Tips

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.

G. Ross Lord Dam Emergency Preparedness Plan

Located along the West Don River, the G. Ross Lord Dam has been an important mechanism for flood control and water flow management since the 1970's. In February, I spoke at an open house organized by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to discuss safeguarding against flood risks and to update the Hoggs Hollow neighborhood on the emergency procedures in place. In cooperation with the City of Toronto Office of Emergency Management, the TRCA has updated their Emergency Preparedness Plan with enhanced emergency protocols, mapping and public notification procedures relating to flooding in the area. This plan incorporates best practices that are in line with the Canadian Dam Association.
 
For more information on the G. Ross Lord Dam, visit the TRCA here.

 It was great to speak to Hoggs Hollow residents at the TRCA's G. Ross Lord Dam Emergency Preparedness Open House.

It was great to speak to Hoggs Hollow residents at the TRCA's G. Ross Lord Dam Emergency Preparedness Open House.

Ward 25 Crime and Safety Meeting

Over the past few months, I've been contacted by several neighbours concerned about crime and safety in Ward 25. Toronto is currently ranked the safest city in North America, but I want to ensure that residents continue to feel safe and secure in our neighbourhoods. For this reason, I organized a forum to address local incidents and learn more about the long-term action plan for the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
 
More than 300 residents gathered at the Lawrence Park Community Church in February to voice their concerns to the TPS officials in attendance, including Chief Mark Saunders, Superintendent Rob Johnson, of the 32 and 33 Division, and senior officials from the 53 Division.  
 
Chief Saunders highlighted the new strategy to modernize policing in the City of Toronto. For example, TPS division boundaries are currently being reconfigured to align with neighbourhoods and streamline resources. In Ward 25, the divisions bordering Bayview Avenue will be consolidated to better serve our community.
 
The overarching concern expressed by the neighbours during the concluding question period was the high number of break-and-enters in Ward 25. In response, TPS officials suggested several preventative tips and strategies, including:

  • Make your home look "lived in" while you are away for an extended period of time by:
    • arranging for a neighbour to park in your empty driveway;
    • using timers to maintain normal lighting patterns;
    • temporarily halting mail delivery; 
    • asking a neighbour to put a garbage bin in front of your house on collection day. 
  • Contact your respective divisional Crime Prevention Officers for assistance in developing a customized home security strategy. You can find your local police division contact, here.

Above all, the TPS representatives emphasized the importance of community cooperation and reiterated their commitment to proactive policing in our neighbourhoods. I would encourage you to report any suspicious activity you observe, as the police use reporting data to direct resources.
 
All non-emergency situations and suspicious activity can be reported to 416-808-2222, or online

 I was pleased to host a community safety meeting with Toronto Police officials, including Chief Saunders, to discuss local policing initiatives with Ward 25 residents. 

I was pleased to host a community safety meeting with Toronto Police officials, including Chief Saunders, to discuss local policing initiatives with Ward 25 residents. 

Picking Up After Your Pet

A number of residents have recently reached out to my office to share their concerns about improper disposal of dog waste in Ward 25. In response, I've included a brief review of Solid Waste Management's recommendations for disposing of dog waste properly.

  • DO: Take a baggie with you to pick up dog waste.
  • DO NOT: Throw dog waste baggies into bushes or trees, as plastic bags containing dog waste do not break down.
  • DO: Dispose of dog waste in your personal green bins.
  • DO NOT: Leave dog waste on your neighbour's property or in your neighbour's garbage bins/yard waste bags.

Help keep the neighbourhoods of Ward 25 clean and safe for all to enjoy!

Protect your Pipes!

Be prepared!

Protect your pipes from freezing.

 

Frozen pipes can leave you without water or cause your pipes to burst, leading to expensive property damage. If your pipes are prone to freezing, you may wish to contact a plumber for advice. Here are some tips to help protect your home:

  • Know where to find your main water shut-off valve (in case your pipes burst).

  • Insulate pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, the attic and garage.

  • Seal air leaks in areas where pipes are located. Check around windows and doors, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.

  • Drain and shut the outdoor water supply as outdoor faucets are the first to freeze.

  • Keep areas that contain indoor pipes above 8°C, especially near the water meter.

  • In extreme cold weather, you can choose to run a pencil thin stream of water to keep water moving. However, you will be charged for the water used if you choose this step.

For more information, visit toronto.ca/frozenpipes.