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.

2908 Yonge Street – Update

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

I'm pleased to report that the development application for 2908 Yonge Street was refused at North York Community Council this morning.

City Planning brought forward a strongly-worded report recommending refusal of the applicant's proposal to construct a 13-storey mixed-use building at the corner of Yonge Street and Chatsworth Drive (currently the site of a gas station).

You can read staff's full report online, here.

I spoke in opposition to the proposed development and am happy to let you know that North York Community Council unanimously voted to adopt staff's recommendations.  

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to all of the neighbours who attended the Community Consultation meeting in February and took the time to write to City Planning.

Thank you for your ongoing engagement and support.

Warm regards,

Jaye

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.

Preparing for a Driverless Future

Partially-automated Vehicles are already driving through the streets of Toronto. Automated features, such as lane assist, cruise control, and automated braking, are offered by most major auto manufacturers. Policy-makers now need to turn their attention to fully-automated vehicles, which have the potential to completely transform our existing transportation system and reshape the way Torontonians live and work.
 
As Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC), I was proud to see the first-ever report on Automated Vehicles (AVs) presented to Committee, as a result of a motion I moved in 2016. I have been pushing for this report for a long time. Whether we like it or not, mobility digitization is advancing rapidly, and it is our job as policy-makers to establish a regulatory framework to govern new technologies.  
 
After hearing presentations from several researchers, I directed Transportation staff to work with other municipal and academic leaders specializing in vehicle automation. In particular, I have been a strong supporter of the burgeoning partnership between the City of Toronto and the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI). The UTTRI functions as an intermediary between government, corporate, and academic stakeholders—connections we must foster to craft balanced and sustainable policies in the future. We need to understand how automated technology will impact road safety, traffic congestion, mobility equity, and the environment. In order to do so, City Hall must leverage the fantastic work underway at the universities and research institutes across Toronto.
 
As a City, we are creating models and establishing best practices that can be shared around the world. Our Interdivisional Working Group on AVs is one of the first of its kind, and we were also the first city in North America to create a full-time position devoted exclusively to AVs. At the January meeting, I urged the members of PWIC to embrace our position at the forefront of AV preparation, and stressed the futility of fighting against inevitable technological advancement. To be proactive on this issue, policy-makers will need to look beyond the myopia of the present day to visualize the future of our City in the long-term.
 
City Hall was slow to act on the first wave of mobility digitization: vehicle-for-hire services such as Uber. To avoid repeating past mistakes, I moved a motion requesting Transportation staff to report back to PWIC in the first quarter of 2019 with a comprehensive tactical plan including specific interdivisional recommendations for AV preparation and policy. This crucial work brings us one step closer to preparing for a potentially driverless future in the City of Toronto.
 
For more information on AVs, please see the full Transportation Services Report, dated January 5, 2018. A copy of my motions can be found here.

 As the Chair of Transportation, I was pleased to see one of the City's most important research partners, UTTRI, at City Hall to speak about the first-ever report on Toronto's preparation for AVs.

As the Chair of Transportation, I was pleased to see one of the City's most important research partners, UTTRI, at City Hall to speak about the first-ever report on Toronto's preparation for AVs.

My Environment Day on May 5th - Save the Date!

My Environment Day will be held on Saturday, May 5 at York Mills Collegiate and is a great opportunity to clear out items found during your spring cleaning, such as used electronics and household hazardous waste.
 
You can bring everything from old computer equipment to compact and fluorescent light bulbs for disposal and recycling. You can also bring items for donation such as sporting goods, books and gently-used dishes. 
 
We will also be giving out one cubic meter of compost per household - for free! (Limited quantity available) 

Several groups are collaborating with the City on this program, including:

  • Toronto Water
  • Solid Waste Management Services
  • Live Green Toronto
  • 311 Toronto
  • Toronto Hydro
  • The Salvation Army
  • Artsjunktion

Slow Down Signs Available


"Slow Down" signs are an effective way to remind drivers to respect the speed limit - especially on local and residential streets. If you're interested in getting a sign for your lawn, you can pick one up at my Environment Day on Saturday, May 5th at York Mills Collegiate!

Quantity is limited - one sign per household will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. 

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Have Your Say: TLAB Public Consultation

I am pleased to advise that after almost a year in operation the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) will be hosting a public consultation meeting on Wednesday, April 18 for members of the public to review the TLAB Rules of Practice and Procedures.
 
During my time in office, I have worked with the residents of Ward 25 toward local planning reform. As many of you know, contested Committee of Adjustment (CoA) appeals to the OMB have resulted in too many disappointing outcomes for the neighbourhoods of Ward 25.
 
In 2014, I successfully moved motions recommending concrete improvements to the CoA. These motions initiated a wide range of advancements to the City’s planning processes, from increased transparency through the introduction of audio-visual recordings, to the establishment of Toronto's very own Local Appeal Body, created to replace the OMB as an arbiter of CoA appeals. While the TLAB is far from perfect, the introduction of this body was a step towards a fairer community-based planning review process.
 
This meeting is an important opportunity to voice your concerns and share your experiences with TLAB representatives. Your commentary will contribute to an ongoing procedural review that will culminate in a recommendations report submitted to TLAB officials by the end of 2018. Be sure to visit the TLAB website for further details on how to participate in this important public consultation event.

Transitioning to Post-OMB Planning in Ward 25

A new release from the Provincial government indicates that the oppressive reign of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) over development in the City of Toronto is finally drawing to a close. At the end of February, the Province announced that Bill 139, the planning reform passed by the Legislature in December, will come into effect on April 3, 2018.
 
As many of you are aware, I have been a vocal opponent of the OMB throughout my tenure as a City Councillor. From the townhouses on Bayview to the towers at Yonge and Eglinton, most of the development applications in Ward 25 have been appealed to and approved by this unelected, unaccountable body. On that note, I am pleased to report that any application received by the City after December 12, 2017 will be considered by the new Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT), a true appeal body with limited power to overrule municipal decisions. Development applications received before December 12 must be appealed by the April 3 proclamation date to be heard by the OMB in its current form.

Unfortunately, the Province's transition plan also includes a provision stating that all decisions appealed before December 12, 2017 will continue to be heard by the existing OMB. As of December 2017, approximately 140 applications had already been appealed to the OMB since the reforms were first announced in the Spring, while only 50 applications were appealed in the same period in 2016. This exponentially increasing volume of appeals has created a significant backlog in the current OMB system that may take years to work through. While we have made significant progress, Toronto is not yet free from the OMB's oppressive presence in our planning processes. The proclamation of Bill 139 is unfortunately too little, too late for many Ward 25 neighbourhoods.    
 
That being said, Bill 139--the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act--will amend the Planning Act and enact new legislation aimed at giving communities a stronger voice in the planning process. The new LPAT will only hear appeals of municipal decisions that do not follow provincial policies or Toronto's Official Plan. "De novo" hearings, or hearings started anew without reference to earlier decisions, will be virtually eliminated. Bill 139 will also prevent amendments to new Secondary Plans for two years, unless supported by City Council. These policies will allow planners to develop long-term and sustainable plans for the City without the looming threat of OMB appeal.
 
Under the new system, the timeline for City Council to make a decision on Official Plan amendments will be extended from 180 to 210 days after submission. Zoning by-law amendments will be similarly extended from 120 to 150 days, unless accompanied by an Official Plan amendment, in which case they will also be subject to the 210-day limit. This means that Planners will have more time to review applications and report to City Council, which will prevent developers from circumventing the planning process and appealing to the OMB before Council has an opportunity to make a decision.  
 
Bill 139 also includes an act to establish Local Planning Appeal Support Centres, which will provide legal and planning assistance to residents in order to level the playing field for all participants in the appeal process. The new legislation will also support clear and efficient decision-making by requiring case management conferences and encouraging mediation.
 
There is still a lot of uncertainty, but I am cautiously optimistic that this legislation will give residents and municipalities more power to protect the beautiful neighbourhoods of Ward 25 in the years to come. If you have any further questions or concerns about the transition from the OMB to the LPAT, you can contact the Provincial Policy Planning Branch directly atOMBReview@ontario.ca.

 I have fought against the OMB for many years and am pleased to see the Province finally moving forward on this much-needed planning reform. 

I have fought against the OMB for many years and am pleased to see the Province finally moving forward on this much-needed planning reform. 

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!