Hello Toronto Centre!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter or Passover weekend filled with joy!
I was happy to join St. James Town residents at their Spring Town Hall last week. We had great conversations about our visions for St. James Town, and came out of it with a renewed sense of unity and concrete ideas for the community. We also had an insightful discussion about the Ontario Government's Bill 23, how that impacts our neighbourhoods, and how important it is to work together with all stakeholders to ensure the best outcomes for our community. I can't wait to join the residents at the next town hall!
The past week, I heard concerns from many residents regarding the recent reports of the No Frills at Princess and Front Street closing, leaving many residents in the neighbourhood without a grocery store. The re-zoning application for the development was voted on by the previous City Council in the Summer of 2022. Currently, there have been no further updates since this re-zoning was passed. A request for demolition has not been submitted to the City, and it could take at least a year for demolition to begin.
The developer has intentionally created retail space in their plans for the new development in order to invite No Frills back into the neighbourhood hopefully, but as these are two private companies, I am not privy to any agreements or information about their future plans. When I receive any updates regarding the No Frills site, I will share the information with residents through these email updates.
I'd like to assure residents that I have been proactive about the food deserts in the lower east end of our ward by speaking with current and prospective developers to set the right conditions in their commercial or retail spaces to attract grocery stores to the area. I know how important it is for the community to have access to a grocery store, especially an affordable grocery store. Grocery and food prices have gone up significantly, and I recognize a lot of residents are struggling. Everyone deserves to be able to shop for groceries in their local neighbourhood. I will continue working with all relevant parties to ensure we set the right conditions to make that a reality.
I hope this e-newsletter is informative, I encourage you to share it with your neighbours and encourage them to sign up for updates and other notices at www.chrismoise.ca. My team and I have also launched our text messaging service, if you are interested in receiving text updates about road closures or construction notices in our Ward, text us at (647) 424-3257.
Yours in service,
Table of Contents
- 25 St. Mary Street
- Bell Box Murals
- Community Environment Day
- Night Economy Review
- Constituency Office Grand Opening
- Tax Clinics
- Moss Park Market
- Park People Grants
- Vaccination Options
- City of Toronto Grants
- Upcoming Community Consultations
- Mayoral By-Election
25 St. Mary Street
25 St. Mary Street is undergoing demolition and redevelopment in the coming years. Displacement and demovictions are never ideal. However, City Staff and I continue to work hard to secure the best possible outcomes for tenants within the provincial framework.
The City does not have the authority to reject applications without first reviewing the application and going through a public consultation process. If City Council does reject an application after that review process, which can only happen under strict planning rationale, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT). The OLT has a long history of overturning City Council decisions and approving development applications with little to no community benefits. This is an outcome I will choose to avoid at all costs: it is more important that we secure benefits for the community in any situation.
With the introduction of Bill 23, the Provincial Government has given the Minister the authority to make regulations, imposing limits and conditions on the powers of the City to prohibit and regulate the demolition and conversion of residential rental properties under section 111 of the City of Toronto Act. The City has 20 to 30 rental replacement projects annually, and this is one of the largest.
Through my position, I can and do make strong requests of developers to improve their plans to address community concerns. However, I do not have the authority to reject applications and must work through the planning process and rely on the professional review by City Planning Staff.
As your new City Councillor, I have worked hard over the past 5 months with City Staff and TenBlock to secure a historic rental replacement package for tenants that goes above and beyond what is expected of the applicant in these situations.
At tomorrow's Community Council Meeting, I will be introducing a few amendments to the staff recommendations to:
- request that the applicant identify applicable vacant apartment units within their property management networks, where feasible, for tenants to relocate to; and
- request that the applicant provide tenant relocation and assistance to all post-application Tenants above and beyond the requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act, including at least 6 months of notice, special needs compensation for applicable tenants, and the first right of refusal on any replacement rental dwelling units not occupied by returning eligible tenants, provided such post-application Tenants meet any income eligibility requirements for renting affordable or mid-range units.
I am also extremely proud to have secured 50 additional affordable rental units, a new public park on-site, and a new daycare that will be owned and operated by the City.
Again, demovictions are never ideal, however while they are permitted under provincial law, and in the case of 25 St. Mary Street, there has been a tremendous demonstration of responsibility, recognition, and a concerted effort by all parties to reduce the hardship experienced by tenants who will be displaced.
As such, I do hope 25 St. Mary's becomes an example not only across our ward, but across the city on how we can achieve more affordable housing and improve our long-term rental stock while still protecting renters and addressing their needs.
Bell Box Murals
The Bell Box Murals Project is an innovative collaboration between private businesses, community organizations, local artists and local governments that benefits all community members. Since 2009, artists from the Bell Boxes Murals Project have painted 450 murals on Bell Canada outdoor utility boxes in over 40 communities throughout Toronto, Southern Ontario and Quebec.
Bell Box Murals are painted in sets of eight boxes in separate communities each summer. Six to eight projects are done each year. Requests are received throughout the year and we meet with each community to discuss possible projects for the following year. A recommended list of communities and projects is submitted to Bell Canada for approval in December.
We've identified several boxes but would also like to seek your input. Know of a bell box near you that needs some artwork? Head over to Toronto Centre Projects to have your say!
Community Environment Day
The Ward 13 office is hosting our Community Environment Day on Saturday, April 22nd from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at The Big Park in Regent Park. Come by and pick up leaf compost, donate items in good condition for reuse, and dispose of unwanted items!
Night Economy Review
The City of Toronto is seeking input to inform a review of licensing and zoning regulations for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as strategies to support Toronto's night economy – the social, cultural and business activities that occur from 6:00PM to 6:00AM.
Please register for a public engagement session ahead of time.
Virtual Public Engagement: Wednesday, April 12, 6 – 8 p.m
Link to register: Register Here
Follow the link below to complete the survey!
Constituency Office Grand Opening
Great news! The Ward 13 team will have our very own constituency office at 329 Parliament Street. We will be able to connect with residents in the community and host meetings outside of our City Hall office. I’m excited to connect with residents in a more local setting when our office opens. We will host a grand opening on April 29th, 2023 at 1:00PM. Please RSVP below!
St. James Town is offering a Free Income Tax Clinic by appointment only, on Saturday, April 8th and Saturday, April 22nd from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. For in-person appointments, the location is The Corner at 200 Wellesley Street East. To be eligible for the clinic, your postal code must start with one of the following: M4X, M4Y, M5A and M5B. For more details or to book an appointment, please call (416) 964 – 6657 Or you can visit: The Corner @ 200 Wellesley Street, East, Toronto, ON M4X 1G3.
There is also a tax clinic at 40 Oak Street (Fred Victor Centre) operating every two weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00AM to 11:30AM until Thursday, April 27th. Please call Maseeda Majeed at (647) 580-9319 to book an appointment!
Moss Park Market
Building Roots is an organization in Moss Park that created a market with space for the community, providing fresh fruits and vegetables since 2013. Building Roots was initially founded in response to a lack of access to fresh food and agricultural growing space across Toronto. The Moss Park Market continues to operate every Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at 260 Queen Street East (Queen and Seaton Streets). The market offers fresh, healthy, and accessible food for all through a pay-what-you-can model. I encourage the community to visit and say hello!
You may have noticed the second, brand-new shipping container next to our Moss Park Market. Building Roots call it the Gathering Space – a place where community members can come together to share, learn, and enjoy. The Building Roots team is actively working on planning community programs, events, and workshops for the new season. Stay tuned for future announcements!
Park People Grants
Park People is offering micro-grants for different initiatives around Toronto!
In partnership with the City of Toronto, Park People works with grantees to mobilize, activate and explore Toronto’s ravines. Park People and our many ravine park groups also take part in the City of Toronto’s Ravine Days. The $2500 micro grants will help communities host two simple, creative and engaging environmentally-focused events in their local Toronto ravine from June 1 to November 1, 2023. The application deadline for the InTO the Ravines Grants is tomorrow Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
The Sparking Change program engages hundreds of park leaders in Toronto’s equity-deserving communities. In 2022, Sparking Change awarded 20 grants to BIPOC-led park initiatives in the City of Toronto including 14 groups that led events in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. In 2023, Sparking Change Toronto's $2,500 grants will help active BIPOC-led resident groups and equity-deserving communities host an outdoor activity in their local park or green space before November 30, 2023. The Sparking Change Toronto Grants application deadline is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) provides appointment and walk-in vaccination opportunities for individuals who are yet to be vaccinated or are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose. Bivalent booster vaccines are available for anyone five years of age and older. Health cards are not required.
All TPH immunization clinics are open Tuesdays through Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Details are available on the City's COVID-19: City Immunization Clinics webpage.
TPH is also helping Toronto students catch up on lifesaving vaccines they may have missed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents and guardians of children from four to 17 years of age can book vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, pertussis (whooping cough) and varicella (chickenpox) at TPH immunization clinics. Ontario's Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) requires these nine children's vaccines. Students in grades 7 to 12 can also continue to access vaccines for human papillomavirus, meningococcal and hepatitis B at these clinics. There is no fee for children to receive these vaccines, and a health card is not required.
Appointments are preferred, though walk-ins will be accommodated based on capacity. Appointments can be made online through the TPH appointment booking system.
Mobile clinics continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines for eligible residents ages five and older. Vaccines for children six months and older are also available at select mobile clinics. A health card is not required. Appointments are not necessary to visit a mobile clinic. Book here.
City of Toronto Grants
The City of Toronto’s CaféTO Property Improvement Program provides restaurant, bar, and café owners with a matching grant covering 50%, up to $7,500 towards the cost of improvements to patios in the curb lane, on sidewalks and on private property. Funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for South Ontario, this program is part of the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative. Applications are now open and will be accepted until Friday, June 30, or when funds are expended. Priority will be given to applicants with temporary curb lane platforms.
The City of Toronto is accepting applications for its capacity-building grants for Indigenous-led grassroots groups and collectives. Groups can apply for one grant each of up to $20,000, with a total of $450,000 available funding in 2023. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis starting today until Thursday, September 21. Applications will be assessed and grant recipients will be selected throughout the application period, on a quarterly basis, with deadlines on Tuesday, March 21, Wednesday, June 21, and September 21. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as funding may be allocated before the final September 21 deadline.
Upcoming Community Consultations
There are upcoming Community Consultation Meetings for new developments in our ward, please see below for more details:
Development Address: 295 Jarvis Street
Date: Tuesday, April 11th, 2023 (Today!)
Time: 6:30PM to 8:00PM
Location: 240 Jarvis Street, Toronto Metropolitan University, International Living & Learning Centre, International Room
Development: Regent Park Phases 4 and 5
Date: Tuesday, April 25th, 2023
Time: 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Link to register for attendance: Register Here
Development: 34, 36 and 42 Maitland Street
Date: Wednesday, April 26th, 2023
Time: 6:00PM to 7:30PM
Link to register for attendance: Register Here
The Mayoral By-election Dates are as follows, if you are interested in running for Mayor, nominations have started already! Even if you are not planning to run, I encourage everyone to schedule a day to go vote!
- Nominations will open Monday, April 3 at 8:30 a.m.
- Nominations will close Friday, May 12 at 2 p.m.
- Advance voting will take place Thursday, June 8 to Tuesday, June 13
- By-election will be held Monday, June 26
From now, until 2:00PM on Friday, May 12, a person qualified to hold the office of Mayor can file a nomination to run in Toronto's 2023 mayoral by-election. To run for the office of Mayor, a person must:
- File a nomination paper with original signature
- Provide proof of qualifying address within the city of Toronto
- Pay a $200 nomination filing fee
- Provide at least 25 endorsements of nomination from eligible Toronto voters with original signatures.
Until a nomination is filed, a person cannot raise or spend money on their campaign.
Individuals are strongly encouraged to book a timeslot to file their nomination through the online appointment booking system. Having an appointment will ensure quick service, minimize wait times and reduce crowding. Appointments can be booked on the Toronto Elections webpage here. For more information about the by-election please visit the City's Elections Page.