Community Updates - June 8, 2023

In This E-Blast:



Over the past few days, Toronto has experienced air quality issues due to wildfires in Quebec and Northeastern Ontario and surrounding provinces. These conditions are expected to potentially worsen tomorrow and may continue for several more days.

Even at low concentrations, wildfire smoke can be harmful to people’s health. Exposure to air pollutants, like smoke, can cause a range of symptoms including irritated eyes, increased mucus production, coughing and difficulty breathing. Seniors, pregnant people, infants and young children, people who work outdoors and people with existing illnesses or chronic health conditions are at a higher risk of health problems when exposed to air pollution.

Toronto Public Health is encouraging everyone in Toronto to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke. People should be aware of their sensitivity to air pollution and take appropriate measures to protect their health, including avoiding strenuous outdoor activity and limiting time outside as much as possible. Windows should be kept closed if the temperature is comfortable. Those with air conditioning are encouraged to use it and, if possible, set HVAC systems to recirculate air and use HEPA air filters.

The City of Toronto is adjusting some programming in response to the ongoing Special Air Quality Statement in effect for Toronto. While most City services are continuing uninterrupted, there are changes to City-run daycare operations and cancellations of some recreation and cultural programming.

With the poor air quality expected to continue into the weekend, residents registered or planning to take part in City programming, particularly outdoor activities, are encouraged to check the City’s website for the latest updates on program changes. Advice on how people can protect their health and the health of loved ones can be found on the Government of Canada’s Air Quality Health Index webpage.

The City continues to offer a number of services to help individuals experiencing homelessness. This includes approximately 9,000 shelter spaces and a network of drop-in programs located across the city. More information can be found at

The City also maintains a map of cool spaces that are available for people to use throughout the summer to beat the heat and also in situations like this. The map includes locations such as libraries, and community and civic centres. The interactive map can be found on the City’s Cool Spaces Near You webpage.

The City’s Streets to Homes community outreach team is continuing to connect with those living outside to conduct wellness checks, provide water and encourage people to come indoors. In light of worsening air quality, the City is working to activate additional temporary contingency spaces at various shelter sites in areas not used for sleeping, such as common areas. These will be used to help those staying outside have access to even more indoor spaces.

The St. Lawrence Market is also reviewing outdoor programming and will be advising of any impacts to planned events on their website.


 Indigenous Peoples Month

The month of June is Indigenous Peoples Month, a time to learn, reflect, and celebrate the diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit across Tkaronto (Toronto) and all of Turtle Island (what is now called North America).

This June, events are taking place across Toronto, including the Indigenous Arts Festival, Na-Me-Res Pow Wow, and National Indigenous Peoples Day Sunrise Ceremony.

The City of Toronto remains committed to advancing truth, justice and reconciliation and is working closely with Indigenous partners to continue implementing the City's first Reconciliation Action Plan. Read the full plan at


 Mayor By-Election - Advanced Voting

Advance Polls Are Now Open!

It's time to exercise our civic duty and have our voices heard in the upcoming Mayoral By-Election! This is an exciting opportunity for us to shape the future of our beloved city, and I wanted to make sure you have all the details to make your vote count.

Starting today, June 8 to Tuesday, June 13, you can head over to any of the 50 locations spread across the city and cast your vote. And hey, here's the best part – you can choose a location that's convenient for you! Whether it's close to your workplace, your cozy home, or even your friend's place, there's bound to be a location nearby. So no excuses, let's get out there and vote!

If you're in Toronto Centre, you've got two fantastic options to cast your ballot: the Wellesley Community Centre or the St. Lawrence Community Centre. These vibrant community hubs are ready to welcome you with open arms, and they'll make sure your vote is counted in the most welcoming and friendly environment.

Now, I know some of you may prefer to wait until the big day to cast your vote. Election day is Monday, June 26! The polls will be open from 10am to 8pm, giving you ample time to swing by and have your say. Remember, this is our chance to make a real impact on our city's future, so let's seize it together!

For more information on the Mayoral By-Election, head over to There, you'll find all the nitty-gritty details, from candidate profiles to voting rules and regulations. It's a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know, and it's just a click away.

I'm filled with excitement and enthusiasm for this upcoming Mayoral By-Election, and I hope you are too! Let's show our community spirit, come together, and make our voices heard. This is our chance to shape the future of Toronto and create a city we can all be proud of.

See you at the polls!


 Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting is underway.

$750,000 is available within each selected Zone for neighbourhood enhancements.

Residents who live within the zone boundaries are invited to submit ideas for capital projects. The deadline to submit ideas is June 30.

Over the summer, each idea will be reviewed for feasibility and costed by City staff based on the cost of materials, labour, etc. Then, in the fall, residents who live within the selected zones can vote on which projects they would like to see funded.

Ideas should be as specific as possible. For example, instead of "Streetscape Improvements", you'd want to break the improvements down into elements such as "Brighter Lighting", "Benches", and/or "Bump Outs".

For more information visit

Let the ideas begin!

Submit an Idea

My team has been out in the community to promote PB and engage with residents. Last Saturday, my team was out in the community at Dr. Lillian McGregor Park and Barbara Hall Park.

Here are the upcoming dates and locations:

Saturday, June 10

Corktown Common
1:00pm - 2:30pm

Cooper Koo YMCA
3:00pm - 4:30pm


Friday, June 23 - Sunday, June 25

Pride Street Fair
10:00am - 8:00pm


 COVID-19 Boosters

COVID-19 activity and the impact on the health of Torontonians, including hospitalization, remains low. To boost vaccine protection, the Ontario Ministry of Health is recommending certain high-risk groups get a spring COVID-19 booster based on guidance from Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

The following high-risk groups are recommended to get their spring COVID-19 booster if it has been at least six months since their last COVID-19 dose or infection:

  • People 65 years old or older
  • Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, elder care lodges and other congregate living settings for seniors
  • Pregnant people
  • People 18 years old or older living in congregate care settings for people with complex medical care needs
  • People 18 years old or older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised
  • Indigenous People who are 55 years old or older and their non-Indigenous household members ages 55 and older


 Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee engagement review

Toronto City Council is seeking public input on a potential new approach for the Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee (AAAC) for this Council term. The City of Toronto is collecting feedback through a public survey and hosting in-person sessions for the Indigenous community to provide input. Both sessions are open to Indigenous community members:

Tuesday, June 13, 2023
Anytime between 1:00PM and 7:00PM
Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter Street

Learn more and submit feedback[/button[


 Neighbourhood Climate Action Grants

Are you working on a climate project, activity or event in your neighbourhood? The City of Toronto wants to help! Through the Neighbourhood Climate Action Grants program, the City is offering grants of up to $7,500 to support resident-led climate action projects, activities and events that:

  • Reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change
  • Educate and engage the public on climate change and climate action
  • Advance the principles, priorities and actions of TransformTO Net Zero Strategy and the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy

Groups led by Black, Indigenous and equity-deserving people and place-based projects in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and Emerging Neighbourhoods will be prioritized in the review process.

Applications will be accepted until September 15, 2023.



 Park Naming in Ward 13

Six new parks are opening in St. James Town, Corktown, St. Lawrence Market, and the Garden District. The city recognizes the need for accessible and inviting outdoor spaces, and these green havens will provide just that.

Now, we need your help in naming these parks. We want the names to reflect the vibrant spirit of our community. Head over to the Toronto Centre Projects website and submit your naming proposals. Think about our rich history, diverse culture, and unique charm. Your input matters, so let's shape the identity of these parks together.

Spread the word and encourage friends and family to join in the fun. Together, we can create parks that are not just beautiful green spaces, but vibrant hubs reflecting the heart and soul of Toronto Centre.

Propose a Name


 Street Naming in Ward 13

I have some exciting news to share for the vibrant neighbourhood of Corktown! Cory Lemos, a dedicated resident, has submitted applications to name two laneways. These proposals have undergone a Technical Review and Guiding Principles Review led by City staff.

City Staff have reached out to my office seeking my feedback and approval. I am supportive of the proposed names. However, I also believe in the power of a public-facing process. Inclusivity and community involvement must be at the forefront of our decision-making.

The process of naming parks, streets, and laneways can sometimes be unclear or distant. But fear not! I am dedicated to fostering transparency and community participation. That's why, once these naming applications are forwarded to my office, we will be sharing them on Toronto Centre Projects and including them in my communications for 30 days. This will provide community members with a chance to express their thoughts and comments. Your voice matters!

North Star Way

One proposal is to name the street that runs parallel south of Queen Street between St. Paul Street and Bright Street, North Star Way. The North Star was a guide in the sky that historically showed people who were seeking freedom the "way" to Canada and to freedom.


Henry Brown Lane

The other proposal is to name the laneway behind 42 Bright Street (where Mr. Brown lived), which runs north and south to Henry Brown Lane


After this period of community engagement, as long as no major concerns or objections arise, my office will give staff the go-ahead to proceed. They will then prepare a Staff Report to be presented at the Toronto and East York Community Council or City Council for final approval of the proposed names.

I'd like to take a moment to recognize and express our heartfelt gratitude to Cory for their outstanding dedication to placemaking and preserving Corktown's rich history. Their passion, diligent research, and countless hours spent garnering support from adjacent property owners for these two laneways are truly remarkable. Cory's inspiring efforts are a shining example of what builds connected, vibrant, and safe communities.

Together, let's continue to celebrate our community's spirit and work hand in hand to create a neighbourhood we can all be proud of. Thank you, Corktown, for your unwavering enthusiasm and commitment to shaping our shared spaces.


 Eco-Roof Incentive Program

Are you looking to replace or upgrade your roof? The City offers rebates for the installation of green roofs and cool roofs on all existing buildings and some new buildings in Toronto through its Eco-Roof Incentive Program.

More than 600 projects, representing more than 1 million square meters of eco-roof space in Toronto, have been funded through the program since 2009. More information is available at


 Upcoming Events

Quarterly Neighbourhood Community Officer Meetings

Meet your local Neighbourhood Community Officers, receive updates on critical incidents, and ask questions.

St. James Town - Cabbagetown
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne Street

Regent Park
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East

Moss Park
Monday, June 26, 2023
Central Neighbourhood House, 349 Ontario Street


The ArQuives Open House

Celebrate The ArQuives 50th anniversary with a house tour, explore the collection material in their gallery space, and have a chance to chat with staff and volunteers.

Saturday, June 17, 2023
10:00AM - 5:00PM
34 Isabella Street


Underpass Park Farmers Market

Every Thursday from May to October
4:00PM - 7:30PM
29 Lower River Street

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Pride Toronto 2024 Welcome and Events

Pride Toronto 2024 Welcome and Events

On May 31, I raised the flag outside City Hall to mark the beginning of Pride Month. This is the time to celebrate Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer love, culture, and history. Pride Month is also a time of reflection, acknowledging the challenges that our communities face to be proud and to be true to their identity.

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