Please see below some important new updates and meeting notices.
Melissa, Molly and I, along with my wonderful office staff, wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day.
Sincerely (and with love),
Discussing the Seniors Strategy TONIGHT on The Agenda with Steve Paikin
This evening, at 8 pm and again at 11 pm, part three of The Agenda with Steve Paikin's Aging in Ontario series will air on TVO. I will be discussing the City's Seniors Strategy on tonight's episode with fellow age-friendly advocates. If you're unable to view the episode this evening, it will also be posted on The Agenda's YouTube channel or you can download the podcast.
In order to prepare our city to serve our aging population, as Chair of the Seniors Strategy SubCommittee, I look forward to presenting the Toronto Seniors Strategy to Council this March.
Community Meeting Notice for Development Proposal at 281-289 Avenue Road
I have been working closely with our Cottingham and Rathnelly neighbourhoods for the past two years regarding a proposed condo development on Avenue Rd. Along with addressing several concerns we have about this proposal, I have invited City staff to discuss the applicant's proposal to cut down trees along their lot line in Robertson Davies Park in order to build the driveway into their development. I find it highly inappropriate that trees would be cut down in a City park to facilitate a new condo. I am inviting local residents to share their views on the proposal. Please join me on Wednesday, February 27th from 7 pm to 9 pm at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto's Sunderland Hall, 175 St. Clair Avenue West.
Proposed City-wide Zoning By-law: Revised Dates for Statutory Open House and Public Meeting
The Statutory Open House and public meeting for the proposed City-wide Zoning By-law have been rescheduled.
The Open House is now scheduled for February 27th, 2013, from 4 pm to 8 pm in the Rotunda of Metro Hall, 55 John Street. The Statutory Public Meeting will begin at 9:30 am in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, on March 6th.
Designing the Future of Eglinton - Public Workshops
This month, EglintonCONNECTS will be holding workshops for residents and small businesses to hear what you think about Eglinton Avenue's future with the coming Metrolinx investment in transit infrastructure. The location of the central workshop for residents on Thursday, February 28th is Forest Hill Collegiate Institute at 730 Eglinton Avenue West. Please feel free to drop in any time between 5:30 and 9:30 pm. The presentation and workshop start at 6:30 pm.
The workshop for local businesses will be held on February 28th from 9 am to 11 am at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Avenue West. At the workshop, discussion will include different methods of creating vibrant work spaces for the employees and shoppers, how to interact with the new LRT stops and stations, and how to encourage mixed-use development through well-designed, appropriately sized mid-rise buildings.
There is no doubt that the City needs to improve its level of service for snow removal, and I will be meeting the General Manager of Transportation along with some of my Council colleagues to discuss every concern I received and work on making necessary improvements.
I'm not suggesting we send in the army every time there's a major snow storm. But I do believe we can use the tools we have better and more effectively. Thank you to each of you who did your part to clear your walk and help our neighbours.
Roots of Youth Violence
Each tragic spike in youth violence is followed by task forces and reports with hundreds of ideas on how to respond. Many of these reports have contained recommendations which, if acted upon, would support Toronto's youth. In 2008, the Province of Ontario published a comprehensive report by The Honourable Roy McMurtry and Dr. Alvin Curling. The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence identified a significant role for municipal partners in addressing the roots of youth violence, including poverty, racism, poor neighbourhood design, health issues, lack of youth engagement, and lack of economic opportunities. Unfortunately, the recommendations in the report have only been partly implemented. It is time for serious, meaningful action, not more study.
That's why I have submitted a motion to this month's Council requesting the City of Toronto to take substantive action on measures we can implement now to address the roots of youth violence. Please let Councillors know that you want genuine action on this important matter.
Youth violence is not isolated to any one neighbourhood or any one community in our city. We need to treat this issue like it’s happening on the street that we live on because it will affect us eventually in some way in some form. These are our kids and we’ve got to address it.
Northern Secondary School Green Space Improvement Beautification Lakes
I am pleased to be bringing forward a motion to transfer $75,000, that I was able to secure through developer's fees, for the Northern Lakes Landscape Design Project. The new outdoor meeting and learning area in front of Northern Secondary School seeks to recreate the once vibrant ecosystem of Walmsley Brook. The project will suggest a dry river bed with trees, rock seating areas, plantings and flagstone paths.
This project will provide an enhanced seating and strolling area for the wider community providing a peaceful public space in a busy area. The Northern Lakes project will be of particular interest to the residents of several nearby seniors' homes who will benefit from nearby green space along Mount Pleasant Road.
Supporting the Central Eglinton Community Centre
I am also bringing forward a motion to transfer $25,000.00, also secured through developer's fees, to ensure that the Central Eglinton Community Centre's (CECC) expansion is fully accessible.
The CECC provides a variety of programs and services for people of all ages including parent/child activities and a range of social, recreational and leisure programs for older adults and seniors. The Centre also provides after school programs, food bank box, income tax clinics, legal advice, financial planning and employment & training information and opportunities.
This funding will help ensure that the CECC, and its important programs and services, will be fully accessible for people of all abilities.
Short-Term Lane Closures along Eglinton Avenue West
Work crews will be installing monitoring equipment along Eglinton Avenue West, from Black Creek Drive to Yonge Street, for the Eglinton Crosstown transit project. Construction will begin this winter and will continue through this summer. The construction will cause some short-term lane closures, with each monitoring point installation taking a few days to complete. During the day, traffic will be reduced to one lane within the work area. The Eglinton Crosstown transit project will provide rapid and reliable service across Eglinton Avenue. It will include an underground section from Keele Street to Don Mills Road and will be up to 60% faster than bus service today. For more information, please visit http://www.thecrosstown.ca/sites/default/files/pdf/updates/MonitoringEquipmentWinterSpring2013.pdf.
My little Valentine, Molly - she's just over a month old now. Thanks again to every one of you who sent such warm wishes on her arrival. Melissa and I were deeply touched.