Happy May Toronto Centre!
It's been a long month with many updates and thanks to give. This past week at City Council, my colleagues and I were able to legalize multiplexes across the city, and I was able to change parking regulations around our local Mosque in Regent Park. You can read more about these important changes in the sections below!
Additionally, I requested a study with the support of my colleague and TTC Chair, Councillor Burnside, to explore how we can get streetcars and busses moving faster by the possible introduction of advanced left turns, and banning left turns on streetcar routes where applicable. With Ontario Line construction and street improvements in our ward, we need to ensure that people can stay moving through our downtown. I hope to share the study with you when it is ready.
My council colleagues and I also voted to formally declare homelessness an emergency, this will help strengthen our request to other levels of government to help fund our homelessness supports that are desperately needed across the city. The good news is the City is moving towards a 24/7 respite model of homelessness support rather than warming centres, this means that more locations across the city will be reviewed for eligibility. As the Chair of the Board of Health, I am happy with this ongoing progress. People need these resources and we need to have them ready before the temperatures become too extreme once again. I am also glad to report that Toronto Public Health and the Shelter, Support & Housing Administration are working towards reporting more frequently on our homeless population, on a quarterly basis, instead of twice a year. Keeping better track of this data will help the City understand how our supports and resources are working better for the most vulnerable in the city.
My office and I are also excited to announce that we are bringing Participatory Budgeting to Toronto Centre! Participatory Budgeting is a system of direct democracy where residents suggest and then vote on how funds are spent within their community. We have divided our ward into different groups of neighbourhoods (zones) in order to facilitate effective engagement with residents. Our virtual information session will be held on Thursday, May 25th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM! Read more about this process at ChrisMoise.ca/PB or in the newsletter section below!
First off, I'd like to thank all residents and neighbours who came by and made Ward 13's Community Environment Day a huge success! We had over 300 residents come by, despite the cold rain, to come to drop off donations, and disposables. We were able to distribute a whole 12 skids of compost to the community, and I'm so excited to hear about the different plants and crops people are able to grow from the compost! I'd also like to thank all neighbourhoods and residents in Ward 13 who weren't able to make it to Community Environment Day due to their planned Community Clean-Ups. Thank you for all your hard work in making our neighbourhoods greener and keeping them beautiful!
This event could not have been possible without City of Toronto staff, CUPE Local 416 and Local 79, the Toronto Public Library Workers Union Local 4948 and local organizations like Building Roots TO, Music for Climate Justice, and Friends of Allan Gardens. Thank you as well to TDSB Trustee Deborah Williams, MP Marci Ien and MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam for their presence at our event. I had a great time connecting with staff and the community throughout the day's event.
Secondly, I'd also like to thank all residents who came to our Constituency Office Grand Opening. Despite the rain, it was so heartwarming to see so many people come out to celebrate with the Ward 13 team. As a community, we were able to collect a large number of food donations for the Allan Gardens Food Bank! These donations will go a long way to helping those who are in need, and I know that your warmth will reach them through the food collected.
As the summer months approach, I look forward to seeing residents at community events across the ward! Recently, I was able to connect with residents at the Pam McConnell statue unveiling, the Moss Park Spring Festival, the Dr. Lillian McGregor Park grand opening and the St. James Town Spring Town Hall. It has been wonderful to enjoy the warming weather in the community with residents, and I hope you feel the same as well!
Toronto Centre is getting new parks and improving our existing parks. For our new parks, we need your help in naming them! My office is holding a park naming contest in the ward, to find these new parks some great names. If you have children or are an educator in our ward, please let them know they are more than welcome to participate in this naming contest, please see below for details!
As always, 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.
Yours in service,
Table of Contents
- Participatory Budgeting
- Legalizing Multiplexes
- Ontario Line Construction Updates
- Community Events
- Park Naming Contest
- Friends of Allan Gardens
- Moss Park Market
- City Programs & Grants
- Vaccination Options
- All About Community Benefits
- Upcoming Community Consultations
- Mayoral By-Election: Voting 101
I am excited to bring Participatory Budgeting to Toronto Centre, following the lead of my colleague Councillor Carroll who has successfully run participatory budgeting in her ward since 2015, funding 21 projects and counting.
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a system of direct democracy where residents suggest and then vote on how funds are spent within their community.
Each year, different neighbourhoods will be selected based on available Community Benefits Funds, the capacity of city staff and my team, and active capital projects already underway.
In Toronto Centre, we have 14 neighbourhoods, so we have divided the ward into six groups of neighbourhoods (zones) to ensure we can properly manage and facilitate local processes as well as complete successful projects in a timely manner.
We are holding a virtual information session to answer any questions you may have on Participatory Budgeting on Thursday, May 25th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. Please make sure to RSVP to receive the link to the session!
Last week at City Council, we successfully legalized multiplexes across the city! The housing crisis requires more types of housing to be built in every ward, Toronto Centre has been doing its part in ensuring that housing continues to be built in the spaces we have available. However, in order to address the housing crisis, each part of the city needs to have the zoning policies required to contribute to the housing supply.
We were able to ensure that 2-4 units on a traditional single-family lot are fully zoned- this will help build housing across the city while conforming to neighbourhood character policies. This is an important step forward, but work still needs to be done to push for more housing and new housing options- multiplexes alone will not solve the housing and affordability crises. If you'd like to read more about this decision, see here.
Mosque Parking Regulation Changes
Since before I began my term at City Council, I heard from many residents from Regent Park about parking tickets being issued during prayer times at the local mosques in Toronto Centre. I have been working very hard to ensure that equity is being considered when it comes to parking regulations in our community; people should not have to fear being ticketed when they are attending prayer at their mosques or other religious institution.
At last week's City Council meeting, my proposed parking regulation changes on Parliament Street were approved. For everyone who attends Masjid Omar Bin Khatab and Masjidur Rahmah, these changes will allow the community to attend prayer times with ease of mind. I am proud I was able to achieve this win for residents in Toronto Centre, and I hope this is the beginning of a larger parking regulation conversation across the city. To read the specific changes, see the motion here.
Ontario Line Construction Updates
Ontario Line construction has begun on Queen Street, closing Queen Street between Victoria Street and Bay Street. To better connect downtown and the east end of the city, additional buses will run from King Street West and York Street to Queen Street East and Kingston Road. These buses will run approximately every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday, and will be labelled as 501 Queen eastbound and 504 King westbound buses.
For further details, TTC riders can visit the TTC's website for the latest updates.
The City has also designated Dundas Street, between Jarvis Street to Bathurst Street a priority travel route, providing an unobstructed parallel route for vehicles travelling east/west, diverting from Queen Street. Additional Priority Travel Routes will be identified as Ontario Line construction progresses and may feature reduced on-street parking, no planned utility work and limited lane restrictions for permitted installations and events. For more about the Ontario Line, and to sign up for Ontario Line updates, see below!
The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association's Waste Reduction Group is hosting their next REmarket on Wednesday, June 14th and Thursday, June 15th at the St. Lawrence Market Tent (125 The Esplanade). See the above poster for details on the times and items you can bring for donation and recycling!
Doors Open Toronto is taking place on Saturday, May 27th and Sunday, May 28th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM! Toronto History Museums will offer site tours as part of Doors Open Toronto, presented by Great Gulf. More information is available on the City’s Doors Open Toronto webpage below!
Park Naming Contest
The City of Toronto is currently hosting park naming public consultations, but because community engagement is very important to me, I have taken it upon myself to source proposals from the community. As a former TDSB trustee, I know how important it is to hear from our youth and future community leaders of Ward 13. I believe that the opinions of youth who utilize these spaces matter, just as much as the ideas of adult residents in our ward.
As such, I am hosting a 2023 Park Naming Contest across all invited TDSB schools in our ward! Everyone is invited to share their ideas and I can’t wait to see what students come up with.
These are the addresses of the following parks that are looking for a name:
- 1 Defries Park
- 60 Howard Street Park
- 40 Power Street Park
- 45 Dalhousie Street Park
Although the contest is focused on youth in the ward, all residents can feel free to submit their ideas below as well!
Inner Truth Taiko Dojo
Are you planning an event soon? Do you want to have talented performers bring amazing entertainment? Contact Inner Truth Taiko Dojo for your next event! Inner Truth Taiko Dojo is based in the Daniels Spectrum Building. They hope to be a drum group that can become a voice for the Regent Park community at rallies and events. Additionally, if you are interested in joining a practice that combines music, body movement and awareness as well as community building, please contact Inner Taiko Dojo via email at [email protected]!
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!
City Programs & 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 for 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.
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.
All About Community Benefits
Have you heard about Community Benefits? If you've ever wondered what they are, I've created a page for residents to learn about the different types of community benefits. One of my responsibilities as a City Councillor is to ensure that community benefits are secured through each development in our Ward, and that these benefits are allocated thoughtfully. Read more about the different types of community benefits below!
Upcoming Community Meetings
I have heard many residents' noise complaints about the development at 319 Jarvis Street. To address these concerns, the developer is hosting a Construction Management Working Group Meeting, please see below for more details:
Development Address: 319 Jarvis Street
Date: Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
Time: 10:00AM to 11:00AM
How to Attend: Attend Here
There is an upcoming Community Consultation Meeting for a new development in our ward, please see below for more details:
Development Address: 505, 507 and 509 Parliament Street
Date: Tuesday, May 30th, 2023
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Register Here
Mayoral By-Election: Voting 101
The Mayoral By-election Dates are as follows:
- Advance voting will take place from Thursday, June 8 to Tuesday, June 13
- The by-election will be held Monday, June 26
Have you applied to vote by mail?
Eligible voters can choose an alternative to in-person voting for Toronto’s 2023 by-election for mayor and can apply to vote by mail until Friday, May 26 at 4:30 PM.
The mail-in voting option is a convenient way to vote, allowing applicants to vote from the comfort of their homes. Interested voters must apply to vote online by visiting the Toronto Elections Vote by Mail webpage or by calling Toronto Elections at 416-338-1111 and pressing 5.
Once a mail-in voting application is processed, packages will be mailed to voters starting May 23. Applicants can track the status of their package using the confirmation code generated after completing their online application.
Completed mail-in voting packages must be received by Thursday, June 15, at noon. Completed packages can be returned through Canada Post to arrive by the deadline or hand delivered to a secure mail-in voting drop box. One yellow drop box will be available in each of Toronto’s wards between June 1 and June 15. Drop box locations can be found here.