If you're unable to attend, please check out my website here to learn about other opportunities to get vaccinated and relevant information.
Support our Community’s Vision for a Better Quality of Life at Yonge & Eglinton
The former Bus Barns site on the Canada Square lands have sat as a derelict eyesore for almost two decades, serving as a staging ground for construction of the Eglinton Crosstown. However, the site (bounded by Eglinton to the north, Yonge to the east, Berwick to the south, and Duplex to the west) will become one of the most important transit hubs in Toronto when the project is completed.
I moved a motion, supported by Council, to establish a Working Group that included local Councillors, School Trustees, Residents Associations, and community organizations, to inform a Special Study Area report in response to a disappointing proposal by Oxford Developments that did not include nearly enough public amenities.
The Working Group was put forward a vision for the site that will help transform the Yonge-Eglinton area into a complete community, including:
· A large public park
· Public square on the corner
· Affordable housing
· A new elementary school
· Post-secondary institution
· Significantly increased office space for innovative companies and community organizations
· Cultural facilities such as a theatre space for the performing arts
Unfortunately, this vision was not supported last month by the Planning & Housing Committee. Thankfully, we have another chance at full City Council next week on July 14th. Please let the Mayor and Councillors know that you support these goals for our community by clicking here and emailing [email protected] Simply add your name to the signature at the bottom of the email.
Thank you for your advocacy!
Take Action: Sign our Petition to Stop Excessive Construction Noise Hours
Doug Ford’s provincial government used COVID-19 to extend construction hours for his developer friends under the guise of building new hospitals. While no new hospitals were built in Ontario, many Toronto residents have suffered as a result of excessive noise day and night, 7 days a week, from luxury condo developments.
Last spring, at the beginning of the pandemic, the Province meddled with the City of Toronto Act to change permitted hours of residential construction from 7:00am - 7:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am - 7:00pm on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays to 6:00am to 10:00pm every day of the week. This was an unconscionable decision during a time when the Ford government was asking people to do their part to stop the spread of COVID by staying home.
I have heard from too many Torontonians whose mental health and work has suffered from this greedy giveaway to developers. Extending construction hours should have never happened in the first place, but it’s certainly well past time that this decision was reversed.
Working with Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, we have developed a petition to the provincial government. Please click here to sign the petition and demand the province take action by redacting Limitation 2 to Ontario Regulation 130/20 of the City of Toronto Act that allows for “construction activity in the City between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.” This represents a significant departure from the City's By-laws, which permit noise from construction between 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays.
Reminder: Pump Park Online Meeting Next Week
As mentioned in last month's e-newsletter, City Staff and I will be hosting a meeting to present improvements coming to the High Level Pumping Station Park (Pump Park) on Tuesday July 13th. Please click here for more information on how to access the meeting.
Afro-Caribbean Farmers' Market and other Toronto-St Paul’s Farmers' Markets
While I'm focusing on the future of Little Jamaica, Lori Beazer (organizer of the Afro-Caribbean Farmer's Market), the York-Eglinton BIA and I have been working together to transform the parking lot at 1531 Eglinton Avenue West (Oakwood Avenue & Eglinton Avenue West) into a vibrant animated food space, and cultural food hub that forms a collective platform for sharing food and exchanging food culture with the community.
Through select imported food from the Caribbean and Africa, alongside a curated group of lifestyle items made by local food artisans, such as freshly baked bread, juices, desserts and sauces/jams, people will gather at this "town square" each Sunday starting July 4th to October 3rd from 11:00am-3:00pm.
While the market's focus is to elevate racialized farmers alongside food-producers in densely urbanized neighbourhoods, it will also feature it's own market currency called Callaloo Cash, which is a program that aims to subsidize and limit financial barriers for people with low incomes. For further details, please click here. I hope to see you soon!
Toronto-St. Paul's is lucky to have a variety of wonderful farmers' markets across our neighbourhoods. Also join me at
the markets listed below to see friends, neighbours and buy fresh produce and other food. See you there!
AppleTree's Davisville Farmer’s Market: Every Tuesday between 3:00pm and 7:00pm at June Rowlands Park.
AppleTree's Midtown Market: Every Thursday between 3:00pm and 7:00pm at Yorkminster Park Church
Eglinton Way Farmer’s Market: Every Sunday from 8:00am to 1:00am at 125 Burnaby Blvd.
The Stop Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Barns: Every Saturday from 8:00am to 12:30pm at 601 Christie Street (Wychwood Barns)
Virtual Salsa on St. Clair Celebrations
This weekend, we would’ve normally been together at Salsa on St. Clair. But nothing can keep us from dancing! This year’s virtual edition of Canada’s #1 celebration of Latin culture will be broadcast nationally on TLN TV as a televised special event, taking TD Salsa in Toronto into the homes of millions salsa lovers this July! The festival will also be streamed worldwide on tln.ca and featured across the festival’s social media channels.
The 2021 edition of the festival broadcast celebrates Latino culture through musical performances, virtual dance lessons and performances, authentic food recipe demonstrations, Latin art showcases, colourful cultural group features, VIP guest segments and of course non-stop dancing!
UPDATE: Community Youth Space in Oakwood-Vaughan Officially Finds a New Home
Last December, my motion on activating a new community space for youth in our Oakwood-Vaughan neighbourhood passed unanimously at City Council. Since then, I’ve been working closely with our Social Development staff and the Oakwood Village BIA on finding the youth agency- “For Youth Initiative” (FYI) a new space in the community. I'm pleased to announce that after many months, FYI has officially found a new home at 504 Oakwood Avenue! More details on a grand opening event to come. This major step that we’ve taken will be life-changing for our youth and I couldn’t be more proud of this work.
FYI is a multi-service youth serving agency that has been located in York-South Weston (YSW) for 25 years. They began the Reintegrating the Socially Excluded Program (R.I.S.E. Program) 6 years ago in response to community need for support for youth experiencing conflict with the justice system. They use a trauma-informed and person-centred approach to working with youth which takes into account their experiences with racism, marginalization, and other contributing factors to justice involvement. They have developed extremely effective outreach strategies to connect with youth experiencing marginalization through our relationships with nearby high schools, community partners, and community members.
At a high level, For Youth Initiative (FYI) Oakwood and Vaughan will:
· Deliver programs through a combination of virtual and in-person activities depending on public health and safety measures. The program will incorporate two components:
o Individual case management support (ongoing as needed for each youth)
o Group programming and workshops
· Case Leads are available for individual support 10am-6pm and programs are typically run 4pm-6pm Monday through Friday.
· Depending on community needs and the increase in virtual programming, they may be able to expand and adjust those hours to include later programming and weekend availability.
· Outreach will be targeted to YSW and the Oakwood and Vaughan area specifically. Virtual programming will have no limit as to the number of participants.
· FYI will expand their team by two dedicated FTE case workers to provide support to youth in Oakwood and Vaughan.
o One FTE will be dedicated to extending settlement and high school educational and leadership programming to Oakwood and Vaughan;
o The second FTE case worker will be focused on connecting out of school/mature youth to post-secondary education, employment and training;
o Youth Justice Staff would provide in-kind support to the Oakwood and Vaughan site based on a referral basis.