Around Town with Jaye

Bob Rumball Canadian Centre of Excellence for the Deaf - 40th Anniversary Celebration

I was honoured to attend the 40th Anniversary celebration for the Bob Rumball Canadian Centre of Excellence for the Deaf. By advocating for Deaf Canadians & those living with multiple challenges, the Bob Rumball Centre continues to empower Torontonians affected by hearing loss. Congratulations on this milestone!

South Eglinton Ratepayers' & Residents' Association Annual General Meeting

From transit to traffic, I always appreciate an opportunity to discuss neighbourhood priorities with Ward 15 residents. Thank you to SERRA for inviting me to speak at their Annual General Meeting - Davisville Village is an incredibly engaged community!

St. Anselm Catholic School road safety meeting

I visited St. Anselm Catholic School with local parents and residents to assess traffic in the area. Looking forward to continue working together with the community to improve school safety.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day

May 2nd marks Holocaust Remembrance Day - I was honoured to meet Holocaust survivor and educator, Pinchas Gutter.

Fraser Mustard Learning Centre Tour

It was a pleasure to visit the Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy, and it's always great to see TDSB trustee Rachel Chernos-Lin!

Leaside Lawn Bowling Club Opening

It was great to see friends and neighbours out in Ward 15 for the Leaside Lawn Bowling Club's Opening Day.

Mental Health Week Announcement

I was honoured to show my support for mental health initiatives by celebrating the launch of the TTC's new mental health campaign for Mental Health Week. The "New Mentality" posters were designed by a youth group from East Metro Youth Services (EMYS).

Thorncliffe Park Tennis Club Opening

Had a fun afternoon at the Thorncliffe Park Tennis Club's Opening Day, thank you for having me!

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Mayor's Iftar Dinner

It was an honour to attend the Mayor's Iftar Dinner commemorating the holy month of Ramadan. I was happy to see some familiar faces from Thorncliffe Park.

C.D. Howe Institute Transit Roundtable

A big thank you to the C.D. Howe Institute for inviting me to speak as the Chair of the TTC at their Roundtable Luncheon on the future of public transportation in Toronto.

University of Toronto's Don Valley Urban Forest Clean Up

Kicked off a day of meetings and events in Ward 15 by taking part in the University of Toronto's Varsity Mountain Bike Team's Don Valley Urban Forest Clean Up event! Had a great day beautifying our community.

140 Erskine Meet & Greet

It was a pleasure to meet the new Board of the Upper Canada Tenants Association in Ward 15.

Wanless Park Spring Fair

A big thank you to the Bedford-Wanless Ratepayers Association for organizing this year’s wonderful Wanless Park Spring Fair. This year, I kept up my annual tradition of judging the Egg Toss competition.

The Uptown Yonge BIA's Mother's Day weekend Sidewalk Sale

Congratulations to the Uptown Yonge BIA on another successful Sidewalk Sale event!

Northlea Elementary and Middle School's Shark Tank

Had a great time participating in Northlea Elementary and Middle School's Shark Tank. I enjoyed being a Shark and hearing the students' pitches on improving sustainability and accessibility in the school community.
 
Thank you to all Northlea E.M.S faculty, parents, students and my fellow Sharks for making the event such a success!

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Teddington Park Residents Association's Annual General Meeting

Great speaking with neighbours at the Teddington Park Residents Association's Annual General Meeting.

Maurice Cody Public School's annual Spring Fair

My inaugural visit to Maurice Cody Public School's annual Spring Fair was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to working collaboratively with the Maurice Cody P.S. administration and parents on important school safety initiatives.

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Islamic Society of Toronto's Iftar Dinner

Had a wonderful evening commemorating Ramadan in Thorncliffe Park. Thank you to the Islamic Society of Toronto for the warm welcome at Masjid Darus Salaam. Ramadan Mubarak!

The CONTACT Photography Festival's TTC Exhibit

As TTC Chair, I'm pleased that the TTC is a part of this year's Contact Photography Festival. I enjoyed viewing the exhibit at Bay Station with the TTC's own photographer, Derek Stryland.

Visit to Rolph Road Elementary School

It was great to meet with Sandra Larosa, the Principal of Rolph Road Public School in Leaside, earlier this month.

Hoggs Hollow Valley Fair

It was great seeing friends and neighbours at the Hoggs Hollow Valley Fair. A big thanks to all of the volunteers who organized this event.

Kids’ Lit Quiz Competition Winners – Hodgson Middle School

Written by guest contributor: Jennifer Ankenmann

In January, four students from Hodgson Middle School in Ward 15 won the Kids’ Lit Quiz Canadian National Final, hosted at McMaster University. They will be travelling to Singapore in July to compete in the 2019 Kids’ Lit Quiz World Final. It is the second consecutive year this team competed in the Canadian National Final and this year they were victorious!

Team Canada members Gillian, Lila, Julia, and Leah are working hard in preparation for the World Final and look forward to meeting students from other countries who share their love of reading.  They hosted an online silent auction at the end of May to fund raise for their flights to Singapore.

Kids’ Lit Quiz, also known as the Sport of Reading, is an international quiz game for 10-13 year olds that tests their knowledge of children’s books. It inspires students to become lifelong readers by emphasizing the fun of reading and showing young readers that they belong to a worldwide community. Kids’ Lit Quiz takes place in 13 countries, and is run by volunteers in every country. In 2019, 200 teams across Canada competed for the honour to represent our country at this year’s World Final.

On behalf of Don Valley West, congratulations to our Ward 15 Team Canada members and best of luck in the World Final!

Update on Toronto's Gypsy Moth Program

Last month, the City of Toronto began its Aerial Spray program.

The program will be conducted until June 15 to manage the high levels of gypsy moth caterpillars in certain Toronto neighbourhoods. Caterpillars feed on the leaves of oak and other tree species, which can severely weaken or kill trees.

The first round of treatment was applied from May 26-27 and a second round will be applied from June 6-7 in some areas of Ward 15. Residents are encouraged to check for updates on the City's website here, or call 311 for additional information. A map of the designated spray areas, which identifies each location's specific spray date, is also available here.

During the aerial spray, two helicopters will fly about 15 to 30 metres above the tree canopy to apply a biological insecticide. The product must be applied directly to tree foliage, as gypsy moth caterpillars must feed on the treated leaves for the insecticide to be effective. No special precautions are required for residents in the spray zone.

In addition to ground-based control methods, the Aerial Spray program is an important initiative to protect the City's tree canopy.

Ward 15 Community Environment Days

On April 6th and May 9th, neighbours from across Ward 15 joined my team and I at York Mills Collegiate Institute and Leaside Memorial Community Gardens to donate and recycle their used materials. Ward 15 had two of the most well-attended Community Environment Days in the entire 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 brought in a second collection truck to accommodate all of the great donations they received! 
 
Countless electronics and household hazardous waste items were also brought to my Environment Day for safe disposal. The free compost was particularly popular as families geared up for spring gardening.
 
I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak with many friends, as well as new neighbours, about local Ward 15 initiatives. Thank you to all who stopped by my booth to say hello - without your contributions, donations and disposals, my Environment Day events 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 including Toronto Water, Live Green Toronto, Solid Waste Management Services and 311. Community organizations such as Cycle Toronto, the David Suzuki Blue Dot Group, Enbridge Gas and the Salvation Army also made important contributions, both in terms of donation collections and providing information to residents about their organizations.
 
These are some of my favourite events in Ward 15 and I am already looking forward to next year's Community Environment Days!
 
For a list of events hosted by other Toronto City Councillors, please visit the City of Toronto's website here.

The TTC's First Electric Bus Hits the Streets of Toronto

As the Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, I was pleased to be joined by Mayor John Tory and Marco Mendicino, MP for Eglinton-Lawrence to launch the TTC's first battery-electric bus (eBus).
 
This eBus hit the streets of Toronto after undergoing a series of tests since April. It can be spotted along the 35 Jane route from Jane Station (Line 2) to Pioneer Village Station (Line 1) with a special exterior wrap. The TTC's fleet now contains clean-diesel, hybrid-electric, and battery-electric buses.
 
While the TTC was already an environmentally-friendly way to travel around the city, the eBus takes it one step further. These eBuses are considered to be truly green as they operate on battery power, have zero tailpipe emissions, and are charged with electricity that is 100% nuclear and emissions-free.
 
This is an exciting milestone for the TTC as part of its green initiatives. By the first quarter of 2020, Toronto will have 60 new eBuses and one of the largest electric mini-fleets in North America. As TTC Chair, I am proud that the TTC is becoming an industry leader.
 
The new eBuses are just one part of the TTC's commitment to becoming 100% emissions-free by 2040. For more information on how we are working to modernize service, innovate for the long term, and plan for climate change, please visit the TTC's website.

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Apartment Standards: RentSafeTO and Elevator Repairs

With over 30% of Torontonians living in more than 3,500 apartment buildings throughout the City, it's critical that we have a comprehensive plan in place to ensure that building owners comply with the prescribed by-laws and standards.
 
In 2017, City Council approved a brand-new Apartment Building Standards Program called RentSafeTO, which imposes regulations on how building owners operate, maintain the premises, and communicate with tenants. This program applies to buildings that are three storeys or higher, and have ten or more units.
 
Through RentSafeTO, the City's By-law Officers are required to conduct evaluations of buildings every three years and issue a score based on the results of their inspection. Buildings must score at least 50% to pass the inspection and failure to meet this standard results in an in-depth audit of the premises.
 
Property owners who do not comply with the Apartment Building and other applicable by-laws can be issued substantial fines. In addition to general fines, the RentSafeTO program also allows staff to issue continuing and escalating fines for ongoing offences by negligent building owners.
 
You can find more information about RentSafeTO on the City's website, here.
 
While RentSafeTO has provided us with some of the tools necessary to keep our apartment buildings clean, safe, and liveable, there is still more work to be done.

Delayed elevator repairs remain a top-of-mind concern in Ward 15 and throughout the City of Toronto. Currently, the City has no means to enforce the timeline by which an elevator must be returned to service following a mechanical issue. Elevating devices fall under the purview of the Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) – a Provincially regulated body.
 
Reliable elevator service is critical to keeping our City's apartment buildings accessible for families, seniors, and residents with mobility challenges.
 
At the April 2019 meeting of Planning and Housing Committee, I moved a motion directing staff to study the feasibility of establishing an enforceable timeline for elevator repairs through the RentSafeTO program.

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Road Safety at Yonge-Eglinton

While construction of Metrolinx's Eglinton Crosstown LRT project unfolds along Eglinton Avenue, pedestrian safety remains a top concern at the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton – one of the busiest junctures in our City.
 
At the May 2019 meeting of Toronto City Council, I moved a motion with Councillor Mike Colle requesting Metrolinx to provide crossing assistance personnel at Yonge and Eglinton for the duration of the Crosstown construction to improve pedestrian safety.
 
Traffic and pedestrian safety remain some of my top priorities as your City Councillor. I look forward to our continued work together to improve road safety across Don Valley West.

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TTC Capital Investment Plan (CIP)

With over 104 cranes in the sky, Toronto is now the fastest growing city in North America. Our population is projected to rise from 2.93 million in 2017 to 3.91 million in 2041, an increase of 33.5 percent. As the third largest transit system in North America, one of the most significant challenges for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is maintaining and improving our network to meet future demand.
 
This winter, the TTC published the 15-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP), 2019-2033. The CIP is the first-ever comprehensive report on the various initiatives required to maintain and improve our existing transit network.
 
The numbers are staggering. Over the next 15 years, the TTC will require $33.5 billion in capital investment to improve capacity and keep the system in a state of good repair. Of the investment required, $23.7 billion is currently unfunded. As the new TTC Chair, I've directed TTC staff to continue to provide honest assessments of our capital needs and financial challenges going forward.  
 
The TTC's major capital challenges were exacerbated by the Province's sudden cancellation of planned capital funding over the next ten years earlier this spring. Under the previous government, the Provincial Gas Tax contribution to Toronto was set to increase on a yearly basis. Despite a campaign promise to the contrary, the Province suddenly cancelled the planned increase last month. As a result, the TTC will lose $1.1 billion over the next ten years.  
 
At the April meeting of City Council, I moved a motion asking the Province to restore this critical funding. The TTC had already budgeted $585 million for major capital projects including the Line 2 subway car fleet overhaul, bus improvements, and track upgrades.
 
The TTC needs a plan for transit expansion, but more importantly, we need a plan to maintain and improve our existing network to serve Torontonians for decades to come.

Opposing Bill 108

On May 2, 2019, the Province tabled Bill 108: More Homes, More Choice Act in the legislature. Bill 108 includes major amendments to the planning processes used to review development applications in the City of Toronto. These changes are incredibly discouraging and, if passed, will have a significant impact on the future of our neighbourhoods.
 
After years of hard work fighting to protect our neighbourhoods and improve the accountability of the planning process for local residents, the proposed changes are extremely disheartening.
 
Over the past eight years, I've moved countless motions to improve the local planning process for residents. As you know, I've been a vocal opponent of the OMB, a quasi-judicial Provincial body that makes the final decision on development applications appealed in Toronto. From the townhouses on Bayview to the high-rises along Eglinton, most of the development applications in Ward 15 have been appealed to and approved by this unelected, unaccountable body.
 
In spring 2017, after significant advocacy from residents across Toronto – including many groups in Ward 15 – the province announced sweeping changes to the development appeal process through Bill 139. This legislation replaced the OMB with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), a true appeal body with limited power to overrule municipal decisions, and enacted new policies to give communities a stronger voice in the planning process.

If passed, the new provincial legislation, Bill 108, will walk back many of the neighbourhood-planning based reforms we fought for as a community. Significantly, this includes a return to the former OMB rules and procedures. Instead of reviewing appeals based on the existing, rigorously researched municipal and provincial planning policies, the revised LPAT would be able to issue a decision on a development independent of the municipalities and neighbourhoods affected.

Bill 108 proposes to reinstitute “de novo” hearings, or hearings started anew without reference to the City’s decision on an application. This change will limit the City’s ability to deny development applications and instead will expand the authority of the province to make decisions that impact our local neighbourhoods, without any consultation. The proposed legislation is essentially a reversion to the format of the former OMB hearings under the new LPAT name.
 
Bill 108 also proposes a major reduction in planning decision timelines. The proposed legislation would reduce timelines for consideration of Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) applications from 150 to 90 days and Official Plan Amendment (OPA) applications from 210 to 120 days. Reducing the time planners have to review applications and report to City Council will ultimately allow applicants the ability to appeal to the more developer-friendly LPAT system much earlier in the process, thereby circumventing the City’s rigorous development review process.
 
Additionally, Bill 108 proposes significant changes to the development charge process. Currently, under Sections 37 and 42 of the Planning Act, developers are required to contribute to neighbourhoods being affected by new development through financial provisions for community benefits such as parks, streetscape improvements, and neighbourhood services. Bill 108 proposes a provincially-determined cap on all parkland and community-related development charges.
 
At the May meeting of City Council, I introduced a series of successful motions:

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While the Province closed the official comment period on June 1, allowing less than a month for the public to respond to Bill 108, the City has requested the Province to provide more time for feedback. The City has also released a comprehensive report detailing the implications of Bill 108. You can access the full report here. In response to my Council motion, an online website and public guide is now available here.
 
I would encourage you to continue to share your thoughts on this concerning legislation with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing at minister.mah@ontario.ca.

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Along with my colleagues on City Council, I hosted a Planning Town Hall to discuss the impacts that Bill 108 will have on the City's development review process.  There was a fantastic turn-out at the meeting and Chief Planner Gregg Lintern kicked off the evening with a presentation on how the proposed legislation will affect Toronto's neighbourhoods.

Along with my colleagues on City Council, I hosted a Planning Town Hall to discuss the impacts that Bill 108 will have on the City's development review process.

There was a fantastic turn-out at the meeting and Chief Planner Gregg Lintern kicked off the evening with a presentation on how the proposed legislation will affect Toronto's neighbourhoods.

Update on the Province's Bill 108: More Homes, More Choices Act

After years of hard work and advocacy fighting to protect our local neighbourhoods and abolish the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), I'm extremely disheartened to be writing with an update on the Province's Bill 108: More Homes, More Choice Act, tabled in the legislature late yesterday afternoon.
 
Bill 108 includes major amendments to the planning processes used to review development applications in the City of Toronto. These changes are incredibly discouraging and, if passed, will have a significant impact on the future of our neighbourhoods.
 
Over the past eight years, I've moved countless motions to make our local planning processes more accessible and transparent for residents. As you know, I've been a vocal opponent of the OMB, a quasi-judicial Provincial body that makes the final decision on development applications appealed in Toronto. From the townhouses on Bayview to the towers at Yonge and Eglinton, most of the development applications in Ward 15 have been appealed to and approved by this unelected, unaccountable body.
 
In spring 2017, after significant advocacy from residents across Toronto – including many groups in Ward 15 – the Province announced sweeping changes to the development appeal process through Bill 139. This legislation replaced the OMB with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), a true appeal body with limited power to overrule municipal decisions, and enacted new policies to give communities a stronger voice in the planning process.
 
If passed, the new provincial legislation, Bill 108, will walk back many of the reforms we fought for as a community, including:
 
A return to the former OMB rules and procedures. While the LPAT would continue to function as the provincial development appeal body, the Province is proposing changes in line with the former OMB structure. This legislation would reinstitute "de novo" hearings, or hearings started anew without reference to the City's decision on an application. The Bill would also allow parties to introduce new evidence and to call and examine witnesses. The LPAT will issue a decision independent of the municipalities and neighbourhoods affected instead of reviewing appeals in the context of existing municipal plans and provincial planning policies. 
 
This change would reduce the weight of planning decisions made by City Council and expand the authority of provincial LPAT appointees to make decisions that impact our local neighbourhoods, without any consultation. The proposed changes are essentially a reversion back to the format of the former OMB hearings under the new LPAT name.
 
Changes to development charges. Under the current structure, Section 37 of the Planning Act, known as Community Benefits, requires developers to contribute to the neighbourhoods affected by new developments through provisions for community benefits such as park and streetscape improvements.
 
This system has been used to fund community projects and services across Toronto. Bill 108 proposes to make the costs more predictable for developers at the outset of the process by instituting a new authority that would combine and cap all community-related development charges. Parkland Dedication requirements, known as Section 42 funds, and funds to enhance local infrastructure would also be included in the total capped amount. This change would severely limit the City's ability to negotiate community benefits before approving an application.
 
Streamlining development approvals. The proposed planning decision timelines would reduce consideration of Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA) applications from 150 to 90 days, and Official Plan Amendment (OPA) applications from 210 to 120 days.
 
Reducing the time Planners have to review applications and report to City Council will ultimately allow applicants the ability to appeal to the more developer-friendly LPAT system much earlier in the process, thereby circumventing the City's rigorous development review process.
 
Over the coming weeks, I will be working closely with senior staff as we develop the City's formal response to the Province's proposed legislation.
 
If you are interested, I would encourage you to review Bill 108 and the associated Action Plan and share any concerns with your Member of Provincial Parliament.
 
You can submit your comments on Bill 108 through the Environmental Registry of Ontario, here. I've been advised that the Province will only be accepting comments until June 1, 2019, so we must act quickly.
 
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Tribute to Nick Sion

This past March we lost a great Ward 15 resident, Nicholas Sion.

Among his many contributions to the community, Nick was a passionate advocate for tenants’ rights and the Yonge-Eglinton Neighbourhood. Nick served as the President of the Upper Canada Tenant Association for many years.

Nick was a mechanical engineer and a research physicist. He had a proud history of working with aerospace avionics, radioisotopes, radiation monitoring instrumentation and reactor controls.

Hard working and multi-talented, Nick reveled in his life achievement of contributing to NASA’s inSight Mission. Nick will be greatly missed.

Local Business Feature: Ardith One

Ardith One has been drawing people to the Yonge & Lawrence area for hand-crafted pottery since the early 1970s, when owners Bev and Bill Don opened a store dedicated to quality, hand-made Canadian crafts.

Bev has also been an integral part of the local business community since 1978, and has chaired the Yonge-Lawrence Village BIA for 18 years.

After almost 50 years in business, Ardith One will be closing its doors in June. The June 8 Yonge-Lawrence Village Day will be the store’s final sidewalk sale.

Congratulations, Bev and Bill! Ward 15 wishes you the best.

Transit Expansion in Toronto

In March, the City Manager released a comprehensive update on transit expansion planning in Toronto. This report makes it clear that the TTC and City have made significant progress on our planned transit expansion projects to-date.

I’ve been pushing to prioritize and accelerate the construction of the Relief Line for the past eight years both as the Councillor for Don Valley West and the new TTC Chair. The Yonge Line is one of the busiest transit lines in North America, with an average of 730,000 riders every weekday. The report confirms that the Relief Line remains our top transit priority and includes a recommendation allocating federal funding available through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund to the project.

Without any significant changes, shovels could be in the ground to construct the Relief Line as early as next year. In February, I was joined by the Mayor to announce a new plan to fast-track construction by 2-3 years. TTC staff are making significant progress on the detailed design and will be prepared to proceed with procurement shortly.

The transit report identifies three other major projects ready to move to procurement and construction within the next year: the SmartTrack Stations Program, Exhibition Loop Streetcar Connection and Line 2 East Extension. The expansion of Bloor-Yonge Station will also be accelerated to accommodate growing ridership on Line 1.

On April 10, the Province announced an ambitious transit network plan building on the priority projects identified by the City. While we welcome the additional funding committed to Toronto’s subway system, we still have many questions about the costs, plans, and timelines for the proposed projects. City staff are beginning to assess the changes and will be reporting back to City Council with their findings.

The Province’s LPASC is Closing

Last spring, the Province’s Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC) was introduced to provide expert advice and legal assistance to residents participating in the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) development appeal process. The LPASC was an integral part of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) reform passed by the Provincial Legislature in 2017.

In February, the Province suddenly announced that they would be permanently closing the LPASC. Effective immediately, the Centre will no longer be accepting new requests from the public.

Like many of you, I was shocked and disappointed by the Province’s decision. At the February meeting of City Council, I supported a motion strongly opposing the closure of the LPASC. In my remarks, I spoke at length about the lack of accessibility and transparency for residents participating in complex and expensive proceedings at the LPAT, formerly known as the OMB.

The appeal process is difficult to navigate and often leaves engaged neighbours feeling like they are in a David and Goliath battle against powerful, well-funded developers. While professional developers can assemble large teams of qualified experts, the costs of participating in LPAT mediation or hearings are often prohibitive for concerned neighbours and associations. I would encourage you to reach out to the Premier and Minister of Municipal Affairs to share your concerns about this decision.

Neighbourhood Policing Program

Toronto Police Services (TPS) is modernizing. As our city continues to grow and change – with no sign of slowing down – so, too, must our Policing strategies. Recognizing this, TPS and its Transformational Task Force have assessed the needs of our dynamic communities and created the Neighbourhood Policing Program (NPP).

The NPP is a modernized program that is neighbourhood-centric and aims to reduce crime by assigning specialized officers to individual neighbourhoods. This approach will “humanize the badge” and allow officers to familiarize themselves with the unique needs of each of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods. In October, TPS announced plans to expand the NPP from a 96-officer pilot to a force-wide, transformational strategy.

While Toronto has been ranked the safest city in North America, I know crime and safety remains a top concern for the residents of Don Valley West. In the 2019 budget, City Council approved funding to hire more than 300 new officers to join the TPS ranks. This comes in addition to the 200 new officers we approved funding for in 2018 – meaning that there will be more than 500 new pairs of boots on the ground to ensure our communities remain safe.

Road Safety

Last term, I spearheaded Toronto’s first-ever comprehensive Road Safety Plan as former Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. The plan takes a data-based, strategic approach and includes more than 50 countermeasures across multiple emphasis areas – pedestrians, school safety zones, senior safety zones, cyclists, aggressive driving and distraction.

Some of our top priorities are school children and school neighbourhoods, and I’ve been working to accelerate the roll-out of School Safety Zones across the ward. School Safety Zones feature lower speed limits, improved street lighting, leading pedestrian intervals, mid-block crossings, increased enforcement, improved pavement makings, flashing signage, and “Watch Your Speed” driver feedback signs.

This school year, the City is transitioning responsibility for the school crossing guard program from Toronto Police Services (TPS) to the Transportation Services division. Unfortunately, some of our school communities went without regular crossing guard coverage this year due to the number of newly warranted crosswalks and the unexpected volume of guards that retired. With the support of Ward 15 school parents, I moved a motion at City Council requesting that the General Manager, Transportation Services address the issue immediately. My motion resulted in the City hiring two additional contractors to backfill unstaffed crossing guard locations for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year.

As part of Vision Zero, Ward 15 now has access to 8 of its very own mobile Watch Your Speed driver feedback signs. These signs contain a radar device with an LED display that shows the operating speeds of passing motorists, reminding them to obey the posted speed limit. These signs are installed on a temporary basis at the request of local residents, and have been shown to reduce driver speeds by up to 34%. To request a Watch Your Speed Sign on your street, please call or email my office.

An Update on Metrolinx’s Eglinton Crosstown Project

As you may know, Metrolinx is an agency of the Government of Ontario currently overseeing construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Crosslinx is an amalgamated group of the various contractors and subcontractors actually delivering the construction work.

Bayview

After numerous meetings with Metrolinx, Crosslinx, and the Provincial government about the traffic and safety impacts of the Bayview and Eglinton intersection closure, I am pleased to advise that this intersection will re-open later this spring.

Mount Pleasant

Crosslinx is currently in the process of installing tent structures to cover their shallow excavation at the future Mount Pleasant Station. Three tents will be used to cover the work area for a period of 4 months. The entire structure will fit within the limits of their current construction site and I’ve been assured that there will be no impacts to motorists or pedestrians.

Leslie

Last month, Metrolinx held a public meeting to present their traffic plan for Leslie and Eglinton that will require implementing northbound turn restrictions from Eglinton to Leslie for eight weeks beginning in July.

As the Crosstown project continues, I will continue to ensure that concerns I hear from residents are communicated directly to senior staff at Metrolinx.

If you are interested, you can register to receive updates from Metrolinx directly here: http://www.thecrosstown.ca/newsmedia/whats-new/construction-updates. You can also call the East Crosstown Community Office at 416-482-7411 or visit 660 Eglinton Avenue East. I would also encourage you to contact your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) with any questions or concerns.

Local Business Feature: The Flaky Tart

The Flaky Tart, located at 711 Mount Pleasant Road, is an independent bakery on the Western border of our Ward that has been open for almost ten years. George Brown College educated baker Lisa Biemans has honed her skills at other bakeries, but for the last three years she has owned and operated the Flaky Tart. Chef Lisa works diligently to supply the neighbourhood with delicious desserts.
 
The desserts the Flaky Tart craft have an amazing homemade feel because everything is made from scratch in-house. Lisa and her team find innovative solutions to ensure that everything they bake is not only delicious, but also nut-free.
 
In addition to the bakery, Flaky Tart products are available at McEwan grocery stores. The shopfront also sells custom cakes and desserts for birthdays, weddings, or any other special event needing a tasty treat.
 
Whether you're strolling through the Mount Pleasant Village, or planning your next event that calls for a knock out sweet treat, be sure to visit Chef Lisa at the Flaky Tart and have a taste of what's good.
 
You can call the Flaky Tart at 416-484-8278 or email flakytart@gmail.com.

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