The Cressy Courier: Council highlights, King St. Pilot, and more!

Dear Friend,

Summer is finally here. I hope you get the chance to spend some time enjoying the weather (if it ever stops raining) and, more importantly, spend time with friends and family.

I must admit, it's been a busy year at City Hall. In this Cressy Courier you'll find a updates on a number of big city-wide and local issues we're working on, including the King Street transit-first redesign and regulations on Airbnb and short-term rentals, as well as updates on exciting community initiatives throughout Ward 20.

On a broader level, as an emerging global city, Toronto is in the news a lot these days. Marcus Gee of the Globe and Mail recently had an interesting column where he talked about how our little-big town is enjoying a global golden moment. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/big-teeming-modern-cities-like-toronto-are-enjoying-a-golden-moment/article35338393/

The column got me thinking about our City and how it is both succeeding, and failing. It is very true that cities like Toronto are in the midst of a very special moment.  Just look at the top 10 lists for our town:

- the Economist says we're the most livable city

- the BBC says we're the most diverse city

- Wired Magazine says we're the most intelligent city

Not bad laurels for TO.

However, I worry that the undercurrent of big Western modern cities is inequality...and it is a powder keg. Just look at the justifiable anger in London following the recent tragic fire at Grenfell Tower. I worry that Toronto is not immune. Consider a few other lists, where we have risen to the top for the wrong reasons:

- the United Way notes that Toronto is now the inequality capital of Canada

- the Children's Aid Foundation reports that we have the highest child poverty rate of any Canadian city

All this is to say that we are truly a booming modern city. But, like other Western urban centres, the centre is fragile and may not hold.

So, as we prepare for the final City Council meeting before a brief legislative break, let's remember how our city is succeeding, but not forget the many we're failing and what we're fighting for.

Take care,

Joe 


Making King Street work - King Street Pilot Project moves to City Council

Last week, Executive Committee approved our plan for the King Street Pilot Project  - it now moves on to City Council next week for final approval. King Street is the busiest surface transit route in the entire City, 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 isn't working. Streetcars are often stuck in mixed traffic, making it challenging to keep transit service running smoothly. This often results in bunching and gapping of vehicles, uneven utilization of capacity, streetcar congestion and overcrowded vehicles. During rush hour, people are often unable to board the first streetcar that arrives.

Over the past few years, the City and TTC have recently been making operational changes to improve streetcar service, including: allowing all-door loading (to become more effective with the new low-floor streetcars); adding supplemental buses; extending turning and on-street parking restrictions; optimizing transit stop locations and route running times; adding route supervisors; and improving night service.

But a more significant change is 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 Pilot is our opportunity to do just that.                                                      

After multiple public meetings, stakeholder conversations, online surveys and more, City staff have proposed a design that prioritizes transit, but still allows local traffic access. From Bathurst to Jarvis (the worst area of King, as found by the study), the pilot proposes:

  • The proposed pilot area is between Bathurst Street and Jarvis Street, where transit would be prioritized, but local traffic access would still be allowed. Local vehicle traffic can access King Street from north-south streets, but would have to turn right to leave King Street at some intersections. 
  • Through traffic would use alternate east-west corridors.  There would be no east-west through traffic at key intersections within the pilot area.
  • Designated space for short-term loading, deliveries and taxis, as well as new public spaces, would be provided.

Throughout the study, extensive consultation has taken place with a variety of community and neighbourhood groups, businesses and BIAs, and other key stakeholders.

The proposed pilot project will be brought to City Council on July 4th seeking authority for implementation. It is proposed that the pilot be installed in Fall 2017, after the Toronto International Film Festival, with additional public space improvements to be implemented in Spring 2018. It is expected the pilot will be a minimum of one year in duration.

To find out more, take a look at this helpful info booklet on the pilot, and stay updated via the project website


May Council Highlights 

Next steps for transit projects
Council voted to proceed with planning work needed to advance design of a relief subway line in the east downtown area, with the section between Queen Street East and Gerrard Street East to be aligned under Carlaw Avenue. Council also supported preparing a business case for extending the relief line farther north. In addition, planning work was authorized for extending the Yonge Street subway line north from Finch Station to Richmond Hill. Several related motions were adopted concerning Toronto's transit network, including on financial matters.

City-wide real estate transformation
Council approved a new delivery model that centralizes all City real estate activities, including real estate strategy and portfolio planning, major building projects, developments, real estate transactions and facilities management. A new City agency called the Toronto Realty Agency will manage the City's real estate portfolio, develop City buildings and lands for municipal purposes and deliver city-building real estate solutions to City divisions, agencies and corporations.

Rock walk on Spadina Avenue
I was pleased that Council adopted my motion that will result in City staff working with the owner of the El Mocambo tavern to prepare a plan for a "Spadina Rock Walk" similar to King Street's Walk of Fame. The Spadina walk is envisioned as a public art installation honouring Canadian musicians who have contributed to the Toronto music scene and performed in venues on or near Spadina Avenue, such as Grossman's Tavern, the Silver Dollar Room, the Horseshoe Tavern and the El Mocambo. 

Ward 44 councillor vacancy
Council declared a vacancy in the office of Toronto City Councillor, Ward 44 Scarborough East, and decided to fill the vacancy by appointment for the duration of the current City Council term (to November 2018). The vacancy resulted from the recent passing of Councillor Ron Moeser. Details about the appointment process: http://ow.ly/34nW30c8l8o

Overdose action plan
Funding was approved for three temporary staff needed to implement Toronto Public Health actions in Toronto's Overdose Action Plan this year. Council asked the City's Medical Officer of Health to continue discussions with the Ontario government about funding to continue the work in 2018 and beyond.

Rental affordability in Toronto
Council adopted recommendations that address the issue of affordable rental accommodation in Toronto by calling for steps to increase private-sector investment in rental housing, protect existing single-room occupancy units and increase the stock of accessible units in the City's affordable housing programs. Council also asked staff to assess and report on the local implications of Ontario's recently announced Fair Housing Plan.

Review of accessible parking permits
Council agreed to ask the Ontario government to review all aspects of the issuance, renewal and use of accessible parking permits with the intention of improving the provincial program. At the same time, a City working group will address the subject in the Toronto context. A Toronto Police Services Board report indicates use of a permit by someone other than the permit holder is the main way accessible parking permits are misused.

New policy on multilingual information
Council adopted a new policy called the Multilingual Information Provisions Policy that will replace the City's current policy on August 2. The new policy establishes clear principles and criteria for the translation and interpretation of information about City services, programs and engagement activities in languages other than English. In addition, responsibilities for compliance with the policy are clarified. 

Temporary suspension of contractor
Council voted to declare contractor Four Seasons Site Development Ltd. ineligible to bid on or be awarded any City of Toronto tender calls as a general contractor or sub-contractor from now until February 2020. The suspension decision is based on the company's unsatisfactory performance on two recent Toronto contracts for utility-related road work.


Exterior Cladding at 250 Davenport Rd. and 20 Vanauley St.  

Over the last number of weeks, we have watched the tragedy of the fire at Grenfell Tower in London continue to unfold. Our thoughts are with the families and communities affected by this tragic event.

A number of neighbours have gotten in touch with questions related to the exterior cladding at both 250 Davenport Rd. and 20 Vanauley St. I have spoken directly with senior management at Toronto Community Housing to confirm the information below, and wanted to share it widely - it is critical to know that the material used at each of these buildings is different than the material reported to have been used at Grenfell Tower in London. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

250 Davenport Road

The Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS also known as cladding) installed at 250 Davenport Road is Durex Quantum Select, which is made up of expanded polystyrene insulation, adhesive, glass fibre reinforcing mesh and a finish coating. This system is ULC rated as non-combustible cladding and in compliance with:

1.       CN/ULC-S101-M89, Standard Methods of Fire Endurance Tests of Building Construction and Materials

2.       CAN4-S114-M80 (R1985) Standard Method of Test for Determination of Non-Combustibility in Building Materials

The EIFS system and application is common and widely used in Ontario and contains no aluminum composite materials.  A building permit has been issued for the work in accordance with the Ontario Building Code (OBC).  All materials and installation practices used have been carried out in accordance with the issued building permit and OBC.

There should be no concerns with respect to the cladding system used at 250 Davenport Road as it meets all current Ontario regulations.

20 Vanauley Street

The new cladding is different from the type used at Grenfell Towers – it is a non-flammable steel siding over a non-flammable mineral wool insulation. City of Toronto inspectors specifically observed and approved the installation of our cladding (Cladding Construction Permit #68404701)

Additionally, 20 Vanauley has:

-          more fire exit stairs than the UK tower, as required by the Ontario Building Code

-          an annual inspection by the Toronto Fire Services, as well as periodic spot checks (most recently in May 2017)

-          monthly testing of the fire alarm system by TCHC site staff


Shop Local - Tour de Bloor Passport partnership 



If we want to build safer streets, we must invest in cycling infrastructure. Through our Bloor Street bike lane pilot project, we're doing just that. We know that the pilot has made all road users feel safer. We also want to make sure that the lanes make the street better for businesses as well.

More than 70 businesses and cyclists along Bloor Street are partnering up for a new program, called Bike and Buy: Tour de Bloor Passport, to forge community relations and encourage residents and cyclists to shop locally. As part of the program, which has been developed by local residents' associations and Cycle Toronto, shoppers pick up a "passport" and get a stamp when they shop at participating businesses.

Those who shop at 20 or more businesses are entered into a draw where they can win prizes. 

The passport is available at Sweet Pete's bike shop in the Annex. It is also available online.


Improvements to Queen St. West - now underway!



Work has begun on the exciting new improvements coming to Queen Street, between Bathurst and Spadina. From Bathurst to Spadina, we will see new trees and tree guards, street furniture and re-paved sidewalks with heritage markers denoting some of the historically significant structures in the area. Perhaps the most exciting feature of these streetscape plans is the creation of two new parkettes at the northeast and northwest corners of Ryerson Ave and Denison Ave. Not only are these going to be beautiful spaces to rest and enjoy a snack, but they will be outfitted to serve as the city's first free public WiFi Hotspots.

As part of this work, Queen Street West, from Bathurst Street to Spadina Avenue, has been reduced to one lane in each direction from June 19 to early September. Work will begin on the North side and move eastward to Spadina. Once work on the North side is complete, work on the South side of the street from Spadina to Bathurst will commence. Work on Queen Street itself will be completed prior to the beginning of the Toronto International Film Festival in September, while some streetscaping improvements will continue until November. 

For years, my office has been working with the Queen West BIA to refine plans for the full scale streetscape revitalization. I have also been working closely with the Garment District Neighbourhood Association, the Queen West BIA, the Laneway Project and a group of engaged neighbours to help realize the potential of our laneway and alley networks. The first step in this is to ensure that these important places have names. Together, we were proud to announce the launch of a new web portal where community members can submit names that reflect the creative, resilient, and diverse culture of the Queen West neighbourhood.

Work on the project will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, with some work occurring after regular business hours and on weekends to shorten the duration of the project and help minimize disruption to the public.

Pedestrian access, as well as access to businesses and residences, will be maintained at all times. Cyclists are advised to adjust their routes and use Adelaide Street or Richmond Street to avoid this work zone.

To accommodate this project, the 501/301 Queen streetcars have been removed and bus service is now operating along Queen Street. Streetcars will resume normal service along this portion of Queen Street in the fall. For TTC route diversion details, visit http://www.ttc.ca.


Speak Up for Bathurst Quay

After two and a half years of hard work together, our shared plan for Bathurst Quay is on its way to City Council for endorsement! I need your help to ensure the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan is approved. We are almost ready to get moving, but first there are direct threats to our neighbourhood that we must overcome.

Our neighbourhood plan

The Neighbourhood Plan will protect Bathurst Quay and 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.

Click here to download the report from City Planning staff.

Work toward implementing the Neighbourhood Plan is already underway, and many community members saw our update on turning the lands around the Silos into a new public space at the BQNA AGM on May 10. With approval from City Council, we will be able to start building improvements like this next spring.

Defending Bathurst Quay

Unfortunately, private interests are working behind the scenes to undo our collective work. These kinds of interests are all too familiar to waterfront residents who have fought and defeated airport expansion, Ferris wheels, monorails, and other dubious schemes to make a quick profit at the expense of our one and only waterfront.

Until City Council formally approves our shared plan for Bathurst Quay and we begin to show progress on taking back the neglected lands around the Silos for the community, these well-connected backroom interests will continue to threaten our neighbourhood. They will continue to crawl out of the woodwork, promoting schemes likes demolishing the Malting Silos and replacing them with massive condo towers, or building a giant underground parking garage beside the ferry terminal that would increase traffic through the neighbourhood and support airport growth. We have to put a stop to these proposals and take control of the future of Bathurst Quay.

You can help by writing to City Council.

Your voice is important and needs to be heard.

Please be sure to write to City Council and express your support for the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan, and encourage your neighbours to write too. Your message will be copied and delivered to all 44 members of City Council before the meeting.

You can be certain that other interests will be advocating to councillors, in public and behind closed doors, for their private schemes. So it is critically important for every councillor to see that there is deep and widespread local support for the Neighbourhood Plan. The councillors also need to be reminded that a public waterfront, open and welcoming to all Torontonians, is to the benefit of their local residents too.

You can submit your message to City Council by clicking "Submit Comments" at the top of this page: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.TE25.55. City Council will make a final decision on the Neighbourhood Plan on July 5, 2017.


AirBnB and rental shortages - regulations moving to public consultation

While our City struggles to deal with the growing shortage of rental housing and affordability, we've moved forward in setting out a regulatory framework that balances true home-sharing, with the increasing loss of rental housing due to conversions to AirBnb listings. 

At Executive Committee last week, next steps for public consultation on the proposed regulations were approved, and will now move ahead. The regulatory framework includes:

  • Only permitting home-sharing at a home where you live: this aims to curb consolidation and purchasing of multiple vacant properties, then used for AirBnb rather then remaining on the rental housing market
  • Amending zoning bylaws to create a separate category called "short-term rental."
  • Licensing companies like Airbnb and others.
  • Starting a registry of anyone operating a short-term rental unit.

In all my discussions, very few people oppose the principle of home sharing. People have been renting out rooms in their primary residence for years. However, AirBnB has changed the game completely. We are now witnessing entire rental units and houses being taken off the rental market to make way for more profitable short term stays. This is problematic on many fronts. As a business, these investor driven short-term rentals are not taxed fairly. As a rental location, few (if any) protections are in place to ensure protection for users or neighbours. And, most importantly, this model is strangling an already strained rental housing market in our City.

Kensington Market is a perfect example. Last month there were 12 rental units on the market in Kensington, and more than 100 AirBnB units. An entire neighbourhood is being pushed out to make way for short-term rentals. This is a sector in desperate need of regulation.

I will continue to keep you informed as the public consultation details are confirmed. For more information, click here.


National Indigenous People's Day 

This past June 21, on National Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly National Aboriginal Day), I was proud to stand together with so many in recognition of those on whose land we walk, and in commitment to Reconciliation. This year, we raised the flags of first First Nations in Nathan Phillips Square, where they will remain permanently. 



The flags of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, Six Nations, Métis Nation, Huron-Wendat, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami will fly permanently in the Square, in recognition of the history of the land on which we live and work. In addition, the City is also continuing to work on our commitment to true Reconciliation - for more information, click here.   


The Future of Toronto Community Housing - Tenants First Phase 1 Implementation Plan

Last July, in response to the report Tenants First: A Way Forward for Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) and Social Housing in Toronto, Council adopted a set of strategic directions and requested an implementation plan to support the City's efforts to provide clean, safe, well-maintained, affordable homes to social housing tenants. As part of this, I was pleased that City Council passed my motion to ensure that we commit to providing the level of funding needed to improve and sustain TCHC, but also to ensure that the continued work towards accomplishing the above goals keeps the future of tenants, accountability and equity at the heart of the process.

At last week's Executive Committee, I was pleased that the report on Phase 1 of the Implementation Plan was passed, and sent to City Council for final approval. Over the last 12 months, the project team, in partnership with an Advisory Group of TCHC residents, further developed proposals to improve Toronto Community Housing, including to provide it with the resources needed to truly provide safe, clean, well-maintained and affordable homes to so many of our friends and neighbours.

The key components of the changes proposed include:

- Transition of the 83-Seniors only buildings within TCHC to a new Seniors' Housing and Services agency, separate from TCHC and closer to the City (in accountability and day-to-day operations);
- A report back in the fall with an interim operating and capital funding model for TCHC to address current and short-term funding shortfalls for 2018 and 2019, as well as a permanent funding formula for the New TCHC and new Seniors Housing and Services entity;
- Moving forward with a local service model pilot program at TCHC to focus on decentralizing property/housing management services and innovative approaches to community development, including local action plans; and
- Authorization for City staff to issue a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) to the non-profit, co-op and land trust sectors seeking interest, service models and business cases for the operation of the 684 scattered social housing properties, including Agency Houses and Rooming Houses and report with a recommended strategy by the end of 2017.

Over the coming months, I will be sharing information with many of our neighbours who live in TCHC communities to ensure that the changes proposed are fully understood. 

The next step in the process is a follow-up report this fall, which will provide more detail on the above changes, as well as others.

As you have no doubt heard me say before, we are now at the most severe point in the TCHC funding crisis to date. In 2018, money for capital repairs, to address the over $2 billion backlog at TCHC, will run out. These are repairs to the homes of thousands of our neighbours, repairs that make their homes liveable. In 2018, the money runs out – and units are in danger of closing. This is not acceptable. We cannot let it happen.

What are the other levels of government doing? The Federal Government has promised funds, but details are yet to be confirmed. And the Provincial Government is absent – they have made no commitment to provide any funding for these desperately needed repairs within TCHC. They must come to the table and fulfill their obligation to all residents of Toronto.

Let me be clear. Even without the partnership of the Federal and Provincial governments, we cannot let a single TCHC unit close in 2018. We must do more as a City if our government counterparts don't step up. The situation is too serious, the safety of our friends and neighbours too important.

I will continue to advocate strongly and loudly to push the Federal and Provincial governments to help TCHC. I will also fight to ensure that not a single unit is closed in 2018. If you'd like to help, please consider writing to your MP and MPP to advocate for the desperately needed funds for our social housing system and to Mayor Tory to let him know that closing TCHC units is 2018 is unacceptable. 


Licensing Exemption for Fraternities and Sororities 

While many post-secondary institutions call Toronto home, fraternities and sororities have long been exempt from a framework that would allow for accountability and regulation at a Municipal level. Considering recent incidents in the United States and many ongoing issues in our community, I have asked staff to look into a licensing framework that would ensure that these houses meet building codes and provide a safe and healthy environment for the students and alumni that live there. My hope is that such a framework will not only reduce the risks for the students living in and attending these homes, but also for the residents in the community in which they reside.

Despite attempts to mitigate issues, reports of problematic behaviour such as issues with garbage, extreme noise and property standards violations persist. I have also recently received disturbing reports regarding the rise of incidents of sexual assault at a number of fraternities – incidents that often, due to the stigma faced by survivors, can go unreported and unsolved. As a city, we must be clear that the prevalence of these incidents at these fraternity houses is unacceptable. 

At Executive Committee on June 19, I presented and successfully passed a motion to include a review of fraternities in Municipal Licensing and Standard's upcoming report on multi-tenant houses, to be presented in the fall. I will continue to work with the local community and post-secondary institutions to responsibly license and regulate fraternities and sororities in our City. 

Please see my letter here: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-104729.pdf


Laneway Housing Study 

Tucked away near the places we live, work and play are spaces that can often be forgotten.  Places that we can, together, creatively transform to help us enhance our vibrant neighbourhoods - laneways.  Our laneways offer opportunities at every turn.  

Recently, the non-profit organization Lanescape and Evergreen prepared a report on laneway housing suites, and how they could be implemented in the Toronto and East York District. I agree that laneway housing presents an exciting opportunity to address our city's affordable housing crisis. Now, we must ensure we are working together to develop a framework for laneway suites, and other laneway activations, together. 

They presented their report to Toronto and East York Community Council, where we requested a formal study and review be conducted by our own Planning staff. City staff will now take the report that was done by the non-profits, and complete a formal study, including consultation with the public, to produce guidelines and criteria for how we can implement laneway housing. Our laneways are a tremendous untapped resource and they should and need to be activated. The question is what type of activation and on what laneway?

Over the coming months, stay tuned to my website for information on public consultations and updates on the study work. For more information, you can view the item from Community Council here.


Update - Richmond and Simcoe traffic light

Over the last number of years, I have been working hard to address safety for all road users at the Richmond and Simcoe intersection. As you know, we need a traffic signal to provide a dedicated, protected crossing for pedestrians and cyclists using Richmond Street and Simcoe streets. I have heard from many in the area that it is currently dangerous and unsafe to try to dodge through the gaps in fast traffic on Richmond. Ensuring safety for pedestrians and cyclists must be a top priority here and across our neighbourhoods.

After City staff issued a new report recommending the installation of the traffic light, thanks to dozens of letters that City Council received from local residents, businesses and organizations, the matter was again considered at the May City Council meeting last week. Unfortunately, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong insisted on blocking the item so that it could not be passed. At the end of the meeting, after repeated attempts to pass the item, we ran out of meeting time. As such all items not completed were deferred to the next City Council meeting.

I am profoundly disappointed that Councillor Minnan-Wong refused to let them item go through, and has consequently delayed the approval and installation of a safe crossing at Richmond and Simcoe streets. We will once again consider the item at the July meeting of City Council, where I sincerely hope the safety of all road users at this intersection can be prioritized.


Bloor Street West Planning Study 

As we grow as a community, we must ensure we are building neighbourhoods. So often in our communities, this means gathering together, in basements and school cafeterias to develop our shared vision for sustainable and manageable growth. Creating a shared vision for our community is some of our most important work together in Ward 20. 

That's why at the April meeting of Toronto and East York Community Council, I joined together with my colleagues Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19) and Councillor Ana Bailao (Ward 18) to once again request that the Bloor Street West Planning Study get officially underway. We are happy that Study, reviewing the area from Palmerston Avenue to Landsdowne Avenue, got officially underway with the kick-off public meeting on June 20th. Residents discussed what makes their Bloor Street West communities great, where they could be challenges and opportunities, and key principles as we set our the vision for the future.



Essentially Bloor Visioning Phase 2, the study will engage residents and business owners to discuss the character of Bloor Street West and develop principles to help guide future development and street improvements. We will discuss potential scale and form of new development, heritage preservation, public space and streetscape enhancements, as well as potential improvements to pedestrian and cycling connections.

I will continue to keep you updated as the Study progresses, but please get in touch if you have any questions.

City Planning Contacts

Graig Uens, at (416) 397-4647, Graig.Uens@toronto.ca or
Carla Tsang, at (416) 395-7137, Carla.Tsang@toronto.ca 


King-Spadina: Planning for the Future and the Past

King-Spadina has a very special place in Toronto's history and how we act today will determine whether our new communities are liveable and equitable for future generations. Two major projects are almost complete that will help to guide the growth and change of King-Spadina over time, and ensure that the neighbourhood continues to reflect our past.

King Spadina is special in Toronto because it was originally inside the range of canon fire from Fort York, so no development was allowed. But after the Great Fire of 1904 destroyed a huge swath of manufacturing buildings in the centre of the city, these businesses rapidly established new homes in state of the art buildings to the west, in what is now the King-Spadina neighbourhood. Today the area is still characterized by this stock of solid, flexible structures reflecting an important moment in our history.

Downtown manufacturing began to decline after the Second World War and over time we lost much of the garment industry and other businesses to cheaper suburban locations. But when the former City of Toronto under the leadership of Mayor Barbara Hall, inspired by the work of Jane Jacobs, lifted the land use restrictions on the area, vibrancy and investment quickly returned in the form of office conversions and new residents. 

Since 2004 when Festival Tower (the current home of TIFF) was approved, there have been 99 major redevelopment projects constructed, approved, and proposed in King-Spadina. Stacked end to end, all that development would be as tall as 21 CN Towers. It is absolutely critical that we make a new model of vertical community work in King-Spadina. It isn't enough to just add density; King-Spadina needs to be a liveable, equitable community today and in future generations. 

The new King-Spadina Secondary Plan will protect the mid-rise warehouse character of the neighbourhood west of Spadina and ensure that new towers in the east still allow for privacy and sky-view of residents, and minimize shadowing.  It will also give the City more power to link development approvals to the adequate provision of community services and facilities. If the neighbourhood doesn't have enough services like parks, childcare spaces, community recreation centres, and libraries, then we will be able to put a hold on new construction while those services catch up. Since being elected as councillor, it has been my priority to make sure King-Spadina has these services. A big piece of that puzzle will come from the partnership between the City and the YMCA to build a new community centre at 505 Richmond Street West, which was approved by City Council this year. The final proposal for the Secondary Plan will be brought to a public meeting in the fall, and City Council will be asked to approve it in December of this year. 

In close coordination with the Secondary Plan, the King-Spadina Heritage Conservation District (HCD) will protect our valuable and unique stock of heritage buildings constructed between 1880 and 1940, and make sure that new buildings reinforce the prevailing heritage character of King-Spadina. It will also protect the public parks and network of streets and lanes that were designed at the beginning of this period. An HCD does not freeze a neighbourhood in time and it has flexibility to allow growth and change. But it also protects against the any further loss of our heritage under the pressure of King-Spadina's desirability and rising property values. With the HCD in place, the character and qualities that make King-Spadina special will still be recognizable and valued in another hundred years. 

The King-Spadina HCD will be considered by City Council in October. The final HCD Plan is available to download from the City's website:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


New Green Bin Rollout

The City continues to phase in delivery of the new Green Bins and the neighbourhoods in the southern part of District 2, west of Yonge Street and south of Eglinton Avenue, will start receiving their new bins beginning May 19. It will take about three months to complete this distribution. The City delivers to one collection route per day, which represents approximately 1,500 households.

Don't be alarmed if you see residents in your area with new bins and you have not received one -- yours is coming. On the same day that residents get their new Green Bin, the old one will be taken away and recycled. If your old bin is missed that day, set it out empty on your next collection cycle and it will be picked up then (those who miss this second opportunity may contact 311 to arrange removal).

Here are some of the New Green Bin's key features:

  • It is animal-resistant so it can be stored outside or placed at the curb the night before collection with the lid in the locked position.
  • It is larger and can hold more organics. Plus, it meets automated collection requirements.
  • Set out is important. Place the bin with the dial in the locked position with the arrows on the top of the lid facing the street to receive collection. Please remember to leave space (0.5 metres) between bins for automated collection.

More tips on using your new bin will be delivered with the bin. It is important to start using your new bin on your next collection day because the City will no longer be able to collect from the old one. If you are currently an approved garbage and recycling bag-only customer, City staff will contact you to determine if the new Green Bin is suitable for your property.

For more information, please see the City's website at www.toronto.ca/greenbin. You can also learn more by reading the City's information sheet here.


Grange Park - Opening Celebration July 8th 

I am thrilled to announce the Official Opening Celebration of the newly revitalized Grange Park on Saturday July 8th

Lead by the Grange Park Advisory Committee (GPAC) - which includes the Ward 20 City Councillor, the Grange Community Association, the AGO, local residents, OCAD U, University Settlement, St. George the Martyr Church, and City of Toronto Parks staff - this breathtaking revitalization has been more than 10 years in the making. Countless hours working together in public consultations, workshops, and more has resulted in a truly special greenspace in our community. The new and improved park includes:            

  • 78 more trees than before the improvements began
  • Larger and updated play structures for children, including a destination playground, inspired by art supplies and the creative process
  • New and expanded seating
  • A Dogs-off leash area
  • Walking path and pedestrian oriented lighting for safety
  • Public washrooms and expanded horticulture
  • 14 literary inscriptions leading into the Park

Here we are and this project is right on schedule. Over the last month, you may have noticed that Two Large Forms, the much loved Henry Moore sculpture that has graced the streetscape of Dundas and McCaul for over four decades, has been re-located. The cherished Forms are just around the corner in their new home in marvellously re-designed Grange Park. 

Thank you to all those who played such a critical role in stewarding this project through the years. I look forward to celebrating with all of them, and all of you on July 8th (more details can be found below). For more information on the Grange Park Revitalization, visit the project website.  


Stay in touch with Trustee Malik

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


Development Meetings

379-391 Adelaide St. W - Pre-application meeting

Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Time: 7 pm
Location: 134 peter Street, 17th Floor Boardroom

400 King St W. - Pre-application meeting

Date: Wednesday June 28, 2017
Time: 6pm Open House, 7pm Presentation
Location: Hyatt Regency (370 King Street W), Regency B

Please contact my office if you'd like to be notified when details on this meeting are available.


Upcoming events

June 27, 2017

"Here in the 6ix" Multiculturalism Day

Harbourfront Centre

Celebrate Multiculturalism Day in the most diverse city in the world! Celebrations start early with a dance in the Harbourfront Centre pond by Red Sky Performance, as well as a neighbourhood breakfast and morning stretch. There is a lot to explore including a multimedia performance by Jowi Taylor and a musical by Confederation Centre’s Young Company The Dream Catchers. Join free workshops in kite making, dance, shadow puppets and more or sit in a taxi and listen to Taxi Stories. Close out the day in style with free performances by Ruth B. and Toronto’s own Kardinal Offishall!

June 28th 12pm

8th Annual National Aboriginal History Month Event
Yonge and Dundas Square 


June 30-July 3

Our Home on Native Land

Harbourfront Centre                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

On Canada Day weekend, Our Home On Native Land aims to spark questions, conversations, and ultimately a rethinking of “what it means to be Canadian” by foregrounding, celebrating, and making space for the diverse voices and stories of belonging to this land that are often excluded from typical ideas and expressions of Canadianness. It acknowledges the creative contributions of Indigenous and new Canadians through a family-friendly celebration of the diverse sounds and stories of the land known as Turtle Island. Highlights include free performances by Vox Sambou and Kinnie Starr. 

Fireworks over Lake Ontario will begin at 10:45 pm on Saturday, July 1.


Canada Days at Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square

Canada Days at Nathan Phillips Square will bring Canada's rich cultural fabric to life through an incredible mix of music, dance, circus, and street arts.

The dynamic music program features two stages showcasing current urban, indie, roots, pop and world music by emerging and established artists from across the city, all regions of the country, and around the world – reflecting Toronto's kaleidoscopic character, cultural diversity and creative energy.

A hospitality area offering food and beverage will be available for the public throughout the day. A nightly fireworks show will end the evening at 10:55 pm.

www.toronto.ca/canada150

July 1

CN Tower Fireworks and Lightshow

CN Tower

The CN Tower will host a lightshow and fireworks display on July 1 at 10:30 pm.

Visit the Entertainment District BIA website for more details and to learn about other Canada Day activities nearby, including free music in Roundhouse Park: http://torontoed.com/canada150/.

July 1-3

Redpath Waterfront Festival
Sherbourne Common and HTO Park

The waterfront will come alive with interactive shows and entertainment, food, drink, shopping, games and much more at Sherbourne Common and HTO Park. Take a selfie with the world's largest rubber duck, experience Rhythm of the Nation, catch the action-packed West Coast Lumberjack Show, meet the Royal Canadian Navy, shop at the Waterfront Artisan Market, and more!

Admission is free. Visit www.towaterfrontfest.com for performance times and more information.


July 8
Grange Park Opening Celebration
Grange Park
12-4pm


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.