March 31st, 2023 edition of Councillor Alejandra Bravo's Community Newsletter
Community Newsletter: March 31, 2023
City Council met this week to consider a number of items. Here’s a recap on some key issues of interest to members of our community:
Toronto’s Financial Outlook: I spoke about the need for provincial and federal reinvestment in Toronto. Toronto’s financial backstops have been nearly depleted, but the federal and provincial governments have not met their obligations to invest in the economic engine of Ontario and Canada. We need a new financial framework for Toronto.
Ombudsman Report on 2021 Encampment Clearings: City Council received a report from the Ombudsman about his investigation into the encampment clearing which happened in 2021, as well as recommendations for the City about how to move forward. You can watch my full remarks, here.
Limiting Provincial Influence in Decision-Making: I moved a motion that calls on the incoming Mayor of Toronto to reject the veto power and hiring/firing powers of senior staff permitted under Bill 3.
Restoring Majority Rule to City Council: I moved a motion that calls on the incoming Mayor to publicly commit to never advocating for or implementing fundamental changes to local governance or operations without full prior support and consent of Toronto City Council and Torontonians.
College Street Bikeways Extension: My motion, moved alongside Councillor Saxe, to extend bikeways on College St. from Manning Ave to Lansdowne Ave passed. This is a win for road safety and increasing active transportation in our community. Now, we will move onto community consultation to inform design options.
Bike Share Toronto Affordability: I worked with the Toronto Parking Authority and fellow Councillors to ensure that annual memberships for Bike Share Toronto are more accessible to people with lower incomes. Council passed a motion to allow the cost of an annual membership to be split across three payments, instead of a lump sum upfront.
Housing Commissioner: Council voted to create a dedicated unit in the Ombudsman’s office to focus on investigations and reports related to systemic housing discrimination and systemic hurdles in Toronto’s housing planning and service delivery.
GO Transit Station Expansion: I spoke about how the provincial government needs to step up to their obligations to fund building transit and can’t leave the costs for provincial transit projects to the City of Toronto. A motion was passed calling on the provincial government to pay cost overruns on five new GO Transit stations in Toronto, including the planned Bloor-Lansdowne Station.
- Declaration of Mayoral Vacancy: Council officially declared the office of the Mayor vacant and outlined the procedure for a mayoral by-election. Nominations will open on April 3, and the election will be held on June 26.
You can find updates on local projects and other community news below.
City Councillor, Ward 9
In this edition
- Metrolinx Davenport Diamond Track Connection
- Pothole repair blitz this weekend
- Feeding wildlife prohibited as of April 1
- Clean Toronto Together 2023
- MPP Marit Stiles’ Tenant Town Hall
- Oakwood Village BIA Community Survey
- St. Clair/Silverthorn Library April Programming
- Community Consultation Meeting: 450 Dufferin Street
- Community Consultation Meeting: 1245 Dupont Street, 1260 Dufferin Street, 213 Emerson Ave
- Summer Job Opportunity: Clay & Paper Theatre
- In the community
- Community events
Metrolinx Davenport Diamond Track Connection
Starting Saturday April 1, crews will be connecting the tracks on the Davenport Diamond Guideway – which will allow GO Trains to travel over the existing CP Rail freight tracks.
Construction crews will be working on the tracks south of Downsview Park GO Station, which means GO Trains won’t be able to pass through the area over the weekend. This work is expected to take three days (April 1 to April 3) with regular GO Train service resuming on Tuesday April 4.
Pothole repair blitz this weekend
Weather permitting, the City of Toronto will launch a pothole repair blitz this Sunday, April 2, to keep Toronto’s expressways, major roads and neighbourhood streets in a state of good repair.
Approximately 100 crews will work a 12-hour shift, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., to repair as many potholes as possible.
Crews have performed proactive daily patrols throughout the winter season to fix potholes across Toronto. Sunday is forecasted to have favourable enough weather conditions for a pothole repair blitz, as daytime temperatures are expected to be above 0° with dry conditions.
Potholes occur when water penetrates the top layer of asphalt through cracks in the road. After the moisture freezes and expands, sections of the pavement are forced up. The weight of vehicles going over raised sections breaks the pavement and the asphalt is forced out. Potholes are more frequent in the spring following freeze/thaw cycles during winter.
Residents driving or cycling are advised to expect minor delays around pothole crews. The public is asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they make repairs.
Feeding wildlife prohibited as of April 1
On April 1, 2023, feeding wildlife will be prohibited in Toronto.
Feeding wildlife may seem harmless, but it can have serious impacts to both animals and the community. Here are a few reasons why:
- When wild animals are fed by humans, it conditions them to expect food from people and may increase their proximity tolerance, putting both people and animals at risk.
- Human food is very unhealthy for animals. Wild animals are skilled foragers and hunters and can find sources of higher quality food on their own.
- Wild animals do not need our handouts. Letting animals use their own natural instincts is the only kindness they need.
- Feeding and disturbing wild animals is prohibited under City bylaws
Feeding songbirds on your property is permitted provided your bird feeder is kept in a sanitary condition and does not act as an attractant to other wildlife.
If you come across an animal that appears to be sick or injured, please report it to 311.
Find out why keeping wildlife wild keeps us all safe: http://toronto.ca/Wildlife
Clean Toronto Together 2023
The City’s annual spring cleanup of parks and public spaces – Clean Toronto Together – will return on April 21 to 23. Now in its 18th year, the City’s spring cleanup is the largest municipal cleanup in Canada.
Residents, community groups, schools and businesses are encouraged to organize a 20-Minute Makeover on Friday, April 21 or schedule a community cleanup on Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day) or Sunday, April 23. Special litter collection will be available for registered cleanups on April 21 to 23, subject to City approval.
Starting today, residents, community groups, businesses and schools are encouraged to register their cleanups online at livegreentoronto.ca. If you need garbage bags and nitrile gloves for your clean-up, please contact my office at [email protected] before April 12.
MPP Marit Stiles' Tenant Town Hall
Our MPP Marit Stiles will be hosting a tenant town hall at Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre on April 13th at 6:30PM.
Oakwood Village BIA Community Survey
As part of their ongoing effort to learn and adapt to the changes and need of the community, Oakwood Village BIA has launched a community survey. They are inviting residents, business owners and visitors/customers to fill it out.
Responses are being accepted until April 30th, 2023. As a bonus and incentive, they will be drawing 5 individual winners of $100 gift cards for those that fully complete the survey.
St. Clair/Silverthorn Library April Programming
St. Clair/Silverthorn Library has a full month of great programming for children and families in April. Check it out!
Community Consultation Meeting: 450 Dufferin Street
Community Consultation: 1245 Dupont Street, 1260 Dufferin Street, 213 Emerson Ave
Summer Job Opportunity: Clay & Paper Theatre
Clay and Paper Theatre is hiring 9 performer-puppeteers and 1 stage manager for this summer's 12-week paid apprenticeship program.
Applications are due April 10th with auditions/interviews beginning mid-April. Please note: these positions are for post-secondary young people, ages 18-30.
In the community
It was fantastic to join the Federation of Portuguese-Canadian Business & Professionals at their 40th Anniversary dinner to celebrate their work and service to the Portuguese-Canadian community. To celebrate, they awarded 40 scholarships to deserving Luso-Canadian students.
It was great to join Theatre Direct, Sanskruti Marathe, Opera Queens, Phoenix the Fire, and the Fox Den Collective at their performance as part of Forward March Festival in Earlscourt Park last weekend.
Today at City Council we welcomed the Toronto Six, Toronto's women's hockey team, who recently won the Isobel Cup!