Monday, March 31, 2014

Supporting Urban Aboriginal Health, Culture and Economic Growth

News from Queen's Park

Supporting Urban Aboriginal Health, Culture and Economic Growth

Ontario is moving forward on a historic project that will create more economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for urban Aboriginal Peoples.

The province is transferring a section of land on the site of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games Athletes' Village to Anishnawbe Health Toronto where dynamic, world-class Aboriginal community health and cultural centres will be built following the Games.

The new Aboriginal Community Health Centre will provide access to traditional Aboriginal and modern health services. Working in partnership with the Ontario government, the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network, Aboriginal groups, and other public sector organizations, the Aboriginal community cultural hub could include spaces for education, social enterprises and the performing arts.

Infrastructure is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths - its people and strategic partnerships.

More information here:

26th edition of the City Update e-newsletter

City of Toronto - e-updates
This 26th edition of the City Update e-newsletter features the latest news on City services, innovations and accomplishments at the City of Toronto - Canada's largest city and sixth largest government. If the images are not visible in this e-mail, please add to your address - book, or adjust your settings to view this e-mail in HTML. You can also view past editions at

City Update

Volume 8, Issue 1
The City of Toronto's e-newsletter City Update focuses on the latest services, innovations and accomplishments in Canada's largest city and sixth largest government. This e-newsletter is for the public, stakeholders, media, City Council and staff.
Inside this issue:

Toronto at your service

VMS sign on Gardiner

City taking steps to reduce traffic congestion

City Council has approved a five-year congestion management plan aimed at improving traffic congestion on Toronto streets. Recent studies show that congestion costs Toronto commuters several billion dollars annually in travel delays, vehicle operating costs and accidents. Among the key elements of the congestion management plan are upgrading traffic signal management software, the co-ordination of about 1,000 traffic signals, the installation of 100 traffic cameras, and the addition of 13 variable-message signs along the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway. These changes will allow the City to better respond to changes in traffic conditions, provide motorists with updated information, and improve traffic efficiency.

TTC Bending Bus

Bendy buses on Bathurst and Dufferin

The TTC is modernizing its bus fleet and enhancing the customer experience with the introduction of articulated buses. At over 18 metres long, the bendy buses started hitting the road on the 7 Bathurst route late last year, and more recently on the 29 Dufferin route. These accessible, clean-diesel vehicles are slated for service on the 36 Finch West, 6 Bay, 63 Ossington, 85 Sheppard East and 53 Steeles West routes by the end of the year. The buses carry 45 per cent more riders than the TTC’s regular 40-foot buses, and with three doors, they provide quicker loading and unloading times. All 153 bendy buses are scheduled to be in service by the beginning of 2015.

MCIC website

New infrastructure projects on City's website

The website of the Major Capital Infrastructure Coordination Office has been expanded to show the location and type of infrastructure that is planned for construction in 2014 and 2015.  New water, sewer, transit and transportation projects are illustrated, as well as work that will be performed by utility companies, other City divisions and external agencies. The MCIC website also provides a new tool that generates a printable list of infrastructure projects in each ward. The City has another website,, which contains details on emergency and short-term closures as well as special events.

Emergency Kit

Office of Emergency Management ready to respond

The recent ice storm highlighted the importance of being prepared for an emergency. The City's Office of Emergency Management is prepared to assist Toronto during an emergency but residents also have a role to play. Residents can be emergency-ready by preparing an emergency kit, keeping cell phone batteries charged, knowing the locations of all electrical panels, water and gas shutoff valves in the house, and keeping flashlights where you can find them in the dark. During an emergency, residents can keep updated by following the City on Twitter @TorontoComms.

Basement flooding

City offers tips to prevent basement flooding

With April showers around the corner, now is the time to flood-proof your home and basement. Start by clearing eavestroughs and downspouts of debris; disconnect your downspouts that empty into the City's sewer system (it's mandatory, where feasible); fix cracks in windows or your foundation; install a backwater valve and sump pump, and landscape so the ground is sloping away from your home. More tips and information about what the City is doing to help prevent basement flooding is available on the City's website.

Chris BrillingerChris Brillinger, Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration speaking at an Open Dialogue session.
(Photo courtesy of Ranjit Bhaskar, Maytree)

Newcomer Office can help with settlement, integration

The Toronto Newcomer Office facilitates the implementation of the City's Newcomer Strategy, adopted by Council in 2013. Staff work with other City divisions, provincial and federal departments, community agencies and Toronto residents to make positive changes to newcomer lives and advance their successful settlement and integration. In January, staff from the Newcomer's Office organized two Open Dialogue sessions to discuss permanent resident voting rights and newcomer access to City services. They also worked with community partners to run information sessions about City grants and funding.

Two Malvern residents at podiumLocal residents at Grade 8 graduation ceremony

Transition program gives academic lift to Malvern students

Grade 8 students in the Malvern neighbourhood will have an opportunity to progress academically this summer by attending a free program planned for the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. The program is a City initiative in collaboration with the Malvern Neighbourhood Action Partnership and community partners. The six-week program begins on July 2 and is targeted to students who are not working to their academic potential due to their socio-economic circumstances. The program includes intensive math and literacy learning, in addition to career, leadership and employment readiness skills, and exposure to post secondary education options. For more information, contact Claudia Coore at 416-392-6248 or Leolyn Hendricks at 416-491-5050 extension 44755.

mobile Fraud and Waste hotline app

Fraud and Waste numbers reported

The City's Fraud and Waste Hotline, operated by the Auditor General's office, was set up as a practical tool for employees and the public to report complaints concerning fraud, waste or wrongdoing that impact City resources. The Auditor General issues an annual report to Council through the Audit Committee on the activity of the City's Fraud and Waste Hotline program. The report includes details about the program's operation, statistics and highlights of substantiated complaints. In 2013, about 1,000 allegations were received.

2013 Toronto City Planning Annual Report

Planning report looks at priorities and accomplishments

City Planning has released its first-ever annual report highlighting major accomplishments for 2013. These include city-building initiatives such as "Feeling Congested?", The Tall Building Guidelines, Eglinton Connects and the Harmonized Zoning By-Law, as well as Divisional initiatives, such as the new Strategic Plan. The report also looks ahead to identify priorities for 2014, including the creation of new Heritage Conservation Districts, advancing mid-rise development, planning for new transit infrastructure, and advancing the Development Permit System and the ongoing Official Plan Review process.

Automatic External Defibrillators (AED's)

EMS Safe City Program saves lives

Toronto Emergency Medical Services' Safe City Program places and maintains more than 1,400 Automatic External Defibrillators (AED's) in public buildings including TTC stations, police stations, recreation centres and pools. Seconds count when a heart stops beating. Bystanders who see someone in cardiac arrest, unconscious and not breathing can help paramedics save a life by providing cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a shock, if needed, from a public access defibrillator. In 2013 the Safe City Program contributed to saving the lives of 11 people.

Smoke-Free Bylaw sign

Changes to the Smoke-Free Bylaw

Toronto City Council approved changes to the Smoke-Free Bylaw in December. The new restrictions in Toronto's bylaw increase the areas where smoking is banned. It is now against the law to smoke within nine metres of an entrance or exit of any building that is used by the public. Toronto has a history of enacting bylaws that protect residents from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. Smoke-free bylaws also help smokers reduce and quit smoking altogether. For information and support to quit smoking visit Live Tobacco-Free.

Economy and infrastructure

Toronto 2014 budget logo

City of Toronto's 2014 budget

Council on January 30 approved the 2014 Budget for the City of Toronto. The 2014 Tax Supported Operating Budget is $9.6 billion and the 10-year Capital Budget and Plan for investment in the City's future capital needs/priorities totals $18.6 billion. The Operating Budget includes a 2.71 per cent property tax increase for residential properties. The 2.71 per cent residential properties tax increase translates into an increase of $68.59 for the average residential property assessed at $499,521, which will pay $2,598 in municipal taxes in 2014. The total average increase for non-residential properties, which includes multi-residential apartments, is 0.30 per cent.

Icon of sink and garbage can

Solid Waste and Water budgets for 2014

In December, City Council approved the 2014 budgets and rates for Solid Waste Management Services and Toronto Water. The Solid Waste Management Services operating budget is $354.2 million and the capital budget is $96.5 million. This includes an increase of 3 per cent to the volume-based rates in order to maintain and enhance assets and waste diversion programs. City Council also voted to suspend the collection of solid waste user fees for 2014 from non-residential customers including charities and not-for-profit organizations. In 2014 Toronto Water has an operating budget of $403.2 million and capital budget of $613.3 million. The budget also includes a 9 per cent water rate increase. The total cost for all Toronto Water services – drinking water, wastewater treatment and stormwater management – for an average Toronto household is $2.43 per day.

Hydro workers assisting after ice storm

Working together to recover from the storm

Although the 2013 ice storm created multiple challenges for everyone, it was an opportunity for City staff to work together for the greater good. First task was the round-the-clock work performed by the City and Toronto Hydro, the Province of Ontario, Ontario Hydro and other municipalities' hydro and forestry crews to remove fallen branches from power lines and restore power to the city. Transportation crews then focused on clearing debris from blocked streets and removing hazards from roads and sidewalks. In early January, Solid Waste Management Services took the lead to co-ordinate ground wood debris cleanup efforts involving crews from Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR), Transportation Services, Toronto Water and external contractors. Forestry staff continue to resolve tree hazards and assess the damage to Toronto's tree canopy. Residents can help rebuild Toronto's damaged tree canopy by donating to the Recover the Canopy project.


City plan reduces lead in drinking water

Older water pipes and some household fixtures are made of lead, a soft metal that can negatively affect health. The City has a strategy to reduce lead in drinking water that includes lead pipe replacement and a faucet filter program. In 2014, the City is also implementing Corrosion Control, a provincially-mandated program supported by Toronto Public Health that involves adding a small amount of phosphate to prevent lead from entering the drinking water.

Green initiatives

Environment Day event

Community Environment Days start in April

This year, the City will hold 44 Community Environment Days (one per ward) from the first weekend in April to the last weekend of July. At each Community Environment Day event, residents can donate many types of household items for reuse (arts and craft supplies, used clothes and household items that are in good condition). They can also drop off electronics for recycling and household hazardous waste (batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs, propane cylinders and tanks) for safe disposal. A list of accepted items and the 2014 schedule is available on the City's website.

park improvements

Live Green Toronto grant applications due April 7

Since 2008, Live Green Toronto grants have been helping to fund community-inspired projects that green our neighbourhoods, reduce emissions and help us adapt to changes in our climate. Grants of up to $25,000 are available to Toronto-based not-for-profit groups and organizations such as resident associations, community groups and parent councils. Projects eligible for funding include the naturalization of school grounds, the creation of community gardens and park improvements. The deadline to submit a letter of interest is April 7.

eco roof incentive program logo

Eco-Roof Grants extended to residential buildings

Since 2009, the City's Eco-Roof Incentive program has helped fund the installation of more than 100 green and cool roofs on industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.  In 2013, residential buildings also became eligible for funding. Green roofs and cool roofs (light-coloured roofs that reflect the sun's rays) help reduce energy costs and emissions, and help cool our air. Incentives available include green roofs up to $75/m2 to a maximum of $100,000; and cool roofs up to $5/m2 to a maximum of $50,000.

HELP (Home Energy Loan Program) logo

Planning to improve your home's energy efficiency? HELP is here

The City has launched a new pilot program called HELP – Home Energy Loan Program.  If you live in certain areas of the city, you are eligible to apply now. Through HELP, the City provides low interest loans to qualifying homeowners who are interested in improving the energy and water efficiency of their home. Homeowners receive the funding required to complete the improvements and then repay the City over time through instalments on their property tax bill. To learn more about HELP, visit the Live Green Toronto website.

Apartment building worker

Financing for energy and water improvements in apartments

The Tower Renewal Office has launched the High-rise Retrofit Improvement Support (Hi-RIS) program. Hi-RIS makes financing available for energy and water improvements in apartment buildings in Toronto and helps property owners to control costs and improve building conditions. The program has a $10 million fund available over the three year pilot project. Financing is available at competitive rates with terms ranging from five to 20 years. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit the City's website or contact

Awards and recognition

Live Green Toronto Awards logo

Enter and vote in the Live Green Toronto Awards

The City's 2014 Live Green Toronto Awards are now open for entries and voting. The Awards recognize the people, groups and businesses that are helping to green our city. Entrants are required to submit a short video and tell their green story in 500 words or less, and the public can vote for their favourites online. Winners will receive $2,500 courtesy of award sponsors and a chance to share their story on CP24. The deadline to enter and vote is April 28. Winners will be announced on May 20.

Rob MeikleRob Meikle, Chief Information Officer, City of Toronto

City wins awards at Government Technology Exhibition and Conference

he City won two awards and an honourable mention for Information Management and Technology in the public sector at the Distinction Awards Gala held by the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC) in October. Chief Information Officer Rob Meikle was the municipal recipient of the Leadership for the Next Generation Award. The Employment and Social Services Division won an Award for Excellence in Public Service Delivery for its City Services Benefit Card project, and the Social Development, Finance and Administration Division's Social Policy Analysis and Research unit was also recognized for their project, Wellbeing Toronto.

award recipient

Interdivisional work pays off

This past year, City Planning and other divisions were recognized by three professional associations for advancing leading-edge policy initiatives with the following awards:
1. The Eglinton Connects Planning Study received the 2013 Project of the Year (Toronto section) Award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
2. The Official Plan Heritage Policies received the2013 Award of Excellence for outstanding achievement in heritage planning and policy from the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals.
3. The Tall Buildings: Inviting Change in Downtown Toronto Studyreceived the2013 Excellence in Planning Award (Research / New Directions category) from the Ontario Professional Planners Institute.

woman dumps garbage in green bin

Green Bin implementation recognized

Solid Waste Management Services was recently awarded the 2013 Management Innovation Award from the Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA) for its strategy to promote Green Bin (organics) implementation in apartments and condominiums. Solid Waste implemented an education and outreach campaign to increase the number of buildings participating and improve diversion rates at buildings already enrolled in the program. A new Customer Service Implementation Team was created to support the rollout to multi-residential buildings. By the end of 2013, Solid Waste surpassed its target with close to 3,000 buildings (over 180,000 units) participating in the Green Bin Program.

Out and about

Toronto Carpet Factory

Explore Toronto's buildings at Doors Open, May 24-25

The 15th annual Doors Open Toronto presented by Great Gulf will offer free access to 155 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city. This year's theme is Secrets and Spirits… Exploring the Mysteries Behind the Door. Secret spaces and stories exist all over Toronto from an underground bowling alley in one downtown church and a secret tomb in another, to the hidden nooks and crannies at the University of Toronto and the little-known ghosts that haunt the Historic Distillery District. This year's event includes walking tours, a speaker series and art exhibits.

cultural hotspot in Scarborough

Discover Scarborough as a Cultural Hotspot

From May to October, the Cultural Hotspot project will shine a spotlight on arts, culture and community in south Scarborough inspiring new ideas about where culture thrives in Toronto. This City of Toronto and partner-produced initiative will feature a series of projects that will include art in storefronts and restaurants, streetscape art, gateway murals, youth mentorship and employment, local festivals and more. This project will help locals and visitors to discover Hotspot neighbourhoods and the places within, to experience arts, culture, heritage and parkland as well as where to get fantastic food.

children ages six to 12 at Toronto Public Library

New direction for Library services to school-aged children

In January, Toronto Public Library unveiled a new framework for the services it provides to Toronto’s children ages six to 12 and their families. Based on the latest research, and building on the programs and services currently offered, the library’s Middle Childhood Framework provides a blueprint for supporting the healthy growth and development of school-aged children as they transition into independent learners. The framework is built around three core library service pillars: making reading fun, encouraging self-directed, interest-driven learning, and promoting fun and play as an important part of a child’s development.

children in front of a computer

Library launches series of Digital Innovation Hubs

Toronto Public Library’s first Digital Innovation Hub officially opened at the Toronto Reference Library in February and more hubs are planned to open this year at Fort York and Scarborough Civic Centre branches. These hubs will be flexible places that house a range of digital technology (including 3D printers) that will allow people to learn, create and explore in a welcoming environment. The Hubs are also intended to be collaboration spaces for people to connect and learn from each other. There will be monthly meet-ups, speaker and networking events, and free classes on everything from 3D design to computer programming.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey costumes on display

The City's Spadina Museum, in partnership with VisionTV/ZoomerMedia, will present the Canadian premiere of Dressing for Downton: Costumes from Downton Abbey. Twenty costumes worn by the characters of the award-winning British television series will be on display until April 13. The exhibition features costumes and photographs from the series, Downton-themed tours and teas. The tour takes visitors through the museum's family and servants' spaces and links the characters and events from the TV show to real Toronto history.

Portrait of William Peyton HubbardPortrait of William Peyton Hubbard, c. 1907, Photograph (courtesy of Heritage Toronto)

Market Gallery profiles Ontario Black History Society

The City's Market Gallery is presenting an exhibition on the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) through April 19. The exhibit provides an overview of the society's 35-year history using photographs and historic materials. A portrait of William Peyton Hubbard is one of the many important historic persons featured in the exhibit. Hubbard was the City of Toronto's first Black councillor. He held office from 1894 to 1913, and was Deputy Mayor in 1906 and 1907. The City honours his influence then and now with the annual William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations.

baby Giraffe at Zoo

So cute! New babies at the Zoo

Spring has sprung at the Toronto Zoo, and with it has come many wonderful Zoo babies including a four-month-old polar bear cub, Humphrey, who can be seen exploring his outdoor den and maternity area in the Tundra Trek. Other youngsters include zebra foals, Luke and Leia, and a giraffe named Mstari. There is also a young gorilla in the African Rainforest Pavilion. Toronto’s favourite giant panda pair, Er Shun and Da Mao, are also at the Zoo. Their exhibit includes an Interpretive Centre featuring interactive themes such as Eating Bamboo, Threats to Giant Pandas and Saving Giant Pandas.

Toronto Challenge marathon

Get ready for the Toronto Challenge

Start training now for the Toronto Challenge on Sunday, June 8. Whether you complete the 5k run, 5k walk or 1k walk, you will be raising funds for Toronto Long-Term Care Homes & Services residents and for other non-profit organizations. Support seniors in your community and visit to register. For 23 years, the Toronto Challenge, presented by, has been bringing together participants from all ages and abilities to raise funds to improve the quality of life for seniors.

Toronto's ice storm protocol for tree removal no longer in effect

City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:

News Release:  March 31, 2014                       

Toronto's ice storm protocol for tree removal no longer in effect

Residents and businesses are advised that the City of Toronto's ice storm protocol is no longer in effect for the removal of tree hazards resulting from ice storm damage.

Returning to regular practice, the City again requires property owners to obtain a permit or Confirmation of Exemption from the Urban Forestry branch of the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division prior to removing or injuring trees.

A permit is required if the tree on private property is regulated and protected by the City's various tree protection bylaws. A Confirmation of Exemption is issued if the tree is not regulated and protected – for example, if the tree is diseased and is a hazard. A permit is not required to prune a tree in accordance with good arboricultural practices, including removing cracked or broken branches.

Where an imminent tree hazard is present, property owners are required to submit an arborist report and digital photographs of the subject tree by email, mail or fax, or can drop them off in person. Where appropriate, the City will issue a permit or a Confirmation of Exemption to proceed. 

To apply for a tree injury or removal permit, or to obtain a Confirmation of Exemption, residents should contact their Urban Forestry Tree Protection and Plan Review District Office. Details about the four locations:

- North York District: North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, M2N 5V7, Fax: 416-395-6714, email:

- Scarborough District: Nashdene Yard, 70 Nashdene Rd., Toronto, M1V 2V2, Fax: 416-396-4248, email:

- Toronto and East York District: Booth Yard, 50 Booth Ave., Toronto, M4M 2M2, Fax: 416-392-7277, email:

- Etobicoke York District: Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall, Toronto, M9C 2Y2, Fax: 416-394-8935, email:

More information about Toronto's tree bylaws and related matters is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.


Media contact: Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Line, 416-560-8726,

Delay to road permit parking changeover in Toronto

City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:

News Release:  March 31, 2014   

Delay to road permit parking changeover in Toronto

Residents who have on-street parking permits are being asked to delay parking their vehicles on the other side of the street until Tuesday, April 15.

Traditionally, on-street parking takes place on one side of the street for six months of the year and then switches to the other side of the street for the next six months. This change traditionally takes place on April 1. However, due to heavy snowfall and persistent cold temperatures this winter, there is an accumulation of ice between parked cars in many areas of the city. It may not be safe or practical to switch sides until the ice and snow has melted.

It is expected that roads will be clear by April 15, allowing the alternate side of the road parking rule to go into effect on that date.

Toronto Police Service will honour this delay and ticketing for parking on the wrong side will not begin until April 16 at 9 a.m. However, if vehicles are parked in a hazardous manner, creating obstructions or hampering the free flow of traffic, tickets will be issued and the vehicles could be towed.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.


Media contact: Steve Johnston, Strategic Communications, 416-392-4391,

Friday, March 28, 2014

Earth Hour candle safety

City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:

News Release: March 28, 2014

Earth Hour candle safety

Toronto residents will join millions of people around the globe by switching lights off to celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29 at 8:30 p.m. 

The City of Toronto reminds everyone to keep fire safety in mind during the lights-out period on Saturday. Many sources of fires are on the decline, but candle fires have increased in recent years. Toronto Fire Services recommends not using candles. Instead, use a battery-powered flashlight when light is needed during Earth Hour. 

If candles are used, please follow these fire safety tips: 
• Always stay in the room where candles are lit 
• Extinguish all candles when leaving the room
• Avoid using candles in bedrooms
• Keep candles at least one metre away from anything that can burn
• Keep candles, matches and lighters hidden and out of the reach of children
• Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip or burn and consider using a candle holder that encloses the flame in a glass shade or chimney
• Extinguish candles when they burn to within five centimetres (two inches) of their holder
• Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every storey of your home
• Prepare and practise your home fire escape plan.

More information is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.


Media contact: Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338-0763, 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sexual Assault Alert, Police believe there may be more victims

Toronto Police Service
News Release

Sexual Assault Alert, Lameck Russell Williams, 26, arrested, Police believe there may be more victims, Update, Another victim comes forward, Photograph of Lameck Russell Williams released

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 3:59 PM
51 Division

On Friday, March 21, 2014, the Toronto Police Service made the public aware of an arrest in an ongoing sexual assault investigation.

See previous release.

At the time, investigators said they believed there may have been other victims.

It is now alleged that:

- on Thursday, January 20, 2014, a woman, 24, was walking in the Queen Street East and Church Street area

- she was approached from behind by a man and sexually assaulted

- the man fled westbound

The man has been identified as Lameck Russell Williams, 26, of Toronto. He faces the following new charges:

1) Three counts of Sexual Assault

He is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, in court room 101, on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 10 a.m.

Police still believe there may be other victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

A sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration. To learn more about sexual assault, including how to report a sexual assault, please visit our Sex Crimes Unit website.

For more news, visit

Constable David Hopkinson, Corporate Communications, for Detective Marcie Hickmott, Sex Crimes

An attachment to this release is available on our website.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Toronto residents asked to prepare remaining wood debris from ice storm for collection with leaf and yard waste

City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:

News Release:  March 21, 2014

Toronto residents asked to prepare remaining wood debris from ice storm for collection with leaf and yard waste

With the onset of spring, the melting snow will reveal bits and pieces of wood debris generated by the December ice storm. Inaccessible until now, this remaining material will be dealt with through the City of Toronto's leaf and yard waste regular biweekly collection that began March 11.

Residents, in accordance with their local collection calendars, may set their leaf and yard waste out on their regularly scheduled garbage day. Any leftover ice storm wood debris will be removed by these regular leaf and yard waste collection crews, provided the material is set out correctly by 7 a.m. on pickup day.

The diameter of branches must not be larger than 7.5 centimetres (3 inches). For limbs, trunks and stumps that exceed this accepted size, residents must make arrangements with a private company specializing in handling this type of waste. For City collection, branches must be put out in small bundles no longer than 1.2 metres (4 feet) in length and 0.6 metres (2 feet) in width. The maximum height for yard waste containers is 95 centimetres (37 inches) and each container cannot weigh more than 20 kilograms (40 pounds). Kraft paper bags are acceptable containers. The City will not pick up yard waste set out in plastic bags or cardboard boxes.

If residents see large fallen limbs from public trees located on public property, they may call 311 to report it. Residents may also continue to report to 311 fallen or hanging limbs that are potential hazards on the streets and in parks. Appropriate action will be taken to remove them.

The multi-divisional team responsible for removing ice storm wood debris completed cleaning up the streets on January 30 and the removal of fallen wood debris in City parks was finished on February 24. Crews responded to service requests initiated by calls to 311 made in early February by picking up reported leftover street wood debris. Residents were informed at that time that any tree debris not reported to 311 by February 3 would be picked up when the City begins leaf and yard waste collection on March 11.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms

- 30 -

Media contact: Pat Barrett, Strategic Communications, 416-392-4716,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2014 Environment Day - April 13 2014

Text with 9-1-1 for the deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and speech-impaired community

Toronto Police Service
News Release

Text with 9-1-1 for the deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and speech-impaired community

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 10:26 AM
Communications Services:  416-808-8899

Effective today, members of the deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and speech-impaired community in Canada will be able to register their cell phones with their wireless service providers in preparation for texting with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1).

Please note that T9-1-1 is not currently available in Toronto and will only be available once the required network upgrades have been completed. An announcement will be made when T9-1-1 becomes available in Toronto.

For more information on texting with 9-1-1 for the DHHSI community, please go to Text with 911.

Voice-calling remains the only way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person who is not deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or with speech impairment. TTY services are available for those members of the DHHSI community who use this technology.

For more news, visit

Mark Pugash, Corporate Communications, for Tracy Finn, Communications Services

Distillery Clean-up - April 26 and 27

Monday, March 17, 2014

Improving Road Safety In Ontario

Ontario NewsroomOntario Newsroom
News Release

Improving Road Safety In Ontario

March 17, 2014

Province Introducing New Legislation to Keep Roads Safe

Ontario is introducing legislation today to help reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities on the province's roads and highways and keep them among the safest in North America.
If passed, the proposed Keeping Ontario's Roads Safe Act and supporting amendments to the Highway Traffic Act will make highways and roads safer by:

  • Increasing fines for distracted driving from a range of $60 - $500 to a range of $300 - $1,000 and assigning three demerit points upon conviction
  • Increasing fines for drivers for dooring cyclists from a range of $60 - $500 to range of $300 - $1,000 and raising the demerit points from two to three
  • Requiring all drivers to maintain a distance of one metre when passing cyclists
  • Requiring drivers to yield the whole roadway to pedestrians at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers

Ensuring Ontario's roads and highways are safe is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths - its people and strategic partnerships.


  • Drinking and driving fatalies represented close to one quarter of all fatalities annually.
  • According to current collision trends, fatalities from distracted driving are forecasted to exceed those from drinking and driving by 2016.
  • Pedestrians represent about one in six motor vehicle-related fatalities on Ontario roads – 41 per cent of which occurred at intersections.
  • The proposed legislation would build on existing measures Ontario has introduced to improve road safety, including making booster seats mandatory, ensuring every person wears a seatbelt, introducing stiffer penalties for street racing, bringing in tougher impaired driving laws, and banning hand-held devices while driving.




"Ontario’s roads consistently rank among the safest in North America thanks to our tough laws and strong enforcement, along with the work of our many dedicated road safety partners. Our new legislation, if passed, would keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians even safer as we get tougher with those who ignore the law."
 — Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure

"Despite Ontario’s road safety record, there is still more to do – by targeting impaired, distracted and other unsafe driving with increased fines or penalties, we hope to reduce the tragic and costly consequences of collisions, injuries and fatalities on our roads."
 — Dr. Arlene King, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health


Patrick Searle
Minister’s Office

Bob Nichols
Communications Branch

Ministry of Transportation