Toronto Public Health Lyme Disease Prevention Tips 2018 [Summary]

Posted in City Wide, Parks, Ward 5




With the arrival of warm weather, Toronto Public Health encourages residents to be aware of where blacklegged ticks can be found and what simple steps can be taken to prevent Lyme disease while enjoying the outdoors.

[READ] Toronto Public Health Tips

[READ] More information about tick bites, how to remove them, and Lyme disease

Toronto Public Health Lyme Disease Prevention Tips 2018

Posted in City Wide, Parks




With the arrival of warm weather, Toronto Public Health encourages residents to be aware of where blacklegged ticks can be found and what simple steps can be taken to prevent Lyme disease while enjoying the outdoors.


“Although we have seen an increase in tick populations in recent years, the overall risk of acquiring Lyme disease in Toronto is still considered low,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “Spending time outdoors is a great way to be active and stay healthy, but it’s important for everyone to know how to protect themselves against tick bites and to recognize the early signs or symptoms of Lyme disease.”


Symptoms of Lyme disease can include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, fatigue and a circular rash generally known as a “bull’s eye” rash.


Blacklegged ticks are the only type of tick in Ontario that can transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. They are usually found in bushy or wooded areas with lots of leaves on the ground or where there are tall grasses. The most effective way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites.


When enjoying time outdoors, residents can protect themselves using the following tips:

  • Use insect repellents containing DEET or icaridin, which are safe and effective for avoiding tick bites. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves. Light-coloured clothing may make ticks easier to spot.
  • Search your clothes and body when coming in from outdoors. Remember to also check your children and pets for ticks.
  • Take a shower to remove ticks before they become attached.
  • If you find a tick on your body, it can be removed with fine-tipped tweezers by pulling the tick away from your skin gently but firmly.


Prompt removal of ticks from the skin will help prevent infection, as transmission of the Lyme disease-causing bacteria usually requires the tick to be attached for at least 24 hours. Early symptoms of Lyme disease usually occur within one to two weeks after a tick bite, but can occur as soon as three days or as long as a month after a bite.


If you develop any symptoms of Lyme disease within 30 days of removal of the tick and the tick was attached for 24 hours or more, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred and where you most likely acquired the tick.


Toronto Public Health has posted signs where blacklegged ticks have been found in the city in areas that include Algonquin Island, Highland Creek, Morningside Park and Rouge National Urban Park. Ticks found in other parts of Toronto can be submitted to Toronto Public Health for identification and testing, which is useful for tracking locations in addition to those already known.


Lots more information about tick bites, how to remove them, and Lyme disease available here on the Toronto Public Health website.

City of Toronto’s Victoria Day Long-Weekend Activities 2018

Posted in City Wide, Parks



The City will offer a wide variety of activities for residents on Monday, May 21, including the annual Victoria Day fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay Park. Many family attractions, including two historic sites, a farm and other facilities will be open, however City-operated recreation centres will be closed and recreation programs across the city will not operate that day.


“Now that spring has finally arrived, I encourage all Toronto residents to explore the many programs, activities and natural sites the City has to offer during this long weekend,” said Mayor John Tory. “From beautiful ravines and parks, to engaging exhibits and historic sites, there is something for everyone to discover.”


The City will host Victoria Day fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park starting at 10 p.m. on Monday, May 21. The show will feature about 2,000 fireworks with a spectacular finale.


Ashbridges Bay Park is located on Lake Shore Boulevard East at the foot of Coxwell Avenue and is easily accessible by public transit. TTC service will be increased on the 22 Coxwell and 92 Woodbine South routes for customers attending the fireworks display. The 501 Queen route will be operating on an adjusted schedule during the event from 6 p.m. to midnight. Members of the public are urged to use public transit and leave personal vehicles at home.


All other TTC service will operate on a holiday schedule on Monday, May 21. Updated information regarding adjustments to these routes and for planning transit trips will be available at


City bylaws prohibit members of the public from setting off or selling fireworks in any City of Toronto park. Enforcement officers will be onsite to help ensure a safe and enjoyable event at Ashbridges Bay Park.


Toronto’s five municipal golf courses are located on beautiful parklands and offer early-bird rates. These affordable, high-quality and TTC-accessible courses are open daily, including Victoria Day. More information about City-run golf courses is available at

Tennis courts

All public tennis courts will have nets up and will be available for use throughout the Victoria Day weekend. Public sites are free and available to the general public. Tennis players are asked to share the courts by limiting their play time to half-hour intervals if others are waiting to use the courts. More information about public tennis courts is available at

Splash pads

Splash pads will begin to operate across the city on Saturday, May 19, with a few exceptions at sites under repair or located on outdoor pool decks. Splash pads operate daily from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are activated with push-button features. Caregivers are reminded to supervise their children at these unsupervised water-play areas. Information about splash pad locations is available at or by calling 311.

Riverdale Farm

Riverdale Farm is representative of a 19th-century Ontario farm and is home to heritage breeds such as Shorthorn cows, Tamworth pigs and Cotswold sheep. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. More information is available at, by calling 311 or at

High Park Zoo

Victoria Day is a great time to see the High Park Zoo’s spring babies, including a new bison calf. This attraction is open daily, year-round from 7 a.m. to dusk. More information is available at


Toronto Island Park

Beginning on Wednesday, May 16, the City will switch to its summer ferry schedule, offering trips to the islands every 15 minutes. Toronto Island Park is a great place for a scenic picnic, hike or bike ride, and features the interactive Franklin Children’s Garden. Many attractions offered by independent operators are also onsite including Centreville Theme Park and Far Enough Farm. As a popular destination spot, Toronto Island Park can get quite busy. To help plan ahead and avoid the ferry lineups, check the peak-times schedule and purchase tickets in advance at Information about the amusement park and farm are available at



Flowers are in full bloom at Centennial Park Conservatory (151 Elmcrest Rd.) and Allan Gardens Conservatory (19 Horticultural Ave.). Both conservatories are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. Information is available by calling Centennial Park Conservatory at 416-394-8543 and Allan Gardens Conservatory at 416-392-7288, or by visiting


Bike and skate parks

The City maintains several bike and skate parks across Toronto, including the new Sunnyside Bike Park. More information is available at


Historic sites  

Two of the City’s 10 historic sites, Fort York National Historic Site and Spadina Museum, will offer activities and tours on Monday, May 21. The remaining sites will be closed. All of the historic sites will be open over the Victoria Day weekend, except for the Market Gallery, which will be closed on Sunday. Admission fees and activities vary by location. More information is available at


City of Toronto Archives

The City of Toronto Archives, located at 255 Spadina Rd., will be closed on Monday, May 21. More information is available at


Other municipal facilities and services

City of Toronto emergency and 24-hour services will operate throughout the long weekend. City administrative offices and service counters, City-operated child care centres and Children’s Services district offices will be closed on Monday, May 21.


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, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at


NEW TTC Adult 12 Month Pass

Posted in City Wide




A new adult 12 Month Pass will be introduced on PRESTO starting with the June pass period. The 12 Month Pass is the equivalent of the TTC’s Metropass Discount Plan (MDP), which is expected to end as of December 31, 2018. The adult 12 Month Pass will cost the same ($134.00 per month), provide the same unlimited travel on all regular TTC routes and require the same 12-month commitment as the MDP pass. A senior/youth option will be available on PRESTO later this summer.


Existing adult MDP customers who would like to switch from MDP to the 12 Month Pass on PRESTO must cancel their MDP contract and sign a new contract with PRESTO. They will not incur cancellation fees. All existing MDP contracts are expected to end as of December 31, 2018.


The 12 Month Pass will be available for sale online only at from May 24 until June 5, for the June pass period. Subsequent 12 Month Pass contracts will be available for sale eight days before the end of the month until five days after the start of the next month.


To purchase the 12 Month Pass, customers must:

  • Have a PRESTO card. Cards can be purchased online at, at Gateway Newstands in TTC subway stations, at PRESTO Fare Vending Machines in select subway stations, or at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations.
  • Create a My PRESTO Account at
  • Purchase a 12 Month Pass at

City of Toronto Approves Strategy for Pollinator Protection Focused on Native Pollinators + Habitat Creation

Posted in City Wide, Parks


The City of Toronto has adopted a Pollinator Protection Strategy with the goal of protecting the more than 360 species of bees and more than 100 species of butterflies and other pollinators in Toronto.

“I know many Toronto residents are concerned about the decline in some species of bees and butterflies,” said Mayor John Tory. “With this Pollinator Protection Strategy, we are taking an important step forward to ensure that the City, together with the community, continue to actively support the health and survival of Toronto’s native pollinators.”

“Pollinators are key to a sustainable city and important contributors to urban biodiversity,” said Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32 Beaches-East York), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “Unfortunately, some species are in decline, and without healthy populations of bees and other pollinators, much of the food we enjoy would not exist.”

Developed in conjunction with expert stakeholders and residents, the strategy brings together City initiatives that are already underway to protect pollinators into a single, comprehensive approach, and creates new opportunities and partnerships. It identifies 30 actions that can be taken by the City and the community to support pollinators, and sets six key priorities: creating habitat, connecting green spaces, building partnerships, incentivizing action, education and recognizing achievements.

The strategy’s main focus is supporting and sustaining native pollinators such as native bees, recognizing that they are ecologically important and more threatened than non-native, managed honey bees. Once native bees are lost, they cannot be replaced.

Habitat creation is key to supporting Toronto’s pollinators and is the strategy’s foundation. Actions the community can take to create habitat include planting pesticide-free, native, pollinator-friendly flowers, trees and shrubs. Resources to assist residents are available at

City Council has also selected an Official Bee for Toronto – the metallic green sweat bee (Agapostemon virescens) – a solitary, ground-nesting bee that will emerge from gardens across the city this month. With the goal of raising awareness about Toronto’s diverse native bees, the green sweat bee was selected because it is common, easy to recognize, and because, unlike other bees, it welcomes other bees and shares communal nests in the ground.

In April, Toronto declared itself to be a Monarch-friendly city by participating in the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. In 2016, Toronto became the first Bee City in Canada, showing its leadership in pollinator stewardship.
Toronto’s Pollinator Protection Strategy will form part of the City’s broader Biodiversity Strategy. More information about the Pollinator Protection Strategy is available at

Upcoming Public Consultation on New Dust Control Measures

Posted in City Wide, Construction Notices, Development


📸 by @DurhamRadioNews


The City is considering new requirements for dust control measures for construction dust, specifically dust created by cutting stone, rock, concrete, tile and insulation for residential construction.

Residents are invited to have their say at a public meeting on Tuesday, May 15th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 1.

Residents who cannot attend the consultation in person, but would like to provide comments can email

A report is expected at the July 6th Licensing and Standards Committee.

City of Toronto + Melanoma Foundations Expand Free Sunscreen Program in Waterfront Parks

Posted in City Wide



Following a successful pilot project last year, the City of Toronto, the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund and the Douglas Wright Foundation have expanded a public health program to provide free sunscreen in select City parks this summer.


The Health Canada-approved SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen will be available at 50 dispensers located in City parks along the waterfront, spanning nearly 50 kilometres from Marie Curtis Park to Rouge Beach.


Crews provided by the melanoma foundations will maintain and stock the dispensers. The two foundations are covering all costs, with the City providing locations and administrative support. Last year’s pilot involved placing dispensers in five parks along the downtown waterfront. The pilot won the 2017 Canadian Dermatology Association Public Education Award.


“Our waterfront parks are well-loved and well-used by Torontonians and visitors alike,” said Mayor John Tory. “With the success of the pilot and expansion of this program, it’s great to see that so many will be able to enjoy our common grounds with easy access to sun safety.”


“Although preventable, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada,” said Danielle Paterson, Executive Director of the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund and a representative for the Douglas Wright Foundation. “Melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, is one of the fastest rising cancers in Canada. On this Melanoma Monday, we are proud to expand our partnership with the City of Toronto. Our sunscreen dispensers will help raise awareness of melanoma and sun safety, while providing sun protection for thousands of Torontonians.”

“I encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy summer activities in our great city now that the warmer weather is upon us,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “Following simple safety tips when outdoors, such as applying sunscreen regularly, wearing sunglasses and seeking shade, can help people protect themselves from the sun. This initiative is a great way to help people protect themselves and promote good health during summer months.”

The program’s social media hashtag is #besunsafe. A website,, provides more information about the program, sun safety tips and a map showing dispenser sites once they are installed, expected by the end of June.


The David Cornfield Melanoma Fund is a Canadian charity that saves lives from melanoma by raising awareness, promoting prevention and supporting research. Visit for program, research and impact information.


The Douglas Wright Foundation is devoted to fighting melanoma in Canada by increasing awareness, educating the public about early detection and preventative measures, and fostering partnerships between like-minded organizations. More information is available at

Toronto City Council Highlights from Meeting of April 24, 25, 26 and 27, 2018

Posted in City Wide, Development




Council Highlights is an informal summary of a selection of the decisions that Toronto City Council made at its recent business meeting. The City Clerk’s formal documentation is available at


Plan for SmartTrack stations  

Council approved a financial commitment as the City of Toronto’s share of funding for the construction of six SmartTrack transit stations along GO Transit rail lines in Toronto. The City’s funding commitment is based on a detailed financial strategy and Council has set terms and conditions for the agreement with Metrolinx. The planned six SmartTrack stations are identified as St. Clair-Old Weston, King-Liberty, East Harbour, Gerrard-Carlaw, Lawrence-Kennedy and Finch-Kennedy stations.


Expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack     

Council supported moving ahead with plans for expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack, subject to the execution of a Community Benefits Agreement. Council made the decision after considering a report on the social and economic conditions, including local employment, which Council had identified earlier as a requirement. Adoption of this item included motions addressing matters such as the provision of child care, the sharing of gaming revenues, the participation of local area labour and the provision of funding to support educational efforts pertaining to gambling addiction. 


Changes to City incentive program  

Council voted to direct staff to prepare a new Community Improvement Plan bylaw for the City’s existing Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation and Technology Program. This new Community Improvement Plan bylaw will provide greater clarity for applicants and provide new eligibility requirements and conditions. The program provides incentives in the form of grants to support the new construction or major renovation of buildings in targeted employment sectors.


Development charges bylaw   

Council approved a revised bylaw on development charges and a related background study. The action was taken after the City consulted extensively with the public as well as with the building industry and other stakeholders. Development charges play an important role in how the City pays for infrastructure and services needed to support new growth. Council also asked for a report on the feasibility of reducing development charges outside the downtown and midtown areas.


Innovation in municipal government  

Council supported taking steps for the City’s adoption of a model known as Civic Hall Toronto as a way to promote innovation through technology in Toronto’s local government. Civic Hall Toronto will supplement the efforts of the City’s existing Transformation Office and Civic Innovation Office, resulting in better public services. Many City divisions and agencies have indicated interest in becoming members of Civic Hall Toronto.


Smart City and digital literacy  

Council agreed to ask the Ontario government to designate the last Thursday in May of each year “Provincial Digital Literacy Day” starting next year. Council also called for the inclusion of a digital infrastructure plan in the City’s work on Smart City. The federal government launched Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge last year to encourage communities across the country to come up with bold ideas that improve residents’ lives through innovation, data and technology.


Filling councillor vacancy

Council declared a vacancy in the office of Councillor, Ward 33 Don Valley East and will hold a special Council meeting on May 22 to fill the vacancy by appointment. The City has advertised a May 14 deadline for applicants to submit the required forms. Shelley Carroll, who resigned as the Ward 33 councillor, was also Council’s Deputy Speaker. A vote by City Council members made Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker the new Deputy Speaker.


Blue bin recycling

After discussing Toronto’s blue bin recycling program and related challenges, Council authorized staff to explore the possibility of introducing new or enhanced waste-diversion efforts that include ways to process contaminated recycling. In addition, the City will ask the federal government to establish a national strategy addressing plastic pollution, with regulations that include, for example, requiring that products and packaging can be recycled practically.


Pilot project on alternative dispute resolution   

Council voted to establish a one-year pilot program starting June 1 supporting alternative dispute resolution as an additional tool to address certain property-related bylaw complaints arising from disputes between neighbours. The Municipal Licensing and Standards division’s initial focus for the pilot, drawing on community resources/expertise in mediation, will be disputes that involve noise, fences and right of entry.


Free-floating car sharing    

Council approved plans to test free-floating car sharing in Toronto. An 18-month pilot project will apply interim operating rules. Car-sharing arrangements in which members begin and end their trips at the same location are well established in Toronto. The free-floating model, now becoming popular, enables car-share service members to take one-way trips, beginning at one location and terminating at another. Regulation is needed largely because of implications for on-street parking.  


Additions to the cycling network  

Council authorized the installation of bicycle lanes on Thorncliffe Park Drive, Gateway Boulevard, Grenoble Drive and Deauville Lane in the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park neighbourhoods as part of Toronto’s overall cycling network. The installations will improve safety and mobility options for residents, including children and youth. The project will also provide better access to Leaside Park, E.T. Seton Park, the West Don River Trail and the Lower Don Trail.


Master plan for public art in Scarborough  

The Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan was approved by Council as a guide for prioritizing public art sites, whether publicly or privately owned, to make the most of opportunities for public art in Scarborough Centre. It’s the first City-led public art master plan for Toronto. City planners will use the master plan to assist in identifying and pursuing opportunities for public art as part of the planning process.


Procedures of Local Appeal Body  

Council voted to request procedural changes to improve the way the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) operates. The TLAB was established in 2017 to hear appeals of minor variances and consent applications in Toronto land-use planning matters. 


Heat in apartment buildings   

Council supported a proposal for addressing a situation that can arise when older apartment towers’ central air conditioning is off and the heat system on during spring or fall months, when the weather is normally cool. Spells of unseasonably hot weather in that circumstance can result in very hot apartment conditions for tenants when there is minimal building ventilation.


Review of City’s noise bylaw  

Council directed staff to report to the Licensing and Standards Committee in 2019 on recommended changes to the City’s noise bylaw. Municipal Licensing and Standards staff who are working on the complex issue of managing urban noise will take into account work on a public health action plan addressing long-term exposure to ambient environmental noise. Meetings of a working group on noise and other consultations have provided input from a wide range of stakeholders as part of the review of the City’s current noise bylaw.


Dog waste in parks   

Council supported a motion to ask staff to report on the feasibility of installing dog-waste containers in City parks and dog off-leash areas, including options for conducting a pilot project for the in-ground containers. Large amounts of dog waste currently end up in landfills and also contaminate bins of material intended for recycling. Several nearby cities have had success with the use of dog waste containers, delivering the waste collected to organic waste plants.


Toronto Botanical Garden’s master plan   

Council authorized next steps in implementing a master plan with the goal of expanding Toronto Botanical Garden programming throughout Edwards Gardens. A fundraising initiative is part of the plan. The non-profit Toronto Botanical Garden operates on 1.8 hectares of land in Edwards Gardens, a 14-hectare City park in North York’s Lawrence Avenue and Leslie Street area. The Toronto Botanical Garden has a long history with the Edwards Gardens site.


Protection of pollinators   

Council adopted a pollinator protection strategy for supporting native pollinators in Toronto, particularly native bee and butterfly species. The strategy aims to create and protect habitat that pollinators need to survive and thrive. Bees provide the invaluable service of pollination, enabling plants to reproduce. Pollinators are under increasing stress due to habitat loss, invasive species, diseases, pesticides and climate change.



Volume 22   Issue 3


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: 

Questions about Council meetings and decisions: or 416-392-8016

Information about distribution of this summary:

Previous editions:

City of Toronto Garbage/Recycling – Coffee & Tea Pods, Litter & Cigarette Butts, and Garbage Tags

Posted in City Wide



Coffee & Tea Pods

While the City’s Blue Bin recycling and Green Bin organics programs include a wide range of different materials, there are some items that cannot be accepted. Among these is single-serve coffee and tea pods. While pods are sometimes labelled as recyclable or compostable, Toronto cannot accept them in its Blue Bin recycling or Green Bin organics programs at this time.

The City remains committed to working with industry stakeholders to find solutions to keep these items out of landfill, however, until a viable solution is found, single-serve pods should be disposed of in the garbage or brought back to retailers who have return programs. This is extremely important as pods in the Blue Bin or Green Bin can contribute to contamination and have financial implications. More information about the issue is available in the recent Public Works and Infrastructure Committee report.

Know before you throw! Find out what goes where at



Litter and Cigarette Butts

No ifs, ands or butts! 

Spring is an exciting time in Toronto – the snow is melting, flowers are starting to bloom, and the City is beginning to come alive. It’s also the time when Solid Waste Management Services begins the annual “spring cleaning” to remove litter that has accumulated over the winter. One litter item that continues to be a problem is cigarette butts. Did you know that waste bins found on Toronto streets actually have a special place for cigarette disposal? Help keep litter and butts off our streets by disposing of cigarette butts properly.

Know before you throw! Find out what goes where at




Garbage Bag Tags

Excess garbage? Bag it and tag it!

When put out for collection, Garbage Bins should not be overflowing. Garbage beyond what fits in your bin is considered excess and requires a City of Toronto Garbage Tag. Excess garbage must be put out beside your Garbage Bin in a regular black garbage bag with a Garbage Tag affixed (tip: fasten it like a luggage tag around the knot of the bag).

Garbage Tags are available online (shipping is free) and at Toronto Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian Tire stores and cost $5.11 each. The price of the tag covers the cost to pick up and dispose of the extra garbage. Excess garbage is different than oversized items. An oversized item is something that would never fit in your garbage bin, even when empty. Eligible oversized items are picked up on your scheduled garbage day and should be left half a metre (two feet) from your Garbage Bin. Proper set out of garbage is important as it contributes to cleaner neighbourhoods and allows for more efficient collection.

Know before you throw! Find out what goes where at

Ombudsman Toronto

Posted in City Wide




Do you believe you have been treated unfairly in your dealings with the City? Unsatisfied with how City staff handled your problem? Ombudsman Toronto listens to and investigates complaints about unfairness in delivery of City of Toronto services, after efforts to resolve the issue have failed.

The office’s services are confidential, free and for everyone. 

For more information on how to make a complaint, visit or call 416-392-7062.