December 2023 Newsletter

Over the last month, I had an opportunity to hear from many of you and your neighbours at Pre-Budget Consultations, where residents made their wish list ahead of the holidays.

No, we weren't compiling our Christmas wish lists, but the spirit of hope and commitment was not unlike a group of excited kids writing to Santa! We were sharing our collective priorities and expectations for the 2024 Budget - a truly rewarding exercise in civic engagement.

Walking around the room, I observed three prominent themes that shaped your wish list: affordability, enforcement, and public health. Each of these areas echoed the voices and lived experiences of our residents, providing invaluable insights to shape our budgetary deliberations.

Many of you highlighted the mounting cost of living pressures, advocating for increased funding towards affordable housing, better parks, more childcare options, accessible spaces for artists and more community grants for youth.

We also discussed where we, as a City, can improve. You expressed concerns over inconsistent by-law enforcement, specifically around noise and apartment standards. You called for improved accessibility on the TTC and stronger traffic enforcement. These comments have guided my work over the last year and will help guide how we prioritize services in next year's budget.

What touched me most was your empathy for those less fortunate. I heard your compassionate pleas for more public washrooms, improved health services and real investment in supportive housing. The message was loud and clear - we need to proactively address the root causes of hardship in our community rather than burdening our police services with addressing the anti-social behaviour that can result when we don't treat the root causes.

Undeniably, the task ahead is daunting: we're facing a significant operating budget deficit of $1.5 billion for 2024. While an increase in property taxes is not the complete answer, I can assure you that I, along with my colleagues on the Budget Committee, are prepared for the tough choices ahead.

The good news is, that Mayor Chow has made impressive strides in alleviating some of our financial pressures. The provincial uploading of the Gardiner and Don Valley Parkway, transforming them into provincial highways, will cut down our capital expenses by a staggering $1.9 billion over the next ten years. A $300 million boost for TTC safety and service enhancements is another significant win.

Promising developments continue with conditional funding for 55 new subway trains on the Bloor-Danforth line and a notable $600 million for shelters and homeless services. These funds are contingent on the Federal Government coming to the table as well, particularly to support refugees. The current crisis playing out in our shelter system is a direct result of the Federal Government laying the burden of supporting refugees on municipalities, so it is only fair that they properly fund new shelters and services to serve these vulnerable newcomers.

2023 has been a year of flux, and I'm sure many of you have felt it as deeply as I have. Yet, as we approach 2024, I stand firm in my optimism that it will be a year we can truly begin to build back better. I wish each of you, your families and your friends the utmost joy and peace this holiday season.

A Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and may the New Year be filled with hope, health and happiness!

Yours in Service,

Chris Moise
City Councillor
Ward 13 - Toronto Centre

  • Upcoming Events
  • Building Healthy Communities Recap 
  • Mental Health Strategy Launch
  • 2023 Vacant Home Tax Deadline: February 29, 2024
  • Get to Know Our Plan for Snow
  • MyAccesstoHousingTO Registration Clinics 
  • Participatory Budgeting Results
  • Moss Park Community Paramedic Clinic
  • Regent Park Revitalization Update
  • Dundas-Sherbourne Update
  • Allan Gardens Update
  • Friends of Allan Gardens Report and Survey
  • Anniversary Park Revitalization Update and Renaming
  • Dr. Gordon Chong Park Renaming – 60 Howard Street
  • 211-219 Gerrard Street East Community Consultation Meeting
  • No Frills / 200 Front Street East Update
  • Chill & Cheer in Corktown
  • Jamii Theatrical Shadow Puppetry Show -  December 8 and 9
  • Sing & Ring in the Holidays with the Hart House Chorus in St. James Park - December 17
  • Hockey Hall of Fame
  • We're Hiring! Join the Ward 13 Team!
  • Call for Volunteers

Dec 8 and 9: Theatrical Shadow Puppetry Show, David Crombie Park (The Esplanade & Berkeley St), 8:00pm and 9:00pm (see article below)

Dec 17 2023: Harr House Chorus in St. James Park (120 King Street East), 2pm (see article below)

Dec 19 2023: 211-219 Gerrard St E Community Consultation, 5:30pm to 7:00pm (virtual meeting; see article below)

Dec 22-26 2023: OFFICE CLOSED

Jan 1 and 2 2024: OFFICE CLOSED

Building Healthy Communities Recap

Last month, I hosted a Building Healthy Communities forum to address the numerous concerns my office heard about community safety at our Neighbourhood Town Halls earlier this year. We were joined by five expert panellists who are each leading initiatives to increase community safety and inclusion in Toronto Centre. 

Dr. Akwatu Khenti, Director of Community Resources and Social Development for the City of Toronto shared an overview of the Downtown East Action Plan and three programs aimed to promote safe and inclusive communities: Here to Help (H2H), Community Outreach and Support Team (COAST) and the Community Care Project.

Mohamed Shuriye, Director of Community Safety and Well-Being for the City of Toronto presented highlights from SafeTO: Toronto’s Ten-Year Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. As part of the plan’s first phase of implementation, the Toronto Community Crisis Service was embedded as a city-wide first response service. The service is a new, alternate approach to responding to someone in crisis that focuses on health, prevention and well-being. Its expansion was endorsed unanimously by City Council earlier this month.

Pauline Larsen, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area (BIA), highlighted how collaboration can help us grow stronger together. The BIA is partnering with SafeTO to run SafeTObia, a new pilot project that aims to address community safety and well-being using an economic development lens. The project will engage 60 business improvement areas across the city.

Finally, Uppala Chandrasekera, Director of Public Health at Toronto Public Health, and Kelly Skinner, Staff Superintendent at Toronto Police Service, presented a new joint initiative from Toronto Public Health and Toronto Police Service: the Public Health and Police Collaborative Outreach Team. As part of the pilot, officers will partner with public health nurse practitioners to provide overdose and substance use response, primary care support, short-term case management, and referrals to health and social services.

We know that community safety and inclusion are complex issues and there is much work to be done, but we are fortunate to have so many passionate individuals leading initiatives to make Toronto Centre safer for everyone.

Mental Health Strategy Launch


On November 20, I, as Chair of the Board of Health, alongside Deputy Mayor Malik, Mary Madigan-Lee, Chief People Officer and Susan Davis, Executive Director, Gerstein Crisis Centre launched Our Health, Our City: A Mental Health, Substance Use, Harm Reduction and Treatment Strategy for Toronto.

This comprehensive strategy takes a holistic approach to tackling some of the major mental health and substance use challenges facing our city for all age groups and communities. It lays the groundwork for building a vibrant city, while addressing inequities related to mental health and substance use. People with lived and living experience of mental health challenges or illnesses and people who use substances were engaged in multiple facets of the research that shaped this strategy. Their continued involvement in policy and program development is essential to creating meaningful solutions.

Our Health, Our City outlines how key investments in the health and social fabric of our city from all orders of Government, including community programming and treatment services, are essential to creating a liveable city for everyone.

While much work lies ahead, every Torontonian should be able to see themselves represented in this strategy. The City and our partners are committed to working together to promote public health and safety for all Toronto residents. I'm proud of this strategy as a first step to addressing the mental health and substance use challenges our city is facing, and I look forward to one day seeing a Toronto where everyone has access to the support they need.

You can read the full strategy on the City's website. 

2023 Vacant Home Tax Deadline: February 29, 2024

In 2022, the City’s Vacant Home Tax (VHT) came into effect, requiring that property owners declare the status of their residential properties. The tax for having a vacant home in 2023 will be one percent of the property’s Current Value Assessment. The deadline for the 2023 taxation year is February 29, 2024, so make sure to declare before that date. 

The number of complaints from Toronto-Centre residents about the 2022 VHT was low. However, there were residents who missed last year’s deadline to declare, so I felt it prudent to remind everyone again. A fee of $21.24 will be charged for failing to submit a declaration of occupancy status by the end of February next year. I therefore encourage all residents to declare well ahead of the deadline. 

Residential properties are subject to the VHT if it is not the principal residence of the owner or permitted residents, is unoccupied for more than six months, does not qualify for an exemption or is a property where no declaration is submitted.

Property owners or their authorized representative (for example, a relative or friend) can declare the occupancy status of a property through the secure online portal available on the City’s Vacant Home Tax webpage. Alternatively, owners or their representative can submit a paper declaration form available at Property Tax and Utility customer service counters at Toronto City Hall and all Civic Centres or by contacting 311.

To make a declaration of occupancy status, homeowners will need their property assessment roll number and customer number, both of which can be found on their property tax bill.

Homeowners planning to spend an extended period away this winter are encouraged to submit a declaration of occupancy status before leaving.

In October, Toronto City Council approved an increase in the tax rate for vacant properties from one percent to three percent for the 2024 taxation year, which will become payable in 2025.

The goal of the VHT is to increase the supply of housing by discouraging owners from leaving their residential properties unoccupied – and instead making them available for rent or for sale.

Revenues collected from the VHT will be allocated towards affordable housing initiatives including the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program.

Full details about the VHT, such as eligible exemptions, how to make a declaration of occupancy status and the option to subscribe to e-mail updates, including reminders and notices of important due dates, are available on the City’s Vacant Home Tax webpage.

Get to Know Our Plan for Snow

It’s coming up on that time of year again, and while I am looking forward to holiday festivities, the celebration and cheer sometimes brings snow with it. In advance of this weather, I wanted to point you to some resources the City has to explain how snow will be managed this year.

The City has a portal at that provides a lot of information, including:

  • Salting and Plowing Roads;
  • Sidewalk Clearing;
  • Bikeways Winter Maintenance;
  • Snow Removal After Major Storms;
  • Salt Management; and
  • Winter Safety Tips.

Residents can report issues to 311 regarding snow removal and winter maintenance 16 hours after the snow has stopped falling.

Please keep my office in the loop should there be any issues this winter.

MyAccesstoHousingTO Registration Clinics 

Are you a household on the Rent Geared to Income (RGI) housing Centralized Waiting List (CWL)?

I am excited to partner with Access to Housing to support residents on the CWL for RGI housing. Together we are offering MyAccesstoHousingTO Registration Clinics to Ward 13 residents at our 329 Parliament Street constituency office on December 19, 2023, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. 

Staff from Access to Housing will be onsite to assist you at 329 Parliament Street to: 

  • Register your application on the new MyAccesstoHousingTO system
  • Assist with application updates and explain the Choice-Based Allocation Model and how to express interest. 

To provide proper assistance, you will need to bring your ID and/or Status in Canada, your most recent Notice of Assessment (NOA/2022) and your CWL/RGI file number.

You can register by contacting our office at 416-392-7903 or by emailing [email protected].

Participatory Budgeting Results

Congratulations to everyone who participated in our successful 2023 Participatory Budgeting Campaign in Toronto Centre!

Following an idea phase where we asked you, our residents, to tell us what projects you wanted to see in your neighbourhood, 68 feasible ideas were distilled after a review by City staff for feasibility and costing. A total of 301 voters participated, resulting in 22 projects proceeding to City Council for approval scheduled in early 2024. Here is where you can learn more about which projects will be moving forward:

Zone 1 (Bay Cloverhill, Church Wellesley, Upper Jarvis and Bloor East): a total of 17 ideas were initially submitted. Following a feasibility assessment, 10 ideas advanced to the next stage. Zone 1 was allocated $750,000 CAD, and 136 votes were cast, supporting six projects that will proceed to the funding stage at City Council.
Click here to view the full report of funded ideas

Zone 5 (St. Lawrence Neighbourhood): a total of 40 ideas were submitted, with 20 advancing to the next stage after a feasibility review. Zone 5 was allocated $750,000 CAD, and 87 votes were cast in support of 12 projects that will proceed to the funding stage at City Council.
Click here to view the full report of funded ideas

Zone 6 (Corktown, West Don Lands and Distillery District): a total of 10 ideas were initially submitted, and five advanced to the next stage after a feasibility review. Zone 6 was allocated $750,000 CAD, and 77 votes were cast in support of four projects that will proceed to the funding stage at City Council.
Click here to view the full report of funded ideas

Thank you to everyone who participated! Please look forward to further updates on these projects in 2024, as well as our next round of PB!

Moss Park Community Paramedic Clinic

Starting this month, a new Community Paramedic Clinic will be in the Community Room at 275 Shuter Street every other Friday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.

We encourage Moss Park Apartment tenants (275-295 Shuter Street) to take advantage of this valuable resource. Paramedics will be onsite bi-weekly to provide various services such as checking vitals, heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. The paramedics will also be available to make referrals to family doctors and other health and medical support. If you have questions about your medical conditions, medications, etc., they will also be able to assist and connect you to support in the area, all while ensuring your health consultations remain confidential. If you live alone and /or require in-home services, the paramedics are also there to assist you.

For more information, please contact [email protected] or call (416) 397-4322.

Regent Park Revitalization Update

In exciting news, the construction of 175 Oak Street is progressing, and it is expected to be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2024. This marks the final addition to the Toronto Community Housing buildings within Phase 3.

An update for Regent Park Phase 4 & 5 is expected for late February 2024. This update will encompass information about the upcoming phase's development plans and timelines for groundbreaking.

For more information, please visit

Dundas-Sherbourne Update

Recognizing the persistent challenges faced in our ward, I'm excited to share the significant progress made in addressing key concerns around the intersection of Dundas Street East and Sherbourne Street this year.

During October's Toronto East York Community Council, I moved a motion to approve the much-needed no stopping zone at the southeast corner of the intersection. This request came due to community concerns regarding disrupted sight-lines and loitering. The by-law has now come into effect, and I expect new signage will be installed shortly. In addition, the bus shelter on the northeast corner of the intersection was removed in late November.

In related news, the ongoing installation of a protective fence around the Dundas Street East and Seaton Street laundromat parking lot is underway due to the advocacy of the Cabbagetown South Residents' Association and 51 Division. This fence is a welcome addition to Seaton Street.

Historically, issues like substance abuse, homelessness and related challenges have weighed heavily on our community. However, through the dedicated efforts of my staff and the support of the Cabbagetown South Residents' Association, substantial strides have been made to enhance the safety and well-being of our streets for all.

Your active involvement and support have been instrumental in achieving these positive changes. Let's continue collaborating to foster a safer, more secure and thriving community for all.

Allan Gardens Update

As we approach the holiday season, I'm delighted to bring you positive news regarding the Allan Gardens encampment. Our efforts, rooted in the City's Housing First strategy, have resulted in significant headway.

Through consistent Task Force Meetings we've taken proactive measures, leading to the establishment of three dedicated security teams, a Community Safety Team and the deployment of a staff trailer to enhance the effectiveness of our City and partner outreach teams.

Since the start of this year, we've successfully housed 75 individuals from the Allan Gardens encampment and facilitated 251 referrals to indoor housing. Notably, the encampment has witnessed a remarkable 75% decrease from its peak in July, a testament to the dedication of our tireless outreach staff.

In direct response to community feedback, two new anti-encroachment signs were installed in the park's southwest quadrant. These signs complement existing measures on the west side and align with our overarching goal of preventing further encampments.

For a full and transparent overview of our progress, I encourage you to explore the Encampment Dashboard available on my website.

My commitment to addressing the many challenges of the housing crisis remains resolute.

Let's continue to strike a balance—supporting our most vulnerable while ensuring all residents have access to cherished green spaces.

Friends of Allan Gardens Report and Survey

Growing with the City, a draft report from the Friends of Allan Gardens (FoAG) stands as a testament to our shared commitment to the continual development and preservation of Allan Gardens. This comprehensive report, crafted under the stewardship of FoAG and in collaboration with the City, is dedicated to nurturing ongoing engagement, fundraising endeavours and stewardship efforts for the enhancement of both cultural and capital projects within Allan Gardens.

At its core, this initiative emphasizes the importance of community involvement in shaping the future of the neighbourhood. It is a call to action, inviting each and every one of us to contribute our thoughts, ideas and perspectives. 

I encourage each of you to make your voices heard by participating in FoAG's survey and engaging in this exciting opportunity to collaborate in our city and community-building process. Your involvement is crucial in ensuring that our neighbourhood continues to flourish and thrive.

Anniversary Park Revitalization Update and Renaming

On Tuesday November 7, I attended an Anniversary Park community stakeholder meeting with the City’s Parks Forestry and Recreation team, the Cabbagetown Business Improvement Area, area residents and neighbouring service provider organizations.

At the third phase of this community engagement, we are finalizing the preferred design by working through the technical details and developing detailed plans and drawings to be used by the construction contractor. Priority is being given to optimizing the pedestrian flow within the park to enhance sight lines and deter antisocial behaviour. Additionally, increased lighting is proposed throughout all four seasons.

Another crucial aspect is the expansion of usable park space. The Gerrard Street East slip lane will be raised to match the grade of the park, restricting traffic to emergency and garbage disposal vehicles exclusively. Furthermore, an increase in tables and chairs, along with the installation of water bottle fillers, aim to encourage residents to use the park for meals and leisurely reading on sunny days.

The finalization of the park design is planned for Spring of 2024. Construction Tendering will happen in Spring/Summer of 2024.

Additionally, the City is looking to rename Anniversary Park. The parkette had originally been proposed to refer to Cabbagetown, but was blocked by the former business association, who said it feared that residents did not want to be associated with the reference to cabbages that impoverished Irish immigrants once grew on their yards. The parkette instead took its name to literally celebrate the anniversary of the business association.

Today, the City and neighbourhood recognize the spirit of those early immigrants, with the history of “Cabbagetown” wildly celebrated. The name I am asking for support for is to rename the parkette to the “Cabbage Patch.” Aside from referencing the history of the neighbourhood in a fun way, I think it would help support the idea that this parkette is intended as a place to gather and enjoy ourselves.

That being said, I am asking residents to provide feedback on renaming Anniversary Park. Please help us choose a name that can endure as we revitalize this civic space.

Dr. Gordon Chong Park Renaming – 60 Howard Street

On November 15, I had the honour of meeting and delivering the official renaming the new park at 60 Howard Street to Dr. Gordon Chong Park. Present were the late Dr. Chong’s wife, Shirley Hoy, his children, friends, old colleagues and his cherished grandchildren.

In 2019, City Council acknowledged Dr. Chong as a former City of Toronto councillor and founding member of the Federation of Chinese Canadian Professionals. He was first elected in 1979 as alderman of the former Ward 6 in what today would be considered Downtown Toronto, and lived not far from 60 Howard Street. Dr. Chong’s political career spanned decades and included a seat on the former Metropolitan Toronto Council, as well as two terms as a councillor representing a North York ward in the newly amalgamated City of Toronto.

Given his long history of serving the elderly and supporting youth, it is fitting that the park close to Dr. Chong’s youth and upbringing commemorates him.

Please learn more about Dr. Chong by visiting our Toronto Centre Projects website.

211-219 Gerrard Street East Community Consultation Meeting

The City has received an application to amend the Zoning By-law for 211-219 Gerrard Street East to permit a 7-storey mixed-use building containing 39 rental dwelling units. This community consultation will include a presentation from City Planning as well as from the developer. I encourage you to come out, learn more and ask questions.

Drawings and reports submitted in support of the application can be downloaded at:

The session will take place on December 19, 2023 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. You can access the event link by visiting the City Planning Consultations webpage at Please register for the meeting in advance of the start time.

If you cannot access the virtual meeting on your phone or computer, you can also call 416-915-6530, enter access code 2632 391 6574, and if prompted for a password, enter 21143772. To ask questions by phone during the meeting, dial *3 or submit your comments in advance by contacting:

Tiffany Ly
Assistant Planner, Community Planning
City Planning Division, City of Toronto
[email protected]

For more information about how to join the meeting and how to participate visit

No Frills / 200 Front Street East Update

I frequently hear from residents concerned over the potential closure of the Rocco’s No Frills at 200 Front Street East. Given the volume of questions, I felt it may be helpful to try and explain what is happening and assure people that there are not imminent plans to close this grocery store.

Last term, City Council approved a rezoning for the site that would permit a new residential tower over what is the current location of the No Frills. This has caused a lot of anxiety for local residents who depend on Rocco’s for affordable food. It’s also the closest store available for many residents, especially those in Corktown and the West Don Lands. Its loss would make it much more difficult for those residents to get groceries. 

I first want to say that the Rocco’s No Frills will likely be at its current locations for years to come. The No Frills is a private business that leases space from a private landlord, so nothing is ever for certain. But, I have spoken with the developer of the site, First Gulf, and they have assured me that there are currently no immediate plans to redevelop 200 Front Street East. There are existing leases with Rocco, which means it will be many years before the site would be considered for redevelopment. Furthermore, First Gulf has a good relationship with the owner and currently envisions a grocery store—ideally, No Frills—as part of the future of their block in the long term.

In the event that there is movement to demolish the No Frills building, I will work quickly to update the community on the next steps through my communication channels. As above, I do not expect that will happen anytime in the near future.

While I am very hopeful that the No Frills we be with us for decades to come, there is a noticeable dearth of grocery stores in the Corktown and West Don Lands, despite the significant population growth in the area. I am working with developers to provide more grocery options in Corktown and the West Don Lands to ideally allow local residents to walk, cycle or take transit to get the food they need especially affordable food. As developers seek my support for future development applications, I have been asking them to study if their sites can incorporate a large grocery store. Those conversations are ongoing. Keeping the No Frills on First Gulf’s site while providing more grocery options would be a win for residents.

I will, of course, update the community when I have more information. 

Chill & Cheer in Corktown

Be one of four people to win two general admission tickets to Illuminarium Winter Wonderland at the Distillery. Compliments of the Distillery District Winter Village and the Corktown Residents and Business Association (CRBA).   

To participate:

  1. Scan the QR code above and follow the CRBA Instagram page (@corktownto);
  2. Snap a pic of your favourite decorated Corktown storefront (between Berkeley Street and River Street) and tag @corktownto; and
  3. Be notified via DM if you are the winner of two free tickets! Winners will be notified by December 18. Tickets will be valued until January 7, 2024.

From Berkeley to River, Front to Shuter Streets: Historic Corktown main street businesses look forward to your visit and are ready to greet you.  

Jamii Theatrical Shadow Puppetry Show -  December 8 and 9

Local arts organization Jamii is presenting a theatrical shadow puppetry show about the history of The Esplanade from Indigenous times to recent years in David Crombie Park this week!

You can attend this free event on Friday, December 8 and/or Saturday, December 96:00pm and 7:00pm on both days. Each performance will run for 30 minutes. Dress warmly; hot chocolate will be provided! 

Sing & Ring in the Holidays with the Hart House Chorus in St. James Park - December 17

Join your neighbours and friends for carolling around a fire at St. James Park on Sunday, December 17th at 2:00pm. Featured performances by the St. John's York Mills Handbell Ringers and the Hart House Chorus.

Hot beverages and treats will be provided. Please help to reduce waste by bringing your own mug.

Hockey Hall of Fame

I was pleased to meet with Jeff Denomme, President, Hockey Hall of Fame, and tour their facility at 30 Yonge Street. We talked about the history of the Hockey Hall of Fame, its future and how the City can help support its growth.

The Hockey Hall of Fame showcases the incredible history of not only Canada’s game, but has many interactive exhibits for kids (and adults who are still kids at heart). If you’ve not had the pleasure, I encourage you to visit this winter.

We're Hiring! Join the Ward 13 Team!

Ward 13 - Toronto Centre is a fast-paced, high-intensity and always evolving downtown ward with over 120,000 residents, 14 dynamic neighbourhoods and five Business Improvement Areas.

We're looking to fill two full-time positions for an Administrative Assistant and an Advisor, Constituency Relations. 

Please visit to learn how to apply.

Call for Volunteers

Passionate about community involvement? Want to make a difference? Join our event volunteer team for Councillor Chris Moise’s office, enhancing lives in Toronto Centre.

Make an impact, develop skills in event planning and public engagement, and expand your network while finding personal fulfillment. Upcoming events include community clean-ups, environmental day, outreach day, and youth empowerment workshop.

Ready to create positive change?

Contact us at 416-392-7903 or [email protected] to sign up.

Let's build a stronger, more vibrant community together!


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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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