Toronto's Ward Boundaries are Changing

Ward 25 is going to be Ward 27


Toronto Moves from 44 to 47 Electoral Wards for 2018 Municipal Election


A Boundary Review of Toronto's Municipal Wards was conducted from 2014-2016 to review the City's population.
 
When debated at City Council in 2016, I voted against increasing the size of City Council from 44 to 47 wards – as I strongly believe that the number of wards should not increase, but rather, that the ward boundaries should be modified to align with existing provincial or federal boundaries.
 
The City of Toronto’s 2018 municipal election, however, will use the new ward boundaries model for Toronto, increasing the number of wards from 44 to 47.
 
The new ward boundaries will come into effect for the upcoming 2018 municipal election and new Council term.

How is Ward 25 Changing?

Ward 25 will now be Ward 27.
 
Ward 27 will cover 98% of the area formerly known as Ward 25. These changes, however, will move the ward boundary line west from Don Mills Road to Leslie Street and south from Broadway Avenue to Eglinton Avenue East. I have attached several maps below to better illustrate this change. 
 
To help residents and businesses find their new ward, the City has created the MyVote app which provides Torontonians information about City Council wards based on their home address, including the candidates that will be running in that ward in the 2018 municipal election.

Comparing Toronto's 47 and 44 Ward Boundaries

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The yellow portion on the eastern side of the ward is the area that is currently within Ward 25 but will no longer fall within Ward 27's new boundaries.

The smaller orange portion at the bottom of Ward 27 is the new area that Ward 27 will be gaining, not previously included in Ward 25's current boundaries.

New Ward 27 Boundaries

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Yonge Eglinton Secondary Plan Update

UPDATE: I'm pleased to announce that the Planning and Growth Management Committee voted unanimously in favour of my motion to adopt Option #3 – 20 and 15-storeys.
 
Thank you to everyone who wrote letters and attended the Committee meeting on July 5. I'm so impressed by how quickly the community mobilized around this issue—the Committee received almost 100 letters in support of Option #3. This an unprecedented victory for the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood that I will continue to fight for at City Council on July 23-25. 
 
I've included my letter asking the Planning and Growth Management Committee to support Option #3 below.

Improvements to the Committee of Adjustment

Many Ward 25 neighbours can relate to the experience of receiving a Committee of Adjustment (CoA) public notice in their mailboxes. Over the past eight years, CoA application volume has increased by approximately 96%, leading to significant deviations from the zoning by-law outside of the downtown core.  
 
Ward 25 is no exception to this concerning trend—there are a growing number of applications requesting long lists of variances from the established zoning by-law. Since January 2018, the CoA has considered 116 minor variance and consent applications for properties in Ward 25.
 
In 2014, I moved a series of motions intended to improve the CoA process and make it more accessible and transparent for residents. My motions were inspired and informed by feedback I received from the residents of Ward 25. Over the past four years, the City has implemented several new initiatives, including the following:

  • Application information is now posted months in advance of the hearing date on theApplication Information Centre. The CoA website also includes a FAQ page, Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) information, and key staff contacts.
  • CoA hearings are now video-recorded and are made available to the public upon request. City staff recently began livestreaming Toronto & East York district hearings in February 2018. City staff estimate that livestreaming will begin at North York Civic Centre in fall 2018.   
  • Additional full-time and temporary City staff are being hired to review and make recommendations on CoA applications. City Planning now generates reports for close to 50% of the applications received.
  • City staff have implemented an enhanced training process for committee members including periodic training on key issues.
  • Practices and policies are being harmonized across the four districts.

Though we have made progress over the past four years, we have a long way to go. I am continuing to advocate for much-needed improvements to the CoA and would welcome additional community feedback. If you have any suggestions or comments, please contact my office at 416-395-6408 or councillor_robinson@toronto.ca.

Whoa! Slow Down Lawn Sign Campaign

"Whoa! Slow Down" signs are available to remind motorists to drive carefully as they travel through local neighbourhoods and to watch for the City's most vulnerable road users - older adults (orange signs) and school children (blue signs).
 
To request a sign for your lawn, please contact my office at councillor_robinson@toronto.ca or by phone at 416-395-6408.

Binational Action on Protecting the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) is a binational coalition of 131 American and Canadian mayors working with a wide array of stakeholders to protect and restore the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
 
I am honoured to serve as the Mayor's designate to the GLSLCI. Their notable initiatives include efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, incorporate innovative technology in conservation strategies, and manage invasive species such as zebra mussels and Asian carp. Their work is critical, as the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River contain over 21% of the world's freshwater supply and provide drinking water for over 40 million people.
 
At the GLSLCI 2018 Conference in June, I represented the City of Toronto in discussions on extreme weather events, flooding, coastal resilience, and green infrastructure. As Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, I'm committed to supporting initiatives undertaken by the GLSLCI to advance the protection of our shared freshwater resources. At Committee, I recently moved to accelerate the rehabilitation of the Don River and Central Waterfront, a first step towards delisting Toronto as a polluted "Area of Concern" in the Great Lakes.
 
You can read more about my efforts to clean up the Don River, here. For more information about initiatives related to climate change, invasive species, and microplastics, check out the GLSLCI website, here.

 As the Mayor's designate to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI),  I met with municipal leaders from across North America at the Annual Conference in June, including (from left to right) Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls, NY, Mayor Bonnie Crombie of Mississauga, and GLSLCI President John Dickert, former Mayor of Racine, WI.

As the Mayor's designate to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI),  I met with municipal leaders from across North America at the Annual Conference in June, including (from left to right) Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls, NY, Mayor Bonnie Crombie of Mississauga, and GLSLCI President John Dickert, former Mayor of Racine, WI.

Tips to Save Water This Summer

In response to the recent heat wave, Toronto Water is reminding residents that there are steps they can take to conserve water and reduce their utility bill during summer, the season of highest water use.
 
Toronto Water customers can use the City of Toronto's online water use tool, MyWaterToronto, to better understand their water use and to learn about strategies to save water and money. MyWaterToronto can even be used to check for leaks, which tend to add up very quickly when water usage is high. According to Carlo Casale, Manager of Customer Care at Toronto Water, even a small 1.5-millimetre hole in a pipe can add more than $13 to your utility bill each day.
 
Customers who receive a utility bill can access the tool by visiting http://www.toronto.ca/mywatertoronto and entering their utility account information. The tool can be used to track water use by day, week, month or year.
 
In addition to fixing leaks, other ways to save water during the summer include:

  • Using rainwater to water your grass and gardens.
  • Planting native plants and trees, which are low maintenance and naturally drought-tolerant.
  • Sweeping sidewalks and driveways clean instead of using a running hose.
  • Using a rain gauge to keep track of rainfall – healthy lawns only need 2.5 centimetres of water once a week.
    • If you have an irrigation system, set your system to come on once or twice a week, or install rain sensors.
  • Watering lawns in the morning to reduce evaporation.
    • Laying mulch can also help retain moisture and insulate roots from heat stress.
  • Setting your lawn mower to cut 6 to 7.5 centimetres - mowing high helps to strengthen the roots and retain water and nutrients.
  • Keeping a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the tap to draw cold drinking water.

 For more water conservation tips, visit http://www.toronto.ca/water.

Midtown in Focus - Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan

At the Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting in June, City Planning staff presented their recommended Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan. This Final Report was informed by the Midtown in Focus Planning Study which began as a public realm exercise to improve parks, open space, and streetscapes in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood. In 2015, I directed staff to expand the scope of the study to include a review of the area's infrastructure capacity, including transit, water, schools and utility services.  

While I recognize that there are many useful aspects of the draft Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan, I am concerned by the proposed permitted building heights and the parkland deficit in the north-east quadrant. I've spent many hours over the past few weeks consulting with senior City Staff, Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee, and most importantly, concerned neighbours.
 
On my behalf, the Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee moved a motion to defer consideration of the item until another community meeting is held. This meeting is intended to specifically address the permitted building heights in the north-east quadrant and the lack of green space in the area.
 
I have included the details below:
 
DATE: Thursday, June 21, 2018
 
TIME: 6:30-8:30pm
 
LOCATION: The Roehampton Hotel, Eglinton Room
                        808 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON
 
I worked closely with the Chair to develop the long list of motions he moved at Planning and Growth Management Committee on June 7. These motions address a number of outstanding issues, in addition to those identified above, including:

  • Permitted Heights: Lowering the permitted building heights to reduce the proposed density in the north-east quadrant and directing staff to list the heights in metres, rather than storeys.
  • Infrastructure: Requesting a report back on the appropriate use of holding provisions to ensure that there is sufficient infrastructure in the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan Area.
  • Parks: Determining potential parkland sites in the north-east quadrant of the Secondary Plan Area.
  • Transit: Directing City Staff to conduct a further assessment of short and long term service improvements to ease crowding on Line 1 and to consider delivering the Relief Line North and South as one undertaking.
  • Schools: Requesting City Staff to meet with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Municipal Affairs to explore a funding strategy to support the timely provision of local school facilities.
  • Employment: Exploring opportunities to increase employment opportunities in the study area.

The full series of motions can be found online, here.
 
If you haven't already, please let me know your thoughts on the draft Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan. You can email me directly at councillor_robinson@toronto.ca.

New Policies to Protect our Neighbourhoods - Residential Infill Construction Strategy

Over the years, I've received countless emails from Ward 25 residents concerned about disruptive residential infill construction sites in their neighbourhoods.
 
At the June 2014 meeting of the Planning and Growth Management Committee, I moved a series of motions directing Toronto Building to improve the City's response to problematic sites and ensure that buildings are constructed according to approved plans and permissions.
 
Thanks to the invaluable input from Ward 25 residents, I was able to spearhead the development of a comprehensive, interdivisional Residential Infill Construction Strategy. The Strategy focuses on three major areas: streamlining the City's complaint management process, encouraging good construction practices, and improving communication with residents. Several aspects of this strategy have already been implemented, including:

  • Additional Building Inspection—In 2017, Toronto Building implemented a required introductory inspection to set out expectations and consequences at the outset of the construction process.
  • Inter-Divisional Working Group—Established to create a complaint tracking policy and procedure to enable the City to respond more quickly and effectively to resident complaints. 
  • As-built Survery—Builders are required to submit an as-built survey completed by a certified Ontario Land Surveyor prior to the construction of the first-floor walls to confirm the location and height of the building. 
  • Training for Inspectors—Building Inspectors are now being trained to recognize zoning issues to ensure that buildings are in compliance with approved plans and permits. 

An update on the new Residential Infill Construction Strategy was adopted by the Planning and Growth Management Committee in May 2018. This update specifically included the recommendations to:

  • Require builders to provide a public notice sign on site, including contact and building permit information. The purpose is to provide the public with a gateway to real-time information about permissions and enforcements. This policy will be enforced by requiring builders to submit a photo of the sign posted on site.
  • Continue and expand the Dedicated Enforcement Unit, an inter-divisional unit to survey properties across the City and identify all outstanding issues. In the 2017 summer pilot program, 117 of the 139 sites that required follow-up achieved compliance within two weeks. 
  • Empower Toronto Building Inspectors to levy fines for construction fencing infractions. Currently, only Transportation Services or Municipal Licensing & Standards are able to enforce fencing by-laws. This amendment will make the inspection process more efficient, as only the Building Inspector will need to visit the site.

The Residential Infill Construction Strategy has also included the production of several new online and printed resources for Torontonians, including a dedicated residential infill construction website providing links to all relevant information. Residents can now find the current status of all building permits and inspections on the Building Permit Status page.

The Good Neighbour Guide and Homeowner's Guide to Building Permits are also fantastic resources for residents looking to learn more about residential infill construction in their neighbourhoods.
 
After four years, I am pleased to see the regulations inspired by my original motion finally being implemented. I'm hopeful that these initiatives will improve transparency and accessibility for Ward 25ers throughout the residential infill construction process

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Planning Reform - Local Planning Appeal Support Centre

After many long years fighting against the Ontario Municipal Board, I am pleased to report that, as of April 3, 2018, all new planning appeals will be directed to the new Local Planning Appeals Tribunal.

My overriding concern with the prior OMB process was the lack of accessibility and transparency for residents. While developers can assemble large teams of qualified experts, the costs of participating in an OMB mediation or hearing were prohibitive for concerned neighbours and residents' associations. 
 
The planning reform legislation passed by the Province in December 2017 implemented new Local Planning Appeal Support Centres (LPASC) to provide free advice and support to residents on local planning matters.
 
In April, the Toronto LPASC opened its doors to the public for the first time. The LPASC is an independent agency of the Province of Ontario, accountable to a board of directors. The stated purpose of the organization is to help "people understand and navigate the land use planning and appeal process in Ontario." Chapter 4 of the LPSCA Act (2017) outlines the following support services:

  1. Information on land use planning.
  2. Guidance on Tribunal procedures.
  3. Advice or representation.
  4. Any other services prescribed by the regulations. 

I would encourage all residents concerned about a development application in their neighbourhood to contact the LPASC for more information about the appeal process. If applicable, the LPASC will also provide planning and legal support in certain cases.
 
Hours: Monday – Friday
            8:30am – 5:00pm
 
Address: 700 Bay Street, 12th Floor
 
Telephone: 647-499-1646 or Toll-free: 1-800-993-8410
 
Email: info@lpasc.ca
 
Web: https://www.lpasc.ca
 
If you are interested, you can read more about improvements to the land use planning and appeals system, here.

Community Safety Zones in School Zones

At the May City Council meeting, I moved a motion to lift the 18 year-old moratorium on the creation of new Community Safety Zones.
 
The Highway Traffic Act permits the designation of a portion of a highway within 150 metres from the entrance or exit from a school as a School Safety Zone. By creating Community Safety Zones, the City of Toronto can further extend safety measures beyond the prescribed 150 metre frontage of schools in School Safety Zones.
 
The creation of new Community Safety Zones will designate the extended frontages of the 754 kindergarten to grade 8 schools within the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board as Community Safety Zones. I also moved a motion at the most recent Public Works and Infrastructure Committee to ensure that all eligible Public and Catholic French Language School Boards are included in this initiative.
 
Additionally, I requested that the General Manager of Transportation Services report on ways to accelerate the roll out and implementation of Community Safety Zones as quickly as possible.
 
The implementation strategy calls for the consideration of a number of safety improvements in Community Safety Zones, including:

  • New school ahead signs with flashing beacons;
  • "School" pavement stencils;
  • "Watch Your Speed" driver feedback signs;
  • Zebra markings at pedestrian crosswalks;
  • Elevated crosswalks;
  • Painted lane width reductions and curb radius reductions;
  • Flexible in-road warning signs; and
  • Bollards.

Following approval at City Council, roughly 250-300 schools will have designated Community Safety Zones by Q4 of 2018. We must be more aggressive in making Toronto's roads safer for our school-aged children, our most vulnerable road users

The Vision Zero Challenge

At the end of May, I was pleased to bring opening remarks at the official launch of the Vision Zero Challenge -  the City's latest joint measure to help improve road safety.

The Vision Zero Challenge is an 8-week competition where participants will work to develop innovative and data driven solutions to make Toronto’s streets safer for everyone, today and in the future.

The Challenge calls on civic innovators, transit users, data scientists, designers, urban and transportation aficionados, citizens, academics and advocates to answer one question:

How might we use data, design and technology to make all Toronto road users, especially seniors, newcomers and school children, safer immediately, and enable predictive and high priority interventions in the future?


I want to wish the best of luck to all teams and individuals competing in The Vision Zero Challenge. Your passion and efforts to discover how data, design and technology can be used to make all road users safer is the next step toward enhancing Toronto's Road Safety Plan. I look forward to seeing the innovative and life-saving solutions that will be developed through the Challenge!

April's Unseasonal Extreme Weather Event

On April 14, 15 and 16, the City of Toronto experienced an extreme weather event with strong winds, ice pellets, snow, freezing rain and flooding rain.
 
Due to the time of year, there were fewer snow clearing resources available than at the height of the winter season. As a result, I received many phone calls and emails from Ward 25ers who expressed their frustration and concerns with the City's response to the unseasonal ice storm.
 
For this reason, I reached out to the General Manager of Transportation Services to share these concerns. As they are responsible for managing and implementing the clean-up efforts following storms and other weather events, I urgently requested that Transportation Services employ all resources necessary to ensure our local roads and sidewalks were cleared and safe for residents as soon as possible.
 
Additionally, at the April City Council meeting following the ice storm, I moved a motion requesting Transportation Services to report on the response to April 2018's extreme winter weather emergency, lessons learned and recommendations to improve the City's response to extreme weather events in the future. As the City does after every major event, staff will be reviewing the response to the storm and determining how we can improve our services.
 
Although Transportation Services staff were able to retroactively mobilize several clearing machines, the City must be better prepared to respond to all weather events in the future.
 
On a positive note, I must commend Toronto Hydro crews on their response to the ice storm as they worked quickly to restore power to more than 44,000 customers. Forestry crews also dealt with more than 500 tree-related calls and the TTC worked hard to keep service running despite weather complications and weather-related power outages.
 
With this unseasonal weather behind us, I hope that we are now looking forward to a warm and productive summer!

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Preparing for Hydro Outages in the City of Toronto

This month, the City of Toronto has experienced several windstorms, with winds reaching over 110/km per hour. These storms have resulted in damaged trees, homes and powerlines – causing blackouts in neighbourhoods across Ward 25.
 
In events such as these, I reach out to the President of Toronto Hydro to confirm that power will be restored to local residents as soon as possible. I also recently met with the Chair of Toronto Hydro to discuss how to prepare for and remain safe during future storms and power outages.
 
Although we cannot prevent all power outages, for reasons often beyond our control, I will continue working hard in conjunction with Toronto Hydro to provide this level of service to Ward 25ers.
 
In the event of a power outage, it's important to be aware of what to do and who to call. Toronto Hydro works diligently to mitigate power outages and has specific protocols in place for both non-emergency and emergency outage situations.
 
During a non-emergency outage, power outages can be reported online or by phone at (416) 542-8000. Once the outage is reported, crews are dispatched to the site, the damage and exact location of the problem are assessed and repairs are completed. After Toronto Hydro has complete repairs on the power outage site, the repairs are tested and validated to ensure the problem has been resolved, and finally, power is restored.
 
The vast majority of streetlights in the City of Toronto are owned and maintained by Toronto Hydro. You can also report streetlight outages online, by calling Toronto Hydro at (416) 542-8000 or through 311.
 
The procedure during emergency situations varies slightly, and Toronto Hydro has a priority sequence established when it comes to power restoration. However, outage durations can vary from case-to-case for reasons such as weather, age of equipment, backyard transformers and powerline and private property.
 
Typically during an emergency power outage, Toronto Hydro will first restore outages that are the most critical to public safety - including hospitals, fire, police and essential city-wide systems. Toronto Hydro then prioritizes stations or other major feeder lines serving the largest number of customers before restoring power to smaller neighbourhoods, streets and individual homes or businesses.
 
Visit Toronto Hydro's website to learn more about the power restoration process and what to do during a power outage.

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My Environment Day Wrap-Up

On May 5th, neighbours from all over Ward 25 joined me at the York Mills Collegiate Institute to donate and recycle their used materials. Ward 25 had one of the most well-attended Community Environment Days in the City of Toronto!
 
Thanks to the incredible engagement from residents at this year's event, there was an overwhelming amount of donations that went to help local schools and community organizations. The Toronto Salvation Army even had to bring in a second collection truck to accommodate all of the great donations they received!  
 
Countless electronics, household hazardous waste items and used pens were also brought to my Environment Day for safe disposal, making the City of Toronto more green and clean. In the interest of being green, free compost was in high demand at my event as families geared up for spring gardening.
 
I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak with many friends in the ward, as well as new neighbours, about both achievements and emerging issues in Ward 25. Thank you to all who stopped by my booth to say hello - without your contributions, donations and disposals, my Environment Day would not have been such a great success.
 
I also would like to thank the dedicated volunteers, organizations, and staff who attended. It was great to see so many City divisions involved in my Community Environment Day including Toronto WaterSolid Waste Management Services and 311. Community organizations such as Live Green TorontoToronto Hydro and the Salvation Army made major contributions to my Environment Day as well, both in terms of donation collections and providing information to residents about their organizations.
 
This is one my favourite events in Ward 25 and I am already looking forward to next year's Community Environment Day!

The State of Toronto's Blue Bin Recycling Program

The City of Toronto is home to the fourth largest municipal waste management system in North America, managing approximately 200,000 tonnes of recyclables annually through its Blue Bin Recycling Program.
 
Last month, Solid Waste Management Services (SWMS) brought forward a report on the State of Toronto's Blue Bin Recycling Program.
 
As Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, I was concerned by the challenges emphasized within the report regarding blue bin contamination, recent developments in international markets and the delay in transition towards full extended producer responsibility.
 
Waste Audit results have indicated that contamination in the Blue Bin Recycling Program has been increasing since 2013, at both single family and multi-residential locations. Contaminated recycling is currently costing the City millions annually and last year more than 52,000 tonnes of non-recyclable material was incorrectly put in the Blue Bin.
 
The most common culprits of blue bin contamination are:

  • Organic wastes;
  • Oversized materials;
  • Textiles;
  • Black plastics;
  • Hot beverage containers; and
  • Single-serve coffee pods.

Contamination in the Blue Bin Recycling Program has been increasing over time due to a number of factors. Residents in the City of Toronto are often confused by the City of Toronto's recycling program, as items that are accepted in one municipality's recycling program may not be accepted in another.
 
At the most recent Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting, I requested that staff address misleading advertising of products and/or packaging recyclability in Toronto. Many residents feel they are recycling right by following labels on the product, however, these items may not be accepted in Toronto's specific recycling program. This may lead to further contamination that deems a recycling bin as waste. This is confusing and unfair to our residents.
 
I also moved a motion requesting SWMS to report on the ability of the City of Toronto to require retailers of textile material in the City to post reuse, recyclability and waste disposal options at the point of purchase. The average Toronto household throws out about 13 kg/29 lbs of clothing and other textiles every year. Unfortunately, when these textiles are placed in the blue bin, they can tangle sorting machines, damage equipment and cause workplace injuries.
 
Overall, there is a lack of awareness of the negative implications of improper disposal of non-recyclable items and recycling correctly.
  
The state of Toronto's Blue Bin program is concerning and residents must do their part to ensure they are recycling right, preventing contamination and doing their part to reduce the production and use of recyclable materials. When perfectly good recyclables end up in the landfill, it costs the City of Toronto and our residents.
 
Confused which products go where? Visit the City's Waste Wizard to search over 2,000 different waste products and determine the appropriate disposal techniques.
 
As one of the largest and most successful municipal recycling programs in North America, the City of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services continues to address contamination, react quickly to changing market dynamics, and provide a strong platform on the transition to an extended producer responsibility model.

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Growing the Gardens - A Toronto Botanical Gardens Master Plan

Located within Edwards Gardens, at the corner of Lawrence Avenue and Leslie Street in Ward 25, lies a hidden gem in the City's park system - the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG).
 
The TBG is a dynamic hub that connects people and plants through conservation, research and education. Currently, the Garden has limited space and resources to achieve their full potential. For this reason, City staff from the TBG and Parks, Forestry and Recreation have developed a holistic, long-term plan to transform the space into a globally acclaimed botanical garden.
 
The Master Plan proposes a seamless boundary between Edwards Gardens and the TBG, re-imagining the gardens as a major cultural attraction for Torontonians and tourists alike. In April 2018, I played an instrumental role in City Council's unanimous support for "Growing the Gardens" and implementing the TBG's proposed Master Plan.
 
Following Council approval, the Master Plan will expand the TBG from four to 35 acres of gardens, including changes to garden design, restoration and parking, as well as new gateways, pathways and programming spaces. These changes will allow the TBG to improve amenities, expand programming and enhance the visitor experience.
 
I strongly support the City’s partnership with the Toronto Botanical Garden and look forward to seeing this exciting initiative come to fruition in the years to come.

Rehabilitating the Don River

I have long advocated for the protection and conservation of Toronto's shared freshwater resources. In 1987, an International Joint Commission classified the City of Toronto's waterfront as an "Area of Concern in the Great Lakes Basin," due in part to the Don River's poor water quality. For this reason, I moved a motion in 2012 directing City staff to accelerate the rehabilitation of the Don River.
 
In response to my motion, City staff presented a report on the Don River and Central Waterfront Project at the February meeting of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC). As the Committee Chair, I again requested an acceleration of the various Don River and Central Waterfront projects. These initiatives include the construction of the Coxwell Bypass Tunnel, an important step toward our long-term goal of significant water quality improvements in the City of Toronto.
 
The Don River and Central Waterfront Project was initiated in 2008 as part of the City's 25-year Wet Weather Flow Master Plan to mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff and combined sewer outflow on our freshwater systems. I am committed to advancing initiatives to improve water quality conditions and ecosystem health in Toronto and am pleased to move forward on this important project.

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Ice Storm Update

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

As you know, the weekend of extreme weather has led to a build-up of snow and ice in the City of Toronto. Unfortunately, Environment Canada has advised that we remain under significant rainfall warning today.
 
Staff from across City of Toronto divisions and agencies, including Transportation Services, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Police Service, the Office of Emergency Management, TTC, and Toronto Hydro have been responding on a 24/7 basis to this weekend's ice storm.
 
On that note, I would like to reassure you that salt trucks are active across the City, while plows target arterial and collector roads identified as priority locations. Staff continue to be strategic in their street-clearing efforts to ensure that catch basins remain clear and avoid excessive flooding.
 
Crews are actively clearing catch basins on City streets and you can help expedite this process by clearing any covered catch basins in your neighbourhood.
 
To help protect you and your home from flooding, please ensure there is a channel for the melting snow and rain to make its way to the catch basin and ensure downspouts are not blocked with snow or ice to allow for proper drainage. You can prepare your basement for potential flooding by moving valuables to shelves or upper floors. 
 
If your basement has flooded, please report it by calling 311 immediately. For safety reasons, it is important to call Toronto Hydro to disconnect power if there is flood water in your basement. I would also encourage to you to reach out to your insurance company to report property damage a soon as possible. Please be mindful of your health and safety by not standing in flood water when cleaning up a flooded basement. You can also find more tips for preventing basement flooding here.
 
Toronto Hydro continues to experience an extremely high volume of calls and incidents of power outage in the City. Additional crews have been activated and restoration has continued throughout the night. Crews prioritize public safety issues first, then look to resume hydro for the highest number of customers impacted, followed by smaller, individual outages. Power outages at 1210 Don Mills Road and 160 The Donway West have been reported and received by Toronto Hydro. After numerous phone calls with Toronto Hydro, I am happy to report that power has now been restored at 160 The Donway West. Toronto Hydro has also reassured my office that they will work diligently to resume power at 1210 Don Mills Road. I am continuing to monitor the outages in Ward 25 and work with Toronto Hydro until they are resolved.
 
If you experience a power outage, please phone 416 542 8000 and then press 1 to report the outage to Toronto Hydro's dispatch team. This ensures that the outage is logged and that restoration will occur as soon as possible.
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this weather event. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Jaye Robinson

Don River Update: Water level is stable and the TRCA does not anticipate any river flooding at this time. The G. Ross Lord Dam will remain closed until weather conditions improve.