The Cressy Courier Oct 30- King St Transit Pilot, Council Highlights & More
Dear Friend --
I hope you've been able to enjoy some Halloween festivities with your friends and loved ones, and are looking forward to the big night!
We're well underway in the busy Fall season here at City Hall, making progress on a number of key issues for our communities.
We've recently officially opened the new Doctors' Parkette and Margaret Fairley park, after years of work by city staff and community members. Work continues to advance in Bellevue Square, and construction of The Bentway Skating Trail will be complete this winter.
We've secured a new park in Harbord Village, as part of the mixed-use development at 666 Spadina Avenue, and work is now officially underway on the creation of a new Creative and Cultural property tax sub-class to make spaces like 401 Richmond continue to be viable.
Updates on these and much more can be found below.
As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns you may have.
I look forward to seeing you around the community as we enjoy the Fall season.
King Street Transit Pilot- Launching November 12th
Earlier this year, our plan for a bold move on King Street was approved by City Council. Work on The King Street Transit Pilot has progressed rapidly since, and the pilot will be launching on November 12.
In the weeks ahead, you will see preparatory work along King Street such as new signage, modified traffic signals, and new paint markings. In the final days leading up to November 12, some lane closures will be necessary at times to install the finishing touches. Every effort is being made to minimize disruption and avoid bad times for this work, such as rush hour or late on a Friday night on King West.
When completed, new turn restrictions will be in place along King Street to limit vehicular access to local traffic only. Cars will still be able to reach every block of King Street in both directions, but commuter through-traffic will not be allowed. There will be no public parking on King Street. Instead, in the middle of each block, curbside space will be dedicated to commercial deliveries, accessible pick up and drop off, general pick up and drop off, taxi stands, and expanded public realm.
The project website has now been updated with a variety of materials to help you navigate the new and improved King Street, including: a helpful map of the corridor to help you figure out how to get where you need to go, an implementation timeline, and more.
To get us to November 12 (weather permitting), here is the implementation timeline available on the project website - much of the work below will be ongoing until the beginning of the pilot:
October 30 – Overhead sign installation begins
November 6 – Installation of new transit shelters at select stops, Curbside sign installation begins, pavement marking installation begins
November 10 – Installation of streetcar stop/public realm elements installation (concrete barriers, planters, tactile strips, and ramps) begins
November 11 – Signal activation
November 12 – Pilot begins
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.
A 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 Transit Pilot is our opportunity to do just that.
The approved design prioritizes transit, but still allows local traffic access. The pilot includes:
- An area 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
- Overnight (10pm-5am) exemption for taxis to facilitate the safe departure of patrons from the Entertainment District (as with all aspects of the study, this will be studied for impact and effectiveness)
If you are have any questions or concerns about the King Street Transit Pilot – both the implementation and the operation – please do not hesitate to bring these to our attention. Changes like this take time to get used to, and there is always the potential with any big change that some wrinkles will need to be ironed out. This will be the first project of its kind in Toronto and we're here to help address any issues that may arise.
October Council Highlights
Ravine strategy for Toronto
Council adopted a new Ravine Strategy for managing Toronto's 10,500-hectare ravine system, directing that an implementation plan be developed and a Ravine Leaders Table convened. Staff were asked to consider incorporating the concept of ecological integrity into the final strategy. Related motions that were adopted address, for example, funding needed to support a ravine maintenance and litter strategy and to pay for a biological inventory and report.
Toronto for All initiative
Council adopted recommendations for making the "Toronto for All" public education initiative an annual City program that will help give Toronto residents and City staff the knowledge and skills to identify, question and challenge systemic discrimination and racism. The Toronto for All campaign for the period 2018 to 2021 is conceived as a municipal tool supporting Torontonians' civic resiliency.
Filling Ward 28 vacancy on Council
Council declared a vacancy in the office of Councillor, Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale and plans to fill the vacancy by appointing a person qualified to hold office in the City of Toronto. The selection will be made at a special meeting in the City Hall council chamber on November 2. The vacancy resulted from the recent passing of Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell. Application details are available on the City's website, www.toronto.ca.
Process for recognitions
Council voted in support of an approach presented by the Mayor to identify appropriate recognitions for the late Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell and Councillor Ron Moeser.
Heat in apartment buildings
Council called on staff to hold consultations to identify and report to the Tenant Issues Committee on ways to effectively deal with heat in apartment buildings, including maximum heat in apartment units. In September, many tenants suffered during a late September heatwave, in some cases as a result of their landlords turning on the heat and/or not turning on the central air conditioning that provides ventilation in tower-block apartment buildings.
Acceleration of Vision Zero planning
Council advised Transportation Services to include options that will accelerate Vision Zero planning, including the acceleration of the School Safety Program, as part of a progress report being prepared for the November meeting of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.
City of Toronto Sport Plan
Council expressed its support for the implementation of a City of Toronto Sport Plan that will serve as a guide to the City and its partners in supporting the ideal of lifelong participation in sport for all Torontonians. Parks, Forestry and Recreation and its partners will work collaboratively over the next five years to implement the plan's recommendations, measure progress and communicate outcomes.
401 Richmond and a new Culture and Creative tax class
I was proud that City Council adopted my motion to formally work on a new property tax sub-class for that purpose and also on making a formal request to the Ontario government concerning the new classification. This initiative is an effort to ensure that Toronto’s arts sector continues to thrive, helping make Toronto a destination for tourists and employers while contributing to a great quality of life for all residents. For more information, visit my website.
Council agreed to denounce racism in all its forms and re-affirm its commitment to recognize the dignity and worth of all people, along with several other statements and directives for action. On the latter, City divisions, agencies and corporations were advised to review their policies and procedures, and those of their grant recipients, to ensure consistency with City Council’s commitment to human rights.
Symbols/flags promoting hate
Council asked for a review of City policies pertaining to displays on public property and for a report with recommendations to improve policies so as to hold event organizers/managers accountable and equip them to assess any symbol or flag, including the Confederate flag, used to promote hate and to remove them from events or from City property.
Municipal election advertising
Council adopted several motions pertaining to enforcement mechanisms now available to the City for the 2018 municipal election as a result of the newly established framework in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 to regulate registered third-party advertisers.
Internship program for Muslim youth
Council authorized staff to work with organizers of the Muslim Youth Fellowship to organize an internship program of aide positions in Toronto councillors' offices. The fellowship, a program hosted by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations in partnership with DawaNet, aims to increase in civic engagement among Muslim youth.
School food campaign
Council endorsed the Coalition for Healthy School Food's current campaign calling for a national school food program in Canada enabling all students to have access to healthy meals at school every day. The coalition is working at a national level to advocate for a program of that kind.
Neighbourhood lending libraries
Council agreed to affirm its support for "little lending libraries" that are popular for sharing books in neighbourhoods, provided that the book displays do not pose a public safety concern or vision hazard. The General Manager of Transportation Services was asked to reiterate policies and protocols with staff to ensure support for these community initiatives.
Glenn Gould Day
Council agreed to proclaim September 25 as Glenn Gould Day in Toronto. Gould (1932-82), a Toronto resident whose birthday was September 25, acquired worldwide fame for his classical piano performances and recordings. His 1955 "Goldberg Variations" is the best-selling classical piano record of all time. The release of numerous albums of his music and the publication of many books about him have contributed to Gould's continuing international renown.
Official Opening- Doctors' Parkette and Margaret Fairley Park
On October 14th we celebrated the completion of the recent renovations of these two wonderful neighbourhood parks. Thank you to all the members of our community who worked so hard to bring these projects to life.
TOcore Planning Study – Proposed Plan Approval and Next Steps
As our City grows, we must ensure we are building liveable neighbourhoods – neighbourhoods where we invest in the critical services that truly make our communities liveable.
Over the last three years, we've been making real progress on a master plan for the downtown to address the unprecedented growth and deficit in our infrastructure. The TOcore Planning Study – the development of a new master plan for downtown to regulate and mandate more equitable development – is now entering year four of its five-year work plan. Phase 1 of the work, a detailed scan of current conditions and the development of guiding principles and priorities, set out a series of strategies for policy and priority changes that will ensure future growth is not only manageable, but also equitable.
Phase 2 included the approval of new guidelines for tower separation distances, consultation on emerging directions, and work to develop a secondary plan for the downtown, to shape and manage future growth, development and public investment.
I'm very pleased that the draft downtown secondary plan was approved by City Council at its October meeting. Now, consultations will begin on the draft plan, and final work will continue on the various infrastructure strategies under development. The Final Downtown Secondary Plan, accompanied by the necessary Infrastructure Strategies, are expected to be presented early in Spring 2018.
For more information on TOcore, visit the project website.
King-Spadina Secondary Plan- Presentation Materials
On October 11th, I was pleased to host the final public meeting on the King-Spadina Secondary Plan. The proposed new Secondary Plan will help to guide future change and growth, and ensure that we are building a liveable, equitable, sustainable community.
Click here to download the presentation materials from the public meeting.
The draft Secondary Plan will be considered by Community Council in November, and City Council will vote on the Secondary Plan in February, 2018.
Waterfront Transit "Reset" Phase 2 Study Update
On September 18 and 26, the City of Toronto, in partnership with Waterfront Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission, held a public meeting for the Waterfront Transit “Reset” Phase 2 Study. The public was presented with an update of the technical work completed during Phase 2, draft directions for the study area, and next steps. If you were unable to attend either public meeting, you can view the full presentation here. The City of Toronto’s staff report and study recommendations will be submitted at the November 29th Executive Committee Meeting.
Ensuring Sustainable Development- 666 Spadina Avenue
Our neighbourhoods spend countless hours together on development proposals - on review, negotiation, and working collaboratively to ensure we are truly building neighbourhoods as we grow. Expanding our green space through development is a key part of this work.
We are delighted that through our hard work with the Harbord Village Residents’ Association (HVRA), City of Toronto staff, and the applicants at 666 Spadina Avenue, we have secured a brand new public park, as part of the infill development at the site, approved at the October meeting of Toronto and East York Community Council. An 11-storey mixed-use infill building that was significantly modified to respond to City and community comments, we have secured the park in addition to a privately owned publicly accessible open space (POPs), and 40% of the overall development will be 2 and 3-bedroom units.
We are also extremely excited to have secured funds, as part of the community benefit agreement, to expand affordable housing for indigenous seniors at Wigwamen Annex (14 Spadina Rd.) and to continue to implement the Harbord Village Green Plan.
The file now moves to City Council for final approval at its November meeting. Thank you to the HVRA for their incredibly hard work in creating these critical additions to the neighbourhood. We look forward to designing the new park and public space, and working together on implementation, in the coming months.
Denison-Bellevue Contraflow Bike Lane Installation
Beginning this fall, the City of Toronto will be installing a contra-flow bike lane on Denison Avenue extending to Bellevue Avenue and on Wolseley Street between Queen Street West and College Street.
Approved by Council in 2017, this contra-flow bicycle lane responds to the Council request to consider provision of a north-south connection between the College Street bike lanes and Richmond-Adelaide separated cycle tracks. Parking boxes will be striped on the west side of the cycling route first. East side on-street parking will be unavailable for the week in the active work area.
There will be impacts on traffic and parking during construction as on-street parking is being flipped to the west side of Denison and Bellevue for the installation of the contra-flow lane on the east curb lane of the roadway, with the exception of Carr to Grange where parking remains on the east side. The net total of car parking spaces will increase along this route.
Start Date: October 24, 2017*
End Date: October 31, 2017
*Timeline is subject to change and is heavily weather dependent.
Click here to view the detailed installation notice.
Kensington Market Heritage Conservation District – moving from Study to Plan phase
Kensington Market is a neighbourhood we all cherish – frankly, it's one cherished by our entire city. After 2 years of work together, I am very excited that the Kensington Market Heritage Conservation District received approval from the Toronto Preservation Board to move from Study to Plan phase at its September meeting.
Over the study period, we worked closely with neighbourhood residents, businesses and the study consultants through a community working group, to investigate the unique character of Kensington, including its more intangible features. With the approved recommendation to move to build an HCD Plan for Kensington, we will be able to take critical steps in preserving the history and heritage of Kensington Market, while we manage the growth and change that is part of its character.
Thank you to all the Kensington community members who worked so hard to make this project a reality.
For more information, you can read the staff report here.
I was also thrilled to join Historica Canada yesterday for the launch of the brand new Kensington Market Heritage Minute. Take a look at this tribute to our neighbourhood here.
Proposed Design for New Park on Draper Street
This past Tuesday evening I was pleased to host a public meeting and share the proposed design for a new park on Draper Street.
As a condition of approval of the redevelopment of the former Globe and Well lands known as "The Well" west of Spadina between Front and Wellington, the developer will build and convey two new public parks to the City of Toronto. One is on Draper Street and the other is on Wellington Street, and will be the subject of its own public meeting in the new year.
The proposed park design is open at both ends creating a new pedestrian connection, while brick walls on the sides tie it into the historic character of Draper Street. The existing heritage plaque will have a new home in the park. A large communal table will host community gatherings and meals. And there will be plenty of benches for people – and Dizzy the cat, official mascot of Draper Street – to sit and enjoy the park.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Community feedback will be incorporated into the evolving design of the park.
9 Madison Avenue Community Consultation
October 30th, 2017, 7:00 pm
Tartu College, 310 Bloor Street West
You are invited to a community consultation meeting that the Estonian Centre and Build Toronto are hosting to discuss a development proposal in the Annex. This is an opportunity to learn more and make your voice heard. This is a pre-application meeting to discuss a proposal for a new building for the Estonian Centre, a non-profit community centre and events venue.
Sidewalk Toronto Community Town Hall
November 1st, 2017, 7:00 pm
Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East, Toronto, ON M5E 1B4
Waterfront Toronto is hosting a Community Town Hall where you can learn more about Sidewalk Toronto and Sidewalk Labs. Come out to share your ideas, your concerns, and your hopes. For more information, please contact [email protected].
52 Division CPLC Town Hall Meeting
November 1st 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
255 Dundas St W
Toronto Police Service 52 Division invites you to attend a town hall meeting. View the event flyer here for more details.
Laneway Housing Proposal at 366-370 Huron St
November 15th, 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
111 St. George St, Innis College Residence event space at grade
The University of Toronto is proposing, as a part of the Huron-Sussex Neighbourhood Plan, the development of a three-storey detached residential building fronting 366 Huron St. and two ancillary two- and three-storey residential buildings fronting the laneway. The proposal also includes a reorientation and redevelopment of the playground space for the Campus Community Co-op Daycare at 368 Huron St.
Earth Day Canada's StreetPLAY - Final Halloween Party
October 30th 2017, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Clinton Street (between Dupont St. and Yarmouth Rd.)
October 31st 2017, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Pendrith Street (between Shaw and Christie St)
October 31st 2017, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Clinton Street (between Bloor St. and Barton St.)
From June to November, 2017, seven streets in Seaton Village were closed off for dedicated active playtime for children. The project enabled more than 1,000 hours of outdoor active play for children from 545 homes. Celebrate - rain or shine! There will be ball hockey, jump rope, trick-or-treat crafts and more. We'd love to see you there!
Harbord Village Residents' Association and Harbord BIA Pumpkinfest
November 1st 2017, starting @ sundown on Harbord Street
The Pumpkinfest is back! Please join your neighbours and local businesses on November 1st. Baked goods, hot cider and many creatively carved and lit pumpkins will be on display.
Seaton Village Residents' Association Pumpkin Patch
November 1st 2017, any time after 4pm, Vermont Square Park
You are invited to join the Seaton Village Residents' Association to walk through an eerie display of community jack-o'-lanterns. Don’t forget to bring your own mug for free cider and hot chocolate!
Blanket Exercise Event: an experiential non-/Indigenous history lesson
November 5th 2017, 12:00 pm - 2/2:30 pm
St George the Martyr, 10 Stephanie Street
A free community event, the Blanket Exercise is a meaningful, interactive presentation which highlights the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada across history. It will be led by Indigenous elder Esther Wesley. Soup & salad at noon followed by the Blanket Exercise at 12:30 pm. For more information or to register, please visit https://www.stgeorgethemartyr.ca/events/.
Civic Remembrance Day Services
November 11th 2017, 10:45 am
Toronto Old City Hall- Cenotaph, 60 Queen St W
The public is invited to attend these events. The Remembrance Day Service at Old City Hall is also live streamed on the City of Toronto YouTube channel. You can follow on twitter: @TorontoComms #TorontoRemembers
TTC Track Reconstruction at Queen Street West & McCaul Street
Expected Start Date: October 16th
Expected End Date: November 6th
This fall, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission will replace the streetcar tracks at the intersection of Queen Street West and McCaul Street as shown below. The intersection at Queen Street West and McCaul Street will be closed to through traffic during construction. Sidewalks on Queen Street West will remain accessible and pedestrians will be detoured around the work area. To accommodate this work, the intersection will be completely closed for three weeks.
This work is required to bring the track infrastructure to a state of good repair and will improve sidewalks for Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance. This project is part of the Council-approved 2017 Capital Works Program.
Additional details including the work times and project-relevant communication can be found in the City Pre-Construction Notice.
Lower Simcoe Ramp Construction
The project to build the new Simcoe Ramp and reconstruct Harbour Street is advancing and is expected to continue until January 2018. Residents should receive advance notice of any non-emergency work outside of regular hours, 7am-7pm. You can visit www.toronto.ca/simcoe-ramp to sign up for direct email notification.
When all the work is completed by January 2018, we will have a new urbanized Harbour Street with sidewalks and a multi-use path, a new public park at York Street, and a new shorter off-ramp ending at Lower Simcoe Street. These changes will expand the public space available to our growing population, and make the streets in the neighbourhood safer and more convenient for everyone.
The Bentway: Construction Update
Much progress has already been made on the construction of The Bentway over the course of this summer. Substantial excavation work has taken place and more than 1,420 metres of utility piping has been installed. Above and below ground electrical conduits are now in place that will power lighting fixtures throughout the site.
With winter skating season fast approaching, we're all excited to see the progress on the skate trail and icehouse. The 220-metre skating trail uses a refrigeration system: 13,746 metres of embedded piping, which is connected to the refrigeration system in the icehouse, carries coolant throughout the trail. When activated that coolant travels through the pipes to take the heat from the surface and distribute it to the refrigeration equipment. This means that ice production is less weather-dependent and visitors will be able to enjoy the trail throughout the winter. The foundation and walls of the icehouse are underway and surface concrete for the trail was poured in September.
For more information on The Bentway, visit www.thebentway.ca.
Bathurst/Queens Quay Watermain Construction Update
The City of Toronto is returning to complete the final portion of the watermain replacement that started in 2016. The portion of work in the intersection of Bathurst and Queens Quay required redesign due to soil conditions and the location of other utilities.
Work will start on November 6 using an open trench to install and connect the new section of watermain to the pipe that was installed in 2016. The work will be staged in four phases.
Start: November 6, 2017
End: December 15, 2017
Work Hours: 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday to Friday, with some possible weekend work as needed. Please note that you will see less activity on site at times, including when the contractor is pressure-testing, disinfecting, and flushing the new watermain.
Pedestrian and Cycling Access: For safety, pedestrians will not be able to use the west crosswalk of the Bathurst-Queens Quay intersection at times. During Phase 2 when the Martin Goodman Trail is affected, signage will direct cyclists and they may be asked to dismount for a short distance. The trench will be temporarily covered outside of work hours to restore all access.
Vehicle Access: There will be significant traffic restrictions during the first two phases of work, beginning with a lane reduction on southbound Bathurst Street approaching Queens Quay, followed by no through traffic on Queens Quay west of Bathurst Street. A police officer will direct vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists through the intersection safely while Bathurst Street is reduced to a single lane. Advance signage will be posted to direct vehicles to alternative routes where appropriate.
Local Access: The neighbourhood will remain accessible throughout the duration of construction. When Queens Quay is closed at Bathurst Street, local traffic will be facilitated by the temporary removal of turn restrictions at Lake Shoe Boulevard and Stadium Road. Local access will be maintained on Queens Quay east of Bishop Tutu Boulevard, from the west only, for the residences and businesses on that block.
Click here to download the detailed construction notice including maps and dates for each phase of work.
If you have any questions, concerns, or require accommodation, please contact Field Ambassador Aaron Bell at 416-497-8600, ext 1351, or email [email protected].
Walkway construction begins at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbour Square Park
Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on Phase 1A of the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbour Square Park project.
Beginning late-October to early-November, the western walkway that leads visitors to Harbour Square Park (located just west of the main entrance at Bay Street and Queens Quay) will close. This will allow for the installation of a widened asphalt walkway that will provide uninterrupted access to the ferry terminal gates throughout construction of Phase 1A. Once the widened walkway is installed and reopened for public access, the main walkway that runs south from Bay Street to the ferry terminal gates will close for construction. This work should begin in early- to mid-November and the new main walkway will be open for the season opening in May 2018.
You may also notice City of Toronto staff on site from now until early-November removing small items including furnishings, plant material, planters, flag poles and pavers. As part of installing the new pedestrian promenade and widened western walkway, the City will be also be removing 15 trees that are directly affected by Phase 1A construction. These trees will be replaced by 16 new trees that will be planted using soil cell technology that will help ensure healthy growing conditions for the trees.
To learn more about the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbour Square Park Master Plan and the Phase 1A, visit Waterfront Toronto's project page.
Stay in touch with Trustee Malik
Sign-up to Trustee Ausma Malik's e-newsletter for regular updates from her: http://eepurl.com/9xckn.
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 [email protected] for an appointment.