The Cressy Courier: Save CAMH, summer events, and more!
Summer is in full swing and I hope you're taking some time to enjoy our City throughout our short summer months!
As the Pan Am Games wind down, don't forget all the other great summer events happening in Ward 20 and City-wide – the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, the Christie Pitts Film Festival, countless summer markets across our neighbourhoods and the Parapan Am Games, which start on August 7th. Summer is also a great time to get outside and enjoy our beautiful local parks and beaches, and to head down to our City's Waterfront, newly revitalized and a draw for thousands of visitors each year.
We're still hard at work here in Ward 20 – we're working on parks revitalizations, securing resources to build more affordable housing and community facilities, and countless other initiatives with our neighbours across the Ward. By now many of you will have received our very first print newsletter. We're working hard to distribute the newsletter to the remaining areas of the Ward in the coming days, but please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have questions about anything you read about.
I'm also holding special summer constituency hours throughout the months of July and August. We heard from many residents that weekend constituency hours were difficult to attend during the summer, so we're holding regular hours on varying weekdays each week, instead of on the weekends as I normally do. As always, please call my office at 416-392-4044 or email at [email protected] to make an appointment.
Take a look at the newsletter below for local and city-wide updates and events, and I hope to see you around the Ward in the coming weeks.
Support CAMH and sign my letter to Brookfield
Recently, details regarding the future of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) site at 250 College Street (Spadina and College) have been reported by multiple media outlets. CAMH is an essential medical institution and a vital community partner in our city.
From its College Street location, CAMH produces leading-edge research and provides quality medical care for those experiencing mental health issues. They house a women's-focused treatment program and the Province's only 24/7 emergency medical centre specifically for those experiencing mental health crises.
During recent lease negotiations, their property owner, Brookfield Properties, has sought a rent increase of 333%.
Brookfield contends that this 300% increase represents fair market value of the land based on a hypothetical development assumption that would accommodate four new condominium towers. This is despite the fact that the land is zoned for Institutional use only, as per the terms of CAMH's original lease agreement.
This increase would severely limit CAMH's medical research and patient care capabilities, and would jeopardize their ability to remain in their facilities.
I strongly oppose any action to displace CAMH from their location at 250 College Street and 33 Russell Street.
Official Plan Review
As part of the ongoing review of the Toronto Official Plan, the City of Toronto is updating the City’s Official Plan definition for Affordable Ownership Housing. The proposed draft definition is one of several housing policies under review to help encourage the provision of new affordable housing. At its meeting on June 18, 2015, the Planning and Growth Management Committee endorsed a draft change to the definition for Affordable Ownership Housing of the Official Plan as the basis for a public consultation open house.
The City wants to hear your opinion on the proposed definition for Affordable Ownership Housing and provide input.
Open House on the Official Plan Review:
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Metro Hall (55 John Street), Room 304
5-7pm (Staff presentation at 5:45pm)
To review the proposed policy changes and for more information on the Toronto Official Plan Review, please visit the website at: toronto.ca/opreview.
Volunteer at the 15th Annual Chinatown Festival!
The 15th Annual Chinatown Festival will take place on August 22 and 23, 2015. Sponsored by the Chinatown BIA, this is a great event filled with wonderful food and spectacular cultural performances throughout the weekend.
The Festival will take place on the west side of Spadina Avenue from Sullivan Street to St. Andrew Street. This year's theme is The Forbidden City.
If you would like to volunteer during the Festival, please fill out the form here. I look forward to this event every year and hope to see you all out there!
Noise bylaw review - survey deadline extended
Due to its popularity, the City of Toronto is extending its public consultation on the noise bylaw.
The goal of the bylaw review is to consider any changes which may be needed and to ensure that the bylaw is modern, up-to-date and easy for residents, property owners and business to understand. The review includes in-depth research, analysis and consultations with stakeholders and the public. ML&S will submit a staff report with recommendations to the Licensing and Standards Committee at its meeting of September 18, 2015.
Cycling Network Plan Consultation - Phase 2
The City of Toronto is developing their plan to grow, connect, and renew our cycling infrastructure. After initial public consultation, the City has come up with a draft map and would like your feedback on the proposal.
Together, we can make Toronto a better and safer place to cycle.
Live Green Toronto Community Grants
The Environment & Energy Division at the City of Toronto is now accepting applications for Live Green Toronto Community Grants.
The deadline to submit an expression of interest is September 25. This will be the final round of Live Green Grants.
Since 2008, Live Green Toronto has awarded grants of up to $30,000 for environmentally beneficial projects that address community needs such as: park enhancements, school yard improvements, local food gardens, bike infrastructure, tree planting and much more.
Eligible applicants include: resident associations, parent councils, community groups, not-for-profit organizations and Business Improvement Areas. Please note that individuals and businesses are not eligible to apply.
New this year, there is also a new Blue Water Award. One successful grant proposal that helps improve the health of our streams, rivers or waterfront (e.g. porous pavement, rainwater storage, wetland restoration, stream or riparian habitat rehabilitation, measures to reduce basement flooding, etc.) could receive a grant up to $30,000.
Applicants can learn more about this great initiative by visiting www.livegreentoronto.ca.
Greater Waterfront Coalition safety report on Island Airport expansion
The Porter proposal to expand the Island Airport to allow commercial jet operation would extend the airplane runway on both sides, which severely limits waterway access around the island and brings heavy air traffic closer to our Waterfront neighbourhoods. I stand with communities across the Waterfront in opposition to any expansion of the Island Airport.
In addition to the increased air and noise pollution, the Greater Waterfront Coalition (GWC), a coalition of 70 community groups, recently released a report, which details numerous safety concerns related to the proposed Island Airport expansion.
Some of these concerns include: the size and implementation of Marine Exclusion Zones to safeguard against collisions, aborted landing precautions, transparency in safety reporting, and many more.
You can read the full report here.
We must do everything we can to protect Toronto's Waterfront – I will continue to advocate strongly against the expansion of the Island Airport.
Harbord Village Greening: Croft Laneway
With clipboards and cameras in hand, community members and representatives of the Harbord Village Resident's Association have been taking stock of existing flora and sprouting opportunities on Croft Laneway as part of a pilot project for bringing more green to the neighbourhood. While in some places nature has taken matters into its own hands, residents along the laneway have also brought green cheer by making beds in rather unconventional spaces—take a stroll down Croft to see for yourself!
The association will be seeking green thumbs and other keeners to help grow these assets to create a vibrant and safe space for plants, people, butterflies, birds and bees. Contact [email protected] to get involved!
Markets around the Ward
Relocated to an exciting new location at Spadina and Bremner, this partnership between Concord CityPlace, CityPlace Residents’ Association, Scadding Court Community Centre and my office is a great location for this exciting neighbourhood market. The market runs every Wednesday from 11am-8pm and on Saturdays from 10am-5pm and is a great way to support local food and retail businesses.
Join the Good Neighbours Food Market, every Wednesday from 3-7pm, at 250 Davenport Road. The Church of the Messiah, in partnership with residents at 250 Davenport, Toronto Community Housing Corporation, and Food Share host this weekly market, featuring fresh fruit and vegetables at an affordable price. The Market takes place outside 250 Davenport during the spring and summer season, and moves indoors during the winter months.
Housed in retrofitted shipping containers, Market 707 is a unique streetfood and retail market, located outside Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas Street West). This space brings together local entrepreneurs that serve more than 10 types of international street food and offer unique goods and services, like the latest addition of a barbershop. Hours are: Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30am-7pm in Spring and Summer, Tuesday to Saturday 11:30am-5pm in Fall, and vary during winter months.
Christie Pits Film Festival
Christie Pits Film Festival (CPFF) is a local arts organization that programmes a free weekly series of outdoor film screenings each summer in Christie Pits Park, Toronto. Founded in 2011 by cultural programmer and local resident Emily Reid, the festival brings high quality, diverse and accessible film programming to the residents of Toronto’s urban west end and increases the use-value of the park it calls home.
The festival’s programme includes a combination of popular and critically-acclaimed feature films to draw large audiences, and lesser-known local and Canadian short films to expose our attendees to excellent Canadian Content. CPFF aims to celebrate the art of cinema and nurture cinephilia in Toronto. Our curatorial approach reflects this emphasis on the audience and the community.
CPFF takes place in the natural amphitheatre of Christie Pits Park, and there will screenings every Sunday until August 16th.
Check out their website here for a list of upcoming screenings this summer!
Review of Ground Transportation Industry Regulations
Municipal Licensing and Standards has been asked to undertake a review of the operations of Uber and similar technologies, including the public's interest in them, and their impacts on Toronto's taxicab and limousine industries.
Key areas of the review will include:
- what bylaw changes are necessary to bring new and emerging technologies into regulation as part of the City's for-hire ground transportation industry;
- how the City can ensure public safety and consumer protection are maintained; and
- how the City can ensure a level playing field is established and maintained with respect to commercial insurance, driver training, equality of fares and other licensing issues.
Take the survey and have your opinion heard. The survey will be available here shortly.
The Waterfront Singing Ambassadors win international award!
Congratulations to the Waterfront BIA, which has won an award from the International Downtown Association for their "Waterfront Singing Ambassadors" program! The award recognizes BIA excellence in the areas of innovation, representation, and sustainability.
The Singing Ambassadors offer assistance, directions and recommendations to visitors and perform impromptu a cappella renditions of classic summer hits. To learn more and see videos of their performances, visit http://www.waterfrontbia.com/events.asp?opt=ambass. You can also see them live on our beautiful waterfront, afternoons from Thursday to Monday, until September 7.
20th Anniversary of the Lillian H. Smith Library
To coincide with Library's 20th anniversary in October 2015, the Lillian H. Smith Story Project is inviting the public to share their memories and photos of the library and neighbourhood. These memories will be put up on a dedicated website that will be launched in October.
This project encourages residents to become local historians and contribute to an ongoing scheme to record and preserve the evolving stories of both the Lillian H. Smith branch and the community it serves.
At the moment there are three ways to contribute to the project:
Book a time and chat with us in person at 239 College Street:
Wednesdays July 29, August 5, 12, 6-8pm
Saturday August 8, 12-2pm
Please call 416-393-7746 to book an appointment.
Submit your memories as text or images to the dedicated box on the main floor of the library.
E-mail your memories to [email protected]
For more information, please contact Christina at [email protected].
Spotlight on CityPlace Residents' Association
CityPlace, one of our newest neighbourhoods in Toronto, is flourishing on what used to be orphaned land west of the SkyDome. The vibrancy of CityPlace is thanks in no small part to the efforts of the CityPlace Residents' Association (CPRA) who have tackled the unique challenge of building connections between members of this vertical community. As anyone walking along Fort York Boulevard today can see, CityPlace is in fact a living, breathing community of neighbours.
One of the keys to the CPRA's success is an active Facebook group that makes it easy for neighbours to connect from anywhere in the community. It's a great tool for sharing advice, learning about activities and events in the area, and connecting over shared interests (not to mention sharing spectacular photos of the Pan Am fireworks off the CN Tower).
The CPRA has also organized a farmer's market for the neighbourhood, in partnership with Scadding Court Community Centre. This regular market is a way for neighbours to connect, as well as an entrepreneurship opportunity for the independent vendors. The CPRA has also played an important role in growing and sustaining CityFest, the neighbourhood's premier summer celebration held in Canoe Landing Park, featuring live music, food, crafters, and family activities. They also organize seasonal family events and have put on movie nights in the park.
One of the biggest projects that I have been working on closely with the CPRA is the new combined facility for a two schools, daycare, and a community centre being planned for Block 31, immediately east of Canoe Landing Park. Building something like this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for CityPlace, so it is vitally important that we work hard together to ensure this is the best possible asset for the neighbourhood that it can be.
If you are a resident of CityPlace and haven't yet met the CPRA, I strongly encourage you to connect with them and be a part of their good work. If you are interested in getting involved, please visit www.cityplacera.com or email the CPRA President, Ms. Lai-King Hum, at [email protected] or [email protected].
Stay in touch with Trustee Malik
Sign-up to Trustee Ausma Malik's e-newsletter for regular updates from her: http://eepurl.com/9xckn.
July 29th, 2015
Official Plan Review Open House (Metro Hall, Room 304)
Come out to hear about the proposed changes to the Toronto Official Plan regarding Affordable Housing Ownership and offer your input on the issue. The Open House will take place on July 29th from 5-7pm (Staff presentation at 5:45pm) at Metro Hall, Room 304.
August 8th, 2015
Lovin' Local Food Fest (Yonge-Dundas Square)
The Lovin' Local Food Fest will take place on Saturday, August 8 at Yonge-Dundas Square from 11am to 10pm. Everyone is welcome to this full day celebration of local food and drink and, best of all, admission is free!
Featuring the best of Toronto's local food and music scene — with Chef Lynn Crawford, a chef battle (you be the judge!), restaurants, Ontario wines, beers and ciders, family fun zone, buskers and more — there will be something for everyone.
Performers on the main stage include Jully Black, The Spoons and Delhi to Dublin. See what's on the menu and get the full concert lineup at www.livegreentoronto.ca.
August 19th - 23rd, 2015
Kaeja d'Dance Porch View Dances (84 London Street)
Kaeja d'Dance's "Porch View Dances" returns to Seaton Village for the fourth year running. Conceived by Karen Kaeja and further developed with Allen Kaeja, Porch View Dances celebrates the stories of a neighbourhood and engages ‘real people dancing in real spaces.’ Join us as spectators and get taken through a world of enchanting dance and neighbourhood anecdotes, ending with Karen’s stunning audience inclusive Flock Landing finale in Vermont Square Park. Fun for all ages!
August 22nd & 23rd, 2015
15th Annual Chinatown Festival (Spadina Ave, between Sullivan Street and St. Andrew Street)
The Annual Chinatown Festival sponsored by the Chinatown BIA returns this year on August 22 and 23rd. Come out to celebrate all that Chinatown has to offer with food, performances, and other cultural events!
Click here to volunteer at the Festival.
Because the summer weekends are so busy with festivals, parades, and other community activities, we've heard that my weekly Constituency Hours would be more convenient if they happened during the week. To accommodate this, we'll be holding Constituency Hours at various times throughout the week until September.
Please call 416-392-4044 or email [email protected] for an appointment.