November 11th, 2023 edition of Councillor Alejandra Bravo's Community Newsletter
It’s been almost a year since I took office as your City Councillor in Davenport. In this newsletter, I want to reflect on the past year of work at City Hall and in our community.
From the beginning of this term, I have focused on the growing numbers of people who don’t have a home in our city, and the harms they face night after night on the street. It took effort, but the city finally named homelessness as an emergency earlier this year. Since then the situation has only worsened with skyrocketing rents, the pressure of inflation, and many households struggling with the high cost of food and basic necessities.
This summer, I was appointed as Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee by Mayor Olivia Chow. This committee governs recreation programs, community safety, licensing and standards, small businesses, and social services – including shelters and programs for people experiencing homelessness.
The lack of affordable housing and accessible shelter space, both for arriving refugees and for people who are unhoused, is an ongoing crisis in our city. I’ve worked with city staff on some substantive changes, including lowering the threshold for opening warming centres, so that they are open more days of the winter. I’ve also advocated for 24-hour respite spaces that are open year-round, and am glad to share that a new 24-hour centre will be opening this winter. Along with Mayor Chow, I’ve asked the Federal Government to open the armouries in Toronto to provide emergency indoor space for new refugees and asylum claimants to access shelter and support. I worked with city staff to support a new capital investment strategy to create more permanent shelter spaces, and to launch a study of micro and mobile shelter options for people living outside. We are working hard to explore every possible approach to provide more people with shelter and housing. There is clearly much more to do, and I will continue collaborating at City Hall and in our community with organizations, advocates, front-line workers, and active residents committed to progressively delivering on solutions.
Right now, our city’s finances have a $1.5 billion hole that requires permanent funding for social services and housing from federal and provincial governments to fix. I’m relieved that we’re finally talking openly with the people of Toronto about the depth of this funding shortfall. This includes a working group of all levels of government to create a New Deal for Toronto. The only way we will overcome the challenges we face, from our transit system to shelters and maintenance of our parks and streets, is with each voice raised through collective action. I’m privileged to do this with you as your city councillor.
Over the past year, we’ve also moved forward in a number of key areas. City Council has approved a city-wide expansion of the Toronto Community Crisis Service, improved policies for traffic calming and road safety, an updated long-term financial plan, and improvements to our cycling network, all while reversing cuts to TTC service and launching several plans to build more affordable housing.
Here in Davenport, we’ve also made great progress on local priorities. A number of new traffic calming and road safety measures have been approved across the ward. We opened the brand new Nairn Park, are preparing for new parks at 31 Innes Avenue & 90 Croatia Street, and are improving playgrounds at S.A.D.R.A and Perth Square.
We’ve broken ground on a new long-term care and affordable housing project at 640 Lansdowne Avenue, approved funding for new supportive housing on Ossington Ave, and increased funding for the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition fund. To protect a flooding-prone area of our community, tunneling has begun on the Fairbank-Silverthorn Basement Flooding Protection project.
New Bike Share Toronto stations have been or will be installed at Queen & Lisgar, Rogers & Harvie, and Bartlett & Dupont, and new electric vehicle charging infrastructure at 45 Abell. These are just some of the highlights of the work I have been proud to champion for our Davenport community.
We have much more work to do, as we head into winter and a new year – and a new budget. This month, the city is hosting a series of Budget Consultation sessions online and in-person, until November 30. Learn more online or share your thoughts directly with my office by contacting us at: [email protected]. I will also be hosting a community meeting on November 22 to hear your priorities for the City budget and our community. You can find details below.
I look forward to our continued work together for the future of Davenport and our city.
City Councillor • Ward 9 • Davenport
Chair, Economic & Community Development Committee
In this edition
- Community Meeting: Pre-Budget & Local Priorities
- Community Meeting: S.A.D.R.A Park Playground Improvements
- City Council Recap
- 2024 Budget Consultations
- Keeping St. Clair Moving During Construction
- Oakwood Village Neighbourhood Streets Plan
- TTC: St. Clair State of Good Repair Projects
- TTC: St Clair Ave W and Winona Ave Westbound Streetcar Stop Rail Replacement
- Madison Community Services Town Hall: 118 Havelock Street
- Deferral Notice: Road Resurfacing on Ernest Ave from Perth Ave to west-end of Ernest Ave
- Metrolinx: Overnight Road Closures on St. Clair Ave W from Old West Rd to Keele St
- Toronto For All: Shutting Down Anti-East Asian Hate
- Women4Climate Toronto Mentorship Program
- Toronto's Micromobility Strategy
- Get Involved: Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions
- Call for Artists: Nuit Blanche 2024
- ACORN Tenant Union: Ontario Rental Registry
- In the community
- Other updates
Community Meeting: Pre-Budget & Local Priorities
I am happy to invite you to my upcoming community meeting to discuss the 2024 City of Toronto Budget and our community’s local priorities.
On November 22 at 6:30 PM, we will gather at New Horizons Tower (at the northwest corner of Bloor and Dufferin) to discuss our community’s needs for the upcoming municipal budget.
At the meeting, you will be able to sit with me, your neighbours, my team, and City of Toronto staff to discuss your 2024 City of Toronto budget priorities. The budget has many facets, and it funds an extremely wide range of City programs and services—getting it right is important.
Hearing our community’s priorities will inform how I advocate at City Hall for a budget that will address the key concerns of Davenport residents.
Councillor Bravo’s 2024 Pre-Budget Community Meeting
New Horizons Tower - 1140 Bloor St West
November 22, 2023
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Community Meeting: S.A.D.R.A Park Playground Improvements
Improvements are coming to S.A.D.R.A. Park’s playground. The design, created with feedback from the community, will be accessible and include a new all-ages play-structure with 3 slides, a new spider climbing net, a new swing set, a new teeter-totter, a car-motion toy, a rider-motion toy, and a sit-down spinner toy.
Join myself, my team, and City of Toronto staff for a community meeting and information session about the playground improvements, updates on HydroOne approvals, and to get your questions answered.
Community Meeting on S.A.D.R.A Park Playground Improvements
St. Clair/Silverthorn Library - 1748 St. Clair Ave W
November 21, 2023
6:30PM to 8:00PM
City Council Recap
This week’s agenda at City Council considered several key items. Here’s an overview of what was adopted at this week’s meeting:
- Urgently Building Affordable Housing: We’re taking important steps to build more affordable homes and transform our housing system. Toronto has committed to a comprehensive plan with public oversight, including a dedicating City-owned land for new homes, accelerating projects & more.
- City-wide Expansion of Toronto Community Crisis Service: In year one, 78% of calls transferred from 911 were handled with no police involvement. TCCS is a key part of ensuring people receive trauma-informed help and community care when in crisis. City Council approved the expansion of this service to all parts of Toronto.
- Need for Long-Term Investments to Address Refugee and Humanitarian Crisis:City Council has requested the federal government open federal armouries for emergency shelter, share the federal response plan for providing appropriate support services for refugee claimants, ensure equitable distribution of Interim Housing Assistance Program funding, and requesting that they match Toronto and Ontario’s contributions to housing benefits.
- 2024 Shelter Infrastructure Plan and the Homelessness Services Capital Infrastructure Strategy: Toronto is looking at a long-term vision for shelter infrastructure that is required to deliver homelessness services across our city. This includes a 10-year plan for capital infrastructure, looking at using city-owned land for permanent, and temporary supportive homes, including modular and micro-shelter and housing options.
- Shelter System Pressures and Responses, including Planning for Winter 2023/2024: City Council has requested that the federal government immediately fund and operationalize a regional reception centre for refugee claimants, and for both the federal and provincial governments to provide additional funding to enhance winter homelessness services.
- Congestion Management Plan 2023-2026: City Council adopted several new measures, including new construction hubs, enhancing the Traffic Agent program and more to tackle congestion on our roads.
- Updates on Vision Zero Road Safety Initiatives: City Council adopted a new traffic calming policy, framework for Community Safety Zones, and several other measures to streamline the process for traffic calming in local neighbourhoods and making it easier for community requests to be considered.
- Requiring Side Guards on Trucks: We all remember the tragic death of Jenna Morrison at Dundas St W and Sterling Rd in 2011 and the need for measures to increase truck safety on our roads. On a motion from Mayor Olivia Chow, City Council has requested a plan to retrofit the City’s fleet with side guards on all trucks, and the feasibility of requiring them for all trucks on Toronto’s streets. We’ve also previously requested Transport Canada to require them for all trucks, but they have yet to make them mandatory.
You can read the rest of the agenda online.
2024 Budget Consultations
Garbage collection, public libraries, road repair, TTC, recreation programs, childcare, animal control, water testing, police, fire and emergency medical response are all services the City provides. Many of the City’s 150+ services are provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The budget is a financial plan that describes how much money the City will raise and spend. It determines the level of service provided to Toronto residents and guides decisions on what City infrastructure will be built and repaired.
From November 1 to 30, join in-person or online consultations and complete an online survey to share your ideas about the City’s 2024 Budget and Toronto’s future.
In-Person at Toronto Reference Library
Saturday, November 25, 12-1:30PM or 1:30-3PM
Thursday, November 23, 12-1:30PM or 1:30-3PM
Tuesday, November 28, 7-8:30pm or 8:30-10PM
Thursday, November 30, 7-8:30pm or 8:30-10PM
Additional consultations are being held in-person at the Etobicoke Olympium, Rexdale Hub, Scarborough Civic Centre, and North York Memorial Hall. To learn more, click here.
Keeping St. Clair Moving During Construction
At this week’s meeting of City Council, my motion to implement measures to reduce congestion on St. Clair Ave West during construction work was adopted.
Drafted in consultation with the TTC and local Business Improvement Areas, several ‘no stopping’ changes will be implemented along the St. Clair corridor to ensure that traffic is able to move faster during rush hour and at other peak periods throughout the day.
In the coming weeks, you will see new signs on St. Clair Ave W which outline areas where ‘no stopping’ zones will be implemented to aid the flow of traffic. These changes will improve travel times for transit riders and drivers.
Oakwood Village Neighbourhood Streets Plan
Oakwood Village has been selected as one of five neighbourhoods to be included in the Neighbourhood Streets Plan program for 2023-2024. An initial phase of public consultation will bring together the local community to discuss what Neighbourhood Streets Plans can accomplish and will serve as an opportunity for City of Toronto staff to hear directly from the community about the issues you see and the hopes we have for our neighbourhood streets.The outcomes of this plan will be based on local conditions and the needs of the local neighbourhood. Neighbourhood Streets Plans recommend actions related to motor vehicle speed, volume management, and traffic safety conflicts on local streets. NSP recommendations are informed by the City’s Traffic Calming Guide, Vision Zero Action Plan, and Complete Streets Guidelines.
TTC: St Clair State of Good Repair Projects
The following is an update on TTC’s progress to implement infrastructure upgrades on the 512 St Clair streetcar route. The work is being phased to facilitate a return of streetcar service between St Clair West Station and Lansdowne, while long-term third-party construction continues at the Caledonia Bridge. TTC is coordinating its own projects with multiple third-party works (Metrolinx, City of Toronto, and Toronto Water) along the corridor to reduce the overall duration that buses need to operate in place of streetcars.
Construction Work completed to date:
- Lubricator and streetcar track upgrades at Earlscourt loop and Oakwood loop.
- Streetcar stop renewal at the Bathurst intersection.
- Overhead power upgrades at St Clair and Vaughan Road intersection.
- Two water vale replacements by Toronto Water at Greenlaw Ave and permanent restoration of adjacent roadway and curbs.
- Cable replacement along the full 512 St Clair route as part of the overhead power upgrade across the corridor.
- Full track replacement at St Clair West Station.
- City of Toronto Caledonia bridge rehabilitation work continues on the north side lane and sidewalk (stage 1). This is a long term project. Please see the City’s notice: Construction Notice (toronto.ca)
- The up-escalator located at the south-east entrance of St Clair West Station has been overhauled and is scheduled returned to service on November 1st. The second escalator is scheduled to be repaired for a return to service in mid-November.
St Clair Ave W and Winona Ave westbound streetcar stop rail replacement
Madison Community Services Town Hall: 118 Havelock St
Metrolinx: Overnight Road Closures on St. Clair Ave W from Old Weston Rd to Keele St
St. Clair Avenue West will be closed overnight at the following times and locations for Metrolinx work:
- November 20th 9pm to November 21st 5am – Closure of St. Clair W., WB, from Old Weston Rd to Weston Rd/ Keele St
- November 21st 9pm to November 22nd 5am – Closure of St. Clair W., WB, from Old Weston Rd to Weston Rd/ Keele St
- November 22nd 9pm to November 23rd 5am – Closure of St. Clair W., EB, from Weston Rd/ Keele St to Old Weston Rd
Toronto For All: Shutting Down Anti-East Asian Hate
The City of Toronto, in partnership with the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, unveiled a new “Toronto For All” public education campaign that challenges residents to speak out against and shut down anti-East Asian hate and prejudice.
This is the 14th “Toronto For All” campaign by the City in partnership with various community partners and organizations. The goal of the “Toronto For All” public education initiative is to generate dialogue among Toronto residents to create a city that says “no” to all forms of discrimination and racism. Previous campaigns have focussed on topics including antisemitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-Black racism and trans youth of colour.
Women4Climate Toronto Mentorship Program
The Women4Climate Toronto Mentorship Program empowers and supports female climate leaders who are working to develop and implement innovative solutions to address the climate emergency in Toronto.
Ten to 12 women will be selected to join Toronto’s 2024 cohort of the Women4Climate Toronto Mentorship Program. Through a combination of mentoring, training and networking opportunities, participants will be provided with the resources and supports necessary to take their climate-related project, product or business start-up to the next level. Upon successful completion of the mentorship program, participants will receive a $500 honorarium to help advance their climate action initiative.
- Applications open: October 30, 2023
- Applications close: November 20, 2023
- Application screening and candidate interviews: November 21, 2023 – December 15, 2023
- Mentoring, training and networking: January 2024 – May 2024
- Pitch competition: June 2024
Developing a Micromobility Strategy
The City of Toronto is seeking public feedback on the use of micromobility, e.g. bikes, e-bikes and other small vehicles. The results from this survey will be used to develop a city-wide strategy for micromobility, including what new forms might be allowed in future. The survey will be open until December 13, 2023.
The strategy will clarify what types of micromobility are allowed to be used and where, and will address key opportunities and challenges that micromobility presents. Key issues include safety and the interaction of vehicles of different mass and speed, infrastructure considerations, education and enforcement (e.g. addressing illegal sidewalk riding and illegal blocking of bike lanes and cycle tracks).
Call for Artists: Nuit Blanche 2024
Ready to light up the night with your creativity? Nuit Blanche Toronto is back for the 18th year and the City is looking for Exhibition Curators and talented artists to be a part of the magic on October 5, 2024.
We're thrilled to announce the theme "Bridging Distance," curated by the newly appointed Artistic Director, Laura Nanni. If you have any spectacular ideas for the upcoming Nuit Blanche, we want to hear from you! Together, let's make Nuit Blanche Toronto 2024 an unforgettable experience!
For information on project submissions and deadlines, visit the Nuit Blanche Call for Submissions webpage.
ACORN Tenant Union: Ontario Rental Registry
The Ontario Rental Registry is an online database where tenants can anonymously register their rents. The purpose of the registry is to track rising rents across the province. This will lead to better, publicly-available housing data that can help protect and create more affordable housing. You can access the registry by going to rentalregistry.ca.
In the community
I started my day in reflection and remembrance at the 95th annual Prospect Cemetery Ceremony of Remembrance. Remembrance Day is a day to hold hope for peace in our hearts. Thank you to RCL Maple Leaf/Swansea Branch 266/46 for hosting.
So happy to have joined McCormick Arena for the Parkdale Flames’ ceremonial puck-drop earlier this month to start the 2023-2024 hockey season! Thanks to McCormick Arena Chair Luis Silva and all the dedicated volunteers who support McCormick Arena.
On October 26th, our team attended an appreciation event at Maria’s Sports Bar hosted by College West BIA to thank College St Crossing Guards and first responders
- Toronto City Council endorses joining the UNAIDS Fast Track City Network
- Mayor Olivia Chow proclaims Immunization Day
- Toronto City Council approves city-wide zoning amendments to encourage more dining, entertainment and vibrancy on outdoor patios located on private property
- City of Toronto launches annual Vision Zero campaign to remind road users of reduced visibility as clocks turn back