July 2023 Newsletter

I am delighted to report that this year's Pride weekend was a tremendous success, and the largest ever! The Trans March saw a threefold increase in participation, the street fair had an impressive turnout with 226 vendors, and over 250 groups proudly marched in the parade on Sunday. While we acknowledge there are a few adjustments to make for an even smoother and more successful event, this year's festival was exceptionally well-organized with very few incidents. I extend my heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to all the staff, volunteers, sponsors, and partners of Pride Toronto, including City Staff and Toronto Police, for their hard work in making this event a resounding success. I would also like to acknowledge Pride Toronto's fantastic initiative of using BioDiesel to power the stages, StreetFair vendors, and Parade contingents wherever possible, contributing to our climate change and environmental objectives at the City of Toronto.

The Mayoral By-Election has concluded, and I am pleased that we have elected a new progressive Mayor to lead us at City Hall and across Toronto. Join me in congratulating Mayor-Elect Olivia Chow, who will officially take office on July 12th. I look forward to working alongside Mayor Chow to create a safer, livable, affordable, and commutable city for all. While the summer is traditionally a break for City Council, we are committed to working tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition and continue addressing the needs of our community.

I recently made a decision to join Threads, a microblogging platform, after leaving Twitter last fall due to their policies that allowed the spread of racist, islamophobic, antisemitic, homophobic, and transphobic vitriol. Threads provide us with an opportunity to connect quickly and easily, share information, and engage in meaningful conversations. I am excited about this new avenue and the possibilities it brings.

In addition to these key highlights, I want to share an incredible accomplishment. Through our first annual participatory budgeting initiative, we received a whopping 67 ideas from residents. This level of engagement is truly inspiring as we work together to shape the future of our ward. The next steps are outlined below!

As always, I remain committed to serving you, advocating for our community's needs, and fostering an inclusive and prosperous Toronto Centre. Together, we can continue to make our city a better place to live, work, and thrive.

If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas you'd like to share, please don't hesitate to reach out to my office. Your input is invaluable and helps us better represent your interests.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and let's look forward to a fantastic summer ahead!

Yours in service,

Chris Moise
City Councillor
Ward 13 - Toronto Centre

In this Issue

  1. Development in The Village
  2. Supporting Small Businesses
  3. Allan Gardens Encampment Help and Information Centre
  4. St. James Town Community Clean Up
  5. Movie Night in St. James Town
  6. Join the Moss Park Arena Board
  7. Participatory Budgeting - Next Phase: Staff Review

Development in The Village

I wanted to take a moment to update you on the developments happening in our beloved Village. As your City Councillor, I'm committed to ensuring that our community thrives and remains a vibrant place for all of us to live, work, and play.

The development at the North-West corner of Church and Wellesley has been approved by the Toronto and East York Community Council. This comes after a lengthy process that saw the original proposal rejected by City Council and later also rejected by the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT). However, I am happy to report that this new application meets all the necessary conditions set by the City and the OLT.

This project will feature 405 dwelling units, including 65 replacement rental units. As part of our commitment to the community, a Tenant Relocation and Assistance Plan has been secured, ensuring eligible tenants have the right to return at similar rents. Plus, each replacement unit will offer ensuite laundry, central air conditioning, and access to all the same amenities as the condo units. The final approval from City Council is expected at our July 19th meeting.

While the rezoning application is set to be approved, there is still work to be done before the relocation process begins and construction starts. I am actively collaborating with the applicant and City Staff to secure in-kind community space within the development through the new 4% Community Benefit Charges. Additionally, we will work together to declare Dapper Lane as surplus, undertake proper decommissioning measures with the community, and finalize its sale to the applicant.

As Charles Street and Yonge Street continue to experience development or have active applications, we are now seeing land assembly and development proposals deeper within the Village on Isabella, Dundonald, and Cawthra. This expansion is a result of limited space within the downtown core, the increasing need for diverse housing options, and the implementation of the new Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) policies.

The Province's Growth Plan has defined MTSA areas as those within a 500 to 800-meter radius of a transit station, representing a convenient 10-minute walk. These areas will have designated density targets to accommodate growth. Additionally, the Province requires municipalities to assign minimum densities "per building or structure" within Primary MTSAs (PMTSAs), which encompass our entire downtown core. We anticipate the Province's approval of both the City's applications for MTSAs and Inclusionary Zoning. To learn more about the MTSAs and PMTSAs, I encourage you to visit this interactive resource: MTSA and PMTSA Story Map.

As your representative, my priorities remain steadfast in ensuring that our infrastructure is upgraded and maintained to accommodate this growth. I am dedicated to creating vibrant streetscapes and enhancing pedestrian experiences. Moreover, I am working diligently to secure affordable spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ organizations, retailers, and entertainment venues to ensure that our Village remains a cultural hub and a destination for all.

Supporting Small Businesses

I am thrilled to share that I recently moved a motion at both City Council and Community Council to support Bar Volo's CafeTO application. Many of you are familiar with Bar Volo's charming patio, which has been a beloved part of our community since the inception of the CafeTO program. However, their application was initially rejected by staff because it did not fit into the prescribed CafeTO program.

Recognizing the unique importance of Bar Volo and its potential to inspire pedestrianization and animate our laneways, I collaborated closely with city staff to find a creative solution. I am pleased to announce that Bar Volo's patio has been approved, ensuring that this local gem can continue to serve our community for years to come.

In addition to Bar Volo, I have been working tirelessly with staff and Toronto Hydro to support businesses in The Village, especially during Pride weekend. We understand the importance of creating vibrant spaces for our LGBTQ+ community and visitors.

To ensure that businesses in The Village could install their patios in time for Pride weekend, we have requested that Toronto Hydro and their contractors prioritize work on Church Street. I am delighted to inform you that they expect to complete the work on Church Street within approximately three weeks.

It is evident that the CafeTO program requires better guidelines and long-term solutions to enhance its success in the years to come. I am committed to working towards improving this program for the benefit of both businesses and our communities. I will actively engage with stakeholders, listen to your valuable input, and seek innovative approaches to ensure that we create an even more vibrant and supportive environment for our local establishments. Together, we will continue to champion our small businesses and create an inclusive and prosperous Toronto Centre.

Allan Gardens Encampment Help and Information Centre

I wanted to provide you with an update on the ongoing efforts to address the encampment in Allan Gardens. The City staff and our dedicated community outreach partners are working tirelessly every day to connect individuals living in the park with crucial health and social services, indoor accommodations, and permanent housing options. While progress has been made, it is important to recognize that there is still much work to be done.

Since August 2022, the City's outreach staff have successfully referred 123 individuals from the Allan Gardens encampment into the shelter system, and 34 people have been placed into permanent housing. These numbers demonstrate the ongoing challenges we face, as some individuals continue to avoid outreach staff and refuse pathways to housing.

Recognizing the need for additional support, my office recently worked with Deputy Mayor McKelvie to secure 50 more shelter beds specifically dedicated to individuals living in Allan Gardens. However, it is clear that redoubling our efforts and providing comprehensive support and housing solutions are essential to address the challenges faced by those living in the park.

In line with our commitment to maintaining Allan Gardens as an open and accessible space for everyone's enjoyment, while also providing assistance to those experiencing homelessness, we have established an Information & Help Centre in a temporary, modified shipping container on the south-east side of the park.

This Centre serves as a connecting point for ongoing outreach efforts and provides a resource for neighbours and community members seeking information and support. Please feel free to visit the centre if you have any questions or require assistance.

It's important to note that the container will only remain in place as long as there is a significant need for onsite resources. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that all individuals have access to safe and supportive housing while preserving the beauty and purpose of Allan Gardens for everyone in our community.

Thank you for your continued understanding, support, and cooperation as we work together to address this complex issue and make a positive impact on the lives of those experiencing homelessness.

St. James Town Community Clean Up

Come join us on July 15th, 2023, from 12:00PM to 4:00PM, for CleanGREEN by Freedom City, a community clean-up event aimed at beautifying St. James Town. We will begin at the Community Corner @ 240 Wellesley St. Let's come together to make a positive impact on our environment and create a cleaner, greener community!

Enjoy music, refreshments, and the company of fellow residents as we work side by side to enhance the natural beauty of our neighbourhood. Dress comfortably, bring your enthusiasm, and help us keep St. James Town a vibrant, clean, and green community we can all be proud of.

Movie Night in St. James Town

Gather your friends, family, and neighbours for a night of movie magic under the stars.

On Wednesday, July 19th, from 8:00PM - 11:00PM, we will be hosting a special screening of the "Super Mario Bros. Movie" (2023) in the St. James Town Open Space, located beside Food Basics.

A big shout out to CUPE Local 416 for their sponsorship, as it allows us to bring this event to life. We are fortunate to have such supportive partners in our community. Popcorn and refreshments will be provided. So, all you need to bring are your blankets, and lawn chairs. Come early to find the best spot and settle in for a fantastic family night.

Movie: Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)
Date: Wednesday, July 19th, 2023
Time: 8:00PM - 11:00PM
Location: St. James Town Open Space, beside Food Basics

Mark your calendars, invite your loved ones, and get ready for an unforgettable night. I can't wait to see you all there!

Join the Moss Park Arena Board

We currently have three vacancies on the board and are actively seeking passionate individuals who are dedicated to serving our community. I believe that a diverse board will bring unique perspectives and ideas that will help shape the future of the Moss Park Arena.

If you, or someone you know, is interested and would be a great fit for the board, please encourage them to apply. The application deadline is Thursday, July 27th. To apply, visit the City’s Civic Appointments website.

We need your support in spreading the word about these vacancies. If you know someone who would be a strong candidate, please share the application link with them. Together, we can ensure that the Moss Park Arena Board represents the diverse voices and needs of our community.

If you or any potential candidates have questions about the application process, please don't hesitate to reach out to Giselle Jagai at [email protected] or call 416-392-0146. Giselle will be more than happy to assist and provide the necessary guidance.

Participatory Budgeting - Next Phase: Staff Review

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the residents who participated in our recent Participatory Budgeting initiative. Your engagement and support have been truly inspiring.

We collected an impressive 67 resident-generated ideas for capital projects. This outstanding response demonstrates the creativity and care our neighbourhood residents have for their community.

From July 1st to September 30th, 2023, ideas will undergo a review by city staff who will assess the feasibility and cost of implementing these projects.

Once the ideas are reviewed and costed by city staff, they will go to a vote in October. Using our Toronto Centre Projects platform, residents in Zones 1, 5, and 6 will vote on which projects they would like to see funded. You will be able to vote on as many ideas as you'd like as long as their combined costs fit within the total $750,000.

This means that your ideas have a real chance to become a reality! I am excited to see which ideas resonate the most with our community and will be selected.

I encourage you all to stay engaged and keep an eye out for updates. Your participation will be key in making informed decisions during the voting process.

Thank you once again for your active involvement and for bringing your wonderful ideas forward. Let's continue working together to shape the future of Toronto Centre.

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