Environment

West Don River Valley Rehabilitation

The City of Toronto will be restoring the West Don River valley underneath the Bayview Avenue Bridge after it was disturbed during last year’s bridge rehabilitation project.

Work will take place in the valley beneath the bridge located north of Lawrence Avenue East and south of Post Road (see map below for more detail). Crews will be repairing erosion in the valley, installing erosion protection measures, stabilizing the wall along the West Don River and planting trees.

Please note that while the work is taking place, pedestrian access to the valley will be restricted. For more information, please see the construction notice below.

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Wilket Creek Project

In partnership with the city, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has undertaken an environmental assessment to develop a long-term plan to stabilize Wilket Creek.

This spring, a number of residents reached out to my office with concerns about the project and the environmental impact of recent work in the area surrounding the creek. I immediately reached out to the TRCA and pulled together a meeting to address the issues. At the meeting, TRCA staff committed to taking any and all measures to reduce the footprint of the work and provided key contacts for residents.

I also attended the most recent public meeting where TRCA staff reviewed the different options for creek stabilization and discussed preferred solutions. If you would like more information about this study or want to receive updates, please contact Patricia Newland, Project Manager, at (416) 392-9690 or pnewland@trca.on.ca.

Environment Day a Big Success!

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My Environment Day at York Mills Collegiate was a great success!

Over 540 people came out to York Mills Collegiate and we collected 4,900 kilograms of donations for Goodwill, 15,525 kilograms of hazardous waste and 10,000 kilograms of electronics. We even had to order a second truck to collect all of the electronic recycling!

Many thanks to all who came out!

Taking Action on Dust Suppression

I’m pleased to report that the Parks and Environment Committee unanimously passed my motion to take action on dust suppression!

Dust – from stone, rock, concrete and tile cutting, among other things – can be a major neighbourhood nuisance. It also has an environmental and health impact, especially for vulnerable residents.

My motion directs city staff to report in the first quarter of next year with an action plan to tackle dust pollution, including the extent of the city’s authority to regulate dust suppression as well as concrete recommendations to improve dust suppression, including amendments to the Municipal Code.

You can find the full text of my motion here.

Lead Pipes and Water Quality

As you may have read, the Toronto Star published a story on water quality tests that showed elevated lead levels in a number of Toronto homes and mentioned North Toronto.

I immediately reached out to the General Manager of Toronto Water and met with the city’s Medical Officer of Health for background as well as an update on what the city is doing to combat the issue. As I told the Toronto Star, when there’s an issue with a “critical” municipal service, the city needs to act quickly.

According to Toronto Water, the problem is caused by lead service pipes that connect the city’s main water line to individual houses. This service line was commonly made of lead prior to the mid 1950s. That is, this is an issue for older homes built before the mid 1950s.

According to the Medical Officer of Health, even where the lead levels are elevated, the health effects are minimal and no one will get sick as a result. Nevertheless, we need to work to reduce our exposure to lead across the board and the city is taking action.

In 2011, City Council approved the Lead in Drinking Water Mitigation Strategy, a four-part plan to minimize lead in drinking water. The strategy includes lead service pipe replacement, a faucet filter program, water testing for residents and, most recently, a corrosion control program.

As a homeowner, there are three things you can do to reduce your exposure.

First, if you live in an older, pre-1950s home and are concerned about your water quality, you can have your water tested by the city for free to determine if you need to take action. For more information, please visit Toronto Water’s website.

Second, you can replace your lead service pipe. Homeowners are responsible for the section of the pipe that runs from their home to the property line. The city is responsible for the section of the pipe that runs from the property line to the city’s watermain. You can see a diagram here.

If you replace your side of the service pipe, the city will replace its side on a priority basis. For more information on this program, please click here.

Finally, you can install an end-of-tap filter, which the Medical Officer of Health told me cuts out 95 per cent of any lead in water.

For the most up to date information as well as all of the details on what the city’s doing to combat the issue, please visit http://toronto.ca/leadpipes.

Additionally, Toronto Water staff will be on hand at my Environment Day (Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at York Mills Collegiate) to address any questions and concerns about lead pipes and water quality.

Strengthening Toronto’s Tree Canopy

I am pleased to report that the Parks and Environment Committee voted to support and approve my motion to strengthen Toronto’s tree canopy – which suffered real damage from the ice storm.

My motion directs Urban Forestry staff to bring forward recommendations to improve Toronto’s tree protection bylaw, including, among other things:

  • A communications strategy to ensure that the public is aware of the ins and outs of our tree protection policies;
  • Better integration of any and all tree-related considerations in the planning and development process;
  • Improvements to the manner and form of public notice required by the bylaw;
  • Uniform and consistent criteria to define what constitutes a tree in “healthy condition” and “poor condition;” and,
  • Information on the impacts of soil volume on the health and longevity of replacement trees.

These points grew directly from your feedback and my street-by-street experience working on tree issues in Ward 25!

Alongside improvements on the enforcement end, these changes will make the tree protection bylaw stronger and more effective.

Park Permit Review

Parks, Forestry and Recreation is doing a review of the park permit process that will examine the process for obtaining permits in parks, as well as the costs of permits and insurance.

This review is part of the Parks Plan 2013 – 2017. It also responds to a request made by the City’s Parks and Environment Committee on January 16, 2014 to review permitting procedures and identify opportunities to streamline the issuing of park permits.

Residents can provide feedback either at a public meeting on Monday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m, at Metro Hall(55 John St., Room 308) or online from March 4-April 4 through the Park Permit Survey.

Information from the survey and public meeting will be included in a Spring 2014 report to the Parks and Environment Committee.

For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/P9NJIo.

Ice Storm Review Consultation

As I mentioned in my ice storm recap, there was significant room for improvement in the city and Toronto Hydro’s response to the December ice storm.

At January’s City Council meeting, I voted for a full and comprehensive review of that response, including actions to improve the city’s response to extreme weather events in the future. Toronto Hydro also announced it assembled an Independent Review Panel to evaluate its storm response. Both reviews are well underway.

The city is hosting public town hall meetings on behalf of Toronto Hydro’s Independent Review Panel to gather feedback on Toronto Hydro’s service during the storm.

The North York town hall is scheduled for Thursday March 6, 7 p.m. at the North York Civic Centre.

Those attending can provide a three-minute comment to the panel on how Toronto Hydro can improve its response to extreme weather events.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can also provide feedback to the panel via email at torontoicestorm@daviescon.com.

Councillor Jaye Robinson’s Environment Day – May 31, 2014, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Please mark off the morning of Saturday, May 31 for my annual Community Environment Day at York Mills Collegiate!

My Environment Day is a great opportunity to clear out forgotten items during your Spring cleaning as well as toxic and electronic waste.

You can bring everything from computer equipment and electronics to compact and fluorescent light bulbs for disposal and recycling. You can also bring sporting goods, books and small household items, like dishes and utensils, for donation.

I hope you can join me!

Ice Storm Recap

Speaking to a Ward 25 resident who had to move his young family on Christmas Eve due to a power outage.

Speaking to a Ward 25 resident who had to move his young family on Christmas Eve due to a power outage.

As you know, Ward 25 was particularly hard hit by the ice storm. In the words of Toronto Hydro’s CEO Anthony Haines, it was “decimated.” Like many of you, I spent an extended period in the dark, and I worked around the clock for ten straight days advocating for Ward 25, sending out updates and keeping in constant contact with senior staff from the city and Toronto Hydro.

More recently, I have been working with the General Manager of Solid Waste and the Director of Urban Forestry to ensure that the many branches and downed limbs across the Ward are cleaned up. The clean up effort is significant and ongoing. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any issues or problems about the clean up. Just let me know your street and address and I’ll do my best to take care of it as quickly as possible.

More broadly, there was significant room for improvement in the city’s response to the storm. In early January, City Council asked for a full and comprehensive review of that response, including actions to improve the city’s response to extreme weather events going forward.

I successfully moved a three-part motion based on what I heard from you during and after the ice storm. My motion asks the City Manager to develop a communication strategy to ensure that those without access to the internet or a smart phone can be reached with essential information. My motion also requested an updated tree pruning and maintenance strategy to reduce the vulnerability of city trees to future ice storms as well as a strategy to repair the serious and significant damage sustained by our tree canopy. You can read my motion along with the full City Council decision and staff report here.

Overnight Sewer Inspections

Please be advised, as part of the State-of-Good Repair program, the city is inspecting the sewer system in various parts of the city, including Ward 25.

Sewers along the following streets in Ward 25 will be inspected:

  • Lawrence Avenue from Wanless Crescent to Mildenhall Road
  • Bayview Avenue from Scenic Millway to Valley Road
  • Bayview Avenue from Lawrence Avenue to Kilgour Road
  • Mount Pleasant Road from Sheldrake Boulevard to Erskin Avenue
  • York Mills Road from Old York Mills Road to Old Yonge Street
  • York Mills Road from Scarsdale Road to Upjohn Road
  • Don Mills Road from The Donway North to The Donway South

See full map below.

The inspection work will take place overnight between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m from Sundays to Thursdays. It is expected to take approximately 2-4 hours to complete each area. There will be no requirement to enter any residences to complete this work.

Residents will experience noise caused by the flushing and the removal of debris from the sewer pipes by vacuum trucks. Once the flushing and clearance of the sewers is complete, the inspection work is not expected to be noisy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact 311.

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Share Your Feedback on Upcoming Playground Enhancements

Councillor Robinson is working on exciting playground enhancements in Lord Seaton Park and Mossgrove Park!

Parks staff designed a number of options for each playground and you’re invited to provide feedback on the concepts by completing the survey in the link below:

https://cityoftoronto.fluidsurveys.com/s/Ward25_park_enhancement/

Please note that the images used in the survey are only intended to illustrate the concepts. Final equipment selection, colour and placement may differ from what is shown based on site conditions, availability and final budget.

If you have questions about either project or the survey, please contact Ruthanne Henry, Senior Project Coordinator with Parks, at either rhenry@toronto.ca or 416-395-0142.

Town Crier: Push on to extend Don Mills Trail

By Eric Emin Wood
The Town Crier
January 12, 2014

Starting just south of York Mills Road and running parallel to Leslie Street, Don Mills Trail is picturesque, popular with nearby families and seniors, who use it as a walking trail — and is abruptly stopped by a fence surrounding commercial property north of Eglinton Avenue East.

Since being elected in 2010, Ward 25 councillor Jaye Robinson has been trying to extend the trail from York Mills to Eglinton, notably by negotiating with the commercial property owners to allow visitors through.

Robinson’s efforts may finally be coming to fruition, as the trail’s northern section is being put to tender this month, after which the city can determine development costs for extending the trail and plan a schedule around them.

The trail’s southern section is more complex: Robinson spent a year securing land use rights from the commercial property owners, after which city staff discovered the soil might be contaminated.

Following an environmental assessment, which was forwarded to the province, a city staff report outlining cleanup costs is expected soon.

“It’s not overly contaminated,” Robinson said, indicating clean-up is not expected to be extensive or expensive.

Once the report is delivered, Robinson’s staff will hire a consultant to design the trail.

Construction, which will include embedding soil, planting trees and laying paths, will begin in spring or summer.

“It’s all kind of good news,” Robinson said. “It’s just been unfolding very slowly.”

 

Read the full story here.

Ice Storm of 2013: Updates

January 2, 2013

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

It’s been a long haul but Toronto Hydro is reporting that all ice storm-related outages have been restored.

I worked around the clock every day for the past ten days alongside my staff, advocating for Ward 25 priorities, staying in constant contact with Toronto Hydro and responding to more than 3,000 emails and phone calls from every neighbourhood in the Ward.

As I mentioned in a previous update, Ward 25, with its many mature trees and extensive canopy coverage, was particularly hard hit by the storm. A number of Ward 25 homes remained without power yesterday and I continued work late into the evening coordinating with Toronto Hydro and making sure power was restored.

Thanks are due to all of the Toronto Hydro staff and city staff that worked day and night to bring the city back online. Thanks are also due to everyone who reached out to help their neighbours, friends and family over the course of the power outage.

There was significant room for improvement in both Toronto Hydro’s and the city’s response, and I am looking forward to a thorough and detailed review.

At September’s Parks and Environment Committee meeting, I successfully passed a motion requesting Urban Forestry to improve the city’s tree pruning response time. Over the next few weeks, I will be working alongside Urban Forestry staff – as well as senior staff from across the city – to identify and implement any and all proactive measures that will improve the city’s readiness and response going forward.

I’ve included below the latest information on the city’s debris management plan, waste collection and ice storm-related compensation.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any other questions or concerns.

Kind regards,

Jaye

**Debris Management Plan**

The city’s debris management plan gets underway tomorrow. Nearly 600 city staff and contractors will be working to remove fallen trees and branches from streets, sidewalks and the city’s rights-of-way. Due to the tremendous amount of storm-related debris, the clean-up is expected to take six to eight weeks.

You can track the progress of debris removal in your neighbourhood via a map on the city’s website, http://www.toronto.ca. The map should be online shortly.

If you have fallen trees or branches on your property of a manageable size (less than six inches in diameter), please place them by the curb for pick up. Please stack the branches neatly with butt ends towards the road, without blocking the roadway or the sidewalk.

For larger limbs and stems (over six inches in diameter) on your property from private trees, please contact a private contractor.

At this time, you do not require a permit to remove or trim damaged or downed trees on your property. For more information, please see the Tree By-law exemption here http://bit.ly/19D07tG.

For city trees (i.e., street trees) that have fallen on your property or on the right-of-way or are in need of maintenance, please call 311 or email 311@toronto.ca.

**Garbage Collection**

This week, curbside collection on Thursday and Friday will move forward one day. This means that Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday. Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar.

Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays. Residents should leave their materials out until they are collected. If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

I’ve been advised by Solid Waste Management staff that extra tags are not required.

**Roads, Traffic and Parking**

Power has been restored to all traffic signals and all signals are operating normally. Please note that the power supply is not quite stable at all signalized intersections and there may be fluctuations that knock signals out or make them flash. If you see an intersection like this, treat it as an all-way stop. Please also call 311 and report it so that a crew can be sent to investigate and fix the problem.

Where there are icy or blocked driveways, the city will provide parking consideration for residents who park on the street beyond posted times. If you receive a ticket, there is an application that can be filled out to describe the circumstances and request ticket cancellation at http://bitly.com/1ggfwPJ. Completed application forms and documentation can be faxed to 416-696-3652 or sent via e-mail to parkingmeters@toronto.ca.

**Compensation for Ice Storm-Related Damage**

Some of you have asked whether the city will be providing compensation where city trees have damages property, houses, cars, etc. City staff advised me that you can make a claim at the following link: http://bit.ly/1hj2cNC.

**Grocery Store Gift Cards**

Residents who have experienced a prolonged power outage and lost food will be able to collect a grocery store gift card thanks to the generous assistance of Loblaws, the Retail Council of Canada, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Metro, Sobey’s, Coppa’s Fresh Market and the provincial government. This is a provincial initiative and does not involve the City of Toronto.

For more information, please visit: http://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2013/12/ontario-helps-people-replace-food-lost-during-ice-storm.html.

December 28, 2013

 

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

Toronto Hydro is reporting that power remains out for approximately 25,000 homes.

I have spent the day advocating for the many neighbourhoods and streets that remain in the dark in Ward 25, including Hoggs Hollow, the area north of Yonge and York Mills and Don Mills.

I have done everything I can, including constant communication with senior Toronto Hydro staff, to push Toronto Hydro to direct crews to Ward 25 priorities – seven days is far, far too long to remain without heat or power.

If you are still without power and haven’t already let me know, please respond to this email and write your address in the subject line and I will do my best to advocate on your behalf.

Due to the high volume of phone calls and emails, I may not be able to respond personally but I will ensure that your address comes to Toronto Hydro’s attention.

Alternatively, you can report an outage directly to Toronto Hydro at (416) 542-8000 or online at http://www.torontohydro.com/sites/electricsystem/PowerOutages/Pages/ReportOutages.aspx.

If Toronto Hydro is reporting that your neighbourhood has power but you remain in the dark, please do the following:

  • Check to see if your neighbours have power, if they don’t, it is likely that more work is to be done on your street.
  • If your home is the only house without electricity, check your electrical panel inside the home to see if the breakers are in the “on” position.
  • Check outside to see if the electrical equipment on your home is damaged or if the service wire is “down”.  If the wire is down, please stay back and contact a licensed ECRA/ESA electrical contractor.
  • If you have completed the above and your power is still out, please report your outage to 416-542-8000.

If the electrical equipment on your home is damaged of if the service wire is down, it will need to be repaired by a licensed ESA electrical contractor before Toronto Hydro will reconnect your house.

Your electrical contractor will walk you through the process, but here it is in brief:

Once the electrician has repaired the damaged equipment, they must contact the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) to have it inspected. An ESA inspection number will then be provided to either you or the electrician.

At this point, you should contact Toronto Hydro at 416-542-8000 and provide them with the ESA inspection number as well as your contact number. Your contact number is for the Toronto Hydro crews to contact you 30 minutes prior to their arrival because, for safety reasons,Toronto Hydro requires someone at the property for reconnection.

You can find a list of licensed ESA electrical contractors at http://www.esasafe.com/ (click on the “Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor in my Area link).

More information is available here: http://www.esasafe.com/consumers/safety-at-home/safety-tips-for-after-a-storm.

**Tree Related Debris**

Work to clear tree debris is underway and is expected to continue for approximately six weeks.

Tree branches that have fallen on private property and are of a manageable size that can be dragged to the City’s right-of-way (i.e., to the curb) will be picked up. Please do not place debris on the sidewalk.

Large limb or stem (body) wood from private trees that have fallen on private property should not be taken to the curb. Property owners should contact a private contractor to remove this material. City crews cannot go onto private property to clear private trees that have fallen on private property.

You do not require a permit to remove damaged or downed trees.

**Waste Pickup**

This week and next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day. This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday. Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar. Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays. Residents should leave their materials out until they are collected. If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

I’ve been advised by Solid Waste Management staff that extra tags are not required.

**Daycare**

Parents of children attending City of Toronto child care centres are asked to call ahead to ensure that the centre is open.

**Food Safety**

Residents who have been without power, or recently had their power restored, are advised to reduce the risk of a foodborne illness:

  • If you have been without power for 24 hours or longer, all food in the fridge should be thrown out.
  • During a power outage of 48 hours or longer, all food in the freezer should be thrown out.
  • Any leftover cooked food that cannot be reheated or stored in a working refrigerator or freezer should be thrown out.

More food safety tips are available at http://bitly.com/Jxt79e.

I have pasted below information from previous updates on freezing pipes and radiators and power outage tips as well as the addresses of the city’s warming centres, which remain open.

For the latest updates, please check my website (www.jayerobinson.com), Facebook (http://facebook.com/robinsonward25) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/jayerobinson).

As always, please don’t hesitate with any other questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Jaye

The city’s 12 warming centres continue to operate. Pets are welcome. They are:

  • Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Drive (Eglinton/DonMills)
  • Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd, (Neilson/Finch)
  • Agincourt Community Centre, 31 Glen Walford Rd (Sheppard/Midland)
  • Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane Street (between Finch and Steeles)
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Avenue (Yonge/Finch)
  • Joseph P Piccinini Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Avenue West (St Clair/Keele)
  • Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard Street East (Pape/Gerrard)
  • Franklin Horner Community Centre, 432 Horner Avenue (Kipling/Lakeshore)
  • 2 Civic Centre Court – Adjacent to Etobicoke Community Centre (West Mall and 427)

 In addition, 13 Toronto Police Service facilitates have community rooms available as warming centres around the clock. They are:

  • Division 11 – 2054 Davenport Road (Davenport/Osler)
  • Division 12 – 200 Trethewey Drive (Trethewey/Black Creek)
  • Division 14 – 350 Dovercourt Road (College/Dovercourt)
  • Division 22 – 3699 Bloor Street West (Bloor West/Dundas West)
  • Division 23 – 5230 Finch Avenue West (Kipling/Finch)
  • Division 31 – 40 Norfinch Road (Norfinch/Finch West)
  • Division 33 – 50 Upjohn Road (York Mills/Don Mills)
  • Division 42 – 242 Milner Avenue (Milner/Markham)
  • Division 43 – 4331 Lawrence Ave. E (Lawrence Ave. E/ Kingston Road)
  • Division 51 – 51 Parliament Street (Front/Parliament)
  • Division 52 – 255 Dundas Street West (LOBBY ONLY)
  • Toronto Police Service College – 70 Birmingham Street (Birmingham/Fifth)
  • Toronto Police Service Headquarters – 40 College Street (College/Bay)

 The following are some tips for dealing with a power outage:

  • Unplug or turn off all appliances to avoid possible damage when power resumes
  • Turn off water to the clothes washer and dishwasher if they are in use when the power goes out
  • Leave a light or radio on so you will know when power is restored
  • When power has been restored, check all fuses to ensure that none have been blown, before calling Toronto Hydro
  • Plug in only the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes to give the electrical system time to stabilize before connecting everything else.

 After power is restored, try to limit electricity use to help relieve potential strain on the system. Energy conservation tips include:

  • Turning off all non-essential internal and external lights
  • Limiting the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers and dryers

 **Freezing Pipes and Radiators**

 Many residents have asked about radiators and the possibility of freezing. If your heating system is hot water and your are concerned about freezing, you can drain your hot water heating system. If you do not have the necessary know-how, you may need to contact a heating/plumbing professional for assistance.

 Similarly, if you don’t have heat in your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so that there is some movement of water in the pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

 If you are leaving your home, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowers tap to drain the water out of your plumbing to prevent them from freezing.

December 26, 2013

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

Power remains out for approximately 50,000 homes, down from a peak of 300,000.

It’s been a long a difficult week for all those without power.

Unfortunately, many homes in Ward 25 remain in the dark, particularly in the northern part of the Ward, including the Bayview Avenue corridor and Hoggs Hollow. There are also many isolated pockets and houses across the entire Ward without power.

Frustration doesn’t begin to describe the feelings of many in Ward 25. I have seen amazing acts of kindness among neighbours and I encourage you to continue to assist any of your neighbours in need.

My office continues to work around the clock. I was up until 4:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve and put in 14 hours on Christmas Day, speaking with Toronto Hydro’s CEO Anthony Haines, responding to constituents and trying to help residents in any way that I can.

If you’re still without power and cannot get through to Toronto Hydro, please send me an email with your address in the subject line and I will make sure to bring it to the attention of senior Toronto Hydro staff and advocate on your behalf.

Due to the incredible number of phone calls and emails, I may not be able to respond personally, but I will be certain to forward your address to Toronto Hydro.

Alternatively, if you cannot reach Toronto Hydro at (416) 542-8000 to report an outage, you can do so online if you have access to a computer at http://www.torontohydro.com/sites/electricsystem/PowerOutages/Pages/ReportOutages.aspx.

Unfortunately, Toronto Hydro remains unable to provide any timelines for restoring service to individual houses, streets or neighbourhoods.

If Toronto Hydro is reporting that power in your neighbourhood has been restored but your home remains without power, you should:

  •  Check to see if your neighbours have power, if they don’t, it is likely that more work is to be done on your street.
  • If your home is the only house without electricity, check your electrical panel inside the home to see if the breakers are in the “on” position.
  • Check the electrical service entry outside your home to see if it is damaged or the service wire is “down”.  If the wire is down, please stay back and contact us at 416-542-8000 to report the downed wire.

Freezing Pipes and Radiators

Many residents have asked about radiators and the possibility of freezing. If your heating system is a hot water system and you’re concerned about freezing, you can drain your hot water heating system. If you do not have the necessary know-how, you may need to contact a heating/plumbing professional for assistance.

Similarly, if you don’t have heat in your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so that there is some movement of water in the pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

If you are leaving you home, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing to prevent them from freezing.

Debris Cleanup and Garbage Pickup

The city anticipates that the clearing of fallen trees and tree debris will begin on December 27. Cleanup will take place at a later date where debris is not obstructing the road.

I have asked about special pick-ups for storm-related debris and waste and will report back when I have more information.

In the meantime, there is no collection on New Year’s Day. This week and next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day.

This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday.

Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar. Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays. Residents should leave their materials out until they are collected. If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

I have pasted below information from my previous updates with tips about dealing with a power outage as well as food safety information.

For the latest updates, please check my Facebook (http://facebook.com/robinsonward25)and Twitter (http://twitter.com/jayerobinson).

As always, please don’t hesitate with any other questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Jaye

The city’s 12 warming centres continue to operate. Pets are welcome. They are:

  • Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Drive (Eglinton/DonMills)
  • Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd, (Neilson/Finch)
  • Agincourt Community Centre, 31 Glen Walford Rd (Sheppard/Midland)
  • Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane Street (between Finch and Steeles)
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Avenue (Yonge/Finch)
  • Joseph P Piccinini Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Avenue West (St Clair/Keele)
  • Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard Street East (Pape/Gerrard)
  • Franklin Horner Community Centre, 432 Horner Avenue (Kipling/Lakeshore)
  • 2 Civic Centre Court – Adjacent to Etobicoke Community Centre (West Mall and 427)

In addition, 13 Toronto Police Service facilitates have community rooms available as warming centres around the clock. They are:

  • Division 11 – 2054 Davenport Road (Davenport/Osler)
  • Division 12 – 200 Trethewey Drive (Trethewey/Black Creek)
  • Division 14 – 350 Dovercourt Road (College/Dovercourt)
  • Division 22 – 3699 Bloor Street West (Bloor West/Dundas West)
  • Division 23 – 5230 Finch Avenue West (Kipling/Finch)
  • Division 31 – 40 Norfinch Road (Norfinch/Finch West)
  • Division 33 – 50 Upjohn Road (York Mills/Don Mills)
  • Division 42 – 242 Milner Avenue (Milner/Markham)
  • Division 43 – 4331 Lawrence Ave. E (Lawrence Ave. E/ Kingston Road)
  • Division 51 – 51 Parliament Street (Front/Parliament)
  • Division 52 – 255 Dundas Street West (LOBBY ONLY)
  • Toronto Police Service College – 70 Birmingham Street (Birmingham/Fifth)
  • Toronto Police Service Headquarters – 40 College Street (College/Bay)

The following are some tips for dealing with a power outage:

  • Unplug or turn off all appliances to avoid possible damage when power resumes
  • Turn off water to the clothes washer and dishwasher if they are in use when the power goes out
  • Leave a light or radio on so you will know when power is restored
  • When power has been restored, check all fuses to ensure that none have been blown, before calling Toronto Hydro
  • Plug in only the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes to give the electrical system time to stabilize before connecting everything else.

After power is restored, try to limit electricity use to help relieve potential strain on the system. Energy conservation tips include:

  • Turning off all non-essential internal and external lights
  • Limiting the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers and dryers

During a power outage, food kept in the refrigerator or freezer may become unsafe to eat. The following tips can help ensure food is stored safely in the event of a power outage:

  • Keep your refrigerator door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, the refrigerator section will keep foods cool for four to six hours – if the door is kept closed.
  • Throw out perishable foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers that have been at temperatures above 4*C for more than two hours.
  •  Keep your freezer door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, an upright or chest freezer that is completely full will keep food frozen for about 48 hours – if the door is kept closed. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.
  •  Foods that have thawed in the freezer may be refrozen if they still contain ice crystals or are at 4*C or below – evaluate each item separately.
  • If possible, add bags of ice to the refrigerator and freezer to keep temperatures cooler for a longer period
  • Discard any items in the freezer or refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices
  • If you are in doubt about whether a food item has spoiled, throw it out.
  • Contact your doctor or pharmacist for information about proper storage of medication that requires refrigeration, such as insulin

For more information about when to keep and when to throw out refrigerated foods, visit www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/foodsafe/homefood.html

December 24, 2013

 

My office has been working around the clock through Sunday, Monday and now today responding to hundreds of emails and phone calls from residents reporting power outages, downed power lines, impassable streets, traffic light outages and other ice storm-related issues.

I have also been in constant contact with Toronto Hydro’s CEO Anthony Haines, ensuring that every issue brought to my attention is prioritized by Toronto Hydro.

Large parts of Ward 25 have been significantly impacted by the ice storm and are experiencing large and ongoing power outages, from Don Mills to Hoggs Hollow to Lawrence Park to York Mills to the Yonge-Eglinton area – in Anthony Haine’s opinion, Ward 25 was “decimated.”

I – along with a number of my staff members – have also been without power since early Sunday morning. Like you, I appreciate the impact on holiday plans as well as the frustration of living without power for more than 72 hours.

I also wrote to the Mayor yesterday morning asking him to declare a state of emergency to ensure that all available resources are brought online as quickly as possible.

Like many of you, I want to see a timeline for repairs to each and every impacted area in Ward 25.

Unfortunately, I just got off the phone with senior Toronto Hydro staff and they advised that they are unable to offer any timelines for any specific addresses or neighbourhoods.

Toronto Hydro is also advising to prepare for the worst and expects outages to continue into the weekend.

This morning, Toronto Hydro is reporting approximately 115,000 residents are without power down from 300,000 at the peak of the storm.

Power was restored to Sunnybrook Health Sciences yesterday at 5:00 p.m., freeing up crews to move north, and extra hydro crews from Manitoba, Windsor, Mississauga, Ottawa and Michigan are expected to come online today.

Currently, crews are working to restore feeders, which are the power lines that serve several hundred to several thousand customers each. This will restore power to large areas first and then crews will move on to smaller single street and single home outages.

I have forwarded each and every address and issue brought to my attention to senior Toronto Hydro staff and asked that it be prioritized.

Toronto Hydro has an up-to-date map of affected areas.

If you want to report a power outage, downed power line or other hydro-related emergency, please call Toronto Hydro’s Lights Out Line at (416) 542-8000. Please have patience as you may have difficulty getting through due to a high call volume.

Many have asked me about frozen pipes. The city is advising that if you do not have heat and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so there is some movement in pipes vulnerable to freezing.

If you are leaving your home because of no heat you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing lines to prevent them from freezing.

The city is also working on a debris management plan to take care of downed branches. While the plan is still in the works, if you want to get started, you can bundle the sticks and branches and leave them butt side out by the curb.

I have pasted information from my previous updates below – including information about warming centre locations and power outage tips, including food safety information.

For the latest updates, please check my website Facebook  and Twitter.

For residents in need of assistance, the City has opened reception and warming centres with food, water, warmth and rest. Pets are also welcome. Please find the full list of reception centres below:

  • Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Drive (Eglinton/DonMills)
  • Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd, (Neilson/Finch)
  • Agincourt Community Centre, 31 Glen Walford Rd (Sheppard/Midland)
  • Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane Street (between Finch and Steeles)
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Avenue (Yonge/Finch)
  • Joseph P Piccinini Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Avenue West (St Clair/Keele)
  • Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard Street East (Pape/Gerrard)
  • Franklin Horner Community Centre, 432 Horner Avenue (Kipling/Lakeshore)
  • 2 Civic Centre Court – Adjacent to Etobicoke Community Centre (West Mall and 427)

In addition, 13 Toronto Police Service facilities have been identified as having community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres:

  • Division 11 – 2054 Davenport Road (Davenport/Osler)
  • Division 12 – 200 Trethewey Drive (Trethewey/Black Creek)
  • Division 14 – 350 Dovercourt Road (College/Dovercourt)
  • Division 22 – 3699 Bloor Street West (Bloor West/Dundas West)
  • Division 23 – 5230 Finch Avenue West (Kipling/Finch)
  • Division 31 – 40 Norfinch Road (Norfinch/Finch West)
  • Division 33 – 50 Upjohn Road (York Mills/Don Mills)
  • Division 42 – 242 Milner Avenue (Milner/Markham)
  • Division 51 – 51 Parliament Street (Front/Parliament)
  • Division 52 – 255 Dundas Street West (LOBBY ONLY)
  • Toronto Police Service College – 70 Birmingham Street (Birmingham/Fifth)
  • Toronto Police Service Headquarters – 40 College Street (College/Bay)

Residents are reminded to keep children and pets inside, avoid driving if possible and consider working from home. If you must go out, please exercise caution on the roads and sidewalks. Please also offer help to elderly neighbours or those who might need assistance. If you have power, please consider inviting friends and neighbours into your home to keep warm.

The following are some tips for dealing with a power outage:

  • Unplug or turn off all appliances to avoid possible damage when power resumes
  • Turn off water to the clothes washer and dishwasher if they are in use when the power goes out
  • Leave a light or radio on so you will know when power is restored
  • When power has been restored, check all fuses to ensure that none have been blown, before calling Toronto Hydro
  • Plug in only the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes to give the electrical system time to stabilize before connecting everything else.

After power is restored, try to limit electricity use to help relieve potential strain on the system. Energy conservation tips include:

  • Turning off all non-essential internal and external lights
  • Limiting the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers and dryers
  • During a power outage, food kept in the refrigerator or freezer may become unsafe to eat. The following tips can help ensure food is stored safely in the event of a power outage:
  • Keep your refrigerator door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, the refrigerator section will keep foods cool for four to six hours – if the door is kept closed.
  • Throw out perishable foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers that have been at temperatures above 4°C for more than two hours.
  • Keep your freezer door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, an upright or chest freezer that is completely full will keep food frozen for about 48 hours – if the door is kept closed. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.
  • Foods that have thawed in the freezer may be refrozen if they still contain ice crystals or are at 4°C or below – evaluate each item separately.
  • If possible, add bags of ice to the refrigerator and freezer to keep temperatures cooler for a longer period
  • Discard any items in the freezer or refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices
  • If you are in doubt about whether a food item has spoiled, throw it out.
  • Contact your doctor or pharmacist for information about proper storage of medication that requires refrigeration, such as insulin

For more information about when to keep and when to throw out refrigerated foods, visit www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/foodsafe/homefood.html

December 23, 2013

I spoke to senior Toronto Hydro staff this morning and they advised that power has been restored to 72,500 homes but 227,560 customers remain without power this morning.

For an up-to-date map of affected areas, please visit http://www.torontohydro.com/sites/electricsystem/PowerOutages/Pages/OutageMap.aspx.

Many thanks to all those who contacted my office about power outages, downed power lines and other storm-related issues. Like many of you, my house remains without power.

I escalated each and every issue brought to my attention to senior Toronto Hydro staff and asked that it be prioritized.

Toronto Hydro crews continue to work around the clock and hope to have full service restored by Friday. Unfortunately, Toronto Hydro was unable to give me any specific time lines for affected areas in Ward 25. Crews are prioritizing public safety issues, such as downed power lines, as well as restoring power to hospitals, such as Sunnybrook, and the TTC.

If you want to report a power outage, downed power line or other hydro-related emergency, please call Toronto Hydro’s Lights Out Line at (416) 542-8000. Please have patience as you may have difficulty getting through due to a high call volume.

Transportation Services reports that approximately 100 traffic signals are not working. If traffic signals are out, treat the affected intersections as a four-way stop. Crews continue to salt collector and local roads and sidewalks.

Emergency services – Fire, EMS and Police — are operating and managing increased call volumes. EMS alone has experience a 53% surge in call volumes. Please only call 911 in an emergency for non-emergencies please call 416-808-2222. Residents who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 416-310-2222 for assistance.

The TTC has made progress restoring service with streetcar service resuming on all routes. Currently, there is no service on the Sheppard subway line or on the Bloor Danforth subway line from Woodbine to Kennedy or on the Scarborough RT as a result of hydro issues and storm clean up. Shuttle buses are running. Please check www.ttc.ca for updates and service alerts.

The City has nine Reception Centres where residents in need of assistance can get food, water, warmth and rest. Pets are also welcome. Please find the full list of reception centres below:

  • Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Drive (Eglinton/DonMills)
  • Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd, (Neilson/Finch)
  • Agincourt Community Centre, 31 Glen Walford Rd (Sheppard/Midland)
  • Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane Street (between Finch and Steeles)
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Avenue (Yonge/Finch)
  • Joseph P Piccinini Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Avenue West (St Clair/Keele)
  • Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard Street East (Pape/Gerrard)
  • Franklin Horner Community Centre, 432 Horner Avenue (Kipling/Lakeshore)
  • 2 Civic Centre Court – Adjacent to Etobicoke Community Centre (West Mall and 427)

Community centres with power will be open as usual and those without power will be closed. Similarly, Toronto Public Library branches with power will be open and those without will not.

In Ward 25, Northern District and Locke Library are open today, but Don Mills is not. For a full list of open and closed branches, please visit http://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/news_releases/2013/12/library-closures.html.

Residents are reminded to keep children and pets inside, avoid driving if possible and consider working from home. If you must go out, please exercise caution on the roads and sidewalks. Please also offer help to elderly neighbours or those who might need assistance. If you have power, please consider inviting friends and neighbours into your home to keep warm.

The following are some tips for dealing with a power outage:

  • Unplug or turn off all appliances to avoid possible damage when power resumes
  • Turn off water to the clothes washer and dishwasher if they are in use when the power goes out
  • Leave a light or radio on so you will know when power is restored
  • When power has been restored, check all fuses to ensure that none have been blown, before calling Toronto Hydro
  • Plug in only the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes to give the electrical system time to stabilize before connecting everything else.

After power is restored, try to limit electricity use to help relieve potential strain on the system. Energy conservation tips include:

  • Turning off all non-essential internal and external lights
  • Limiting the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers and dryers

During a power outage, food kept in the refrigerator or freezer may become unsafe to eat. The following tips can help ensure food is stored safely in the event of a power outage:

  • Keep your refrigerator door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, the refrigerator section will keep foods cool for four to six hours – if the door is kept closed.
  • Throw out perishable foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers that have been at temperatures above 4°C for more than two hours.
  • Keep your freezer door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, an upright or chest freezer that is completely full will keep food frozen for about 48 hours – if the door is kept closed. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.
  • Foods that have thawed in the freezer may be refrozen if they still contain ice crystals or are at 4°C or below – evaluate each item separately.
  • If possible, add bags of ice to the refrigerator and freezer to keep temperatures cooler for a longer period
  • Discard any items in the freezer or refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices
  • If you are in doubt about whether a food item has spoiled, throw it out.
  • Contact your doctor or pharmacist for information about proper storage of medication that requires refrigeration, such as insulin

For more information about when to keep and when to throw out refrigerated foods, visit www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/foodsafe/homefood.html

A number of residents have also contacted my office about tree branches. I just spoke to the Director of Urban Forestry and he advised that a debris management plan is in the works and should be communicated shortly.

For the latest updates, please check my Facebook and Twitter.

As always, please don’t hesitate with any other questions or concerns.

Best regards,
Jaye

December 22, 2013

 

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

An ice storm with freezing rain and strong winds hit Toronto and the GTA last night. As a result, many trees as well as hydro wires are down and Toronto Hydro is reporting approximately 250,000 customers are without power.

I have been speaking to Toronto Hydro representatives throughout the day and while most of Ward 25 still has power, there are many pockets throughout the ward without power. My street is unfortunately one of the few without power due to a downed power line!

Given the amount of ice on the wires and that winds expected to pick up this afternoon, Toronto Hydro is warning that outages could get worse and are asking residents to prepare for a lengthy outage.

Please stay away from downed wires and trees that might have an electrical charge. To report a power outage or downed wires, please call Toronto Hydro’s operation centre at 416-542-8000.

Toronto Hydro Crews are working 24/7 to restore power as quickly as possible. I have also been advised that Transportation Services is out in full force salting the roads.

The City’s emergency services — Fire, EMS and Police — are operating as usual. The TTC has suspended all streetcar service. Subways and surface routs are operational, but the TTC is advising residents to expect delays due to the weather conditions.

For the most up-to-date information about TTC service, please visit the TTC’s Service Alerts page at http://bit.ly/16mIJBe.

To contact the police, you should call 911 for emergencies and (416) 808-2222 for non-emergencies.

Residents are asked to stay indoors and avoid driving if possible. If it is necessary to drive, please drive slowly and carefully and keep your tank half full at all times.

Please also check on your neighbours, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable and offer help to those who might need it.

For any other storm-related problems, please call 311 or email 311@toronto.ca, available 24 hours-a-day and seven days-a week.

311 has advised the phones are working and extra staff are on shift to help. They are asking residents to be patient as they are experiencing a high call volume leading to long waits.

For the latest update, please check my Facebook and Twitter.

As always, please don’t hesitate with any other questions or concerns.

Warm regards,
Jaye

Smoke-Free Toronto

Last week City Council voted to expand Toronto’s limitation on smoking in public spaces and strengthen our approach to second-hand smoke.

The new limitations will prohibit smoking in public squares, bar and restaurant patios, public building entrances and exits as well as hospital grounds. Council also approved a smoking ban on city sports fields, public parks and beaches.

Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health David McKeown recommended the expanded ban citing 60 Ontario municipalities with similar bans and widespread public support.

Toronto Botanical Garden Financial Sustainability

When I was at the Toronto Botanical Garden organic farmer’s market recently I had the chance to meet the impressive new executive director, Harry Jongerden.

Harry was the Garden Director at VanDusen Botanical Garden and Blodel Conservatory in Vancouver, where he saved the conservatory from closure and devised a revitalization strategy.

Harry is joining the TBG at an exciting time!

Last year, I worked with TBG staff and the City’s Budget Committee to secure one-time lump sum funding to support the TBG while it worked with city staff on a financially sustainable operating plan.

City staff recently reported on TBG’s significant progress towards sustainability, and will continue to work with the TBG to put the garden on solid financial footing.

You can also help. Please consider making a donation and help the TBG maintain its excellent programming. You can make a donation at http://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/join/make-a-gift/.

Porter Proposal to Use Jets at Billy Bishop Airport

In April, Porter Airlines announced it has conditionally ordered 12 new Bombardier jets, which can fly further than its current fleet of turboprop planes.

The use of Billy Bishop is governed by a tripartite agreement between the city, the federal government and the Port Authority. For Porter’s jet proposal to go forward, all three parties would have to agree to amend the agreement that governs airport operations, namely lifting a ban on jets and approving a runway expansion.

Many of you have written or spoken to me about Porter Airlines’ proposal to expand service at Billy Bishop Island Airport and I appreciate your thoughts and feedback!

A city staff report on the proposal – examining its economic and environmental as well as traffic and congestion impacts – is underway and expected to come before City Council in early 2014.

The city just wrapped up three public information sessions about the proposal. An additional session is expected in November and I encourage you to take part and have your say!

If you have not already, please do not forget to let me know what you think by sending me an email or by calling my office at (416) 395-6408!

Post City Column: Sustaining our gem of a garden

By Jaye Robinson
Post City Magazine — Bayview Edition
August 2013

Summer is here and the Toronto Botanical Garden is in full bloom — what better time to come and visit the city’s only botanical garden.

The Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) is truly a gem, and I am honoured to have it in my ward. I have been happy to work with the garden since I was first elected.

Over the years, the TBG has become much more than a garden. It’s a gathering place for the community and a living classroom and a place to learn. It offers so many great programs, from courses and camps for children to farmers’ markets and concerts.

The TBG’s budget has not kept pace with these changes, leading to increased financial pressures. The TBG needs more annual funding to maintain these excellent programs. That’s why I worked with TBG staff and the city’s budget committee to secure a one-time lump sum of new funding last year at city council.

On a longer term basis, the TBG is working with the City of Toronto: Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division on a plan to become more financially sustainable. We expect to see a report this fall.

The TBG has recently hired a new executive director, Harry Jongerden, a previous director at VanDusen Botanical Garden and Blodel Conservatory in Vancouver.

You can also help. The TBG depends on the support of individuals, corporations and foundations. The bulk of its revenues come from donations, membership fees, sponsorships and event rentals.

Consider making a donation and help the TBG maintain its programming.

You can make a donation at torontobotanicalgarden.ca.

Storm Update 2.0

JayeDonRiver-July-20-2013.jpg

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

City staff are working around the clock to evaluate damage and cleanup and restore services following Monday’s unprecedented storm.

Toronto Water has received over 3,000 basement flooding calls and staff are working as quickly as possible to get to people’s homes. Due to the high volume of calls – which continues to rise – response times are significantly longer than usual. We appreciate your patience as Toronto Water works as quickly as possible.

Earlier today, I spoke to the head of Toronto Water and identified as priorities the flooding and storm-related issues that you have brought to my attention.

In the mean time, here is a helpful guide to basement flooding with tips on what to do and when to call for professional help.

If you have flood-damaged material – carpeting, furniture, etc. – please note that there will be special garbage collection starting this Saturday, July 13 and continuing on Sunday and Monday, if necessary. Here is more information on this special garbage collection and how to dispose of damaged materials.

Finally, Toronto Hydro continues to ask customers to conserve electricity as much as possible while they work to restore full service. Hydro One is still repairing Manby Station and this has made the city’s electricity system much more vulnerable.

Please consider turning off your air conditioning or setting it at a higher temperature – 26 degrees. Turn off all non-essential lighting. Close curtains and blinds to keep out the sun and limit the use of major appliances, such as dishwashers. Find more energy-saving tips here.

Thank you again for your patience as we work to recover and cleanup from the storm. I appreciate that it has not been easy for those who were without power or suffered basement flooding.

You should also never hesitate to contact my office by phone at (416) 395-6408 or by email at Councillor_Robinson@toronto.ca for any and all assistance.

For the latest updates, please check my  Facebook page and Twitter.

Warm regards,

Jaye

Jaye Robinson
City Councillor Ward 25 – Don Valley West

Post City Column: Public garden coming to Ward 25

By Jaye Robinson
Post City Magazine
April 2013

I am excited to announce that my Ward 25 Community Environment Day will take place on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at York Mills Collegiate’s east parking lot (490 York Mills Rd.).

It’s a perfect opportunity to clear out all of those old items in your basements and garages during spring cleaning. Organizations will be on hand to collect old books, clothing and other reusable items, ensuring they have a second life. City of Toronto staff will be collecting household hazardous waste, from solvents to paint to batteries as well as old computer and audiovisual equipment. For the gardening season, you will also be able to pick up free leaf compost.

For those without access to a garden, I am pleased to announce that Ward 25 will soon have a community garden, the result of collaboration with Overland Learning Centre, the Toronto District School Board and a number of engaged residents. Still in its early stages, we are working to have this great addition to our community off the ground as soon as possible.

Outside of Community Environ-ment Day, there are many ways that you can help keep our ward green. The city is helping neighbourhoods organize their own clean up days this spring! Gather your friends, families and neighbours to clean a spot in your neighbourhood that is important to you. Check my website for more information about how we can clean up Toronto together. The sign up deadline is April 15. Last year’s Community Environment Day was a great success, and I look forward to a good turn out on April 27.

For additional details, please visit my website at www.jayerobinson.ca.