HOPS FOR HUNGER RETURNS TO GREAT LAKES BREWERY – Annual Food Drive takes place over 22 days at Toronto Craft Brewery –

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December 1, 2016 (Toronto, ON)Great Lakes Brewery (GLB), the 2016 Ontario Brewery of the Year, is once again pleased to announce that we’ll be “fighting to end hunger in our communities” with the annual Hops for Hunger Food Drive in support of Daily Bread Food Bank. Between December 1 – December 22, any customer who purchases beer from the brewery retail store at 30 Queen Elizabeth Blvd, Etobicoke, will be contributing to the campaign. “With the purchase of any GLB product between December 1 – 22nd, we’ll calculate a portion of the weight of the beer and donate a percentage of the corresponding poundage amount in dollars,” stated Peter Bulut, President and Chief Brewing Officer at GLB. “The more customers buy, the more poundage calculated, and therefore more money will be raised.” He added, “This is our 8th year carrying out the Hops for Hunger food drive and we couldn’t be happier to partner with our Etobicoke neighbours at Daily Bread who continue to do amazing things in communities around the city of Toronto.” GLB will also be encouraging customers coming into the brewery retail store to donate any non-perishable food items, along with baby food and diapers, by dropping them off in the yellow Daily Bread collection bin located within the store. Daily Bread Food Bank’s Holiday Drive is aiming to raise $1.5 million in donations and 1.5 million pounds of food. “When the holiday season starts, it’s especially hard to cope with empty cupboards, that’s why we’re so glad to have Peter and his team supporting Daily Bread with food and cash donations,” said Gail Nyberg, Executive Director of Daily Bread Food Bank. “The generosity of our friends and neighbours here in Etobicoke will make the season happier for families around the corner and across the city.” Last year, thanks to the support of the local Toronto beer community, GLB was able to donate $3000 and a full box of much needed food to Daily Bread and would like to build on that in 2016. Further to the Hops for Hunger campaign, GLB staff, in various departments within the brewery, have made Ugly Christmas Sweaters that will be auctioned off throughout December, both online and in the retail store, with all winning bids (proceeds) being donated to Daily Bread. This auction will commence on December 5th and can be viewed

at

 http://gobid.ca/auction/856

.

About Daily Bread Food Bank Daily Bread Food Bank is a registered charity that is fighting hunger in our communities. A distribution hub, Daily Bread provides food and support to almost 200 food programs across Toronto. Daily Bread also works towards long-term solutions to hunger and runs innovative programs to support people on low incomes. About Great Lakes Brewery Established in 1987, Great Lakes Brewery (GLB) is one of the oldest craft breweries operating in the province of Ontario and February 12, 2017 marks the 30th anniversary in the beer business. Known for their fiercely independent nature, lack of fear in pushing boundaries, and adhering to freshness and quality best practices, GLB has been named the Canadian Brewery of the Year twice (2013, 2014) and Ontario Brewery of the Year three times (2014, 2015, 2016). GLB specializes in producing flavourful beers that will be sure to awaken your taste buds with each sip. From unique seasonal ales and premium lagers to our Project X and Tank Ten Series beers, GLB produces a variety of products to be enjoyed by everyone! Based in Toronto at 30 Queen Elizabeth Blvd, you’re invited to visit the brewery for a taste of award-winning beers.

 

City of Toronto invites residents to have their say on Long-Term Financial Plan

Posted in City Wide, Updates

The City of Toronto is hosting four public consultation meetings from December 5 to 8, in addition to an online survey that is available from December 5 to 23, to gather the public’s input on how the City can manage expenses, raise revenue and optimize its assets as part of the development of its Long-Term Financial Plan.

Public meeting details:

  • Monday, December 5, Etobicoke Olympium, 590 Rathburn Rd.
  • Tuesday, December 6, Chinese Cultural Centre, 5183 Sheppard Ave. E.
  • Wednesday, December 7, Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave.
  • Thursday, December 8, Toronto Reference Library (Epic Hall), 789 Yonge St.

Each meeting features an open house session starting at 6 p.m. A staff presentation that begins at 7 p.m. provides the context for table discussions, followed by an “open-mic” session for participants who want to make a brief statement. Pre-registration is requested at http://www.investinginto.ca.

Live webcasts of the meetings will be available on the website for those who cannot attend in person, along with learning and background materials and the online survey. Consultation toolkits can be downloaded for those who want to conduct their own community meetings. 

To keep Toronto strong and vibrant, there are some key issues that require attention, including transit, housing, investment in poverty reduction, and social cohesion. City Council has adopted economic, social and environmental strategies that can lead Toronto forward. A Long-Term Financial Plan will ultimately present options and create a roadmap to achieve long-term financial sustainability through multi-year expenditure and revenue strategies while supporting the City’s ability to fund its city-building and policy aspirations.

Findings from the consultation process will be considered by the City Manager as he provides advice to Council on the development of the plan. A second phase of the consultation process, including another round of public meetings and an additional survey, will take place in 2017. Members of the public are also invited to join the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #InvestinginTO.

Toronto Public Health shares tips on preparing for cold weather season

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As we get closer to the beginning of winter and temperatures start to drop, Toronto Public Health is sharing tips with the public on how to stay warm during the cold weather season.

“Colder weather can affect everyone’s health, however, some people are more vulnerable than others, including people experiencing homelessness, those who work outdoors, the elderly and individuals with pre-existing health conditions,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Toronto’s Acting Medical Officer of Health. “Now is a good time to remind residents of ways they can stay warm and healthy this coming winter season.”

Exposure to cold weather can increase the immediate risk of direct cold weather injuries including hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature drops below 35°C. Symptoms can include shivering, confusion and stumbling. Frostbite occurs when body tissues freeze and die. Frostbite mainly affects extremities such as fingers, toes, ears and nose. Skin appears waxy, grey and cold to the touch. In severe cases, amputation may be needed.

During colder temperatures, members of the public are encouraged to take the following precautions: 

  • Check the weather report before going outside.
  • Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover exposed skin.
  • Wear a hat, warm mittens or gloves, and warm boots. 
  • Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much greater if you are wet.
  • Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for your clothes instead of cotton, because cotton stops keeping you warm when it gets wet. 
  • Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes. 
  • Drink warm beverages, other than alcohol.
  • Warm up by taking regular breaks in heated buildings when enjoying winter activities outside.
  • Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors, during colder temperatures, especially if it’s windy. 
  • Heat your home to at least 21ºC if babies or elderly people are present.

When the weather forecast is for a temperature of -15ºC or colder, or a wind chill of -20 or colder, the City’s Acting Medical Officer of Health will issue an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. This activates local services that focus on getting and keeping vulnerable residents inside. Services that are activated during Extreme Cold Weather Alerts include additional shelter beds, notification to community agencies to relax any service restrictions, availability of transit tokens in some drop-ins, and overnight street outreach.

Between December 15, 2016 and February 28, 2017, two 24-hour cold weather drop-ins will be open 24/7 regardless of whether there is a cold alert in effect. During the first two weeks of this month (until December 14) and again between March 1 and April 15, 2017, the cold weather drop-in services are provided on a more limited basis, becoming available by 3 p.m. on the day an extreme cold weather alert is called and remaining open until noon on the day it is cancelled.

The City asks that residents help vulnerable people by calling 311 if there is a need for street outreach assistance. If the situation is an emergency, call 911.

Residents can find out more about winter services for homeless and under-housed individuals at http://bit.ly/2gy6YNb.

More information and tips for staying warm during cold weather are available on the Toronto Public Health web page at http://bit.ly/1xLvhr9.

Information to help residents prepare for extreme weather and weatherproof their homes is available at http://www.toronto.ca/extremeweatherready.

Sightings of coyotes are normal in parts of Toronto

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Toronto residents who live near ravines and forests – typical coyote habitat – can expect an increase in coyote sightings during this time of year. Coyotes are active day and night, but prefer to hunt after dusk or before dawn.

Residents should follow these steps to minimize negative encounters with coyotes:

  • Avoid feeding them. Feeding wild animals, including coyotes is detrimental and can create problems for the neighbourhood.
  • Avoid feeding pets outdoors.
  • Ensure that all household garbage is inaccessible to animals.
  • Place garbage out on the morning of the scheduled pickup, rather than the night before.
  • Always supervise pets – keep dogs on a leash and keep cats indoors or supervised when outside.

The City has a coyote response strategy that it follows when dealing with coyotes that includes public education, a bylaw that prohibits feeding of wildlife and criteria for the removal of coyotes, if necessary. A bite on another animal is not grounds for removal, as this is normal coyote behaviour.

Where a coyote is injured or sick, Toronto Animal Services will investigate to determine whether the coyote can recover on its own or be captured and brought to a wildlife rehabilitation facility. In accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the coyote will be located back into the area from which it was captured when it has recovered.

Coyotes have become a natural part of the urban landscape in Toronto and are an important part of the ecosystem as they control rodent and rabbit populations. They thrive in urban areas because of the abundance of food and shelter available to them.

More information is available at http://toronto.ca/coyote or by calling 311.

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Winter season programming in Toronto

Posted in City Wide, Parks, Updates, Ward 5

The City of Toronto offers affordable community recreation programming for the winter season. Residents of all ages can register for winter skating programs, swimming programs and March Break camps.

Get ready!

Registration begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, December 3 for Etobicoke/York and Scarborough Districts, and 7 a.m. on Tuesday, December 6 for North York, Toronto and East York Districts.

Residents should visit toronto.ca/torontofun prior to registration day to:

  • Find out district registration dates
  • Build a list of choices (program titles and barcodes) using the website or the printed FUN Guide
  • Get a family number and client numbers to log in and register
  • Have a payment method ready or credit on the account, if fees apply

Residents can use the “Search Programs” options at toronto.ca/funguide to build wish lists and have a few options ready in case they don’t get into their first choice.

Using the website efun.toronto.ca is the easiest and fastest way to register for winter recreation. In September, 90 per cent of users were able to log in to the registration system in less than 11 minutes and, on average, once logged in, each registration was completed in just over seven minutes.

Those who wish to register for programs will need to set up an account. Call 416-338-4386, e-mail pfrcustomerservice@toronto.ca or speak with staff at a City community centre to get a family number and a client number, update your account information, put a credit on your account or request information on the Welcome Policy.

 Welcome Policy yearly credit  The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs. People receiving social assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker. More information about the yearly credit is available at toronto.ca/wpFree programs  Many community centres offer free recreation programs including leisure swimming and skating, and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. More information about free and low-cost programming options is available at toronto.ca/lowcostrecreationOlder adult discounts  Older adults (60+ years) who register for adult programs receive a 50 per cent discount. 

#WelcomeTOwinter

Winter is arriving in Toronto’s parks, community centres and natural environments. Visit toronto.ca/winter for more information on winter activities and events.

Holiday Wish List a residents’ guide for helping homeless and vulnerable people in Toronto this holiday season

Posted in City Wide, Updates

Torontonians who would like to help vulnerable and homeless people in the city this holiday season are encouraged to consider the 2016 Holiday Wish List.

The City of Toronto surveyed agencies that run shelters, drop-ins and other services for homeless people, asking them what would bring cheer to their clients during the holidays. More than 60 agencies asked to be on this year’s list.

The Wish List details specific items that clients need, along with contacts and information about volunteer opportunities, holiday events and when to drop off donations.

The 2016 Holiday Wish List is now available at http://www.toronto.ca/housing.

The most requested items on this year’s list are winter clothing, toiletries, children’s toys and gift cards for food or groceries – small everyday items that can make a big difference to a person or family in need. Many agencies are also looking for volunteers to help with sorting donations, wrapping gifts and preparing and serving food.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

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PRESTO is coming to Royal York Station’s Grenview Auto-Entrance

Posted in Updates, Ward 5

As part of TTC’s modernization efforts, PRESTO electronic fare payment systems are  being installed in stations across the network.

PRESTO is coming to Royal York Station’s Grenview auto entrance. 

  • Construction will begin on November 29 and is scheduled to be completed by January 30.
  • The auto entrance will be closed from 10 p.m. November 29 until 6 a.m. December 1. During this time customers will need to access the station via the main entrance.
  • During construction customers will be able to access the station using tokens, tickets, TTC passes or cash beside the hoarding.
  • After construction customers will be able to access the new fare gates at the automatic entrance with a TTC pass or PRESTO card only.
  • Anyone paying by tokens, tickets or cash must enter through the Royal York Avenue entrance. 

Construction updates on Presto installation across the network  are available on the TTC site at the following link:

http://www.ttc.ca/Service_Advisories/Construction/PRESTO_construction.jsp

 

Cavalcade of Lights to illuminate Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday with live music, Christmas tree lighting and fireworks

Posted in City Wide, Updates

This Saturday, November 26, Nathan Phillips Square at 100 Queen St. W. will be illuminated for the 50th annual Cavalcade of Lights (http://www.toronto.ca/cavalcade) presented by Great Gulf and produced by the City of Toronto. Performances will include music by Whitehorse and Choir! Choir! Choir! and the lighting of the Toronto Christmas tree by Mayor John Tory.

Detailed schedule for Saturday night

7:00 p.m.      Audience sing-a-long with Choir! Choir! Choir!, including John Lennon’s songImagine” with special guests Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet

7:30 p.m.      Countdown with Mayor John Tory for first lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree sponsored by Hudson’s Bay and powered by Toronto Hydro

 7:35 p.m.      Cris Derksen’s Cavalcade Orchestra with guest vocalists Don Amero, Dan Talevski and Kiran Ahluwalia

8:30 p.m.      Procession of Light by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts

8:35 p.m.      Spectacular fireworks display

8:40 p.m.      Whitehorse concert sponsored by Great Gulf

9:40 p.m.      Skating party with DJ General Eclectic

Media are asked to confirm their attendance, make any artist interview requests and provide production requirements in advance by emailing mima.agozzino@toronto.ca or calling 416-568-9653. Members of the media are advised to arrive early to set up in the media area, which is a temporary structure on Nathan Phillips Square, situated just north of the skating rink.

High resolution images are available for media use at http://ow.ly/R7Aa305HzXh.

Cavalcade of Lights organizers are committed to creating an accessible event. An accessible section and an ASL interpreter will be provided onsite to help ensure that everyone who attends can enjoy this special evening.

Full event details are available at http://www.toronto.ca/cavalcade.

Toronto City Council Highlights – November 8 and 9, 2016

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Council Highlights

Toronto City Council meeting of November 8 and 9, 2016                 

Council Highlights is an informal summary of a selection of decisions made by Toronto City Council. The City Clerk’s formal documentation is available at http://www.toronto.ca/council.

Toronto’s transit network   

Council approved recommendations on negotiated terms for cost sharing and revenue sharing with the Province of Ontario and its transit agency, Metrolinx, and authorized City officials to enter into intergovernmental agreements on a range of transit initiatives. A “Stage Gate” process will be established for the planning, design and delivery of the SmartTrack project. The integrated SmartTrack/Regional Express Rail scenario includes six new stations and the Eglinton West LRT.

Decision on ward boundaries     

Council voted in favour of moving from the current 44 wards to 47 wards. The 47-ward structure will achieve an average population of 61,000 people in each ward, with one councillor elected for each ward, reflecting the principle of effective representation. Certain parts of the city have experienced significant population growth since ward boundaries were previously reviewed in 2000. The intention is to have the new ward boundaries in place for the 2018 municipal election.

Filling councillor vacancy in Ward 42   

Council decided to hold a byelection to fill the vacancy on Council for Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River that resulted from former councillor Raymond Cho’s resignation after he was elected to the Ontario legislature. Nominations opened on November 10 and will be accepted until December 30, culminating in the byelection on February 13, 2017.

World Expo bid  

Council discussed the possibility of Toronto mounting a bid to host the World Expo 2025 world’s fair and decided the City will not develop a bid. Council affirmed that it remains open to considering future Expo bids, including for Expo 2030.

Flood protection for the Port Lands    

Council approved plans and the anticipated funding arrangements – involving City, federal and provincial funding – to undertake the Essroc Quay project as a component of flood protection work required for development of Toronto’s Port Lands. Flood protection is needed to prepare for possible catastrophic flooding of the Don River. The project will involve the creation of a naturalized mouth of the Don River and other flood protection measures. Proceeding with the work still requires confirmation of federal and provincial funding commitments.

Gender diversity in public appointments    

Council supported setting a goal of achieving gender equality in appointments to City corporate boards, such as the boards of Toronto Hydro and Toronto Community Housing, by 2020. Council also asked for an annual report on the gender composition of appointments made on the recommendation of Council’s nominating panel for corporations. At present, about 30 per cent of the public members appointed to the corporations’ boards are women.

Cold weather services this winter  

Council authorized the addition of beds to the emergency shelter system for temporary winter services, as well as new locations and funding as needed to support other measures to help homeless people in Toronto cope with the cold this winter. The City’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration division works with community partners to deliver a range of winter services, including during extreme cold weather alerts.

Aboriginal flags at City Hall      

Council voted in favour of installing the flags of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Metis peoples, the Haudenasaunee and the Huron-Wendat at Toronto City Hall on a permanent basis, demonstrating the City’s support for its First Nations communities. Toronto is situated on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the Metis peoples.

Police car graphics   

Council agreed to ask the Toronto Police Services Board to respond to public concerns about the grey-coloured police cruisers Toronto police have started to introduce as a replacement for cars with the long familiar white, red and blue colour scheme. If a review finds that a change from the current look is warranted, Council wants steps taken to make sure the colours and graphics chosen “reflect the City’s values of diversity, inclusiveness and mutual respect.”

Response to audits         

Council considered reports from the Audit Committee and approved actions to improve the City’s management of long-term disability benefits and prescription drug claims under the City’s benefits program, as well as actions pertaining to the City’s fair wage policy. The fair wage policy is in place to make sure employees of companies doing business with, or working for, the City of Toronto receive a fair wage.  

Licensed childcare in Toronto      

Council adopted measures to support the development of a multi-year growth strategy for the City’s licensed childcare system, which involves working with the provincial and federal governments to address capacity and affordability. On another agenda item involving childcare in Toronto, Council approved the establishment of a new funding model to support agencies providing home-based licensed childcare under contract with the Children’s Services division.

Interim home for Red Door shelter  

Council approved a proposal to lease a building at 1430 Gerrard St. E. for about three years as an emergency shelter for women and children while the shelter’s Queen Street East site is redeveloped as a mixed-use building that will include a permanent Red Door family shelter. The plan envisages the Gerrard Street site eventually being used to provide transitional housing for families.

Use of service animals     

Council endorsed amending the Toronto Municipal Code on the subject of service animals. The changes, which update the definition of service animal and provide exemptions for people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal, are intended to ensure the equitable treatment of people with disabilities who are accompanied by service animals.

Training for servers of alcohol    

Council adopted a motion to ask Ontario’s alcohol and gaming commission to include in its Smart Serve training program – training for alcoholic beverage servers – instructions on identifying and intervening when incidents of sexual assault, harassment and violence occur involving colleagues or customers. Research has shown that bars, nightclubs and other establishments where alcohol is served have relatively high rates of sexual violence in and around them.

Live music venues in Toronto   

A motion calling for the City to devise a strategy for the preservation of live music venues in Toronto received Council’s support. There are concerns that gentrification and redevelopment, especially in the downtown core, could have a negative effect on the city’s live music industry.

Caribbean Carnival safety     

Council adopted a motion calling for staff to meet with Toronto Caribbean Carnival organizers and stakeholders as well as the City’s liaison committee to work on a plan addressing safety and security issues during the annual carnival. Next year is the parade’s 50th anniversary and more people than usual may attend the popular event. Concerns have been raised about large numbers of “stormers” – spectators who join and disrupt the parade of mas bands.

Flag maintenance   

A motion addressing the matter of Canadian flags on City property received support from Council. As a result, City of Toronto divisions, agencies and corporations will need to create a schedule for inspecting and maintaining their national flags in good condition.

Transporting food in the Toronto area  

Council voted to support an effort by the transportation industry and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to move more of the transportation of food off Greater Toronto Area (GTA) roads and onto rail. About a million truckloads of food and packaged goods move through the GTA annually. Greater use of trains would help food manufacturers lower their transportation costs while reducing road congestion and carbon emissions.

High Park Zoo   

Council declared the High Park Zoo Master Plan a priority for the City of Toronto. The designation will open grant opportunities from outside organizations and other levels of government to help cover the costs of repairs and upgrades identified through work on the master plan. The zoo has been part of High Park for almost 125 years.

Skateboarding in Toronto              

Council approved a skateboard strategy to serve as a guide for the City in creating a network of skateboard facilities and programs in Toronto, including for deciding on the locations of future skatepark facilities. Toronto currently has 14 outdoor skateparks. Council also supported a motion pertaining to informal, do-it-yourself skateboard spaces.

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Volume 19   Issue 7

Council Highlights, a summary of selected decisions made by Toronto City Council, is produced by the City’s Strategic Communications division.

Formal documentation of City Council decisions: http://www.toronto.ca/council

Questions about Council meetings and decisions: clerk@toronto.ca or 416-392-8016

Information about distribution of this summary: stratcom@toronto.ca

Previous editions: http://bitly.com/1cmCQXI