It has been such a pleasure to see so many of you recently at the many events I attend in our community and at our neighbourhoods' local shops, parks, schools and main streets. Along with many other important priorities, every day, I hear from residents like yourself that a realistic plan to improve and expand our public transit system must be supported by Toronto city council now.
Please read my most recent update you below regarding transit, community meetings and more.
Keeping Transit Funding and Expansion on Track and Moving Forward
Yesterday, Mayor Ford and a slim majority of his Executive Committee voted to defer a report on new revenue tools to pay for more and better public transit in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). This is extremely disappointing because City Council needs to send its recommendations about new revenue tools to Metrolinx before the end of May if Toronto is to have any influence over which revenue tools the Province of Ontario eventually chooses. Mayor Ford and a small handful of councillors on the Executive Committee have effectively voted to let Metrolinx decide which revenue tools are best without any input from our region's largest city. They neither voted for transit revenue, or against it. Or for one revenue tool and against another. They simply voted to duck a difficult question.
This failure of leadership isn't good enough for the thousands of residents who wait to board our current subway system every day, are unable to find room on the first train that stops and then, when finally on, are crammed inside like sardines. This political dithering isn't good enough for everyone in our city who waits in long line ups to get onto our buses and streetcars every morning to get to work. Torontonians deserve better. Our city needs a transit system that keeps up an ever growing demand.
I am working with my colleagues to ensure there is an opportunity to debate this matter at City Council, and ultimately to have our City's voice heard by the Province as it selects new revenue tools that will pay for important improvements including the Downtown Relief subway line and an extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to the airport. Congestion is too severe and public transit is too crowded to allow Mayor Ford to defer decisions indefinitely.
To read more about the work I've been doing on our behalf to focus efforts on moving forward with a regional transit strategy, please click here. You can read more about how my colleagues and I are working together on this important priority in a recent article.
282 St. Clair Avenue West Public Meeting
I would like to invite you to an important community information meeting regarding a development application for 282 St. Clair Avenue West.
The original plan for this site was for an 11 storey condo building with 136 units. As a result of the hard work and advocacy from many in the community, including the strong showing at the previous public meeting I held, the developer is now submitting a revised plan for a 9 storey condo building with a maximum of 118 units. We have also pressed the developer into providing a more appropriate transition to the neighbourhood to the east and north of the site, additional set-backs and terracing off St. Clair, increased sidewalk width, retention of mature trees on Parkwood, and improved landscaping.
There is still more work to be done. For example, I am working with City Planning toward a further reduction in units.
I encourage you and your neighbours to learn more about the proposal. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to City staff and the applicants.
When: Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: The First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, 175 St. Clair West
Reminder: 1331 Yonge Street Public Meeting
In response to resident concerns about traffic and safety related to a potential development at 1331 Yonge Street (the former CHUM site) I am holding a community information meeting on Tuesday, April 30th at 7 pm. The meeting location will be The York School Gymnasium at 1639 Yonge Street. Representatives from City Fire, Ambulance and Transportation Services, along with our local planner, will be available to provide information and answer questions.
Please see the meeting notice for more information.
This spring, the Friends of the Beltline Clean-up will be on Saturday, April 27th from 10 am to 12 pm, beginning at Forest Hill Road Park. Please join me and the Beltline community in cleaning up our unique trail! For more information on the clean-up, please click here to view the event poster.
Spring Bazaar & Rummage Sale
This community fundraising event for Central Eglinton Community Centre will feature unique vendors and crafters, a bake sale table, a used book sale, door prizes, and more.
When: Friday, May 3, 10 am to 2 pm.
Where: 160 Eglinton Avenue East, at Redpath Avenue
Would you like to have green bins in your apartment building?
The (Organic) Green Bin Program is now available to all multi-residential buildings across the City that participate in the City's collection services. The Green Bin Program allows participants to put organics (fruit and vegetables scraps, paper towels, coffee grinds, etc) out for separate collection along with garbage and recycling. By separating organics, such as food waste and soiled paper food packaging, your building will reduce the volume of garbage it sets out, reduce its fees, and ultimately help divert more waste from landfill.
If your building is on the program, or is about to start on the organics program, City staff are offering "in building" presentations for both residents and building staff/owners to learn about the program and to answer any questions. The City will also provide free kitchen containers for each unit.
To find out if a presentation has been scheduled for your building, simply contact your property management team or superintendent and they can call the Multi-Residential Inquiry Line at 416-396-5200. Additional information can be found by visiting http://www.toronto.ca/garbage/multi/green_bin_program.htm.