I'm delighted to announce three new initiatives I'm taking action on and advocating for change in our city. Each one focusses on issues that I know are significant priorities to many residents in our community and our city as a whole.
I have also included some other important community updates for your information.
I'm sure that by now, many of you have heard the latest news about the mayor. Police Chief Bill Blair has confirmed that the alleged video in which Mayor Ford appears to be smoking crack cocaine and making racist and homophobic slurs indeed exists and will be shown in court. Please visit my website to read my statement.
I wish you and your family a very safe and happy Halloween this evening.
Free Toronto from the OMB! Stop Inappropriate Development
The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an unelected and unaccountable provincial body which has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario that often gives the development industry an unfair advantage at "appeals" hearings over the interests of our communities and the City of Toronto's Official Plan.
The OMB has a history of contributing to inappropriate development in our city. Toronto's midtown neighbourhoods are facing an unprecedented amount of new developments, many of which are condos, and it's putting an unjustifiable strain on our community without the adequate infrastructure, including transit and public realm, to keep up with the growth in population.
For more information on how to get involved and take action, please visit my page on the OMB.
Stop Unfair Rent Increases
Above the Guideline Increases (AGIs) for basic upkeep and repairs have pushed rents that were already steep into the unaffordable range in recent years.
Landlords can apply for AGIs through the Landlord and Tenant Board. Repairs should be included as part of a landlord's overall expenses and paid for from the rent they already receive. It is clear that tenants, often seniors who have fixed pensions, are being unfairly burdened for the landlord’s basic cost of doing business.
For more information and to learn how you can take action against spiralling rent increases and unexpected fees, please visit my page on AGIs.
Build the Relief Subway Line Now
The Relief Subway Line would provide an alternative within our existing subway system, which is already overcrowded during rush hours. It would also curb gridlock on our city’s streets and increase access to jobs and attractions. It is the evidence-based subway expansion project that would most improve Toronto’s economy and residents’ quality of life.
To take action and learn more about the proposal, please visit my page on the Relief Subway Line.
Halloween Trick-or-Treating Tips
To ensure you have a safe and fun Halloween with your family, I’m sharing the following trick-or-treating best practices and driver safety tips from Toronto Police Services.
1) Put strips of reflective tape on the front and back of the costumes to make them more visible to drivers.
2) Your child's costume shouldn't drag on the ground — it's too easy to trip over. Shoes should be well-fitting and sturdy.
3) Don't allow children to carry sharp objects. Swords, knives, and any other accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.
4) If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely and has eye holes large enough so that he or she can see.
5) Make sure that treat bags are light-colored for easy visibility. Decorate them with reflective tape (you can find it in hardware, bicycle, or sporting goods stores).
6) No child should go trick-or-treating alone. Always accompany your younger children; older children can go in groups.
7) Allow children to go trick-or-treating early but avoid the evening rush hour. It's harder for motorists to see clearly during twilight than at any other time of day.
8) Give children specific neighborhood boundaries for trick-or-treating. Set a firm curfew for your children.
9) Remind children to walk on sidewalks and be cautious when crossing streets.
10) Tell children to only go to homes and neighbors they know and only to houses with lights on.
11) Tell children to turn down all invitations to enter homes. Period.
12) Tell children to avoid even normally friendly neighborhood dogs, who can be startled by kids they know who are dressed in unfamiliar costumes.
13) Drivers: remember children may be preoccupied with the trick-or-treating and may not be paying attention to the rules of the road. Keep vehicle speeds at or below the posted limits, and scan the road for children attempting to cross streets mid-block.
(My daughter Molly celebrating her first Halloween today as Darwin the Ikea Monkey)
Davisville Village Pumpkin Parade
Bring your jack-o-lanterns to Glebe Manor East Parkette on Belsize Drive between Harwood Road and Forman Avenue for a spooky parade Friday, November 1, beginning at 7 PM! Click here to view the event poster.
Eglinton Crosstown Station Design Meeting
On Thursday, November 7, Metrolinx is hosting a station design update meeting regarding the preliminary station designs from Avenue Road to Bayview Avenue for the Eglinton Crosstown. The meeting will be an open house format with opportunities to view displays, and speak one-on-one with staff.
The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Northern Secondary School, 851 Mount Pleasant Road.
"Ecofair at the Barns" at Wychwood Barns
The Artscape Wychwood Barns is hosting an Ecofair on Sunday, November 10 featuring eco exhibits, interactive demos, eco-themed book swaps, test drives, and activities for kids.
The Ecofair runs from 12:00 to 4:00 pm, and admission is free. The Artscape Wychwood Barns is located at 601 Christie St.
Meeting to discuss improvements to parkettes on Belsize Drive
I believe that the median parkettes on Belsize Drive are in need of important design improvements. Please join me to discuss options and to provide your feedback on Wednesday, November 20 from 7 to 9 pm at Greenwood College School (443 Mount Pleasant Road). The meeting will be held in room 103. Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff will attend the meeting to answer any questions you may have.
Avenue Road Arts School is offering 35 new mini-courses in celebration of anniversary
In celebration of their 20th anniversary, the Avenue Road Arts School is offering a brand new assortment of 35 mini-courses for people who might be unable to take full-time courses due to a busy lifestyle. The courses will cover a large variety of arts, from Life Drawing and iPad Art to Sing and Sign to Music Video Performance.
To see a complete list of the available workshops and courses available, please visit the Avenue Road Arts School website.