Community Update: April 5, 2024

April 5, 2024 edition of Councillor Alejandra Bravo's Community Newsletter

Neighbour --

I’ve heard from many Davenport residents over the past week who have questions and concerns about this year’s troubled rollout of the City’s Vacant Home Tax.

The Vacant Home Tax addresses one of our most urgent needs: improving housing supply. Only people whose homes are unoccupied for six months in the past year are required to pay the tax. But this year a number of residents have received a bill for the Vacant Home Tax, even though they made a declaration that their house is not vacant or because they were not aware of the annual declaration deadline. This is very concerning. The City of Toronto does require homeowners to report each year whether their property is vacant for six months or more. However, this requirement was not well-communicated and made clear to many homeowners.

If you have received a notice that you owe the Vacant Home Tax but your home was not vacant in 2023, do not pay the tax – you can submit a Notice of Complaint to the City to have it resolved. More instructions are available below. City staff are also sending out information by mail to all impacted homeowners on how to submit a complaint and what actions they can take.

Last year, I met with City staff to share concerns that I heard from our community about the Vacant Home Tax process and the need for improvements. It’s clear that much more still needs to be done to make this process more accessible, especially for those who aren't online, seniors, or people who require additional support.

After sharing the concerns of our community with my Council colleagues, I’ve also learned that a motion is in development to waive the late fee for all Notices of Complaint. If you have already submitted your Complaint and paid the fee, work is underway to create a system for it to be reimbursed, if this motion is adopted by City Council. 

City staff must make improvements to the rollout of the Vacant Home Tax system. I will continue to advocate for measures that will make the system more accessible, as well as pushing for better communication and support for residents.

Tomorrow from 1-4pm, we’re celebrating the new Clubhouse at Dufferin Grove Park. I hope you’re join me, Clay & Paper Theatre, Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers’ Market and many others to mark the opening of the new building for this cherished community hub. You can RSVP on my website.

Read more about local updates, city programs, and other news below. 


Alejandra Bravo
City Councillor • Ward 9 • Davenport
Chair, Economic & Community Development Committee

In this edition

  • Help With Your Vacant Home Tax Bill or Declaration
  • Clean Toronto Together
  • Stay safe during the solar eclipse
  • New rules for multi-tenant homes
  • Get vaccinated against Mpox at Toronto Public Health clinics
  • Stay up-to-date with your measles vaccination
  • Virtual town hall on the future of creative industries
  • 2025-2029 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
  • All five City-operated golf courses now open
  • Low-Canopy Neighbourhood Greening Initiative
  • In the community
  • Other updates

Help with Your Vacant Home Tax Bill or Declaration

If you have received a Vacant Home Tax bill from the City of Toronto and your home was not vacant (meaning it was occupied for more than 6 months of 2023 by yourself, tenants, or other occupants) you do not owe the Vacant Home Tax.  

To resolve the bill, you need to submit a Notice of Complaint to the City. You can do this online or via mail. Upon confirming your occupancy, the City will reverse the Vacant Home Tax charge along with any interest, and work to waive or reimburse the $21.24 late fee.

  • If online:
    • Go to the Vacant Home Tax webpage
    • Click on the blue tab at the top of the page, called: ‘Submit Complaint/Appeal/ Respond to Audit’
  • If by mail:
    • Please ensure your complaint in writing includes:
      • assessment roll number and customer number
      • complainant’s full name and contact details (telephone number or email)
      • information that specifies your authority to act on the behalf of the owner, if this applies and you are a complainant acting on someone’s behalf
      • reason(s) for the complaint and why the residential property should not be subject to the tax
      • If you are declaring an exemption, supporting documentation and evidence to substantiate the reason(s) for the complaint.
    • Mail to:
      • City of Toronto, Revenue Services
        Vacant Home Tax Complaints/Appeals
        5100 Yonge St.
        Toronto, ON M2N 5V7

If you have any questions about submitting a Notice of Complaint or the Vacant Homes Tax declaration, or if you require any assistance, City staff are available to help you in-person.

City Hall and York Civic Centre, along with other civic centres, have set up Vacant Home Tax tables with extra staff to help you. You can come in for assistance, Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, for in-person help through April 12.  You do not need an appointment.

Clean Toronto Together

Clean Toronto Together, the City’s annual spring cleanup of parks and other public spaces returns from April 19 to 22. Over these four days, thousands of residents, students, businesses, organizations and community groups will pitch in to help keep our city clean and free of litter.   

  • Toronto History Museums will be hosting litter cleanup events that residents can join. 
  • Accepted cleanup locations include: parks, ravines, beaches, sports fields, trails, sidewalks. 
  • Private property cleanups and yard waste collections are not permitted. 
  • Participants are encouraged to bring their own plastic bags to collect litter.  
  • Special litter collection will be available for registered cleanups taking place on April 19 to 22, subject to staff approval.  
  • Registration closes on April 18 
  • Cleanups should proceed rain or shine! 
  • Questions can be sent to [email protected] 

Find more information and events on the City’s Clean Toronto Together webpage.

Stay safe during the solar eclipse

On Monday, April 8, Toronto will experience a solar eclipse. This is a rare event where the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface.  See the below tips from Toronto Public Health for staying safe. 

Q: When will the eclipse take place? 
A: Toronto falls outside the path of a total solar eclipse; however, a partial eclipse will occur at 3:19 p.m., lasting approximately one minute. The entire duration of the eclipse is 2:04 p.m. to 4:31 p.m. 

Q: What precautions should I take during the eclipse? 
A:Do not look directly at the sun. Do not look indirectly at the sun using a mirror, or through a window. Where possible, schedule tasks indoors for the duration of the eclipse. 

Q: How can I be safe outdoors? 
A: For tasks that must continue outdoors, including driving:  

  • Avoid looking directly at the sun  
  • Continue to implement current safety controls  
  • Use hats or visors that do not allow light to pass through  
  • Slow down and stay focused on your surroundings   
  • Turn on headlights and approach all crosswalks, intersections and transit stops with caution as people and objects on the road are harder to see 

New rules for multi-tenant homes

The City of Toronto has implemented a new regulatory framework for multi-tenant (rooming) houses. Changes include permitting multi-tenant houses city-wide, improving oversight and compliance and preserving affordable, safer homes for tenants. As of March 31, it is mandatory for all operators of multi-tenant houses across Toronto to obtain a licence. 

Preserving tenancies and preventing evictions is central to the City’s approach. Implemented over a three-year period, the City will gradually expand licensing and include an education-first approach to obtaining compliance. The City will also prioritize educating tenants about their rights and ensure a range of supports are in place for tenants in need. More information is available on the City’s Multi-Tenant (Rooming) Houses webpage

Get vaccinated against mpox at Toronto Public Health clinics

In response to the rise in cases of mpox in Toronto, Toronto Public Health (TPH) is hosting a series of vaccination clinics starting Wednesday, April 3. Walk-in and booked appointments are available. TPH encourages eligible residents to book appointments at

Additional appointments will be added later this week and announced on TPH’s social media. Eligible residents are encouraged to get two doses of the mpox vaccine for their best protection.

Stay up-to-date with your measles vaccination

Toronto Public Health (TPH) confirmed a third case of laboratory-confirmed measles that is linked to travel. TPH has followed up with all the known contacts directly to notify them about their exposure.

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection with symptoms including red rash, fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and fatigue. It spreads through the air and close contact, such as breathing, coughing or sneezing. Symptoms may start around 10 days after exposure but can start anywhere from seven to 21 days after exposure. Symptoms generally last for one to two weeks.

Anyone born after 1970 is recommended to get two doses of the measles vaccine. Check your yellow vaccine card to see if you received both doses. If you lost your card, check with your health care provider or your vaccine records on Toronto Public Health’s Report Student Vaccination (ISPA) webpage.

The measles vaccine is available for adults and children at doctors’ offices or at a TPH community clinic for school-aged children.

Vaccinations are highly effective in preventing the spread of measles. More information is available on the City’s Measles webpage.

Virtual town hall on the future of creative industries

Have your say on the future of creative industries in Toronto! The City of Toronto is developing two plans related to creative industries: an Action Plan for Toronto’s Culture Sector and an Action Plan for Toronto’s Economy. These plans will inform the City’s approach to supporting the growth of creative industries and other industrial and cultural sectors as generators of vibrancy and innovation. 

Provide your input by registering to attend a virtual Creative Industries Town Hall on April 24, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

2025-2029 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Help make Toronto more accessible! The City of Toronto is seeking input on disability-related barriers experienced when accessing City services, programs, facilities, public spaces, information and communications, and employment opportunities. 

Individuals with disabilities, their support persons, and community organizations are invited to complete a 15-minute, confidential survey about their experiences. 

The information collected will be used to update the City’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, a five-year plan to remove barriers that impact City residents, visitors, and employees with disabilities.

All five City-operated golf courses now open

Warm weather and golf season is around the corner! All five City-operated golf courses, Dentonia Park, Don Valley, Humber Valley, Scarlett Woods and Tam O’Shanter, are now open. Toronto’s golf courses are affordable, high quality and TTC-accessible. Each course has unique characteristics and offers something for all skill levels.  

More information about the City’s golf courses and booking options, including contact information for each course is available on the City’s Golf webpage.  

Low-Canopy Neighbourhood Greening Initiative

Residents in Weston-Pelham Park and Keelesdale-Eglinton West can plant native trees and shrubs on their properties for FREE with our City partner LEAF.

Take advantage of a special new incentive this spring! Plant up to 1 free native tree or 3 free native shrubs (per property per year, space permitting).

Enjoy expert advice from a LEAF arborist to find the perfect tree for your property. Full Service or Do-It-Yourself planting options available.

In the community

Thanks to everyone who joined me and City staff for the public drop-in event to discuss the Wallace Emerson Neighbourhood Streets Plan!

I joined Mayor Olivia Chow and Council colleagues for the St. Francis of Assisi Church procession to mark Good Friday in reflection alongside fellow community members. 

I had the opportunity to visit the team at Youth Without Shelter who serve youth in need of stable housing and supports from across Toronto. Their work is a crucial part of the continuum of services and supports that build a more fair and supportive city.

I joined ACFO-Toronto, Fédération Tricolore de Toronto and the Consulate General of France in Toronto to raise the flag of the international Francophonie at City. We celebrated the dynamic contributions of Toronto's French-speaking community to our city.

At City Hall, I convened a roundtable with over fifty child care sector leaders to discuss the implementation of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care program. We had fruitful discussions about how we can deliver even more affordable child care to families in our city, and the supports we need from the provincial government to make it happen.

I was glad to join the Alliance of Portuguese Clubs and Associations of Ontario for their annual Merit Awards & Scholarships Gala Dinner. Congratulations to all the deserving scholarship recipients. 

Other updates

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