Provincial OMB Reform - Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC)

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: www.lpasc.ca
 
If you are interested, you can read more about improvements to the land use planning and appeals system, here.

Crossing Guards

In recent months, I have been contacted by Don Valley West parents regarding the unacceptable gaps in crossing guard coverage in some of our school communities.
 
The City of Toronto is in the process of transitioning responsibility for the school crossing guard program from Toronto Police Services (TPS) to its Transportation Services division. While TPS is responsible for the provision of crossing guards for the 2018-2019 school year, the City has worked with them to contract an independent security service provider for relief coverage when a regular crossing guard is absent from work.

This school year, a number of crosswalks in our neighbourhoods have been without regular guard coverage due to the unexpected number of guards that retired and surplus of newly warranted locations.
 
As a result of this, I moved a motion at the December 2018 meeting of City Council requesting that the General Manager, Transportation Services make recommendations to improve and enhance the school crossing guard program. I have since followed up with two personal letters to the General Manager requesting her immediate attention to the matter and urging staff to use all tools at their disposal to ensure that the City is providing reliable crossing guard coverage.
 
The importance of school crossing safety cannot be overstated and I will continue to advocate for students and parents across the ward until this issue is resolved. If you notice a vacant crossing guard post, please report it to the City's school crossing guard program by emailing SchoolCrossingGuard@toronto.ca, or call 311.

A New Plan to Regulate Construction Dust

Dust from residential construction is not only a major source of disruption, it can also have significant environmental and health impacts on our communities. With input from residents across Don Valley West, I moved a motion in May 2014 directing Toronto Building staff to develop a comprehensive strategy and enforcement plan to regulate the production of construction-related dust.
 
As a result of these efforts, I'm pleased to report that the City's first Dust By-law came into effect on September 4, 2018. Previously, construction dust was completely unregulated in the City of Toronto. Residents who contacted their political representatives were bounced between municipal and provincial offices with no tangible results or enforcement.
 
The new bylaw requires builders to take specific, preventative measures to minimize the generation and distribution of construction dust, including:

  • Wetting the construction material;

  • Using a wet saw or dustless saw technology;

  • Tarping or otherwise containing the source of dust;

  • Installing wind fencing or a fence filter; or

  • Using a vacuum attachment when cutting.

Failure to comply can lead to fines up to $100,000, with special fines where it is determined that the conduct could have resulted in economic advantage for the offender, to the detriment of the surrounding neighbourhood.
 
At the July meeting of City Council, I moved a series of motions to build on and strengthen the newly-established by-law. I directed Toronto Building to unite this strategy with the new residential infill construction strategy, and ensure that notice of the new bylaw is communicated to residents through on-site signage. As you may know, residential construction is regulated and enforced by Toronto Building inspectors. Dust suppression, however, will be enforced by Municipal Licensing & Standards by-law officers. My motion is intended to link the two departments to prevent overlap and encourage efficiency.
 
I also directed City staff to expand the scope of the City's dust regulation efforts by creating a strategy to regulate dust from large-scale construction projects including multi-residential buildings, subdivisions, and mixed-use developments. Finally, I requested a report back on the implementation and enforcement of the new bylaw. I'm expecting a staff report to be presented for consideration at City Council later this year. 

Leaside Rotary for The Toronto Commandery Hospice

Contribution by: Phil Russel, Ward 15 – Don Valley West resident

Toronto needs more hospice care, and The Rotary Club of Leaside wants everyone to know about it.  The Toronto Commandery Hospice, to be located close to West Park Health Centre, is being developed to serve the whole of north Toronto, and they need our help.

The focus of Hospice care is comfort rather than cure. The Hospice is where we find support, comfort, pain management and dignity for each individual.  This new hospice will be a centre of excellence that will include:

  • 10 residential hospice beds to offer a quiet, home-like environment that will serve as a comfort for the whole family.

  • Day Hospice Program

  • In-Home respite Volunteer Visiting Program

  • Bereavement support for both adults and children

  • Community Outreach Team

  • Integration with community partners

  • Psychosocial and spiritual support for clients, caregivers and family members

  • Education for medical professionals on hospice palliative care

  • Inter-professional education opportuni­ties (Nursing, Support Workers, MD’s, Volunteers)

  • Consultative support for long term care homes and the community

The Hospice, a registered charity, has recently started a Capital Campaign, and Leaside Rotary is both promoting awareness and encouraging you to help.

Contact us at https://www.torontoleasiderotary.com for more information about the hospice and how you can be part of building a better Community.

Thank you to Ward 15ers, Phil and Martha Russel, who are championing the Hospice project!

Thank you to Ward 15ers, Phil and Martha Russel, who are championing the Hospice project!

Community Policing

In recent months, I have heard from a number of concerned residents about how the City can best address crime in our neighbourhoods. More than ever before, the City needs to examine how we organize and deliver policing services in Toronto so that members are able to effectively and sustainably meet the complex needs of our City.
 
Community policing is an important aspect of the City's efforts to keep residents safe. As a City Council, we are committed to continuing to make investments in neighbourhood-based policing initiatives. Between last year's committment and this year's budget proposal, the City will have hired an additional 500 uniformed police officers.
 
As the budget process unfolds, I will join my colleagues in calling for continued and additional funding to community policing initiatives.

Housing: News from City Council

As most Torontonians will tell you, Toronto is a world class city and a great place to live. As our city continues to grow and attract new residents based on this reputation, it is important that we also take a close look at our housing needs.

At City Council last week, City Staff presented on the Housing Now initiative – a plan to address issues around affordable housing. As we know, Toronto's continued growth will place an increasing pressure on existing affordable housing. This plan, with the support of council, will unlock 11 City-owned properties to create 3,700 new affordable housing units by 2024. City Council approval is the first of many steps in this process, and residents will be consulted as planning on this project continues.

A New Playground for Leaside – Turning Grey to Green

Green space contributes to the vibrancy and livability of our neighbourhoods. A new, greener playground at St. Anselm Public School will benefit students attending the school and families living in the area.
 
In January, I had a productive discussion with Don Valley West's TCDSB Trustee, Angela Kennedy, about strategies to secure funding for the St. Anselm School Playground Revitalization project. Thanks to the community's collective efforts, I'm happy to report that the TCDSB has officially committed to funding the required paving and sub-surface work.  
 
If you would like to learn more about the project, please visit:https://ca.gofundme.com/Stanselm. The fantastic parent community has fundraised almost $200,000 of their $250,000 goal. On behalf of the neighbourhood, thank you to Nicole Watts, Christopher Burkett, and the rest of the Revitalization Committee for their hard work.

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Working with our Don Valley West School Boards

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) plays a vital role in the communities of Ward 15 – Don Valley West. In my first few weeks as City Councillor, I met with the newly-elected Ward 11 – Don Valley West TDSB Trustee, Rachel Chernos-Lin and Trustee Shelly Laskin, who formerly represented Davisville Village.
 
As I hear from residents across the ward, school capacity is a critical issue for the families of Don Valley West, particularly in neighbourhoods experiencing aggressive development. For the past eight years, I've been fighting to establish a moratorium on development in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood until we have adequate school capacity infrastructure to support additional density.
 
I'm pleased to report that the strong community opposition to the proposed development at John Fisher Public School inspired a new TDSB policy on development. The TDSB will now officially oppose development proposals if existing school capacity cannot accommodate new students in the area. I have raised the issue of limited school capacity during the development review process on several occasions, but without direct involvement from the TDSB. Going forward, I'm optimistic that the TDSB's support will help us to secure better outcomes for our communities.
 
This term, I will continue to advocate for the Ontario Government to amend the Education Act to permit the TDSB to collect educational development charges, without burdensome restrictions. The current regulations prevent school boards with excess capacity in any area from accessing the money that developers pay to the schools system when they build new sites. Due to declining enrollment in certain parts of Toronto, the TDSB will never meet this essential requirement. This additional funding could be used to improve school capacity in high-growth areas and support urgent school infrastructure needs. I would encourage you to reach out to your local MPP and the Minister of Education to share your feedback on this issue.

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Downtown Relief Line

I use public transit every day to get to and from City Hall so I know first-hand the frustration caused by the significant capacity and reliability issues on Line 1. This is why I have been a strong advocate for fast-tracking the Downtown Relief Line. In Don Valley West, this project will deliver substantial improvements for residents who use one of the three transit stops in Ward 15 to get around our city.
 
Earlier this month, I was pleased to make an announcement about the status of this vital project. The TTC, supported by the City of Toronto, is taking decisive action to deliver the relief line 2-3 years earlier than initially planned. This means that the project will be finalized in 2028/2029, rather than the original completion date of 2031. I will continue to advocate for opportunities to reduce this timeline further if possible.
 
The plan to expedite this work includes:

  • Accelerating design work to ensure the project proceeds on pace;

  • Speeding up property acquisitions along the route;

  • Moving ahead with utility locates; and

  • Acquiring the technical equipment needed for construction.

These preparations will be completed in a parallel manner rather than in sequence. This plan, which has been allocated an additional $162 million in this year's TTC budget, will allow us to get shovels in the ground as soon as possible.

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Snow and Ice Removal

Last week's extreme cold and heavy snowfall made for a difficult week for residents of Ward 15. Staff in my office worked hard in the wake of heavy snowfall to respond to concerned residents, many of whom found themselves deeply inconvenienced and even trapped by the record-breaking snowfall. Even with the more temperate weather this past weekend, I was still hearing from concerned residents and directing city staff to plow the remaining issue areas.
 
While I'm thankful for our hard-working Road Operations staff, I share your disappointment with the City's lack of preparedness for January's snowfall. I will be meeting with the Mayor and the General Manager, Transportation Services to discuss how we can improve the City's response to future snow events.  Additionally, I will be following up on a motion I brought to council last April to ask staff to report on recommendations to improve the City's response to extreme weather events in Toronto.
 
You can find more information about snow and ice removal on the City's website, here. For live updates on the City's snow plow progress, please see PlowTO. If you are having difficulty clearing snow and ice or have concerns about a negligent property owner, please contact 311.
 
Please also be reminded that residents responsible for clearing their own properties are required to do so within 12 hours of a snowfall.

Get the new TOwaste App!

Find out what waste items go where, what waste to put out when and where to donate items or find City Drop-off Depots with the new TOwaste App.

Key features include:

The Waste Wizard search tool with information on how to properly dispose of over 2,000 items.

  • Collection schedules for daytime curbside customers.

  • The ability to set reminders for your collection day and opt-in for alerts about service changes.

  • Information about where to find donation locations or City Drop-off Depots.

The TOwaste App is free to download and available for iOS and Android devices. 

Download today!

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TABIA Supports Local Businesses

It was great to see TABIA's Director, John Kiru, and Vice President, Lionel Miskin, at July's Executive Committee meeting to highlight the increasing challenges that small businesses continue to face throughout the City of Toronto.

Vice President Miskin says "It's time to think outside the box" with tax assessments. Thank you to TABIA for your deputation and all the work that you do for Toronto's neighbourhoods and small business owners. 

#ShopLocal

Renewable Natural Gas Facility

To further our goal of becoming a city with a circular economy, the City of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services (SWMS) Division is teaming up with Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. to begin creating renewable gas from Green Bin waste.
 
As part of this initiative, new equipment will be installed at the Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility later this year that will allow raw biogas – produced from Toronto's Green Bin Organics – to be made into renewable natural gas (RNG). This process uses a "closed-loop" approach, since the RNG will ultimately be used to power 132, or 90%, of the City's heavy duty collection vehicles!
 
The state-of-the-art Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility is one of the only two locations in the City where organic material is broken down by using innovative pre-processing and anaerobic digestion technology. The biogas upgrading taking place at this facility is a cutting edge initiative that will play a major role in helping achieve the City's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint.
 
As Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, I have worked hard over the course of this term to create and implement strategies that reduce waste and benefit the environment. RNG is proven as a way to make the natural gas system even greener. Collaborating with SWMS and Enbridge on the RNP project is a big step forward for the City's Long Term Waste Management Strategy and for future renewable gas projects.

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A New Secondary Plan for the Yonge-Eglinton Neighbourhood - Great News!

I've been a vocal opponent of the out-of-control pace of development in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood at City Council for many years. The Yonge-Eglinton Urban Growth Centre (UGC) is the most densely populated UGC in the Greater Golden horseshoe and ranks among the densest communities in Canada. Over the past several years, I've repeatedly asked the Chief Planner for a moratorium on new development applications until the City's infrastructure is improved to accommodate the rapid influx of new residents.
 
In the absence of a comprehensive and up-to-date Secondary Plan, development in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood has gone unchecked by the Province for many years. The negative consequences of this rapid intensification include overcrowded transit, constant construction, traffic congestion, lack of sunlight, significant dust, and lack of green space. In 2015, I moved a motion directing City staff to expand their study of the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood to address infrastructure capacity issues in the area.
 
On June 7, 2018, City Planning staff's new Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan was presented to the Planning and Growth Management Committee. While the Secondary Plan included many beneficial policies, I was very concerned by the permitted building heights proposed for the north-east quadrant of Yonge and Eglinton. If City staff's plan was adopted, building heights on Broadway Avenue, Roehampton Avenue and Eglinton Avenue would range from 32 to 56 storeys. I introduced a motion calling for further community consultation to ensure that the new Secondary Plan accurately reflected our vision for the future of this neighbourhood.
 
I assembled a working group of neighbours to create a revised plan lowering the permitted building heights in the north-east quadrant of Yonge-Eglinton to between 15 and 20 storeys. After an overwhelming show of community support, the Planning and Growth Management (PGM) Committee voted unanimously in favour of my motion to adopt reduced building heights on July 5, 2018. While the PGM Committee's decision was an important step forward, the amended Secondary Plan still needed to be considered by Toronto City Council.
 
In the interim weeks, the City received hundreds of letters from residents of the north-east quadrant asking City Council to support PGM Committee's decision to adopt our Option #3. I spent countless hours discussing the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan with my colleagues on City Council. I'm very pleased to report that as a result of our collective efforts, City Council voted in favour of the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan – Option #3.
 

When I first moved a motion asking for further consultation, I could never have predicted the unprecedented outpouring of community support for Option #3. The adoption of the amended Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan was an outstanding accomplishment for an area experiencing rapid intensification. This long-term Secondary Plan will shape the future of our neighbourhood for years to come. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this process—I am so proud of what we have achieved in just a few short months.

The Impacts of Lane Occupancy on City Streets

Lane occupations, whether related to development activity, utility work or capital works projects contribute significantly to congestion throughout the city. When space on the roadway has been permitted for construction purposes, transportation patterns are impacted, creating traffic and safety issues.
 
This term, I moved a motion directing Engineering & Construction Services and Transportation Services to report on the use of traffic management plans and street occupancy approvals to address traffic disruptions from construction projects.
 
Upon receiving this report, I requested that staff provide additional options to shorten the duration of street occupations, including escalating fees and increasing fees at the time of renewal. I also requested that staff consider imposing fees for congestion-related economic impacts, such as the city's time and productivity losses associated with lane occupations.
 
As a result, instead of a citywide flat fee, permit fee rates were changed to be based on the market rate for space on public roadways as informed by on-street metered parking rates. Although this was a step forward, there is still more work to be done.

Construction staging areas that occupy the curb lane, as most on-road occupations do, constrain the movement of vehicles in pinch points that can result in acute traffic congestion, particularly if several streets in the same area have concurrent lane closures.

As well, in December 2017, at the joint Licensing and Standards and Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, I requested Municipal Licensing and Standards with Transportation Services to address construction trucks and other vehicles parking on pedestrian sidewalks during construction projects.

I will continue to advocate for increased fees and penalties and a reduction in the number and duration of lane restrictions throughout the City of Toronto. We must reduce congestion on our City's streets and ensure safe walking routes for pedestrians.

Toronto's Congestion Management Plan

Traffic congestion is a major issue in Ward 25 and across the City of Toronto. According to C.D. Howe, congestion and gridlock could be costing our City up to $11 billion a year in lost productivity. I've repeatedly pushed to advance the Congestion Management Plan (CMP) to better manage gridlock by reducing delays and improving safety through innovations in policy, operations, and technology.
 
Since adopting the CMP in 2013, the City has undertaken several new projects to manage unusual traffic flows due to events, construction, or weather-related road closures. In 2017, the City partnered with the University of Toronto to pilot drones used to monitor diverted traffic during major planned events and adapt traffic signal cycles accordingly. For Ward 25 residents commuting to downtown, City staff are now in the process of designing a comprehensive strategy to facilitate traffic on the Bayview Avenue Extension during closures of the Don Valley Parkway and potential Lower Don River flooding events. 
 
Transportation staff are working to improve traffic signal systems throughout the City. Last year alone, 46 CCTV traffic monitoring cameras were installed, with another 120 planned for 2019 and 2020. Our state-of-the-art Traffic Operations Centre uses these cameras to monitor traffic conditions in real-time and adjust signs and signals. Another 129 detection devices were installed to efficiently operate traffic control signals this year. The City is currently implementing a full Traffic Signal Coordination plan to improve traffic flow and reduce vehicle emissions.
 
The City has made significant strides forward in their collection of big data to inform traffic operations. The City's Big Data Innovation Team incorporates this data in their Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), which will be used to inform directional signs throughout the City. The Team is also currently working to develop Open Data Portal access to the City's real-time traffic signal control timings.
 
Though City staff are working to implement a number of new projects in addition to those listed above, traffic congestion remains a pressing issue in the City of Toronto. I've moved a number of motions at Community Council to improve traffic flow on our local streets and welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have.

Keeping our Communities Safe

As your City Councillor, my top priority is to protect our neighbourhoods. I regularly organize meetings between senior officials of the Toronto Police Service and members of the Don Valley West community to develop collaborative action plans to ensure that our communities remain safe. This term, I hosted and attended several town halls to address crime and safety in Don Valley West. As some of you may remember, there was standing room only at my Crime and Safety Town Hall meeting in February of this year with almost 500 neighbours in attendance.
  
My community crime and safety meetings provide an opportunity for residents from throughout Don Valley West to share their concerns directly with police officials from the 32, 33 and 53 divisions, Special Investigations Unit and even the Chief of Police himself. I would like to thank all of the residents who attended my community safety town halls over the past four years to share their concerns, gather precautionary tips and develop crime prevention strategies.  
  
As each neighbourhood is unique, I have been sure to meet with several groups of organizations and residents to address each community's specific concerns about crime and safety, even creating liaison working groups.  
  
At our last meeting, the Toronto Police emphasized the importance of community cooperation and reiterated their commitment to proactive policing in our neighbourhoods. As always, I encourage you to report any suspicious activity that you may observe to inform and direct resource allocation. 
  
All non-emergency situations and suspicious activity should be reported to 416-808-2222 or online here. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency, you should call 911. 
  
Let's continue to work together to keep Don Valley West safe! 

Toronto's Road Safety Plan

In 2015, as the Chair of Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, I introduced Toronto's Road Safety Plan – a comprehensive, city-wide strategy to develop and deliver international road safety programs.
 
The plan takes a data-based, strategic approach and includes more than 50 countermeasures across six emphasis areas – pedestrians, school children, older adults, cyclists, motorcyclists and aggressive driving and distraction.
 
Vision Zero was adopted unanimously by City Council in July 2016 as a five year plan, spanning from 2017-2021. Since its approval, I've been pushing to be as aggressive as possible in rolling out the targeted safety measures. We accelerated the program in 2016, 2017 and continue to do so in 2018.
 
At the May City Council, I moved a motion to lift the moratorium on the creation of new Community Safety Zones. Approximately 286 schools will be fitted with Community Safety Zones by the end of 2018. This is a critical step forward in the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, to help reduce aggressive driving and speeding in areas within the City that have higher concentrations of school children.
 
I'm pleased to report that Ward 25 will now have access to its very own mobile Watch Your Speed (WYSP) driver feedback signs! The signs will be installed on temporary basis at the request of local residents. The speed display signs contain a radar device with an LED display that reminds drivers to obey the posted speed limit. You can request a WYSP sign to be installed in your local neighbourhood through the online request portal.
 
Pedestrian Safety Corridors
 
As part of an ongoing program to increase pedestrian walk times city-wide, walk times were increased at numerous locations across the City. This initiative gives pedestrians more time to cross streets to better accommodate older residents and pedestrians with special needs.

Similar to the leading pedestrian signals installed at Lawrence Avenue and Mount Pleasant in Ward 25, we are doubling the number of leading pedestrian signals intersections being activated this year from 40 to 80 in 2018. Leading pedestrian signals allow pedestrians an advanced walk signal at the start of each traffic signal change so they can enter the crosswalk earlier. Leading pedestrian intervals can reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions by 60% at treated intersections.
 
We've also made changes to pedestrian signals, making them more accessible by the relocation and/or addition of pedestrian pushbutton poles, the addition of audible pedestrian pushbuttons, and the addition of depressed curbs and tactile plates at the pedestrian crossings
 
Senior Safety Zones
 
Senior Safety Zones were created to curb aggressive driving in neighborhoods where there has been a history of fatal and serious injury collisions affecting older residents. By the end of this year we will have installed 74 Senior Safety Zones with designated Senior Safety Zone signs, “Watch Your Speed” driver signs, increased pedestrian walk times, and enhanced pavement markings. 
 
School Safety Zones
 
On the first day back-to-school in 2017, I was pleased to launch Vision Zero's School Safety Zones. By the end of 2018, we will have 128 School Safety Zones installed.
 
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.. The “Watch Your Speed” signs have reduced the number of vehicles travelling over the speed limit by up to 34% in school zones.

Moving Forward

As the Chair of Public Works, I successfully passed a motion directing City staff to accelerate the implementation of all road safety measures to prioritize the safety of the City's most vulnerable road users.
 
We are focused on doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable road users - pedestrians, school children, older adults and cyclists. More must be done and I am focused on getting it done.

Prioritizing the Downtown Relief Line

I ride the red rocket regularly on my commute to City Hall and observe first-hand the significant reliability and capacity issues on Line 1. I know all-to-well how frustrating overcrowding, sudden stoppages, and unforeseen delays can be for Ward 25-ers travelling to and from the downtown core. During peak hours, riders have to wait for multiple trains to pass by before there even is enough space to board the subway. These issues affect all three major transit stations in Ward 25: York Mills, Lawrence, and Eglinton. 
  
Since 2010, I've consistently advocated for the Downtown Relief Line and continue to believe that it should be City Council's top transit priority. As you may know, the Downtown Relief Line was divided into two separate projects, the Relief Line South (from Pape Station south to Queen Street) and the Relief Line North (from Pape Station north to Eglinton or Sheppard Avenue) in 2017. At Executive Committee, I moved a motion directing staff to accelerate planning of the Relief Line North.  
  
After several recent Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) approvals the population of the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood is due to grow exponentially. This influx of new residents will only exacerbate the existing issues on Line 1. As part of the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan, I created a motion with the Chair of Planning and Growth Management directing City staff to develop short and long-term strategies to ease crowding on Line 1. We also asked staff to report back on the feasibility of delivering the Relief Line North and South as one undertaking to improve transit connectivity across the City.  
  
Like many of you, I am very frustrated by the long delays and mounting costs associated with the Automatic Train Control (ATC) project. At City Council, I directed TTC staff to expedite the implementation of this much-needed technology. In response to the unacceptable delay, I also initiated a comprehensive review of the entire TTC organization focused on creating a more efficient, streamlined internal structure. While this process has been extremely slow, I look forward to the positive benefits of this technology. ATC will control train speed and separation automatically, without human intervention—significantly reducing travel time. When fully implemented, it is estimated that ATC will increase Line 1 capacity by cutting train headways from 2.5 to 2 minutes.  

City Council has approved the alignment and station locations for the Relief Line South.

City Council has approved the alignment and station locations for the Relief Line South.

City staff are currently studying the alignment and potential station locations for the Relief Line North.

City staff are currently studying the alignment and potential station locations for the Relief Line North.