The Cressy Courier June 13 - Updates on Expanded Jurassic Park, June Board of Health Meeting, Provincial Changes to TOcore, and much more

Dear friends,

As we get ready to cheer on our Toronto Raptors in Game 6 tonight, I have some important updates to share on expanded Jurassic Park, safety measures, and road closures that will be in place for the game.

Below you will also find updates on Toronto Islands flood mitigation, the EarlyON Child and Family Centre at Niagara Street Junior Public School, our June Board of Health meeting, and more problematic changes by the Provincial Government to planning and development in Toronto.

As the Province continues to try to take away the City's ability to create healthy and livable communities with adequate parkland and community services, we must come together to let them know that handing out benefits to developers while doing nothing to make housing more affordable for Torontonians is unacceptable. We must continue to speak out.

Please be in touch if you have any questions about the updates below or any other issues in our community.

And, I hope to see you on Saturday at my next Community Environment Day.

Take care,

 

Joe


Ward 10 Community Environment Day


Reuse, Recycle and Safely Dispose of unwanted items at our Community Environment Day!

Thanks to everyone who came out to my first Community Environment Day at Stanley Park. My second Community Environment Day will be on Saturday June 15th, 10am-2pm at David Crombie Park. For more information, click here.

I hope to see you there!


Toronto Islands Flood Mitigation - Updates

Our Toronto Islands are a jewel of our city and are treasured by residents both on and off the Islands.

The ongoing flooding challenges have been difficult for Island residents and local businesses, especially those just getting over the flood of 2017. Over the last few weeks, I have continued to make trips to the Islands to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect this important park and community.

Water levels have remained stable for several days, and further declines may happen this week, depending on rainfall. Current conditions will likely remain in place for several weeks as water levels slowly decline. Staff are monitoring conditions around Hanlan's Point as water levels remain higher there. Ferry service to Hanlan's continues to be suspended for vehicles and the public.

Gibraltar Point remains fenced off due to water levels in the area. Olympic and Snake Islands are closed off. Some roadways on Ward's Island are experiencing flooding due to water levels, with response continuing.

Continuous pumping remains throughout residential areas on Algonquin Island. Centre Island remains fully open.

City staff remain on-site 7 days a week, and Toronto Fire and EMS continue to monitor conditions to ensure public safety is maintained. Toronto Hydro are also continually onsite to ensure all infrastructure is operating safely. We continue to work closely with city staff to both ensure the Islands remain safe and publicly accessible, and to understand and assess the impacts on the rest of the season.

Some upcoming events on the Islands have been relocated or postponed. If you are planning to attend any events on the Islands, please check with the event organizers for updates.

As I continue to say, the climate crisis is accelerating, and annual sandbagging cannot be the solution. A report from Toronto and Region Conservation Authority on long term flood mitigation measures will be presented to their Board on June 21st. Additionally, at next week’s City Council, I will be moving a motion to advance the work on these critical long-term measures following the TRCA Board meeting next week. Please visit my website here for more details on long-term mitigation and adaptation measures.


Raptors in the NBA Finals! Updates on Expanded Jurassic Park, Safety Measures, and Road Closures

I join with our entire city - and many across the country - in the excitement that the Raptors are playing in the NBA finals. As we approach Game 6 tonight, I want to share updates on expanded road closures and safety measures in place for tonight’s game.

The City of Toronto has been working closely throughout the series with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), Toronto Police, and the TTC to ensure that the Finals series is safe and fun for everyone. While the Raptors are on the road for tonight’s Game 6, a very large crowd is still expected downtown. Game 6 starts tonight at 9 PM.

For tonight, street closures are being implemented to accommodate crowds cheering for the Raptors at an expanded Jurassic Park, which will include additional large viewing screens. The following streets are closed until 2 AM (map):

  • Bremner Boulevard, from Rees Street to Lake Shore Boulevard.
  • York Street, from Front Street down to Lake Shore Boulevard.
  • Lower Simcoe Street, from Front Street down to Lake Shore Boulevard.

Exit ramps in both directions from the Gardiner Expressway to streets between Lower Simcoe and Yonge will be closed as early as 10 PM and may remain closed until 4 AM. The ramps to Spadina and to Jarvis will remain open.

There will be an increased police presence, MLSE security, and MLSE wayfinding staff to help with crowd management and safety. Emergency access routes will be maintained through the planned closure areas. Local vehicular access is also planned to be maintained to the extent that police officers on site determine it is safe to do so.

The TTC will have additional service available tonight to get people to and from the game. The last subway trains out of Union Station will depart at 2:25 AM. Please see the TTC’s dedicated web page for details of game night service adjustments, and follow @TTCnotices on Twitter throughout the evening for service updates.

Please let any visiting friends and family who may be coming downtown on GO Transit know that the Union Station Bus Terminal will be closed at approximately 9 PM. Arrangements are being made for bus trips to connect with GO Train or TTC subway lines to continue to and from downtown. Complete schedule and route information will be available at http://www.gotransit.com/.

Local residents and businesses should be aware that Toronto Police may make the decision to implement unplanned road closures in the wider area to protect public safety, such as in the event that crowds move or spontaneously gather in unanticipated locations.

Those of us who live and work in downtown Toronto, and especially near Scotiabank Arena, have the rare privilege to host the NBA Finals in our community and cheer for the Raptors. That means all the fun and activity is right on our doorstep, and we'll also need to make some accommodations for it in our day-to-day activities.  


EarlyON Child and Family Centre at Niagara Street Junior Public School - joint message with Trustee Stephanie Donaldson

EarlyON Centres offer free programs for parents and caregivers with children up to age six. They provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating program where children can play and parents can connect.

Last week, families at Niagara Street Junior Public School received notice from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) that the school's EarlyON Child and Family Centre will be closing at the end of this school year, on June 26. Along with our local School Board Trustee, Stephanie Donaldson, we are firmly committed to finding new space for the EarlyON program to ensure that the same level of service is provided in the neighbourhood next year.

There are nearly 300 EarlyON Centres across the City of Toronto including 77 in TDSB schools, and each provides important programs and supports to local families. Wherever possible, we seek to expand and increase the number of EarlyON Centres, such as the brand new Centre that will open alongside the new elementary schools, child care facility, and community recreation centre in CityPlace this fall.

With increasing student enrollment at Niagara Street JPS, there is no longer enough physical space in the building for the EarlyON Centre. For this coming September, that space is needed for classrooms.

This means there is an urgent need to find a new space nearby to continue providing this service in the community. We are working together, along with TDSB staff and City of Toronto Children's Services staff, to identify and evaluate relocation opportunities.

While we are unequivocally committed to finding new replacement space for the EarlyON Centre, the chronic underfunding to our school boards by the province and Doug Ford's latest short-sighted budget cuts make it all the more difficult for cities and school boards to deliver the vital public services that we all rely on. The space crunch at Niagara JPS and other downtown schools is directly related to the fact that the TDSB does not receive enough provincial funding to keep up with rapid population growth in downtown. With new changes to the Planning Act, Doug Ford is taking away our ability to create healthy and liveable communities with adequate community services and parkland. If these changes are not reversed immediately, more programs and services will be at risk of being squeezed out of our communities by under-funding and development.

At City Hall we're now working to secure a new space nearby for the EarlyON program to continue providing important programs and supports for the Niagara Street JPS community and the wider neighbourhood. And we will continue to be dedicated advocates for our growing community and all of the public services relied upon by each of our neighbours.     

To view the joint letter that was circulated last week from Councillor Cressy and Trustee Donaldson, click here.


Taller Buildings and Less Community Services, Parks, & Infrastructure – Provincial Changes to TOcore

Just last year, after seven years of hard work, the City unanimously approved a new master plan for downtown Toronto: TOcore. It's a plan to build a more liveable and sustainable downtown for the next 25 years. Each of the components of TOcore – the Downtown Plan and the five Infrastructure Strategies – will help manage and guide growth and development, while ensuring that growth is accompanied by investment in all the necessary community services and facilities that support healthy neighbourhoods, households, and individuals.

But now, without any warning or consultation, the Province is about to impose a different plan on us. That plan will only benefit developers, and mean taller buildings, and fewer services that our communities rely on.

More than 250,000 people currently live in downtown Toronto. Over the next 25 years that population is projected to double to 500,000 people, not including those who work and visit the downtown. TOcore was created to guide and manage that growth.

TOCore provided clear guidelines to ensure growth doesn’t compromise liveability. Things like minimum unit sizes, access to sunlight, separation distances between towers, shadow on parks. The Province is throwing all of this out in favour of a few well-connected developers.

This Provincial decision will fundamentally re-shape downtown and midtown for the next century. Instead of planned and sustainable growth, it’s the Wild West for developers.

Just like Bill 108 and their changes to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), the Province is taking away the City's ability to create healthy and livable communities with adequate parkland and community services. These changes will give benefits to developers while doing nothing to make housing more affordable for Torontonians. For our downtown communities that are experiencing infrastructure pressures from rapid intensification, the consequences will be disastrous.

This Government’s disrespect and outright contempt for the City of Toronto and Torontonians is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Join us in letting the Provincial Government know that imposing these changes on the City of Toronto's plans for downtown growth is unacceptable. Contact Premier Ford, and Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing:

doug.ford@pc.ola.org

Premier's Office
Room 281, Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
416-325-1941  

Constituency
823 Albion Rd.
Etobicoke, ON M9V 1A3
416-745-2859  

steve.clark@pc.ola.org

Ministry
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
17th Floor, 777 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
416-585-7000  

Constituency
Suite 101, 100 Strowger Blvd.
Brockville, ON K6V 5J9
Toll Free: 1-800-267-4408  
613-342-9522  


June Board of Health Meeting


Click for link to video

Toronto Overdose Action Plan and Toronto Indigenous Overdose Strategy

Overdose has become the leading cause of death of young people in Ontario, and the crisis is not abating. This week the Board of Health unanimously approved new recommendations for our Overdose Action Plan. Our resolve must be to demand better, and to provide more services. Read the recommendations here.

For Indigenous communities in Toronto, the lack of culturally-safe services that reflect the diversity of Indigenous values and traditions are contributing to the overdose crisis. The Board of Health has endorsed the Toronto Indigenous Overdose Strategy which outlines the need for a separate Indigenous-led process to develop an overdose prevention and response strategy for Indigenous People in Toronto as was recommended in the Toronto Overdose Action Plan. At our June Board of Health meeting, we received a presentation on the Toronto Indigenous Overdose Strategy, which can be viewed here.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) - Activities to Address Key Priorities

FASD is a neuro-developmental disability that occurs in individuals who were exposed to alcohol prenatally. There is no cure for FASD and it is a lifelong disability. It can be prevented by avoiding alcohol during pregnancy. As mandated, TPH engages in a wide range of activities to raise awareness about and prevent FASD. Prevention is also supported by ensuring compliance with Sandy's Law, a provincial requirement for establishments selling or serving alcohol to post signs warning of the risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy. Policy measures to mitigate the impacts of alcohol retail expansion can also play a role in preventing alcohol-related harms, including FASD. At our June Board of Health meeting, recommendations were adopted to further increase awareness about the risks of FASD and for Toronto Public Health to develop an inventory of successful national and international FASD-specific supportive housing services and post this inventory on their website and promote it to relevant organizations. All of the recommendations can be found here.

2019 Student Nutrition Program Service Subsidies

Student nutrition programs are vital to the success of all of our students. Children can’t learn on an empty stomach, and we must do everything we can to protect these crucial programs. The

2019 provincial investment for Toronto's student nutrition programs has not been confirmed to date, however, it is not expected to be greater than the current base funding for 2018. At our June meeting, the Board of Health Requested the provincial government to increase its grant funding investment proportionally to match the increased City of Toronto investment, and requested the federal government to provide core funding for a national school food program. All of the recommendations can be found here.


New Centennial Square Playground - Almost Done!

The new playground at Centennial Square at Exhibition Place is almost complete and is expected to open with the next couple of weeks!


Public Meeting - Transit Responsibilities Review Between the City & the Province

Where we build transit connects directly to how we build and plan our neighbourhoods, and the TTC is central to our ability to create an equitable and liveable city for all. The Province's plan to take control of our subway system and break apart the TTC will take away our ability to design and build our city.

Following the announcement that they would be taking control of our subway, the Province introduced Bill 107, which will allow them to change how transit is planned, designed and delivered in Toronto. More changes are expected later this year and in 2020.

In order to address these changes, the City of Toronto and TTC will be holding a series of public information meetings on the Transit Responsibilities Review. Residents are invited to attend these meetings to learn more about the transit review, ask questions and share comments:

Date: Thursday, June 20
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge St., North York

Date: Saturday, June 22
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr., Scarborough

Date: Thursday, June 27
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Council Chamber, City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., Toronto

As the largest city in this country, as the economic engine of this province and country, our ability to own and operate our transit system is central to our success. The TTC belongs to the residents of Toronto, and it should stay that way. The solution to improving our transit system is not for the Province to control it. The solution is for the Province to properly fund it.

If you are not able to attend one of the public meetings, you can complete the online Transit Responsibilities Review Survey here.

To learn more about our transit system, the review and other upcoming public meetings, visit http://www.toronto.ca/transitreview.


Trustee Donaldson’s Ward Forum

With the Province’s cuts to education, childcare, libraries, and so much more, it’s important now more than ever that we engage with our school communities.

Trustee Stephanie Donaldson holds regular ward forums where everyone is welcome to attend. Her next meeting will be on Thursday, June 20th, 6:30-8:30pm at Oakwood Collegiate Institute, 991 St Clair Ave W.



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)

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)


Staying Healthy in Hot Weather

Hot weather can put your health at risk. Heat-related illnesses are preventable, and include heat stroke, heat  exhaustion, heat fainting, heat rash and muscle cramps.

Finding and spending time in a cool space can help protect against the effects of hot weather. Visit www.toronto.ca/keepcool for resources including an interactive map of air-conditioned public spaces near you. There are approximately 270 locations across Toronto participating in the Heat Relief Network.

When the temperature rises, please call or visit family, friends, and neighbours. Groups at higher risk of heat-related illnesses include:

  • Isolated seniors
  • people with chronic and pre-existing illnesses
  • infants and young children
  • people on certain medications
  • people who are marginally housed or experiencing homelessness

Public Meetings & Community Events

Give Me Liberty Street Party
June 13th, 4pm - 10pm
Fraser Ave
Fraser Avenue will be transformed into an outdoor patio with vendors from local businesses Be treated to live entertainment, a Pet Fashion Show, and free-family friendly activities! Food, drink, music and fun for everyone.

Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association AGM
Thursday, June 13th, 7pm
Arcadia Housing Co-op, Main Floor
The BQNA is pleased to be screening the Nature of Things documentary “Something in the Air” followed by a Q & A with Dr. Marianne Hatzopoulous, who leads the Transportation Research and Air Quality group at the University of Toronto. Marianne and her research team are featured in the documentary.

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show - Opening Weekend
Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16, at sundown
Fort York (250 Fort York Blvd)
Toronto Outdoor Picture Show will launch its season of "Dynamic Duos" programming with an opening weekend of free films at Fort York. Kicking things off is one of the most iconic friendship duos in cinematic history, Thelma & Louise, followed by everyone’s worst patient-caretaker nightmare, Misery. Visit their website for more information: https://www.topictureshow.com/dynamic-duos.

Trinity Bellwoods BIA Movie Night
Tuesday, June 18th, 9pm
Trinity Bellwoods Park
The Trinity Bellwoods BIA Movie Night is back! The June movie will be Land Before Time. Visit their event page on Facebook for more info.


“I Am Me” by JAMII
Thursday, June 20th - 7pm
Toronto Public Library - St. Lawrence Branch (171 Front Street E)
Three Indigenous artists from different parts of Ontario discuss the importance of language when they explore the deeper meaning of “I Am Me”. Registration link: https://iammeatlibrary.eventbrite.ca

National Indigenous Peoples Day Sunrise Festival
Friday June 21, 5:30 a.m.
Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St West)
Reception to follow in Members’ Lounge RSVP 416-392-7667 or protocol@toronto.ca

Na-Me-Res Traditional Pow Wow
June 22, Grand entry at noon
Fort York (250 Fort York Blvd)
Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence) is the proud host of Toronto's Annual Traditional Pow Wow in recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day and the Summer Solstice. Every year, thousands of people attend the celebration to enjoy traditional food and watch over 100 drummers and dancers perform. Come explore the information booths, meet First Nations crafters and vendors, and participate in activities and giveaways. Free admission.

Luminato Festival 2019
June 7-23
Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West)
Luminato is Toronto’s international festival dedicated to performance, media and visual arts programming that cuts across traditional artform boundaries. Visit the website for more info https://luminatofestival.com/

7th Annual Indigenous Arts Festival
Friday June 21 to Sunday June 23, times vary
Fort York (250 Fort York Blvd)
The Indigenous Arts Festival is a free annual celebration of traditional and contemporary Indigenous music, drumming, dance, theatre, storytelling, film, crafts, and food including performances by Beatrice Deer, Quantum Tangle and more. For the full schedule visit https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/indigenous-arts-festival/.

Ossington Laneway Party
Saturday, June 22 from 4-10pm
Dreaming of a warmer Toronto? Kick off your summer right with Here Comes the Sun, a laneway block party presented by The Laneway Project and the Ossington BIA in the alleys northwest of Queen & Ossington! thelanewayproject.ca/party  

Transit Responsibilities Review Between the City & the Province
Where we build transit connects directly to how we build and plan our neighbourhoods, and the TTC is central to our ability to create an equitable and liveable city for all. The Province's plan to take control of our subway system and break apart the TTC will take away our ability to design and build our city.

Following the announcement that they would be taking control of our subway, the Province introduced Bill 107, which will allow them to change how transit is planned, designed and delivered in Toronto. More changes are expected later this year and in 2020.

In order to address these changes, the City of Toronto and TTC will be holding a series of public information meetings on the Transit Responsibilities Review. Residents are invited to attend these meetings to learn more about the transit review, ask questions and share comments:

Date: Thursday, June 20
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge St., North York

Date: Saturday, June 22
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr., Scarborough

Date: Thursday, June 27
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Council Chamber, City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., Toronto

Exhibition Place - Master Plan Kick-off Meeting
Tuesday, June 25, 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.
City Hall, Council Chamber (100 Queen St W)
The City of Toronto is beginning a master planning exercise for Exhibition Place. City Planning staff will introduce the process and want to hear from you about Exhibition Place. For more information, you can contact Dan Nicholson, Community Planning Manager, at dan.nicholson@toronto.ca or 416 397 4077.

Multicultural Day
Thursday June 27, 11am-1pm & 4pm- 7pm
David Crombie Park (131 The Esplanade)
Get your portrait done in 12mins while enjoying a private (yet public) performance! Featuring inspiring artists Andrew Patterson, Alicia Herbert, Iman Abdul Razzak, Indrit Kasapi, Jim Adams, and Valérie Descheneaux.Supported by Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts and in partnership with CORPUS. For more info visit https://www.jamiiesplanade.org/

Redpath Waterfront Festival
Saturday, June 29 to Monday, July 1
HTO Park and Harbour Square Park (Queens Quay)
Mark your calendar: the tall ships return to Toronto’s waterfront Canada Day weekend. There will also be buckets of nautical fun to be had ashore with a Maritime Market, sail-training activities and live entertainment. Visit towaterfrontfest.com for more information.

Summerlicious 2019
July 5 to July 21
Savour the fresh flavours of summer with delicious three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at nearly 200 of Toronto’s favourite restaurants. Details, including participating restaurants and menus, will be announced on June 17, and reservations will open on June 20. For updates check https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/summerlicious/.

"Union Summer" returns to Union Station
Daily until August 3, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday and Weekend hours may vary).
Union Summer returns in front of Union Station (65 Front St.) from Friday, May 31 to August 3. The event brings some of Toronto’s top chefs, musicians, film screenings and live performances to Union Station. For more details on programming and special events, visit: www.torontounion.ca/tdunionsummer.

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 web page.

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.

Farmers' Markets

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

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)


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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