November 2023 Newsletter

Thank you for your continued involvement in building our vibrant community. We're working together to create a city where everyone thrives, and I'm inspired by your commitment.

With six Neighbourhood Town Halls under our belt, your participation and candid conversations have given us a better understanding of the challenges were up against. Whether it's the wellbeing of those struggling with mental health and addiction, or finding solutions for our under-housed, your involvement is essential.

If you couldn't attend one of the six Town Halls, I still want to hear from you. We're launching an annual Safe and Inclusive Neighbourhoods survey to better understand and measure the community's concerns around safety and inclusion. Your input will help us strengthen our policies and direct resources more effectively.

To further this work, I'll be hosting a Building Healthy Communities Forum on November 20th at Toronto Metropolitan University, featuring panelists from Toronto Public Health, SafeTO, Social Development, and Toronto Police. That same morning, alongside Deputy Mayor Malik and Dr. Eileen de Villa, we launch the City of Toronto's Mental Health, Substance Use, Harm Reduction, and Treatment Strategy.

And for the budget enthusiasts, we made history this year with our first-ever Participatory Budgeting in Toronto Centre. Your ideas and votes helped shape the future of our neighbourhoods. The results are currently under review, and I can't wait to announce the winning projects soon!

Lastly, it's BudgetTO 2024 time, and we need your insights! Yesterday, I stood alongside Mayor Chow and Budget Chief Councillor Carroll to launch the City's Pre-Budget Consultations, happening throughout November. With a $1.7 billion budget shortfall, it's important we hear from residents from across the City about what and how we should prioritize in the City’s budget.

The Mayor, aligned with Premier Ford, is working towards a new sustainable funding model for the City. I hope that the Federal Government will also come to the table and commit to equitable, sustainable funding for refugees and affordable housing.

Join us at the Toronto Reference Library on November 25th from 12:00pm-3:00pm, or at one of the other virtual consultations, to learn about how the city is funded and share your thoughts on our fiscal future. Visit my website, www.chrismoise.ca/budget2024 for more details.

Together, we're creating a stronger, safer, and healthier Toronto. Thanks for being part of it.

Yours in service,

Chris Moise
City Councillor
Ward 13 - Toronto Centre

 


In this Issue

  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Building Healthy Communities Forum
  3. BudgetTO 2024 Pre-Budget Consultations
  4. Neighbourhood Town Hall Recap and Survey
  5. Trustee Deborah Williams, TDSB Ward 10
  6. Ontario Line Updates 
  7. Allan Gardens Update 
  8. RentSafeTO Program Update & Fee Changes
  9. Anniversary Park Community Stakeholder Meeting
  10. Cabbagetown Southwest Heritage Conservation District Draft Plan 
  11. Celebrating Diversity and Community: Regent Park Film Festival
  12. Regent Park Phase 4 and 5 Demolition Update 
  13. Regent Park BIA update
  14. JFL 2023 - Please give us your feedback!
  15. Major Streets Study 
  16. Market Street Update 
  17. Bell Box Murals
  18. Journey Home Hospice 
  19. Enoch Turner School 175th Anniversary
  20. Call For Volunteers

1. Upcoming Events

  • Nov 7 2023: Anniversary Park Community Stakeholder Meeting – Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario Street); 5:00pm (see article below)
  • Nov 8 2023: RentSafeTO Program Update and Fee Changes – 6:00pm to 8:00pm (virtual meeting; see article below)
  • Nov 11 2023: Remembrance Day Ceremonies
    • Toronto Old City Hall – Cenotaph at 60 Queen St. W (Bay & Queen St.); 10:45am
    • Cabbagetown — Parliament St & Carlton St; 10:45am
    • For a full list of civic locations outside of Ward, please visit the City's website
  • Nov 16, 2023: Dr. Gordon Chong Park Renaming — 60 Howard Street; 11:00am
  • Nov 20 2023: Building Healthy Communities Forum – Toronto Metropolitan University, Oakham Lounge (63 Gould Street); 6:00pm (see article below)
  • Nov 23 to 26 2023: Regent Park Film Festival – Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas Street East; see article below)
  • Nov 23 to 30 2023: BudgetTO Pre-Budget Consultations
    • Thursday, November 23, 12:00pm to 1:30pm or 1:30pm to 3:00pm (virtual meeting)
    • Saturday, November 25, 12:00pm to 1:30pm or 1:30pm to 3:00pm, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street
    • Tuesday, November 28, 7:00pm to 8:30 pm or 8:30pm to 10:00pm (virtual meeting)
    • Thursday, November 30,7:00pm to 8:30 pm or 8:30pm to 10:00pm(virtual meeting; see article below)

2. Building Healthy Communities Forum 

One of the themes of my Neighbourhood Town Halls were questions about community safety, driven by what seems to be an escalation of social disorder created by untreated mental health and addictions crises playing out in our downtown east communities. I'm excited to invite you to a vital event that aims to provide information about how we can build a safer and healthier City. 

Join us for a panel discussion featuring City Staff, Toronto Public Health, and other organizations. We will tackle pressing matters such as current services, addiction support, community initiatives, and future plans.

Date: November 20, 2023
Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Toronto Metropolitan University - Oakham Lounge (63 Gould Street)

Your participation is crucial, and your questions and insights are encouraged during the Q&A session.

Help shape the future of our community by attending this event. Space is limited so please register here, mark your calendars and spread the word!

 


3. BudgetTO 2024 Pre-Budget Consultations

The City and I are inviting you to share your ideas about the 2024 Budget. From November 1 to 30, the City will be consulting on Toronto’s future in virtual and in-person consultations and through an online survey available on the City’s 2024 Budget webpage. You can learn more and how to register on my website at www.chrismoise.ca/budget2024.

The financial challenges faced by the City are real and impact the 2024 Budget and beyond. The City faces difficult financial decisions, including a projected $1.5 billion operating shortfall in the 2024 Budget and a $46.5 billion shortfall in the next ten years.

Urgent action must be taken to ensure a more stable and sustainable future for Toronto. That is why the City is at the table with the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to secure a new deal for the people of Toronto that will allow the City to build more affordable housing, improve the TTC and focus on Torontonians’ priorities now and for decades to come.

Virtual consultations
Thursday, November 23, noon to 1:30pm or 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Tuesday, November 28, 7:00pm to 8:30pm or 8:30pm to 10:00pm
Thursday, November 30, 7:00pm to 8:30pm or 8:30pm to 10:00pm

In-person consultations
Monday, November 20, 7:00pm to 8:30pm or 8:30pm to 10:00pm, Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
Tuesday, November 21, 7:00pm to 8:30pm or 8:30pm to 10:00pm, Etobicoke Olympium, 590 Rathburn Rd.
Saturday, November 25, 12:00pm to 1:30pm or 1:30pm to 3pm, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.
Monday, November 27, 7:00pm to 8:30pm or 8:30pm to 10:00pm, North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge St.
Wednesday, November 29, 7:00pm to 8:30pm or 8:30pm to 10:00pm, Rexdale Community Hub, 21 Panorama Crt.

Participants are encouraged to register to receive reminders and notifications of any meeting changes. There are two time slots for each meeting and participants can choose their desired time during registration. To register, residents can visit www.chrismoise.ca/budget2024.

Mayor Chow and Toronto City Council will use the feedback to help inform decision making at the City and to support discussions with the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to secure a new deal for Toronto.

The results will be presented to the Budget Committee when the 2024 Budget launches on January 10, 2024 and will accompany the Budget Committee’s recommendations to Mayor Chow for the Mayor’s budget, which will be released by February 1, 2024.

Once the November consultations conclude, Toronto residents will have additional opportunities to engage in the 2024 Budget process online and in person by writing to members of the Budget Committee, local Councillors and Members of Council, attending a local Councillor’s Budget Townhall and speaking to members of the Budget Committee January 22 and 23, 2024.

A Backgrounder about the 2024 Budget process is available on the City’s Media Room webpage.

 


4. Neighbourhood Town Hall Recap and Survey

Zone 3 Town Hall This fall, I hosted six Neighbourhood Town Halls across Toronto Centre throughout September and October. While the questions you’ve asked haven’t always been easy, it’s been my pleasure to stand before you and speak candidly about the issues that matter most to you.

It is a true privilege and honour to represent you and see so many engaged community members in attendance from our 14 neighbourhoods.

I’m glad to have gotten an opportunity to speak to you about community safety issues, development, road safety and many other topics that are impacting your lives. Many of these issues go beyond the power and authority of a City Councillor, but hearing these problems and outlining the City’s jurisdiction is an important step when looking to advocate to other levels of government.

I want to thank my staff who all took time out of their busy schedules to attend all six Town Halls, but to all the City staff who attend to listen and, when able, to answer questions. I also want to extend my thanks to 51 Division for attending these town halls, as well as Sergeant Henry Dyck and Superintendent Christopher Kirkpatrick for their participation. I also give thanks to MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam for attending to listen to how they can support the City at the provincial level.

The next step for my office is I would like to hear from you about how the City can better support safe and inclusive neighbourhoods. A link to a survey can be found below. Even if you were unable to attend one of my Town Halls this year, I encourage you to provide feedback and share the survey with your neighbours.

I hope to see you again in the community, and at our 2024 Town Halls.

 


5. Trustee Deborah Williams, TDSB Ward 10 (University-Rosedale and Toronto Centre)

A headshot of TDSB Trustee D. Williams

My name is Deborah Williams. It is my honour to serve as your school board Trustee for Toronto District School Board’s Ward 10 (University-Rosedale and Toronto Centre).

By prioritizing student achievement and well-being, and considering the broader public interest, I work as a member of the Board to make decisions to benefit all stakeholders. I believe that strong public education builds strong communities.

As your Trustee, I regularly hold Ward Forums to share information and provide opportunities for parents/guardians, caregivers, and our school communities to learn and share with each other. The dates, topics, and locations will be listed on my TDSB Ward 10 website. 

Best Regards,
D. Williams 

 


6. Ontario Line Updates

I have recently received feedback from residents who have voiced their concerns about the overnight drilling operations in Moss Park. These concerns mainly revolve around the potential effects these activities have on their sleep and overall well-being. I am fully aware of the mounting apprehension within our community regarding the overnight drilling in Moss Park and how it might disrupt your sleep. My office is actively working in conjunction with Metrolinx to comprehensively address this matter and ensure your peace of mind.

For in-depth information and ongoing updates regarding this matter, I invite you to visit my dedicated page for Ontario Line updates at https://www.chrismoise.ca/ontarioline or the official Metrolinx website. Stay informed and connected with the latest developments concerning the overnight drilling activities in Moss Park. 

 


7. Allan Gardens Update 

We’ve made remarkable strides in addressing homelessness at Allan Gardens, and the progress we're witnessing is nothing short of inspiring. My dedicated commitment to a "Housing First" approach, combined with your invaluable support, has yielded tangible and positive results. Encampment residents like Michael are being connected to safe and permanent housing. Currently, only 24 tents remain in Allan Gardens, which is lower than it has been all year, especially down from the 89 tents that were in the park in mid-June. You can learn more about this work by visiting my encampments dashboard.

The memories of the encampment clearings at Lamport Stadium and Trinity Bellwoods Park in 2021 are still fresh, and we all know the immense difficulties those experiences brought. These challenges prompted a thorough investigation by the City Ombudsman, who provided recommendations that City Council has since embraced.

I've had the privilege of playing a pivotal role in this transformation. I convened regular Task Force Meetings with city departments that have been crucial to addressing the encampment issue at Allan Gardens. As a result of the task force, the park now boasts three teams of 24/7 security, a Community Safety Team and an Encampment Trailer situated on the south side of the park, facilitating City Housing Workers. Furthermore, we've actively enforced the anti-encroachment bylaw on the west side of the park, an area currently devoid of tents, allowing us to concentrate our efforts on permanently housing all individuals in the encampment on the east side.

Over the summer months, the Housing First approach in Allan Gardens has surpassed the success of the Dufferin Grove project, which served as its model. Since July, we've witnessed a remarkable 69% decrease in encampments with over 60 people being permanently housed from the park.

I firmly believe in transparency and community involvement, which is why my staff maintain a publicly accessible data repository at encampments.chrismoise.ca. This repository offers weekly updates on the situation at Allan Gardens and provides an objective assessment of the effectiveness of the Housing First approach. The data is sent to our office by SSHA, the city department responsible for the shelter system and encampments.

This story underscores that a united approach, effective leadership and community involvement can lead to positive change. I am steadfast in my commitment to sustaining this progress and ensuring that Allan Gardens remains a secure and inclusive space for everyone in our community.

 


8. RentSafeTO Program Update & Fee Changes

RentSafeTO is a bylaw enforcement program that ensures apartment building owners and operators comply with building maintenance standards. The program applies to apartment buildings with three or more storeys and 10 or more units. The RentSafeTO team is hosting in-person and virtual public consultations to discuss a change in fees as well as the new building evaluation tool and process. I invite you to learn more about the changes being made to the evaluation tool and how it will impact building owners and tenants.

A virtual meeting to get resident feedback on these changes will be held online on November 8, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please visit the City's website to register for the event.

In 2023, staff will deliver a report to the Planning & Housing Committee and City Council, which will include an update on the program and outstanding directives, and additional details on the ongoing improvements to the evaluation tool.

 

 


9. Anniversary Park Community Stakeholder Meeting

Mark your calendars for November 7, 2023, as we invite you to the third and final community stakeholder meeting for the redesign of Anniversary Park, scheduled from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario Street).

The City is engaging with the local community to enhance Anniversary Park's infrastructure and amenities, ensuring an accessible and secure environment for everyone. The insights gathered during previous consultations have been instrumental in shaping a preferred design option.

Your participation and feedback are vital in ensuring that Anniversary Park aligns with the community's aspirations and needs. Join us in this collaborative effort to transform the park into a more welcoming and enjoyable space for all. Simultaneously, we will be launching an online survey on the same day to gather additional input from the community. This survey is a crucial step before progressing to the final detailed design and construction phases of the park.

 


10. Cabbagetown Southwest Heritage Conservation District Draft Plan 

heritage homes in cabbagetown

It's my pleasure to provide you with an update on the Cabbagetown Southwest Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Plan. City Heritage Planning staff have been diligently working on this project, and I'm excited to announce that the draft of the plan document will soon be available on the city's project webpage in early November.

Heritage Planning staff will be presenting the Cabbagetown Southwest HCD to the Toronto Preservation Board on December 7th. This is a significant step toward preserving and enhancing the unique heritage of our beloved ward.

Please stay tuned for updates and further information about the Plan's release on the city's project webpage. Your involvement is key to the success of this initiative.

 


11. Celebrating Diversity and Community: Regent Park Film Festival

Regent Park Film Festival - FilmFreeway

I am excited to bring you news about the upcoming Regent Park Film Festival (RPFF), an exceptional event that continues to influence Toronto’s cultural scene. RPFF is a distinguished, community-driven nonprofit organization that proudly bears the distinction of being Toronto’s longest-standing, cost-free community film festival. At its core, RPFF is dedicated to a dual mission: elevating and spotlighting marginalized communities and their narratives by offering a platform for both budding and established artists and guaranteeing that art remains free and available to all, regardless of economic circumstances.

This November 23 through 26th, I invite you to join and celebrate the Regent Park Film Festival. Through showcasing local and international works from and about Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities, RPFF invites us to engage in nuanced discussions, experience uplifting films and embrace the joy that storytelling can bring. Let’s come together to support this incredible initiative that continues to significantly impact our community’s growth and prosperity.

To learn more about the RPFF, please visit their website for more information. Let’s make this year’s festival an unforgettable celebration of diversity, creativity, and community.

 


12. Regent Park Phase 4 and 5 Demolition Update  

I am excited to update you that the approval process for Regent Park phases 4 & 5 reached a significant milestone, with Toronto City Council approving the rezoning at its July 19-21 meeting, with demolition expected to being in early November.

Toronto Community Housing has procured contractors who are actively engaged on-site in decommissioning the buildings' service connections, including electrical, water, gas lines and elevator systems. These preparations are being undertaken in anticipation of the upcoming demolition phase.

Demolition activities are anticipated to commence soon, focusing on the buildings west of Sackville Street. Toronto Community Housing has informed our office that all structures west of Sackville Street are currently vacant. These addresses are 325 and 355 Gerrard Street East, 274 Sackville Street, and 319 Oak Street. Demolition is estimated to take approximately 8 months, concluding June 2024.

 


13. Regent Park BIA update

Part of my election campaign was a commitment to establish a Regent Park Business Improvement Area (BIA). It is crucial to recognize that alongside the ongoing physical revitalization of Regent Park, the economic revitalization must be pursued in tandem.

Establishing a BIA in Regent Park would bring several key advantages. It would enhance the neighbourhood's competitiveness against big-box retailers, promote civic improvement by beautifying public spaces, boost the local economy, create jobs, networking opportunities and offer access to funding for streetscape and aesthetic improvements. A BIA in Regent Park would elevate its commercial and community landscape, making it a more attractive and prosperous place to live and do business.

We are still in the initial stages of the process and are proactively engaging with local businesses in our community. Please stay tuned as I will update you on our progress and provide information on how you can get involved.

 


 14. JFL 2023 - Please give us your feedback!

a stage of performers surrounded by a group of people at night

The second annual street festival for the Just for Laughs (JFL) wrapped up in late September, bringing another three days of comedy and music to the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood. I’m interested in hearing from you about your thoughts on the event this year, especially compared to the 2022 JFL Street Festival.

Please visit my Just for Laughs 2023 Street Festival Survey and let us know what your experience was, how it compared to 2022, and what the City could do to improve events in the neighbourhood in the future.

 


15. Major Streets Study

The Major Streets Study is part of the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) initiative, which aims to bring more housing to Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. This study proposes to permit gentle intensification of residential units in areas designated Neighbourhoods by the Official Plan, along major streets.

Major streets are those transportation corridors which support surface transportation, shipping and delivery routes, and provide connectivity across the city. To better understand the City’s major streets, you are invited to view this video.

In Ward 13, all of our streets are covered under our Downtown Plan policies, so the EHON work will not specifically apply to neighbourhoods like Cabbagetown and the Garden District. That said, adding intensification outside of the Downtown may release some of the pressure currently faced locally. As such, I am encouraging you to complete the City’s survey. Your feedback will be used to shape the appearance of new development along the City’s major streets. The survey will be live until Mid-November, 2023.

Feedback and comments can be emailed to [email protected].

 


16. Market Street Update

Photo by Old Town Toronto / St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood BIA

One of the biggest success stories this year has been the closure of Market Street to pedestrians over the summer months. This closure has allowed the St. Lawrence Market as well as the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood Business Improvement Area to program the street and provide a pedestrianized experience.

After a second successful pilot this summer, Council has directed staff to extend the closure of Market Street for pedestrians until at least November 2024. My original motion from February 2023 requested staff to report back this summer with the necessary operational plans to permanently close the street, with the intention to transition from a temporary closure to a full closure. As that report did not come back, the extension until November 2024 is to demonstrate my commitment to residents that the City needs to figure out how to make this work permanently.

I look forward to working forward with stakeholders to get this important work done so we can all enjoy a pedestrian-friendly Market Street for decades to come.

 


17. Bell Box Murals

Councillor Chris Moise and an artist inspecting her work

Since 2009, the Bell Boxes Murals Project has been a vibrant initiative, embellishing 530 Bell Canada outdoor utility boxes across more than 40 communities in Toronto. This initiative has been funded by section 37 monies collected from local development projects.

Led by Community Matters Toronto, the project's mission is to cultivate neighbourhood pride, enhance the aesthetic appeal of the boxes and provide a platform for local artists within Ward 13. For 2023, artists were carefully selected by my office based on their community engagement and their potential to positively and accurately represent their neighbourhood through art.

The painting phase commenced on August 26, 2023, and continued until nearly the end of September. In total, 12 utility boxes from across Ward 13 were carefully chosen and transformed by local artists. As we bid farewell to a summer marked by gruelling heat, we extend our sincere appreciation to our dedicated artists for their hard work in beautifying our neighbourhoods with vibrant murals.

 

 


18. Journey Home Hospice

I recently had the privilege of visiting Journey Home Hospice, a remarkable organization providing end-of-life care for our homeless community. The visit deeply touched me, and I wanted to share my experience with you.

During my 22 years at St. Michael's Hospital, I assisted vulnerable individuals in finding housing and shelter services. I often wondered how the unhoused coped with the prospect of death. Witnessing the challenges they face firsthand highlighted the importance of organizations like Journey Home Hospice.

The homelessness crisis in our city remains a pressing concern, especially in the downtown east. Most homeless people die in the streets, often without the dignity and care they deserve. It is a stark reminder of the work we have ahead of us.

Journey Home Hospice is a beacon of hope, offering empathetic care to those in need. It's guided by advisors with lived experience of homelessness, ensuring a deep understanding of this community's unique needs.

While their work is exceptional, they need more support and awareness. We must come together as a community to provide the necessary resources for expansion, allowing more of our homeless neighbours to pass with the dignity they deserve.

Journey Home Hospice plays a vital role in bridging gaps in our system and providing much-needed care and support to our homeless residents. They are true difference-makers.
I want to express my gratitude to Fr. Matthew Durham, Executive Director of Journey Home Hospice, the medical staff, and the volunteers for their tireless dedication to this important work. Let's continue to stand by organizations like Journey Home Hospice as we work towards a more compassionate and supportive community for all.

 


19. Enoch Turner School 175th Anniversary

I had the pleasure to attend the celebration for the 175th anniversary of the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse with members of the Corktown community.

The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse was Toronto’s first free school, built in 1848, and continues to represent the commitment to universal access to public education and willingness to help those in need. This iconic building is Toronto’s oldest surviving schoolhouse and continues to educate our community’s children through programs run by the Ontario Heritage Trust.

It was great to see members of the community turn out to celebrate this anniversary through traditional music and a custom brew!

 


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

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