The Cressy Courier March 20 - New Traffic Signals for Safer Streets at Richmond & Simcoe, The Future of Ontario Place, and more
As we eagerly await the beginning of Spring, we continue to work hard to build our communities, and a fairer, more liveable city.
Our work to prevent the proposed provincial subway upload continues, with a motion to be considered at Executive Committee this Thursday.
As you’ve heard me say, Doug Ford's plan to take control of our subway system is a political slogan in search of a solution, and we must work together to stop it. Join us and share your opposition to the subway upload by writing to Executive Committee, or making a deputation on March 21st. Click here for more information.
Below you’ll find updates on our first Ontario Place Subcommittee meeting, a new arts and cultural hub coming to the waterfront, our work to build safer streets, upcoming public meetings, and more.
As always, please get in touch with my office any time with any questions or concerns about what you read below, or anything else.
I look forward to seeing you around the neighbourhood.
Budget 2019 - The Cracks in our City
Earlier this month, City Council approved the 2019 Budget. Again this year, our budget didn’t include the recommended the investments needed to truly make our city better - based on population growth, and we know all too well in Ward 10 that our population is growing rapidly, we are investing less in our communities.
The cracks in our city are beginning to show. We have become the least affordable city in the country. When it comes to our budget and tax rate, we don’t need balance, we need ambition.
Toronto’s property tax rate continues to be among the lowest in the GTA, and for the last nine years, our property tax rate adjustment has sat at or below the rate of inflation. During this time, politicians have been telling Torontonians that we will get more for less. We’re actually spending less per capita on individuals than we were in 2010.
In this budget we also saw an increase to TTC fares, and user fee increases to Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs. What this means is that we are asking those who have the least capacity to pay more, and take on that burden so that property taxes can remain low.
What is at stake is the very equity of our city. That is the ultimate test of our city, and we are failing. The status quo simply isn’t working.
Toronto is a great city, there's no question about that. But, in order to build a city for the future, we need to continue to push for investment – in people, services, and infrastructure – to truly make things better.
The Future of Ontario Place
Ontario Place is a critical part of our City, and Torontonians need to have a say in its future. When redeveloping land, you need to start with what your principles are. Instead, the Province has released a blanket call for proposals that could lead to the privatization of Ontario Place, without public input.
To ensure our city and our residents have a say in its future, I moved a successful motion to strike a special City of Toronto Ontario Place sub-committee. A subcommittee of Toronto and East York Community Council, our first meeting was held on March 5th. In the packed committee room, and overflow room, Torontonians came out to speak passionately about what Ontario Place means to them, its heritage value, and its future.
There was a consensus amongst all deputants that Ontario Place needs to remain publicly accessible, that the Cinesphere and pods need to be preserved, and that a casino is not an appropriate use for the site.
Next month, Community Planning staff will be reporting to Toronto and East York Community Council on what was shared in the public deputations, as well as as well as principles for the future revitalization of Ontario Place.
A New Arts and Cultural Hub on the Waterfront
Our plan to revitalize the Administration Building in Bathurst Quay, in partnership with the Ireland Park Foundation, was approved by Council in June 2018 and now we have reached another key milestone by signing a lease together -- appropriately, on St Patrick’s Day.
This new partnership will transform the Administrative Building into an arts and cultural hub that celebrates Irish Canadian history and speaks to the contribution of immigrants and newcomers to our city. It will be an attraction bringing new activity and public programming to this corner of our waterfront, which has been underused for many years.
The Ireland Park Foundation are a non-profit arts, culture and heritage organization with an established partnership with the City of Toronto to program cultural events and improve public open spaces within the City. As part of its mission to "celebrate the story of Irish people in Canada", in 2007 the Foundation constructed Ireland Park immediately adjacent to the Administration Building, which will soon serve as an interpretive centre for the park.
I look forward to working with the Ireland Park Foundation to further reanimate this stretch of the Waterfront in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood.
New Traffic Signals for Safer Streets at Richmond & Simcoe
Our long fought for new traffic signals were activated at the intersection of Richmond Street West and Simcoe Street earlier this month, creating a safe way for pedestrians and cyclists to cross busy Richmond Street.
I had heard from many residents in the area and many cyclists that it was dangerous and unsafe to try to dodge through the gaps in fast traffic on Richmond Street. Thank you to the hundreds of people who wrote to City Council and helped to win approval for this vital and necessary safety improvement in our community. There is no number of injuries or deaths that should be considered acceptable on city’s streets, and we must transform our streets to make them safe for all people no matter how they get around.
Join the St. Lawrence Market Advisory Committee
The City of Toronto is currently looking for engaged and enthusiastic residents to join the St. Lawrence Market Precinct Advisory Committee.
The St. Lawrence Market is a renowned international food market featuring over 120 merchants, vendors and farmers, offering the freshest produce, meats and specialty items. The Market is a community and cultural hub in the heart of Toronto and a major historic site for the City. Serving residents of Toronto and international visitors since 1803, the Market is regularly recognized as one of Toronto's most popular destinations and was ranked the number one food market in the world by National Geographic. The St. Lawrence Market Complex is comprised of St. Lawrence Hall, the South Market and North Market – now in its temporary home at 125 The Esplanade.
Members of the St. Lawrence Market Precinct Advisory Committee support and advocate the St. Lawrence Market, providing advice and recommendations to the City to enhance the Market and Precinct for the benefit of the community and all Toronto residents.
For more information and to apply, please click here.
Clean Toronto Together - Registration Now Open
Clean Toronto Together, the City's annual spring cleanup, will take place on April 26, 27 and 28.
The campaign invites resident and community groups, schools, and businesses to help clean public spaces after a long winter. Last year, more than 189,000 people participated in 1,211 cleanups across the city.
Registration is now open at livegreentoronto.ca
The City will arrange special litter collections (April 26-28) for registered cleanups, subject to approval. Registration also prevents multiple groups from cleaning the same space. Click here for more information.
Open Call: The Bentway’s 2019 Community Incubation Program
The Bentway is currently accepting proposals from emerging artists, designers, urbanists, environmentalists, community organizations, and others to animate The Bentway’s grounds through innovative and engaging community programs. Examples of funded programs could include temporary public art installations; drop-in music, dance, and performing arts programs; film screenings; community meals; social good initiatives and more. The deadline to apply is March 24. Learn more here.
TDSB Ward Forum - 2019-2020 Budget
Trustee Stephanie Donaldson, Ward 9 Spadina - Fort York and Davenport, and Trustee Robin Pilkey, Ward 7 Parkdale-High Park, are hosting a joint forum to consult with parents, students, and community members on the TDSB's 2019-20 Budget.
Thursday, March 21st 2019
Fern Avenue Junior and Senior Public School, 128 Fern Ave
To share the meeting details on Facebook, click here.
What’s on at Library Branches in our Ward
There’s lots going on at our Ward 10 libraries. Click here for a list of events and programs at City Hall, Fort York, and Sanderson branches.
You can also stay up-to-date with the latest library news and upcoming programs by signing up for the Toronto Public Library’s email newsletter: http://tpl.ca/e-news
1 Front St W and 141 Bay (Dominion Public Building) Redevelopment Public Meeting
Monday, April 1st, 7:00pm
Novotel Hotel, Champagne Ballroom, 45 The Esplanade
City-Initiated Zoning By-law Amendment
The City has initiated a Zoning By-law amendment to relocate the as-of-right tower envelope at 1 Front St. W. to address heritage and tower separation distance issues.
Owner Submitted Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment
The owner of the Dominion Public Building has submitted an application to permit two towers of 49 and 45 stories on top of the Dominion Public Building, containing a total of 836 residential units, 251 hotel rooms, and 8,986 sq.m. of retail space.
View the meeting flyer here for more information.
David Crombie Park Revitalization Public Workshop #2
Tuesday, April 2nd
4:00pm OR 6:30pm- Choose the time that works best for you
St. Lawrence Recreation Centre, Multi-Use Room, 230 The Esplanade
The City of Toronto invites you to learn more about proposed improvements to David Crombie Park. Staff are hosting a public information workshop to present draft concept plan options, receive public input, identify community preferences and priorities, and discuss next steps.
View the meeting flyer here for more information.