

This integrated multi-use facility will help ensure that families living in CityPlace and the surrounding high-density neighbourhoods will have access to the amenities and services necessary for a thriving, liveable, equitable community. For families in condos and apartments, the park is your back yard, and the community centre is your living room.

In the coming weeks, the City will be installing a fence around the existing artificial (south) turf field in Canoe Landing Park. This will allow the new schools to use the field during school days, but it will remain open and accessible to the public during evenings, weekends, holidays, and the summer break.

Until the schools open, the field will continue to be accessible to the public full time. There will not be any locked gates around the field. And public access to the rest of the park will not change.

City of Toronto Parks staff do not anticipate any major interruption of public use of the majority of the artificial turf field during installation of the fence.


School Council Help Night with TDSB Ward 10 Trustee Ausma Malik

Join Trustee Ausma Malik for School Council Help Night, an opportunity to bring your questions and issues related to four key areas to share with TDSB Experts, Trustee and/or your peers in school councils.

Topics include:
1. Running of school councils
2. Questions about school facilities
3. Curriculum concerns
4. Development and planning inquiries

In order to ensure that we are prepared to help with your concern, please share it here in advance of the meeting, if possible.

Child care is provided. Refreshments served. Download the flyer here.


Public Meetings


Laneway Housing Proposal at 366-370 Huron St
November 15th, 2017, 6
:30 pm – 8:30 pm 
111 St. George St, Innis College Residence event space at grade

The University of Toronto is proposing, as a part of the Huron-Sussex Neighbourhood Plan, the development of a three-storey detached residential  building fronting 366 Huron St. and two ancillary two- and three-storey residential buildings fronting the laneway. The proposal also includes a reorientation and redevelopment of the playground space for the Campus Community Co-op Daycare at 368 Huron St.


King-Spadina Development Public consultation meeting
November 20th, 2017, 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm
Metro Hall, Room 308/309 (55 John Street)

You are invited to a community consultation meeting that I am hosting to discuss development proposals for 445-451 Adelaide St W & 135-143 Portland St. This is an opportunity to learn more and make your voice heard.


Bloor Street United Church Public Consultation
November 21st, 2017, 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm
Bloor Street United Church, 300 Bloor Street West

Bloor Street United Church is hosting their third public consultation on their development proposal, which is still at the pre-application stage. The project team will be providing further information based on the feedback that they have heard to date and the format will include discussions related to 1. Traffic and Parking, 2. Public Realm and Built Form, 3. Community Services, and 4. Shadow Studies.


Community Meeting on Bathurst Quay Improvements
November 25th, 2017, 2
:00 pm – 4:00 pm 
Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre, Dance Studio (627 Queens Quay West)

I am hosting a community consultation meeting with City staff to provide updates and discuss parks and public realm improvements in Bathurst Quay. This will include an update about the ongoing work to improve Coronation Park, a discussion of evolving plans for the Stadium Road Parks (north and south), and sharing the latest more detailed designs for the new public space surrounding the Canada Malting Silos.


TOcore Open House
December 2nd, 2017, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm
 
YWCA Toronto (87 Elm St)

The TOcore team would like to announce that our last public open house will be held on December 2, 2017 at the YWCA Toronto (87 Elm St) from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The public will be invited to share their thoughts about the proposed Downtown Plan, a 25-year vision that sets the direction for the city centre as the cultural, civic, retail and economic heart of Toronto and as a great place to live. The proposed Downtown Plan provides detailed direction on the appropriate scale and location of future growth. It links this growth with infrastructure provision to ensure the creation of complete communities. At the open house, we will also unveil details of the five infrastructure strategies that will make the plan happen in the areas of community facilities, parks and public realm, mobility, energy and water.


Community Events 


StreetARToronto Info Session, Exhibition & Workshop Series
November 16th, 20th-24th 2017

For information about StreetARToronto's upcoming Downtown 2018 Info Session that includes an Exhibition and Workshop Seriesdownload the flyer here.


Cycle Toronto Advocacy Forum

November 19th 2017, 9:30-10:30am

Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Room 308/309

Join Cycle Toronto on November 19 to learn more about cycling advocacy in Toronto! $30 or Free for members.


Ward 20 Holiday Party! 

November 30th 2017, 4:30pm-7:00pm
The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Avenue

You're invited to join me and my team for a community holiday party on November 30th! Come out to celebrate another year of working together and meet your neighbours from around the ward. We'll be at The Tranzac from 4:30-7pm and I hope to see you there. We will also be collecting food donations, to be donated to local food banks, so please bring along any canned and boxed foods for our food drive.


2017 YIMBY (Yes in My Back Yard) Festival 
December 9th 2017, 12:00pm- 4:00pm
Metro Hall Rotunda, 55 John Street

The annual YIMBY Festival provides a social space for people and groups involved in grassroots, locally ­driven community development to gather, exchange ideas and strategies to affect change, and imagine their future city. This free, one­-day event invites community groups and non-profits from across Toronto to educate residents, politicians, policy makers, and each other through informal table discussions and presentations. For more information, please visit their website yimbytoronto.org


Construction Updates


Lower Simcoe Ramp Construction

The project to build the new Simcoe Ramp and reconstruct Harbour Street is advancing and is expected to continue until January 2018. Residents should receive advance notice of any non-emergency work outside of regular hours, 7am-7pm. You can visit www.toronto.ca/simcoe-ramp to sign up for direct email notification.

When all the work is completed by January 2018, we will have a new urbanized Harbour Street with sidewalks and a multi-use path, a new public park at York Street, and a new shorter off-ramp ending at Lower Simcoe Street. These changes will expand the public space available to our growing population, and make the streets in the neighbourhood safer and more convenient for everyone.


The Bentway: Construction Update

Much progress has already been made on the construction of The Bentway over the course of this summer. Substantial excavation work has taken place and more than 1,420 metres of utility piping has been installed. Above and below ground electrical conduits are now in place that will power lighting fixtures throughout the site.

With winter skating season fast approaching, we're all excited to see the progress on the skate trail and icehouse. The 220-metre skating trail uses a refrigeration system: 13,746 metres of embedded piping, which is connected to the refrigeration system in the icehouse, carries coolant throughout the trail. When activated that coolant travels through the pipes to take the heat from the surface and distribute it to the refrigeration equipment. This means that ice production is less weather-dependent and visitors will be able to enjoy the trail throughout the winter. The foundation and walls of the icehouse are underway and surface concrete for the trail was poured in September.

For more information on The Bentway, visit www.thebentway.ca.

Bathurst/Queens Quay Watermain Construction Update

The City of Toronto is working to complete the final portion of the watermain replacement that started in 2016. The portion of work in the intersection of Bathurst and Queens Quay required redesign due to soil conditions and the location of other utilities.

Work started on November 6 using an open trench to install and connect the new section of watermain to the pipe that was installed in 2016. The work has been staged in four phases and is running ahead of schedule. The installation of the watermain mainline across Queens Quay, and the resulting closure of the street, is now complete.

Start: November 6, 2017
End: December 15, 2017

Work Hours: 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday to Friday, with some possible weekend work as needed. Please note that you will see little construction activity on site at most times while the contractor is pressure-testing, disinfecting, and flushing the new watermain.

Pedestrian and Cycling Access: Pedestrians and cyclists should not be affected during testing, disinfection, and flushing of the new watermain.

Vehicle Access: While some final connections are made, there may be temporary curb lane closures for safety. No further full street closures are planned.

Restoration: In order to make the final permanent repairs to the road and sidewalk surfaces, temperatures must be consistently above 7 degrees. The City will return in the spring to replaces the temporary patches with permanent asphalt, concrete, and sod as needed.

If you have any questions, concerns, or require accommodation, please contact Field Ambassador Aaron Bell at 416-497-8600, ext 1351, or email TorontoPM3A@RVAnderson.com.

 
Metrolinx Construction - Union Station Rail Corridor

The Union Station Rail Corridor, which runs through our communities just south of Front Street, is owned and operated by Metrolinx, the Province of Ontario's transit agency which runs GO Trains and the UP Express. Work often occurs overnight and nearby residents may be affected by the associated noise and light. 

To sign up for regular email updates about construction from Metrolinx, please contact Michael Paolucci at 416-202-4425 or michael.paolucci@metrolinx.com


Stay in touch with Trustee Malik

Sign-up to Trustee Ausma Malik's e-newsletter for regular updates from her: http://eepurl.com/9xckn


Constituency Hours!

A reminder that I hold constituency hours every Friday at the Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas St. West).

Please call 416-392-4044 or email councillor_cressy@toronto.ca for an appointment.