July 31, 2014
- Welcome Letter from Kristyn Wong-Tam
- Construction in the Downtown
- Park Updates
- Summer and Fall Events
- Ward 27 Development Update
- July 2014 City Council Highlights
1. Welcome Letter from Kristyn Wong-Tam
Toronto is alive with the sights, sounds, and experiences of summertime. Ward 27 is home to some of the largest cultural celebrations in our city. We’ve already successfully hosted WorldPride 2014, NXNE and the PanAm Games One-Year Countdown Kickoff, with several more exciting events planned this season.
The month of August will see the launch of Open StreetsTO, an all-ages, family-friendly program that will take place two Sunday mornings on Bloor Street and Yonge Street that will bring out new entertainment, business opportunities and promote healthy, active living. My office has been collaborating closely on this project, as well as a new open-air community market that will take place at 11 Wellesley Street West on Fridays between 11am and 4pm, starting on August 15. Ward 27 will also be hosting Buskerfest on Yonge Street, multiple TIFF events, and Toronto’s signature cultural event, Nuit Blanche.
The vitality of Ward 27 is impossible to miss. Looking back at the last few years, I am mindful of how much we have accomplished as a community. We hosted the historic Celebrate Yonge festival, piloted Toronto’s first parklet program on Church Street, asked the Province of Ontario to remove Toronto from the jurisdiction of the OMB, initiated major new heritage studies to preserve our iconic neighbourhoods, started important work on the revitalization strategy for the Downtown East, renovated Barbara Hall Park in time for World Pride, secured significant new parkland, rolled-out monumental new public art projects, made significant public safety improvements in our communities, and upgraded street improvements with superior design and new greening strategies. This is only a partial list, but it demonstrates just how much can be done when we work together.
I hope that you will continue to stay in touch over the coming months. Ward 27 is never short on community events and significant projects. Your engagement is vital to Toronto and we are best when we all come together in collaboration. As the residents, business owners, and community members of Ward 27, I thank you for the incredible opportunity to serve you and your family over the last three and a half years; and look forward to updating you again in the fall.
Due to City policy on communications in an election year, this will be my last councillor e-newsletter before October 27. Over the coming months, information on upcoming events and news from the Ward will continue to be posted at www.ward27news.ca. To find information of the final session of City Council in August, please click here; for information on the final session of Toronto East York Community Council, please click here.
Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy summer and fall,
Toronto is facing an unprecedented amount of construction on our roads and it is causing frustration for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. The City is updating a significant amount of its aging infrastructure, including roads, bridges and watermains – critical infrastructure reaching its end-of-life. This is truest in Ward 27 where we are home to some of earliest and oldest neighbourhoods in Toronto.
Private companies are busy, too. The City is experiencing significant growth – especially in the downtown core – and this has led to a demand for increased services. A lot of the work that you see taking place is private construction which also adds stress to our roads as lanes of traffic are utilized temporarily to accommodate this work.
Organizations such as Enbridge, Toronto Hydro and telecom companies also continue to upgrade their infrastructure. Since most of their infrastructure is buried under our roads, they need to cut into the roads to do their work. This often means lane closures and more pressure on our transportation routes, sometimes on an unplanned, emergency basis.
However, instead of simply allowing work to take place on a completely ad hoc basis, the City has taken significant steps to plan the work in order to minimize disruption wherever possible.
Five years ago, the City established the Major Capital Infrastructure Coordination (MCIC) division that acts as a coordinating body for all groups – not just city agencies – that perform construction work in the city. MCIC connects with all groups to make sure that all long-term work is coordinated and that all agencies are aware what other organizations are doing. This coordination often enables work from different groups to be bundled together, avoiding repeated work and disruption. Additional efforts include accelerating construction projects whenever possible, implementing signal timing changes on parallel roads and limiting short-term work on nearby roads.
While the City is making every possible effort to minimize disruption, there is no denying that delays occur. The City continues to take significant steps toward getting this work done effectively through its short term and long term coordination as it enhances our transportation network now and in the future.
Wellesley & Queen's Park
The City of Toronto is resurfacing the road on Queen’s Park Crescent and reconstructing the road and sidewalks, and completing cycling and traffic signal improvements on Wellesley Street West. This project is part of the 2014 Capital Construction Program.
This work will take place on Queen’s Park Crescent from College Street to Bloor Street West and Wellesley Street West from Queen’s Park Crescent West to Yonge Street. Work is expected to be completed for December, 2014.
Your co-operation and patience during the construction period is crucial and appreciated.
Queen’s Park Crescent – July 21st to Sept 22nd 2014
Road Resurfacing and sidewalk reconstruction
Reconfiguration of the Hoskin Ave and Queen’s Park Crescent intersection, including Separated Bike Lane Construction from Hoskin Ave to Wellesley St W
Traffic Restrictions – Minimum of two lanes of traffic at all times on a one-way section of Queen’s Park Crescent
Wellesley Street West – July 21st to December 2014
Road & Sidewalk Reconstruction
Separated Bike Lane Construction
Watermain Service Transfer
Traffic Signal Improvements
Traffic Restrictions – Maintain one lane of traffic in the eastbound direction at all times, however,
Westbound traffic will be closed during construction
Work will typically take place from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday, with work after hours and on weekends as required.
As with all construction projects, there will be noise and temporary inconveniences. In order to complete the work effectively and in a safe manner, some pedestrian and traffic restrictions will be necessary.
TTC service will continue on Queen’s Park Crescent and Wellesley Street West and all bus routes will be maintained during construction. Service disruptions, bus stop relocations, and routing changes will occur due to construction, particularly for the westbound Wellesley St West bus route, which will require a route diversion. For information related to routing changes for the affected TTC route, please refer to the TTC web site at www.ttc.ca
Parking Restrictions & Allowances
Construction will require temporary partial closure of private driveways/entrances. Where the property has two entrances, one entrance will be kept open at all times.
Further notice will be given prior to the temporary closure.
During construction, on street parking will be prohibited and residents are asked to park on adjacent side streets where it is permitted.
Sidewalk reconstruction will be undertaken in front of properties on the north and south sides of Wellesley Street West and all sides of Queen’s Park Crescent. Property owners in the affected area are reminded to remove any privately owned items from the boulevard. The City will not be responsible for damage to any privately owned items installed on the City’s property.
Garbage Collection & Store Deliveries
Garbage collection shall remain unchanged, with access restrictions due to construction. Business will continue to receive store deliveries; however access restrictions will prevent deliveries from being store front during construction.
For more information:
Rabcon Contractors Ltd.
Consultant Field Ambassador:
24 Hours: General Inquiries 311
Church Street and Wood Street
Important maintenance is taking place on water mains on Church Street south of Wellesley Street and on Wood Street east of Yonge Street. Area water infrastructure is reaching its end-of-life and crews are working to re-line the pipes with a durable and long-lasting new layer that will ensure reliable water service for years to come.
Crews are making efforts to minimize disruption on Wood and Church Street by working between morning and evening rush hours to maintain lanes and sidewalks in the morning and evenings. Some disruption will be ongoing, however. Work is expected to be completed for early September, 2014.
Charles Street East
Necessary upgrades are now underway for the water mains on Charles Street, east of Yonge Street and west of Jarvis Street. With the major population growth our neighbourhoods are experiencing, this work is essential to provide adequate water pressure to residents living in the area. Additionally, resurfacing work will take place during road restoration that will significantly improve upon current conditions.
Work is targeted for completion as early as October 31, 2014. This work is separate from, and a pre-requisite to, the streetscape improvement plan presently being developed for Charles Street and Hayden Street between Yonge Street and Church Street.
Chorley Park Trail – Status Review
Following the public meeting held at Rosedale United Church on July 9, 2014, I directed City staff to re-assess the trail design and construction project with additional neighbourhood consultation. The City's Public Consultation Unit is now currently organizing a stakeholder working group that will be representative of local residents, resident groups and trail users.
An open call for applications for the working group will be published at the end of this summer and a first meeting of the working group will be scheduled in September, 2014. It is anticipated that three working group meetings, spread across September – November, 2014, will be held. I thank you for your patience as we anticipate further details to be published by the Public Consultation Unit, soon.
For up-to-date information, including the slide presentation and summary of public feedback from the June 9 meeting, please visit the project web page: www.toronto.ca/chorleytrail
If you have any questions or concerns about the stakeholder working group, please contact my office (email@example.com; 416-392-7903) or Jason Diceman, Public Consultation Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org; 416-338-2830).
Ramsden Park Revitalization
After multiple stakeholder discussions, three rounds of public consultation, dog off-leash area working meetings and two site walks, the multi-million dollar revitalization of Ramsden Park is being ambitiously moving forward by Councillor Wong-Tam. PMA Landscape Architects has presented multiple concepts at the public meetings. PMA is now incorporating the feedback they received and fine tuning design concepts and details for neighbourhood approval. A final Open House meeting to review the plans will be held on September 8 at 6:30 pm at Belmont House, 55 Belmont Street. Please click here (http://ramsdenparkconsultation.com/) to view the concepts and review the minutes of previous meetings.
Queen's Park North Master Plan Consultations
Toronto has initiated consultations for Queen's Park North to draft a new master plan to guide the park's use, maintenance, and improvements into the future. Stakeholders are being contacted presently and broad consultations will take place in September. If you are a regular visitor to the park or live in the neighbourhood, your input is valuable and Toronto's Parks department want to hear your thoughts on the following matters:
- What do you like best about Queen's Park North
- How do you use the Park?
- How would you like to use the Park?
- What improvements does the Park need?
- What Challenges exist in the Park and how would you address them?
Moss Park Master Plan Consultations
In May of this year, I was joined by local residents and users of Moss Park to discuss the future of this well-used green space in the heart of the Downtown East. Moss Park is situated beside the John Innes Community Centre, Ward 27's only community recreation facility and the Moss Park Arena, one of the few downtown indoor ice rinks. Both of these facilities are being used to their full capacity and are in need of refurbishment and expansion.
As part of the Downtown East Revitalization, I have asked staff to begin a Master Plan process to look at the future of this whole site, including the Arena and Community Centre. As the local community grows and evolves, I feel it is important that we develop our city services to match the needs of the local neighbourhood.
More consultation will follow as this Master Plan process unfolds and I will endeavor to keep you updated.
Allan Gardens Playground Update
Excavation for the new Allan Gardens Playground began in May. The contractors uncovered archaeological artifacts dating back to the original building foundations that existed prior to when the park was built. This discovery has launched a provincially mandated Archaeological investigation. The investigation is focussed on a few 'out buildings' (sheds/garages) that were situated within the footprint of the proposed playground in the late 1800's, early 1900's. The artifacts are fragments of ceramic dishes, clay pipes, metals - all fairly typical of turn of century household items.
The contractor and city staff are working closely with the Province to move forward with the required Archaeological reviews of the site and the contractor has completed as much work as possible in areas that are not a part of the review.
We are advised by Parks, Forestry and Recreation that they still expect the playground to be complete in September of this year.
Inaugural Urban Harvest Festival comes to Allan Gardens!
Sunday, September 28, 2014; 12-3pm
The Friends of Allan Gardens, Food Forward, Building Roots and Cater Toronto present the Urban Harvest - A Fall Food Festival.
This free, family-friendly event will be a chance to participate in food and urban agriculture demonstrations, sample tasty treats from local start-up caterers, press your own cider and enjoy musical performances and entertainment!
Councillor Wong-Tam also invites the community to join her in cutting the ribbon on the highly anticipated new Allan Gardens Playground.
4. Summer and Fall Events
11 Wellesley Market (starting August 15)
Councillor Wong-Tam is proud to announce Ward 27’s newest open-air market at 11 Wellesley West. Together with Ryerson University, Food Forward and the Bay Cloverhill Community Association, we have been working hard to ensure that the new 11 Wellesley Market will be open Friday August 15. The site has been made available by Lanterra Development and the market is scheduled to take place every Friday from 11 am to 4 pm until the end of September. Watch out for our announcements, special themes and list of exciting vendors comprised of local businesses and social enterprises. There will be specialty food vendors, purveyors of fine craft and locally made, unique products. Support small businesses and meet your neighbours. Visit http://www.ward27news.ca for regular updates.
Open Streets (August 17 & 31)
Councillor Wong-Tam is pleased to announce the launch of the Open Streets TO, the newest recreational and cultural event unlike any other in Toronto. The program will take place between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm on Sunday, August 17 and Sunday, August 31, 2014. The 5.2 kilometre route will comprise Bloor Street (between Spadina and Parliament) and Yonge Street (between Bloor and Queen), connecting some of Toronto's most diverse neighbourhoods. Open Streets TO will open Toronto streets to residents and businesses. People movement will temporarily replace car movement. Toronto streets become “paved parks” where people of all ages, abilities, and social, economic, and ethnic background can come out, enjoy the neighbourhoods and improve their health through free and fun physical activity. For more information about the program, or to volunteer, please visit www.openstreetsto.org.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will be taking place from September 4 through September 14, 2014. This year's festival will feature over 300 films from more than 60 countries. Events will be taking place across Toronto during the ten day event, including Ward 27. To find more information about what films are showing and what events are taking place near to you, visit www.tiff.net through August.
Ward 27 will once again welcome Scotiabank BuskerFest to the historic and vibrant Downtown Yonge neighbourhood. BuskerFest is organized by Epilepsy Toronto as their largest fundraiser of the year. Last year's event was an amazing success and in partnership with the Downtown Yonge BIA, Scotiabank BuskerFest is once again set to transform the longest street in the world into a stage for all things quirky, funky, impressive and weird. Scotiabank BuskerFest will run from August 21 to August 24 and takes place along Yonge Street between College and Queen.
5. Ward 27 Development Update
Over the past few years, many of you have come out to development meetings to share your views about new development being proposed for Ward 27. August 12th will be the last Toronto and East York Community Council meeting of 2014 and an opportunity for you to share your views on the Final reports for some of these applications.
There are 11 planning reports coming forward to the August 12th meeting of the Toronto and East York Community Council
TE34.22 Final Report - 50 Bloor Street West - Zoning Amendment Application
TE34.23 Final Report - 50-60 and 62-64 Charles Street East and 47 and 61 Hayden Street
- Zoning Amendment Application
TE34.25 Final Report - Davenport Terrace - City-Initiated Zoning Amendment
TE34.26 Final Report - 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 14 and 16 Elm Avenue, 120 and 125 Mt. Pleasant Road,
and the former Elm Avenue - Zoning Amendment Application - Final Report
TE34.27 Final Report - 186 and 188 Jarvis Street - Zoning Amendment Application
TE34.28 Final Report - 70 St Mary Street - Official Plan and Zoning Amendment Applications
TE34.29 Final Report - 481 University Avenue, 210 Dundas Street West, 70 Centre Avenue and
137 Edward Street - Zoning Amendment Application
TE34.31 Final Report - 5 to 25 Wellesley Street West and 14 to 26 Breadalbane Street
- Zoning Amendment Application
TE34.32 Final Report - 27-37 Yorkville Avenue and 26-32 and 50 Cumberland Street
- Official Plan and Zoning Amendment
TE34.93 Yorkville - East of Bay Planning Framework (Available at end of next week)
TE34.94 Downtown East Planning Study - Official Plan Amendment - Status Report
All of the recommendations and reports can be viewed on the City's website here.
Each report will also include a link where you can register to speak to the item or make a written submission to share your views with myself and the Councillors of the Toronto and East York Community Council.
Should you have any questions about these reports, please feel free to contact my office.
6. July 2014 City Council Highlights
Eglinton Connects plan
Council approved Official Plan amendments to implement the Eglinton Connects Planning Study in support of intensification along the Eglinton Avenue corridor, where Metrolinx is currently building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT (light rail transit) line – much of it to be underground. The new Eglinton Avenue envisioned will be an attractive avenue supporting residential living, employment, retail uses and public uses, and will balance all forms of mobility/transportation.
City's response to 2013 ice storm
Council considered a review of the City of Toronto's emergency response to the December 2013 ice storm and adopted a series of Executive Committee recommendations to improve the City's ability to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from future emergencies of that scope.
Next phase of waterfront revitalization
Council directed staff to undertake a review of progress on the revitalization of Toronto's waterfront under the tri-government partnership called the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative. The initiative was formally launched with federal, provincial and municipal funding commitments in 2000.
Plan for major King Street development
Council approved a revised development proposal for 260-270 and 274-322 King St. W. – known as the Mirvish-Gehry proposal – on the north side of King Street between John Street and University Avenue. The proposal, which was revised in response to issues raised during evaluation of the development application, will create a landmark building in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District. Council also addressed traffic and parking issues associated with the development.
Exploring transit affordability
Council voted to work on a policy framework for transit affordability in Toronto. The policy work will clarify assumptions, goals and funding requirements for transit discounts offered to low-income residents and will explore additional reductions for seniors. The goal of the policy framework is to achieve transit-fare equity for all Toronto public transit users.
Payment for water services
Council supported a motion calling on staff to look into the possibility of allowing Toronto residents who receive and pay their water bills electronically to opt for monthly water-usage invoices instead of the current practice of being billed three times a year.
Establishment of local appeal body
Council approved the establishment of, and guiding principles for, a local appeal body to hear appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions on minor land-use variances and consent applications. The City of Toronto Act authorizes the City to create a local appeal body as an alternative to using the Ontario Municipal Board for such appeals in Toronto. Work on the local appeal body included public consultation.
Youth-focused transitional housing
Council directed staff to report on the feasibility of allocating 25 per cent of the beds in an existing youth-shelter facility to LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, and two-spirited) youth. The City's emergency shelter system currently has a total of 520 beds available for youth experiencing homelessness, located in 12 shelters operated by community agencies.
City of Toronto's media access
Council adopted a motion stating that all media outlets that are members of the City Hall Press Gallery are to be included when the City, the Mayor or other members of Council invite media to an event such as a news conference held at City Hall or another City of Toronto facility. In addition, City staff may only provide support services for events to which media are invited when the space is large enough to accommodate the expected numbers of media representatives.
Code of Conduct
Council adopted the Integrity Commissioner's finding that Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti violated the Code of Conduct for Council members. Council voted to suspend Councillor Mammoliti's remuneration as a Council member for 90 days starting September 1 and to request a legal expert's review of the Integrity Commissioner's report to determine whether there are grounds for further investigation. Council also received, for information, a report from the Integrity Commissioner concerning Mayor Ford and the Code of Conduct.
Council adopted an agenda item about the employment of newcomers to Toronto. The report, which says the City will continue to support newcomers in the local labour force through partnerships with governmental and community organizations, presents a strategy to guide the City's work with newcomers. According to the report, newcomers' challenges in finding suitable employment in Toronto include language barriers, lack of credential recognition and limited Canadian work experience.
Planning study for Bloor Street West
Council adopted a motion directing City Planning staff to undertake a review of the properties on Bloor Street West between Keele Street and the Humber River from an urban planning perspective. The review, which is to include community consultation, will result in a vision and planning framework for development of a portion of Bloor Street West between Keele Street and the Humber River that is attracting the interest of developers.
Addressing heat emergencies
Council directed City officials to take steps that will help to prevent heat-related illness and deaths that could occur when Toronto experiences extremely hot weather. Council specified that the City's heat emergency preparedness and management are to include plans to provide outreach services to populations most vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat.
Review of cold weather protocols/services
Council approved the transfer of responsibility for co-ordinating Toronto’s cold weather alert and response program from Shelter, Support and Housing Administration to the Medical Officer of Health as recommended in a recent review of cold weather protocols and health impacts. The Shelter, Support and Housing Administration division will continue its leadership role in providing cold-weather-related services to Toronto's homeless populations. Council also gave several related directives, such as calling for expansion of the Out of the Cold program.
Toronto Centre for the Arts
Council authorized a contract with an architectural services company to reconfigure the Main Stage Theatre of the Toronto Centre for the Arts, originally called the North York Performing Arts Centre. The project will divide the 1,750-seat Main Stage Theatre into two smaller venues for use by community arts organizations.
Sam the Record Man sign
Council authorized staff to work out a formal agreement between the City and Ryerson University to display restored Sam the Record Man signs on the roof of the 11-storey, City-owned building at 277 Victoria St. beside Yonge-Dundas Square. The location is near the sign's original location at the former Sam's store on Yonge Street – a site now occupied by a new Ryerson building.
Item from City Council's special meeting on July 7, 2014
Council appointed councillors to fill vacancies in Wards 5 and 20 for the remainder of this term of Council. James Maloney was appointed councillor for Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Ceta Ramkhalawansingh was appointed councillor for Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina.
August 2014's City Council meeting decisions will be posted at www.toronto.ca/council.