In the Ward: Cabbagetown South

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of spending the day out in the Cabbagetown South neighbourhood, a gem in our ward brimming with history, culture, community spirit and unique challenges that require special attention.

I was accompanied by my dedicated staff and Neighbourhood Community Officers from 51 Division. Together, we journeyed through the laneways, blossoming gardens and bustling business and service centres that shape the fabric of Cabbagetown South.

One of the stops was Margaret's Drop-In Centre located at 323 Dundas Street East, a beacon of support for some of the city's most vulnerable residents. The staff at Margaret’s were very forthcoming with the challenges they face at their current location which does not adequately support their operations. A quick audit of their space showed that the design of the rehabilitated church was in places inadvertently creating loitering and drug dealing issues that need to be addressed.

We also visited Callaghan Lane and Calgie Lane to take a look at the state of the roads and potholes. I am expediting the reconstruction of Callaghan Lane to 2025. The design of the reconstructed laneway will include a permeable paving treatment that will be consistent with the laneway design to the west on Calgie Lane to provide flood protection. 

We also saw some beauty in the laneways! The Cabbagetown South Residents’ Association's laneway gardens are an inspiring showcase of how local participation and neighbourhood unity can lead to greener, cleaner and more inviting public spaces. These laneway gardens are an important natural deterrent to public drug use. I also visited Central Neighbourhood House to see the newly planted trees that the community and my staff have long advocated for. 

Ontario Street Parkette was also on our list. Despite being dominated by a children’s playground, this parkette is a hot spot for illegal and adult activity. I am advocating for proper signage that would deter this activity and requested that 51 Division increase their enforcement efforts here to make it more welcoming to families.

 

In the midst of heavy construction activity, we also took the opportunity to visit Poulette Street to understand the disruption and inconvenience that can come with new development, such as road damage caused by heavy machinery. Thankfully, the City has measures in place that will require developers to pay for temporary repairs and permanent improvements towards the end of the construction schedule. 

Our final stop was at the Somali Business Centre at 262 Parliament Street, a vibrant hub of small businesses that invigorate our community. It was incredibly insightful to converse with the local entrepreneurs who, through their relentless dedication and creativity, make our communities more dynamic and diverse. 

While sitting on various committees and boards keeps me busy advocating for you at City Hall, there is no comparison to physically being out in the community, experiencing its challenges, victories and day-to-day life first-hand. This understanding fuels my drive to continue working hard for our community and to fight for a city that truly reflects the needs and desires of its residents. 

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