December 2nd, 2022 edition of Councillor Alejandra Bravo's Community Newsletter
Earlier this week, myself and City staff met with local business owners and the Little Portugal Toronto BIA to speak about the emergency work on Dundas Street West, between Brock Ave and Sheridan Ave, due to a large void (the precursor to a sinkhole) which had formed under the street. We know that this emergency response, while required, is an unexpected disruption and has a significant impact on local and independent businesses in the area. My office and I are working with the community to make sure that local businesses are supported, especially as we head into the holiday season.
As I shared last week, after video and physical investigation of the site, Toronto Water believes that the large void under the street was caused by a deteriorated sewer main which was washing away dirt and gravel. The work required is far more extensive than the original estimate provided last week. Now, Toronto Water and TTC expect their work to be ongoing until the end of January. I’ve created a page on my website with the latest updates and information about construction timelines and work details.
This emergency work is an important reminder of why we must make investments into our City, instead of waiting for our ageing infrastructure to crumble even further. Regular road, water, and sewer maintenance is essential, but recent City budgets have not properly funded this work. I will be advocating for investment into essential City services and maintenance, so that incidents like this don’t become more common.
In this e-newsletter, I have provided updates on my appointments to committees, Bill 39, winter recreation programs, and more.
City Councillor, Ward 9
In this Edition
- Committee Appointments
- Update on Bill 39
- Winter Recreation Programs
- Outdoor Skating Rinks are Open!
- Construction Notice: Dundas St W, from St Clarens to Margueretta
- Sidewalk Snow Clearing
- Women4Climate Toronto Mentorship Program
At the beginning of every term, Councillors are able to express interest in the committees, boards, and other local bodies they are interested in serving on. Most business at City Council meetings originates from a Committee, and they are also where most public participation takes place.
While Committees have appointed membership which affords voting rights, every Councillor can participate at any committee meeting and submit motions. For the 2022-2026 term, I have been appointed to the following committees and boards, and look forward to representing Davenport:
Budget Committee - responsible for hearing public presentations and providing advice to the Mayor on the operating and capital budgets; and making recommendations to Council on any operating or capital budgets in which the Mayor has a pecuniary interest.
Board of Health - determines and sets public health policy and advises City Council on a broad range of health issues and services that include Health Assessment, Health Protection, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
General Government Committee - focuses on the administrative operations of the City, with a mandate to monitor and make recommendations on the procurement and management of City government assets and resources.
Toronto Preservation Board - provides advice to Council on matters relating to Part IV and Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, including, but not limited to: designation of heritage properties or conservation districts and inclusion on the Inventory of Heritage Properties; applications to alter, demolish or remove designated or listed heritage properties; applications to repeal by-laws which designate individual properties as heritage properties and proposed heritage easements or covenants.
Toronto & East York Community Council - composed of every City Councillor in the Toronto & East York wards, the community council makes recommendations and decisions on local planning and development, as well as neighbourhood matters including traffic plans and parking regulations. It also has final decision-making power on certain items, such as fence by-law exemptions and appointments to local boards and Business Improvement Areas.
Update on Bill 39
Yesterday I delivered a deputation at Queen’s Park, during the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee hearing on Bill 39, the Better Municipal Governance Act. This piece of legislation, which allows the Mayor and only a third of Council to make decisions about the future of our city, is another attempt by Doug Ford to limit local decision-making and restrict the voices of City Councillors.
I spoke to the committee about this unprecedented attack on a core principle of democracy – majority rule – and shared remarks from seven of my fellow Councillors. Click below to watch my full presentation.
Winter Recreation Programs
The City of Toronto has released the listings of the winter recreation program offerings. Winter recreation programs will start on January 9 and run for nine weeks. The City will offer approximately 11,200 winter recreation programs with 112,000 spaces for programming in arts and sports such as skating, swimming, basketball, ballet, piano and yoga.
Registration for winter recreation programs starts at 7 a.m. on:
- Tuesday, December 6 – programs in Etobicoke York (including York South-Weston) and Toronto and East York
- Wednesday, December 7 – programs in North York and Scarborough
You can register online for the winter recreation programs. Residents need a family and client number to sign up for recreation programs and are encouraged to have them ready before registration day. To get a client and family number, residents can set up a new account or retrieve their existing numbers by phone or online.
If you cannot register online or need in-person registration support, you can visit Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre (220 Cowan Ave) on December 6 from 7 a.m. until noon to get help from City staff.
Residents who need help preparing for registration can call 416-396-7378, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call centre will be open for extended hours on Monday, December 5, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Outdoor Skating Rinks Now Open
Most outdoor skating rinks across the City are now open! The remaining rinks open tomorrow, December 3. Before heading out with your skates, you can check the rink status on the City’s website here.
Some of the skating rinks we have located in Davenport include:
- Giovanni Caboto Rink - 1367 St. Clair Ave. W M6E 1C5 (open now!)
- Campbell Avenue Park - 225 Campbell Ave. (opens December 3)
- Wallace Emerson Park - 1260 Dufferin St (open now!)
The Dufferin Grove Park rink remains under construction. It is expected to reopen in January 2023.
Construction Notice: Dundas St W, from St Clarens to Margueretta
From December 6 to 8, TTC track staff will be conducting concrete repairs on Dundas Street West, from St. Clarens Ave to just east of Margueretta Street. Work activities will include concrete saw-cutting, concrete breaking/removal, and placement of new concrete/asphalt. This work is required to return the area to a state of good repair.
TTC are conducting this work now, while the 505 Dundas is already diverting due to the sinkhole repairs between Brock and Sheridan on Dundas Street West. Work will be conducted around-the-clock to expedite the work, but concrete breaking/removal will be limited to between 7 am and 11 pm. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction through the work zone.
Click here for the full details of this construction.
Sidewalk Snow Clearing
My office has received several inquiries about sidewalk snow clearing services, especially for seniors and disabled community members. Here’s information on when residents/businesses need to clear sidewalks, and when it will be done by City crews. If you have additional questions about snow clearing in your area, please reach out to my office.
When Residents & Businesses Clear Sidewalks
If snowfall accumulation is 2 cm or less in depth, it is up to residents and businesses to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice within 12 hours of the end of a snowfall.
Property owners are responsible for clearing ice and snow from private property – including driveways, parking spaces, steps, ramps and landings – within 24 hours after snowfall ends to provide safe access for people and vehicles. Please be a good neighbour and offer to help clear sidewalks for senior or disabled persons nearby.
Clearing Catch Basins
Where safe to do so, residents are asked to clear catch basins (the square grates on the road) in front of or near their homes of ice, snow and debris to help prevent surface flooding and allow water to drain off the road. If it is not safe to clear a catch basin, please report a blocked catch basin to 311.
When the City Clears Sidewalks
City crews start clearing all public sidewalks when the snow is 2 cm deep and the snow has stopped falling, or when icy conditions dictate. Sidewalks with high pedestrian volume (arterial roads, school zones, transit areas and accessibility locations) are cleared first.
Sidewalk clearing after a snowfall takes approximately 13 hours to complete and, depending on the storm severity, may occur more than once. Sidewalk clearing can continue up to 72 hours after the snow has stopped falling.
91% of all sidewalks in Toronto receive mechanical sidewalk snow clearing. Due to sidewalk obstructions and narrow spaces, the remaining 9% of sidewalks are manually cleared by workers.
Women4Climate Toronto Applications Are Open
The City of Toronto has opened applications for the 2023 Women4ClimateTO Mentorship Program. Through Women4ClimateTO, the City offers mentoring, networking and collaborative learning opportunities to help local women take their climate-related initiative or start-up business to the next level. Over a six-month period, mentors from the business sector, public sector, international organizations and social agencies will share their knowledge and skills with the mentees.
Ten to 12 women will be selected to join Toronto’s 2023 Women4ClimateTO cohort. Participants’ projects must support the goals of the City’s TransformTO Climate Action Strategy and/or Resilience Strategy. For more information and how to apply, click here.