August 25th, 2023 edition of Councillor Alejandra Bravo's Community Newsletter
I’d like to begin by acknowledging two significant incidents in our community in the last week.
On Sunday, a serious electrical fire occurred at 357 Rusholme Road. While I am relieved that building residents were evacuated without any injuries, these neighbours have been without power for the majority of the week. I know that this has been a tremendous hardship, and I am glad that emergency power has now been restored to the building while repairs continue. I commend the quick action of Toronto Fire, Toronto Emergency Management, and the Canadian Red Cross who worked hard to get the situation under control and save lives. Thank you also to North of Bloor Mutual Aid who have mobilized to support our neighbours. I was immediately on site and the Davenport team has been supporting tenants every day since this devastating event.
Yesterday evening, a shooting occurred near St. Clair Ave West and Northcliffe Blvd. My thoughts are with the loved ones of the person who tragically lost their life and with the other victim who was injured. I understand that a Toronto Police criminal investigation is underway.
Events like this can be traumatizing and destabilizing. The Community Crisis Response Program has been activated in response to the shooting and will be available to support our neighbours. If you would like to be connected at no-cost to trauma-informed and culturally appropriate resources, brief counselling, trauma counselling, support groups or other help, please respond to this email and a member of my team will connect you.
This week at City Hall, the Executive Committee (of which I am a new member) met to consider two key items on Toronto’s long-term financial plan and affordable housing ahead of next month’s City Council meeting. A more detailed review can be found below.
You can also find other local updates, construction notices and more, below.
City Councillor • Ward 9 • Davenport
Chair, Economic & Community Development Committee
In this edition
- This week's Executive Committee
- Lighting in Dufferin Grove Park
- Movie Night at MacGregor Playground
- Construction Notice: TTC St. Clair Ave W - State of Good Repair Projects
- New Bike Share Station: Queen St W & Lisgar St
- Extended Dates at 10 Outdoor Pools
- Fall Recreation Programs
- MyTorontoPay – Pre-authorized Utility Payments
- TTC Survey: 5-Year Service Plan & Customer
- TTC Piloting New Accessibility Features
- City's New Recreation Newsletter
- West Toronto Railpath Detour Update
- Concerts on Connolly
- Toronto Hydro: Dufferin St & Croatia St
- In the community
- Other updates
This week's Executive Committee
Long Term Financial Plan: The City faces a financial gap of $46.5 billion over the next ten years. This is a result of pandemic pressures, and a financial framework with other levels of government that hasn’t kept up with the times.
The Toronto region contributes 21% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product and 53% of Ontario’s GDP. Only 1.3% of the provincial budget and 0.3% of the federal budget goes to funding the crucial work done by the City of Toronto that keeps Canada’s economic engine running.
We need new tools to fund essential services like transit operations, state-of-good-repair projects, parks, and community programs, as well as a new financial deal from other levels of government. The Executive Committee report looks at a number of options, including a new luxury homes tax for houses sold for over $3 million, which will be considered at the next meeting of City Council.
Building More Affordable Homes: Mayor Olivia Chow brought forward a proposal to urgently build more affordable homes. Her motion, which passed at Executive Committee, seeks to build 25,000 new rent-controlled homes, including a minimum of 7,500 affordable homes and 2,500 rent-geared-to-income homes.
These homes will be built through public partnerships with co-ops, non-profit housing providers, governmental organizations and other partners. The proposal also seeks to identify suitable parcels of City land and other sites that are housing-ready. This is important work to move forward on a key priority for Torontonians.
Lighting in Dufferin Grove Park
I have received many inquiries from members of the community about the lighting situation in the northwest corner of Dufferin Grove Park. Recently, there has been limited lighting in the park due to a replacement of the electrical transformer that powers the lights.
Last week, City staff met with Toronto Hydro to underscore how vital the quick replacement of the transformer is to our community. Today, I received an update that Toronto Hydro received the replacement transformer yesterday and is beginning the installation. Full power and lighting should be restored by next week.
Movie Night in MacGregor Playground
Construction Notice: TTC St. Clair Ave W - State of Good Repair Projects
New Bike Share Station: Queen St W & Lisgar St
Happy to celebrate a new Bike Share Toronto station for neighbours and visitors in West Queen West! Building our Bike Share network helps people get where they need to go and supports our TransformTO climate goals.
Extended Dates at 10 Outdoor Pools
The City of Toronto is extending dates at 10 outdoor pools for up to three additional weeks, starting Monday, September 4 until Sunday, September 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 7 p.m. on weekends. Splash and spray pads will remain operational until Sunday, September 17.
Like other North American cities, Toronto is experiencing higher than normal temperatures well into September and extending pool dates is one of the ways the City is taking action to adapt to the effects of climate change and provide relief to Toronto residents.
The 10 outdoor pools that will be extended for operation this September include:
- Alex Duff Memorial Pool – 779 Crawford St.
- Heron Park Community Centre – 292 Manse Rd.
- Kiwanis Outdoor Pool – 375 Cedarvale Ave.
- Leaside Outdoor Pool – 5 Leaside Park Dr.
- Ledbury Park Outdoor Pool – 160 Ledbury St.
- McGregor Park Community Centre – 2231 Lawrence Ave. E.
- Monarch Park Outdoor Pool – 115 Felstead Ave.
- Pine Point Park Outdoor Pool – 15 Grierson Rd.
- Sunnyside Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool – 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
- Wedgewood Park Outdoor Pool – 15 Swan Ave.
Leisure swim will be available at all 10 locations and lane swim will be available at select locations. Up-to-date information on extended outdoor pool hours and locations, along with splash and spray pads, is available by calling 311 or visiting the City’s Swimming & Water Play webpage.
Fall Recreation Programs
Listings for the City of Toronto’s fall recreation programs are now online to help you prepare for registration next month. Program and registration information is available on the City’s Fall Recreation webpage.
Registration opens at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12 (Etobicoke York, including York South-Weston, Toronto and East York) and Wednesday, September 13 (North York and Scarborough). Programs begin Saturday, September 30.
MyToronto Pay – Pre-authorized Utility Payments
Pre-authorized City of Toronto utility payments are now available through MyToronto Pay. When you enrol in the program, your utility bill payments will be automatically withdrawn from your bank or preferred payment method.
Users who are currently enrolled in the City’s paper-based Pre-Authorized Utility Bill Payment Program can switch to the digital program by enrolling in MyToronto Pay. Once you complete enrolment in the City’s Pre-Authorized Utility Bill Payment Program via MyToronto Pay, you will be unenrolled from the City’s paper-based program.
TTC Survey: 5-Year Service Plan & Customer Experience Action Plan
The TTC is seeking your valuable insights to enhance transit services and experiences. Participate in Round three of engagement until August 27, 2023, for our 5 Year Annual Service Plan and 10-year Customer Experience Action Plan. Your feedback will help us improve the TTC’s express bus network, regional transit integration, safety measures, trip planning, real-time information, stops, station amenities, and cleanliness.
Learn More: Visit www.ttc5yearplans.ca. Together, let's create a better transit future for everyone!
TTC Piloting New Accessibility Features
As the TTC continues to work towards increasing accessibility for all customers, it is piloting two new technologies across the system.
The first, a subway-style, rear-door exit chime on new hybrid-electric buses, gives customers who experience low vision an audible cue that doors are about to close. The second pilot is the Contactless Access elevator app at select subway stations, which allows customers to control elevators at certain stations.
Learn more on the TTC website.
City's New Recreation Newsletter
The City of Toronto is pleased to launch a new Recreation eNewsletter where residents can receive updates and information about recreation programs, services, and upcoming events in Parks, Forestry and Recreation.
The Recreation Update is issued monthly. Subscribers will receive information about registration dates, easy to use program maps, recreation jobs and facility booking information.
West Toronto Railpath Detour Update
Concerts on Connolly
Toronto Hydro: Dufferin St & Croatia St
Holland Park Children’s Festival was a huge success and I was happy to catch up with friends and neighbours, including our TDSB Trustee Alexis Dawson! For 18 years, Fred has been leading a team to make it happen—thanks to him and the team for animating our local streets with some fun.
Thanks to everyone who braved the rain to join us at this week's movie night in Dufferin Grove Park! Glad to work with Parks, Forestry & Recreation to help animate our local parks.
Glad to be knocking on doors and speaking with neighbours in Pelham Park about their priorities for our neighbourhood and city. Thanks to everyone who took some time to share their thoughts with me.
Glad to join MPP Marit Stiles to take a tour and meet with the owners of Henderson Brewing Co, Steve and Adin. Henderson Brewing Co has a special place in our community on the growing Sterling Road—great to have an opportunity to chat about the neighbourhood.
- City of Toronto awards $21.5 million in Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program funding to secure 121 affordable rental homes
- City of Toronto staff report says Toronto faces an unprecedented financial crisis and the time is now for all orders of government to step up to fulfil their roles
- City of Toronto and Province of Ontario invest in Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit to provide housing for people experiencing homelessness, including asylum seekers
- City of Toronto celebrates official opening of new Macaulay Centres for Children – Tippett Child Care Centre in North York
- Nuit Blanche Toronto returns September 23 showcasing ‘ground-breaking’ art