The Cressy Courier May 11- Community Environment Day, April City Council Highlights, & More

Dear friends, 

Last week’s windstorm was a challenging one for many of us who endured power outages, downed trees and more. Thank you to our hard-working city staff, and to all our friends and neighbours for their patience as our city worked so hard to clean-up. Despite the storm, spring has finally sprung in our beloved City and thankfully we’ve had many opportunities to enjoy it together over the past few weeks.

Here at City Hall, our work building our communities only continues as we begin to approach the end of this term of Council. In recent weeks, we’ve reached the next phase in our work to revitalize the Scadding Court Community Centre and Sanderson Library, announced an exciting new partnership for the Canoe Landing Community Centre in CityPlace, and approved our Davenport Triangle Planning Study at Community Council. We’re advancing work designing our new public park as part of the 250 Davenport Revitalization, and launched new public spaces on Queen Street West and King Street. And, we took a critical step in our work to make Fraternities and Sororities safe and liveable for residents and neighbours alike.

In this edition of the Cressy Courier you'll find updates on many of these initiatives and more, along with details for our 2018 Community Environment Day and final Compost Day of the season.

Happy Spring, everybody. I look forward to seeing all of you in the coming weeks.

Take care,

Joe


Davenport Triangle Planning Study

After more than 2 years of working together with the Davenport Area Triangle Residents’ Association (DATRA), the Annex Residents’ Association (ARA) and City staff from Planning, Urban Design and Transportation Services, I am thrilled that Toronto and East York Community Council approved the Davenport Triangle Planning Study on May 2nd.

The area bounded by Davenport, Dupont and Bedford (known as the Davenport Triangle), has been faced with unprecedented development pressure in recent years. In response, I directed City staff to work with the local community to develop guidelines to manage the coming developments, in order to ensure that good planning principles were fine-tuned and that the community had a voice in the future of the triangle. Please see the report for details of the guidelines that were developed: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-113710.pdf


Designing Downtown for Families - Ontario Science Centre partnership coming to Canoe Landing Community Centre

8bfd-block-31-canoe-landing.jpg

 

Earlier this week, I was proud to announce that the City has partnered with the Ontario Science Centre to create an indoor playground at the brand new Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre in CityPlace, currently under construction.

Under the new partnership, the Science Centre will design and buildfabricate the indoor play structure inside Canoe Landing Community Centre. This will , and will be the second indoor play space operated by the City, the first being Playground Paradise at the Flemingdon Community Centre. While many Torontonians will know the Ontario Science Centre as a destination for school trips and weekend outings, their work in designing educational play experiences is less well known. For the past 30 years, the Ontario Science Centre has been consulting, and designing and building experiences, for science centres, children’s museums and other institutions around the world.

For too long, our downtown neighbourhoods have not had access to the services and facilities we all need to make our neighbourhoods liveable. Our partnership with the Science Centre, as part of the new public amenities on the way in CityPlace, will create space in Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre for children and families that is engaging, dynamic and accessible for everyone in the neighbourhood.

Canoe Landing Community Centre is currently under construction to serve the 15,000 residents of the CityPlace neighbourhood, a master-planned high-density vertical community west of Rogers Centre and south of the Metrolinx rail corridor. The Community Centre is being built as a fully integrated part of a public complex that includes a 52-space City of Toronto childcare facility and two elementary schools, operated by the TDSB and TCDSB. The schools and City will coordinate shared use of three gymnasia, and the outdoor play areas for the schools will be open to the public after school hours and in the summer, functioning as an expansion of Canoe Landing Park next door. In addition to traditional recreation amenities and the Ontario Science Centre-designed indoor play space, Canoe Landing will also feature an active outdoor green roof with a basketball court, running track and urban allotment gardens.

Construction for the entire public complex is on schedule for the schools to open for the fall of 2019.

For more information on the many new services and facilities coming to CityPlace, click here.


Queen Street Parkette Launch


On May 5th my officewe hosted a celebration in partnership with the Queen West BIA to open two new parkettes (Queen St. and Denison Ave., Queen St. and Ryerson Ave.) for the local community and Queen Street visitors. These parkettes include a performance stage, a water bottle refill station and seating, as well as being the first parkettes in the city to offer free wifi.

The project was cost-shared with the Queen Street West BIA and the City of Toronto. Award-winning landscape architectural firm PMA and Fugitive Glue Design were engaged to design the spaces and the tree grates were designed by Artist Scott Eunson.

Improving and expanding our often constrained public realm is a critical part of our work to build liveable neighbourhoods. Our partnership with the BIA to reimagine Queen Street West has created new spaces and places where our communities can not only support local business, but gather, stop, celebrate, watch and learn.


Community Environment Day 2018 - May 26th!

We are happy to announce the Ward 20 Community Environment Day 2018 will be on Saturday May 26!  We're very excited to celebrate spring with the community!

Highlights will include:

  • Free compost pick up
  • Donation of gently used items for reuse
  • Safe disposal of household hazardous waste ex. cell phones, small electronics, fluorescent bulbs, unused medications, propane tanks, batteries and more!
  • Learning about the City's many green initiatives, and ways to make shrink your environmental footprint

Please join me on Saturday, May 26th for our Ward 20 Community Environment Day from 10am-2pm in the Central Tech parking lot.

This is one my favourite days of the year and I hope to see everyone at this fantastic community event.

For more information, see the event flyer here,


Community Compost Days - Update

Community Compost Days continue in June with our final date, rescheduled from earlier in April. There will also be plenty of compost available at Environment Day on May 26th!

This compost comes from your leaf and yard waste that the City collects as part of the waste reduction and recycling program.

We'll be providing the compost, but please remember to bring your own shovels and containers!

RESCHEDULED FROM APRIL 14

Saturday June 2nd
Jean Sibelius Square, 50 Kendal Ave
11:30am-1:30pm


Managing Fraternities and Sororities - Update

For decades fraternities and sororities have long been exempt from the City of Toronto's multi-tenant housing framework, which allows for accountability and regulation at a Municipal level. In June 2017 I asked City 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.

At the May 4th meeting of Licensing and Standards Committee, I was happy that Committee voted to improve upon the recommendations of City staff, and to move forward with implementing a licensing framework for fraternities and sororities. 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.

This matter will be ultimately decided by City Council later this month. We need your help to ensure that City Council moves forward with implementing these measures to enhance health and safety for residents and neighbours of fraternities. Please contact my office at councillor_cressy@toronto.ca to show your support.

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


April City Council Highlights

Development charges bylaw    
Council approved a revised bylaw on development charges and a related background study. The action was taken after the City consulted extensively with the public as well as with the building industry and other stakeholders. Development charges play an important role in how the City pays for infrastructure and services needed to support new growth. Council also asked for a report on the feasibility of reducing development charges outside the downtown and midtown areas.

Blue bin recycling
After discussing Toronto's blue bin recycling program and related challenges, Council authorized staff to explore the possibility of introducing new or enhanced waste-diversion efforts that include ways to process contaminated recycling. In addition, the City will ask the federal government to establish a national strategy addressing plastic pollution, with regulations that include, for example, requiring that products and packaging can be recycled practically.

Free-floating car sharing     
Council approved plans to test free-floating car sharing in Toronto. An 18-month pilot project will apply interim operating rules. Car-sharing arrangements in which members begin and end their trips at the same location are well established in Toronto. The free-floating model, now becoming popular, enables car-share service members to take one-way trips, beginning at one location and terminating at another. Regulation is needed largely because of implications for on-street parking.   

Heat in apartment buildings    
Council supported a proposal for addressing a situation that can arise when older apartment towers' central air conditioning is off and the heat system on during spring or fall months, when the weather is normally cool. Spells of unseasonably hot weather in that circumstance can result in very hot apartment conditions for tenants when there is minimal building ventilation.

Review of City's noise bylaw   
Council directed staff to report to the Licensing and Standards Committee in 2019 on recommended changes to the City's noise bylaw. Municipal Licensing and Standards staff who are working on the complex issue of managing urban noise will take into account work on a public health action plan addressing long-term exposure to ambient environmental noise. Meetings of a working group on noise and other consultations have provided input from a wide range of stakeholders as part of the review of the City's current noise bylaw.

Dog waste in parks    
Council supported a motion to ask staff to report on the feasibility of installing dog-waste containers in City parks and dog off-leash areas, including options for conducting a pilot project for the in-ground containers. Large amounts of dog waste currently end up in landfills and also contaminate bins of material intended for recycling. Several nearby cities have had success with the use of dog waste containers, delivering the waste collected to organic waste plants.

Toronto Botanical Garden's master plan    
Council authorized next steps in implementing a master plan with the goal of expanding Toronto Botanical Garden programming throughout Edwards Gardens. A fundraising initiative is part of the plan. The non-profit Toronto Botanical Garden operates on 1.8 hectares of land in Edwards Gardens, a 14-hectare City park in North York's Lawrence Avenue and Leslie Street area. The Toronto Botanical Garden has a long history with the Edwards Gardens site.

Protection of pollinators    
Council adopted a pollinator protection strategy for supporting native pollinators in Toronto, particularly native bee and butterfly species. The strategy aims to create and protect habitat that pollinators need to survive and thrive. Bees provide the invaluable service of pollination, enabling plants to reproduce. Pollinators are under increasing stress due to habitat loss, invasive species, diseases, pesticides and climate change.


King Street Transit Pilot - New Public Spaces Unveiled

The King Street Transit Pilot is about moving people better on King Street, and making the street work for everyone. Working together, we're able to make improvements as we go to continue to build a street that works for all.


Last week I joined one of the winning teams of the Everyone is King Design Competition to unveil a brand new destination parklet called the King Street Causeway. Over the coming weeks you will see 34 new installations in the curb lanes along King Street including more parklets, public art, public seating, and restaurant patios.

Check out a sneak peak of all the winners of the Everyone is King competition here: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/planning-studies-initiatives/king-street-pilot/everyone-is-king-design-build-competition/.

Building on the early transit success of the King Street Pilot, moving more people more reliably, these new public spaces and patios will support King Street as a destination, as a place to hang out, and as a place to dine. This is good for local business because it means more people visiting King Street and spending time here. And it is good for local residents because when you live in a small condo or apartment, outdoor public spaces are an extension of your living room.

 


250 Davenport Public Park - Community Open House

As part of the Revitalization project, a new public park will be created on the east side of 250 Davenport Road. Join us to review the proposed design and share your thoughts and feedback.

Date: Monday May 14, 2018
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Church of the Messiah, 240 Avenue Road

Join me to share your thoughts and feedback on the proposed design for the new public park on the east side of 250 Davenport Road!


Home Energy Loan Program

Are you a homeowner looking to renovate your home? Are you interested in making your home more comfortable & energy efficient? Why not apply to the City's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) to access funds and incentives?

With utility incentives and GreenON funding available – there has never been a better time to make improvements to your biggest investment, your home.    

The City's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers low-interest loans of up to $75,000 to homeowners interested in improving the energy and water efficiency of their homes. The funds can be used to upgrade your furnace, purchase insulation, water heater, windows, doors, and even install solar panels on your roof! You'll repay the loan over time as you save on energy. On average, HELP participants are saving $560 per year and using 30% less energy.

For more information or to access an application now, please visit HELP!


Public Meetings

250 Davenport Park Public consultation
May 14th 6:30-8:30pm
Church of the Messiah, 240 Avenue Rd.

As part of the Revitalization project, a new public park will be created on the east side of 250 Davenport Road. Join us to review the proposed design and share your thoughts and feedback.

Public Consultation on New Dust Control Measures
May 15th 6:00-8:00pm
North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 1

The City is considering new requirements for dust control measures for construction dust, specifically dust created by cutting stone, rock, concrete, tile and insulation for residential construction. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, you can provide comments by email to mlsfeedback@toronto.ca.

Dupont Development Construction Management Public Open House
May 29th 6:30-8:30pm
Location: tbd

Join Councillor Mike Layton and I to discuss the coming developments along Dupont and managing construction in the area. While we were able to successfully defend the Dupont Street Study at the OMB and ensure responsible development for the future of the north side of Dupont between Ossington and Kendal, two of the applications are slated for construction soon in Ward 20: 500 Dupont and 420 Dupont. My goal is to ensure that the impacts from construction are managed and limited – to do this, we need feedback from local residents and residents' associations! Once the location details for the meeting are finalized, I will be sharing a notification online and door-to-door in the neighbourhood.


Community Events

Dupont by the Castle BIA – Mural unveiling at Dupont and Spadina (NE corner)
May 12th 10-11am
at Dupont and Spadina (North east corner)

On Saturday, May 12th at 10am, please join us and the Dupont by the Castle BIA to mark the unveiling of a landmark mural by renowned Indigenous artist, Philip Cote. The mural “The History of The Land,” was commissioned by the BIA and the City of Toronto to honour the original peoples of the neighbourhood. We welcome this powerful work of art to the neighbourhood, which tells the history of the area’s PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE. For more information about the art, please visit the link below, http://www.dupontbythecastle.ca/whats-on-articles.html#!/the-history-behind-the-mural

Heritage Toronto Walk- Campus and Cosmos: Toronto’s Astronomical Heritage
Saturday, May 12, 10:30am
Start point: Munk School of Global Affairs, 315 Bloor St W

Did you know that for over the last 150 years Toronto has been a world leader in the field of astronomical research, education, and public outreach? This tour introduces the stellar individuals, organizations, and institutions in our city at the forefront of out-of-this-world wonder.

Heritage Toronto Walk- A Shore Thing: Toronto’s Central Waterfront
Sunday, May 13, 1:30pm
Start point: Toronto Harbour Commission Building, 60 Harbour St

Immerse yourself into Toronto's waterfront area with visits to notable harbourfront landmarks, like the Toronto Harbour Commission Building, the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, Harbourfront Centre, Ireland Park and Billy Bishop Airport. With stops at various green space developments found along the water's edge, you can fully appreciate the spring season.

Harbord Village Residents' Association Spring Meeting
May 16th 7-9pm
Kensington Gardens, 25 Brunswick Ave

Alexandra Park Community BBQ Fest
May 19th 2-7pm
Location: AP Community Centre, 105 Grange Court

Ward 20 Environment Day
May 26th 10-2pm
Central Tech

We are happy to announce the Ward 20 Community Environment Day 2018 will be on Saturday May 26!  We're very excited to celebrate spring with the community!

Compost Day at Jean Sibelius Square
June 2nd11:30-1:30pm
Location: Jean Sibelius Square

Further, we will be consulting on a project to create a community mural on the back of the Jean Sibelius Park sign. Local artist Talie Shalmon will be painting the mural, in partnership with the Annex Residents' Association, StreetARToronto and my office. The goal is to create a beautiful mural that will minimize graffiti and tagging of the sign. The mural will be organized around themes such as nature, music and community. Help us come up with concepts for the mural!

Open Tuning - Toronto’s Free Music Festival

Open Tuning Festival 2018 is happening a little more than 8 weeks from now!
Seaton Village is the place to be on Saturday, June 9 as Toronto's free DIY festival brings all kinds of music to streets, porches, alleyways, garages and storefronts throughout the neighbourhood.

Registration is open for musicians of every age, genre, experience and level, whether you're part of a youth band, a first-time performer, a sometimes player or a seasoned professional. You can register to perform, volunteer, or host a venue by clicking on the link below.

Register Now!
https://www.facebook.com/opentuningfestival

https://twitter.com/opentuningfest
https://www.instagram.com/opentuningfest


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.