Toronto Animal Services Role with Wildlife in the City

Posted in City Wide, Updates, Ward 5

 

Toronto Animal Services (TAS) does not provide services to remove or eradicate wildlife, including skunks and racoons etc… TAS provides educational information on species of wildlife which are found in this city and different ways residents can make their properties less attractive to wildlife. If wildlife is causing damage, nuisance, or has taken up residence on private property, the property owner can contact a private wildlife removal company to remove a den or wildlife proof their property.

Wild animal populations are cyclical and naturally fluctuate from year to year in different areas of the city. The key to having less negative encounters with wildlife is for residents to make sure they are not inadvertently providing animals with a food source or shelter on their property, however casual encounters of wildlife outdoors is to be expected.

Toronto Animal Services will respond to calls for an injured or sick animal which needs to be euthanized, and pick up deceased animals. If someone comes across a sick, injured or deceased animal, they should contact 311. More detailed information on wildlife encounters and solutions can be found on the Toronto Wildlife Centre’s website www.torontowildlifecentre.com

Weekend Events with Road Closures in Toronto – Aug 18 – 20/17 [LIST]

Posted in City Wide, Updates

 


Five special events in Toronto this weekend will involve road closures as described below. Businesses in the areas affected are open to pedestrian traffic but some roads will be closed to vehicles.

Those who need to drive in the general vicinity of special events should allow extra time to get to and from their destinations. A more complete list of events and road work is available at http://www.toronto.ca/roadrestrictions
 
TTC customers can receive information about service diversions by subscribing to eAlerts at http://www.ttc.ca/ or by following @TTCnotices on Twitter. 
 
Chinatown Festival
Spadina Avenue’s southbound lanes will be closed from St. Andrew Street to Sullivan Street from midnight on Saturday, August 19 to midnight on Sunday, August 20 to accommodate the Chinatown Festival. Dundas Street will remain open.
 
Taste of Manila
Bathurst Street between Wilson and Laurelcrest Avenues will be closed in both directions from Saturday, August 19 at midnight to Sunday, August 20 at midnight for the Taste of Manila. TTC service will be increased to service the event, with buses on the 7/307 Bathurst and 160 Bathurst North routes diverting via Wilson Avenue, Faywood Boulevard and Laurelcrest Avenue.
 
Open Streets TO
Bloor Street between Montrose Avenue and Parliament Street, and Yonge Street between Bloor Street and Queen Street, will be closed on Sunday, August 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Open Streets TO event.
 
During this event, vehicles will be able to cross Bloor Street at Grace Street/Christie Street, Bathurst Street, Spadina Avenue, Avenue Road, Bay Street, Church Street, Ted Rogers Way and Sherbourne Street. Vehicles will be able to cross Yonge Street at Wellesley, College, Gerrard, Dundas, Shuter and Queen Streets.
 
The TTC’s 161 Rogers Road bus will divert to and from Ossington Station via Ossington Avenue and Dupont Street.
 
Wheels on the Danforth
Sections of Danforth Avenue and Danforth Road will be closed in both directions on Saturday, August 19 from 7 a.m. to midnight. Specifically, Danforth Avenue between Byng Avenue and Leyton Avenue and also between Leyton Avenue and Warden Avenue, and Danforth Road between Landry Avenue and Danforth Avenue will be closed during that period.
 
The TTC’s 113 Danforth and 20 Cliffside bus services will divert in both directions via Warden Avenue, Clonmore Drive, Gerrard Street East and Victoria Park Avenue during Wheels on Danforth.
 
Panorama India Day Festival and Grand Parade
Two northbound lanes on University Avenue from Queen Street West to Dundas Street, and Armoury Street between University Avenue and Chestnut Street, will be closed on Sunday, August 20 from 12:01 a.m. to 6 p.m. for this festival and parade.

Vacant Home Tax

Posted in City Wide, Updates

 


The City has launched an online survey and will be hosting a public consultation at City Hall about a potential implementation of a tax on vacant residential units.

As part of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, the Province of Ontario introduced legislation that would empower the City of Toronto to introduce a tax on vacant residential units in order to encourage property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them out, and address concerns about residential units potentially being left vacant.

Vancouver, facing a similar issue with housing affordability, adopted an Empty Home Tax in late 2016.

City staff presented the report EX 26.4: Implementing a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto to Council at its meeting of July 4-7, 2017. The report was adopted and Council requested City staff to undertake public consultation about:

  • Whether Toronto should implement a tax on vacant residential units
  • Potential public policy benefits of a property tax on vacant residential units
  • Potential implementation of a tax on vacant residential units in Toronto

Privacy rights prevent the use of personal or private information, such as water or hydro meter data, from being used as a means of identifying potentially vacant units. Therefore, the City is considering three options that could be used to identify vacant homes for taxation:

  • Mandatory declaration of occupancy status by all property owners
  • Self-Reporting Model
  • Complaints Basis

Background decisions when Council considered EX 26.4: Implementing a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto

In response, staff have prepared the following:

Website and Online Survey

Residents are encouraged to visit toronto.ca/VHT to take the online survey that will be available until September 5. Results of the survey will be summarized in a report to Council in the fall.

Link to website

Link to survey

Public Consultation

Residents can share their views at a public meeting:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 1
100 Queen St. W.

Police Auto Dialer Update – 2016

Posted in City Wide

 

The TPS (Toronto Police Services) has advised that they are not currently looking at returning to the auto-dialer system and that they are utilizing other forms of communication to inform the public on current events taking place within the TPS and the community.

Note that the Toronto Police Board has the ability to put forward such requests through their budget process should they feel it necessary and any systems that are implemented must be done so City-wide. The TPS Board would need to make a case for re-instatement (including numbers, costs, implementation, maintenance, estimated usage, benefit, etc.) and given that the auto-dialer system was phased out as most individuals prefer alternate forms of communication, it may be unlikely that the TPS Board would see it re-instated. Again, note it is the Toronto Police Board that make the final decision on such program matters, not Council. Council approves the TPS Budget as a whole, as part of the final Budget deliberations at the beginning of every year.

TPS has indicated however that a review of the auto-dialer system may take place in the future as part of the transformational changes within the Service which will be a part of the 2017 Budget. We look forward to such a time.

 

Support Your Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC)

Posted in City Wide, Ward 5

 

22 Division’s Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) is made up of community volunteers and police service representatives from the local division’s geographic area. Each committee is inclusive to reflect the demographics of the local community.

With the goal of creating safer communities through the delivery of police services that includes aspects of traditional law enforcement, as well as prevention, problem-solving, community engagement, and partnerships; CPLC encourages community engagement through the active participation of its members in the community.

Come out to a meeting and be a part of keeping your community safe!

 

Background on Issues of Underground Hydro Infrastructure

Posted in City Wide, Updates

Weather events, such as floods and ice storms, have had significant impacts on Toronto Hydro’s system. Standards today are now much more robust as a result of these events not to mention an ongoing experience/awareness/education around lifespans of our infrastructure, increased safety and improved resilience to severe weather both today and into the future. For example, current modelling projections suggest a doubling of annual ice storms in the GTA by 2050 and there are many other climate change conditions forecasted to impact our service.

The pole’s we install today are wider and taller. We also use different span distances and provide for more anchoring (wires and poles). This storm hardening of our infrastructure is happening across the City of Toronto and in fact all across North America.

With regards to undergrounding, there are additional factors to consider. Undergrounding our infrastructure often makes sense during new construction as opposed to existing. Establishing right of way, conduits, cable chambers and submersible transformer housings is significantly easier in areas where we don’t have to work with or around existing underground infrastructure such as water, sewage, telecommunications, transportation services, etc. And of course potentially having homeowners relocate service to their homes, possible electric panel box relocations, moving meters and stand masts, disturbing landscaping, etc. As soon as you start digging, these other services get disrupted and the project scope grows.

Undergrounding is more resilient to most storms and weather impacts from climate change, however, flooding for example would have major implications to undergrounding service installations. Undergrounding service, if and when it fails, is also incredibly more time consuming to repair. When overhead wires fail, we can restore service fairly quickly, this is not the case with underground service.

Toronto Hydro and all distribution companies are measured by the Ontario Energy Board by two key factors: 1) SAIFI – frequency of outages across our service territory, and 2) SAIDI – duration of outages, this is measured in terms of minutes. A major flood like the one experienced in Etobicoke a few years ago, led to significant disruption in service, the primary issue was that the service to transfer high voltage power from Hydro One facilities on Kipling was underground and “filled up like a massive swimming pool”. Toronto Hydro’s ability to deliver service was fully intact however our service provider could not deliver power to us and therefore we couldn’t deliver it to the end user. Undergrounding is not always an easy solution.

We realize using this example nicely fits with our argument and there are many other counter examples available. It is no doubt a much more complex discussion.

Weekend Events with Road Closures – Aug 11 – 13, 2017

Posted in City Wide, Updates

 



Two special events in Toronto this weekend will involve road closures as described below. Residents and visitors are encouraged to come out and enjoy these events. Businesses in the areas affected are open to pedestrian traffic but some roads will be closed to vehicles.

Festivals and other special events are important to the city, injecting hundreds of millions of dollars annually into Toronto’s economy, and they are enjoyed each year by local residents and visitors.

In addition to road closures related to special events, a significant amount of road work is taking place in the city. People are encouraged to take public transit as a greener, faster and more affordable way of getting to their destinations.

Those who need to drive in the general vicinity of special events should allow extra time to get to and from their destinations. A more complete list of events and road work is available at

http://www.toronto.ca/roadrestrictions

TTC customers can receive information about service diversions by subscribing to eAlerts at http://www.ttc.ca/ or following @TTCnotices on Twitter. 

 

Taste of the Danforth

The annual Taste of the Danforth event will include several road closures:

  • Danforth Avenue, from Broadview Avenue to Jones Avenue, will be closed in both directions from Friday, August 11 at 10 a.m. to Monday, August 14 at 3 a.m.
  • Pape Avenue, from Lipton Avenue to Hazelwood Avenue, will be closed in both directions from Friday, August 11 at 6 p.m. to Monday, August 14 at 3 a.m.
  • Logan Avenue, from Garnock Avenue to the north side of the laneway north of Danforth Avenue, will be closed in both directions from Thursday, August 10 at 3 p.m. to Monday, August 14 at 3 a.m.

Feast of St. Lawrence

Front Street East, from Scott Street to Church Street, will be fully closed from Friday, August 11 at 9 a.m. to Saturday, August 12 at 2 a.m. and Market Street, from Front Street to Wilton Street, will be closed on Saturday, August 12 from 5 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.  

TTC Buses on the 121 Fort York-Esplanade route will divert as follows:

  • Friday – Eastbound buses will divert via Yonge, King and Church Streets. Westbound buses will not divert
  • Saturday – Eastbound buses will divert via Front and Lower Jarvis Streets. Westbound buses will divert via Lower Jarvis, Front and Wellington Streets

Lake Shore Boulevard, King Street or Adelaide Street will be alternatives for motorists.

Toronto Sanctuary City Report

Posted in City Wide, Updates

 

Toronto has been a Sanctuary City since 2014.  Here is the LINK to the Staff Report at that time.

Undocumented Torontonians

The City of Toronto Act (COTA) s. 1 states “municipality means a geographic area whose inhabitants are incorporated.”6 Simply put, the City is a “municipal corporation” which consists of all people living in the city. While Council may legally “differentiate in any way and on any basis” the City considers appropriate (s. 10), it cannot do so in a manner contrary to the Charter or Human Rights Code. Any policy decision by Council to differentiate between Torontonians in the provision of services must be done in a deliberate and transparent manner.

As a municipality, it is not within the jurisdiction of the City of Toronto to monitor undocumented persons. In fact, the City should not request information regarding immigration status unless required to do so by another order of government.

As seen in our August E-News

[LATEST NEWS] Residential Apartment Commercial Zone Bylaw

Posted in City Wide, Updates

 

Approved in 2013 by City Council – “The Residential Apartment Commercial zone is a simple but significant change to Toronto’s bylaws,” said Mayor John Tory. “This change will provide more convenience, more services and more economic opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of people across the city who call apartment neighbourhoods home.”

RAC zoning allows small-scale non-residential uses, such as food markets, shops, small business, classes, community services and other initiatives at more than 400 sites that were previously zoned for residential use only. Toronto City Council adopted the RAC zoning bylaw in 2013 and the Ontario Municipal Board approved it in 2016.

Allowing for a wider range of uses in apartment tower neighbourhoods benefits residents by increasing convenient and walkable access to local shops, services and amenities. Residents in tower neighbourhoods can also benefit from now having the opportunity to engage in small-scale enterprise.

The discussion was moderated by Graeme Stewart, founding director of the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal. The panellists were the City’s Costanza Allevato, Director of Community Resources, Social Development, Finance and Administration division; Michael Mizzi, Director of Community Planning, City Planning; and Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, along with Jason Thorne, General Manager of Planning and Economic Development, City of Hamilton; Gobal Mailwaganam of CAPREIT, a real estate investment company; Ayan Yusuf of the Rexdale Community Health Centre; and Doug Saunders, an author and journalist.  

The by-law is available here (http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/bylaws/2014/law0572.pdf)

Allowing for a wider range of uses in apartment tower neighbourhoods has a number of benefits, such as:  

  • convenient and walkable access to local shops, services and amenities for residents.
  • opportunities to engage in small-scale enterprises for residents and the community.
  • new service offerings to current and potential residents and a new potential revenue stream for property owners.
  • more animated, safer and inviting places for everyone!

More information about RAC zoning is available through the Tower Renewal Program at http://toronto.ca/towerrenewal or by contacting tower@toronto.ca.