New City Hall exhibit uncovers Toronto’s early Black history

Posted in City Wide, Updates

 In honour of Black History Month, the City of Toronto and Infrastructure Ontario has revealed a new exhibit in the City Hall rotunda with artifacts discovered during the construction of the new Toronto courthouse.

“Toronto’s Black community has deep roots in the city’s history and we are pleased to help unearth some of these stories and share new insight with this important display,” said Mayor John Tory. “Black History Month is a time to celebrate the history and culture of Toronto’s Black residents. I hope all Torontonians will take this opportunity to visit City Hall and learn more about Toronto’s rich and diverse past.”

The first exhibit features artifacts significant to Toronto’s Black history, including remnants of the British Methodist Episcopal Church, which was founded by five African-Americans who fled slavery and came to Canada through the Underground Railroad.

 In 2015, Infrastructure Ontario, on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General, led a complex excavation and archeological dig of a new Toronto courthouse site just steps from City Hall. The excavation revealed tens of thousands of artifacts from the neighbourhood known as St. John’s Ward, or the Ward. As one of Toronto’s earliest immigrant and migrant settlements, the Ward in the 19th century was a place of refuge for Black settlers, including fugitive slaves and freed persons, as well as Irish, Italian, Jewish and later Chinese immigrants.

“The archeological work, and the process of interpreting the findings, continues to be very exciting for all of us at Infrastructure Ontario,” said Ehren Cory, Divisional President at Infrastructure Ontario. “This unique collaboration and exhibit with the City of Toronto is an early step in our work to commemorate the site’s history. We are confident the heritage of this site will be an important part of Toronto’s history long after the new courthouse’s doors open.”

The City of Toronto will be showcasing a rotating display of these artifacts in the City Hall rotunda for the next several years to help share the story of Toronto’s multicultural past.

The exhibit was unveiled this evening during a Black History Month reception at City Hall that included members from the Ontario Black History Society, former Member of Parliament Jean Augustine, Governor General Award-winning author and historian Karolyn Smardz Frost, and poet Nadine Williams.

 More information on the new Toronto Courthouse, including the excavation and archeological assessment, can be found at http://www.infrastructureontario.ca/New-Toronto-Courthouse/.

More information about Black History Month is available at

http://www.toronto.ca/blackhistory

Users of social media can follow Infrastructure Ontario on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InfraOntario.

Public feedback wanted in City of Toronto survey on provision of multilingual information

Posted in City Wide, Updates

The City of Toronto is requesting input from residents and other members of the public through an online survey that will help determine how and when the City makes information available in languages other than English.

The survey will be available until March 10 at http://www.toronto.ca/languagesurvey and is offered in several languages including English, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Tamil, Tagalog, Italian, Portuguese, Farsi, Russian, Urdu, Korean and French.

This feedback is being sought as a part of the City’s review of the Multilingual Services Policy to ensure it continues to meet the needs of Toronto’s diverse communities. Toronto’s Multilingual Services Policy includes criteria for translating information into other languages to make sure information reaches residents, keeps them informed and engaged, and that City resources for translation and interpretation are used effectively. The policy is available at http://bit.ly/2l1dt99.

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. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada’s 150th birthday with “TO Canada with Love,” a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. 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 on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.

City of Toronto issues its 2017 interim property tax bills

Posted in City Wide, Updates

The City of Toronto has mailed 2017 interim property tax bills to property owners – the first of two regular tax bills that will be mailed this year. The 2017 final tax bill will be mailed in May.

Payment due dates for the interim tax bills under the regular three-instalment plan are March 1, April 3 and May 1. There are several ways to pay a property tax bill, including:

  • At banks or financial institutions through internet banking, telephone banking, automatic teller or in person. If paying tax bills by automatic teller, telephone or internet banking, customers should pay early to ensure payment reaches the City’s office by the due date.
  • By cheque using the business reply envelope included with the interim tax bill. 
  • In person at the inquiry and cashier counters at Toronto City Hall or any civic centre from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Extended hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. will be offered from February 27 to March 1.

Counter locations:

Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.

East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.

Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall

North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.

Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.

York Civic Centre, 2700 Eglinton Ave. W.

Pre-authorized payments

The Pre-Authorized Tax Payment (PTP) Program allows residents to pay their taxes in two, six or 11 pre-authorized automatic instalments. Residents can enrol in this program at any time if their taxes are in good standing. Applications for the PTP program are available at http://www.toronto.ca/propertytax.

The following interim bill withdrawal dates apply to customers who enrolled in the PTP program by January 25, 2017:

  • two-instalment plan: March 1
  • six-instalment plan: March 1, April 3 and May 1
  • 11-instalment plan: February 15, March 15, April 18, May 15, June 15

Property tax inquiries

For general information on property tax bills, customers can call the 311 Tax and Utility Inquiry Line. Customers within the city limits can call 311 and talk to a customer service representative about their property tax bill between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. Customers outside Toronto’s city limits can call 416-392-CITY (2489). TTY users can call 416-392-0719 for assistance. Customers should have their tax roll number available when calling.

Property tax lookup

Customers can view their property tax account details anytime, anywhere, from a computer or mobile device using Property Tax Account Lookup at http://www.toronto.ca/revenueservices.

Ownership changes

Property owners who have recently purchased a property and who pay their property taxes through the PTP program or through their banking or financial institution must change their account information with the City or with their financial institution to avoid incurring fees resulting from misdirected payments.

Electronic billing

Residents can sign up at https://www.epost.ca to receive their property tax bills through epost, the digital mailbox from Canada Post that makes it easy to receive, manage and store bills online. epost™ is a trademark of Canada Post Corporation.

Assessment appeals

In 2016, every property owner in Ontario received a 2016 Property Assessment Notice from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) with the updated assessed value of their property as of January 1, 2016 for the 2017-2020 property tax years. Increases in the assessed value of a property will be phased in over four years (2017-2020). Decreases in assessed value will be fully implemented in 2017.

If property owners disagree with the assessed value, they can contact MPAC for assistance. Recent legislative changes to the Request for Reconsideration (RfR) process allow property owners 120 days from the issue date on their 2016 Property Assessment Notice to submit an RfR. For the majority of residential properties, this deadline occurred in 2016. If an RfR is filed in 2017, it will apply to the 2018 property tax year. You can visit http://www.aboutmyproperty.ca or http://www.mpac.ca for more information.

More information about property tax bills is available at http://www.toronto.ca/propertytax.

Metrolinx Community Charter

Posted in City Wide, Updates

Metrolinx is currently in the midst of a massive expansion that will yield better, faster, and more frequent service for millions of people across the region who will benefit from new and expanded services.

When we are building a new LRT line, constructing a new overpass for a GO Train, or working with our transit partners on an integrated fare system, we’re working hard to put residents and communities at the very centre of everything we do.

With this in mind, Metrolinx is developing a Community Charter to give meaningful and measureable form to our commitment to communities across the GTHA. When finished, the charter will define Metrolinx’s relationship with residents and communities through a series of promises and service standards. But for that to happen, we need your help.

Today, we are opening an online engagement opportunity for your constituents to review six themes that could underpin the charter:

 

  • Public safety
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Courtesy and respect
  • Public Input
  • Timely Information
  • Connecting communities

Individuals can sign up to participate on this webpage, which is also featured on the Metrolinx.com homepage and MetrolinxEngage.com.

Mississauga Transit and TTC Buses on Burnhamthrope – Update

Posted in Updates, Ward 5

With the opening of Kipling Station in 2019, MiWay will be revising all services currently anchored at Islington Subway Station and will be rerouting them to the new Kipling Station. Over the next few years, MiWay will be realigning our services within the City of Toronto with a view towards eliminating duplication and streamlining our services.

Although MiWay will be re-routing its service to terminate at Kipling Station, service along Burnhamthorpe Road (east of West Mall) may still be maintained. Depending on passenger demand within this area, MiWay will consider maintaining some level of local service along Burnhamthorpe Road unless GTHA Fare Integration is introduced allowing for seamless transfers between transit systems.

In addition to the development of Kipling Station, the planned reconstruction of the Six Points Interchange will also greatly change the roadway network along Dundas, Bloor, and Kipling. Without any information on construction staging plans, we are unable to comment on the impact this will have on transit service within the area.